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Showing posts from June, 2010

Sermon for Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, "Discipline"

Sermon 6/20/10 Galatians 3:23-29
Galatians: Discipline

Today, we continue our journey through Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and we start to see his logic unfolding, as in each text, he builds on the argument he laid down in the last passage. Last week, remember, we talked about how we are saved, and Paul reminded us that it is not adherence to rules, at which we can never be perfect, but faith in God’s free grace, which sets us right with God. In today’s text, Paul is talking about discipline. We can think about discipline in multiple ways. First, you might think of being a disciplined person. Are you a disciplined person? Do you have something that is sometimes hard to do, but that nonetheless you do regularly? My brother Todd is becoming a very disciplined runner. He’s trying to train for a marathon, and he runs on a set schedule, whether he feels like it or not. That’s discipline. Spiritually speaking, we have disciplines too – spiritual disciplines. I think we’ll be talking about t…

Sermon for Third Sunday after Pentecost, "Saved By the Bell"

Sermon 6/13/10 Galatians 2:15-21
Galatians: Saved By the Bell

Today we get past the introduction to Galatians, where Paul is laying out his credentials and why the Galatians should listen to him, and into to the heart of this epistle, the deep theology, the content that Paul wants them to believe and feels like they are mixing up with whatever ‘other gospel’ people have been teaching them. Paul’s writings are certainly not as easy to listen to as the Parables of Jesus, and so you may find yourselves tuning out or getting overwhelmed when you first hear this passage – but Paul has some really good stuff in there when we take the time to examine it closely – stuff that, when we rephrase it into our own words, I bet you will find hits the nail on the head for some of the struggles we face as disciples. Let me share with you this same text from Galatians in Eugene Peterson’s The Message, to help us understand Paul’s argument better. He writes: 15-16We Jews know that we have no advantage of b…

Sermon for Second Sunday after Pentecost, "Galatians"

Sermon 6/6/10, Galatians 1:11-24
Galatians

This week, we change course for a bit and begin a month of focusing on Paul’s letter to the Galatians. The church in the region of Galatia wasn’t really a single congregation, but a community of worshippers, people to whom Paul had brought the gospel message of Jesus during some of his earlier missionary work. We don’t know exactly what Paul’s been hearing, but we know that the reason he writes this letter to these churches is because he’s been hearing things about the churches that cause him great concern. Paul’s tone is frantic, as if he heard rumors about Galatia and immediately sat down to write and address the troubles. The epistle doesn’t open with the usual long line of greetings from Paul, but gets to the point after the briefest of openings. He says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another gospel, but there are som…