Episodes
Psalm 113 points us back to the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 and 2, and it looks forward to the song of Mary in Luke 1, where Mary sings because she has been told she’s going to give birth to Jesus. So these three — the song of Hannah, Psalm 113, and the song of Mary — are connected. There’s a theme running through all of these that will shed light on what Christmas is about.  So what is Christmas about? It’s about the infinitely high becoming inconceivably low, the infinitely huge becoming...
Published 12/03/21
Today’s message is part of a series on the subject of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. We’ve said that wisdom is basically the ability to make right choices. You make or break your life on the basis of your choices and we need wisdom to make the right ones. For example, is this the right career for you? Is this the right person to marry? Is this the right place to live? In every one of those situations, the options in front of you are many. Most of them are moral and most of them are legal....
Published 12/01/21
The gospel brings about a radical change in the way in which a believer regards money and possessions. Money has tremendous power. It exerts a huge power in our lives.  Let’s look at why and how it does that, and then how we can break the power of money over our lives. We’re going to learn three things here. We’re going to learn that money exercises great power over us, why it exercises great power over us, and how to break that power over us. This sermon was preached by Dr. Timothy...
Published 11/30/21
Today we’re going to talk about wisdom with regard to the complex realities of our inner beings — what we would today call the psychological life. We all at certain times have a lot of trouble understanding and dealing with the very deep, conflicting, confusing, powerful, sometimes warring dynamic impulses that just roll through our hearts. Sometimes we don’t feel we have any power over those impulses. We feel helpless. We don’t know how we got there and what to do about it.  The book of...
Published 11/29/21
The book of Proverbs is one of the best places to learn about the topic of wisdom. The book teaches us that a wise person has certain characteristics and qualities. In order to be wise, you need to become a certain type of person. The book does not talk nearly so much about how to make the right decisions but it teaches us how to become the kind of person who makes the right decisions.  Today, we come to self-control. A man or a woman without self-control is not going to live a wise life...
Published 11/26/21
Today’s sermon is a continuation of a study on wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Throughout the book you’ll find that work is a recurring theme. It talks positively about work under the heading of “diligence.” It talks negatively about work under the heading of “sluggard” or “the sluggardliness.” It tells us if you want to have a fulfilled human life, you need to do four things with your work: do your work, love your work, re-narrate your work, and redeem your work. This sermon was preached...
Published 11/24/21
Today’s message comes from a series on the topic of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. We’ve defined wisdom according to the Bible as “competence with regard to the complex realities of life.” This means being wise is knowing something about the way the world works in order to make the right moral decision. It’s not enough to just know the rules, but we need to have wisdom so that we can apply the rules appropriately in all types of life situations.  We are technically-oriented as a society,...
Published 11/22/21
The book of Proverbs is one of the best places to learn about the topic of wisdom. The book teaches us that to gain wisdom you must come to understand and redirect the deep currents of our hearts — things like anger and sexual desire. Today we’re going to zero in on envy. It is very important to see the reality of it and to understand its power. We’re going to look at three things in the passages: how to understand envy, why to deal with envy, and where to take your envy. This sermon was...
Published 11/19/21
Today’s message comes from a series on the topic of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. To be wise, we’ve studied the power of anger and the power of sexuality. And now we look at the power of money.   In the area of money, people who only look to the rules — what’s legal or illegal — are going to be destructively unwise in their lives. If you want to be wise with your money and possessions, according to the book of Proverbs, you need to know three things: 1) the power of money, 2) the reasons...
Published 11/17/21
In 1 Kings 3, Solomon asks for wisdom. He asks for “a heart that can discern right from wrong.” The question is, “If he’s the king of Israel, he has the law of God. Why would he need wisdom? Doesn’t the Word of God tell you what’s right and wrong?” The reason is that it’s not enough to just know the rules, but you need discernment from God for knowing what decision to make when the moral rules don’t fit your situation perfectly.  Last week we saw one of the important ways to develop a heart...
Published 11/15/21
Today’s message comes from a series on the topic of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. What is wisdom? In 1 Kings 3, Solomon prays for wisdom, and he defines it like this. He says, “God, give me a heart that can discern right from wrong.” You might say, “He was the king of Israel. He had the law of God. Why does he need a heart to discern right from wrong?” The answer is that wisdom is more than just knowing what’s good and what’s bad. It’s knowing what the right decision to make is — what the...
Published 11/12/21
Wisdom is more than being moral and good. Wisdom is knowing something about how the world works so that you’ll know what the right thing to do is in the majority of life situations in which the moral rules don’t apply.  The book of Proverbs is one of the best places in the Bible to look at the topic of wisdom. There is a theme that runs all through Proverbs and, in fact, all through the whole Bible. That is, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Today we’re going to consider that...
Published 11/10/21
Today’s message comes from a series on the book of Proverbs in which we’ve been looking at the subject of wisdom. Wisdom can be defined as: competence with regard to the realities of life. It is knowing the right thing to do in the vast majority of life situations in which the moral rules don’t apply or in which there are multiple permissible options.  Why is it that so many religious communities want to make up new rules? One answer is that we won’t have to think. We want a rule to cover...
Published 11/08/21
The book of Proverbs is one of the best places in the Bible to look at the topic of wisdom. Wisdom is a lot more than just having high moral values. It is knowing what the right thing to do is in the majority of life situations where the moral rules don’t apply. The most right and virtuous word or deed done at the wrong time, done in the wrong way or in the wrong order, can blow everything up. Wisdom is not having a technique that helps you make right choices and decisions, but it’s having...
Published 11/05/21
Wisdom can be defined as: competence with regard to the complex realities of life. It has to do with understanding a particular situation and then knowing the right thing to do. For example, you might decide you really want to help a poor family to get out of poverty. That’s a noble thing, but you could do it in a way that actually ruins the family. You need to be conversant with the complexity of the realities of how things work in the world. It’s not good enough to be a person of vision...
Published 11/03/21
We live in a pluralistic society, which results in people continually fighting about morality. They’re fighting about different views on what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. In many ways this was different in ancient societies because on the whole, there was generally more consensus on morality in each society. There were spoken and unspoken rules that were necessary for the society to exist.  If you’re going to not make an absolute mess of your life, then there is...
Published 11/01/21
Today’s passage is not an easy one. When you look through it, there’s a lot of obscurity. Nothing leaps up and grabs you, but if we do some mining, we’ll find all sorts of gems in here. This passage helps unlock one of the keys for understanding all of the Bible. Paul shows us how the Bible fits together with beautiful coherence.  Paul is writing to a series of churches in Galatia that he founded. They had come under the influence of a group of wayward teachers, and Paul is at great pains...
Published 10/29/21
All of our personal problems and practical problems are really theological ones. Most theological problems are really practical problems, because theology affects the way you live. Today we’re going to look at one huge problem. There’s a theological way to put it, and there’s a more practical way to put it.   The theological problem is this: when you are saved, how do you move beyond being accepted by God as righteous to actually living a righteous life? This is a move from imputed...
Published 10/27/21
This is a great passage. There are so many details in it. I think, however, the important thing would probably be to get the gist of it, the point, which I think is actually in verse 8. Then we can come back and look at the parts and the details later without losing our way or being confused. This passage in the very beginning, which we began looking at last week, talks about, “How do you get the Spirit? How do you have spiritual power?” It’s a very, very relevant question nowadays. Here...
Published 10/25/21
In our culture, many people go to church looking for spiritual power. They’re looking for spirituality, or prayer, or changes in consciousness. People don’t want to be told how to live decently, because that whole idea that there’s a certain way to live is gone. But they’re empty, and they want spirituality. This text from Galatians has everything to say about spirituality. Paul says, “If you want to understand spiritual power, spiritual reality… not just an ethical life, but a spiritually...
Published 10/22/21
This passage tells the story of how Peter and Paul had a confrontation over the nature of the gospel, the essence of the Christian faith, over what a Christian really is. What is a Christian? We’re going to look at a definition in this teaching, a definition that is vast in its implications. Almost any other definition than this one is unbalanced, misleading, and distorted. Becoming good is a result of being a Christian; it’s not the essence of becoming a Christian. When you become a...
Published 10/20/21
In this passage, Paul has confronted not just Peter, but Barnabas and all of these great Christian leaders, over what it means to live in accordance with the gospel. The word gospel or “good news” is the essential core; the thing that makes Christianity, Christianity. Here we have Paul arguing with Peter, another apostle, and all of the leaders, as to how the gospel is to be worked out, and what the gospel is.  For the first time in the book of Galatians, Paul gets into terminology. First...
Published 10/18/21
In this sermon we continue looking at an account of two very important visits: Paul coming down to Jerusalem and Peter coming up to Antioch; Paul coming down to where Peter lived and Peter coming up to where Paul lived. In the first visit, we saw a very important principle laid down as to the nature of the gospel, what it is. We saw that the problem was the message of a certain group of religious teachers. Their point was believing in Jesus Christ was very important; they weren’t against...
Published 10/15/21
One of the great things about this passage from Galatians is that Paul is giving us some very meaty, very important theological teaching exposition, but he’s doing it in the form of a narrative because he’s telling us a story of two visits. There were all these ceremonial rules in the Mosaic covenant in the Old Testament. There was an extremely influential pressure group of early Christians, and this group was saying that in order to be a Christian, you must not only believe in Jesus...
Published 10/13/21