The Joshua Victor Theory
What ails you?

What ails you?

September 27, 2009

Sermon on Matthew 9:1-8, Children's Sunday.

Sermon Talking Points:

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v Special note: Ephesians 4:26 may cause you some puzzlement. It reads: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” We should understand from this verse that anger in itself isn’t always a sin. It’s the outcome or actions we take as a result that may be sinful. We are warned to avoid sinning in our anger, and certainly not to go to sleep with unresolved resentment.

  1. Read Matt. 9:1-8. What was the obvious need of the paralyzed man? What did Jesus address first instead?

  1. What did the Jewish people often (incorrectly) assume about a person suffering an illness? John 9:1-5

  1. Why is our sin the most life-threatening ailment we face? Read Romans 6:23 Why is it even more important to have forgiveness than physical health? (hint: even healthy people all eventually do what?)

  1. Why were Jesus’ words, “Your sins are forgiven!” such a shock to the religious leaders? What was the sin they accused Him of doing? Read the parallel account of this healing in Mark 2:1-12 (esp. 7).

  1. How did Jesus address their challenge of His authority? How did Jesus demonstrate His authority? (cf. later, John 10:17-18)

  1. What are the consequences of not having forgiveness? How does it affect our lives or those around us? How does forgiveness change us? What did Jesus do to make forgiveness possible?

  1. How has Jesus entrusted the power to forgive to His church? Read John 20:21-23; Luke 10:16; 24:45-49. Let’s forgive!
Kingdom of Paradoxes

Kingdom of Paradoxes

September 20, 2009

Sermon on Mark 9:30-37 for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: Listen to audio at:

1. What is a paradox? Name some common examples. Why do we have difficulty believing or grasping paradoxes? What are some paradoxes in the Christian faith?

2. What is wrong with the disciples’ (and our) pursuit of greatness? Cf. Mark 10:35-45. Matt. 18:1-7

3. How is narcissism present in our lives? What are examples of self-centered thoughts and behavior in our own lives? Listen to an interview with Dr. Jean Twenge at: Or the August 2, 2009 episode on

4. What paradox did Jesus teach about greatness? Cf. Phil. 2:5-11

5. Why is a child such a good picture of how God desires us to receive the kingdom of God? Of what kind of posture we have before God?

6. How did Jesus’ life show that He was anything but a narcissist? What are the implications for how and what He did for us?

7. How does Christ change or redirect our love?

The Untamable Tongue

The Untamable Tongue

September 15, 2009

Sermon on James 3:1-12 for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon Talking Points:

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  1. What deadly work can the tongue do? How have you been hurt by someone else’s tongue? How have you hurt someone with your tongue?

  1. Why is gossip so harmful? What is the purpose of the 8th commandment, and what does it seek to protect? Exodus 20:16, and see explanation in the Small Catechism.

  1. What other evil uses is our tongue put to? See Psalm 5:9; 12:1-8; 50:19; 52:2-4. Contrast with Psalm 35:27-28; 37:30; 39:1; 66:17; 71:24; 119:172; Philippians 2:10-11. How does this show we are at the same time saint and sinner?

  1. What hope is there for our untamable tongue? How can this salt spring be turned fresh?

  1. What did Jesus’ tongue accomplish? Isaiah 50:4ff; see the entire Gospels.

  1. Who ultimately feels the insult and the pain when we curse or insult a brother? Matt. 25:40, 45. Why?

  1. How does the pure speech of Jesus’ tongue overflow to blessing in our lives? How did He and does He still speak to us, and what blessing does it bring? How will all tongues finally be tamed? Phil. 2:10-11
Faith Comes By Hearing

Faith Comes By Hearing

September 7, 2009

Sermon on Romans 10:5-18 for a Special Mission Sunday, concerning the work to translate and record audio Scriptures in other languages, and how one claims the righteousness of faith.

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: Listen to audio at:

1. Why is the righteousness of the law inaccessible to us on our own? Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10; James 2:10.

2. How is the righteousness of Christ credited to us? Rom. 3:21-4-8. Why does the righteousness of faith enable us to stand before God without shame? Rom. 8:1; 9:33; 10:11

3. What is our identity and purpose as a Christian church? What does it tell us or remind us when we call it God’s mission or the mission of God? John 1

4. What would you think if you lived in a country were the Bible was not in your language? What would you think about your relationship to this God if you couldn’t hear His Word in your heart language?

5. What is the way that God chooses to create or awaken faith in the hearts of people? Faith comes….? What is necessary for this to happen? How are we involved? Reread Rom. 10:14-15

6. Have you considered how God might be using you to work in His kingdom? Where does the mission field start? Is found?

7. What’s the Gospel message that we’re privileged to share?

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