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

Gospel-Empowered Observance Of Lent

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

Millions of Christians the world over plunged into the season of Lent this week. Beginning with the imposition of ashes as a reminder of our mortality and frailty up to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning, Lent is a season of penitence, fasting, and humble reflection. As with any spiritual discipline, there is a gospel-empowered way to observe Lent and an anti-gospel way to observe the season. At its core, Lent is a time for fasting. As a physical discipline of self-denial, fasting trains our hearts to long for and treasure Christ above all things. It also leads us to deeper repentance of sin, as we reflect on the affliction caused by the self-denial. Jesus speaks about the right and wrong way to fast in Matthew 6:... Keep Reading

What's the Big Deal with Angels?

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

The writer to the Hebrews opens his letter with an unusual statement: Jesus is “much superior to angels” (1:4). I say this is unusual because we do not think of angels much (at least I don’t) and don’t feel the weight of this comparison. Why was it so important for the writer to emphasize the superiority of Christ over angels? How does this impact us? There are several places in the New Testament that we receive a glimpse into the esteem 1st century Jews had for angels. Stephen speaks about angels in his sermon before the Jewish leaders in Acts 7. He says, “This is the one (Moses) who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai…” (v. 38). An angel was speaking with Moses at Sinai.... Keep Reading

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