Sermons from January 2021
Deuteronomy 12 is foundational for the worship of God for the Israelites. Here God promises to set His name in a particular place, which ends up being Jerusalem in the day of David. Pastor Grasso explains the significance of this central place for the worship of God, and the way it was fulfilled in Christ, such that now, the place God has set His name is Christ through the incarnation. If you want to come to God in worship it…
It seems like the world, with its postmodern bent, is incapable of simply speaking the truth. In Matthew 5:33-37 Jesus takes up the question of speaking the truth as it relates to oaths and vows, showing the need to let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no”. Here he also critiques the Jewish idea of swearing by something other than God, which was prohibited by Moses (Deuteronomy 6:13). Pastor Grasso shows when oaths and vows are allowed in…
Today marriage is thought to be a useless institution that is nothing more than a piece of paper validating something that was already true; however, marriage is the bedrock of society and more fundamentally of the Church. In Matthew 5:31-32 Christ shows the true importance of marriage by indicating the grave sin that accompanies any unlawful divorce thus preserving the sanctity of marriage.
In Deuteronomy 11:8-32 Moses concludes his exposition of the First Commandment to have no other gods before Him. As is typical for covenant contexts, he concludes with a blessing and a curse for the people depending on their obedience. The obedience required is loving God and the blessing to be received is life with God in the land. Such an exhortation applies to all people today. You must love God in order to receive the blessing of life with God in the new heavens and new earth.
In Matthew 5:27-30 Christ addresses the sin of adultery, showing that the seventh commandment is about more than simply full blown adultery. It includes even looking on someone in lust outside of marriage. Christ then exhorts Christians to fight against all such sexual sins aggressively. This is a timely topic in light of the confusion regarding sexual sin in our culture.
In Deuteronomy 11:1-7 Moses highlights the fact that his audience have not just heard about the grace of God and His awesome works, but their own eyes have seen it. Moses teaches that this knowledge of God’s greatness and His grace actually increases the obligation to obey the law. The same holds true in the Church. The Christian’s obligation to keep the law increases as he increases in the knowledge of God. If you know the love of God, then obedience is the only correct response.
In Matthew 5:21-26 Jesus gives his authoritative interpretation of the sixth commandment. He shows that the sixth commandment regarding murder extends even to our thoughts and words. Such an interpretation shows the necessity of seeking love and reconciliation with others, especially with other Christians. Whether you are the one who sinned against another or the one who has been sinned against, it is your duty to seek love with others.
In Deuteronomy 10:12-22 Moses begins the conclusion of his long explication of Deuteronomy 6:4-5. In this passage, which reads like a sermon, Moses shows that God’s command to love Him with all of your heart, soul, and strength is not a burdensome command in light of the love God has shown in the gospel, especially as this love is the gracious love of the almighty, incomprehensibly glorious God, who condescends to love helpless sinners.
Some say that because the gospel is gracious and offers forgiveness from sins this means the law no longer plays a role in the Christian life. Does the gospel nullify the law? This was a common charge against Christ and those who followed him, namely, that what they preached undermined following Moses. Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 5:17-20 and shows that, far from undermining the law, Jesus in the gospel gives the law its full significance and shows that it is still applicable to the life of the believer.
In Deuteronomy 9:1-10:11 Moses continues to explain what loving God with all your heart, soul, and strength means. Here he addresses the question concerning why God is bringing the Israelites into the land. What do they contribute to their salvation? Ultimately, they contribute only their sin. They are not brought into the land because of their righteousness but only by the grace of God. Salvation is by grace alone. The gospel according to Moses is the same as the gospel according to Christ. As it was with the people of God in the wilderness, so it is with us. We are saved only through grace and there can be no boasting. Love for God develops as we recognize his grace in salvation apart from works.