All tagged Christianity

Ministry Is War: A Sermon from 1 Timothy 1

Throughout Paul’s letters to Timothy, he employs military language in order to convey the seriousness of Timothy’s call to the pastorate at Ephesus. Paul understood the significance of their mission in the fight for the truth. Now, he is passing that fight onto his young disciple. Paul has been at frontlines of ministry — these, then, are his dispatches from the front in order for Timothy to take over the campaign.

The Things Concerning Himself

In 2018, Ligonier Ministries released an updated version of their “State of Theology” survey, in which participants were asked to respond to numerous statements regarding the Bible, theology, and ethics, with the goal of uncovering the “theological temperature” of the modern evangelical landscape. Perusing the findings of the survey left me dumbfounded and startled and burdened.

The Faithful Saying of Sound Doctrine: A Sermon from 1 Timothy 1

In 1 Timothy 1, after alluding to what “sound doctrine” is not, Paul moves on to expound what “sound doctrine” is. And in contrast to the fraudulent and counterfeit doctrine being proclaimed by these false teachers, “sound doctrine” is chiefly concerned with sinners. Paul knew this deeply because his life is a living testimony to the “sound doctrine” of God.

On Stranger Things, Salvation, & the Seriousness of Life

Call me a sucker for the ’80s and I’d probably agree with you. Give me a smooth pop song stuffed with synth and I’ll be happy, especially if Phil Collins or Steve Perry busts out the vocals. I know this isn’t a nostalgia thing because I was born in 1990. Ergo, all of my knowledge of ’80s society is derived from the nostalgia-laden entertainment of those looking back on the decade with rose-colored glasses. Such is why I think I have been won over by Netflix’s flagship original series, Stranger Things.

The False Gospel of The Bachelorette

I didn’t want to write this. You have to believe me when I say that I really didn’t want to comment on this silly, exaggerated spat between reality TV personalities. I know these waters are tumultuous, to say the least. But as I reflected on the story as a whole, I realized there was far more to this scene than just an over-the-top, highly-produced dating show confrontation. Actually, she’s the one that started it.

Going Spelunking: The Cavernous Grace of the Gospel

The opening verses of Ephesians 2 are among the most significant in all the pages of Scripture. In a mere ten verses, the apostle Paul upends nearly every presupposed notion about religion, the church, and the believer’s life in Christ. In this text, the Spirit of God, through the pen of a stubborn apostle, single-handedly dismantles any and all preconceived notions about how the Christian life is supposed to work.

Don’t Sway from Sound Doctrine: A Sermon from 1 Timothy 1

The theme of Paul’s first letter to Timothy is a resolute charge to hold fast to the truth of God in the midst of the swirling storms of falsehood. Paul’s commission is to stay firm in promoting and proclaiming the doctrine with which he entrusted the young pastor. Timothy was undoubtedly enduring severe ministerial trials as the burgeoning philosophies and theosophies of gnosticism were threatening the church. Such is why Paul aims to affirm the indefatigable truth of God’s gospel by contrasting what was being taught, the false versus the true.

Greetings & Salutations: A Sermon from 1 Timothy 1

In the Pastoral Epistles, the apostle Paul is passing the torch as the primary doctrinal voice for the church to a new generation of pastors and preachers in both Timothy and Titus. Paul anticipates the frailty of his life and senses the winds of change that are coming for the nascent churches with which he spent his life laboring for the sake of the gospel. A new phase of pastoral ministry is looming: a defense of the faith. That which was fresh and new and took the churches by storm in the first wave of apostolic preaching has given way to discontent and falsehood. Such is why Paul is adamant in his resolve to Timothy and Titus to keep the faith and hold fast to sound doctrine.

Standing Together: A Sermon from Philippians 4

St. Paul loved the Philippian Church. He affectionately calls them his “joy and crown” in the opening verses of chapter 4 and refers to them as his “dearly beloved” twice in the first verse alone. (Phil. 4:1) Paul was desirous and determined that this church would not succumb to the trivial disputes and divisions which might have so easily plagued it had they lost their way, their focus. Such is why the apostle spends nearly the entire letter emphasizing unity, “like-mindedness,” and having the “same mind.” And so it is that we are made to recognize the primary ingredient of the church: unity in Christ.