Sermons on Means of Grace
1 Samuel 4:1-11
In 1 Samuel 4:1-11 the people of God are defeated at Aphek. After the defeat, they bring the ark of God to the battle and believe they will win merely because the ark is with them. This, however, does not help them and they are once again defeated. What are we to learn from this? God’s people ought to trust in the God of the ark rather than the ark of God.
In Hebrews 13:7-16 the author explains that christians ought to obey their leaders rather than be led away after the false teachings of others who emphasize an earthly altar. The passage is a reminder that our faith focuses on the world to come rather than this one.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 is a very important text for understanding the relationship between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Pastor Grasso explains the similarities and differences between the two as given in Hebrews 8 and other parts of the New Testament, showing that the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old, that the way of salvation was fundamentally the same between the two, and that the New is superior in terms of efficacy.
In Hebrews 8:2 the author speaks of Christ as the priest of the true tabernacle, pitched by God, not man. The tabernacle and the temple were instituted by God but constructed by man. The Old Testament speaks of a time when God himself would construct a house for his name and bring His people to dwell with Him there. Christ is the priest of this new tabernacle, serving in heaven itself.
In Hebrews 4:14-16 the author, summarizing his exhortations to this point, calls up on Christians to hold fast to their confession of faith and to approach the throne of grace with confidence. All of this in light of the glory of our great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus Christ, who is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses.
In Hebrews 4:12-13, the author concludes the great exhortation begun in 3:7. Do not harden yourself when you hear the Word of God because the Word of God is living and active, it pierces to the deepest part of you, and is able to judge everything about you. This is true because God is the one who speaks this Word. He is the judge of all the earth, whom you cannot escape, and the one to whom you must give…
In Matthew 11:16-19 Jesus describes the generation that is rejecting him. He describes them as children sitting in a marketplace and demanding that others dance and mourn according to their whims. It is a picture of a generation that seeks to demand God conform to them rather than be conformed to the image of Christ. This caused the people to complain about John being overly strict with what he eats and drinks and to complain about Jesus that he was…
In Matthew 11:1-6, Matthew begins recording responses to Christ’s ministry (chs. 11-12). Here, surprisingly, John the Baptist sends messengers from prison to ask Jesus if he really is “the coming one”. Jesus responds to John’s doubts by pointing John to Scripture, while showing him that he is the fulfillment of it, and by pronouncing a blessing on all those who remain true to him. God has provided these means to help doubting saints in every age.
In today’s world masculine virtues and male leadership is derided and rejected. What was required for transitioning from Moses’s leadership to Joshua’s? Moses gives the answer in Deuteronomy 31:1-13: Strength and courage. Masculine strength and courage that the world has forgotten. Courage rooted in faith, upheld by the Word of God.
Deuteronomy 30:1-10 (Part 4)
In Deuteronomy 30:6 Moses prophesies that God will circumcise the hearts of his people. By speaking of this inward circumcision that God will sovereignly accomplish, Moses distinguishes between outward circumcision, which all the Jews received, from inward circumcision, which God gives through Christ. Baptism, the new circumcision, has the same outward/inward dichotomy. The Scriptures teach us to look to God to grant the new heart sovereignly, rather than placing our hope merely in the outward sign as the Catholics and…
Deuteronomy 30:1-10 (Part 1)
In Deuteronomy 30:1-10 Moses speaks to the people of God about the day when they will be brought back from exile. When this happens God will circumcise their hearts. Throughout Old Testament history the people of God constantly turn away from him, but Moses promises a day when God will sovereignly put faithfulness into the hearts of his people. This passage becomes the foundation for much of what the prophets say and is foundational for the message of the bible.…
In Deuteronomy 27:1-10 Moses gives instructions concerning the covenant ceremony to take place after the people of God cross the Jordan. There are two things highlighted in this ceremony: the public inscription of the Word of God and the offering of sacrifice. These two, the Word of God and sacrifice, are highlighted by Moses to show the vital nature of each in order to have a covenant relationship with God.