Category Archives: Sermons/Lent

Restoration and Redemption: A Sermon on the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32

Tomorrow at Providence I will be preaching through one of the most famous texts in the New Testament Scriptures. The story in Luke 15 centers on the interaction of the father with his two sons. These interactions carry on not only a personal invitation to see a merciful God, but also a corporate picture of how God incorporates us into His covenant.

Lenten Sermon: Luke 13:31-35, The Mission and Tenderness of God (Audio)

Sermon Preached at Providence Church in Pensacola, Florida on February 24th, Lenten Season

31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Fifth Sunday in Lent: Psalm 119:9-16, Re-Shaped by the Word of God

Prayer: May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock, and our nearest Kinsman, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sermon: People of God, this morning we conclude our Lenten Study through the Psalter. We will finish our studies by looking at a section from the longest psalm in the Bible, Psalm 119. I was thinking this week that if we learned a good tune to this psalm we could spend an entire psalm-roar singing it. This would be a noble pursuit. In this giant among the psalms we see that “delight…in the law of the Lord’ which is described in Psalm 1.”[1] This psalm is in some ways an exposition; a further elaboration of Psalm 19:7, which says, “The law of Yahweh is perfect, restoring the soul: The testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple.” Continue reading Fifth Sunday in Lent: Psalm 119:9-16, Re-Shaped by the Word of God

Fourth Sunday in Lent: Psalm 107:1-9: Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so

People of God, this morning we are going to sample a little more of the Lenten journey in the Psalter by focusing on a small portion of the lengthy Psalm 107. This is a psalm of desperation.[1] It is a song of dire predicament, sincere petitions, a glorious pardon, and jubilant praise.[2] Though it specifies a variety of circumstances, this psalm does not want us to focus on the circumstances as much as it calls us to give thanks.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever! Continue reading Fourth Sunday in Lent: Psalm 107:1-9: Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so

Lenten Sermon: Psalm 19: Creation, Law, and Forgiveness

People of God, as we consider the world around us as Christians, one of the central distinctions we must keep in mind is the Creator/Creature distinction.[1] If we confuse this distinction we will enter into a very dangerous world. Though we are image bearers and though we reflect the God who created us, we are not God. Those who have attempted to bring together godhood and creature have departed from Christian orthodoxy into something darker and unnatural. The Apostle Paul saw several implications for this when he wrote in Romans that when the creature fails to worship God, they become foolish in their hearts[2] and they give themselves over to sinful desires. Continue reading Lenten Sermon: Psalm 19: Creation, Law, and Forgiveness

Second Sunday in Lent: Psalm 22:23-31

People of God, we will be journeying this Lenten Season through the Psalter. And this morning we come to Psalm 22. This is a psalm generally associated with the crucifixion of our Lord. The words of David in verse one are echoed by Jesus at the cross when he cried: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is something we must not overlook: that in the time of most turmoil, our Lord could think of nothing else, but to utter the expression of the psalmist. Of the thirteen Old Testament references made by our Lord in the Passion Week, nine of them came from the psalms. And of these nine, five of them come from our passage in Psalm 22.[1] Psalm 22 is a Lenten Psalm. It points us to the death of our Lord. We have made this point before, and it is well worth saying it again: when the New Testament points us to an Old Covenant verse, they are not isolating that verse, rather they are pointing to the entire passage. So, by uttering “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,” Jesus is saying that all of Psalm 22 speaks of his suffering; all of it manifests his agony and his triumph. The Psalm and the Passion story come together. Psalm 22 “invites us also to undertake to understand Jesus in terms of the psalm, that is, to view him through the form and language of this prayer.”[2] Continue reading Second Sunday in Lent: Psalm 22:23-31

First Sunday in Lent: Psalm 25, David’s Distress and Deliverance

People of God, this is the first Sunday in Lent. And as we enter into this season we will take a look at Psalm 25. In fact, if you plan on meditating on a biblical book this Lenten Season, I encourage you to make your way through the Psalms several times. If you have been here at Providence for at least a couple of years you may be able to sing through about 25 of those psalms.

If we were to ask ourselves what is unique about the psalms, a good way to begin answering this question is by saying that “in the law and the prophetic writings, it is God who speaks to his people; in the Psalter, we listen to the saints speaking to God.[1] It is the language of God’s people. The reason the Psalms are so inviting is because it is the language of life, of worship, and of the deathbed. Geerhardus Vos wrote the following words: “Our Lord himself found his inner life portrayed in the Psalter and in some of the highest moments of his ministry borrowed from it the language in which his soul spoke to God, thus recognizing that a more perfect language for communion with God cannot be framed.”[2]  This morning we are called to place the psalms in front of you, and see the psalms as images of a Christ-centered people.

In the 25th psalm we see a man after God’s own heart. David’s trust, his many conflicts, his great transgression, his bitter repentance, and his deep distresses are all here.”[3]  The psalmist makes painful references to the skills and cruelty of his enemies. This is the lament of David under distress, and this is his response to the unfathomable pain he is enduring. But though we are looking at only the first ten verses, it is wise to keep this psalm together. David individualizes his pain in this section, but ultimately David is speaking on behalf of the bride. David sees his distress as the distress of God’s people, Israel. We get to that in the last verse of this song: “Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.” David’s supplications are communal. As we consider this passage, do not forget that David is acting as Bride. David is us. He is the picture of redemption accomplished and applied in the midst of suffering; in the midst of grief; in divine guidance. Continue reading First Sunday in Lent: Psalm 25, David’s Distress and Deliverance

A Lenten Sermon: Martha’s Resurrection Theology in Light of Death; John 11

Audio Sermon

Sermon: You may be familiar with the great artist Giotto’s famous painting entitled The Raising of Lazarus. The painting is a sermon in and of itself. Giotto portrays Jesus as Creator when He lifts His hands in the blue sky. In this fascinating painting there are worshipers, skeptics, some with their hands in their noses because of the stench of this man who has been rotting in the tomb for four days; and when you consider this glorious painting you realize that Giotto is bringing us into this narrative. The Creator Himself in the form of man has entered into the messiness of man to make him whole; to resurrect not just Lazarus, but all of those who trust in Him.[1]

Continue reading A Lenten Sermon: Martha’s Resurrection Theology in Light of Death; John 11

Lenten Sermon; John 4:5-15: The Redemption of the Bride

Introduction: In our Gospel Lesson, the Samaritan woman is incorporated into a new community by the love of Christ, the great Bridegroom.

Prayer: May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock, and our Kinsman. Amen.

Sermon: The story of redemption is a story overflowing with poetry; its story is abundantly typological; it is adorned with the language of love; in fact, redemption is a romantic description of how Yahweh woos and draws His bride to Himself when the Bride is most undesirable, unattractive, and unlovable. Such a poetical description of this love is found in our narrative this morning. John four is one of the most profound passages in the Scriptures because the imageries, the language, and the precise and intricate wording of this narrative brings to our attention the great story of Yahweh’s love for His Bride. Continue reading Lenten Sermon; John 4:5-15: The Redemption of the Bride

Sermon: The True Temple: Light and Salvation for the World; John 3:1-17


Introduction: People of God, in our Gospel Lesson we will see that Jesus Christ will cleanse the world by dying.

Prayer: May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock, and our Kinsman. Amen.

Sermon: Every Gospel writer looks at Jesus from different perspectives.[1] The reason they do is to provide for us the full picture of who Jesus is. The gospel of St. John sees Jesus as the great Priest. It is a priestly gospel. What does a priest do? Particularly, in John’s gospel, the priest cleanses the temple.[2] The ministry of Jesus is one of tearing things apart for the sake of restoration. So, in John 2, Jesus cleanses the temple by overturning the idolatry of the temple. He overturns their tables as a sign that he is overturning their entire system. Their temple is corrupted and diseased. Jesus, as priest, has the responsibility to destroy any thing that is leprous. The temple is filled with leprosy and Jesus is beginning the process of cleansing.

The priests in the Old Covenant did the same thing. They were sufficient for that time; they were temporary cleansers; but they were not sufficient for this new era of the Kingdom. The people needed a faithful priest; a mature priest; one who communed with the Father in perfect harmony.

The reason the priest cleanses/destroys the temple is that He might become the True Temple. If the temple is corrupt and polluted by idolatry and false worship, then it no longer can serve the purpose of bringing the people close to God. Rather, now Jesus is the One we must approach to come near to God.[3] His body will be the temple offered for humanity as a gift to the Father.[4] The mission of our Lord as priest is to reconcile lost humanity to God by giving His body as a pure and spotless Lamb.[5] Everything the temple failed to offer—faithful priests, true sacrifices, pure worship—Jesus offers. Continue reading Sermon: The True Temple: Light and Salvation for the World; John 3:1-17