Sunday, 19 June 2011
“God Meant It for Good” - Genesis 37-50
Matt McCulloughMP3
If God is loving and powerful, why is there evil and suffering in the world? It’s a timeless question that has kept many from faith and unsettled the confidence of many an ardent believer. It’s a question the story of Joseph addresses with remarkable complexity and nuance. On one hand, the story illustrates what we know from experience: suffering comes even to those who don’t deserve it. There’s an element of mystery that neither this story nor the rest of the Bible attempts to penetrate. But on the other hand, seen from beginning to end, the story of Joseph illustrates that God governs all things—even evil and suffering—towards the fulfillment of his promises. The point for us is that, though the details of our suffering remain mostly mysterious, the gospel offers us hope that all things serve God’s purpose to redeem us.

Sunday, 12 June 2011
Grace and Faith in the Life of Jacob - Genesis 28:10-22; 32:22-32
Matt McCulloughMP3
Typically stories about national founders—stories designed to give a nation identity and purpose—talk up moral virtues worthy of emulation and play down embarrasing flaws. Israel’s origin stories—perhaps especially stories about Jacob, Israel himself—provide a noticeable contrast to this pattern. That’s because Israel’s national identity—and now the identity of the church—rests upon a different sort of foundation, a foundation that has everything to do with the answer to two crucial questions: What can we expect from God? And what does God expect from us? These are questions the story of Jacob is meant to answer.

Sunday, 5 June 2011
Believing God Provides - Genesis 21:1-7; 22:1-18
Matt McCulloughMP3
One of Christianity’s great challenges is the call to walk by faith and not by sight. It’s the call to believe God’s loving and gracious promises are true even when the circumstances of your life cast serious doubt on those promises. There is perhaps no more vivid—certainly no more mysterious—illustration of this sort of odds-defying faith than the story of Abraham’s call to sacrifice his son. When joined to the account of Isaac’s birth and to God’s provision of a substitute sacrifice, this phase of the Abraham cycle offers poignant and timeless insight into what it looks like to believe God provides—and to stake your life to that truth.

Sunday, 29 May 2011
God is Faithful to His Promises - Genesis 15:1-8; 17:1-11
Bill HeermanMP3
God is faithful to the promises He makes in the Bible. Since we are grafted in as Abraham’s descendants through faith in Christ, we have confidence that he is working for our good despite our circumstances.

Sunday, 22 May 2011
Abraham and the Promise of Salvation - Genesis 12:1-9
Matt McCulloughMP3
The disastrous history of the world—the subject of Genesis 1-11—takes a hopeful turn with the coming of Abraham and the dawn of Israel’s history. In Genesis 12, God makes promises to Abraham—then called Abram—that shape the rest of the Bible’s story and find fulfillment ultimately in Jesus. God’s solution to the problems of a world broken by sin, to the problem of our sin, is inseparable from these ancient promises. They speak of the content of salvation, the vehicle of salvation, and the scope of salvation.

Sunday, 15 May 2011
Babel - Genesis 11:1-9
Matt McCulloughMP3
The strange little story of the Tower of Babel explains the origins of Israel’s neighbors as the result of a clash between the unfettered pride of humankind and the unmatched sovereignty of God. Rich in irony, it juxtaposes the united human drive for security and significance with God’s effortless sway over the best of human ingenuity. But more than that, like all of Genesis 1-11, the story of Babel has timeless relevance as an explanation of our sinful condition and a precursor to God’s specific goals in salvation.

Sunday, 8 May 2011
God Remembers - Genesis 6:9-9:17
Matt McCulloughMP3
The story of Noah and the flood is far from a nursery rhyme. It’s a story of cataclysmic judgment mixed with mysterious divine grace. Like everything else in the opening chapters of Genesis, this story is meant to introduce key themes that continue to play out in the storyline of the Bible, and it raises crucial questions. How should this story of terrible and intentional judgment affect our view of God? Why did God choose to preserve Noah and his family? Why should we expect he’ll preserve us?

Sunday, 1 May 2011
The Wrong Kind of Fools - 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Greg WillsMP3
The message of the cross will always be foolishness to the world, but true foolishness would be loving the respect of our peers more than we love the gospel.

Sunday, 24 April 2011
Living out the Resurrection - Romans 4:23-5:4
Matt McCulloughMP3
When the apostles preached about Jesus they preached him as crucified and as risen from the dead. In his letter to the Romans, Paul explains why the gospel is incomplete apart from Jesus’s resurrection. In theory, the resurrection is the foundation of our faith that God accepts us because he accepts Jesus. In practice, it means ours is a peace and a hope that should hold fast no matter our circumstances.

Sunday, 17 April 2011
Paradise Lost - Genesis 3
Matt McCulloughMP3
Genesis, as a story of beginnings, explains the roots of a reality we can’t reasonbly deny: this world is not what it ought to be. Genesis 3 explains something of the nature of sin, that it replaces God’s authority with ours; the results of sin, that it destroys relationships, separates us from God, and ultimately brings death; and the solution for sin, that one we now know to be Jesus would come to perfectly solve the problem of sin.

Sunday, 10 April 2011
Made in God’s Image - Genesis 1:26-31
Matt McCulloughMP3
The conclusion to Genesis 1 claims that humans are unique among God’s creatures because they’re made in the image of God. That was a counter-cultural claim when first written and, in some ways, remains so today. But unique how? This text suggests the image of God gives us unique dignity, unique responsibility, and unique accountability.

Sunday, 3 April 2011
In the Beginning - Genesis 1:1-27
Matt McCulloughMP3
The story of Genesis–a book of beginnings–opens with a poem that answers questions as old as time: Where did we come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? And who is in charge?