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Gospel essentials vs a full statement of the gospel...

In one sense, it is fair to speak of the gospel as those crucial truths we would relate to an unbeliever if we had only an hour to speak with them. But in another sense, the gospel must be spoken of as the entire corpus Paul relates in the book of Romans. These are both the gospel, but the first is what we might call “gospel essentials,” where as the latter is a full statement of the gospel. We see Paul using both of these in his own ministry. Paul preaches gospel essentials to the Athenians (Acts 17.24-31). Paul preaches a full statement of the gospel to the Roman Christians (Rom 1.15, et seq.). The critical difference between the two...

Gospel essentials vs a full statement of the gospel
posted on: May 12, 2015 | author: Alan Burrow

The Great Commission in Context

If there is any Bible text the evangelical church knows, other than John 3.16, it’s the great commission. But sometimes we can know something so well that we don’t know it. Sometimes we need to get to know the familiar again, as it were for the first time. If there is any Bible text the evangelical church needs to get to know again for the first time, it’s the great commission. We need to begin by considering the great commission not as a stand alone text, but as the conclusion of the story Matthew is telling in his gospel. The story Matthew tells us is that Jesus is true Israel, and at the same time Jesus is true...

The Great Commission in Context
posted on: Sep 9, 2014 | author: Alan Burrow

Sermon Notes: Matthew 1.18-23 – The Incarnation...

Matthew 1.18-23. * Recap and intro. Matthew opens the New Testament by declaring that Jesus is a new Adam, who has made everything new (Mat 1.1; see Sermon Notes: Matthew 1.1-17). Then, Matthew seemingly takes away everything he just gave us. His genealogy is a carefully coded history of Israel, in which Matthew establishes the hopelessness of Israel and therefore of the human race (Mat 1.2-17). These two don’t go together. How can we have the former if the latter is true? This apparent contradiction, this impossible situation, is designed to prepare the audience for the Incarnation. It is the only answer to the hopeless situation described in the genealogy. It is the only way you can have...

Sermon Notes: Matthew 1.18-23 – The Incarnation
posted on: Mar 4, 2014 | author: Alan Burrow

Sermon Notes: 1 Cor 1.1-9 – A Letter for Our Times, a Letter for Us...

Text: 1 Cor 1.1-9. * Why 1Corinthians?  The book of 1Corinthians is about what it means and what it takes to be Christ’s church, his people, in the midst of a powerful and pervasive culture operating on completely different values,  motivations, and goals – in short, a completely different faith.  I can’t think of a more appropriate book for us to consider at this time, for we find ourselves in a very similar situation. * Land of opportunity.  Like America, Corinth was considered a land of opportunity, a place which had no aristocracy to keep everyone in their proper station, a place where one had the chance to make a name for oneself, to attain to wealth, to...

Sermon Notes: 1 Cor 1.1-9 – A Letter for Our Times, a Letter for Us
posted on: Feb 19, 2014 | author: Alan Burrow

Sermon Notes — Matthew 1.1-17 — The Book of the Generations of Jesus Christ...

Matthew 1.1-17 * Intro — Matthew’s bombshell. Matthew opens his gospel with a genealogy, which would seem to be a rather boring way to open the NT.  But what seems boring to us was a bombshell to 1st century Jews.  They would immediately have recognized Matthew’s opening words, “The book of the genealogy,” or better “the book of the generations” (biblos genesios in the Greek), as an exact quote from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew OT. Not only a quote, but a very significant quote.  It appears only twice in the whole Septuagint – – once in Gen 2.4 where it refers to the “[book of the] generations of the heavens and the earth,” and...

Sermon Notes — Matthew 1.1-17 — The Book of the Generations of Jesus Christ
posted on: Feb 6, 2014 | author: Alan Burrow

Jesus and the Rich, Young Ruler (Mat 19.16-26)

Here are my exegetical thoughts on the famous interchange between Jesus and the rich, young ruler. (Matthew points out that he was rich and young; Luke adds that he was a ruler (Mat 19.22; Luke 18.18).) The man seeks eternal life and assumes he must do good to receive it. (Mat 19.16.) This is not wrong on its face, as we often assume. We are saved by faith alone, yes, but Jesus, Paul, and Peter make it clear that the way God will tell who has faith is by their deeds. (Acts 10.34; Rom 2.6; Rev 2.23.) So it is entirely correct to say that we will be judged by our deeds, for our deeds will unerringly indicate who...

Jesus and the Rich, Young Ruler (Mat 19.16-26)
posted on: Jul 15, 2013 | author: Alan Burrow

Valuing What Is Most Valuable (Mat 19).

As we have seen, Mat 19 is about the characteristics of the new faith community Jesus is raising up within Israel. Now that we are reaching the end of the chapter, we can better see how the parts go together. The common thread with each of the topics—marriage, children, money, and the kingdom—is that the central question posed has to do with what kind of value do people place upon it? One way of summing up the new faith community is that its members have their values straight; they value most what is most valuable. The first part of the chapter establishes a high, biblical value for marriage and children, in contrast with the human tendency, even among...

Valuing What Is Most Valuable (Mat 19).
posted on: Jul 12, 2013 | author: Alan Burrow

The characteristics of the new faith community—marriage and children. (Mat 19.1-15)...

In Matthew 19, Jesus moves out of Galilee into Judea toward Jerusalem. (Mat 19.1.) He is still beyond the Jordan and has a great throng following him, among whom he is manifesting God’s power. (Mat 19.2.) What this looked like to any Jew was a new entrance into the promised land, and that means that Jesus is bringing about a new exodus, a new deliverance. “New exodus” is not the way we typically think of the coming of the Messiah and the new covenant, but it is the way the Jews thought of it, for that is how God had often portrayed it in the prophets (see, e.g., Deut 29.24-30.6; Jer 23.5-8). These symbolic meanings would have been...

The characteristics of the new faith community—marriage and children. (Mat 19.1-15)
posted on: Jul 2, 2013 | author: Alan Burrow

The First Characteristic of Great Faith (Mat 15.21-38)....

For the context and setup for this post, read Believe and Eat! Like the Centurion of Mat 8.5-13, the woman of Canaan exemplifies the faith Israel should have had but didn’t. Not even the disciples exhibited the kind of faith these two unlikely Gentiles did. (See Mat 15.32-33.) Jesus says the woman’s faith is “great.” (Mat 15.28.) She had the kind of faith every disciple should aspire to have. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of her faith, to see what comprises “great faith.” The first characteristic of great faith is that it comes to Jesus and worships Him. (Mat 15.22, 25.) This is the cornerstone for all the rest. Great faith acts, and this is its fundamental action. Note that the woman comes to...

The First Characteristic of Great Faith (Mat 15.21-38).
posted on: Apr 2, 2013 | author: Alan Burrow

Believe and eat! (Mat 15.21-39.)

The theme of faith and unbelief runs throughout this text, as does the theme of Jew and Gentile, and the theme of food, and particularly of Jesus’ ability to provide food for Israel and the world. Feeding the 4000-plus multitude is obviously about food, but so is the healing of the daughter of the woman of Canaan (15.22-28) and by extension the healing of the multitudes (15.30). Note that Jesus and the Canaanite woman discuss healing in terms of food: But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their...

Believe and eat! (Mat 15.21-39.)
posted on: Mar 19, 2013 | author: Alan Burrow

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