Suffering Injustice

Perhaps the most American of all holidays is the Kostanza family’s celebration of Festivus on Seinfeld. If you remember Festivus, it begins with friends and family gathered around the table for the airing of grievances. This sketch became a favorite for many people because so many Americans can identify with a family celebration that is characterized by grievances. A lot …

A Spiritual House

1 Peter 2:4-10 For the average Christian who grows up in the South, church is typically seen as a place you goor a thing you do as part of your weekly routine. For many Christians, church is one of thefavorite parts of our routine, but it is still only something we do part of the time. One of the great …

Growing Up Into Salvation

1 Peter 2:2-3 In last week’s sermon we were challenged to live consistently with our status as born-again children of God. Peter tells us specifically to put away all “malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander.”  The things that we are told to put away are all things that we do not connect with the behavior of infants. Young children are …

Purified Worship

The above are excerpts from a history of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer is famous today as the theological light of the persecuted Confessing Church that stood apart from the Nazis during the reign of Hitler. The end of the story is that Bonhoeffer’s life ended very early in a Nazi concentration camp because the result of his faith was that he …

Winning the Battle for the Mind

Most people understand that excellence in almost any area of life is a function of the state of our minds when we engage in the activities. Coaches preach this in athletics. Teachers exhort this in academics. Bosses encourage this on the job. The quality of familial relationships often rises and falls based on the mental presence of the family members. …

Future Orientation

One of the greatest first-glance characteristics of the Gospel as it is presented in the New Testament is that the Gospel is a new thing. Jesus Christ came preaching about new life in his kingdom, brought about by a new covenant, which created a new people.  With all of this talk of the newness of what God was doing, it is …

The Keys To Thriving In Exile

This week’s passage makes me think of one of Jennifer’s older relatives who would always offer the greeting “Waiting for the Lord to come back.” While she had genuine faith and truly was expecting the return of Christ, she probably didn’t intend that greeting as evidence that she was greatly enjoying life at the moment. We probably each know of …

What Is Salvation?

1 Peter 1:3-5 Peter begins the body of his letter by ecstatically praising God. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He then takes the remainder of three verses to tell us why God is deserving of praise. Because of his great mercy Because he has caused us to be born again Because we have a …

Elect Exiles

From the very beginning of the letter of 1 Peter we are given some important truths about what God thinks about us. As Peter addresses his original audience in the areas that are today western Turkey, we know that God is using Peter to address us as believers in Jesus today. 1 Peter 1:1-2 In verse 1, the most important …

Preparing for Tribulation

One of the interesting phenomena in America is the industry that has built up around people who are preparing for a doomsday scenario which ordinary people with ordinary provisions could not survive. The people preparing for the end of the world are so interesting that they were the subject of a reality TV series a few years ago. When everything …