Discipleship – the Life of the Spirit

  In a word, the life of the Spirit is love. God’s love is patient (Exodus 34:6), tenacious (Hosea 11:8-11), lavish (Luke 15:11-32), sacrificial (John 15:13), and extends even to His enemies (Matthew 5:44-45).  The Scripture goes so far as to say that God is love (1 John 4:8).  Furthermore, it says that this God, who is love, came to earth in the man Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9).  Now, through the Holy Spirit, this God dwells in the hearts of all those who believe in Jesus (Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:22; 2 Timothy 1:14; James 4:5). The […]

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Discipleship – “Grace Killers” in Galatians

  In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul identifies three “grace killers” that Christians and congregations must overcome.  Each killer can inhibit the work of the Holy Spirit, rendering individuals, families, and churches unfruitful.  In the next four posts, I will explore Paul’s teaching on “the life of the Spirit” and how it grows in individuals and in churches.  I will do the same for each “grace killer.”  Hopefully by the end, you’ll know more about how to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), and be strengthened in your resolve to follow him.

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Sunday Preview for October 1

God always keeps his promises.  Why do we break our promises to trust His?   God has promised to do great things for everyone who trusts him – things in this life as well as in the life to come!  Peter tells us that in this life we can partake of the divine nature and escape the world’s corruption by trusting God’s promises (2 Peter 1:4).  What an amazing promise – that we who have never seen God will nevertheless receive His character! This Sunday I will be preaching on Galatians 3:15-22.  In this passage, Paul teaches us about God’s […]

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Sunday Preview for September 17

All paths lead somewhere.  But where is somewhere? Do all religious paths lead equally to God?  The Christian faith asserts that we can only find God through Jesus.  But here again, we face the same question.  Do all Christian paths lead equally to Jesus?  Is the Christian life purely a matter of personal preference – of finding what works for us – or does the Bible offer any principles that everyone must follow in order to walk with Jesus?  If so, what are they? This Sunday, we will explore Galatians 3:1-9.  Here, Paul asserts two universal principles for the life […]

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Spiritual Practices – Faith, Anxiety, and Laziness

The lives of many Christians are plagued by spiritual anxiety or spiritual laziness.  A living faith in the presence of the living Jesus is the answer. Some people told Paul that his teaching about justification through faith alone would tempt people towards spiritual laziness.  They thought that the Christian life required anxiety in order for it to be genuine.  Others agreed with these critics, but saw the temptation towards spiritual laziness to be a feature, not a bug.  They used the doctrine of justification through faith alone to encourage a life of sin, which they considered to be more enjoyable […]

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Sunday Summary for September 10 – Faith vs. the Fear of Judgment

The fear of being judged makes you a slave to others, and a judge of others.  Oddly enough, it is faith in the judgment of God that can set you free. Out of the people you know and interact with, whose judgment do you fear?  By what standard do these people judge you? Children fear the judgment of their parents, which is often based on good behavior.  Students fear the judgment of their teachers, who value intelligence, and their peers, who rate appearance, success, and personality.  Employees fear the judgment of employers who evaluate their performance, while employers fear the […]

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Sunday Preview for September 10

If you knew that you could never fail at anything, what would you do? If you knew that nobody could ever hurt you, who would you hang around? How you answer these two (very) hypothetical questions will reveal much about you.  If you wouldn’t attempt to do big things, or if you would only hang around comfortable people, then you fear is too great and your faith is too weak. This Sunday we will look at Galatians 2:11-21.  In this passage, Paul writes about the doctrines of justification by faith and union with Jesus Christ.  These doctrines can unlock the door […]

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