Two Persons, Two Responses

Matthew’s Gospel begins with the story of the Old Testament. We don’t ┬áreally see this today when we read those first 17 verses of chapter 1. Eesh!! Names!! But Matthew is communicating that this is the continuation of the story.

The account quickly moves into the birth of God’s Messiah-King and into the beginning proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom.

Then, the rest of the Gospel gives us God’s Messiah-King, Jesus, teaching us the ways of the kingdom and displaying the power of the kingdom.

The first major teaching section is known by the title the Sermon on the Mount. This might be one whole setting or a collection of settings put together in one ‘sermon’ (or homily) format. But what we find in Matthew chs.5-7 is foundational to what it means to live out the rule of God, not just as individuals, but as a whole people of the kingdom.

‘You’ve heard it said……., but this is really and centrally what it means to live in accordance with God’s rule and reign on earth as it is in heaven.’

And Jesus ends out by comparing two types of people in Matt 7. A well-known passage, no doubt. I think the comparison actually extends not just from vs24-27, but from vs15-27. And, at the end of it all (vs28-29), the people are taken aback by the authority by which God’s Messiah is teaching. They’ve never heard such before. This is something different from the status quo.

Maybe they ought to get used to responding that way when they hear Jesus teach and see Jesus display God’s power. Continue reading

The Priority of the Kingdom

Last week on my blog, I posted my sermon teaching from Cornerstone. I had specifically started a series on the kingdom of God and began by looking at how the gospel and the kingdom rule of God are very intricately connected. You can click the link to hear and/or read my message notes.

So this week, I do the same by posting the audio and message notes below. I continued on in the series by looking at 4 pointers to the priority of the kingdom. And, yes, the kingdom even takes priority over church, God’s ekklesia. Continue reading

Why Do We Run & Jump to Paul?

So I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about the gospel these days. And I know I need to post part 3 of my series on evangelism soon (part 1 is here; part 2 is here).

Surrounding this whole discussion, I believe there is a serious question we all need to ask ourselves concerning the gospel:

Why is it that we so easily run and jump to Paul’s writings rather than starting with Christ and the Gospels (or we could even ask about starting from the creation)? Continue reading

The King Jesus Gospel

As I recently made known, we started up a series on the kingdom of God at Cornerstone this past Sunday (the audio and notes can be found at this link). And, though I had originally planned to purchase and read Scot McKnight’s newest release, The King Jesus Gospel, I had thought I would do it at some point down the road. Yet I decided to go ahead and get the book this week, believing it would be able to give some more insight into the gospel of the kingdom as I prepared my messages.

Hence, this week I purchased the book and have read about a third of it so far. The reason I held back at first is that, from what I can tell by reading other’s blogs about some of the book’s central points, I believe I was already on a similar page to McKnight. And I reckoned a lot of what he says has already been addressed by such New Testament studies pillars as N.T. Wright and George Ladd.

But, again, noting my recent preaching series that has begun, and also knowing I really like McKnight’s approaches to biblical studies and theology, I decided to purchase the book sooner rather than later. It has proved a good and stirring read thus far. Continue reading

The Gospel of the Kingdom

If you follow my blog, you will note that I recently began a series on evangelism and the gospel. This past Sunday, I also began a series at Cornerstone on the kingdom of God, or the gospel of the kingdom.

If you would like, you can listen to my message on the gospel of the kingdom, as well as see my notes, as I have embedded both here in this post. This is not too unlike my second post in my series on evangelism. You can also download the message from iTunes. Continue reading