Hero Worship

March 28, 2011

Sermon on Romans 5:1-8, about heroes and the Greatest Hero Story Ever!

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

1. Who are your heroes? What was it about those heroes that you wanted to imitate? What made their stories magnetic? What were their virtues, and what is it about their character that was worthy of imitation?

2. What happens when our problems/crises are bigger than an earthly hero can handle? Or when our earthly heroes disappoint or are found to be imperfect? Not there to help us when we need it?

3. What type of imitation is praised in the Bible? 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Timothy 3:10; Titus 2:7

4. How is the story of Jesus the “Greatest Hero Story Ever Told?” What are the “God-sized” problems Jesus came to rescue us from? Romans 5:6-12; Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 3:23-24; 6:23. Why is only Jesus able to rescue us from these problems?

5. What was different and greater about Jesus’ rescue than ordinary hero stories? Rom. 5:6, 8, 10 show us that Jesus died for us while we were: ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God. Rather than fighting to destroy His enemies, Jesus died and rose to save & rescue them.

6. Jesus is truly deserving of “hero worship.” He is the true Son of God, and God alone is to be worshipped (The First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3). See examples of Jesus being worshipped as True God: Matthew 2:2; 14:33; 28:9; John 9:38; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 7:9-12

7. Why is Jesus more than just a hero? What does it mean to call Him your Savior? Matt. 1:21; 1 Tim. 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:10.


The Lord’s Supper 4

March 21, 2011

Sermon on the proper use of the Supper and how to receive the Sacrament worthily. The text is 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

IV. How to Receive This Sacrament Worthily 299. Why is it important to receive the Sacrament worthily? It is very important because St. Paul clearly teaches: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor. 11:27-29).

300. Is it necessary to fast before receiving the Sacrament? Fasting can be good training for the will, but God does not command particular times, places, and forms for this. 1 Tim. 4:8; 1 Cor. 9:24-27

301. When do we receive the Sacrament worthily? We receive it worthily when we have faith in Christ and His words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

302. When is a person unworthy and unprepared? A person is unworthy and unprepared when he or she does not believe or doubts Christ’s words, since the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.

303. How are we to examine ourselves before receiving the Sacrament? We are to examine ourselves to see whether A. We are sorry for our sins; Ps. 38:18; 2 Cor. 7:10-11 B. We believe in our Savior Jesus Christ and in His words in the Sacrament; Luke 22:19-20; 2 Cor. 13:5 C. We plan, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to change our sinful lives. Eph. 4:22-24. As a preparation for the Sacrament, use “Christian Questions and their Answers.” (found on page 329-330 in the LSB hymnal)

304. May those who are weak in faith come to the Lord’s Table? Yes, for Christ instituted the Sacrament for the very purpose of strengthening and increasing our faith. Mark 9:24; John 6:37

305. Who must not be given the Sacrament? The Sacrament must not be given to the following: A. Those who are openly ungodly and unrepentant, including those who take part in non-Christian religious worship. 1 Cor. 5:11, 13; 1 Cor. 10:20-21. B. Those who are unforgiving, refusing to be reconciled. They show thereby that they do not really believe that God forgives them either. Matt. 6:15. Bible narrative The unmerciful servant (Matt. 18:21-35) C. Those of a different confession of faith, since the Lord’s Supper is a testimony of the unity of faith. Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10:17; 1 Cor. 11:26; Rom. 16:17 D. Those who are unable to examine themselves, such as infants, people who have not received proper instruction, or the unconscious. 1 Cor. 11:28. Note: Pastors as stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:1) have the greatest responsibility as to who should be admitted to the Sacrament. Some of the responsibility also rests with the congregation and the communicant.

306. What is confirmation? Confirmation is a public rite of the church preceded by a period of instruction designed to help baptized Christians identify with the life and mission of the Christian community.

Note: Prior to admission to the Lord’s Supper, it is necessary to be instructed in the Christian faith (1 Cor. 11:28). The rite of Confirmation provides an opportunity for the individual Christian, relying on God’s promise given in Holy Baptism, to make a personal public confession of the faith and a lifelong pledge of fidelity to Christ. Matt. 10:32-33; Rev. 2:10

From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986, 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission. www.cph.org.


Knowing God is Near

March 14, 2011

The sermon text is Psalm 77 and Luke 13:1-5, and the sermon is about how we as Christians respond to disasters like the one that has just hit Japan with a devastating earthquake and tsunami. At times like this, people might wonder whether God is near, or if He hears our prayers. The Psalm affirms that God is near even when His footprints are unseen, and that the way that we know God is near is through the saving acts of God in history, most clearly seen in the cross of Jesus Christ. That outpouring of God's love on the cross moves our hearts to mercy and compassion for those who are suffering. May the Lord be with all of our brothers and sisters in Japan!! May the God of all peace grant you consolation in a time of great loss and sadness!


You Shall Have No other gods Before Me

March 14, 2011

Sermon for Ash Wednesday. Exodus 20:3


The Lord’s Supper 3

March 7, 2011

Sermon on Matthew 26:28 about the Spiritual blessings and benefits of the Lord's Supper.

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

Questions and Answers about the Sacrament of the Altar

II. The Benefit of the Sacrament of the Altar What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? These words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

296. What is the benefit offered in the sacrament? A. The chief blessing of the Sacrament is the forgiveness of sins which Christ’s body and blood have won for us on the cross. (The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace.) Matt. 26:28; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Col. 1:22; 1 John 1:7 B. Together with forgiveness, God gives all other blessings as well, that is, “life and salvation.” “We must never regard the sacrament as a harmful thing from which we should flee, but as a pure, wholesome, soothing medicine which aids and quickens us in both soul and body. For where the soul is healed, the body has benefited also” (Large Catechism V 68). “We are talking about the presence of the living Christ, knowing that ‘death no longer has dominion over him’” (Rom. 6:8-9; Apology X 4); Rom. 8:31-32 C. In the Sacrament Christ gives victory over sin and hell and strength for the new life in Him. Rom. 8:10; 1 Pet. 2:24 D. As Christians partake of this sacrament together, they make a solemn public confession of Christ and of unity in the truth of His Gospel. 1 Cor. 10:17; 1 Cor. 11:26; Heb. 12:22-24

III. The Power of the Sacrament of the Altar. How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things? Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: “forgiveness of sins.”

297. How can forgiveness, life, and salvation be obtained through bodily eating and drinking? Not simply the eating and drinking, but the words of Christ together with His body and blood under the bread and wine are the way through which these blessings are given. “We do not claim this of bread and wine—since in itself bread is bread—but of that bread and wine which are Christ’s body and blood and with which the words are coupled. These and no other, we say, are the treasure through which forgiveness is obtained” (Large Catechism V 28). Christ’s words of promise have put these gifts into the Sacrament, and the believer receives them there through faith.

298. Does everyone who eats and drinks the Sacrament also receive forgiveness, life, and salvation? Forgiveness, life, and salvation are truly offered to all who eat the Lord’s body and blood in the Sacrament, but only through faith can we receive the blessings offered there. Luke 1:45; Luke 11:27-28. Note: To “keep” or “obey” God’s Word of promise is to believe or trust it. “For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Rom. 1:17). 1 Cor. 10:3-5. Bible Narrative: There was a blessing in touching Jesus or being touched by Him, and faith received it. Matt. 9:20-22, 27-29.

From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986, 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission. www.cph.org.