13
Nov
2017

Forgive as God Forgives You

Sermon on Matthew 18:21-35, for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity (1 YR lectionary), about Peter's question to Jesus about forgiveness, and the parable of the unforgiving servant. What are the dimensions of forgiveness? Does forgiveness mean ignoring injustice? How can the Christian have a two fold response to injustice and evil committed against them? Our prayers are with the victims of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. How is Christ the model for forgiveness? What must we do if unforgiveness has a root in our hearts? What is Jesus' response to evil?

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6
Nov
2017

Blessed are the Meek

Sermon on Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the earth", for All Saints' Day. What does it mean to be meek? Is meekness weakness, or something else? How was Christ meek, and how are we to be meek? What are the promises to the meek, and where are they rooted in the Old Testament? What is indicated about the future "new heavens and new earth?" 

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30
Oct
2017

To God Alone Be Glory

Sermon on Romans 3:19-28, for Reformation Day. Soli Deo Gloria--To God Alone Be Glory! A celebration of the blessings of God's blessings to Emmanuel Lutheran Church at our 50th anniversary, and 500 years of the worldwide ringing out of the joyful Gospel of freedom in Christ Jesus. Why does the Gospel leave us no grounds for boasting? What does some of the theological language of Romans 3 mean, and why was "justification by faith" the issue that Martin Luther said the church stands or falls on? What is the difference in the place that good works have, in Luther's reading of Scripture, and in what was being taught by the church? 

  • The book of Romans as a whole, and Romans 3:19-28 in particular, was crucial to Martin Luther’s rediscovery of the Bible, as He immersed Himself in study of the Bible. This passage gives such a clear description of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus, apart from the works of the Law. Nevertheless, it has some theological terms that may not be familiar to us, and some weaknesses of the English language prevent us from seeing the relationship of all the ideas. Here is a quick  vocabulary list to help clarify:
  • “the Law and the Prophets”—expression for the Old Testament (v. 21)
  • “works of the Law”—obedience (or lack thereof) to God’s commandments (v. 20, 27, 28). This is excluded from our justification
  • “justified”—in Greek it’s part of one word family, together with “righteous” or “righteousness” (below), and means “to declare righteous/innocent”. “Justified” can be thought of as God’s legal verdict of innocence—not by “works of the law”, but only by faith in Jesus (v.20, 24, 26, 28)
  • “righteous/righteousness/just”—in Greek, all part of the same word family, meaning upright and innocent. Note there are two kinds of righteousness—by the law (we are actually all unrighteous by this measure) and the righteousness “apart from the law” (v. 21), which is the “righteousness of God through faith in Jesus” (v. 22) (a free gift!)
  • “believe/belief/faith”—again, all one word family in Greek, but split in English into the verb “believe” and noun “faith”. Means our trust in God, or “honesty about dependence” on Him.
  • “propitiation”—a putting away of God’s wrath against sin. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the satisfying of the just demand of the Law that sin and evil be punished. (v. 25)
  • “redemption”—to buy back, from sins and death (v. 24)
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23
Oct
2017

Your Sins are Forgiven

Sermon on Matthew 9:1-8, on the forgiveness and healing of the paralytic. What surprises are contained in this encounter with Jesus? What is forgiveness, and what does it mean that our sins are forgiven before God? How has God given such authority to men? How does Jesus read our hearts and minds? What does He see, and how does He address it? 

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16
Oct
2017

Commander and Savior

Sermon on Matthew 22:34-46, for the 18th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' teaching of the Law and the Gospel in a nutshell--what is the greatest commandment? And who is the Christ? Why is love central to the Law? What does Jesus mean that the Law and the Prophets depend (lit. "hang") on these two commands? What did the Pharisees refuse to see? What does Psalm 110:1 mean?

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9
Oct
2017

Thanks for Listening

I pray that you are blessed by the Word of God, and enjoy listening! Please leave a rating on iTunes or your podcast platform, to help reach more, if you enjoy this podcast!

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9
Oct
2017

Day of Rest and Gladness

Sermon on Luke 14:1-6, for the 17th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' confrontations with the Pharisees about the Sabbath commandment, and what is and isn't lawful to do on the Sabbath Day. How do we avoid the legalisms of the Pharisees while also obeying the Spirit of the law, and finding physical and spiritual rest? What is the disconnect between the problem Jesus faced with the Pharisees, and our own use of the Sabbath? What changed from Old Testament to New, that we worship on Sunday now? What refreshment does the Lord of the Sabbath bring us? 

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2
Oct
2017

Know the Surpassing Love of Christ

Sermon on Ephesians 3:13-21, for the 16th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about Paul's prayer for the Ephesians, and how it illustrates the exceeding grace and love of Christ Jesus. How do we often ignore or pass by glory? How can it be recognized and seen? What is the glory of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus? 

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25
Sep
2017

Jesus, our Master

Sermon on Matthew 6:24-34, from the Sermon on the Mount, for the 15th Sunday after Trinity (1 YR lectionary), about who is our master--God, or money. What demands does money make, if it is our master? What does it give us? What does it take from us? How does worry factor in? How is Jesus a better master in every way? What does He give us in return? Where is God's kingdom and righteousness to be found? 

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18
Sep
2017

Doctor of Souls

Sermon on Luke 17:11-19, for the 14th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' healing ten lepers, and the one Samaritan who returned to give thanks. What does Jesus imply about the nature of the healing(s) received when he says, "Rise and go, your faith has made you well?" What makes for our wellness? What do we learn from the darker chapters of history, in seeing both the evils and suffering, but also the shining examples of compassion and sacrifice? Why did Jesus enter human history? How did He change it? What is the nature of worship, and why we do it? 

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11
Sep
2017

The Good Samaritan

Sermon on Luke 10:23-37 (with references to Galatians 3), for the 13th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. What was the teacher of the law trying to learn from Jesus? How was he trying to use the law in a way for which it had not been given? What does the parable teach us about who is our neighbor? What characterizes the actions of the Good Samaritan, and who is the best description of that care? How are we enabled to love our neighbor, not  for justifying ourselves, but out of a new definition of who we are? How do we inherit eternal life? 

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6
Sep
2017

Our Sufficiency is Christ

Sermon on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11, for the 12th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr. Lectionary), about how Paul's ministry to the Corinthians, what it means to be "letters written on human hearts" and the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. Why does the "letter kill" but the "spirit gives life?" Is the law of God a bad thing, since Paul describes it negatively here? What is the difference about the Gospel message? How are we made alive? 

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28
Aug
2017

My Brother’s Keeper

Sermon on Genesis 4:1-15, for the 11th Sunday after Trinity, (1 Year Lectionary), about Cain and Abel. Why did he kill his brother? What were some of the "firsts" (good and bad) in Genesis? What "new impulse" did Adam and Eve gain (in Genesis 3)? What is true and false about the idea of being "my brother's keeper"? What were Adam and Eve hoping for when their son Cain was born? How did Jesus fulfill the role that Cain never did? What is unusual about 4:1? 

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21
Aug
2017

He Himself is Our Peace

Sermon on Luke 19:41-48, for the 10th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' lament over Jerusalem after entering on Palm Sunday. What does Jesus mean about them rejecting the "things that make for peace" and not knowing "the time of their visitation?" What is the peace of Jesus? What kind of "visitation" is still to come? How do we show that we don't know the things that make for peace, and what brings peace even today?

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16
Aug
2017

Merciful, Blameless, and Pure

Sermon on 2 Samuel 22:26-34 (Psalm 18:25-33), for the 9th Sunday after Trinity, about how God is merciful, blameless, and pure, and wants us to reflect these qualities in our life, and why God appears "torturous" to the crooked. How does this fit into David's own life? How did he make his way "crooked" and find God to be "torturous"? How does God rescue us from crooked paths and crooked hearts? Who is, and where can you find a "blameless man" or "upright hero?"  

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