Pastor Note #48 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 4: Obedience–Faith in the Present Tense

            We human beings live within time very much the way fish live within water.  One way to think about the relationship of faith to the passage of time is to think about the tenses of faith.  I’ve described it this way.  Faith oriented toward the past faithfulness of God is gratitude.  Faith oriented toward … Continue reading Pastor Note #48 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 4: Obedience–Faith in the Present Tense

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Sermon #32 — Born Again — 1 John 3:4-10

I generally try not to use the phrase, "born-again Christian."  It is grammatically incorrect. In principle, we add an adjective to a noun in order to provide necessary information about the thing we are talking about.  For example, if there are several dogs in the yard, I might refer to the "spotted dog," in order … Continue reading Sermon #32 — Born Again — 1 John 3:4-10

Pastor Note #47 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 3: Disciplines of Christian Remembering

            Time can seem like an enemy to us sometimes.  Our lives flow away from us into the past.  And as they do, they seem to slip through our fingers like sand.  We can especially feel that way as we watch our children and then our grandchildren grow up and … Continue reading Pastor Note #47 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 3: Disciplines of Christian Remembering

Sermon #31 — The Spirit of Religion vs. the New Life in Christ — 1 John 2:28-3:3

Religion brings death.  New birth in Christ brings life.  Religion is what human beings do to try to climb up to God, and that is a hopeless endeavor.  It kills the soul.  Faith in Jesus Christ is not something we do.  It is pure gift from God.  Faith in Jesus Christ requires a complete conversion … Continue reading Sermon #31 — The Spirit of Religion vs. the New Life in Christ — 1 John 2:28-3:3

Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith

            Time flies.  Or, time drags.  But the unalterable reality of human life is time.  We live in time as fish live in water.  I have a past.  I am in the present.  And in some form I will have a future.  This time-orientedness is the fundamental framework of our lives.  Everything we do, everything … Continue reading Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith

The Gift of Prophecy and us “Reformed-types”

Here is a blog post from a friend of mine, Rev. Rich DeRuiter, a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in Washington state.  I have found it quite helpful.  I think you might as well.  Follow the link below in order to read this interesting and helpful post. The Gift of Prophecy and us “Reformed-types”.

Sermon #30 — Baptism with the Holy Spirit — 1 John 2:26-28

Much of the power and reality of the Christian faith seems to have been lost to most modern, Western Christians.  For much of the American church, the Christian faith is understood as a set of doctrines, a creed, that people are supposed to agree to and a moral code that people are expected to live … Continue reading Sermon #30 — Baptism with the Holy Spirit — 1 John 2:26-28

Sermon #29 — True Truth, Real Reality, and Discipleship — 1 John 2:18-25 (& Psalm 19)

Is the Christian faith like eating ice cream?  Or is it more like the physics of flying aircraft?  Is the truth of Jesus Christ a matter of personal preference?  Or is it a matter of the fundamental nature of reality beyond the control of my own predilections?  In this sermon, I begin by warning people … Continue reading Sermon #29 — True Truth, Real Reality, and Discipleship — 1 John 2:18-25 (& Psalm 19)