Category Archives: Torah

  1. Untwisting Scripture: Gun control edition

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    November 29, 2018 by jmar198013

    As the public debates surrounding gun violence and gun control have grown more heated, culture warriors on either side of the discussion have cherry-picked passages of scripture to defend their arguments. One of the more bizarre uses of scripture to emerge from these debates is when Luke 22.35-38 is commandeered to argue that Jesus commanded us to buy weapons. In this edition of Untwisting Scripture, I weigh in on this application. And show other passages that are more appropriate to current debates.

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  2. Untwisting Scripture: Taking the LORD’s name in vain edition

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    November 15, 2018 by jmar198013

    One of the most misunderstood and misapplied scriptures in the Bible is the command not to take the Lord’s name in vain. This is less a sin of speech–like a certain cuss word–and more a matter of how we represent God through our lives and actions.

  3. Doing the impossible with God (Ruth 4)

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    August 24, 2018 by jmar198013

    Have you ever had to do something that seemed impossible? The book of Ruth shows us Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz in impossible situations, having to make choices that seem impossible. Those impossible situations don’t end in the final chapter. But we also see God doing things through them that seem impossible. And God can still do impossible things for, in, with, and through us. “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

  4. The Tenth Word: Breaking bad habits of the heart (Exodus 20.17) [sermon 6-17-18]

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    June 16, 2018 by jmar198013

    Coveting is more than a feeling. Its a series of choices that emerge from habits of the heart. The way to guard against coveting involves cultivating new habits of the heart: compassion and empathy.

  5. Neighboring 101 (Exodus 20.12-16) [sermon 6-10-18]

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    June 9, 2018 by jmar198013

    In Exodus 20.12-16, God teaches his people how to be the kind of neighbors they’d like to have as neighbors.

  6. The Sabbath: resting in God’s amazing grace (Exodus 20.8-11; Matthew 5.17-20) [sermon 6-3-18]

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    May 30, 2018 by jmar198013

    It’s easy to hear the Ten Commandments as a list of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots.” But God’s Word about the Sabbath is a word of pure grace, that reveals God as a giver more than a demand-maker. It’s literally God telling his people to take a day off. In this message, I explore the creational and ethical dimensions of the Sabbath. And talk about the new significance Jesus brings to the Sabbath, we we find our rest in him.

  7. God’s first Word is grace (Exodus 19.1-6; 20.1-3; Matthew 22.34-40) [sermon 5-27-18]

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    May 23, 2018 by jmar198013

    Most people probably think of “the Ten Commandments” (in biblical Hebrew they’re called the Ten Words) as a list of do’s and don’ts. But what if we understood them as words of grace? As words God speaks to people he has saved so they can live safely? God’s first Word to Israel was, “I am your God who brought you out of a life of slavery.” This message invites you to ask, “What has God done for me? What has God delivered me from?”

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