The Joshua Victor Theory
Chains of the Heart

Chains of the Heart

February 28, 2011

Sermon on Matthew 6:24-34 about anxiety and worry.

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

1. Why is worrying and anxiety such a problem? What effects does it have on us? What are the things that you personally worry about?

2. Why can’t we serve both God and money? What happens when we try to divide our loyalty? Why are money and material things a poor object for our trust and loyalty? What happens to them?

3. Review these five points that Solomon makes about money and greed: The more we have… the more we want (Ecclesiastes 5:10), the more we spend (Eccles. 5:11), the more we worry (Eccles. 5:12), the more we lose (Eccles. 5:13-14), the more we leave behind (Eccles. 5:14-17). How then is it an illusion that money will solve our worries and give us security?

4. How does Jesus argue from the “greater to the lesser” to show us that God can provide our food and clothing? Matt. 6:25

5. How does Jesus argue from the “lesser to the greater” to show that God cares for us? Matt. 6:26-30. So how is worrying shown to be unnecessary?

6. When we pray “give us this day our daily bread”—how does God provide for our physical needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing? How do we participate in that?

7. What is “God’s kingdom?” See Matthew 10:7, and parables in Matt. 13. Compare to John 18:36. What is “his righteousness?” Romans 5:18-20; Phil. 3:9; Why is that a true source of security, and a lasting treasure. Why then is the True God a far better God than money?

The Lord’s Supper 2

The Lord’s Supper 2

February 21, 2011

Part two of a teaching series on the Lord's Supper, focusing this week on the teaching of the "real presence" of Christ in the Supper. Based on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.

Questions and Answers about the Lord’s Supper 287. What does Christ give us in this sacrament? In this sacrament Christ gives us His own true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. Matt. 26:26, 28.

288. How does the Bible make it clear that these words of Christ are not picture language? Christ’s words in the Sacrament must be taken at face value especially because A. these words are the words of a testament, and even an ordinary person’s last will and testament may not be changed once that person has died; 1 Cor. 11:25; Gal. 3:15. Note: Compare also Heb. 9:15-22 B. God’s Word clearly teaches that in the Sacrament the bread and wine are a communion or participation in the body and blood of Christ; 1 Cor. 10:16 C. God’s Word clearly teaches that those who misuse the Sacrament sin not against bread and wine but against Christ’s body and blood. 1 Cor. 11:27, 29.

289. What are the visible elements in the Sacrament? The visible elements are bread and wine. Matt. 26:26-27. Note: “The fruit of the vine” (Luke 22:18) in the Bible means wine, not grape juice. See also 1 Cor. 11:21

290. Do Christ’s body and blood in the Sacrament replace the bread and wine, so that the bread and wine are no longer there? No, bread and wine remain in the Sacrament. 1 Cor. 11:26

291. How then are the bread and wine in the Sacrament the body and blood of Christ? The bread and wine in the Sacrament are Christ’s body and blood by sacramental union. By the power of His word, Christ gives His body and blood in, with, and under the consecrated (blessed) bread and wine. 1 Cor. 10:16.

292. Do all communicants receive the body and blood in the Sacrament, whether or not they believe? Yes, because the Sacrament depends on Christ’s word, not on our faith. 1 Cor. 11:27. Note: All communicants should receive both parts of the Sacrament, since Christ said, “Take and eat; this is my body….Drink from it, all of you” (Matt. 26:26-27)

293. Are the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament sacrificed again to God for the sins of the living and the dead? No, the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament are the one perfect sacrifice offered to God once and for all on the cross and are now distributed to us in the Sacrament together with all the blessings and benefits which this sacrifice has won for us. 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 10:14; Heb. 10:18. Note: We speak of the “Sacrament of the Altar” because an altar is a place of sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His body and blood on the cross for the sins of the world once and for all. In the Sacrament of the Altar, He distributes this same body and blood until the end of time.

294. What does Christ command when He says, “This do in remembrance of Me?” Christ commands in these words that His Sacrament be celebrated in the church till the end of time as a living proclamation and distribution of His saving death and all its blessings. 1 Cor. 11:26.

From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986, 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission.

The Lord’s Supper 1

The Lord’s Supper 1

February 14, 2011

The first sermon in a mini-series about the meaning of the Lord's Supper, as we introduce the practice of weekly communion at our church. Sermon text: Matthew 26:26-29.

Questions and Answers about the Sacrament of the Altar I. The Nature of the Sacrament of the Altar What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.

Where is this written? The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: ‘Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’”

285. What are some other names for the Sacrament of the Altar? This sacrament is also called the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Table, Holy Communion, the Breaking of Bread, and the Eucharist. 1 Cor. 11:20; 1 Cor. 10:21; 1 Cor. 10:16; Acts 2:42; Matt. 26:26. Note: Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “giving thanks.”

286. Who instituted the Sacrament of the Altar? Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man, instituted this sacrament. 1 Cor. 11:23-24.

295. Why are we to receive the Sacrament often? We are to receive the Sacrament often because A. Christ commands or urgently invites, us, saying, “This do in remembrance of Me”; B. His words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” promise and offer us great blessings; Matt. 11:28 C. We need the forgiveness of our sins and the strength for a new and holy life. John 15:5

Note: In the New Testament, the Sacrament was a regular and major feature of congregational worship, not an occasional extra (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20, 33). In Reformation times, our churches celebrated the Sacrament “every Sunday and on other festivals” (Apology XXIV 1).

From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986, 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission.

In the 1995 National Convention of the LCMS, they passed the following Resolution 2-08A, “To Encourage Every Sunday Communion” WHEREAS, Our Synod’s 1983 CTCR document on the Lord’s Supper (p. 28) and our Synod’s 1986 translation of Luther’s Catechism both remind us that the Scriptures place the Lord’s Supper at the center of worship (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20, 33), and not as an appendage or an occasional extra; therefore be it Resolved, That the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in convention encourage its pastors and congregations to study the scriptural, confessional, and historical witness to every Sunday communion with a view to recovering the opportunity for receiving the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day.”

True and False

True and False

February 7, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 58:1-14 for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany, about the difference between "true and false fasting." How God wants us to avoid hypocrisy and selfishness, and practice charity and humility.

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

1. Read Isaiah 58, the whole chapter. What were the examples of hypocrisy in the Israelites’ fasting? Cf. Matt. 6:1-6, 16-18. What selfish reason did they have for fasting? What should be our reason for fasting or acts of charity, service to the church or community?

2. How does a hypocritical life discredit a Christian’s witness to Christ? What examples of hypocrisy are there in our own lives? How do we “take off the mask” and return to God?

3. How can we “unsay with our lives what we say with our tongues?” How do we get rid of the old, guilty habits of our sinful nature? Romans 6

4. What is the true fast that God desires? Isaiah 58:6-7; Joel 2:12-13; Micah 6:6-8. What difference does leading this kind of life give to our Christian witness? Matt. 24:34-39

5. How does God receive a torn and broken heart? What does He do with it? Psalm 51:10-17; Ezekiel 36:26; Heb. 10:22

6. How has Jesus perfectly kept the true fast for us, which we could not do? Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:16-30

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