Forgiveness in Marriage

C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.” To borrow Lewis’ analogy, we might say, “Aim at forgiveness and you will get romance ‘thrown in’: aim at romance and you will get neither.” A healthy marriage is one rooted in forgiveness, not romance.

I recently preached a message on the importance of forgiveness in marriage from Matthew 18:21-35. Consider the following: Read More→

The Myths of Marriage

A couple of weeks ago I began a series of messages on the topic of marriage at SRBC. The first sermon covered four myths of marriage. Here they are:

 

The Happiness Myth: Marriage can satisfy the deepest desires of my heart.

Calvin said, “The human heart is an idol factory… Every one of us from our mother’s womb is an expert in inventing idols.” If we are not careful, an important person, such as a spouse, can become the most important Person. In her work Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte shows us what this looks like when Catharine says of Heathcliff: “That is how I’m loved!… I shall love mine yet; and take him with me: he’s in my soul.”  Like so many others, Catharine would soon discover that a spouse makes a wonderful companion, but a poor savior!

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Confessions for the Anxious Heart (pt. 2)

When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked. At first blow our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether we set in motion a process of resistance. Whether we fight back against anxiety. It is a spiritual battle. We battle anxiety by meditating on God’s Word and asking for the help of His Holy Spirit. We believe the promises of God and we pray for the help of His Spirit. – John Piper

I am currently doing a short series of sermons on anxiety. In the previous post, I gave three propositions that the anxious Christian can confess in prayer. Here is the rest of the list. Read More→

Confessions for the Anxious Heart (pt 1)

In her 2002 article, “The Science of Anxiety,” Christine Gorman writes,

It’s 4 a.m., and you’re wide awake–palms sweaty, heart racing. You’re worried about your kids. Your aging parents. Your 401(k). Your health. Your sex life. Breathing evenly beside you, your spouse is oblivious. Doesn’t he–or she–see the dangers that lurk in every shadow? He must not. Otherwise, how could he, with all that’s going on in the world, have talked so calmly at dinner last night about flying to Florida for a vacation? (http://ti.me/OzO59A )

This experience sounds all too familiar for many of us! Read More→

Redeeming The Time On The Drive To School

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut. 6:5-9)

As parents, we have the privilege and responsibility to disciple and encourage our children, not just in a formal devotion time, but while we are “in the way.” One of the best times to apply these verses is on the ride to school (for those who drive their kids to school). I have come to consider this the most valuable 20 minutes of my day. Read More→

What is the Role of Theology in Youth Ministry

Does theology bore young people or build an important foundation for their future fruitfulness? I recently came across the article Why Theology and Youth Ministry Seldom Mix on the Gospel Coalition website and was encouraged to see it reflect our heart here at SRBC. It emphasizes the need to teach our young people the truths of God’s Word instead of seeking to entertain them. When theology is properly prioritized and applied in youth philosophy we can be confident that God will honor His Word and the church will be built through the lives of our teens. My fear is that we often wrongly present theologically based teaching as contradictory to practical application and godly living. The Scripture continually emphasizes that right doctrine leads to a Christlike life. John Bunyan summarizes how a proper focus on Christ liberates the believer to pursue God. Read More→

Glorifying God in Your 9 to 5

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Beginning with Worldview
It is a bit of a misconception to suggest that a secular worldview is one that is void of God. On the contrary, many secularists do believe there is a place for God, but it is a very limited place. A secular worldview is not necessarily one that eliminates God; rather, a secular worldview is one that compartmentalizes God. “Secularization did not cause the death of religion,” says theologian Walter Kasper. It did, however, relegate it to “one sector of modern life along with many others. Religion lost its claim to universality and its power of interpretation.”[1] In other words, a secular worldview is one that allows God to inform some parts of life, but not all. The Creator is marginalized. A secularist may invite God into certain rooms, but He is not permitted access to the entire house.
Leslie Newbigin, who spent many years as a missionary to India, tells that this kind of compartmentalization of God is a Western phenomenon. Few cultures around the world encourage a division between the sacred and secular or the public and the private. Faith is something that is intended to permeate all of life. “In most human cultures, religion is not a separate activity set apart from the rest of life.”[2] For sure, this is one of the ways that the “world” has affected the modern American church.

Bible Translations at Suber Road Baptist

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Introduction
Throughout Scripture the biblical writers presuppose that God intends that His Word be understood by His people.[1]Deuteronomy 6:6-7 assumes that fathers are able to teach their children the Law of Moses. In another passage Moses tells that the Word of God is clear and understandable:

For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deut. 30:11-14)
The New Testament is equal in its affirmation of the clarity of Scripture. Most notably, Jesus assumes that His listeners are able to read and understand the Word of God. Six times in the Gospel of Matthew the Son of God asks, “Have you not read …” When confronted by the Pharisees Jesus tells them, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mat 9:13). The assumption in passages such as these is that the misunderstanding lies not with the text of Scripture, but with the hearer.[2] It has also been pointed out that most of the letters in the New Testament are written to churches, not to pastors and/or elders. These biblical writers take for granted that ordinary, average church members can understand their epistles. Some passages of Scripture even assume that children are in the listening audience (such as Eph. 6:1-3).[3] In light of this evidence we must conclude with Paul that “if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3).

Practical Implications of the Story of the Bible

From time to time, it is helpful to step back and reacquaint ourselves with the overarching story that the Bible tells. Reflection on this topic is important because of our tendency to “miss the forest for the trees.” We often get so focused on our favorite passages, doctrines, books, or sections of the Bible that we miss THE Story. The Story of the Bible is the story of God accomplishing His plan of redeeming His broken creation. Theologians have divided the story a number of different ways, but here at Suber Road Baptist Church we like to divide it as follows: Read More→

Suffering in Light of the Gospel

The cross reveals the very possibility of suffering. In the Gospel a righteous man brought glory to God while dying on a cross. If we understand this, we will not “be surprised” (1 Pet. 4:12) when we experience the same.

One of the reasons that people lose faith in times of suffering is our tendency towards a religious rather than a Christian worldview. A religious worldview teaches, “bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.” Far from a random thought, this is the default of the human heart. The biblical examples are numerous. This is what the disciples assume when, coming upon a blind man, they ask, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Joh 9:2) In Luke 13 Jesus recounts two tragedies. One involved Pilate slaying a group of Galileans and mingling their blood with sacrifices. The other concerned a tower that fell on a group of people at Siloam. In both cases the crowds assume that these tragedies took place because the people were greater sinners than most. Finally, remember the words of the natives of Melita when the snake came out of the fire to bite Paul: “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” (Act 28:4) The assumption here is that an injury such as this can only mean that this man is guilty of something. All of this sounds very much like Eliphaz in the book of Job: “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?” (Job 4:7)

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