Devotional

The Gospel and Religion

Many people object to Christianity not so much on the basis of the Christian message or biblical doctrine, but because it is a religion and religion in general is objectionable. Here are three common reasons people give for rejecting religion. One, religion is no longer necessary in our modern, scientific world. In the past, when…

The Gospel and Personal Identity

As a society, we are suffering an identity crisis. Not only do many people struggle to know their place in the world, but more fundamentally, we’ve lost sight of how we are to discover our identity in the first place. In our post-modern, individualistic culture, we’ve come to think that a person doesn’t just accept…

The Gospel and the Quest for Happiness

The French observer of American society Alexis de Tocqueville recorded his astonishment at the typical American’s “futile pursuit of that complete felicity which always escapes him.” He wrote that in the 1830’s. Has much changed since then? Though social scientists tell us that, in general, most people seem to be relatively content, there are too…

The Gospel and True Freedom

As Americans, we pride ourselves on being a freedom-loving people. But what is this freedom we cherish? Our secular age has interpreted liberty to mean a radical moral and spiritual autonomy, the unfettered freedom to live by one’s own self-determined meaning, morality, truth, and identity. This notion of freedom was virtually codified as law when…

Ready for Christ, Ready for Anything

The Scriptures have much to say – though not always as clearly as we might wish – about the return of Christ. Christians will continue to debate the timing and circumstances of his Second Coming, probably up to the day he does return. But the Bible’s testimony is unambiguous about this: Jesus is coming again.…

The Believing Samaritan

The Good Samaritan of Jesus’ parable in Luke 10 enjoys the fame and prestige of the honor attached to his name. Though in the minds of first-century Israelites, “good” and “Samaritan” were two words that couldn’t possibly belong in the same sentence, the Samaritan who helped the beaten and left-for-dead Jewish man lives on as…

Unworthy Servants

Jesus’ teaching in Luke 17:7-10 is a reality check for our easily-inflated sense of self-worth. Lest we think our lives as Christians entitles us to God’s blessing, or that we are somehow doing God great favors by our following Christ, Jesus emphatically reminds us of this truth: we are mere servants. And unworthy ones at…

The Humble King

We call Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem at the end of his earthly ministry the “Triumphal Entry.” And rightly so, for the scene was one of triumph. As Jesus approached the Holy City, he was met with the jubilant praises of the crowds. They laid down their cloaks on the road for a royal welcome, joyfully…

Law and Gospel

In Luke 16:14-18, a very brief section of teaching, Jesus addressed a difficult subject: the relationship between the law and the gospel in the salvation and life of the Christian. The better we understand his instruction on this, the greater love we’ll have both for God’s grace and for God’s commandments. In v. 16, Jesus…

The Commendable Cheat

Last Sunday I preached on Luke 16:1-13, the parable of the man known as the “dishonest manager” or the “unjust steward.” This passage has caused more than its share of head-scratching perplexity. For in it Jesus sets before us as an example worthy of emulation a man who is a scoundrel, a first-rate schemer and…