• The Character of a Christian

    I have been preaching through the Sermon on the Mount at Resolved and I this week I am preaching on Matthew 5:38-48. In my preparation I came across this quote which perfectly summarizes the character Christians should have.

    Jesus’ disciples should be people of such integrity of character and truthfulness of heart that whatever they say is absolutely believable and dependable. A person of integrity is one who in daily conversation is so truthful, dependable, genuine, guileless and reliable that his or her words are believed without an oath.

    Michael J Wilkins, Matthew: NIV Application Commentary, pgs 247-248

    How do you think we get that type of character?

  • The true nature of marriage

    I love being married to my wife and this quote by Don Carson encouraged me to continue to love her as Christ loves the Church:

    In God’s Word, marriage and love are for the tough minded. Marriage is a commitment; and, far from backing out when the going gets tough, marriage partners are to sort out their difficulties in the light of scripture. They are to hang in there, improving their relationship, working away at it, precisely because they have vowed before God and man to live together and love each other for better,m for worse, for richer, for poorer in sickness as in health, until death separates them. Love is the determined commitment to seek the other’s good, to cherish, shelter, nurture, edify, and show patience with one’s partner. And this commitment, worked out because of deep-rooted obedience to God, brings with it the emotional and sentimental aspects of love as well.

    D.A Carson, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World. Pg. 49

    What do you find challenging/encouraging about this quote?

  • How to talk with a Christian who wants a divorce

    This Sunday at Resolved I am preaching on Matthew 5:27-32  where Jesus talks about lust and divorce. I am nervous to be speaking on such important and potentially painful topics. I have never preached on divorce before and have been reading widely on it this week. In my reading I found this brilliant piece of pastoral wisdom from John Stott about speaking with someone who wants to get divorced:

    “So, speaking personally as a Christian pastor, whenever somebody asks to speak to me about divorce, I have now for some years steadfastly refused to do so. I have made the rule never to speak with anybody about divorce, until I ahve first spoken to them with him (or her) about two other subjects, namely marriage and reconciliation. Sometimes a discussion on these topics makes a discussion on the other unnecessary. At the very least, it is only when a person has understood and accepted God’s view of marriage and God’s call to reconciliation that a possible context has been created within which one may regretfully go on to talk about divorce. This principle of pastoral priorities is, I believe, consistent with the teaching of Jesus.” 

    John R.W. Stott, The Message of The Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5-7 pgs.98-99

    What do you think? Is he right? Would you follow his advice?