1.18.09 gbcvic sermons, prairie version

I am updating you from a most wonderful place, my home town in Alberta. I began the day in our pulpit in Victoria, rushed through a few last minute errands at home, then boarded a plane for my favorite place on earth: home. The town isn’t much to look at, perhaps, but to me, it is what home means.

The trip is a quick one to help my parents with some business matters. Being able to travel out on a Sunday evening like this is one of the benefits of our compressed schedule with our afternoon instead of an evening service.

Here are our summaries:

The Advantage of the Jew (Rm 3.1-2) – Romans Series

We resume our Romans series with the first objection of the Jew to the message of the gospel. The gospel is necessary for all men, for all men are under condemnation for their sins, including religious men. In Romans 2, Paul’s argument specifically points to the Jews. The Jews are God’s chosen people, but in order for them to benefit from their religion, they must see that it first points to their need of redemption from sin. They, like the Gentiles, are subject to the judgement of God.

The Jew objects at this argument. Paul employs a rhetorical style called diatribe as he imagines an opponent arguing with him: What good is being a Jew then? (Implied: we might as well give it all up and indulge in sin – see Rm 3.8.) Paul counters: there are many advantages and the first is the oracles of God, i.e., the written revelation of God found in the Bible. This is a great trust and a great benefit, but only if one is willing to stop arguing with God and accept his verdict on your sinful condition.

The Interpreter’s House

Christiana and Mercy arrive to a loving welcome in the House of the Interpreter, where they are taught many lessons from Bunyan’s homely examples. It seems that the Interpreter represents the Holy Spirit who instructs believers in the way of wisdom. The Spirit also washes, sanctifies and prepares the pilgrim for the journey. All believers would do well to halt at Interpreter’s house and gain wisdom for the way.

The Violent Christian (Gal 5.24) Galatians Series

This message has been percolating since before Christmas, but was delayed by our snowstorms.

We are talking about the fruit of the Spirit passage in Galatians. Part of the passage that is often ignored is Gal 5.24, a verse that reveals the human means in the sanctification process: crucifying the flesh. We couple that passage with Mt 11.12, to show that both Jesus and Paul talk in a particularly graphic way about the kind of vigour necessary for a fruitful spiritual life. You cultivate the ground of your heart by a particularly violent process. We attempt to highlight how violent that process is by looking closely at the vocabulary employed.

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Wherever you are, I trust you had a good day in the LORD’s house. We had a great day, although we had a number out sick and one flying back from Holland. One of our fellows returned from the "injured list" however, he had been out for some weeks with a surgery, but he was looking good today. It was great to see him back.

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