Galatians 1:1-10: Don’t turn what God does for you into what you do for Him

Burning Barn

Paul begins Galatians by burning down the barn.  “What in the world is wrong with you?  You’re deserting God, who called you to be His people!  You turned away from the Gospel, allowing others to confuse you and lead you away from the truth!”  Words of fire explode off the page.  A righteous anger burns […]

John 8:48-59: Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity

Trinity Latin

The Trinity is all over the Scriptures.  In the first book of the Bible, Genesis describes God the Father speaking the Word as the Spirit hovered over the waters of the deep.  In the last book of the Bible, Revelation describes the Lamb, Jesus, who was slain but now alive.  He sits enthroned at the […]

Acts 2:38: Pentecost Today = Preaching and Delivering Forgiveness

Pentecost Today

Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, ten days after He ascended, 120 Christians huddle together.  They wait for Jesus, for Him to fulfill His promise to send the Spirit.  Without warning, a mighty wind, the breath of God, fills the room where they wait.  They look and see moving, flickering tongues of fire […]

Luke 24:47: Preaching Repentance into the Forgiveness of Sins

Pr Rich Heinz

Before our Lord ascended into heaven, He gave His Apostles several enduring mandates, commanding them what to do until He returned.  We’re most familiar with the one in St. Matthew’s Gospel. Having gathered His Apostles on the mountaintop, Jesus told them: “Disciple the Gentiles by baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and […]

John 14:1-11: No End Run Around Jesus–the Way

One Way

The Gospel of Jesus Christ offends many people because it excludes all others paths of salvation.  Multiple ways to heaven don’t exist; only one does.  No other name exists, other than Jesus of Nazareth, in whom we receive life and salvation.  Jesus is the only sacrifice for sin, which saves into eternity. Our culture loves […]

John 16:12-15: Receiving All–the Deposit of the Faith

The Deposit of the Faith

We’ve inherited a strange way of reading the Bible.  When someone reads Scripture, he often thinks each passage is a direct line, straight from God, telling him what to do.  Such a notion, however, isn’t true.  Read the Bible and you will find out otherwise. Here’s an example.  Paul writes, “Wives, submit to your husbands […]

1 Maccabees 4:36-51, John 10:22-33

I and the Father are One

Today, we are following Jesus.  We walk behind Him, and He makes His way to the Temple to celebrate a festival.  For us, it is spring; for Jesus, the season is now winter.  So, Jesus chooses to make His way to the Temple to celebrate a religious festival God never commanded for His people. Why […]

Acts 9:1-22: The God of Surprises

Mosaic of Sauls conversion (610x351)

God is full of surprises.  He looks down from heaven at the sin and rebellion mounting against Him by those whom He created.  But instead of destroying them all in righteous anger, deep, passionate love moves Him to send His Son to die for their sins.  You may be so used to the Gospel that […]

John 3:5, 16: Donna Defferding’s Funeral Sermon

Believe and Baptized

We face death as we face life—with our eyes fixed on Jesus.  We cling to the promises of His Word, which, when facing death, seem even more incredible and powerful.  We find one of our Lord’s most beautiful promises in John chapter 14: “In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, […]

John 20:19-31: Forgive and Retain Sins

Locked doors—the disciples hide behind them in fear.  They fear arrest and execution, for that happened to Jesus.  Why should events be different for them?  His body was missing, and His tomb was empty.  Who took the body?  Where was He buried now? Peter and John went to the tomb and entered it.  The bodiless […]