29
Nov
2010

God’s Time is Son-Rise!

Sermon on Romans 13:11-14 for the First Sunday in Advent

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

1. What kind of time is chronos? See for ex. Matt. 2:16; Luke 1:57. What kind of time is kairos? See for ex. Mark 1:15; Luke 4:13

2. So what is the time that Paul speaks of in Rom. 13:11? Cf. Luke 21:28. What significant thing is going to happen? How does Paul picture this?

3. How were we “once darkness”? Ephesians 5:8. What does it mean to be in darkness? What are the works of darkness? Eph. 5:1-18; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-9. What will happen to the darkness?

4. What is sinful and harmful about wild partying and drunkeness? What is a healthy, Christian alternative? In what way is the kingdom of God marked by celebration?

5. What is sinful about sexual immorality and sensuality? What are common forms of this today? How does it impact you? What is the healthy Christian alternative to the use of God’s good gifts?

6. What is sinful about quarrelling and jealousy? Why does this belong with the others? Gal. 5:15. What is a healthy Christian alternative? Psalm 133

7. How does a Christian “dress” for the Son-Rise? How should we be ready for His return? Gal. 3:27. How does Jesus clothe us?

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22
Nov
2010

God of Reversals

Sermon on Malachi 3:13-18 about injustice in life. For the Last Sunday in the Church Year.

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

1. Read what some of the “complaints against God” were from the Jews, in Malachi 1:2; 2:17; 3:8; 3:14-15. Read Psalm 73. How did Asaph envy the wicked, and what brought him back to the truth?

2. What injustice or unfairness do you feel you face in life? If you suffer for doing wrong, this is no credit to you (see the whole book of 1 Peter, especially chs. 2-4; verse 2:19-20). But suffering for doing what is good is a “gracious thing.”

3. How did Asaph find peace and understanding about the plight of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked? Psalm 73:16-28. How does this parallel what God says in Malachi 3?

4. In what way does the Day of Judgment show the “distinction between the righteous and the wicked?” How will God sort things out?

5. Does God hear our cries to Him about injustice? How do we, and how does God respond to injustice and the feelings it produces? How did we become God’s treasured possession? Cf. Malachi 3:16-18, Ps. 73, 1 Peter 1:18-19; Matt. 13:44-46; Rom. 8:31-32

6. How did Jesus respond to the injustice of His crucifixion? Luke 23:34, 43. See how God reacts to injustice in the following parables: Luke 14:12-24; 15:11-32; 19:9-18.

7. How does this set a pattern for us as Christians to follow? How do we respond to injustice in a Christ-like way? If we suffer injustice in this life, what far outweighs anything we experience?

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15
Nov
2010

In the Word

Sermon on Luke 21:5-28 for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, based on Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem, and finally the world.

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

1. The Christian Church Year does not follow the calendar year, but begins in early December/late November with the season of Advent, in preparation for Christmas. As we draw to the end of the Church Year, we hear Bible passages that talk about the anticipation of Christ’s return to judge the living and the dead. Reflect on how the yearly cycle of the Church Year draws us into continual remembrance and expectation. 2. In the “end times” that may seem dark and chaotic, how important is it for People of God to be In the Word? Psalm 119:105. How does it give us light in a dark time? Why are Jesus’ words about the end deserving our full attention? 3. One of the most significant dates in Jewish and Christian history is 69/70 AD, when the Temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed by the Romans. Jesus had dramatically predicted this in Luke 21 & Matt. 24. What might some of the people feared this meant? (Luke 21:9) 4. What signs of the end that Jesus described, do we see today? Why do we not need to be terrified or afraid? What is the over-arching message of the book of Revelation, that speaks about the end times? (hint: who is ultimately in control?) 5. How does the persecution of Christians and their betrayal even by their own family members help to make sense of Jesus’ teachings that faith in Him must come even before family? Lk. 8:19-21; 11:28; Matt. 10:34-39 6. How can hardship or persecution be something that God turns into an opportunity to witness? Luke 21:12-15; 2 Cor. 12:9 7. How should we as Christians react to increasing fear and distress about the end of the world? Luke 21:28. How is our redemption drawing near, and what will come when Jesus returns?

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8
Nov
2010

Saints are…

Sermon on 1 John 3:1-3 for All Saints' Day.

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

1. Read in Scripture for yourself that living Christians are indeed called saints: Acts 9:41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 9:12; Eph 1:1 How does it make you feel to be called a saint?

2. What is the significance of being called children of God? What were we before? Eph. 5:6-8; Rom. 5:6-10. How early did this sinfulness develop? Psalm 51:5; 58:3. How does that make the love of God all the more amazing?

3. Why can’t the world believe this truth? 1 John 3:1-2; John 17:14-16. Why must Christians not boast or brag of their status as children of God? Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 3:27-28. What are we permitted to boast about instead? 1 Cor. 1:31; Gal. 6:14; Psalm 115:1

4. What does it mean that we will be made like Jesus? 1 Cor. 15:49; 1 Cor. 2:9-10. While we will be like Jesus, what do we not become?

5. How is purity and holiness necessary for one to see God? Read Matt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14; Psalm 24:3-4. How are we called away from impurity? 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Thess. 4:7. What things cause impurity? Col. 3:5-10; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3-5.

6. Where does purity come from? Hebrews 9:14, 22. How do we purify ourselves of sins we commit, and cleanse our robes? Revelation 7:14 How should we live as saints?

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1
Nov
2010

Grace as a Gift

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

The Reformation of the Christian Church was triggered Oct. 31, 1517 by Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, nailing 95 Theses (statements) onto the cathedral church door in Wittenberg Germany. They drew attention to numerous corruptions that had arisen in the church, particularly the sale of indulgences. The Lutheran Church is the heir of that Reformation. The “slogans” of the reformation included faith alone—that one is saved only by faith in Jesus, not any combination including our works; grace alone—that salvation is a free and undeserved gift of God; Scripture alone—that the Bible is the only infallible (without error) authority for our faith and life; and Christ alone—that Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6).

1. What made the Reformation necessary? How was Christ’s saving work being clouded over within the church? And today? What consequence does this have for faith, when Christ is not put forward as the full ground of salvation? Was the Reformation the introduction of new ideas to the church, or recovery of old ones? Explain. 2. What is the difference between seeing grace as a free gift (cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:24) and as a “supplement” or boost to our own willpower? 3. How do we usually react if we get credit for something we didn’t do? How does that parallel how we react to the free gift of salvation from God? How does this steal away God’s glory and diminish the work and the honor of Christ? Romans 4:4-5 4. How does the Apostle Paul respond to the fear that the free Gospel of grace will produce laziness and ingratitude or continued sinning? Rom. 6:1-4. How does Scripture encourage the Christian to works? Eph. 2:9-10 5. How is the idea of Christ as a “New Lawgiver” wrongly pressed into the service of keeping Christians from sinning? Jn 1:17. How did Christ show the fullness of the Law? How did He become the only one to keep it? How is Jesus work totally complete and sufficient for our salvation?

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