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Showing posts from July, 2020

Sermon on Romans 8:28-39, for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (A), "Conformed to the Firstborn"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. As we saw also last week, Romans 8 is rich with deep theology and comfort. Some of the most amazing promises of God are found in this beloved Scripture. Let’s focus in on how God chose us to be conformed to the image of His Son. To be “conformed” is to take on something else’s shape. In Romans 12 Paul tells us not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewal of your mind. So it’s really a question of whose shape or form are we going to take? The easy path, the natural pull of gravity is to adopt the shape or form of the world. It doesn’t take any effort to soak in the values, the morals, and the mindset of the world. We’re marinated in that environment. Self-gratification, self-service, self-interested—the shape of the world is easy to conform to—it fits our natural desires. But to be conformed to the image of Jesus, to be transformed in Him by the renewal of our m…

Sermon on Romans 8:18-27, for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (A), "Creation and Restoration"

·What we see in creation: beauty or suffering? The positive: the case for design/creation; beauty, engineering, puzzle. The negative: the thorns, the parasites, diseases, COVID, natural disasters, death? Led many evolutionists to doubt and reject God. ·Rom 8—creation groaning—subjected to futility. Futile: ineffective; failure; lack of purpose or success. God subjected the world to this b/c of sin—Adam’s first sin opened the world to futility and subjugation. Sin is an ongoing, thorough devastation of the whole creation, not just humans: entire physical universe. The Christian understands this from God’s Word, that sin has infected everything, and that the world is not as it was or should be, but that what we see now is the corrupted world. But others may look at the defects, diseases, and death in the world and think God didn’t know what He was doing, or that He wasn’t a good designer. They assume that the world as we know it today must have been how God made it, even though the Bibl…

Sermon on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, for the 6th Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (A), “This is God’s Work”

Sermon outline: (Listen to full audio on the podcast app)·This is God’s work: the Sower, and the Seed (Word) which has the power to grow. ·Hindrances are the work of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature. ·Our job is to hear; to listen. Hear the Word of the Lord b/c faith comes by hearing. ·This is God’s work—gracious and reckless (throw seeds) “Though some be snatched and some be scorched and some be choked and matted flat, the sower sows; his heart cries out: “‘Oh, what of that and what of that?’” Not stingy or selective of who receives the Gospel—God knows His Word will be rejected—this is why Jesus taught in parables. Those who would hear and understand would be blessed. oThis is God’s work—the seed that grows is God’s powerful word. Not from us. The Word-seed contains the very life it gives and grows. Fruitful members in good soil are a product of the Word-seed implanted in us. (ears!) oThis is God’s work—the Word-seed produces more than what was planted. “God gives the gr…

Sermon on Matthew 11:25-30 for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, " Trading Yokes with Jesus"

Sermon outline: ·Re-read: “28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Beloved passage·Burdens and yokes. Farming, oxen. Trading Yokes with Jesus. Heavy for light·Our yokes and burdens: 1) the yoke of sin and guilt. 2) “wearisome changes”—the yoke of worries and cares in the world, 3) the yoke of labor ·All my burdens. All my anxieties. Sin and guilt—heaviest and perhaps least understood. Invisible, but we feel its weight. Feel the dread of guilt, judgment, fear of hell. Denial doesn’t get rid of it. Anger can’t lift it. Passing the blame doesn’t lessen the weight. Doesn’t stop us from trying. But sin presses down on our soul. Our conscience sounds the alarm. But sometimes we learn to suppress the alarm, numb the feeling, or ignore it. But only Christ can lift the weight of sin, His forgive…