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Resources by David Strain

Dr. David Strain was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He holds degrees from Duncan Jordanstone College of Art, Trinity College Glasgow/School of Divinity, the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh, and Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in the Free Church of Scotland in September 2003, and has held pastoral charges in London, England, and Columbus, MS. Since May 2013, David has served on the pastoral staff of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson and was installed as Senior Minister in May 2014. He was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson) in 2016.

Elect Exiles

Peter is offering a final word on a series of reflections we’ve been examining together for some time now on the reality of suffering in the Christian life. And as we study it together, I want to highlight four themes, really four apparent paradoxes, that describe in verses 12 through 19 the Christian’s response to and engagement with suffering in their lives. The first apparent paradox - joy in...

Elect Exiles

Last time, in the first six verses, we noticed that Peter gives some instruction on how the church, Christians, are to relate to the world. And he brackets his instructions between two poles. In verse 1, he talks about Christ who suffered and provides an example that we are to imitate. But then in verse 5 and 6, he speaks about Christ’s return at the end of the...

Elect Exiles

There simply is no way to live in obedience to Christ and in conformity to the world at the same time. And that one hard reality is very much at the forefront of Peter’s thinking as he pens the passage before us at the beginning here of 1 Peter chapter 4. He wants us to understand and to embrace the character, the cost, and the calling of Christlikeness. 

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Elect Exiles

We’ve been working our way steadily through 1 Peter together here at First Church on Sunday mornings, and one of the major themes we’ve been considering has to do with living for Christ when doing so will bring suffering, opposition, hardship. We’re going to tackle it under four headings. First, in verse 18, we learn about Christ our substitute. Christ our substitute. Then in verses 19 and 20, in...

Elect Exiles

Now if you would take a Bible in hand and turn with me to 1 Peter chapter 3 on page 1016 of the church Bibles. We have been working our way through 1 Peter together on Sunday mornings. We’ve come to 1 Peter chapter 3, verses 13 through 17. Peter has given us some counsel on how to navigate opposition. He wants to help us face the possibility...

Elect Exiles

And if you look at the passage, verses 8 through 12, you’ll see it focuses on Christian behavior in three directions. First, Peter has counsel for how we are to live toward one another within the local church. There in verse 8, do you see that? “Finally, all of you” - he’s writing to the church - “all of you who hear this letter read or read it...

Advent 2019

And that means of course that we are, today, at verse 8 where we’ll think together now about “The Cost of Christmas.” “The Cost of Christmas.” It takes us, verse 8 takes us from the manger all the way to the cross. And that may seem to you to be an unusual move for the Sunday before Christmas to be talking about the thirty-three year old Jesus hanging...

Advent 2019

And now this week as we turn our attention to verse 7, we’re going to look at the very heart of Christmas. The words of verse 7 take us into the core of the Christmas story, into the heart of the Gospel, and the glories contained there. And we’re going to unpack them under three headings, really three apparent paradoxes that you’ll find in verse 7. If you’ll...

Advent 2019

Well this morning we continue in our Advent series looking at Paul’s use of Philippians 2:5-11. We began looking at this together last time. You remember it is sometimes called “The Carmen Christi,” “The hymn to Christ,” used in the churches during Paul’s day, and Paul is quoting it here in Philippians as an apt summary of the significance of who Jesus is and what He came to...

Advent 2019

And to guide our thinking, we’ll be working our way line by line through Philippians 2:5-11. It’s a famous passage, sometimes known as the “Carmen Christi,” the “hymn to Christ.” It was probably sung or used in some way in the apostolic churches, and Paul is quoting it here in the context of his letter to the Philippians as an apt summary of the message about Jesus’ person and...

Elect Exiles

We have been working through 1 Peter together as a church on Sunday mornings and we come to one of those passages that preachers often dread, and you’ll see why in due course. Peter is engaged in a practical section of the letter. He began by outlining for us the main contours of the Christian Gospel and now he is applying those truths to a number of practical...

Elect Exiles

And I want us to think through Peter’s answer under three headings. He essentially says three things about how to live for Christ in difficult circumstances. He says first we need to learn to live under the gaze of God. We need to learn to live coram Deo, “before the face of God,” to live for His smile and His blessing and not the approval or good opinion...

And I wish we had the time this passage really deserves to dwell on those details, but we simply don’t. All we can really do is pick out a few of the prominent details and meditate on them. Let me mention three for your consideration this evening. First, I want you to see that the Father delights in His servant. The Father delights in His servant. Secondly, the...

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