All tagged Gospel

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.

Our Unexpected Friend: A Sermon from Mark 2

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus comes suddenly on the scene and immediately begins preaching the gospel of the kingdom. But, overall, his actions are less than kingly. He serves. He stoops. He touches unclean people and spends time with the riffraff. He subverts all the understood ways the Messiah should act and conduct himself. He is our unexpected Friend.

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.

The Mysterious & Majestic Mandate of the Messiah: A Sermon from Mark 1

In Mark 1, we learn that Jesus was not opposed to benevolence in his earthly ministry; he healed countless lives, after all. However, I seriously doubt all those in crowd with “diverse diseases” were seeking him for his doctrine. And rather than merely being known as one who performed miracles, Jesus was desirous of being known through the fundamental elements of his ministry: death and resurrection.

Sour Grapes & Stale Crackers

I’m a lifelong Baptist and I’ve always been in church. Both my grandfathers served as pastors at various points in their lives, and my dad still ministers at a Baptist church in upstate South Carolina. Consequently, my understanding of the faith and practice of Christianity didn’t come with much in the way of liturgy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing or something of which I’m resentful — it’s just a fact.

The Sudden Ramifications of Salvation: A Sermon from Mark 1

Throughout Mark’s Gospel, the evangelist demonstrates a propensity to use the “immediately” or “straightway” to indicate his message’s urgency. Employing this term gives the entire account a sense of pace and the feel that the narrative is constantly churning forward. In chapter 1 alone, there are seven uses of “immediately” or a synonym for it. This is indicative of Mark’s entire Gospel, which has often been called the “Gospel of action.”

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.

On the Primacy of the Pulpit & Throwing Shade at Puritan Preaching

I’ve taken to reading Patrick Fairbairn’s Pastoral Theology: A Treatise on the Office and Duties of the Christian Pastor. In the work, he delves into the multifarious characteristics and aspects of the pastorate. The bulk of the discourses derive, mainly, out his lectures on the Pastoral Epistles on which he also has a published commentary par excellence. In chapter four, “The More Special Duties of the Pastoral Office,” Fairbairn spends considerable time discussing the primacy and preeminence of the sermon.

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.

The True & Better One: A Sermon from Mark 1

From the outset of Mark’s Gospel, we are told Jesus’s true identity. He is the “beloved Son” of God. The entire Gospel, in fact, is bookended with affirmative declarations of his deity (Mark 1:1, 11; 15:37–39), as if the evangelist is saying, “This is who he is, and this is what he did, this is what he has done.” Such is what forms the basis and ground of all Christian hope. The fact of the gospel as a record of human history is what steadies and stabilizes our faith. It is the incontrovertible good news that the God’s own Son has come to bring everything to completion as the Divine Solution, as the True and Better One.

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.

The Beginning of God’s Glad Tidings: A Sermon from Mark 1

Mark’s Gospel is the simplest and shortest of the canonical Gospels by a fairly wide margin. John Mark seldom inserts editorial comments that might further explain the narrative and, to a large degree, foregoes the inclusion of Jesus’s discourses which are so common in the other Synoptics. This makes for a short, quick, hard-hitting Gospel of action. The evangelist seems to have recorded Jesus’s movements rather than his words, no doubt deliberately, as he strove to show Jesus as the unexpected Messiah who came to serve — as the unlikely King who came to die.