After a few months’ hiatus, we returned to Deuteronomy this past Sunday, September 11 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. Just as God gave the Promised Land to the people of Israel, so he’s given us our space here in downtown. We are here so God can through us bless the city of Charleston. Deuteronomy 27 begins the fourth section of this book that confirms the covenant that God makes with his people. When thinking about God and His Covenant, we must remember it’s set in His love and grace. Our response to the grace of the Lord is sacrifice and joy. God is at work restoring and redeeming this world and his people through Christ, giving us a new narrative. Listen to the whole sermon here.
On Sunday, February 21 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, our senior pastor continued our Deuteronomy sermon series with Deuteronomy 26:11-19. The week before in the first part of chapter 26 we left God’s People worshiping and bowing before the Lord, giving their best of the harvest to the Lord. In their posture of worship, we see that worship changes us–but changes us into what?
We examined three changes that occur as a result of worship and our being worshipers: We become people of joy; we become people who give to those in need; and we become people of commitment. Listen to the whole sermon here.
Craig opened up his Valentine’s Day sermon focusing on the unlikely love match between sinful humans and a holy God. What do we owe a God who orchestrated this relationship to provide us with eternal life? Deuteronomy 26:1-11 delves into the appropriate way to worship. God explains to the worshipers exactly how to approach the Throne, giving their first fruits and reciting the story of God’s 180-transformation in their lives to continually remember the good things the Lord has done. Practically, this instruction reveals to us the purpose of our daily work, which is to create something to give back to God, not to provide for ourselves. God provides for us—daily and eternally. It’s our reasonable service to worship Him for all He has done. Listen to the whole sermon here.
From this week’s passage in Deuteronomy 26:17-19, Pastor Craig expounds on the unchanging nature of our just and loving God. As His imperfect children, we often try to fit God into a box, or call Him to prove Himself over and over and over to us when we encounter parts of His nature we don’t understand. For example, how do we reconcile this passage that seems vengeful? By finding the heart of it—God’s judgments are for the good of His people. He knows our sinful selves better than we can even imagine, and because sin is a tireless, relentless enemy that attacks us when we are weak, vulnerable, and lagging behind, we must trust His fatherly judgments and love to see us through our daily lives. Listen to the whole sermon here.
In our continuing Deuteronomy sermon series at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, this past Sunday, January 31 brought an “embarrassing” section in chapter 25, verses 11-12. Though our society may look down on propriety, decorum, and modesty, we see from God’s law that modesty is important.
Modesty is not a sign of repression but of redemption and renewal.
Then our senior pastor moved on to Deuteronomy 25:13-16 and talked about living with integrity, which is doing what’s right when no one is looking. He showed us how Jesus lived a life of integrity even though it caused him pain and suffering. We too much be people of integrity–ever in need of the work of the Spirit. He challenged us: How are we living toward the goal of living with integrity? Listen to the whole sermon here.
Until I came to Redeemer, Deuteronomy had been one of those books that I often skipped over in my Scripture reading. It was difficult on my own to understand what all of the archaic rules and family lineages meant. However, every Deuteronomy sermon for the past two years (has it really been two years?!) has revealed the heart of God in the most obscure of laws. This past Sunday, Craig preached about Deuteronomy 25:4-10, a passage that requires the Israelites to avoid muzzling an ox and the men to marry their brother’s widows (if they have no sons) to carry on the brother’s family name. What is a modern American Christian in Charleston—who owns no oxen and who probably wouldn’t marry his sister-in-law—to do with these commands? Each law present in Deuteronomy grants an overarching idea about how Christians should behave and a revelation of God’s character. Craig demonstrates how Deuteronomy 25 reflects God’s love for his creation as well as his intention to remember, restore, and preserve His people. Listen to the whole sermon here.
As we returned to our Deuteronomy sermon series this past Sunday, January 17, our senior pastor led us through the first three verses of Deuteronomy 25, where we see how justice is to be carried out among God’s people. God is just and desires for his people to be just. God has entrusted his world, his name, his gospel, and his message to us: How well are we keeping this trust? How accurately are we portraying our just God?
Where there is injustice in the world, it cannot be laid at the feet of God.
We see God call the accused in verse 3 “brother,” meaning his punishment should lead to his restoration in the covenant community. The purpose of God’s justice is repentance, redemption, restoration. We are all guilty, and the guilty must be punished–that’s the beauty of the cross! Jesus took our punishment to satisfy God’s justice. Listen to the whole sermon here.
Perception is reality and, therefore, it comprises so much of our lives—who we are, the friends we keep, the choices we make. This week, Pastor Craig poses the questions, “What is your perception of God? How can you rightly perceive who God is?” It is only through the lens of a correct perception of God that we can begin to perceive ourselves and our purpose. Such an understanding of the Lord leads us to live our lives in love and obedience to Him, whether we are those who have plenty or those who are needy. This passage in Deuteronomy also reminds us that no matter where we fall in the spectrum between needy and prosperous–God always provides. For what do we have that God hasn’t given us? He asked for no collateral from us before He sent his Son from heaven to save us from our sin. Our perception should be the reality of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. Listen to the whole sermon here.
Take a moment from your day to listen to Craig reveal (through Deuteronomy 23:17-25) how we can live well in the land the Lord has given us. Verses 17 and 18 reveal God’s displeasure with an offering of money earned by prostitution. It would be easy for modern-day Christians to gloss over this verse, touting that we are not prostitutes and that we earn our money in more respectable ways. However, this passage reveals God’s concern with his people’s everyday lives. He’s not merely interested in what we do on Sunday morning (such as bringing an offering). He’s interested in how we live Monday through Saturday. Bonus? Craig also unpacks the idea of the aseity of God, which is the notion that God exists wholly in himself, needing absolutely nothing from man. How much sweeter does this realization make the Gospel?
The purity of worshiping God is something that we, as sinners, often neglect in preference to a worship that entertains or makes us feel good. In this week’s sermon, Pastor Craig reads from Deuteronomy 23:1-14, which emphasizes what, at first, might sound like archaic practices and harsh rules about how to live our lives well and be worshipful people. But from this passage, we learn yet another truth of God’s endless and undying love for us. The Lord seeks to protect His people from corruption of sin that creeps in under the guise of something fresh or new. It is vital for us, as God’s children, to be mindful and prayerful about what those things are. The worshiping community, both then and now, is a holy and crucial part of our relationship with God, and, as Pastor Craig points out, if He has no standard of holiness for those who worship Him, then who needs Jesus? Listen to the whole sermon here.