• Christianity,  Sermon

    The Voice of the Bridegroom

    I have been preaching expositionally through the Gospel of John at our church, and a couple weeks ago I came to John 3:29, which says this: The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. My explanation on this point relied almost entirely on something that I read in Colin Kruse’s commentary on this text. Here’s is the relevant excerpt from my sermon manuscript: The analogy is really simple here. At a wedding, you have a bride, a groom, and a best man. The best man…

  • Sermon

    He Must Increase; I Must Decrease – John 3:22-36

    Have you ever behaved as if you are the center of reality? As if all of your wants and desires and ideas are better than everyone else’s and as if everyone needs to reorient their lives and priorities around your priorities? Have you ever found yourself relating to God that way? Such that your prayers shift subtly from Thy will be done to My will be done. Your kids or your spouse does something that irritates you, and so you fly off the handle in a self-righteous rage because the little people around you disturbed your comfort and tranquility in some way? The basis for that anger is the subtle…

  • Sermon

    This Is the Judgment: That Light Has Come into the World – John 3:17-21

    ? Last Saturday morning, I Googled the following question: “What happens to us after we die?” Before I finished typing the sentence, Google autocompleted the words. I assume that means the question has been asked so many times that Google “knows” what’s coming. It occurred to me that this fact all by itself is sad. Can you imagine someone being gripped by such a question and then resorting to a Google search? After I entered the question, the top result was this paragraph from Quora.com: Your consciousness ends (we know this because all detectable signs of it stop) and your cells cease to function. Your body begins to decay until…

  • Sermon

    For God So Loved the World – John 3:16

    Love is only love if it seeks out the good and the flourishing of the loved. If in the name of love, you simply affirm what will destroy another person, it will not ultimately feel like love to them. It will eventually feel to them something more like hate. Why? Because if love doesn’t seek out the good and flourishing of the beloved, then it isn’t love at all. It is cowardice and capitulation to evil. How do we know this? We know what love is because we know how God has loved us. [Hear the rest of the sermon below.]

  • Sermon

    You Must Be Born Again – Part 2 – John 3:6-15

    Did you know that the human condition has been so corrupted by sin that apart from grace not a single one of us would give a fig about God, the cross, the Bible, the resurrection, judgment, eternal life. The Bible says that apart from grace, all of those spiritual realities—those ultimate realities—would be foolishness to us (1 Cor. 2:14). This is the human condition, and it really is desperate. We are corrupted by sin and headed for damnation, and yet we don’t have it in us to seek out or even to want the salvation that God has provided. Left to ourselves, we open the Bible or we hear the…

  • Sermon

    You Must Be Born Again – John 2:23-3:5

    This is the miracle of the new birth. Jesus sends forth His Spirit and says to you, “Come forth.” To use Ezekiel’s imagery, he looks at your valley of dry bones, and he says to the bones, “Live.” What was once dead comes to life. The eyes and ears of your heart open. There is a blink of recognition. And in that moment, faith and love and obedience to the good news of Jesus appear. Have you ever wondered why you responded to the Gospel but your neighbor didn’t? It’s not because you were by nature smarter and more spiritually sensitive than your neighbor. You weren’t. You were dead as…

  • Christianity,  Sermon,  Theology/Bible

    The Serrated Edge of Doug Wilson

    In a message to my church on Sunday, I gave a biblical evaluation of the so-called “serrated edge,” which Doug Wilson defines as the use of biting and satirical speech that sometimes includes obscenities and vulgarities. You can download the audio here, the manuscript here, listen below, or read below. Please be advised that the manuscript version of this address does contain quotations of obscenities and vulgarities, although I have tried to use asterisks in some of the offensive expressions. ?? Introduction The elders have set aside the last couple weeks in the Sunday School hour to address and confront post-millennialism and theonomy. If you haven’t heard those talks yet,…

  • Sermon

    Saving the Best for Last — John 2:1-11

    Excerpt: If you were a Jew, you understood that it doesn’t get any better than Moses. It’s all downhill after Moses. No one will outstrip Moses and what he has given to God’s people. What came before is always better because what came before is Moses. So what is Jesus saying through this sign? He’s not just performing some cheap parlor trick to impress his disciples. Nor is he simply showing them that he has power to do what he wants. No, this whole miracle is a parable of a deeper truth about who Jesus is and about how Jesus is going to defy Jewish expectation. They thought that the…

  • Sermon

    Behold the Lamb of God – John 1:35-51

    How many of the blessings of this life are dependent upon our ability to see what is right in front of our face? Our problem so often is not that we can’t see things but that we won’t see things. When you pull up to a red light and there are people spread out on the intersection taking up donations for a cause to which you don’t wish to make a contribution, what do you do? Do you look at them? No, you look away from them. When you’re not interested, you don’t see because you don’t want to see. When our children were little, empty-nesters would see us pushing…

  • Sermon

    John the Baptist – John 1:19-34

    “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie… Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”   –John. 1:26-31