Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sermon on Psalm 119:57-60, 105, for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, "Friends of the Law"

No sermon manuscript this week--just notes and you can go to the podbean link for the audio file of my sermon. A sermon about Psalm 119, and how is a Christian able to have a positive view of God's law? What resolves the tension in us about how we relate to God's Law?

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  1. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, and is an “acrostic poem.” It’s divided into 22 stanza, of 8 lines/verses each, and there is one stanza for each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet (176 verses total). There are 8 key words used in the Psalm that are synonyms for the Law of God. These 8 words show up 177 times in the 176 verses, so that the Psalm “overflows” with words about God’s instruction. Read the section from our Introit, or any other section of Psalm 119. What does the author think of God’s Law?
  2. Look also at Psalm 19:7-11. What does that Psalm describe as some of the uses or benefits of God’s Law?
  3. Lutheran teaching about God’s Law ordinarily identifies 3 basic “uses” that God has for His Law: 1) a curb—to restrain sin, 2) a mirror—to accuse or “Show Our Sin” (SOS), and 3) a guide—a positive instruction in what is good and pleasing to God. Which of these uses seems to be in focus in Psalm 1, 19, or 119?
  4. A tension exists in every Christian with regard to God’s law, because of the conflict between our old sinful nature and the new spiritual nature in Christ. How does the new, regenerated person in Christ, view God’s law? Romans 7:18, 22-23. How does the old sinful nature view God’s law? Romans 7:10, 25. Speaking to the new man in Christ Jesus, why does it make sense to say that we delight in the law of God, ala Psalm 119?
  5. What joy is there to be found in obedience? 1 John 5:1-5. Choose one of the Ten Commandments, and write some notes or reflect on how there is joy to be found in obeying it. What hardships or challenges from the world will also accompany that obedience? How does Jesus embody perfect obedience, joy, and love to the Father? Psalm 1, Hebrews 12:1-2

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