22
Apr
2013

Pastor and Flock

Sermon on Acts 20:17-35 for the 4th Sunday of Easter, about Paul's farewell speech and commission to the elders (pastors) of the churches of Ephesus. A reflection on the pastor's duties toward the congregation.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. What instructions does Acts 20:17-35 contain for pastors? What worthy example did St. Paul set in his own conduct of his ministry among the Ephesians? The New Testament uses a variety of descriptive terms for the one preaching office, without any sense of hierarchy or rank in power: Presbyters (elders); shepherds (pastor); bishop (overseer); evangelist; teacher; apostles; prophets; etc.

2. Read Acts 20:26-27. What does it mean to declare the “whole counsel of God?” What is the danger of false teaching, and why is it vital that sound teaching be maintained? 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 6:3-10; 2 Timothy 3:12-17.

3. What gave Paul the confidence that his work in the church didn’t ultimately depend on him, and that the church would “survive” without him, under the ministry of other pastors? What “weapon” did they have against false teaching? 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Ephesians 6:10-20.

4. What are some of the reasons a pastor might teach or visit from house to house? Do you have a need, or would you be open to a visit from your pastor(s)?

5. Whose blood was the purchase price of the church? Acts 20:28. What does that say about the identity of Jesus? How does that supply the forgiveness and salvation by which the church lives?

**Note: although the exact wording of the quotation of Jesus in Acts 20:35 is found nowhere in the Gospels, the theme is expressed in many places: Matthew 10:8; Luke 6:38; 11:9-13; John 13:34. Why is there greater blessing in giving than receiving?

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15
Apr
2013

The Lord’s Catch

Sermon on John 21:1-14, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, about Jesus' third recorded appearance to the disciples, where He met them on the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias) and they experienced a miraculous catch of fish.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. What reasons might the disciples have had for going back to an old, familiar activity?

2. As the episode unfolds, what “trademark” or “signature action” gave Jesus away, before they first recognized Him and came ashore? Luke 5:1-11. What commission had He given them on that day when He first called them to be His disciples?

3. How would this sort of déjà vu episode give them encouragement as they were preparing to set out on the Great Commission Jesus prepared them for? (cf. Matthew 28:16-20. Did the Great Commission happen close to this fishing scene in Galilee??)

4. How does the call of discipleship and the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, call us to “forsake old, familiar ways for ventures bold and new” and “send us on ways where faith transcends timidity”? (LSB 856 “O Christ, Who Called the Twelve”) How can we venture boldly for Christ?

5. How does the fact that the great haul of fish was “The Lord’s Catch”—not theirs, assure us that the Lord will also provide the “catch” when we go out as “fishers of men?” Matthew 13:47-50; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17; 3:5; John 6:44; 1 Corinthians 3:5-9

6. Read the first lesson for today, Acts 9:1-22. How was Saul (later Paul), an unexpected “big catch” in God’s fishing net? How did Ananias first react? What would Paul become? Acts 9:15-16. How does this again illustrate God’s power?

7. How, like Peter, should we have the same exuberance and eagerness to seek out the presence of Jesus? And where has He promised His presence among us? Matthew 28:20; 26:26-29

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8
Apr
2013

Doubt or Faith?

Sermon on John 20:19-31 for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, about Jesus' resurrection appearance to Thomas, and who and what our faith is directed to.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. Who was Thomas? What notable things did he say or do in the Gospels? John 11:16; 14:5-6; 21:1-3.

  1. The other 10 disciples had seen the risen Jesus and believed after His first appearance among them, while Thomas was absent. How did Thomas express his skepticism about Jesus’ resurrection, and what it would take to prove it to him? How does Thomas speak to our modern-day skepticism? What was it about the marks and the wounds that would convince him?

  1. How do the enduring scars of Jesus, on His hands, feet, and sides, testify to us and to God the Father? Isaiah 49:15-16; Revelation 1:5; 5:6; Hebrews 10:19-22

  1. How do the wounds of God, wounds endured for us, give us grace and healing? Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24.

  1. How did Thomas’ doubt turn to faith? How did he express (or better: confess) his faith? John 20:28. Why was this confirmation of Jesus’ resurrection so powerful in identifying who Jesus was, as the Christ, the Messiah and true God? Cf. Matthew 12:38-42; 17:9.

  1. What is the blessing of believing, even though we have not seen? 1 Peter 1:8-9; Hebrews 11:1-3.

  1. Why did John write his Gospel? What is the intention of how these teachings and records of Jesus’ life would affect the reader? John 20:30-31
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3
Apr
2013

You have my Word

Sermon on Luke 24:1-12, for Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. A sermon about Jesus' faithfulness to His Word and His defeat of death.

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3
Apr
2013

Betrayal or Loyalty?

Sermon on Psalm 41 for Maundy Thursday, the night Jesus was betrayed and instituted the Lord's Supper.

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