Showing posts from July, 2015

Judge not! Really?

A  sole survivor washed ashore on a small island and wasn’t found for years. When rescues discovered him they found he had built three huts. When asked, he pointed to the one and said, “That’s my house.” Then he pointed to a second, and said, “That’s my church”. After a bit of silence, the rescuers asked about the third hut. Nonchalantly, he said, “Oh that was the church I used to belong to.” In some towns, the preachers know the families who ‘church hop’. They’re at this place one week and a month later they’re down the street with another group. Someone says something to them or doesn’t say something to them and they’re off looking for the next place where God is calling them. These are examples of what it means when Jesus tells us “Judge not” as in Matthew 7:1. John Stott describes much of the judgment is along lines of the form of baptism, if the person ordained is properly in line with the apostles, the color of their skin or the from the right social

Rule Keeping for a Christian Galatians 2:1-11 3rd sermon on Galatians

H aving come to faith just as the “Jesus movement” of the early 70’s took off I have a special place in my soul for the music, teachers and some of the theological teaching that came out of that period of church history. When a group of ‘kids’ like us got around someone usually brought up how the First Century Church was so much better than the church of the 70’s. It was simpler, purer, and less driven by money. It cared for people more and took God’s Word serious. Now, 40 years later, I see how stupid we were. To quote one blogger, “The church in Acts was immature” (Unger). The church in the first century had people bragging about sleeping with their step-moms and during communion, some got drunk and ate most of the food before others could get off work (1 Cor.). They fell for teachers who claimed Jesus had already come back (1 Thess.).  In fact what should have been common was held up as a great mark of maturity for the followers of Christ in Berea who “Recei

Turncoats, Loyalists and Traitors Galatians 1:6-10 July 19, 2015 2nd Sermon in Galatians

P ost 9/11 has demonstrated a need to monitor things we have taken for granted such as electrical grids and water systems. In a couple of major cities, the U.S. Army has come up with an unusual way to test thee  water. They use bluegills. They are able to respond quickly to materials like cyanide, solvents and pesticides (Mott). If and when such things are found the trick becomes how to limit their spread and stop those who are responsible. Someone had told Paul what was happening among those churches he and Barnabas had planted. They were aware of the problem and Paul was not about to shy away from exposing it so that these churches might be repaired and others warned. The issue in Galatia was pretty specific. A group of Jewish Christians were not happy with the Jewish Law being put aside by the Jerusalem Council (cf. Acts 15). They thought all followers of Jesus should still obey dietary laws and other such things including circumcision. It seemed, in their thi

Who do you believe? Galatians 1:1-5; 10-24 July 12, 2015 First Sermon in Galatians Series

G alatians is a letter written to a group of churches located in what we know as Turkey. Most likely the letter is written about 48 A.D. which puts it about 15 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Unlike most of Paul’s letters, he does not begin with this with a praise or prayer. Instead, we get a hint in verse 1 of the trouble that was going on in this area, “ an apostle— not from men nor through men but through Jesus Christ…” Those in Galatia were doubting and even rebelling against the authority of Paul, as an apostle. Why is this significant? It’s because today the world, and especially our culture is in rebellion against authority. David Slagel, a teaching pastor at Veritas Church in Atlanta, told the story of his eight-year-old. My eight-year-old embraces some interesting sources of truth. We were coming home from the grocery store recently when he asked, "Dad, do you believe in the Bermuda Triangle?" "Jack," I replied, "if

Galatians: twenty-one centuries new

My summer series is Paul's Letter to the Galatians. Since 1984 when I first became a solo pastor I have never preached through this letter. Since it is summer and I've had people ask me about past sermons I've decided to revive this blog with the series. Hopefully, I'll be able to continue blogging after it's over. Blogs seem so 1990's, but there are some things that can't be said in 144 characters. So, here are the sermons for your edification... Alan