In his sermon this past Sunday, January 22 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, Pastor Craig emphasizes that there are some truths that are so pervasive in Scripture, some truths that are so important to us and our lives as Christians, that we must never take our eyes off of them. Deuteronomy 30:1-10 exemplifies one such truth—a truth that is not only vital to our lives and our church, but also to the lives of those around us and our community. We must. We cannot. But we shall, through Christ. With this truth, we see that God, knowing that His people will sin so radically and so pervasively, establishes a way for our redemption. That redemption is only found in Christ. In Deuteronomy 30:6, specifically, God promises to do for us what we must do, but cannot do for ourselves, and in that promise we can and must dwell always. Listen to the whole sermon.
In Deuteronomy 30:1-10 as Moses is speaking to Israelites, he is letting them know three things about God and their future in the Promised Land. One, God knows all and is always in control. Two, God will always fulfill his promises, whether they are blessings or curses. Three, God desires his people to follow him with their whole hearts and minds.
As Pastor Craig taught us on Sunday, January 15, God knew the Israelites would wander from him and sin against their God, even to the point of building altars and idols in the temple of God! As a result of their future disobedience, Moses told the Israelites that they would be dispersed among nations. Imagine, they had not even entered the Promised Land and here Moses was communicating from God already about their being exiled!
Yet, God’s grace was also demonstrated. In this passage God, in his infinite wisdom and grace, was speaking to them words of reassurance, which would ring true in their ears after their betrayals. In this passage Moses says that when they return to the Lord, “the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back” (v4). In verse 10, Moses also says to the Israelites that “The LORD will again delight in you…if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Today it is important for us to acknowledge another aspect of God, which is that he does not change. God still desires us to turn to him with all our whole heart and soul after disobedience and sin and to obey him once again; and just like he did with the Israelites, He will always show us grace and mercy and bring us home to him. Listen to the whole sermon here.
On Christmas Day at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, our senior pastor finished our Advent sermon series in Matthew’s Gospel. While Luke gives the nativity scene, the shepherds, and the innkeeper, we see that Matthew’s account gives no sentimentality–just the sovereignty of God. Listen to the whole sermon here.
Our Advent 2016 series began at the end of November and continued this past Sunday, December 4 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. Senior pastor Craig Bailey continued in Matthew 1 focusing on the genealogy of Jesus this week. We find four women mentioned in the genealogy, which would have surprised Matthew’s original audience. Not only were these women mentioned as part of Jesus’ genealogy, but most were Gentile women and had questionable morals and standing in their communities. In the midst of human dysfunction and manipulation, God’s grace shines through upon his people. Listen to the whole sermon here.
Our senior pastor continued in Deuteronomy 29 this past Sunday, November 20 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, as we looked at the commitment to the covenant that God requires of us. Both publicly and privately, we should seek to honor God–not living lives of “spiritual schizophrenia” as “nominal Christians.” What do we do when no one will know? We should seek to have truth in our innermost being, so our outward commitments match our inner lives. For when we’re in the secret place with God, then He’ll radiate from us just as Moses’ face shone after he’d been with God. Listen to the whole sermon.
This past Sunday, November 13 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we looked into God’s Holy Word in Deuteronomy 29:16-18 and heard what Moses told the Israelites about the importance of community. Just as they were poised to enter the Promised Land on the plains of Moab, Moses not only felt it important to instruct about community but also about accountability to each other individually and collectively. Although the concept of community is really quite simple–a group of people coming together with shared interests, attitudes, and goals–this community of people was inherently different from all others around them at the time. They were the community God’s chosen people whom He rescued out of Egypt. They were to be a new nation, serving Him alone, seeking Him first always. Yet, as the Israelites were traveling through other nations, they were seeing gods made of silver and gold, seeing nations that had wealth and abundance as they were wandering in the desert with no land of their own. It is at this point that Moses warns them to keep each other accountable to the one true God and not be swayed away by other gods that may look alluring but are false and detestable, and ultimately lead to disaster. And the same applies today. Do we love each other enough to keep others in the community from serving false gods? Do we, as believers, really hold each other accountable or do we believe that small sins are okay? Or do we allow ourselves to believe the lie that “people in the church will think we are awful if they know the truth of what we really think or feel”? Just as Moses warned the Israelites to not be swayed and to help others keep their heart to God, we need to do the same today. By prayerfully being aware for ourselves and each other, then we are in true community and then we can experience true community in Christ. Listen to the whole sermon here.
From our passage on Sunday, November 6 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we see Moses give the most inclusive list of the covenant community anywhere in the Bible. Deuteronomy 29:9-15 includes high officials, lowly servants, internationals, and others who are all standing together on the plains of Moab about to enter the Promised Land. God’s Family is a mosaic with lots of colors and shapes, but the Pharisees wanted and worked toward a homogeneous, monochromatic picture. When Jesus began his ministry, he worked to radically reform: in the disciples he chose, whom he invited to his table, and whom he allowed in the temple. The Pharisees excluded but Jesus included–the sick, lame, tax collectors, and sinners. The grace of God is for all kinds of people: That’s the message of Moab, and that’s the message of the cross. Listen to the whole sermon here.
On Sunday, October 23 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, our senior pastor continued in Deuteronomy 29 with his latest sermon series. We looked specifically at why God’s People were sitting on the plains of Moab and not already enjoying the Promised Land. Though they had seen God overcome every obstacle–slavery in Egypt, impassable Red Sea, impending army, hunger and thirst in the desert, and so much more, the Israelites still needed true sight to be able to look beyond circumstances like giants in the Promised Land to trust God. Since they lacked faith, they’re not enjoying the Promised Land yet. There are consequences for our spiritual health including consequences for our city and our community: Because of the Israelites spiritual blindness, God used 40 years of wandering in the desert to teach them faith.
So we must ask ourselves: What blessings are we being denied because of our spiritual blindness? As verse 29 implies, we must focus on what God has given to us and revealed to us. We aren’t required to know the future or to manipulate it; we must live our lives according to what’s been revealed. This is our moment as we’re less than two weeks away from an election. Let not future generations look back on us and ask: Facing an unknown future, why were Christians so faithless in 2016? Listen to the whole sermon here.
At Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we rejoiced to be back together this past Sunday, October 16 after Hurricane Matthew kept us from gathering the Sunday prior. Our senior pastor preached from Deuteronomy 29:1-15, and we see Moses renewing the covenant with the people–the same covenant and same material we’ve seen in various other chapters throughout Deuteronomy. Why is Moses repeating these truths again? Our pastor shared two reasons: God’s people are blessed to retell the story, and the covenant is always contemporary. Listen to the whole sermon here.
The phrase “that really offends me” begins many arguments and disagreements in our sensitive culture, yet we see God’s unfiltered truth in Deuteronomy 28 as he outlines the curses for disobedience to his commands. Our senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, October 2 showed us how God’s stark and visual message of the consequences of disobedience works for our good. God knows that when we his people experience blessing we’re likely to fall into entitlement thinking, taking His blessings for granted. He knows that when things are going our way, we often forget him or decide we don’t need him. It often takes trouble, suffering, and hardship to drive us to the Lord.
Though God’s truth can be offensive because truth always offends people, we see redemption from God’s curse in Galatians 3:10-14 since Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. What good news for us! Listen to the whole sermon here.