Category Archives: Expository

American Bombast

“And the great American fault, in speaking and writing, is an excessive vehemence, a constant effort to be striking. Our style, as well as our delivery, too often lacks the calmness of conscious strength, the response of simple sincerity, the quiet earnestness which only now and then becomes impassioned” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 323).

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Whetted Style

“Style is not a thing of mere ornament. Style is the glitter and polish of a warrior’s sword, but is also its keen edge” (Broadus, Preparation and Delivery, p. 322).

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The Same Nervous System

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #150

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Cor. 12:26–27).

Not only do we adjust for one another, so that the more presentable parts of the body are presented, and the less presentable parts are covered, but we also share the same spiritual nervous system. If one member of the body is in pain, then the entire body experiences the pain. If one part is glorified, then the entire body rejoices.

So Paul then gathers up all the illustrations from the body he has been using, and says that the Corinthians together are the body of Christ, and he says that each one of them is a particular member. They are therefore interconnected, and should function with that interconnectedness in the way he has been describing.

Identity in Christ: Bedrock Discipleship

Introduction
Today is Resurrection Sunday, our annual commemoration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead. We mark this annually, but it is important for us to remember that we also mark it weekly—every Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection. But what exactly are we celebrating when we do this?

The Text:

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:3–11).

Summary of the Text:

When we were baptized, we were baptized into the death of Jesus (v. 3). Note that—our baptism, His death. When we were baptized, this was not just into His crucifixion, but also into His burial (v. 4). The reason God identified us with His death and burial was so that He could also identify us with His resurrection, enabling us to walk in newness of life (v. 4). For if we are identified with (symphytos, the word rendered as planted) His death, we must also be identified with His resurrection (v. 5). Our old man was crucified with Him (v. 6), and death liberates us from the death of sin (v. 7). And death with Christ goes together with life in Christ (v. 8). Christ rose from the dead forever, and it is that everlasting life that we have been identified with (v. 9). Death is once for all, but life is forever (v. 10). Therefore, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord (v. 11). What does this newness of life taste like? It tastes like the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, and all the rest.This is the true liberation of Easter.

The Structure of the Exhortation: Continue reading

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Metaphors Install

“A lecture may connect a teacher’s notebook with a student’s notebook, but a sermon must connect God’s mind and heart with the mind and heart of the listener. It’s when we penetrate the imagination with metaphors that we assist the listener in ‘putting things together’” (Wiersbe, Preaching and Teaching with Imagination, p. 80).

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Compensatory Honor

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #149

For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:24–25).

So the body is naturally solicitous for the parts of the body that have less honor. There is a natural modesty we have, given by God, which causes us to compensate. The “comely parts” need no additional honor through clothing or jewelry, but other parts do. This giving of additional care to certain parts of the body is described as God “tempering the body together.”

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Not Everyone Was Thrilled

Genesis 22 contains the famous account of Abraham’s aborted sacrifice of Isaac. But in the aftermath of that event, there was apparently some drama going on in the background. What did Sarah think of all this?

After Abraham came back from the mountain, he lived in Beersheeba. “So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba” (Gen. 22:19).

A few verses later, when we are told that Sarah died, Abraham comes to lament for her, and to arrange for her burial. But she was living at Hebron, about 26 miles away from Beersheeba. Abraham and Sarah were living apart at the time of her death. “And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her” (Gen. 23:2).

Where was Isaac in this? We are not told explicitly, but in the account of Rebekah, we learn that he was very close to his mother. “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death” (Gen. 24:67).

So there you are, and you can make of it what you will. But it seems to me that Abraham’s great act of obedient faith was not exactly met with universal acclaim at the time. Not everyone was thrilled.

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Relationships: Bedrock Discipleship

Introduction
On Palm Sunday, we remember the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem shortly before He was betrayed, condemned, and executed. As we reflect on this moment in His mission, we should take care to remember what that mission was. His mission was not just to save people, it was also to save a people.

The Text:

“And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matt. 21:9).

Summary of the Text:

There are many things that can be drawn out of this story, but this morning, we are just going to focus on one of them. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem—where He was to be lifted up and draw all men to Himself—He was greeted by multitudes. Contrary to the popular assumption that the Triumphal Entry crowd and the “crucify Him” crowd were the same people, we have no reason for identifying them. These people who greeted Him were doing so sincerely. Jesus was approaching Jerusalem in order to save multitudes, and He was greeted there by multitudes. Their central cry was Hosanna, which means “Save, we pray.” In other words, we are praying that You would save us. “Yes,” He answered.

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