30
Jan
2012

The Prophet

Sermon on Deuteronomy 18:15-20, for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany on Moses' prophecy of a greater prophet like him who would come after. How the Israelites (and us) encounter God, and what it means to have Jesus as our mediator between God and man.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. The Israelites had been terrified at their direct encounter with God at Mount Horeb (Sinai), and wanted no more. Read about their experience  and reaction: Exodus 19:1-20:21; Deuteronomy 5. What was their request instead? Ex. 20:19; Deut. 5:24-27; 18:16

2. Does it surprise you that God commended their request? Why was there a need for a mediator between God and man? John 1:18; Exodus 33:17-23, esp. vs. 20. 1 Tim. 6:16; Heb. 12:14; 12:18-24. Why would it be dangerous for us to seek an “unmediated encounter” with God? Who is the One and Only Mediator that God has now appointed between Himself and mankind? 1 Timothy 2:4; Heb. 12:24; 8:6; 9:15

3. What was the purpose of Moses’ ministry as mediator to the Israelites, and what did his prophetic message do/accomplish? How does the work of the Law continue in our lives (and consciences)? Heb. 3:1-6; 2 Cor. 3:7-18; Rom. 7:7-14; Gal. 3:19-29

4. If Moses’ ministry (of the Law) brought knowledge of sin and death, what was Jesus’ prophetic ministry to bring? John 1:17; Heb. 12:22-24; Gal. 3:25-26; 2 Cor. 3:17-18

5. How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ give answer to the deepest accusation of the Law against us? Why is the Spirit’s work of breaking our sinfulness (turning us to Him) the necessary precursor to faith in Christ and receiving that blessed forgiveness? What happens when we oppose or resist the power of God’s Word working in us?

6. What is the OT warning against false prophets? Deut. 18:20-22; 13:1-5; Jer. 23:9-40. What is the NT warning? 1 John 4:1ff; Matt. 24:11, 23-27; 7:15-16; 2 Tim. 3:5-9; 1 Tim. 6; Acts. 17:11.

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23
Jan
2012

Fishers of Men

Sermon on Mark 1:14-20 for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, about how Jesus calls the first disciples and makes them fishers of men. What it means to be caught up into the "net" of God's grace.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. The word “gospel” means “good news.” What makes God’s gospel message so great for us? Romans 1:1-6; 16

2. What “time” had arrived when Jesus came? What time is now here for you? Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 6:2. What was happening, and what urgency did it imply for those who heard the message?

3. When Jesus found His first disciples, what were they doing? What was their status in society? Why do you think Jesus chose them? How did Paul show in his own life (or that of the apostles) that the power of the Gospel had to come from God, and not from men? 2 Cor. 3:4-6; 4:1-7.

4. What did it mean for the disciples to become “fishers of men?” What is the “net” that is cast? That net gathers people into what? Matthew 13:47-50. How can we be fishers of men? Where do we see the visible signs of God’s kingdom or reign?

5. Where can you personally cast God’s net? How do we experience a “death” when we are caught in God’s net? How does it prepare us for real life in Him? Colossians 2:12-14; 3:3-4.

6. Describe what it means for you to be “caught up” in the net of God’s grace. How might you share this with someone else?

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16
Jan
2012

A Pure Temple

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany about God's design for human sexuality. How Christians are called to a higher view of sexuality and what our value and identity is as forgiven children of God.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. In 1 Corinthians 6:12-13, Paul seems to be addressing some common “slogans” or sayings that were circulating in the Corinthian church, or perhaps on the streets of Corinth. What are the “slogans” that is responding to, and how does he redirect or reshape them to make his point that sexual immorality is not permissible for the Christian?

2. How does Paul argue that sins committed in the body are truly significant and spiritually harmful? Instead of sex being a “casual encounter,” what in fact takes place? 1 Cor. 6:16-20. The “one flesh union” that sex creates is actually a good gift of God’s creation when used within the design that He gave for it: marriage between one man and one woman. Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:6-9.

3. How does the proper use of our bodies then directly impact the holiness and purity of the Holy Spirit’s Temple (our body)? How ought a single Christian to live? A married Christian? (See 1 Cor. 7 for Paul’s further instructions on sexuality). 1 Thess. 4:3-8.

4. What distinctly high honor and value does the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in us grant to our bodies? How has the influence of the world and sexual attitudes of our culture eroded or disregarded that value? How can we rebuild it among ourselves and with the youth of our generation? What have the consequences been of increasing sexual immorality?

5. For those who have repented of sexual sin, and discovered God’s better plan for themselves and their bodies, what cleansing/purification has Christ accomplished for our bodies as God’s Temple? 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Col. 2:11-14; 3:1-11; John 8:10-11. What new purpose for living does He grant us? 1 Cor. 6:20; Heb. 13:4; 1 Thess. 4:3-8

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2
Jan
2012

What’s in a name?

Sermon on Numbers 6:22-27 and Luke 2:21 about the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus. What does the name of Jesus mean, and what is God's name?

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. Look up some examples of Biblical names that bore great significance for their bearers. Genesis 2:7, 20; 3:20; 4:1, 25; 5:29; 17:7-8, 15; etc. 1 Samuel 4:21; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23. What do the name and title “Jesus” and “Emmanuel” mean?

  1. Numbers 6 is sometimes called the “Aaronic benediction” because it was the “word of blessing” that God gave Aaron, the (first) High Priest of Israel to speak over the children of Israel. The threefold blessing set the pattern for Jesus’ “baptismal formula” that uses the name of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). In the benediction from Numbers 6 that we use at the conclusion of each service, how does God’s movement toward His people in the first part of each phrase cause the blessings described in the second part of each phrase?

  1. What was the connection between Jesus’ name and when it was given? What was circumcision? Genesis 17:6-14. Why was the shedding of blood particularly significant in connection with the meaning Jesus’ name? cf. Matt. 1:21-23. What spiritual meaning was also given by God to circumcision? Deut. 10:15-16; 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; 6:10; Acts 7:51

  1. What is the new “circumcision made without hands” for Christians? What impact does it have for the way we are to live? Colossians 2:11-15; Gal. 5:6; 6:15; 1 Cor. 7:17-20.

  1. How does circumcision cause a stumbling block to our human reason? Why does God work in such ways—contrary to human reason? 1 Cor. 1:27-29. What does this foreshadow? How was Jesus’ first shedding of blood connected to His final shedding of blood for us?
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