24
Sep
2012

Instructable and Humble

Sermon on Mark 9:30-37, for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, where Jesus teaches His disciples about His coming death and resurrection, the necessity of humility and obedience in His kingdom, and how children are exemplary of the humility and trust He desires.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. How comfortable are we with asking questions? To whom do we usually ask them? What things might keep us from asking (especially the important) questions? What kept the disciples from asking Jesus in Mark 9:30-32?

2. When Jesus taught His disciples about His ultimate purpose for coming on earth (Mark 8:31-33; 9:30-32; 10:32-45), what uncomfortable truth did He reveal? Why might we not want to hear about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Why are we uncomfortable with death? What ultimate questions face us? How does Jesus take away the fear of death for those who believe in Him? 1 Corinthians 15:56-57; Philippians 1:21

3. Why are we so consumed with self-promotion and comparison to others? How is this completely opposite from the way the kingdom of God works? Read Mark 9:33-37 & 10:32-45. How is being last of all and servant of all a portrait of Jesus’ own life, death, and resurrection? Philippians 2:1-11.

4. Why would Jesus compare the status of a child to that of a servant? Galatians 3:23-4:7. How are children dependent on, and directed by their parents? How did Jesus completely and willingly submit Himself to God and His Law? Galatians 4:4-5; John 8:27-30; 10:17-18. What motivated this self-sacrifice? John 15:13

5. What does Jesus mean about “receiving” a child in His name? Mark 10:13-16. How does this show Jesus’ value for children? How do we receive Jesus? John 1:10-13. What privileges are granted to those who are re-born as children of God? How does it happen? John 3:1-8; Galatians 3:25-29; 4:6-7

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17
Sep
2012

I Believe; Help my Unbelief!

Sermon on Mark 9:14-29 for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, on Jesus' healing of the demon-possessed boy. How Jesus responds to the plea of a troubled and doubting father, creates faith in him, and the father seeks further strengthening of his faith from Jesus. How this is a lesson for us in times of weak faith.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. The account of the boy who Jesus healed of an unclean spirit follows right after the Transfiguration in Matthew 17, Mark, 9, and Luke 9. What scene was developing when Jesus returned from the mountain?

  1. How did Jesus react to the news that the disciples had been unable to cast out the demon? Why was their lack of faith troubling to Him?

  1. Describe the passionate plea of the father to Jesus. Why did Jesus stretch out His response, instead of immediately granting the man’s request? What was He seeking to do? Isaiah 42:1-3, 7; 50:4. How was He inviting him to have hope and faith? Matthew 11:25-30

  1. How does the father’s faltering but hopeful response become a model prayer for us when our faith is weak? Cf. Luke 17:5. When have you been weary and burdened to the point of giving up or losing hope? Why would the devil be delighted for us to be trapped in resignation? How does hopeless despair work in the devil’s favor?

  1. How does Jesus give and sustain faith? How does He enliven and support us? How do we know God is always willing to answer the prayer for more faith and for the power of His Holy Spirit? Luke 11:13

  1. Why is it essential that our faith/trust be in the right person—the true God? Why is this truly saving faith? Isaiah 43:10-11. Like faith, how does the power of prayer rest with God alone, and not our words or “formula” for prayer? Cf. James 5:16. To whom alone should prayer be directed? Matthew 6:7-13; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5
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10
Sep
2012

The Way of the Christian

Sermon on James 2:1-18 for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, about the proper relationship between faith and good works in the Christian life, and understanding James' teaching in the light of salvation by grace alone. What does the Christian life look like after the Spirit has created faith?

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. How does the apostle James expose hypocrisy in James 2:1-18? Why are words without actions empty? James 2:14-17; 1:22-25; Rom. 2:13.

  1. How did Jesus show no partiality or favoritism between the rich and the poor, between the outcast and the accepted? Luke 18:35-19:10. What are ways in which we might “dishonor the poor” (James 2:6) or show favoritism to others, instead of treating all people with dignity and as made in God’s own image?

  1. Why does incomplete keeping of God’s law, at even the smallest level, make us guilty before God? James 2:10; Romans 3:19-20. What’s the purpose of the law’s condemnation of our sins? What realization does it bring about our situation before God? How are we sometimes tempted to make comparisons instead, to think we’re boosting ourselves up?

  1. Once we’ve accepted our guilty verdict according to God’s law, how are we liberated by Jesus Christ and a higher “law” of God’s? James 2:12-13; Romans 8:2. This higher truth, often called the Gospel or good news, reveals God’s mercy toward us, mercy that triumphs over judgment.

  1. In order to grant us mercy, what did Jesus have to undergo to fulfill the law and suffer our punishments? Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:8

  1. What temptation arises for us to misuse forgiveness to excuse or go further into sin? What are some rationalizations we go through? By contrast, how does the true Christian receive the word of forgiveness and seek to live out their life? Why does faith always give rise to works, and yet salvation depends on the faith, not on works? John 15; Galatians 2:16
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5
Sep
2012

Light for the Nations

Sermon on Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, about God's purpose for the nation of Israel, and how that purpose was eventually fulfilled not through themselves, but through Jesus. How Christ extends that purpose and calling also to believers in Him as the Church is called to bear Christ's light in the world.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. The title of the book “Deuteronomy” means “second law”—because the book was Moses’ re-issuing of the statutes and laws that God had given to Israel on Mt. Sinai, as Israel finished its 40 years of wandering in the desert, and prepared to enter the Promised Land. It was a solemn admonition to keep God’s laws before them and to do them.

2. Why is it vital that we do not add or subtract from God’s Word and commands? Deuteronomy 4:2; Matthew 5:17-20; Revelation 22:18-19.

3. What was God’s hope and expectation for how Israel would become an example for the nations, as He called them out of Egypt and established them as a new nation? Deuteronomy 4:6-8; Exodus 19:5-6; cf. 1 Kings 8:41-43. How did He warn them against pride in their exalted status? Deuteronomy 8:17-9:7

4. When did they seem to begin attaining that high purpose and calling? 1 Kings 10:1-9. How long did it take for King Solomon to go astray? 1 Kings 11:1-13; cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34.  How had God warned about this, centuries before? Deuteronomy 17:14-20.

5. How would God provide one faithful Israelite, one man to be a king on the throne of David, one wise man who would not turn from God’s law either to the right or to the left, and who would be the Light for the Nations? Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 60:1-3; Psalm 98:1-3; Luke 2:32; John 8:12; Acts 13:47; 26:23. How does Jesus, as Israel reduced to one man, fulfill all the promise and expectation where Israel fell short? How does He give His church, as His spiritual kingdom, His light to continue to bear? Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:15. How do we continue to bear that high and holy calling? 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6.

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