25
Jun
2012

Heavenly Visitor

Sermon on Luke 1:57-80 on the Nativity of John the Baptist. About John's birth and Zechariah's song--how God has visited and redeemed His people.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. For examples of Zechariah’s song (sometimes called the Benedictus) used in the living song of the church, see LSB 226, 238, 936.
  2. How is the remembrance of John the Baptist really about celebrating Jesus, the greater One he came to serve? How does Zechariah’s song proclaim Christ?
  3. What does it mean to say that we live on a “visited planet?” Describe what Luke 1:68 means that God has “visited and redeemed his people.” How is this visitation different from other examples of “divine visitation” in the Old Testament? Gen. 11:5-6; 18:20-21. What was the purpose of Jesus’ “visit?”
  4. In what way is Jesus intimately connected to humankind, so that He is not something utterly foreign to or “alien” to us? John 1:1-13; Col. 1:15; 1 Cor. 15:49; Gen. 1:27
  5. How does Jesus secure redemption and salvation for us? Luke 1:71, 74-75, 77; John 1:29. How does this free us to serve Him “without fear”? What things might we fear in life? How are we delivered from these fears and given courage to face the spiritual battlefield of our lives?
  6. In verse 71 and 74, who are our enemies, or God’s enemies? Luke 19:27; Phil. 3:18; Acts 13:10; Luke 10:18-19; How was that our natural condition before our salvation? Rom. 5:10. What is God’s aim for those who are presently His enemies? Matt. 5:43-48. If they finally close the door to His mercy, and persist in hostility or enmity toward God, what is their self-chosen lot? 1 Cor. 15:25-26; Matt. 10:33
  7. How is the Word light for us? How does Jesus guide us to peace?
00:0000:00
20
Jun
2012

The Automatic Seed

Sermon on Mark 4:26-34 for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, on the Parable of the Automatic Action of the Seed and the Parable of the Mustard Seed, about the power of God's Word to grow God's kingdom.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. What is “automatic” about the kingdom of God? Read Mark 4:26-29. What is it that has this power invested in it, to operate by itself in people’s hearts? Re-read the parable of the Sower, Mark 4:1-9. How has God invested His power into His Word? Isaiah 45:10-11
  2. What is the “information” that gives the Word of God it’s saving and life-giving power? I.e. what is the message? Retell in a simple way what Jesus has done, in a way that you could share with someone else.
  3. How does the fact that the seed grows without our observation or understanding change the way that you think about your role in bringing someone to faith? Does it relieve your anxiety? Make you more eager to share the Word and let it do its work? Make you trust more in God’s ability to work even when we don’t understand?
  4. What does impatience cause us to do? What is the kind of patience that the kingdom of God teaches us? Describe the longer view of the kingdom and its growth. What kind of objectives does God have?
  5. How does God determine when the harvest is ready? Will we know the time? Matthew 24:14, 32-36.
  6. How should we be “broadcasting” the seed? How is the growth of God’s kingdom an invitation to prayer? Matthew 6:10
  7. What disappointments and disillusionments does the parable about the growth of God’s kingdom free us from? In the daily life of the church, what outward signs seem to question the growth? What is the surprise in the end, about the church and it’s humble beginnings? Cf. the mustard seed. How does it all simplify our life in the church?
00:0000:00
11
Jun
2012

Our Stronger Lord!

Sermon on Mark 3:20-35 about Jesus' rejection by the scribes and the unforgivable sin. Jesus describes His battle against the kingdom of Satan.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. What makes passages like Mark 3 and others about Jesus hard for some to accept? Why is it a dangerous error to try to do our own “editing” of the Bible to get what we like out of it, instead of hearing what it’s saying to us? Rom. 9:20-21; Isaiah 29:16; 45:9. What might we miss out on, if we reduce or reshape the image of Jesus?
  2. How did Jesus’ family struggle to accept who He was? John 7:5; Mark 3:21, 33. What bond did Jesus count as even closer than that of family (flesh & blood)? Read Mark 3:33-35.
  3. How was the blasphemy of the scribes against Jesus, just one more incident in an escalating series of confrontations? See Mark 2:16, 24; 3:1-6: 7:1-13; 8:11-12; 10:18; 11:27-33; 14:53-65.
  4. Beelzebub or Beelzebul, was a Philistine idol. 2 Kings 1:1-16. How was the scribes’ denunciation of Jesus’ work intended? How did Jesus show the illogic of their accusation? What was the upshot of the fact that Jesus wasn’t in league with the devil? How should they have reacted to this truth? Luke 11:20, 23
  5. What is the unforgivable sin, or the sin against the Holy Spirit? What difference does Jesus indicate between blasphemy against the Son, and against the Holy Spirit? Matt. 12:31-32; Luke 12:10. What was so malicious about their assault on the Spirit’s work, in Mark 3:22?
  6. What indication can be pointed to as evidence that a person has not committed the unforgivable sin?
  7. How is Jesus’ incredible offer of forgiveness for all other sins, equally amazing? How does Jesus forgive sins and deliver us from the kingdom of the devil? Luke 11:22. How is Jesus’ death on the cross the devil’s complete undoing? Gen. 3:15; John 19:30; Col. 2:13-15
00:0000:00
4
Jun
2012

The God of Action

Sermon on Acts 2:22-36, for Holy Trinity Sunday, how God is the One in control of all things and carries out our salvation.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. Note on the Athanasian Creed: The end of the creed makes reference to all people rising and giving an account concerning their deeds, and that those who’ve done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire. Examine these Scripture passages that refer to the judgment: Matt. 12:35-37; 25:31-46; John 5:21-29, esp. vs. 24, 29 & John 6:28-29; cf. Rom. 8:1. While works are examined in the final judgment, those who have faith are spared judgment and condemnation on account of Jesus’ righteous life.
  2. In Acts 2:22-36, Peter quotes two Psalms of David, Psalm 16 & 110, that prove Jesus was God’s designated Messiah (Christ, “Anointed One”) and that God had exalted Him to the highest place. Read both Psalms in their entirety. How does Peter argue that Ps. 16 could not refer to David, but must instead refer to Jesus?
  3. Read through Acts 2:22-36 and pay attention to the verbs, the “action words.” What are the actions that God Himself performs in these verses? How is salvation ultimately the work of our Triune God, and not our own works? How is God the “God of action?” What actions of God are commonly associated with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
  4. In v. 22, Peter talks about how God has publicly attested to Jesus as His chosen Messiah. He uses the language of a public certification for office. What marked Jesus as the Messiah? What were His “credentials”? Isaiah 61:1-3; Is. 53; Micah 5:2, etc.
  5. How was God’s definite plan, though hidden from mankind at first, at work in Jesus’ death and resurrection? John 10:17-18; Matt. 16:21. How is this resurrection hope decreed for all who believe in Jesus? John 11:25-26. 
00:0000:00
4
Jun
2012

Call on the Lord

Sermon on Acts 2:1-21 for the Festival of Pentecost, Peter's sermon inviting us to Call on the Lord and be saved.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. Pentecost, the “Feast of Weeks” or “Festival of Harvest” is actually an Old Testament celebration. Ex. 34:22; Deut 16:10; Num 28:26; Ex. 23:16a. Pilgrims would gather in Jerusalem, and on Pentecost morning, a flute player would lead the farmers up Mount Zion as they sang the “Song of Ascents” (Psalm 120-36). When they reached the temple, the farmers would present a basket of grain as an offering while reciting the words from Deuteronomy 26:5-10a in Hebrew. (The Lutheran Study Bible, p. 1835).

2. How did this day of Pentecost present a significant opportunity for “harvest” for the apostles and early Christians? What significant obstacle needed to be overcome? (cf. Gen. 11:1-9). How did God provide?

3. How has the advance of the kingdom of God proceeded around the world, and into many languages? Why is it so precious for people to hear the “mighty works of God” in their own heart language? Why is it important for us to tell the mighty works of God in our own language?

4. Describe what it means to confess. Romans 10:9-10. Why does Jesus call for our public confession of Him before others? Matt. 10:32-33

5. The Holy Bible says that “all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How do we make use of this promise? Can we bank on this promise? Absolutely! But how easy is it to neglect? Rom. 10:9-13.

00:0000:00