Monday, March 28, 2011

Sermon on Romans 5:1-8, for Children's Sunday, "Hero Worship"

Note to reader: Recently I've begun preaching from an outline, to try to sharpen my preaching skills, and so rather than a full manuscript, you have my outline below and the Sermon Talking points with Bible References. I may return to writing a full manuscript out soon, but want to work on better oral delivery. If you want to hear my full sermon, you can still access them on thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com
Thanks for reading!

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Reading from Romans 5, especially verses 6-8: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

1. Fascination with heroes (examples: real-life heroes—rescue workers, Japanese nuclear workers, soldiers protecting, great leaders, comics, movies, sports heroes)

a. Elements of a good hero story: crisis/problems, helpless, rescue from outside, heroic actions, sacrificial efforts to help
b. Many of our problems might have earthly heroes that can help us. Many of you might be “heroes” to someone else. “Twenty-nine percent choose their mothers, 21 percent name their fathers and 16 percent pick their parents without specifying which one. Allowed to choose as many heroes as they'd like, nearly half mention at least one of their folks. Medical professional, EMT, police or firemen, a teacher, father or mother, best friend, counselor.
c. But what about when our problems are too big for any earthly hero? Disappointment; cynicism; not there when we needed them? Problems of hero worship. Modeling our heroes’ flaws as well as their virtues—seeing everything they do as admirable—whether it’s sin or not. “Bad men are wonderfully in love with bad examples.... Oh, that we were as much in love with the examples of good men as others are in love with the examples of bad men.”

2. Jesus—the Greatest Hero Story ever told

a. A God-sized crisis—problems we’re helpless to deliver ourselves from—sin, guilt, death. Earthly heroes are smaller than these problems, God isn’t.
b. Rescue from outside; sacrificial love; facing resistance and hostility
c. Ultimately rejected and alone when He went to the cross—but came for His enemies
d. We were ungodly, enemies of God, sinners
e. Through His death and resurrection He took us as sinners, ungodly, and enemies of God, and made us children of God—forgiven, made new to be godly and loving, and to become friends of God.

3. Hero is really an inadequate word to describe Jesus—a better one is Savior. What does it mean to call Him your Savior? Worship of earthly heroes and heroines is misplaced worship, but Hero Worship—or better yet—Savior Worship is not misplaced. Jesus is worthy of our worship and praise. All Glory goes to Him!

Now the peace of God which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.


Sermon Talking Points:
Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com
Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Who are your heroes? What was it about those heroes that you wanted to imitate? What made their stories magnetic? What were their virtues, and what is it about their character that was worthy of imitation?

2. What happens when our problems/crises are bigger than an earthly hero can handle? Or when our earthly heroes disappoint or are found to be imperfect? Not there to help us when we need it?

3. What type of imitation is praised in the Bible? 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Timothy 3:10; Titus 2:7

4. How is the story of Jesus the “Greatest Hero Story Ever Told?” What are the “God-sized” problems Jesus came to rescue us from? Romans 5:6-12; Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 3:23-24; 6:23. Why is only Jesus able to rescue us from these problems?

5. What was different and greater about Jesus’ rescue than ordinary hero stories? Rom. 5:6, 8, 10 show us that Jesus died for us while we were: ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God. Rather than fighting to destroy His enemies, Jesus died and rose to save & rescue them.

6. Jesus is truly deserving of “hero worship.” He is the true Son of God, and God alone is to be worshipped (The First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3). See examples of Jesus being worshipped as True God: Matthew 2:2; 14:33; 28:9; John 9:38; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 7:9-12

7. Why is Jesus more than just a hero? What does it mean to call Him your Savior? Matt. 1:21; 1 Tim. 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:10.

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