To Serve and Be a Ransom

March 31, 2009

Sermon on Mark 10:35-45 for the 5th Sunday in Lent

Sermon Talking Points:

1. What actions or attitudes in our own lives are examples of self-promotion or self-centeredness? Why are such attitudes unchristian?

2. What is the cup that Jesus spoke of drinking? Why was it so terrible? Read Isaiah 51:17-52:3. Jer. 25:15ff.

3. Are God’s love and wrath contradictory? Why not? What would be lost if God’s wrath against sin were denied?

4. How does God spare us from His righteous wrath without ignoring sin or taking evil lightly?

5. In what limited way do Christians partake in Jesus’ cup of suffering? How is the cup of wrath turned into a cup of blessing for us through Jesus’ death?

6. How was Jesus a servant and a ransom for many? What does this mean for your life and actions?


If then David calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?

March 28, 2009

Sermon on Matthew 22:41-46 for Lent 5. Part 5 of the Series, "Questions about Jesus they don't want answered."


So must the Son of Man be Lifted Up

March 23, 2009

Sermon for the 4th Sunday in Lent, on Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21

Sermon Talking Points:

1. How did the Israelites show their ungratefulness? How has the sin of ungratefulness been evident in your own heart and life?

2. How has the venom of sin plagued your life or relationships? What have been the effects?

3. How does God’s Law awaken our need for repentance, or alert us to sin’s deadly effects?

4. Why was it so distasteful for them to look at the bronze serpent? Why is it so distasteful for us to look at Jesus crucified? What would God have us learn by this?

5. Compare Jesus with Moses’ role as an intercessor. Compare Him to the bronze serpent. How does Jesus’ being “lifted up” draw all people to Himself and bring glory to God? (Read John 12:27-36; 8:25-30) What is that “lifting up”?

6. How does Jesus’ lifting up on the cross “draw the venom” from us, and what is the result for us?

7. For your own study, read 2 Kings 18:1-12 (esp. v. 4). How did the bronze serpent later become twisted to a false purpose and use?


By What Authority…?

March 20, 2009

Sermon 4 in the series, "Questions about Jesus they Don't want answered." Based on the text Matthew 21:23-27


Foolishness, Wisdom, and the Cross

March 20, 2009

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, about preaching Christ crucified.

Sermon Talking Points:

1. How is the cross foolishness to the Gentiles (world) and a stumbling block (scandal) to the Jews?

2. Why is the call of the church and of preachers to “preach Christ crucified?” Why won’t a substitute message suffice? Consider this criteria for a Christian sermon: “Did Christ need to die on the cross in order for this to be true/to happen?”

3. What is wisdom in the eyes of the world? What is the mindset of a “theologian of glory?” A “theologian of the cross?”

4. Look at the life of Job. How does his dialogue with his friends and eventually with God, bring out the contrast between a theology of glory and a theology of the cross?

5. How has God’s foolishness and weakness at the cross proved wiser and stronger than men?

6. How has the lowness of our own calling (in worldly standards) again proved God’s wisdom and strength?


Do you hear what these are saying?

March 12, 2009

Part 3 of the sermon series, "Questions about Jesus they don't want answered." The sermon is on Matthew 21:14-17


Who do you say that I am?

March 12, 2009

Sermon on Mark 8:27-38 for the Second Sunday in Lent.

Sermon Talking Points:

1. Who did people say that Jesus was in His own day? What do people say about Him today?

2. The title “Christ” (Greek) or “Messiah” (Hebrew), both mean “Anointed One.” When Peter confessed Jesus as being “the Christ,” he was acknowledging that Jesus was the one God had chosen from the beginning of the world, to be our Savior.

3. What did C.S. Lewis mean when he wrote that there are only three possibilities for who is: either Liar, Lunatic, or Lord? Why would Jesus’ claim to be God either prove or discredit His teachings?

4. Who do you say that Jesus is? What implications does this have for your life?

5. What is the risk involved in believing? What does it mean to “deny yourself and take up your cross?” What does it mean to “lose your life” for Jesus’ sake, only to find it? What gain is there in losing our life to Christ?


Why do your disciples break the traditions of the elders?

March 7, 2009

Sermon on Matthew 15:1-20 for 2nd Wednesday in Lent. Second part in the Series "Questions about Jesus they don't want answered."


The Lord Will Provide

March 2, 2009

Sermon on Genesis 22:1-18 for the First Sunday in Lent.

Sermon Talking Points:

1. What seemingly insurmountable circumstances face you in life? Or what test(s) of faith, large or small do you face, from which it would be easy to turn back?

2. What three promises had God made to Abraham (see v. 15-18), and how did He guarantee that He would keep them? What role did Isaac have in those promises?

3. What in your life seems contradictory to God’s promises to you? Which is more certain, God’s Word, or our trials? How do these present obstacles to our faith? Write down the questions they raise in your mind.

4. How did Isaac and the ram foreshadow Jesus’ death on the cross? What was Jesus’ own challenge of faith? In what way are we like Isaac?

5. What is the significance of God swearing by Himself? What does it show about the work of salvation?

6. For your own study: What is the significance of Mount Moriah & repeated place names in the Bible? Here in Genesis 22, it was the place of Abraham’s testing and the sacrifice. In 2 Chronicles 3:1 Solomon built the temple there, centuries later. Solomon’s father David had interceded for the people of Israel there in 1 Chronicles 21:15ff. Jesus’ death, though not inside the Temple, was very near Mount Moriah, but outside the city (Heb. 13:12).