Projected oil spill (youtube via Denny Burk)
Federal Debt tops $13 Trillion mark..via I don't remember where!
None But Jesus...Matt Chandler (via Adrian Warnock)
"It's the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel. If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that he should kiss my backside. . . . Once I debate about what I have done and left undone, I am finished. But if I reply on the basis of the gospel, 'The forgiveness of sins covers it all,' I have won."
-- Martin Luther
The sermon...(color me frustrated) on the Sabbath. I heard on "Issues Etc." that one way to critique a sermon is to count the number of times that "Jesus" is mentioned. This sermon: ZERO.
The point the pastor made was that God used the Sabbath to show us that we (humans) need a rhythm and rest and we should follow God's example because of our health and well-being.
It should have the OPENING...not the conclusion.
We follow the Sabbath commandment, not only because of our health and well-being (and because it's a commandment) -
we should also keep it at the forefront of our minds, our souls, our hearts...that God have us the Sabbath Law as a foreshadowing of things to come.
(That matter of first importance)
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.
Because of Christ's finished work on the cross, we no longer depend on the works of the Law for our salvation.
Christ IS our Sabbath rest.
Not only that, but those who are found in Christ should reflect on the Sabbath and use that time to reflect on our future...the eternal Sabbath.
Some ways to critique a sermon:
- How many times is Jesus mentioned?
- is Jesus the subject of the verbs? (Is Jesus the one doing the actions?)
- What are the verbs? Are they the verbs of today's pop psychology or are they the verbs of Scripture?
- What was the problem that the preacher diagnosed. What remedy did he give?
On the way home this morning I was listening to a past White Horse Inn episode and something really struck me.
(not a direct quote) -
Whatever you preach from the pulpit will be what your church looks like.
If what your pastor preaches is examples from his life, pictures of his family, portraits of his marriage...you are going to have a church that looks JUST. LIKE. HIM.
If you preach the gospel...if you hide the man behind the pulpit and preach nothing but the Word, that is what your church will look like.
Monroe doesn't have a lot of depth...but it has a lot of love. That is what is preached from what substitutes for a pulpit. And that is what we look like. We seldom hear personal stories, never see family photos.
We have a pretty diverse church and lots of love.
Update: what it lacks is the Gospel