The Vital Importance of Knowledge

April 26, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This is part two in a multi-part series on Peter’s “road map” he gives for gospel growth in 2 Peter 1. Like many of you, I long to be effective and fruitful, especially in my spiritual life. Peter promises in the midst of this chapter, “if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful…” My interest is peaked. Let’s discover together Peter’s path of gospel growth. A few weeks ago, I introduced this new series by giving a brief overview of what I called Peter’s roadmap for gospel growth. We find in 2 Peter 1 that there is a path toward spiritual maturity which includes a starting point, an end point or goal, and specific means to make progress on that path. In the middle of this passage, Peter lists various qualities that are essential to gospel growth. Before we look closely at those qualities in the weeks to come, I want to focus on one more preliminary matter in this passage. The significance of “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” The Greek word for knowledge, epignosis, is used three times in this passage (the “knowledge” mentioned in verses 5 and 6 is a different Greek word; we’ll discuss that knowledge when we work through the list of qualities). Let’s consider each of these uses. ... Keep Reading

Youth as Members of the Body

April 19, 2018 | by: Stephen Sprague | 0 Comments

The Church as the Body of Christ One of the aspects of Paul’s writings that has fascinated me over the last few months is his writing on the body of Christ as being just that, a body. I’m sure this is a concept of Paul’s writing that many of us are familiar with, right? Each one of us is like a body part. Without a hand a body cannot function up to its peak ability. Or with a hand but without the rest of the arm a body simply has a hand attached to a shoulder (assuming the shoulder’s still intact) and that is certainly not the most ideal way to go about living. Paul uses this analogy to talk about the equal importance of each person in the church ... Keep Reading

It Takes a Community to Exhort One Another

April 12, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This past Sunday we listened to the warning of the author of Hebrews about the weakness of the human heart and the strength of sin. It’s a somber and humbling warning about our situation. But the author does not leave us without hope. He also speaks about how the power of the gospel rescues us from the dire consequences of a hardened heart. One of the avenues that God extends the power of the gospel to his people is through the command, “Exhort one another every day.” The church community is one of God’s means of grace to guard his people from the “deceitfulness of sin.” I didn’t have time on Sunday to explore the implications of this command for our church community. Let’s do that here.... Keep Reading

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A Road Map for Gospel Growth

April 5, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This is part one in a multi-part series on Peter’s “road map” he gives for gospel growth in 2 Peter 1. Like many of you, I long to be effective and fruitful, especially in my spiritual life. Peter promises in the midst of this chapter, “if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful…” My interest is peaked. Let’s discover together Peter’s path of gospel growth. It would be very unwise to embark on a road trip without some sort of plan. Where are we going? What roads or route will we take? How are we going to manage to get there (enough fuel? pit stops needed? etc.)? Why are we going in the first place? If we don’t have these questions clearly answered, we will either end up not going or getting lost on the way or turning back or becoming distracted by alternative destinations. ... Keep Reading

Consider Jesus

March 29, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

It’s Holy Week. Nearly one third of the Gospel writers’ material is focused on this single week in the life of Jesus. And appropriately so. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the centerpiece of the Good News! Jesus and his atoning work on the cross are naturally the focus of this week. Or, are they? In creep eggs, chocolate, bunnies, fancy dresses and suits, baskets, ham roasts, and all of the extra fixin’s of the annual holiday. ... Keep Reading

Amending the Offense of Sin

March 22, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

One of the most panic-ridden, infuriating moments of our parenting career was when one of our sons thought he should give our daughter a haircut. It was her first haircut. It was his first administration of a haircut. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well. There were (at least) three offenses from this ill-advised haircut that needed to be rectified. One, my cute two-year-old daughter had a not-so-cute hair style. Two, my loving, patient, easy-going wife was not so happy with our son. Three, my young and curious son needed proper scissor training. The first offense could only be fixed with time. It took over a year for her hair to grow out and become even with the rest of her hair. The second offense took a little more intentional effort to take care of. Trustworthiness with scissors was broken and needed to be rebuilt. My wife’s expectations for two-year-old daughter pictures needed to be tempered. The third area involved pressing the seriousness of the offense upon my son.... Keep Reading

Who is Your Victor?

March 15, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

While Hebrews 2 is not a personal account of failings and struggles with sin and temptation like Romans 7, it affirms their reality. Shame (v. 11). Tyranny of the devil (v. 14). Fear of death (v. 15). Lifelong slavery (v. 15). Sin and temptation (v. 17-18). These are the deeply rooted issues of the heart that have plagued humankind since Adam and Eve. Envy, despair, guilt, hatred, gluttony, murderous thoughts, lust, all result from our lifelong slavery to sin, death, and the devil. The list can go on and on. Paul spoke about stumbling into unwanted sin (Rom. 7:19). Peter denied Jesus (Lk. 22:57). David lusted after a woman married to another man (2 Sam. 11:2). Moses angrily struck the rock (Num. 20:10-12). Abram lied about his wife to save his own neck (Gen. 12:13). Cain killed his own brother (Gen. 4:8).... Keep Reading

The Dignity of Man in the Suffering of Christ

March 8, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

While he was pondering the vastness of God’s creation, the Old Testament poet, David, exclaimed, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8:4). David is not complaining. He is marveling at how God esteems humans. “A little lower than the heavenly beings… crowned him with glory and honor… dominion over the works of your hands… all things under his feet” (v. 5-6). Psalm 8 is a celebration of the dignity of humankind, having been created in the image of God.... Keep Reading

Preaching is Less About Me

March 1, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend the 9Marks Conference on Preaching, hosted at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was a refreshing time to be encouraged in the high calling of preaching by the likes of Mark Dever, Jason Allen, and David Helm. One sentence has stuck with me this week, more than the many other great statements. David Helm, a pastor with Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, said, “Expositors are known more for their convictions than their abilities.” This statement is striking because we live in a culture that celebrates, even idolizes, gifts, abilities, skills, human accomplishments, and achievements. But the more I have pondered Helm’s statement, the more I realize how important this sentence is not only for preachers, but also for congregations. It’s not merely a statement of fact, but a vision for preaching. Here’s what I mean… ... Keep Reading

Looking for a Good Word?

February 22, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

My three older sons are competing at a speech and debate tournament this week. We have spent many hours working on each of their ten-minute speeches, evaluating the best words and best presentation to use to communicate their message. Good speeches do more than communicate information; they make an impact. Words have power. Ever since God used words to speak all of creation into existence, speech has been a powerful tool. Words create, define, interpret, and explain everything around us. The Gospel is a message, words about specific events and facts in history, that deeply transforms lives when received. God makes us new creations through hearing words about Christ’s death and resurrection.... Keep Reading

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