Category Archives: 1 Corinthians

  1. Healing Christ’s broken body (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) [sermon 8-27-2017]

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    August 25, 2017 by jmar198013

    In 1 Cor. 11.17-34, Paul envisions the Lord’s Supper not only as a time to remember the body and blood of Christ; but to heal the divisions in the body of Christ, the church. Jesus’ body was broken so his body, the church, would be whole.

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  2. Baptism: a story as old as heaven and earth (Acts 2.37-42) [sermon 8-13-2017]

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    August 8, 2017 by jmar198013

    In Acts 2.38, Peter told the assembly: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When 3000 came forward to be baptized, they were plunged into an old, old story that promised a new beginning. Baptism tells a story as old as the heavens and the earth. And it’s a story that will be re-told in the new heavens and new earth.

  3. Don’t lead us into temptation (Luke 11.4c) [Sermon 09-04-2016]

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    September 1, 2016 by jmar198013

    One of the passages Jesus drew upon when the devil tempted him was Deut. 6.16: “Don’t test the LORD your God the way you frustrated him at Massah.” This refers back to an event that happened in Exodus 17. The people came to a place where there was no water, and were afraid God had left them to die of thirst. They lost faith in God, and were about ready to kill Moses. Testing God means refusing to trust that our Father is good and generous and just, and at work in our lives and in his world. It means giving up on God and going our own way. If Jesus had succumbed to any of the devil’s temptations: turned the stones to bread; enforced his will through political means; or stunned people into submission with self-promoting miracles; if Jesus had done any of those things, he would have been testing God. Because that’s not the way God had made for him. God gave Jesus the way of suffering with people and serving them. Not the way of self-promotion and self-service. Jesus still had to go through the Exodus of death and resurrection. To lead us all through the Red Sea of his blood to set us free, and bring us to the home God has promised us.

  4. Real talk on generosity (2 Corinthians 8.1-15) [Sermon 06-26-2016]

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    June 22, 2016 by jmar198013

    There’s a feedback loop between fellowship and generosity. That’s how the Jesus model of generosity works. And that’s what Paul hoped the Judean Poor Relief Fund would accomplish: bonding the Jewish and Gentile churches together as a family. A big, diverse, messy, rich, robust family that shows the world how generous God is.

    When we follow the Jesus model of generosity—the self-giving way, the way of sharing-as-fellowship—it changes us. It transforms our hearts, our worldview, our values. We discover that our most valuable treasures are found in each other. And, like the man said: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

  5. Real talk on the new creation (2 Corinthians 5.11-21) [Sermon 06-19-2016]

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    June 17, 2016 by jmar198013

    To say that the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus is good news because it means that there is a new creation. And this new creation is possible because the fallen creation died with Christ; and when he rose, he brought a new creation with him. And in this new creation, everyone and everything is reconciled to God. This is a very big, very good gospel.

    I want to celebrate this very big, very good news. I want us to celebrate the gospel—this gospel—together. But I suspect that some of you might be sniffing around this very good gospel for horse manure. And that’s okay. Some days, I do, too. So if any of you are thinking, “Preacher, either Paul was full of it; or you are; or both of you are”; I get it. That’s totally understandable.

    When we look around our world, everything doesn’t look reconciled, does it? When we examine our lives, everything doesn’t feel reconciled, does it?

    Some preachers will just tell you not to trust what your eyes can plainly see; what you have learned from experience; or what your heart already knows. But there is a very real tension between what Paul has told us, and what we see and feel and experience every day. It would be dishonest of me; or of you; or anyone, to deny that this tension exists.

  6. Eucharistic Resistance: thoughts on the Lord’s Supper

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    July 13, 2014 by jmar198013

    If our sharing in the Lord’s Supper on Sundays isn’t an act of resistance, maybe it isn’t really the Lord’s Supper.

  7. The Sermon on the Mount and the Church: the creative Word of God

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    March 5, 2014 by jmar198013

    Matthew’s Jesus tells the church, “You are the light of the world.” John’s Jesus proclaims that “I am the light of the world.” How can both be true? Because Jesus continues to be present in his church. Paul’s idea of the church as the body of Christ is not simply a crafty metaphor for the division of labor in the church, as most interpret it. Rather, it is an ontological description of our existence, character, and especially, our vocation. The Church is what happens when the creative Word of the Sermon on the Mount becomes flesh.

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