From the moment sin pervaded our world, every human has fought the seemingly instinctive pull toward idolatry. Yes, we may not build wooden images or metal statues and bow down and offer homage to them. Yet we still long for idols. Because of sin we are allured to worship the created rather than the Creator. This is exactly what John means when he writes, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” He goes on to say, “ For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). The desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, and the pride of life are all elements that lead us to idolatry. Ultimately the sin of idolatry lies at the root of almost every sin. We simply are not satisfied with God himself; we want to worship everything he has created. Again, the problem is not with what God has created. God desires for us to use and steward his creation. The problem is with sin. Our sin propels us to worship the created rather than the Creator.Read More
Often when we think about sin we think about externals. We consider sin to be when we actually do something. Many in Jesus’s day thought the same way. In particular, the religious leaders were known for this. Jesus’s harshest words were saved for the religious leaders of his day because while they were righteous in how they appeared and what they did, they were evil in their hearts. This is exactly what Jesus attacks in Mark 7:14–23. In Mark 7:20, Jesus says, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.” Jesus then goes on to list a litany of sins that proceed from the heart. What is Jesus’s point? Sin is not just what we do. Sin is also about the attitude of our heart. For those who sin outwardly, their sin flows from their heart. For those who mask their sin by looking good and doing right, sin can still reside in their heart.Read More
If you were to survey 100 people, asking them, “do you consider yourself a good person?”, the majority would probably say yes. In our culture, we have a way of separating really bad people with everyone else. And so, if you haven’t committed serious crimes you are overall a good person. In Romans 3:9–20, however, Paul provides us with a very different view of humanity. Quoting from the Psalms, Paul says, “None is righteous, no not one.” He then goes on to describe ho w humanity is not righteous—no one has done good, their tongues are deceptive, they are full of curses and bitterness, they are quick to shed blood, they do not fear God. Quite a rap sheet. The point is this: when compared to God, no one measures up. We are all sinful. There is not an ounce of our selves not contaminated by sin. While we are probably not as sinful as we could be, we are sinful enough to separate us from God.Read More
Psalm 51 is a response of David, after he committed adultery with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. David knew that he intentionally sinned against God. He then had to go through the process of repentance, healing, and reconciliation. Although David attempted to cover his sin one time by killing Bathsheba’s husband, he knew that he could not continue those types of actions and get away with it. After all, David was “a man after God’s own heart,” yet he still sinned against him. Through Nathan’s confrontation, David begins to repent of his sins and past mistakes, which results in a desperate cry to God for forgiveness toward the process of healing.Read More
One of the purposes of Lent is to remind us of our sin and brokenness. While we should not be morbidly obsessed with our sin, especially when we are now in Christ, we should have a healthy understanding of who we were when we were lost in our sin. Ephesians 2:1–3 paints a rather grim picture for us. Prior to Jesus, we were dead in our sin. Dead—meaning no life. What a sad reality. We walked around following the world and pursuing the passions of our flesh. We wanted what we wanted regardless of what God thought about it. Not only were we dead in sin, but we were also “children of wrath.” While God loved us, his wrath burned hot against our sin. You see, God is pure and holy. Sin is the opposite of who God is. The two cannot mix. Therefore when we were dead in sin, we were literally enemies of God.Read More
Yesterday we saw how God’s creation was very good. We saw how we are the pinnacle of creation, being the only thing on the face of the earth created in the image of God. If only the story ended there. Unfortunately we come to Genesis 3 and the beginning of our brokenness. God created each one of us to live in relationship with him; however, that relationship came with boundaries. Think about any relationship you have. You have “rules” that govern and manage that relationship. Surely a relationship with the God and Creator of the universe also has these boundaries. God simply asked the first humans, Adam and Eve, to obey him and not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Genesis 3, we meet our adversary, the Devil. The Devil came and tempted Adam and Eve, causing doubt to creep into their minds. The Devil caused them to doubt one of the most significant truths—God’s goodness.Read More
Pastor Rob’s sermon struck a lot of chords for me this past Sunday, as I’m sure it did many of you as well. There were many statements he said that I have found to be true in my own life. There were also many statements he said that hit home for unfortunate reasons. I want to share my story of sexual sin and redemption with you today, and then offer some of my thoughts and reflections from the sermon as encouragements.
This is not an easy topic to open up about. From time to time, I still battle shame and guilt from my actions and the decisions made during this period of my life. But, at the end of the day, God brought us through it and has blessed us with a healthy marriage and a beautiful, growing family and I want to use this story to encourage others.
Take a few moments to watch our story that was showed during our Sexual Healing [Hyperlink: vintagechurchnola.com/sexual-healing] series, which is a great series for anyone in any stage of life to go back and walk through.Read More
Over the past several weeks, we’ve been discussing the 7 deadly sins. Until now, many of the sins we’ve discussed like gluttony or sloth are sins that we often overlook in our life as less serious. While that is a dangerous mindset for us to have regarding sin, most of us certainly do not think that way about lust. If you’ve been a part of the church for any length of time, you’ve heard about the sin of lust. In fact, even if you haven’t been in the church, you’ve probably heard about the sin of lust. Personally, I’ve never met a man who doesn’t struggle with lust and I would be naive to believe that women also do not struggle with lust. If most humans struggle with lust, then it is probably a good idea for us to discuss this deadly sin.Read More
It is safe to say that everyone enjoys food. We know it to be true that food is precious, and a good gift. Living in New Orleans, we experience food at its greatest potential. Nothing can exceed what our taste buds experience as we enjoy delicious New Orleans seafood and cuisine. Yet what we do not always realize is how often our pleasure of food reigns in our thoughts, actions and even our hearts. This leads us to the deadly sin of gluttony, the act of excessive eating.Read More
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is though this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” - 1 Timothy 6:10
Money is a reality that almost all humans must face at some point in their life. At some point in our lives, we get our first job, begin to save money, and spend that money. It becomes readily apparent that the more money you have, the more you can buy. Some of us might even experience this prior to our first job. Growing up, some of us have parents who have more resources than others. In looking at our friends’ lives, we are driven to compete and have what they have. I’m amazed at my four year old son. He has no idea what money is, but he knows that he likes toys and wants them for himself.Read More