Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 25, 2011 | John Bayles | Go Into All The World: An Obedient Passion (2 Corinthians 5:14-6:1)

In a time of trial and suffering, the Apostle Paul writes to the Church in Corinth for a third time. In his first two letters, he invested a great deal of time seeking to draw back these new Christians from the brink of the disaster of trying to live as if all the benefits of the resurrection of the Lord had already taken place. The result of this over-realized eschatology (or view of the end) had plummeted the church into unhealthy and ungodly practices of denying the propriety of the marriage covenant and engaging in disruptive and disturbing worship practices more identified with pagans. They had become tangled up in a degrading of marriage, a hyper indulgent view of sexuality, the wholesale speaking in tongues in the guise of being "like the angels", and dishonoring the communion table by drunkenness and gluttony.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18, 2011 | John Bayles | The End Is Near (Malachi 4:4-6)

In this last sermon in the series, Malachi leaves the tact of pressing disputes against Israel and turns to the making of two amazing announcements. The first is that Israel must not lose her tether to the historic law of God. Identity and calling were directly and indelibly tied to the Law of Moses and the historic epiphany through which the ten commandments came from Mt. Sinai. To lose their relationship to the law would be to lose their relationship to God Himself.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011 | John Bayles | The Sixth Dispute: A Lawless People (Malachi 3:13-4:4)

In this last dispute Malachi returns to an issue that stems from the continued degrading of the Nation of Israel with Yahweh. In this instance they have ceased to function as the people of the covenant. They have drifted from the rule of law and developed a standard of their own. Injustice and lawlessness is the result. Because the law is a direct reflection of His nature and character, a rejection of it is a rejection of God himself. This the core of the dispute: they have taken unto themselves a law that is self-promoting arrogance, a redefinition of right and wrong, and even holding this standard as better than the Mosaic revelation.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 4, 2011 | John Bayles | The Fifth Dispute: Return To Me! (Malachi 3:6-12)

Imagine the living God, the Eternal One, the Holy One, the One who created and sustains the universe, the loving, redeeming, and restoring Almighty who created man and draws him into personal fellowship. If we have difficulty appreciating this sentence, then we may very well have some of the same challenges that Malachi found in the nation of Israel. They had lost the understanding of the nature of their God and they had forgotten that He was both loving and just. They had come to think that God was an idea shaped by their personal liking and that He would not hold them responsible to His holy standards.