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Our passage is the first Christian sermon given by Peter on the day of Pentecost. It’s important that we consider the entire sermon for the context, but we’re going to focus our time on the last four verses (36–39) and what it means to be a Christian. How do you become a Christian? In a sense, when you get to the end of the sermon, you have a littl…
 
We’re going to look at a very famous episode in the book of Acts today, the day of Pentecost. What makes this unique is the descent of the Holy Spirit. There’s a sense in which the Old Testament people of God became the New Testament people of God because the Holy Spirit came down with a transforming power that had never been known heretofore. In a…
 
The book of Acts is about how the earliest church was essentially launched into a cosmopolitan and urban setting just like ours today. Our church has never been here just for convinced, believing Christians, but it’s also here for New Yorkers who aren’t sure what they believe (or who don’t believe in Christianity). Acts is one of a few books in the…
 
Today’s passage comes from the Passion narrative found in the book of Matthew. Matthew is not just a reporter; he’s a teacher. He doesn’t just tell us that Jesus died, but he always builds the narratives around certain statements and sayings that interpret why Jesus died. It’s very typical today for people to say, “Well, the cross might mean someth…
 
We’ve been going through the book of Matthew looking at the big blocks of teaching Jesus gives his disciples for how he wants his followers to live. While the Sermon on the Mount was mainly about how Christian disciples would relate to each other, starting with this passage, Jesus turns around and says, “But now here’s how I want my disciples to re…
 
We’ve come to the end of the Sermon on the Mount. It would be very profitable if we went through and took each of these metaphors Jesus ends the sermon with. You notice there are always two. There are two gates. There are two roads. There are two trees. There are two homes built on two different foundations. How many ways are there to live? Are the…
 
When you get to Matthew 7, which is the last chapter in the Sermon on the Mount, the most famous sermon in history, there is a lot of intriguing stuff. There are ludicrous things in there. There are strange things in here. This isn’t so much inspiring as it is a convicting and brilliant piece of teaching. Verses 1–6 are talking about relationships,…
 
We continue to look at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ outline of what he wants his people to live like in the world. Put another way, Jesus says here that if we take the essential message of the Christian faith, the gospel, and actually live it out, it will not only make us different individuals, radically different people, but it’ll turn us into …
 
We’re going through the Sermon on the Mount each week, and now we come to the most famous part of the most famous sermon in history, which is the Lord’s Prayer. The thing we have working against us with the Lord’s Prayer is the familiarity. We know it too well. Let’s see what Jesus tells us here about the foundation for prayer, the substance of pra…
 
We’re going through the Sermon on the Mount and we have Jesus Christ telling us how he wants us to live. He has dealt with the commandment on murder and adultery, and now he’s dealing with the commandment on lying. He’s going to talk to us about integrity, truth, and honesty. We have as big a problem in our culture with this. Therefore, let’s take …
 
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, is telling us how he wants us to live in every area of life. Love and sex is one of those areas of life, and so he gets to that here. When you first read it, it would be natural to have a negative response, because on the surface it looks like Jesus is saying, “If you have sexual desire, you’re going to hell.” It …
 
In the Sermon on the Mount, whenever Jesus talks about how we should live, he always also talks about how we get the power to live that way. Jesus is never just concerned about behavior. He’s also concerned about the heart. Here we have such a nice, small, compact text that gives us the whole picture. In these six verses, Jesus tells you three thin…
 
The Beatitudes make up the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, and it defines what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is someone who has a radically new relationship with God through belief in the gospel. The Beatitudes is essentially a list of the characteristics of someone with this new relationship with God. Today’s passage shifts to focu…
 
We read in the New Testament about the life of Jesus and how he brings us new life. Now it’s natural to ask if we’ve been given this new life, then how should we live? Our passage today in Matthew, which is part of the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the best places to get Jesus’ main teaching on how to live. This is one of the most famous pieces of…
 
Matthew gives us one of the four direct descriptions of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are two important questions for us as we read an account like this: Did it really happen? And what does it mean? Our culture is so dubious of miracles and the idea of resurrection already so the first question is very important to consider with that in m…
 
The passage today is on the crucifixion, which is one of the most important events in Jesus’ life. We’re going to zoom in on verse 46: “… Jesus cried out in a loud voice … ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” How do we understand Jesus’ cry? And what does it mean for us today? Let’s look more closely at the cry, the word why, the word my, a…
 
Our passage today takes place the night before Jesus is going to die. He has just had his last supper, and he goes out into the garden of Gethsemane with three of his disciples. Jesus’ career began with a temptation in the wilderness, and now it essentially ends with a great temptation in a garden. Jesus goes to the garden to pray and he is describ…
 
The Gospels give us all kinds of events that help paint a biographical picture of Jesus. Today we’re going to look at one very famous episode: the triumphal entry to Jerusalem. This is also called Palm Sunday because the crowd used palm branches to welcome Jesus to the city (John 12:13). There are important details in this passage that are deeply s…
 
How does the gospel affect your work? How does it influence your work and vocation? Our particular passage is not so much a high, lofty sermon by Paul, but it is more of a down-to-earth teaching. It’s not inspirational, but it’s more practical. As a result, it’s incredibly useful. We’re first going to consider the historical context. After seeing t…
 
What does it mean to take the gospel out of your private life, out of the church, and into the world? It means sharing the gospel with your friends. It means letting the gospel affect your work. It also means that we’ll go into the world caring about mercy and justice. Paul was sent as a missionary to Macedonia where he planted a church in Philippi…
 
The gospel is intensely personal because it entails a commitment of the whole person to Jesus. And if the whole person is committed to Jesus, that includes one’s private and public life. If this is true, then what happens when we take the gospel out of our private lives and out of the church and out into the world? One of the things that happens is…
 
What happens when you take the gospel, the basic message of Jesus Christ, out of the church into the world? It has many consequences for our lives, but one of the things that happens is it affects your work and your job. It gives us a different perspective on what work is for, how we should do our work, and it gives our work meaning and significanc…
 
Our passage today is really about evangelism. The gospel writer shows Jesus evangelizing a woman, and then, when she figures out who he is, she runs off and evangelizes her friends. This is a wonderful picture of how evangelism works. Christians talk about their faith with others and then they invite others to embrace the faith for themselves. Many…
 
What is the gospel’s effect when it’s brought out of the church and into the world? It does many things, but one of them is that it leads to conversions. It has the power to convert individuals from death to life, from darkness to light. In today’s passage we see that Jesus describes the gospel message as the “new birth,” which is to be converted o…
 
In the book of James, we read about how belief in the gospel affects the way we actually live day to day. This is the theme that is found throughout the book. It’s filled with very practical guidelines for what a Christian’s life should look like. In today’s passage, James rebukes a particular thing that his readers are doing. He contrasts God’s wi…
 
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