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Showing posts from August, 2012

Sermon on John 6:51-60, for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, "Words of Eternal Life"

Sermon Outline: 1.Couple of place in NT talk about giving milk and not solid food: 1 Cor. 3, Paul addresses them as infants in Christ, “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.” Again in Hebrews 5 he chides them that they ought to have become mature in their faith and understanding by now, but instead needed to relearn the basics, and needed milk, and not solid food, for the one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness—but solid food is for the mature. Today: solid food, a challenging passage, but words that are spirit and they are life. Truly as Peter said, Jesus has the words of eternal life. 2.Already now you recognize that the food I’m talking about eating is spiritual, not physical. Teaching, truth, God’s Word. And the “eating” you will be doing is spiritual also—the understanding of your faith as it grasps Christ and consumes the Bread of Life, the digestion of careful thinking and consideration of God’s Word. 3.So also Jesus calls us…

“Your Songs and Prayers Against the Darkness Hurling…”

(Newsletter article) The vivid words and images leapt off the pages and captured my imagination as the triumphant rhythms of the hymn pulsed with joy. Christ Jesus battling against the forces of darkness and evil. We see a rejected man hanging on the cross, lingering near death, arms pinned down in apparent defeat. But saints and angels saw Jesus delivering a deathblow to “send the pow’rs of evil reeling.” Satan and the forces of evil knocked completely off-balance; reeling, tumbling back in shock and surprise as Jesus’ death on the cross sealed victory for Him, and defeat for sin, death, and the power of the devil. We’re invited to see and believe this victory.
Jesus delivers to us the fruits of this awesome victory, bringing us “freedom, light and life and healing. All men and women who by guilt are driven, now are forgiven.” You have been driven by guilt. Driven to fear, driven to the vain attempt to please God by your good works, driven to hide, excuse, or explain away your guilt…

Sermon on Ephesians 4:17-5:2, for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, "Put on the New Self!"

Sermon Outline: 1.A contrast between the old way of life (futility, darkened, ignorance, hardness of heart) and the new life that Christ has given. Put off the old self, put on the new self! Two-fold nature as a Christian—internal battle, old patterns and ways—new patterns and ways. 2.Calls us to be renewed in the Spirit of our mind, put on the new self. Surrender ways of thinking that run contrary to God’s Word. Challenge worldly thinking, and renew your thinking in the Spirit. 3.God’s design for life will run against the grain of so much of what surrounds us and fills our thinking, but it’s more than worth the “trade-in” to swap out our way of thinking for the renewing way of thinking in the Spirit. God’s Word is more precious than gold, and He won’t lead us astray. No arbitrary, meaningless, or useless commands—but for our best. Contrast turning your mind ON and using it well, with thoughtlessly giving into our compulsive desires and cravings. It takes no thought at all to fall into…

Sermon on Ephesians 4:1-16, for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, "The Body of Christ"

Sermon Outline: 1.Simplest definition of the church: “Lambs and believers who hear and follow the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd.” Paul mixes and blends metaphors of body and building to describe the church. Here focus on the body, its internal health and unity, its growth in love. 2.Listen to the “body language:” “11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held …