This last week we explored how Leviticus comes crashing into our current cultural context declaring our sin and resultant need, as well as the only pathway to true validation and acceptance in the face of such a possible crisis of identity. In addition to our weekly sentence summary of the book of the Bible from the folks over at the Bible Project, we were treated to this deeply encouraging truth seen in the book of Leviticus, and fulfilled in the Good News of Jesus:
We are far more sinful and flawed in ourselves
than we ever dared believe;
yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted
in Christ Jesus
than we ever dared hope.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
If you would like to continue exploring this section of The Whole Story found in Leviticus, the resources below are a great place to start:
- Review last week’s sermon on Leviticus.
- Download the Leviticus study guide here (scroll down the page a bit to ‘Related Resources’) to study on your own, or even better, as a family or in your community group.
- Click here to find a whole page of videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on Leviticus.
Every once in awhile, I will recommend a book that I find accessible and helpful for further study on The Whole Story. This week, that resource is Introducing the Old Testament: a short guide to its history and message, by Old Testament scholar, Tremper Longman III.
This is the first volume I pick up each week as I begin my preparation for the sermon. It is less than 200 pages, but what it may lack in overall length it makes up for with concise, insightful commentary on every book of the Old Testament, in just a few pages per book. For each book, Longman provides analysis on content, genre, and most helpfully, ‘Connections’ (how the book anticipates the Good News). He also ends each chapter with questions for review and discussion. And Longman doesn’t sacrifice scholarship while making this an accessible and enjoyable read — a tough balance to deliver on!
I highly commend it to you. It is available on Amazon, as well as at the Whole Story resource table in the lobby (beginning on Sunday, February 11th).
As always, please feel free to email me with questions or ideas for The Whole Story. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, when we will begin the next chapter of the drama by studying Numbers. Be sure to read it before you come!
Filled with joy because of the welcome and acceptance found in Jesus,
We are now making our way into the “Prophets Before the Exile” section of The Whole Story. I really like the way our Read Scripture plan breaks a bit here from the order of the books of the Old Testament in our common English translation of the bible. For the Read Scripture plan is more in line with how the story actually unfolded.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
As the Bible is an ancient text, it makes sense that much of it is a recording of history. But to respond by merely reading it as a textbook would be a mistake, for this is history written with a very particular purpose. Namely, it is a theological history — its authors, under the inspiration of God, make theological arguments by the way they tell the stories, and what they include in them.
King of My Heart (Samuel part two)
It’s a little hard to believe that we are already twelve sermons into our adventure through the Bible called The Whole Story. I have been very encouraged to hear from many of you how this pace of moving through the Scriptures week-by-week, book-by-book has helped you see things you’ve never seen before, and appreciate our Father and his Son, Jesus, so much more. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed preaching as much as I have this year, discovering how, as our friends at The Bible Project say it, “The Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.”
Eight Acts of Service on Easter
We’ve arrived once again to the glory of Holy Week. And as Easter Sunday draws closer, it is good to remind ourselves of ways we can bless those who don’t normally attend Calvary on this highest attended service of the year.
Samuel Part One
As Douglas Wilson has observed, these are fragile times. And when a nation finds itself in the kind of mess we find ourselves in, there is a kind of widespread longing for a leader who has the qualities, vision, and ability to show the way out. That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to find their way out of a mess? But it’s a dangerous spot to be in. It can leave one vulnerable to charlatans and pipe dreams.
Two weeks ago, we spent our Sunday morning gathering in the book of the Judges. It describes a time in the nation of Israel of great darkness, disobedience, destruction, and dystopia. It was a time, states the last sentence in the story, when “there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). It was very disturbing.