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Groundwork: Biblical Foundations for Life

Christian Talk

Groundwork is a half-hour conversation that digs deeply into Scripture, the foundation for our lives. Each week, pastors Dave Bast (president of Words of Hope) and Scott Hoezee (director of CEP at Calvin Seminary) cultivate our understanding of God's Word by unpacking the richness of the Bible and applying it with insight to today's world.

Groundwork is a half-hour conversation that digs deeply into Scripture, the foundation for our lives. Each week, pastors Dave Bast (president of Words of Hope) and Scott Hoezee (director of CEP at Calvin Seminary) cultivate our understanding of God's Word by unpacking the richness of the Bible and applying it with insight to today's world.


Holland, MI


Groundwork is a half-hour conversation that digs deeply into Scripture, the foundation for our lives. Each week, pastors Dave Bast (president of Words of Hope) and Scott Hoezee (director of CEP at Calvin Seminary) cultivate our understanding of God's Word by unpacking the richness of the Bible and applying it with insight to today's world.




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Follow: Jesus on the Shore

When we read the story of Jesus meeting the disciples on the shore in John 21, we learn that even after seeing him twice, Jesus’ own disciples still don’t recognize him. We too have moments like that today, when we don’t recognize God or what he’s up to in his world. The disciples’ story helps us recognize that Jesus is there in the ordinary and that he’s willing to fellowship with us right where we’re at. As we observe his interaction with Peter specifically, we realize that Jesus’ command...


Believe: Jesus and the Disciples

The faith of the first Christians was grounded in their unshakable belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But even the disciples experienced fear and doubt as they began to hear stories of people who claimed to have seen the resurrected Jesus. As we study the first interactions between Jesus and his disciples, and particularly the disciple we’ve come to know as “Doubting Thomas,” we find assurance that Jesus is ready and willing to meet us wherever we are in our faith journey. These...


Understand: Jesus on the Road

On the evening of the very first Easter, two of Jesus’ followers listened as their companion on the road to Emmaus explained various Old Testament scriptures to them. Unknowingly, they were walking this road with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As they listened that evening, their understanding of Scripture grew and so did their faith. In time, they realized that it was Jesus himself teaching them along the way. Much like those first believers, our faith is a journey too and Jesus gives...


Experience: Jesus and the Women

Experiencing Jesus is one way we can cultivate our faith. In the gospels, we read about Jesus’ encounters with his female followers, and later his disciples, on that very first Easter day. Their experience of him deepened and grew their faith, and it can do the same for us. As we study their experience of Jesus that day, together we come to see and know again that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. We are reminded that Jesus meets us in the ordinary and that we can experience the presence of...


Crucified and Raised to Life with Christ

Good Friday and Easter mark the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the climax of the Christian church year. There’s no doubt these are the events at the heart of our Christian Faith. During Holy Week, Christians around the world pause to remember and celebrate the great gift of salvation that we receive through Christ’s sacrifice. The Apostle Paul teaches us that we receive this gift of salvation by faith, but he also makes clear, it’s not just something that happens to us, but that we...


The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

The four gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry vary in their selections of stories and in their details. Each gospel writer has a different audience in mind and a different goal, both of which influence what and how they retell Christ’s life. However, the story of Jesus’ crucifixion is so important to the message of salvation that we find an account of it in each of the four gospels. Examining the story of Jesus’ crucifixion in each of the four gospels reveals a beautiful tapestry of...


The Complete Sufficiency of the Cross

When something seems too good to be true, we might find ourselves raising an eyebrow, reading the fine print, and asking “what’s the catch?” But when it comes to salvation, there really is no catch and beyond having faith there is nothing else we need to do. When Christ died on the cross, he paid our debts in full. There is absolutely nothing we can add to his work to ensure our salvation. And yet, sometimes we subconsciously begin to believe that our actions matter for our salvation. During...


The Paradox of the Cross

The cross is a paradox. By human standards, it shouldn’t make sense, it shouldn’t work, and yet, it does. In fact, it’s the greatest paradox—life from death, pardon from penalty, and justification from judgment. In the Roman empire, the cross brought death in a brutal, humiliating way. But instead of shame and defeat, believers of Jesus Christ find life in the cross. Studying the paradox of the cross in Scripture reminds us of the profound love of God. It reminds us how much God values and...


The Shame of the Cross

Shame is a very raw, acute, and distressing feeling. We experience shame when we’re humiliated by our own sinful behavior. Jesus had no sin, yet he too knew shame— the shame of the cross. It’s another aspect of the cross that will help us comprehend the fullness of Jesus’ sacrifice. Together we’ll discuss the relationship between sin and shame in Scripture. We’ll study passages that help us revisit how Jesus experienced shame and unpack why it was necessary for our salvation.


The Curse of the Cross

Crucifixion was a particularly gruesome way to die, but when Jesus died on the cross it wasn’t just gruesome, it was cursed. Seeking to understand the cursed nature of the cross leads us to make connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between our deep-seated guilt and the extreme cost Jesus paid to set us free. We were rightly cursed by God for our failure to keep his covenant, but Jesus became that curse to pay our debt. Join us as we study Scripture to better...


Why Jesus Had to Die on a Cross

Sometimes habits or traditions become so ingrained in our lives that we can go through the motions of them without spending much time reflecting on their meaning. Sometimes, it benefits us to slow down and once again ask, “why?” We’ll begin our Lenten series “The Cross of Jesus” by examining scriptures that help us answer the question, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?” Together, we’ll grow in our faith by seeking to understand what went wrong, recalling God’s covenant, and remembering...


Finding Meaning in Life and the Passing of Time

As humans, we are uniquely aware of time. We talk about the passing of time, we think about the end of time, and we often wish for more time. Sometimes it feels like time is fleeting and sometimes feels like time drags on. Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes contains one of the book’s most well-known passages. The Teacher opens “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” He then goes on to share a well-known list of life’s seasons. He calls time a burden, but...


A Wise Perspective on Work

Do you find joy and satisfaction in your work? Or do you consider work a necessary evil? Many of us spend huge portions of our life working, sometimes doing paid work, other times unpaid. You might say that work is a common theme in each of our lives. It’s also a common theme in the book of Ecclesiastes. In his writings, the Teacher repeatedly comes to the conclusion that work, labor, and toil are meaningless. But is it really that simple? If we carefully study the Teacher’s conclusions,...


When Life is Meaningless

Does life ever feel repetitive, monotonous? Like day in, day out your struggles are the same, your joys seem fleeting, and nothing ever changes. The Teacher in Ecclesiastes echoed this very sentiment. Throughout the book, we repeatedly read his refrain, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” He considers wisdom, knowledge, and pleasure and determines that all of these are meaningless pursuits in life, they will not provide any lasting value. Join us as we examine what the...


Spiritual Attacks and the Armor of God

Have you ever felt like your faith was under attack? In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul warns believers to expect spiritual attacks on their faith. He makes it clear that the devil will always be scheming to undermine and distract them. This continues to be true for us today. But thankfully, Paul also makes sure to remind us of how God has equipped us to defend ourselves. Paul calls this the “armor of God.” Rightly understood, this passage gives us strength and confidence in our faith, but it is...


Living God's Way in Our Relationships

Relationships are part of life. Whether personal or professional in nature, we are always interacting with other people. And the way we treat others matters. In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that once we believe in Jesus Christ, our faith gives us a new identity in Christ and our behavior should change. This includes how we live in relationship with one another. In Ephesians chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6, Paul focused on three particular relationships prevalent in the...


Your Identity in Christ and Your Behavior

Whether you are a new Christian, a life-long believer, or fall somewhere in between, it’s natural to have questions about how your faith should influence your choices and behavior. Does faith only influence our church attendance or does it impact our jobs, our sex life, and the everyday words we speak? In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tells the Christians in Ephesus that believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior should change your behavior, in all spheres of your life, because your...


You Belong. Be Rooted in Christ’s Love.

Keeping a strong faith can be hard when life’s circumstances are difficult. It’s easy to second guess what we know to be true when everything around us seems to challenge or oppose that truth. The Ephesian Christians knew firsthand how it felt to question whether or not God’s promises really extended to them and whether or not they were really part of God’s plan. In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul reminds the believers of God’s original plan for inclusion and affirms their...


Life and Reconciliation in Christ

Injustice and sin are rampant in our world. And much of it flows from humanity’s sinful inclination to literally and metaphorically build walls to exclude others. In Ephesians 2, the Apostle Paul discusses this human tendency. He reminds us that before Christ we were spiritually dead, and without Christ, we continue to be so. But Paul seeks also to energize our faith in the midst of discouraging circumstances. He unpacks the profound truth of God’s grace so we can find hope in God’s gift of...


God's Plan and Spiritual Blessings

When life seems inexplicable and out of control, it’s easy to feel anxious or unsure. Having a plan can bring us assurance in such circumstances. Having a plan ensures we know what direction we’re headed. It often also means we know what comes next and who is going to do what. In Ephesians 1, the Apostle Paul reassures the early Christians in Ephesus, and us, that God most definitely has a salvation plan, and that his plan isn’t just a reaction to what’s going on in the moment. God put his...