Don’t Join the Gang

Hello again! This past Sunday, Pastor Alan continued his lessons in the book of Proverbs by taking us through an overview of the first 9 chapters before going in depth in chapter 1. To listen to this wonderful teaching, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is his outline with links to the verses he references. Enjoy!

Proverbs 1:1-9:18

  1. Title and Preamble Proverbs1:1-7
     Writer:  Solomon Proverbs 1:1
     Genre:  Proverbs – wise sayings with moral instruction
     Purpose:  The benefits we looked at last Sunday. Proverbs 1:2-6
     Recipients:  Youths needing training.  We all need moral training though.
     Foundation:  The distinction of Hebrew wisdom is the fear of “I AM” Proverbs 1:7 
  2. Prologue Proverbs 1:8-8:36
     Ten lectures on wisdom and two additional sermons by Lady Wisdom to easily induced youths.  We will look at part of these today.
  3. Epilogue Proverbs 9:1-18 (to the first section)
     Two invitations, one by Lady Wisdom the other by Madame Folly, to unsuspecting youth to enter their houses.
     Note:  Chapters 1-9 are a sort of roadmap to understanding the rest of the book of Proverbs.
  4. Today’s Message:  Don’t Join the Gang
    (the lure of peers and the quest for belonging and identity) Proverbs 1:8-19

    Lecture 1 of 10 – Introduction, main lesson, conclusion

    I. IntroductionProverbs 1:8-9
       An address:  my son
       An Admonition:  to listen (shema – Deuteronomy 6:4)
       Listen to your mother and father (both parents are to teach) – Deuteronomy 21:18-21
       Motivation:  If one listens to a parent’s instruction and teaching it will be a victory wreath.  A way to live above your enemy.  A life of victory, power, and order.  The idea of order is symbolized by the necklace.

    II. Main Lesson: Proverbs 1:10-18
       The warning here is against the lure of easy money and seduction by peers.  The warning is also against the naive idea of a community where all will share their ill-gained money equally.  Sound like some political narratives of today?  The real underlying problem is they have no fear of the Lord and no regard for law.
      1.  How to respond:  Don’t yield!  Proverbs 1:10.
      2.  Why not to yieldProverbs 1:11-14
           – An environment of violence and greed. All of it is premeditated with the intent of taking others’ possessions.
      3. An elaboration on “don’t yield” Proverbs 1:15-18
          Don’t even entertain the temptation.  It will drag you away. James 1:14-15
          Understand the maxim of what you sow you shall reap.  You sow a lifestyle of greed, violence and death, you will eventually become its victim.  Gangsters always turn on one another.  They don’t have the innate sense of danger that even a bird’s brain has (Proverbs 1:17).

    Conclusion:  A moral maxim. Proverbs 1:19.
    Greedy gain at the cost of others will take the life of the one who gets it.  A rip-off artist will be ripped apart.  Violence breeds violence. 
    Matthew 26:52, 1 Timothy 6:10, 2 Timothy 3:1-5

    Sources:  Proverbs:  A Shorter Commentary by Bruce Waltke and Ivan D. V. De Silva
    God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life by Timothy and Kathy Keller.

Wise Words for Living in a Wicked World

Hello! Since Pastor Alan finished our tour through the Gospel of John, he has now begun a wonderful series on the Book of Proverbs. To listen to the first message in this series, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is the outline of the message with links to the verses referenced. Enjoy (I know I did)!

Wise Words for Living in a Wicked World

Proverbs 1:1-2:22

  1. Introduction
    • It is absolutely necessary to gain wisdom.
      • Other words for wisdom used in Proverbs: moral instruction, prudence, righteous living
    • One way to gain wisdom is to absorb the Proverbs into our lives.
    • The starting point of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)
    • Those who say there is no God are described as fools, wicked, and corrupt. (Psalm 10:4, Psalm 14:1)
  2. Author of Proverbs
    • Most, but not all of Proverbs, was written by Solomon (who asked God for wisdom – 1 Kings 3:4-28). He spoke 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32).
    • The actual “proverbs” are found from Proverbs 10:1-22:16.
  3. Daily Proverbs
    • The book of Proverbs is 31 chapters long. So, if you read one chapter a day, it makes for a great monthly Bible reading plan.
  4. What is a proverb?
    • The Hebrew word is mashal and it essentially means a wise, short saying condensing wisdom into a brief form to aid memory.
    • Sometimes the saying can be enigmatic (puzzling, like a riddle).
    • Some of Pastor Alan’s favorites:

The Benefit of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:2-9, 2:1-8)

  1. To learn wisdom and moral instruction. (Proverbs 1:2a)
    • Learn: experiential learning or skillful acting upon what one knows.
    • Wisdom: to have moral skill that produces something of lasting value, leaving a moral legacy.
    • Moral Instruction: parental discipline or chastisement, verbal warnings, and moral training.
    • “Smart people learn from their own mistakes; wise people learn from the mistakes of others.”
  2. To discern wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:2b)
    • Discern: the ability to discern right from wrong by God’s law.
    • Wise Counsel: words of discernment. Literally, the ability to distinguish the rightness or wrongness of words of discernment.
  3. To receive moral instruction in skillful living. (Proverbs 1:3)
    • Moral instruction: parental discipline or chastisement, verbal warnings, and moral training.
    • Skillful Living: involves knowing and practicing righteousness, justice, & equity.
      • Righteousness: conforming to a standard of God’s law.
      • Justice: doing the right thing in light of God’s law.
      • Equity: the idea of walking in a straight line.
  4. To impart shrewdness to the morally naive, a discerning plan to the young person. (Proverbs 1:4)
    • Shrewdness: to be prudent/to not be naive/to not be simple-minded about what the world is all about. (Matthew 10:16)
    • Morally Naive: easily influenced, enticed, or misled.
    • Young person (son): one in need of training.
  5. To gain guidance and instruction. (Proverbs 1:5)
    • Guidance: a combination of two Hebrew words – for sailor and rope. It is the imagery of directing a ship, giving direction for your life.
  6. To discern — live by — the truths found in the Proverbs. (Proverbs 1:6)
  7. To realize how valuable the wisdom of the Proverbs is and to do what’s necessary to gain it. (Proverbs 2:1-4)

The Source Behind the Wisdom? (Proverbs 1:7-9)

  1. Fear of God
    • Wisdom helps us discern what is/is not sin & keeps us from sinning.
  2. The Proverbs are given in the backdrop of fearing God and listening to godly parents (of course, not all parents are godly). (Proverbs 1:8)

A Story of Restorative Power & a Review

And finally, the last of Pastor Alan’s messages on the Gospel of John teaches us restoration in Jesus. He also reminds us about all we’ve learned through this series of messages. To listen to this teaching, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the outline and links to the references. Enjoy!

A Story of Restorative Power & a Review

  1. Reminder of an Original Purpose (John 21:1-14)
    • Luke 5:1-11
    • What’s involved in being fishers of men? (Acts 1:6-8)
      • Don’t speculate more than you circulate. (v. 6)
      • Don’t be nationalistic, be global. (v. 8)
      • Don’t share/witness in your own strength, but rely on the Spirit (v. 8)
  2. Restored for a Love-Driven Purpose (John 21:15-17)
    • agape – unselfish/unconditional love
    • phileo – brotherly/filial love
    • If you love, you tend/feed others for the purpose of disciple-making (Matthew 28:16-20)
  3. Restored for a Risk-Involved Purpose (John 21:18-19)
    • For Peter, his restoration involved martyrdom
    • Every disciple of Jesus (except John) was martyred.
  4. Review

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

Two Sundays ago, Pastor Alan taught us about some of those important moments when Jesus appeared to His disciples from John chapter 20. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. Pastor Alan’s outline with links to the Scriptures he references can also be found below.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

John 20:19-31

  1. Jesus Proclaims Peace to the Fearful Disciples
  2. Jesus’ Presence Produces Gladness in His Disciples
  3. Jesus, as the “Sent One,” Sends the Disciples
  4. Jesus Breathes the Holy Spirit into the Disciples
  5. Jesus Gives Authority to Forgive Sin to the Disciples
    • John 20:23
    • Is a factual statement:
      • We have been forgiven, so we must forgive others
  6. Jesus Interacts with Thomas
    • John 20:24-29
    • The question of seeing and believing
      • Seeing doesn’t necessarily bring about believing, but believing allows you to see)
      • 2 Corinthians 5:7
  7. What is Belief?
    • John 20:30-31
    • We are called to believe that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah/Anointed One
    • Jesus was anointed by the Spirit at His baptism
    • 1 John 2:18-23 – if you don’t believe in Jesus, you are – by definition – an antichrist.
    • Thomas should be called “Thomas the Proclaimer”
      • He was the first to say, “My Lord and my God!”

The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus

Good evening! Pastor Alan spent the last few weeks finishing up our studies in the Gospel of John. Below, you’ll find the first of three messages that wrap up his series. To listen to his message on John 19:38-20:18, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is Alan’s outline and links to the verses he references. Enjoy!

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus

John 19:38-20:18

  1. Introduction
  2. The Emphasis on a Buried Physical Body
  3. The Emphasis on a Physical Resurrection
    • John 20:1-9
      • The grave had not been robbed – grave robbers don’t fold face cloths! (vs. 6-7)
      • An urgency to tell others. (vs. 2-4)
        • Should convict us!
      • A change of belief. (vs. 8-9)
        • Should change what you believe is the most important thing in your life.
  4. The Importance of Christ’s Ascension and Mary’s Devotion
    • John 20:11-18
    • Mary’s devotion is in response to what Jesus did for her.
    • The ascension of Christ establishes three things for us:
      • The sending of the Spirit (John 16:7)
        • The Spirit manifests Jesus to us and in us
        • The power of the Gospel is Christ alive in us, accomplished by the Spirit
      • The power of prayer
      • The surety of the future resurrection of the dead

The Crucifixion of Christ

Hello again! Yesterday, Pastor Alan taught from John 19:1-37 about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the outline and links to the Scriptures he references. Enjoy!

The Crucifixion of Christ

John 19:1-37

Introduction: What is the most important thing about Christianity? 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 tells us that it is the death, burial, resurrection, & post-resurrection appearances of Christ.

  1. The Rejection of Christ as King (John 19:1-5)
    • They mock Him.
      • Crown Him, but with a crown of thorns
      • Clothe Him in royal purple
    • Mocking Him is even more than just rejecting (turning away from) Him.
  2. The Reality of Christ as King (John 19:6-11)
    • Pilate needed a reason to crucify Jesus.
      • He is finally convinced that Jesus’ kingship makes Him an insurrectionist, a threat to Caesar.
  3. The Reality of Christ Brings a Decision (John 19:12-16)
    • The Jewish people made their decision:
      • They’d rather have the world (earthly king/Caesar) & all its oppression than the Kingdom of God & all its freedom.
  4. Jesus’ Crucifixion as King of the Jews (John 19:17-22)
    • Pilate wrote “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek on a sign tacked to the cross.
  5. Jesus’ Crucifixion as a Fulfillment of Prophecies (John 19:23-37)
  6. Jesus Accomplished His Work (John 19:30)
    • Tetelestai (It is accomplished/finished.)
    • The debt of our sin is fully paid in Christ (Hebrews 9:26-28)

Conclusion: Christ finished everything necessary for the forgiveness of our sin on the cross. That was what was accomplished–nothing more, nothing less! The cross was the power for our forgiveness. The resurrection is the power for everything else. The cross itself doesn’t by itself empower you for living out the Christian life. Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins, but He rose to conquer death and impart us with His promised eternal life.

Jesus’ Arrest & Betrayal, pt. 2

Last Sunday, Pastor Alan taught from the final part of John 18, when Pilate spoke with Jesus and asked his ultimate question, “What is truth?” To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the outline and links to the verses referenced. Enjoy!

Pilate’s Ultimate Question

John 18:33-40

Reason for John’s gospel? John 20:30-31

What is eternal life? John 17:3

  1. Jesus demands we answer for ourselves what we have come to think of Him, not what others have told us to think.
  2. Jesus demands we take accountability for the choices we make in life.
    • John 18:35
    • Pilate was the ultimate “buck passer.”
  3. Jesus answers the question of kingship that the Jews were trying to catch Him on.
    • John 18:36
    • He is a King, but not a threat to Caesar.
    • His kingdom is not of this world.
  4. In Jesus’ kingdom, it’s not about the world’s view of a powerful king.
    • John 18:37-38
    • It’s about the reign of truth.
      • Those who are aligned with Jesus’ kingdom listen to His truth.
      • Others say, “What is truth?”
  5. We all have a choice as to whom we identify with.
    • John 18:39-40
    • The world wants Barabbas (evil/lawlessness/destruction).
    • The Christian wants Jesus (Truth/Life).

Conclusion: There is such a thing as objective truth! Christ is the Truth. It’s never a matter of whether Christ is or isn’t the Truth. It’s only a matter of whether we will answer the question, “What is truth?” with the declaration of Christ: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Application: It’s clear that Christ is the King of His kingdom. This calls us to the kingdom living outlined in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus’ model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), and the High Priestly Prayer (John 17). The call is to be kingdom people who know that Jesus is the Truth.

Jesus’ Arrest & Betrayal, Pt. 1

Good afternoon! A few Sundays ago, Pastor Alan continued his lessons in the Gospel of John by teaching from John 18. He took us through the first part of Jesus’ arrest and betrayal. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve included the outline, along with links to the verses referenced for you. Enjoy!

Jesus’ Arrest & Betrayal, pt. 1

Introduction: Acts 4:26-28 helps us to understand what is going on in John 18:1-32. Here we see what Jesus allowed to happen to Himself for us!

  1. Jesus is in total control of the events that will unfold.
  2. Jesus’ death would fulfill the prophetic words of Caiaphas.
  3. Peter’s Initial Denial
    • John 18:15-18
    • Just one more proof that Jesus knew how everything would unfold, down to the exact details.
  4. Jesus wasn’t secretly plotting the overthrow of Rome or destruction of the temple.
  5. Peter’s 2nd & 3rd Denials
    • John 18:25-27
    • Peter was warming himself by the fire during his three denials of Jesus.
      • John 21:9, 15-17 – Jesus is by a fire on the shore while He asks Peter three times if Peter loves Him.
      • Three denials by a fire; three affirmations by a fire.
  6. Pilate first meets Jesus.

Conclusion: Jesus controlled every outcome of His situation. He knew every thought and intention of those involved in His arrest, bogus trial, and crucifixion. He was not a helpless victim or martyr. He orchestrated the plan of our salvation.

Application: Don’t be anxious and afraid of a threatening world. Trust in Christ.

Matthew 10:16-42

5 Reasons Why (we shouldn’t be anxious): [from John Piper’s What Jesus Demands of the World]

  1. We belong to Christ.
  2. Truth will win out.
  3. The worst thing that can happen to us: physical death.
  4. He knows everything about us intimately.
  5. Our lives are valuable to God.

The Upper Room Prayer

Hello again! Today, Pastor Alan taught about John 17, what is known as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. To listen to this wonderful message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor’s outline and links to Scripture he references. Enjoy!

The Upper Room Prayer

John 17

I. Introduction

  • Matthew 6:5-8 tells us that prayer is not to be done to draw attention to oneself.
  • Luke 18:9-14 reminds us that prayer is to be done in a humble and contrite spirit.
  • Prayer is to reorient our priorities toward God, not toward self.
  • Timothy Keller noted that all the prayers in the Psalms fall into two categories: 1) a desire for oneness with God; enjoying His presence (Psalm 27:4). 2) a desire/inner struggle for the kingdom of God to come & God’s will to be done vs. doing what I want to do. Think of the Lord’s Prayer (the Model Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13). How do we hallow God’s name? We approach Him with a sense of awe/reverence.
  • The Westminster Confession: Our primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Prayer involves both of these aspects and more, but never less.

II. What Jesus Prayed For

  1. He prayed that God the Father might glorify Him so that He would glorify the Father.
    • We are to pray that God is glorified (vs. 1-5).
    • How can we pray so that God is honored, admired, and valued (i.e., glorified)?
      • We acknowledge His authority and power, especially in giving eternal life. (v. 2) What is eternal life? (v. 3)
      • We acknowledge His completed work of salvation. (v. 4)
      • We acknowledge His eternal existence & current position of intercession. (v. 5)
  2. He prayed in relationship to His disciples (vs. 6-19).
    • He acknowledges the work of the Word in their lives and their obedience. (vs. 7-9)
    • He prays for their safety and unity. (vs. 10-12, 14-15)
    • He prays for their completed joy. (v. 13)
    • He prays for them as they are in the world that they would be set apart in truth. (vs. 16-19)
  3. He prayed for future believers (vs. 20-26).
    • He prays for a unity based on His indwelling presence. (vs. 20-23)
    • He prays for our eternal destination. (v. 24)
    • He prays that we are filled with His quality of love that comes from Him being in us. (v. 26)

Conclusion: The emphasis of Christ’s prayer is broadly the two main focuses of prayer: God to be glorified and for us to be one with God.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller

Contact info: Dr. Alan Brock,,


Good evening! I’m trying (again) to get caught up, so this message was actually from last Sunday. Pastor Alan was out of town, and we were blessed to have Terry speak to us about prayer. He focused on Matthew 27:50-53. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included notes with links to verses that Terry references in his lesson. Enjoy!


Matthew 27:45-56

When the veil tore (v. 51), it was the culmination of God’s redemptive plan. We now have access to God (Hebrews 4:16).

We must pray through the Son, not in our own power. After all, He is the gate (John 10:9) and the Way (John 14:6), etc.

We pray to unload our burdens (1 Peter 5:7).

Jesus taught that prayer should not be a show for others but communication with the Father (Matthew 6:5-8).

We are to be in constant communication with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

God will supply all of our needs, if we ask (Philippians 4:19).

But we have to ask of the Father in Jesus’ name. He will provide, if our desires are aligned to His will (John 16:23).

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us that if we:

  1. Trust in the Lord with all our hearts AND
  2. Lean not on our own understanding AND
  3. Acknowledge Him/submit to Him in all our ways…

Then He will make our paths straight.

Remember, broad is the way to hell, but narrow is the road to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).

God has given every one of us a measure of faith. Where are we putting that faith? In myself? Money? Family? Friends? or God?

Wherever we are at with the Lord, He wants us to go deeper, higher, than we ever thought possible.