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Two Lessons From the Magi

The story of the Magi travelling to see baby Jesus has gripped the hearts and imaginations of believers for centuries. (See Matt. 2:1-12.) Who were these visitors from the east? What does it mean that they saw the star of the king of the Jews? What moved these adults to travel such a long distance to worship a child? And, what in the world is a "Magi"? Though scholars have...

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What's In a Name?

It's usually left to parents to decide what to call their kids, but when God sent an angel to announce the birth of the Messiah, his parents were denied the right to name their son. Both Joseph and Mary were specifically instructed to name their child "Jesus" (Matt. 1:21, Luke 1:31).Why the name Jesus? Jesus (Yeshuain Hebrew, the same as the name "Joshua") was a common nam...

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Repentance

Four Elements of Genuine Repentance When John the Baptist prepared the people of Israel for the coming of the Messiah, he called them to repent. (Matt. 3:2) As we prepare for the Messiah to come again, we are called to repentance, also. After Christ had ascended to heaven, Peter told the people of Jerusalem, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped o...

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Advent and Christmas Reflections

The Christian season of Advent revolves around the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas Day. Traditionally, Advent is a season focused on preparation. We remember the way God prepared Israel for the birth and ministry of Jesus, and we think about how God wants us to prepare for Christ's return. How often do you think about the return of Jesus Christ? His second coming i...

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The God of Truth

We have been studying the Ten Commandments at ACC this fall. The commandments are helpful, not only because they teach us how to live, but because of what they reveal about God. Kevin DeYoung writes: "The law is an expression of the Lawgiver's heart and character. The commandments not only show us what God wants; they show us what God is like. They say something about hi...

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Give and Take (and the 8th Commandment)

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From the time we are young, we all know it's wrong to steal. Any three-year-old in daycare will cry out against injustice when another child grabs a toy from their hands. We seem to possess innate knowledge that people shouldn't take things that don't belong to them. So, we might think the 8thCommandment needs little explanation. "Thou shalt not steal" is a pretty clear ru...

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7th Commandment - Resources for Sexual Wholeness

Resources for Sexual Wholeness We are preaching on the Ten Commandments at ACC this fall. The 7th commandment says: "You shall not commit adultery." The Bible portrays physical intimacy within the covenant of marriage (between a man and a woman) as God's design for healthy sexuality (Gen. 2:21-25). It describes as immoral any expression of sexual behavior outside of this ...

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De-Politicizing the Sixth Commandment

In our sermons at ACC this fall, we are looking at the Ten Commandments. In prepping to preach on the sixth commandment ("Thou shalt not kill"), I listened to several sermons that other pastors gave on the subject. They were all fine sermons, but some of them sounded more like position papers on public policy than messages delivered to a local church. I write this not to ...

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Two Things Needed for a Good Sabbath’s Rest

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This fall at ACC, we are studying the Ten Commandments. Of all the commandments, you would think the one mandating a Sabbath rest (Ex. 20:8-11) would be easiest to follow. Just think of it God ordered his people to take a day off! This ought to be the most delightful commandment of all. Strangely, however, people often find this commandment difficult to enjoy. Througho...

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Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

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In our current sermon series at ACC, we are looking at the 10 Commandments. The third commandment says, "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain." What does this commandment mean? First, it means that we must honor God with ourlips. We must only speak God's name in ways that are thoughtful and reverent. A person's name is more than a random arrangemen...

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