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• Daniel Baker • Posted in Gospel, Sermons, Suffering

Death. Injustice. Mistreatment. Undeserved job loss. Squandered wealth. Unfulfilling pleasures. Funerals. Meaninglessness. Absurdity. Accomplishments that get forgotten by others. Betrayal. Vanity.

Not the stuff of greeting cards and bedtime stories—but it is the stuff of the book of Ecclesiastes. Sunday we begin a six-week series in this Wisdom book of the Old Testament.

In twelve tight chapters Israel’s King Solomon takes into some of the dark places of life and helps us find understanding. At times we wish his honesty wasn’t quite so...honest. He not only peers into the dark places but he captures the reactions and feelings we have in those…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Sermons

On Sunday morning I skipped my third point for the sake of time. Let me take a few minutes here and give you that material.

First I need to set it up. I was preaching on Genesis 15 and 17, the two main chapters of the Abrahamic covenant. We looked at these chapters to show us what a life of faith looks like.

Faith is believing God’s words and deeds (his deeds as interpreted by his words). Faith is a singular thing, but it also contains elements that are helpful to parse out. It incudes understanding. You have to…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Bible, Sermons

The beginning of everything except God himself is found in this book we call “Genesis.” It is at once thrilling and intimidating to dive into this book, for “the truth—and this may sound shocking—is that almost every important church doctrine is found in ‘seed’ form in the book of Genesis.”[1]

The title of the book is a word that has come to mean “origin” or “source” in English just because of this Old Testament book. It was called genesis in the Greek Old Testament, because the word is found in key places throughout the book (2:4; 5:1; 6:9;…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Sermons, Gender

Recently we looked at 1 Corinthians 11:2–16, where Paul speaks to a related issue, the values we project (and reject) by what we have on our heads. There’s enough complexity in this passage to take a second look at it here.

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Bible, Sermons

“Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.” (Prov 26:17)

This is what we call a “proverb,” and it’s from the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This is a favorite part of God’s word, because of verses like this one: you get bite-size nuggets of truth about things that help us know how to live well. Some have even defined the “wisdom” we get from Proverbs and other Wisdom books of the Bible—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon—as “skill in living.” Given the complexity and unexpectedness…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Bible, Sermons

It's hard not to slow down to look at car wrecks. Even though you know it's wrong and you feel guilty for doing it, it's hard not to. Reading 1 Corinthians is a bit like looking at a wreck—except in this case, you're supposed to look! This Sunday, that's what we're going to do, slow down and begin our look at this glorious letter of Paul's to a church he loved.

The Corinthian church is famous for its dysfunction—relationally (they struggle with unity, so much it even affected their celebration of the Lord's Supper), sexually (they have all kinds of bad…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Bible, Sermons

Tomorrow (Oct 2, 2022) we begin our series in Ezra-Nehemiah, so let’s get oriented to these great OT books. (We’ll pretend for a minute that we all have power and the church building will have power, and these remnants of Hurrican Ian are behind us).

Leslie Allen opens his Ezra commentary by writing,

Ezra-Nehemiah is the OT equivalent of the Acts of the Apostles—it is a book of new beginnings. Acts opens with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised to God in Joel 2 (Acts 1:4–5; 2:16–21, 33). The fulfillment of ‘the word of the LORD spoken by…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Sermons

"Ruth the Moabitess" speaks one of the great passages in our Old Testament. It is a picture of conversion, an affirmation of what it means to be "all in" for a new life of embracing the true God as our God:

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you.
For where you go I will go,
and where you lodge I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
Where you die I will die,
and there will I…

• Ben Garner • Posted in Sermons, Work

Ben Garner recently preached on 1 Peter 2:11–20. The middle section of this concerned a Christian's response to government. Because of Ben's work in state government and the numerous insights he made on his topic, we decided to take offer that part of his sermon as a blog entry. The historical context of this post underscores the need to think well on these issues. We hope you find it edifying and informative.


I find Peter's words in 1 Peter 2:13–17 particularly relevant because of my work. I’m an attorney, and for the last several years I’ve worked…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Sermons, Theology

Last Sunday I mentioned the idea that the Holy Spirit in 1 Peter 1:10–11 is called “the Spirit of Christ.” This is a mysterious title for the Spirit and is worth reflecting on a little more.

In my passage, Peter told us something unexpected about OT prophecy. He told us the prophets spoke because they were inspired by “the Spirit of Christ”:

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted…

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