Living it Out: Gospel Informed Ethics (Matthew 7:01-14

Our Lord gives us the warning about being judgmental.  This is somewhat strange because our Lord will judge the religious rulers in Matthew’s gospel, our Lord pronounces judgments against others, and our Lord does not approve of sin.  So, how can our Lord rebuke us for being judgmental when Christ is the judgmental judge?

Worship Elements: Sacraments General (Romans 4:11)

The Apostle Paul speaks Abraham first having faith and then receiving he sign. This would seem that the sacraments are a sign of our faith rather than a sign of the covenant.  This has profound implications because this would mean that first we would profess our faith and then receive the sacrament.  So, why would we as reformed people baptize infants if this contradicts the Apostle Paul? Why would infants potentially receive the sign if they have not first professed faith like Abraham did? 

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: 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? 

Thanking God (4-7)

Paul is thankful for this man who creates more stress for Paul while Paul has enough to think about while being in Prison.  Why is Paul thankful for this additional work?  What can Paul celebrate in the midst of his circumstances?  What does this teach us about a true grace-centered and Gospel-centered joy?

Friday Fools (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Christ assures us that the folly of Christ’s cross is salvation manifested by the power of God.  How can this be?  This sounds impossible because the cross is a method of execution.  Why would we want this symbol?  The tragedy is that we are tempted to sanitize this symbol, but why is that so tragic?  What could be the possible benefit of this cross?

No, You Are Wicked! (Job 20:1-29)

It is time for Zophar to express his concerns regarding Job’s convictions.  He is going to continue his conviction about traditional wisdom making clear that this is the wisdom that has been manifested since man walked the earth.  If Zophar has surveyed human history then he has to be right in his assessment of the problem right?

Suffering Servant:Suffering Warrior (Isa. 52:13-53:12)

When Isaiah speaks of the suffering servant we think that this is a champion who will prevail and will not falter.  You would hope that a warrior would be one who would show up with armor, and adorned in such a way that the nations would tremble to be in his midst.  However, this is not how the Lord conducts this war.  What does this servant look like?  What kind of servant and warrior do we see?