It has a been a joy and blessing to study and preach through the Sermon on the Mount these past few months. I love preaching God's Word to you and I love being a part of a church that loves God's Word. Let's keep going! We now turn our attention to the Old Testament for our next sermon series as we look at The Gospel According to Hosea.
I have studied Hosea a few times over the years and have loved its message. At the time of Hosea's ministry, the kingdom of Israel was split in two: the northern kingdom (Israel or often referred to as Ephraim) and the southern kingdom (Judah). Most of Hosea's ministry is prophecy against the idolatry and unfaithfulness of Israel which in turn has much application for the church today. This was a very "turbulent and trying time" in the history of Israel as their troubles would eventually lead them to captivity.
There are many themes that we will address in our study of Hosea. Many of these themes are quite frankly R-rated. Throughout this series there will be some terms and phrases read from the Scriptures that you may have never discussed with your children. I would invite you to read ahead and pray through how you might answer any questions that your children may have. For instance, Hosea writes of Israel being like a whore or practicing whoredom. In my preaching, I will simply refer to these terms as Israel being unfaithful to God and the Lord was upset with their lack of loving Him. Again, I will strive not to explain in explicit terms what these things mean. I will strive to explain them in light of how Israel was not loving God with all their heart and how we are called to love God with all our heart and remain faithful to Him. Hosea will describe Israel's unfaithfulness using other images from family and nature of which you will need to be aware. There are other terms and phrases that you will be able to discern for yourself, but please be prepared.
Ultimately, through this study we will see the Gospel. We will learn that even though Israel is a harlot and constantly runs away from God, this is not enough to cause Yahweh God to stop pursuing His people and love them with a redeeming love. I'm looking forward to this study as we look for the Gospel-implications in our every day lives. Hosea was prophesying to a people and to a place that is not much unlike our own time and situation.
As I hope you know, Cornerstone is committed to preaching the whole counsel of God and learning from all of Scripture. We believe "the law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul" (Psalm 19:7 ESV) and that "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 ESV) Therefore, we gladly look forward to the challenges that will be presented to us through our study of Hosea and the hope for deeper discipleship with Jesus Christ who loved the Old Testament.
Your friend and pastor,
Worship Notes: August 16, 2015
Remember, announcements are now given at the beginning of the service. Please plan to arrive each week by 8:55am for the Prelude and announcements.
This week Daniel Cohee, brother to Frank Cohee and missionary to Taiwan will be preaching on The Holy and Merciful King from Isaiah 6:1-8.
In preparation for the sermon, James Boice and Philip Ryken in their book The Doctrines of Grace describe this scene in Isaiah 6: “This is what happens when we see God on His throne: by seeing him as he really is, we see ourselves as we really are. We stop comparing ourselves to others and start comparing ourselves to God. Thus a true vision of God’s sovereign majesty always includes a painful awareness of our own radical depravity. The more we see of God’s glory, the more we recognize our need for His grace.”
A hymn for the week: Revelation Song
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We are podcasting! Catch up on sermons on iTunes.
Many of you know that one of my heroes in the faith is Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones. I recently came across this story about his affect on the founding of the PCA - I had no idea! Read the story here.
Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, gives encouragement in this video on Thoughts on the Planned Parenthood videos.
I continue to be thankful for the moral clarity for which Ross Douthat in the New York Times expresses in his writing. Please read this article.