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Archive for the This Sunday Category


Jun 25

Zaspel on How We Come to Believe

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Quote,Recommended Link,This Sunday

In view of our Sunday evening talk and Q&A with Fred Zaspel on Romans 9, let me point you to an article Fred wrote on a similar passage — John 1:11-13.

He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

What does it mean to be born of God? How do we come to receive Him? Fred answers these and other similar questions in a methodical, progressive, and clear way. His conclusion is:

To believe in Christ unto salvation requires much more than anything human life can produce. It is not a matter of ridding ourselves of our worst habits. It is not a matter of moral improvement. It requires such a drastic, such a thorough-going transformation that it cannot be brought about by anything we do or will. It is not a matter of human excellence; it is a matter of divine grace.

And so the Biblical writers are careful to tell us not only that “it is not of him that wills or of him that runs,” but also that “it is of God who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:16). They tell us not only that we must believe, but that “God works within us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). They tell us not only that we cannot do anything to birth ourselves into God’s family but also that God in Christ and by His Spirit does for us what we would not and could not do ourselves. They tell us that those who savingly confess Christ do so only “by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). True confession of faith in Christ is something that is entirely beyond us until we are so enabled by God the Spirit.

In other words, all this comes down to that one big word which we find everywhere in the Bible, and that word is grace. Salvation comes to us entirely from God’s side. “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). It is His doing for us not because of us or even with us. It is His doing for us and in us. It is all a work of His grace; it all stems from His loving kindness.

Read the whole article to see how he comes to these conclusions from the passage itself. Some great, helpful, grace-glorifying stuff!

And we hope to see you Sunday. Fred will be preaching from Job in our Sunday AM services and, again, on Romans 9 that evening.

May 15

Riches + Righteousness = Sadness

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Funny,This Sunday

That’s what Jesus says in this Sunday’s passage, Luke 18:18-30 — the story of the rich, young ruler. Despite his riches and religious accolades, the story ends with the man going away sad, confused, and lost. Jesus then tells the disciples that rich people getting saved is about as easy as shoving a fat camel through the eye of a needle.

Invite a friend this Sunday as we talk about how God does the impossible.

Camel > Needle

Mar 31

Chronological Reading of Passion Week

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Sermon Follow-Up,This Sunday

I know it’s the middle, and not the beginning, of Passion Week, but if you’re still looking for some guidance on where to read to follow the passion narrative, the below might help.

Tonight (Wednesday, 6:30PM), we meet together for our monthly Lord’s Supper. We’ll read, think, and pray about the events that happened on Thursday of the Passion Week. (Sorry if it’s confusing to talk about Thursday on Wednesday, but I think it’ll be best for us to think about the first Lord’s Supper at our usual Lord’s Supper service.) Hope to see you tonight, as well as Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.

Saturday Arrival in Bethany, Anointed by Mary John 11:55-12:8
Sunday Crowd came to see Jesus John 12:9-11
Monday Triumphal Entry Matthew 21:1-17; Luke 19:39-44
Tuesday Cleansing of Temple, Fig Tree Cursed Mark 11:12-26
Wednesday Temple Controversy, Olivet Discourse Matthew 21:23-25:46
Thursday Last Supper, Betrayal, Trial Before Annas and Caiaphas Luke 22:7-65; John 13:1-38, 18:2-27
Friday Trials; Crucified and Buried Matthew 27:1-60; John 18:28-19:42
Saturday Dead in Tomb
Sunday Resurrected Matthew 28:1-15; Luke 24:1-35

– Adapted from Harold W. Hoehner, “Chronology,” Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, p. 120.

Mar 25

Passion Week Messages

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Sermons,This Sunday

Starting with Palm Sunday, this coming Sunday, we begin what is historically known as Passion Week. It is a remembrance of the passion of Christ in the week leading up to his death and resurrection. This year we have a unique opportunity to do this as a church, because our monthly Lord’s Supper falls on this week. In other words, we have an extra service in the middle of the Passion Week to help walk ourselves through the narrative: the triumphal entry, the cleansing of the Temple, the Passover/Last Supper, the betrayal and trial, the crucifixion and death, and the resurrection. Yes, it makes for a busy week with services on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, but let’s see that as a helpful opportunity…and not at all as drudgery.

We’ll stay in our Luke series through it all (jumping ahead a bit for the next week or so, and then back to chapter 18 to finish the book). So the schedule and Scripture references for the next week look like this:

– 3/28, Palm Sunday (9:00 and 10:45AM) – The Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-44)

– 3/31, Wednesday Lord’s Supper (6:30PM) – The Passover Meal (Luke 22:1-38)

– 4/2, Good Friday (6:30PM) – The Trial and Crucifixion (Luke 22:39 – 23:56)

– 4/4, Easter Sunday (7:30, 9:00, and 10:45AM) – The Resurrection (Luke 24)

Hope you’ll invite a friend (or more) to one of these (or more). Pray that God would meet with us in power, truth, glory, and love as he spreads the aroma of death and the aroma of life (2 Cor 2) in and through us.

Mar 20

Jesus is Coming this Sunday

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: This Sunday

No, that’s not a prediction; it’s just a note on the topic for this Sunday’s message in Luke. We’ll look at two different passages, because, though they’re separated by a few chapters, they talk about the same thing: When will the kingdom come? When is the end? When will Jesus return?

Especially because this is a thorny issue, and because the passages are a bit longer than most week’s, please take time to read through, maybe even pray through, the two passages for this Sunday: Luke 17:20-37 and 21:15-36.

Looking forward to praying, singing, studying, and communing with the body at Desert Springs. May God do his work and get his glory!