“The gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” I imagine a Pharisee giving a hearty Amen to this teaching of Jesus. But he would only do so because he believes he is on the narrow way and is a gatekeeper deciding who is in and who is out. But what if Jesus exposed the Pharisee for where he actually stood in such a metaphor? On the outside. But how can the most religious people be on the outside? We open Matthew 23 to hear some of the fieriest words of Jesus ever recorded.
This was not an easy sermon to preach. But it was a necessary one. Far too many Christians do not follow the Matthew 18 protocol to handle disagreements, offenses, or concerns. Why? Either we still don’t know the protocol, or, more likely, we ignore the protocol because other means of “dealing with our concerns” are easier. So how do we get back to addressing concerns in the way of Jesus?
Proverbs presents us with several caricatures, and the most prominent ones are the wise man and the fool. So what does the life of the wise man look like when it comes to his interactions with others?
Does God ever approve of us using deception? Does God Himself ever use deception? And if there’s a yes to either of those, how do we reconcile that with the command not to bear false witness? Do we have inconsistencies here?
Jeremiah 9:23-24 presents us with 2 trios - one describing what we have (Wisdom, Might, and Riches), one describing what we should do with what we have (Steadfast Love, Justice, and Righteousness). We take a deep dive into the terms used and what it means to know God.
The Psalms are not just worship poetry. They also contain strong ethical teachings, giving us portraits of righteous living. Of the 10 Commandments, the 9th Commandment - not bearing false witness - receives the most treatment in the Psalms. We look at some of these passages and uncover a wide array of dishonest practices which any of us can fall prey to.
In the 3rd of three sermons on The Ten Commandments, we explore how the New Testament handles the 10 which were the basis of Israel’s Ethical Standards. Do they have relevance to the Christian? And if so, then what advantage do we have of living them out?