After being hurled into the raging sea, God mercifully preserves Jonah’s life by sovereingly appointing a great sea creature to swallow him. From the belly of the fish, Jonah offers a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord from the belly of the fish, acknowledging that he had been spared from a death he deserved. In […]

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In this sermon, pastor Joel shows us the absolute sovereignty of God over all things and the futility of our attempts to outrun, outwit, or ignore him. But we not only see God’s sovereignty over nature in the story of Jonah but also unstoppable mercy. Despite Jonah’s disobedience and attempts to frustrate God’s plan, God’s […]

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Running From God (Jonah 1:1-6)

The story of Jonah is a story that shows us the radical mercy of God, the striking disobedience of Jonah and his resentment for God’s compassion for sinner. In this sermon, pastor Joel introduces us to the main characters in the story of Jonah and the historical setting of the book. As we consider Jonah’s […]

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Paul’s point in Romans 11 is that God is not done with Israel. If they do not continue in their unbelief, they will certainly be grafted back into their own olive tree, “for God has the power to graft them in again” (Rom. 11:23). But Paul is convinced not only that they can be grafted […]

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Having considered Israel’s past and God’s sovereign purpose in Romans 9, and then Israel’s present situation and God’s continued patience in chapter 10, one crucial question remains: Is God done with Israel? Has he rejected his people for good? This is what Paul begins to address in chapter 11 as he focuses on Israel’s future […]

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Our God is a God of both sovereign and surprising mercy. While it’s true that he is unchanging, reliable, and faithful to perform his word, he nevertheless tends to surprise us, especially in his displays of mercy and salvation. And one of the clearest examples of this is seen in the formation of true Israel […]

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Responding to the objection of injustice regarding unconditional election (Rom. 9:14), Paul has explained that once we grasp who God is (that he is absolutely free) and what mercy is (that it is undeserved), then we will understand that God is righteous in his sovereign purposes. But a further objection is raised in Romans 9:19: […]

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Paul has been explaining in Romans 9 how God’s purpose in election guarantees the fulfillment of all his promises. But he knows that this teaching will raise some very serious objections. Insisting that salvation is solely based on God’s initiative, his decision, his purpose, his choice will cause many to ask: “How is that fair?” […]

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