Sermon Text for July 26th – Genesis 16:1-16

This week we have the privilege of having Jon Neville – an intern at Christ Church Bellingham – bring the Word to us. Here’s his text:

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her,

“Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 12  He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” 

13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

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Sermon Text for July 19th – Romans 8:31-39

Tom Boyer will be preaching from the Word this Sunday. Here’s his text:

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Sermon Text for July 12th – Ephesians 2:11-22

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 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, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

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Conference Audio – D. A. Carson

Found this lecture by Carson – “The Church in a Culture of Rapid Transition” – to be very insightful. It was part of the 2015 Thornwell Lectures at First Presbyterian (Columbia, SC). Here are the different variables in today’s culture (there were 15 altogether, but I only heard 12):

  1. Rising Biblical illiteracy both inside and outside the church
  2. Changes brought about by the digital revolution
  3. Globalization
  4. Recurrent racism
  5. Secularization
  6. The age of victimization
  7. The changing face of tolerance and intolerance
  8. Increasing pressure on free speech
  9. Less and less shared cultural heritage and therefore more and more controlling laws
  10. The rise of militant Islam
  11. There are weakening confessional commitments in much of evangelicalism
  12. There is today less nominalism (in Christianity)

Concluding thoughts

  1. God is sovereign, but God stands behind good and evil asymmetrically.
  2. The first Christian allegiance is to God and the gospel, to the Lord Jesus Christ; not to our race, not to our location in the country, not to our citizenship.
  3. Christians should not expect to be persecution-free.
  4. Re-read Acts 17:16-34 and see what it says about preaching the gospel to Biblical illiterates.

Sermon Text for July 5th – Habakkuk 3:1-19

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

O Lord, I have heard the report of you,

and your work, O Lord, do I fear.

In the midst of the years revive it;

in the midst of the years make it known;

in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman,

and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah

His splendor covered the heavens,

and the earth was full of his praise.

His brightness was like the light;

rays flashed from his hand;

and there he veiled his power.

Before him went pestilence,

and plague followed at his heels.

He stood and measured the earth;

he looked and shook the nations;

then the eternal mountains were scattered;

the everlasting hills sank low.

His were the everlasting ways.

I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;

the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?

Was your anger against the rivers,

or your indignation against the sea,

when you rode on your horses,

on your chariot of salvation?

You stripped the sheath from your bow,

calling for many arrows. Selah

You split the earth with rivers.

10  The mountains saw you and writhed;

the raging waters swept on;

the deep gave forth its voice;

it lifted its hands on high.

11  The sun and moon stood still in their place

at the light of your arrows as they sped,

at the flash of your glittering spear.

12  You marched through the earth in fury;

you threshed the nations in anger.

13  You went out for the salvation of your people,

for the salvation of your anointed.

You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,

laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah

14  You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors,

who came like a whirlwind to scatter me,

rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.

15  You trampled the sea with your horses,

the surging of mighty waters.

16  I hear, and my body trembles;

my lips quiver at the sound;

rottenness enters into my bones;

my legs tremble beneath me.

Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble

to come upon people who invade us.

17  Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

18  yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

19  God, the Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet like the deer’s;

he makes me tread on my high places.

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

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