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Genesis — The Book of Beginnings 2

Several years back, I preached a “Through the Bible” series consisting of one-shot sermons on the books of the Bible. I didn’t hit every book. I covered the Pentateuch plus enough of the other OT books to show the storyline. And in the NT, I only made it to the gospels of Matthew and Mark. This series of posts consists of the congregation outlines I supplied, broken down into bite-sized chunks, with some extra spices thrown in from time to time. If you are looking for the previous post, you can find it here. —Alan Burrow Ch 1-2: Creation — The Kingdom Begun — God’s Giving Love Ch 1: Broad Perspective The opening chapters of Genesis are written so simply...

Genesis — The Book of Beginnings 2
posted on: Sep 16, 2013 | author: Alan Burrow

God the Blesser.

After creating, the next thing we see God doing is blessing (Gen 1.22, 28; 2.3.) This, too, is remarkable. The God who has all blessedness in himself blesses that which is outside himself. One would think it is the creature’s duty to bless God, and so it is (Psalm 150.6). But the creature can give nothing to God except if God first gives to the creature. And still God creates and blesses. Thus we see God living out the words Jesus would tell us many years later: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20.35.)  This is not just a nice thought; this is what God did when no one was there to reciprocate. The things...

God the Blesser.
posted on: Mar 27, 2012 | author: Alan Burrow

God the Unselfish

The very first thing we see in Genesis is God creating (Gen 1.1-31). This of itself is remarkable. The God who needs nothing creates everything. What does this tell us about God? For one thing, it tells us He is unselfish. People often dream of being wealthy and powerful so they can have everything just the way they want it. And in their perfect, dream world, they are free and unencumbered from the unwanted needs and demands of others. This dream is so popular today that people increasingly choose not to marry or have children because those relationships severely stifle one’s freedom. “Needs and demands — not good!” But we see something very different with God. He creates...

God the Unselfish
posted on: Mar 26, 2012 | author: Alan Burrow

The Most Important Theme of the Bible

The opening lines of Genesis are written so simply that it is tempting to jump ahead to when the story starts jumping. But still waters can run deep, and so it is with the opening of the Bible. Much later in the story, when God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, we learn that God stretched out the creation process over six days and then rested on the seventh, so that Man would follow His example (Exo 20.8-11). Why didn’t God just tell us that in Genesis? The answer is God did tell us. He told us by what He did. Everything God does in Genesis 1-2 tells us something, not only about God’s intentions for Man and the...

The Most Important Theme of the Bible
posted on: Mar 20, 2012 | author: Alan Burrow

Folly Like Fine Wine

Joash was one of those kings who began well and ended poorly. He served God for most of his days, but turned away spectacularly at the end. (2Chron 24.1-25.) And Joash was joined on this upside-down path by his contemporaries among the leaders of Judah (2Chron 24.17-22). In that generation, it was not the young who went astray, but the old. Which goes to show that while folly is common to youth, it is not the preserve of youth. Age and success bring their own temptations. Those who avoid folly when young will have another chance when old. Some treat folly like fine wine, letting it age well before opening the bottle. Joash’s veering from the path was...

Folly Like Fine Wine
posted on: Mar 15, 2012 | author: Alan Burrow

Freedom and the Easy Yoke.

Working my way through Matthew, I recently preached on Jesus and the Law. One of the points I made there is that we need to avoid jumping at easy conclusions that fail to account for all the evidence. We don’t want to be like the well meaning constable who arrives on the crime scene, spots the suicide note, and pronounces the case solved. Speaking of evidence that must be accounted for, there is this from Hosea: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. As they called them, so they went from them; they sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to carved images. I taught Ephraim to walk, taking...

Freedom and the Easy Yoke.
posted on: Mar 1, 2012 | author: Alan Burrow

Genesis – The Book of Beginnings 1

Several years back, I preached a “Through the Bible” series consisting of one-shot sermons on the books of the Bible. I didn’t hit every book. I covered the Pentateuch plus enough of the other OT books to show the storyline. And in the NT, I only made it to the gospels of Matthew and Mark. This series of posts consists of the congregation outlines I supplied, broken down into bite-sized chunks, with a little extra sugar on top. I hope you enjoy them. -Alan Burrow Genesis: Intro, themes, and overview. Genesis is the book of beginnings, and it lives up to its name. Genesis contains in seed form everything that follows in the Bible. As we consider this...

Genesis – The Book of Beginnings 1
posted on: Oct 18, 2010 | author: Alan Burrow

Deep restoration

Job 42.7-10 Restoration for Job’s friends is when they seek God’s forgiveness and Job’s.  Restoration for Job is when he prays for his friends.  Here is deep repentance: Job’s friends not only seek forgiveness but ask Job to pray for God to forgive them.  Here is deep forgiveness: Job not only forgives his friends but prays for God to do so.  In so doing, Job anticipated the greater Job to come.  (Luke...

posted on: Oct 17, 2010 | author: Alan Burrow

Nobility, affliction, and friendship

Job 19.1-5; 29.21 – 30.1; 30.9-10. Never was Job so noble as when he was humbled in his affliction.  Yet never was he held in such low esteem by his friends.  Sometimes Christians suffer because of their sin.  Sometimes Christians (like Job) suffer because they are special to God — and He wants to make them more special.  We are often dense at telling the difference — like Job’s three friends.  There is a part of us as sinners which secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) takes pleasure in the fall of another.  Not a fall into to sin necessarily, but a fall from glory, from position and prestige.  Even if we had nothing against the person, their...

posted on: Oct 16, 2010 | author: Alan Burrow

Can a man save himself? Depends.

Can a man save himself to any degree and in any sense of the word? This certainly is one of the longest running debates of sinners and saints, scholars and ain’t. The currency of  the debate is always the same, although it can be transacted in pennies or pounds sterling. The box seats version typically involves a series of salvos over free will and total depravity, with lots of proof texts flying through the air . The cheap seats version is shorter but has more local color: “I’m not perfect, but I’m good at heart, and I do my best . . . ” (the rest of the argument is unstated but clearly implied, and it goes like...

posted on: Aug 16, 2010 | author: Alan Burrow

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