Sermon: Watch Out

Watch OutRomans 16:17-20September 26, 2021 Despite our best planning, our sincere desires, and our extensive efforts not everything always goes according to our plans.  That’s true at work, in our homes, in our relationships, with our leisure activities, with our retirements, and even in our churches. When churches are loving, hard-working, enduring, truth-teaching, and grace-giving […]

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Those Lists of Names

My wife has a fondness for ancestral archaeology.  She likes pouring through lists of names and making familial connections.  She enjoys the hunt for ancient connections (“did you know that we have a family member who…?”) and is even more excited to find “unknown” family relations in our generation and even in our area of […]

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Sermon: So Many (Ordinary) People

So Many (Ordinary) PeopleRomans 16:1-16September 19, 2021 In Elmer Bendiner’s book, Fall of Fortresses, he recounts an air raid of Kassel, Germany, in the plane for which he was the navigator, the B-17 Tondelayo.  More than three decades after the event, he and the pilot met to remember the war together.  Eventually they talked about […]

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Sermon: Paul’s Missionary Prayer

“Pray Christ:”  Paul’s Missionary PrayerRomans 15:30-33September 12, 2021 Early this year, we decided to replace most of the fencing in our backyard.  It was rotting in several places and falling down in others.  So we counted the panels and pickets and headed to the lumber yard to buy replacements.  We were told that they only […]

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Sermon: Paul’s Missionary Vision

“Advance Christ:”  Paul’s Missionary VisionRomans 15:22-29September 5, 2021 William Carey has come to be well-known for his work in missions, but he started in relative obscurity.  When he first sought ordination from the Baptist church in Olney, he was rejected by them in 1785, before being ordained the following year and taking the pastorate of […]

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Grab bag

Some helpful articles I’ve bookmarked recently (or not so recently): “How to Pray for Afghan Christians” (Kevin Carson) “Jesus Is Literally All They Have Left” (Randy Alcorn) “9 Things You Should Know About the Taliban” (Joe Carter) “Celebrating 50 Years Of Marriage” (Paul Tripp) “Preaching the Funeral Sermon I Once Most Dreaded” (Hershael York) — […]

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God is a Missionary God

At the end of Romans, Paul reveals the reason for that theological treatise.  His letter was a missionary letter — a request for financial and spiritual support and encouragement as he took the gospel of Christ to Spain.  All the theology of the letter was simply his way of affirming his beliefs and teaching, demonstrating […]

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Sermon: Paul’s Missionary Message

“Preach Christ:”  Paul’s Missionary MessageRomans 15:17-21August 29, 2021 Some sermon topics invariably provoke listeners to experience a sense of guilt: Sermons on prayer lead to thoughts of “I don’t pray enough…” Sermons on evangelism lead to thoughts of “I don’t tell enough people about Jesus…” Sermons on missions lead to questions like “should I go?…” […]

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The last miracle of redemption

I would not say that miracles “abound” in Scripture.  There are miracles in the Bible.  There are many miracles.  By definition, miracles are astounding, incredible, unusual, and wondrous.  And the miracles of the Bible are all those things.  Think of the miracle of 2 million people crossing the Red Sea on dry land, getting across […]

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Grab bag

Some helpful articles I’ve bookmarked recently (or not so recently): “I’ll See You in Court” (Jesse Johnson, The Cripplegate) — a helpful explanation of 1 Corinthians 6 and its application in lawsuits and insurance dilemmas. “Unmarried Sex Is Worse Than You Think” (TGC, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra and Collin Hansen ) “The Conversation About Sex You […]

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Remember the basics

I think I first read this account in Jerry Kramer’s football classic, Instant Replay, though it has been retold many times in many contexts (and several times by me as well). At the beginning of training camp for the Green Bay Packers in 1961, coach Vince Lombardi wanted to remind his players of the importance […]

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Sermon: Where We Go From Here

Where We Go From HereRomans 15:14-16August 15, 2021 What verse or passage of Scripture is most meaningful in your life?  What verse has changed your life?  There have been multiple verses that I have repeatedly referenced and found helpful:  Jn. 14:27; Ps. 19:14; Eph. 5:25ff; 1 Pt. 3:7.  And more.  What are your “influential verses?” […]

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Subscribe to Words of Grace

Recently, the host of Words of Grace (WordPress) changed subscription platforms (at least that’s the way I understand it). So we had to find a new way to send out content. From now on, if you want to receive posts from Words of Grace by email, you will need to sign up by using the […]

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Ecclesiology matters

In the past two months I have heard several allegations (some public and some private) about pastors who have plagiarized sermons.  The allegations also appear to be much more than allegations; some of the video evidence I’ve seen seems indisputable and indefensible.  I don’t know what motivates a pastor to take sermons that do not […]

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Sermon: Accept One Another

Accept One Another Romans 15:7-13 August 8, 2021 In the early 1980s I moved with my parents to a new city and our family began looking for a new church.  One Sunday we entered worship at another new place that (at least by name) sounded orthodox — and things seemed normal enough.  But as I […]

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