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Sermons from the service: Morning Service

Elect Exiles

Verses 3 through 9 rehearse for us our great Gospel privileges. In 3 through 5, the apostle Peter lists those privileges; he outlines them for us in a marvelous summary of the riches of God’s grace and blessing in our lives. And then in 6 through 9, he applies those blessings to the particular context of Christian suffering. You might say in 3 through 5 Peter says our...

Elect Exiles

We are only going to look at verses 1 and 2 today by way of introduction to the letter, but I want you to notice in these two introductory verses that Peter already is setting forth two themes that will be architectonic; they’ll be shaping and foundational for everything else he will say in his letter. First in verse 1, he talks about the Christian in relation to...

First, in verse 1, we’ll spend some time thinking together about the crisis of mercy ministry; the circumstances that gave rise to the institution of the diaconate. The crisis of mercy ministry. Then in verses 2 and 3, the call of mercy ministry. Mercy ministry is the burden and calling actually of the whole church and every Christian, so we need to think about that and the role...

As we finish our series on the means of grace this morning by looking at the Church, there are three key areas that I want us to be thinking about together. First, I want us to think about the King of the Church. Secondly, I want us to think about the unity of the Church. And thirdly, I want us to think about the purpose of the Church...

And you know, that makes sense on this side of eternity because the Bible says a whole lot about baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both through shadows and literally in the New Testament. And there are spectrums and nuances and angles and allegories and all sorts of things that are tricky to capture. And this is not surprising because the word “sacrament” in itself means “mystery.” It has...

 “Taking the Lord’s Supper seriously is something that deep down most of us simply do not do.” That’s the way J.I. Packer begins the last chapter of his book, Taking God Seriously. Well we’re in a series this July on the means of God’s grace. These are the ways that God uses to grow us, to mature us, and to persevere us spiritually. We’re talking about taking God seriously...

For the next several Lord’s Days, some of our assistant ministers will be examining what we call “the means of grace,” that is, the means that God has given us for our use in spiritual growth - the Word of God, both in preaching and teaching and personal devotion, prayer, the sacraments, that is, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, corporate worship. These are the tools that God has...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

But today we conclude, as I say, the prophecy of Micah. And one of the things we have noticed, a feature of Micah’s prophecy, is the way that he holds two things together. He sort of alternates back and forth between them. On the one hand there is a remarkable honest and realistic view in Micah of the problems of his own immediate context. The elites in Micah’s...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

We have been working our way steadily through the book of Micah and we’ve come to the penultimate chapter this evening. Micah really has been alternating back and forth between an oracle of judgment and rebuke on the people of Israel, the northern kingdom, the people of Judah, the southern kingdom, alternating back and forth between that an a promise of coming blessing in the age of Messiah...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

The first half of Micah chapter 5, really, you could say is also about a leadership transition. In verse 1, the Assyrians deliver a devastating insult, really a devastating insult for an ancient near eastern king. Look at verse 1. “With a rod, they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.” So, it’s a way of graphically demonstrating the utter contempt with which the Assyrians hold this...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

If you look at chapter 4 for a minute, you’ll see it falls into two sections, each section distinguished by the time in which it takes place. In verse 1 and again in verse 6 you’ll notice that this first section takes place “in the latter days.” That’s how verse 1 is introduced. Verse 6 continues, “in that day.” So, 1 through 8 is the first section of...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

We began to consider the message of Micah a few weeks ago. We turn now to these two chapters were Micah continues his oracle, his message of rebuke and discipline on wayward Israel. Israel is divided into two kingdoms - the northern kingdom takes the name “Israel,” the southern kingdom the name, “Judah,” but they are God’s people. Micah has an oracle of warning and judgment for them...

Before we read the text before us, I want to say simply that whether you recognize it or not you’re investing your life right now towards something. You’re weary pursuing something. Most of us go to bed tired. The question is, “For what? What has drained you? What have you been working toward? What have you been stressed over? What keeps you awake at night?” We’re all investing...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

So what do we learn about Micah and Micah's prophecy? Well, first we should take notice of his name. His name means, "Who is like the Lord?" from which I think we can infer at least that it was a godly family from which Micah has come and they're concerned for their child, much like the covenant parents who were having their own children baptized today, is that...

You’ll notice there’s not a single word of prayer in Psalm 103. Psalm 103 is not addressed to God. To whom is this psalm addressed? Verse 1, you’ll see actually it begins and ends the same way, verse 1, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Verse 20, “Bless the Lord, O you...

Rooted

So these remaining verses of Colossians 4, at first glance, may appear slim pickings for rich teaching. But actually, if we take some time and look a little closer, I hope we'll see that what Paul is doing is providing some lived examples that put flesh on the bones of the skeleton of truth that he's been teaching in the body of the letter. We all benefit from...

Rooted

Now in verses 5 and 6, our focus this morning, his concern is still with the promotion of the Gospel and its advance in the world. Only now he seeks to enlist the Colossians themselves as evangelists. So last time in verses 2 through 4 we thought about the place, pattern, and priorities of faithful prayer. Today we’re going to think, in verses 5 and 6, about the...

I want you to have some sense of what kind of story this is. The Christian message centers on the fact of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It’s not a metaphor or a symbol for some abstract spiritual experience. It’s not a myth concocted by the religiously deranged or a deception deployed by the strong to manipulate the weak. It is a fact of...

Well, what a delight it is to be with the First Pres family. And in many ways, a feeling like this whole weekend has been something of a family reunion seeing so many faces, familiar faces, from the years that my wife, Christy, and I and our children had the privilege of serving in your midst, or maybe more properly, being served by you in the midst of...

Rooted

We are in a section toward the end of the letter now where Paul is applying to the Colossians’ lives the implications of what it means to be united to Jesus Christ, to be “in Christ.” Last time, beginning in verse 18 of chapter 3 through verse 1 of chapter 4, Paul spoke about the Christian family, the household, and the implications of being united to Jesus for...

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