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Thanksgiving: a practice of politeness, etiquette, and good decorum or something else?


I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. -- Psalm 69:30 -- Thanksgiving is a practice of politeness, etiquette, and good decorum. Right? It is what we (are told to) express when Aunt Lucille buys you a sweater when you want the Super Hero action figures. Or something like that. It is a Christian command, but one that is more happe...

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Building the Body of Christ: Unity and Diversity, Mutuality and Charity (1 Corinthians 12:12

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Building the Body of Christ: Unity and Diversity, Mutuality and Charity (Sermon Audio) What is the goal of Paul’s discussion about spiritual gifts? If it is not clear from his words in 12:7, then his elongated illustration of the one body with many parts is unmistakable. Christ gave multiple gifts to his church in order for the various part to build one another up i...

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Blessed Assurance: “Jesus is Yours”


Assurance. It is a precious gift the Lord gives his people. As 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Yet, despite God’s promise of assurance, sometimes experientially our personal assurance wanes. There are many reasons for this—some caused by God&rsq...

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The Church’s One Foundation: Spiritual Gifts and the Universal Church (1 Corinthians 12:1

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The Church’s One Foundation: Spiritual Gifts and the Universal Church (Sermon Audio) This week’s sermon looked more closely at the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10. I argued that the sign gifts were given to the apostles and prophets to “lay the foundation” of the universal church, which is described as Christ’s body in 1...

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The Final Days of Jesus: A 40 Day Reading Guide


It has been said of Mark’s Gospel that it is a passion narrative with an extended introduction. The same could be said of all the Gospels. In each account, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John introduce Jesus of Nazareth as the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. In various ways they display his divine power and human personality. Yet, with each evangelist, the focus of each Go...

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Holy Spirit Power: The Gift, the Giver, the Goal, and the Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)

Life Changing Gospel Local Church 2

Holy Spirit Power: The Gift, the Giver, the Goal, and the Gifts (sermon audio) Despite their obvious flaws, Paul loved the church at Corinth. And in his section on spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12–14, he aims to help his spiritual children come to a true understanding of the Holy Spirit and the purpose of the spiritual gifts. Important for us standing twenty cen...

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Pray for our Youth Ministry

    This afternoon we are taking 35 youth and leaders up to Pennsylvania for our annual winter retreat which is one of our favorite ministry events of the year. We are driving up this afternoon for a weekend filled with fellowship and teaching at the Greenwood Hills Retreat Center. From Friday evening to Sunday morning we will gather for five sessions of singin...

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Rightly Dividing the Cultural Background to 1 Corinthians 11


There are a lot of cultural challenges to 1 Corinthians 11:2–16, a passage that invites discussion about the trinity, gender roles, the use of head coverings, and the role of angels in public worship. Tomorrow I will preach on this passage, but today I share a number of quotations from various commentaries related to various cultural and theological challenges in thi...

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You Are What You Eat: A Lord’s Supper Meditation


“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,not like the covenant that I made with their fatherson the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.For they did not continue in my covenant,and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.For...

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Love Your Neighbor: A Biblical Theology of Race and Ethnicity

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and...

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