What is Saving Faith?

October 26, 2009

Sermon on Romans 3:19-28 for Reformation Day.

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. The 5 Reformation solas are: Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, and to God Alone be Glory! What does faith alone exclude from salvation? (Rom. 3:27-28)

  1. How does the teaching of faith alone uphold the glory and merit of Christ Jesus? Galatians 2:21; 5:11;

  1. Compare a strong and weak faith. Is a weak faith still a saving faith? Why? Cf. Mark 9:24; Luke 17:5

  1. Is a sincere faith a saving faith, regardless of whom it trusts in? What’s wrong or illogical about this way of thinking? Isaiah 45:20-23; Luke 19:10; Hebrews 7:25

  1. Faith has been described as knowledge, assent, and trust. How is knowledge part of faith, but not faith in itself? Who also had accurate knowledge of Jesus, but did not have the essential trust in Him as Savior? Luke 4:41; James 2:19.

  1. How is mere assent or agreement to the Bible’s teachings, not yet faith? What must be added to this? Ps. 9:10; Rom. 3:22, 26.

  1. How does an infant or child exemplify what faith means? How does the bible teach about the faith of children? Matthew 18:1-6; Psalm 22:9-10; 71:5-6; cf. Psalm 58:3. See Luke 1:39-45

God’s Word: A Two-Edged Sword

October 19, 2009

Sermon on Hebrews 4:1-13 for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon Talking Points:

Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Why is God’s Word like a two-edged sword? Who wields it? Rev. 1:16. Cf. Ephesians 6:10-20.

  1. How is the Word of God’s Law different from the Word of God’s Gospel? In who it addresses? In what it says? In the threats or promises it makes? In the results it has on those who hear it?

  1. Read a passage like Psalm 95 or Hebrews 4:1-13, and see if you can identify which statements are Law and which are Gospel.

  1. What two responses to God’s Word endanger our receiving of His promises and blessings? How did the Israelites fail to enter into the rest that God promised? Hebrews 4:2-6

  1. How does the Word of Law affect the sinful, disobedient, or unbelieving? Rom. 2:12-29; 3:19-20

  1. How does the Word of Gospel affect the repentant sinner who believes? Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 5:1-11.

  1. How are all examples of “rest” in this life an incomplete picture of God’s “rest?” How does God’s two-fold Word guide and direct us to that day of eternal rest? Who secured this rest for us and how? Matt. 11:28-29

Hands Full and Heart Empty

October 12, 2009

Sermon on Mark 10:17-22 for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost.

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Facing our mortality brings the inevitable question of “what’s next?” after death. Ecclesiastes 3:11. Have we answered this question for ourselves, and are we prepared for life’s end, whenever it may come?

2. What was flawed about the rich young man’s question? What is incompatible about meriting an inheritance? Romans 4:4-5

3. Why did the man think that he was basically good, and deserving of eternal life? Why is this not true? Romans 3:10-12, 21-24; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Mark 10:18. What do we need to admit about our own goodness or lack-thereof, and how this affects our relationship to God? 1 John 1:8-10; 4:10, 19

4. What are the “two tables” of the 10 Commandments? Mark 12:28-31 How had the rich young man failed to keep the first table, and especially the first commandment? Exodus 20:2-3ff. Reflect on your own failures to keep the commandments. What things have we placed as idols in our hearts?

5. Where do we get a full heart? What is the heavenly treasure that we should seek? Matthew 6:19-24

6. How did Jesus forsake all of His treasure to become ours and to grant us all of His treasure? What did it cost Him? 1 Peter 1:3-7, 18-20

7. What riches can we now freely give away, since we have faith in Christ? How does giving this away add to our treasure in heaven?


God Joins Together

October 5, 2009

Sermon On Mark 10:2-12 for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. What test did the Pharisees lay for Jesus about the question of divorce? What were the two sides of the debate between Rabbi’s about the reasons for divorce?

2. How did Jesus’ answer elevate the discussion above that debate? What did Jesus quote as the basis for understanding marriage? Read Genesis 1:27; 2:23-24.

3. Is marriage a “man-made” institution, or divine? Then who sets the terms for what marriage is? Why does Jesus protect this institution of marriage so strongly? What does God have in mind for us to enjoy?

4. Jesus acknowledged that because of the hardness of sinful hearts, divorce does happen, even though this isn’t God’s design or plan for marriage. How does the reality of forgiveness in our lives through Christ, enable us to work toward preventing divorce, and finding reconciliation? What healing is there for those who’ve been wronged by their spouses? 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 5:16-21; Rom. 5:18-6:4.

5. For a thorough study and statement on Divorce and Remarriage, see our church’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) document at:  http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/Divorce_Remarriage1.pdf