"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." (Matthew 6:12) By Pastor Chris Durkin At the time of writing this devotional, the current national debt of the United States of America is over 20 trillion dollars. The only reason twenty is shocking in this number is because of the word that follows it trillion. There are thirteen zeros following the t...Keep Reading
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Summary Notes from Pastor Chris' sermon, "Its Time to Get Out of the Judge's Chair," Romans 2:1-11....
What is Peace? "What does the gospel of God offer us? If we say “the peace of God,” none will demur - but will everyone understand? The use of right words does not guarantee right thoughts. Too often the peace of God is thought of as if it were essentially a feeling of inner tranquility, happy and carefree, springing from knowledge that God will shield one from life’s hardest knocks. But this is a misrepresentation, for, on the one hand, God does not featherbed his children in this way, and anyone who thinks he does is in for a shock, and, on the other hand, that which is basic and essential to the real peace of God does not come into this concept at all. The truth is... that God’s peace brings us two things: both power to face and live with our own badness and failings, and also contentment under “the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune"... The peace of God is first and foremost peace with God; it is the state of affairs in which God, instead of being against us, is for us... The peace of God, then, primarily and fundamentally, is a new relationship of forgiveness and acceptance - and the source from which it flows is propitiation. When Jesus came to his disciples in the upper room at evening on his resurrection day, he said, “Peace be with you”; and when he had said that, “he showed unto them his hands and side” (John 20:19-20). Why did he do that? Not just to establish his identity, but to remind them of the propitiatory death on the cross whereby he had made peace with his Father for them. Having suffered in their place, as their substitute, to make peace for them, he now came in his risen power to bring that peace to them. “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). It is here, in the recognition that, whereas we are by nature at odds with God, and God with us, Jesus has made “peace through his blood shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20), that is where true knowledge of the peace of God begins." *Excerpt taken from J.I. Packer & Mark Dever “In my place condemned He stood” pages 48-49 ...
WHO’S TO BLAME? "It would be a mistake to blame the Jews alone for the crucifixion. Much evil has come from the idea that “the Jews killed Jesus,” not least in Nazi Germany. Therefore, it is important to see how many other people were implicated in this conspiracy. An Idumean king named Herod handed Jesus over to the Romans. A Roman governor named Pontius Pilate ordered Jesus to be crucified. Roman soldiers carried out Pilate’s orders, nailing Jesus to a wooded cross and hanging him up to die. The Jews brought Jesus to trial, but in the end the Gentiles killed him. These facts are significant because they show how the whole human race was implicated in the conspiracy against God’s one and only Son. The Jews could not have killed Jesus without the Gentiles, for they did not have the right under Roman law to execute capital punishment, even though their religious law could punish blasphemy with death. Nor would the Gentiles have considered killing him without the Jews, for they had no real quarrel with Jesus. From the conspiracy to the execution, the trial of Jesus depended on an unlikely coalition of Jews and Gentiles. In the words of Vinoth Ramachandra, “Jesus was condemned to death, not by the irreligious and the uncivilized, but by the highest representatives of Jewish religion and Roman law.” This shows that every one of us belongs to a sinful race. Are we any better than the men who put Jesus to death? Not at all!” the Bible says. “Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; There is no one who does good, not even one’” (Rom. 3:9-12). If no one is righteous (not even one!) then we too are among the accused. One man who understood his own personal rebellion against Christ was the composer Johann Sebastian Back. In a dramatic moment in Bach’s St. John Passion, Jesus is struck by the servants of the high priest. This episode is recorded in the Bible: “They spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, ‘Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?’” (Matt. 26:67-68). At this point it would have been customary for a composer-especially a German one-to blame the whole scene on the Jews. But Bach gave a different answer. He identified himself with sinful humanity. “Who is it that has hit you?” the choir asks. “I, I and my sins,” is the response. Bach understood that, in a very real sense, it was his own sins that led Christ to suffer and to die." *Excerpt taken from James Montgomery Boice & Philip Graham Ryken, “Jesus on Trial” pages 25-28. ...
The first of eight devotionals on Jesus' prayer in Matthew 6:9-13...Keep Reading
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Every single person alive, regardless of background, address, ethnicity, tradition or tax bracket, desires to love and be loved. This desire is so strong that almost every action throughout our lifetime is motivated by it. The desire to love and be loved is as natural as the air we breathe. We can know what we love by listening to what we give praise to. Love is something...Keep Reading
Hope for Hurting Families Mother's Day Sermon 2017 Genesis 4 The role of a mom is simultaneously one of the most important roles in the world and one of the most unglamorous. Raising kids is TOUGH. There is no simple, clean, easy, comfortable way to be a loving, faithful mom. Rather than a sprint, motherhood might be likened to a "Tough Mudder" marathon. A "Tough Mud...Keep Reading
Pastor Chris preaching on Romans 2:12-16 on February 19th....Keep Reading
Summary Notes from Pastor Chris' sermon, "Its Time to Get Out of the Judge's Chair," Romans 2:1-11....Keep Reading
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What is Peace? "What does the gospel of God offer us? If we say “the peace of God,” none will demur - but will everyone understand? The use of right words does not guarantee right thoughts. Too often the peace of God is thought of as if it were essentially a feeling of inner tranquility, happy and carefree, springing from knowledge that God will shield one f...Keep Reading