The Genesis of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17)

This is a strange title because we believe that Jesus Christ was not created, but is from all eternity.  So, are we unorthodox in this statement about the Genesis of Jesus?  Is Matthew unorthodox when he talks about this genealogy being the beginning of Christ?  Or does Matthew intend something different?

Worship Elements: Preaching: Word or Gospel? (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

We have been considering at the language of the Belgic Confession that identifies the preaching of the Gospel as a mark of the true church.  If the reformers claim that a mark of the church the the preaching of the gospel then why does Paul exhort Timothy to preach the word?  Does our confession need to be rewritten?  Does Paul understand the preaching of the word to be the preaching of the Gospel?

Worship Elements: Preaching: Evangelistic (Romans 1:16-17)

Our confession does not merely say that we preach the word, but we preach the Gospel.  Why not have a mature church that no longer needs the Gospel because they have advanced beyond it.  Then we could have churches that are more geared to young Christians.    What basis do we have to preach the gospel for all members of Christ’s church? 

Glorious Praise (Jude 1:24-26)

Jude is not the first letter that we read for our personal or corporate encouragement as it is a letter that is a challenge to understand.  It is also a letter that deals a lot with judgment. Jude desires to write to the church about the common faith once for all delivered, but instead writes about the pressing matter concerning the false teachers.  So, how can this letter go beyond its immediate context?  What encouragement can we glean from this letter?  Why press forward in this life?

Worship Elements: Preaching: An Assuring Promise (Genesis 28)

Jacob leaves home sent away as a covenantal fugitive to fend for himself at his uncle’s house.  He is left alone in the deserve literally stripped of everything that he valued.  Is all lost?  What can Jacob’s vision in the midst of his existential crises teach us about preaching and the gospel message?

Concluding Exhortations (Jude 1:17-23)

Jude writes a letter with some very strong warnings cautioning people about challenging God. Jude has appealed to angels, battles before history, judgments in history and before history, and he has appealed to many events to make his case. The point of these events is to communicate that God always wins. This is an intriguing book, but how are we to live for the Lord in light of these exhortations? Are we to be terrified of our God?

Worship Elements: Preaching: Redundant Gospel? (1 Cor. 1:18)

We might think that we know the Gospel and we know the Gospel well.  So, why would we think that we need to continually hear the Gospel preached if we know the Gospel message?  Is there a point in our Christians lives when we move beyond the Gospel message?  What wisdom can be gleaned from church history that would shed some light on this issue of Gospel preaching? 

Worship Elements: Singing (Colossians 3:16,17)

We sing songs in our worship.  We sing songs in praise to the Lord.  However, why do we sing to the Lord?  What can we sing to the Lord to offer up praises to Him?  Why is signing so important for our worship service?