"God Meant It For Good" - Genesis 37-50


Date:  06/19/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  "God Meant It For Good"
Scripture: Genesis 37-50

Description:  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.

Grace And Faith In The Life Of Jacob - Genesis 28:10-22


Date:  06/12/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Grace And Faith In The Life Of Jacob
Scripture: Genesis 28:10-22

Description:  Typically stories about national founders—stories designed to give a nation identity and purpose—talk up moral virtues worthy of emulation and play down embarrassing 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.

Believing God Provides - Genesis 21:1-7


Date:  06/05/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Believing God Provides
Scripture: Genesis 21:1-7

Description:  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.

Babel - Genesis 11:1-9


Date:  05/15/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Babel
Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9

Description:  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.

God Remembers - Genesis 6:9-9:17


Date:  05/08/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  God Remembers
Scripture: Genesis 6:9-9:17

Description:  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?

Paradise Lost - Genesis 3:1-24


Date:  04/17/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Paradise Lost
Scripture: Genesis 3:1-24

Description:  Genesis, as a story of beginnings, explains the roots of a reality we can’t reasonably 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.

Made In God's Image - Genesis 1:26-31


Date:  04/10/11
Speaker:  Matt McCullough
Title:  Made In God's Image
Scripture: Genesis 1:26-31

Description:  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.