Category Archives: biblical interpretation

  1. All scripture is God-breathed [sermon 5-19-19]

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    May 19, 2019 by jmar198013

    The scriptures came to us through the Holy Spirit. And the same Spirit who inspired them helps us interpret them.

  2. The Spirit groans [sermon 5-12-19]

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    May 16, 2019 by jmar198013

    The Spirit is first described in scripture hovering over creation as it is being born (Genesis 1.2), like a mother bird brooding over her nest. Romans 8.22-23 says that now creation and Christians are groaning together, like a mother in labor pains. Romans 8.26 says the Spirit groans with us, as we await the birth of a new creation. The Christian hope for the future is not the annihilation of this world, but its renewal. The same Spirit who midwifed creation at its birth will give new life to our bodies (Romans 8.11) and set all creation free from bondage to decay.

  3. God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes [sermon 5-5-19]


    May 5, 2019 by jmar198013

    Jesus said the Holy Spirit is like the wind–always breathing and stirring, in the world. Moving people closer to the God who wants all to be saved and come to know him.

  4. Keeping in step with the Spirit [sermon 4-28-19]

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    April 29, 2019 by jmar198013

    The Trinity is three Persons in an eternal dance of love. The Holy Spirit calls us into that dance—into God’s own life.

  5. Four signposts of Easter (Matthew 28.1-10) [Easter 2019]


    April 21, 2019 by jmar198013

    The “Great Commission” in Matthew 28.18-20 is usually treated as an evangelism text, but it’s also an Easter text–it’s the risen Jesus’ words to his church, to tell us our mission. It’s what we do because Jesus is risen. Matthew’s Easter story presents us with four “signposts” that point us in the right direction as we do the work our risen Jesus has given us to do: “he is not here” (he’s at the Father’s right hand with all authority); “he has been raised” (his resurrection promises our resurrection); “go and tell”; and “don’t be afraid” (because he is with us always).

  6. When Easter invades Good Friday (Matthew 27.51-53) [Good Friday homily 2019]

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    April 19, 2019 by jmar198013

    In Matthew’s Gospel, Easter “invades” Good Friday. When Matthew tells us about Jesus’ death, he also tells us about an earthquake that broke open the graves. On Easter morning, many saints were resurrected with Jesus. What’s going on here? Maybe God wants us to understand that His loudest answer to the darkness that overshadows our world and our lives is the cross and resurrection of Christ. Because of what happened on Good Friday, God can say, “It happened to me, too.” But because of what happened at Easter, we know the darkness will not get the final word.

  7. Turning over tables (Matthew 12.12-17) [sermon 4-14-19, Palm Sunday]

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    April 15, 2019 by jmar198013

    On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. After he got there, he went to the temple, where he famously turned over the tables of merchants and money-changers, and chased people away. What does this story mean for us? Are we called to imitate what Jesus did, in our churches or in the world? In order to apply this story in a faithful, responsible way, we need to remember three things: 1) Who turned over the tables; 2) Who he chased out (and why); and 3) Who he let in. If we don’t keep these three things in mind, we’ll just make a mess!



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