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Showing posts from February, 2013

Sermon on Psalm 110, for Lent 3 midweek, "Indestructible Life"

Sermon Outline: ·Although this Psalm is more triumphant in tone, speaks of rule and exaltation—we can’t pass over it in our series. Most quoted in NT. Luther: wraps together pictures of the Messiah as descendant of David, Son of God, King, Priest, and Judge. Most NT references focus on the kingship, the glory, Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven to rule at God’s right hand. ·Hebrews 7, however, focuses on v. 4, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Unlikely; unexpected combination—king and priest. There are many suggestions in the Gospels that the people expected Jesus to be a King, and that they expected this in the Messiah. But was it a widespread expectation that He would also be a priest? (not sure). As Hebrews tells us, the law said nothing about priests coming from the descendants of Judah. But the Messiah was to come from the tribe of Judah. So how could He be a priest? Only from the tribe of Levi, an…

Sermon on Luke 13:31-35, for the 2nd Sunday in Lent, "Self-preservation, or self-sacrifice?"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The Gospel reading from Luke 13, begins with some Pharisees giving Jesus a warning to get out of harms’ way. Herod, known to be a maniacal king, wants to kill Him, they say. By human expectations, Jesus response is strange here--He doesn’t thank the Pharisees for the warning, or accept their advice. Instead He makes a statement of defiance over against Herod, and affirms that He was going to “stay His course” and finish the work He had left. Then He follows with hard words for the city of Jerusalem--but sandwiched in the middle of them is a picture of the remarkable tenderness of God’s love for us. Did Jesus question the sincerity or the motives of their warning? Or was He just undeterred from the job that lay ahead of Him? Certainly before, Jesus had been able to make a safe exit when His life was in danger, but He was also no coward. When He knew His cross drew near, He didn’t run when i…

Sermon on Psalm 89, for Lent 2 midweek, "God's Anointed"

Sermon Outline: ·Psalm 89: sings at length of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. A song and praise to sing for all generations—a song the heavens join in singing. To the incomparable God, greatly feared, all powerful, surrounded by faithfulness. A song sung from the mountaintops and throughout all creation—wherever the might of God’s hand has been displayed. In the power over creation, power over His people’s enemies, and His steadfast love. v. 14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne, steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” ·Lays a sure foundation of the Psalmist’s hope. Pillars of God’s throne and rule. His unchangeable qualities, on which we can bank. Foundation of our confidence to call on Him for help. Lays foundation for a major prayer and crisis in the 2nd half of the Psalm. ·v. 19-37 (still first half), recounts God’s covenant, His promise to David and his throne (2 Sam. 7). Specific example of faithfulness.  v. 3-4 already mentioned: “You hav…

Sermon on Luke 4:1-13, for the 1st Sunday in Lent, "Victor on the Battlefield"

Sermon Outline: ·Age of “camera angles”. News, sports. Bird’s eye view of sports? Adjustment. Perspective. Scripture gives unfamiliar “camera angles” or perspectives on life, world. Spiritual perspective—bird’s eye view. Life is a spiritual battlefield with its temptations. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Or: Eph. 6, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to wit…

Sermon on Hebrews 3:1-6 & Luke 9:28-36, for Transfiguration Sunday, "The Supremacy and Sonship of Jesus"

Today we stand with the disciples at the high mountaintop of the Transfiguration, watching Jesus gloriously transformed to dazzling white, before we descend with Him on the journey to the cross. His departure, His exodus, the path He leads down through suffering and the grave, and up and out to the promised land of eternal life. Today we leave the high mountaintop of Transfiguration to descend into the valley of Lent—our annual springtime journey beside the footsteps of Jesus, leading toward His cross. The journey where we become acutely aware of our sins and the sufferings that they cost Jesus, and His incredible love that bore all our sins willingly.             From this mountaintop we can see why the writer to the Hebrews wrote about the Supremacy of Jesus Christ, and His unique and superior role in God’s plan of salvation. Hebrews 3 argues that Jesus is greater than Moses. It’s in the context of a larger sermon: greater than angels, high priests, priesthood, sacrifice…

Sermon on Luke 4:31-44, for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, "Responding to Jesus"

Sermon Outline: ·Jesus was undoubtedly a person, who if He entered into your life, you could not leave unaffected. We shouldn’t expect any different today. Controversy followed—divided opinions among Jews. Teachings and miracles magnetic—drawing crowds. His Word was challenging, at times provocative, acclaimed for being authoritative. Not just quoting others, building authority on what 5 generations of rabbis had taught. He was authority—He spoke and His Word commanded attention. His Word was self-evidently true—it rang true with the very authenticity that spoke for itself. Taught from God’s Word as though He was its author and rightful interpreter (and He was in fact both!). His teaching compelled people of every stripe to look deeper than mere outward signs of good behavior and church going, to see if their hearts and minds were right with God. To see whether your “inner and outer reality” were in sync. That is—hypocrisy, or show-religion—didn’t impress Him. And neither was He fooled…