The Joshua Victor Theory
The Light Shines in the Darkness

The Light Shines in the Darkness

January 27, 2014

Sermon on Isaiah 9:1-4 & Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25, for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany. A sermon about where Jesus began His ministry, and where we are called to shine the light into the darkness. 

Light for the Nations

Light for the Nations

January 20, 2014

Sermon on Isaiah 49:1-7, for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, about the Bible's view on life in the womb, and what this passage shows about the particular life of Jesus as He developed in His mother's womb, and what His calling and purpose in God's design would be. 

Doubts and Expectations

Doubts and Expectations

December 16, 2013

A Sermon on Matthew 11:2-15 for the 3rd Sunday in Advent about the expectations for the kingdom of God and how Jesus responds to our doubts. Also with reference to Isaiah 35:1-10; 61:1

Comfort for the Weary

Comfort for the Weary

February 6, 2012

Sermon on Isaiah 40:21-31 for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany, about reflecting on God's majesty and power in our time of trouble, and finding our strength and resilience in Him alone.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. What did the glory of the heavens move the Psalmist to sing? Psalm 19:1-6; 50:6; 97:6. How does this adjust our sense of size or importance?

2. How did God create the stars and the universe? Gen. 1:14-19; Psalm 104. How thorough is God’s knowledge and attention to His creation, both at the cosmic scale, and at the microscopic scale? Isaiah 40:26; Ps. 147:4; Matt. 10:30.

3. Nevertheless, what question often forms when we are faced by our troubles? Isaiah 40:27; Malachi 3:14-15; Psalm 73. What is God’s answer? What shows us God’s attention, concern, and involvement? Psalm 8; 121:1-2; Phil. 2:6-8

4. What are the things that have you troubled, or weigh you down? Have you ever thought that God didn’t care? Where are His sure promises to you given? Acts 2:38-40; Matt. 26:27-28; John 11:25-26; 1 Pet. 5:7; Rom. 8:26-27; Luke 11:13

5. What comfort is there in knowing that God has an eternal perspective on our problems, and that we can turn them over to Him, instead of bearing them ourselves? Matt. 11:28-30; Psalm 97:1

6. See other Psalms of comfort for times of distress: Psalm 4, 6, 10, 13, 18, 46, etc.

Like a Shepherd

Like a Shepherd

December 28, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 40:10-11 for Christmas Eve, on how Jesus is our Good Shepherd, whom the shepherds came to greet at His birth. Merry Christmas!

Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates

Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates

December 15, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 40:6-9 for midweek Advent 3. Based on the Sermon Series "Savior of the Nations Come" by Dr. Reed Lessing of Concordia Seminary St. Louis. A sermon about the idolatry of our hearts and the exile of sin, and how God returns us with joy to our home, through the promises of His eternal Word.

God’s Anointed

God’s Anointed

December 12, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent. About what happens when Jesus, God's Anointed, arrives on the scene of human history and the scene of our lives.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. Who directly fulfills this prophecy from Isaiah 61? See Luke 4:16-30; How did Jesus’ ministry carry out these promises? How does He continue to perform this work today?

2. “Anointed” (v. 1) is the translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah” (“Christ” in Greek). “Anointing” typically took place when a prophet, priest, or king took office (see 1 Samuel 10:1; 16:13; 2 Sam. 2:4; Exodus 29:7-9; 1 Chron. 16:22). Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One. He is Prophet, Priest and King par excellence.

3. What was Jesus anointed to do? How are the poor and the downtrodden comforted? Matthew 5:3-4. How are the brokenhearted given hope? 2 Cor. 1:3-7. In what way are all of us prisoners? Who sets us free?

4. How does salvation strengthen and establish Christians to be “oaks of righteousness”? How is the peace that Jesus gives different from the peace that the world gives? John 14:27

5. Read Psalm 30. How does the promised and the blessing of Jesus as our Messiah, God’s Anointed Savior of His people, turn our mourning and sadness into joy? What is the Christian’s hope and confidence in the face of all despair, evil, and even death? 1 Corinthians 15

Prepare the Royal Highway

Prepare the Royal Highway

December 8, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 40:3-5, about preparing the Way for the Lord in our hearts by repentance, for the 2nd midweek Advent service. Based on a sermon series for Advent, "Savior of the Nations Come" by Dr. Reed Lessing.

Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

December 1, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 40:1-2,  for the first Wednesday in Advent, from the sermon series "Savior of the Nations Come" by Dr. Reed Lessing of Concordia Seminary St. Louis, MO.

A sermon about how God comes to us in the pit or tomb of our despair, at our lowest, and speaks comfort to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Incomparable God

The Incomparable God

November 28, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 64:1-9, for the First Sunday in Advent. Isaiah's prayer anticipating the return of the Lord in power, and his humility and repentance over their sins.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. Why might we wish, like Isaiah did in Isaiah 64, that God would come down and reveal His power and glory? What miraculous deeds of God did his prayer recall? Exodus 20:18-21.

  1. Why did Isaiah and the Jews feel as though God was silent towards them? Isaiah 63:17-19; 64:9-12. How do we sometimes feel or fear the same? That God is silent toward us because of our sins? How do we sometimes suffer under the guilt of our sin, when it remains unconfessed to God? Cf. Psalm 32 & 51

  1. How are some people moved to total fear of God, so that they doubt God could even love or save them? Are they really beyond the reach of God’s love? Luke 18:13-14; 5:31-32

  1. How has Jesus turned away God’s wrath against our sin? Romans ; 3:25; 5:9; 1 John 2:2

  1. How will Jesus “rend the heavens and come down” on the day of Judgment? Acts 1:11; Matthew 26:64; 1 Thess. 4:16-18

  1. Why does God presently delay His return for the final judgment? 2 Peter 3:9-13; 1 Tim. 2:4

  1. How were Jesus’ miracles and teachings “awesome” and “unlooked for” things from our incomparable God? How does God hide His face from our sins? Psalm 51:9; Jer. 31:34

  1. How does God remember and respond to our frailty as mortal human beings? Psalm 103:8-19; Where will He bring us at His return? Is. 65:17
Your Attention, Please!

Your Attention, Please!

August 22, 2011

A sermon on Isaiah 51:1-6 for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, about how God calls our attention to the fact that the sinful world is broken and failing fast, but the righteousness and salvation of God are forever, and we are called to pursue God's righteousness by faith.

Sermon Talking Points Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: https://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. What events in life might compel us to turn to God’s Word for answers? What things have shaken the whole world recently? What does this tell us about the (im)permanence of the world? Isaiah 51:6; 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:22-25. Where should we put our trust and confidence instead?

2. Isaiah 51:4 talks about “a law” going out from God, His justice for the nations. “Law” here is in the original Hebrew “torah” which means more than just laws and commandments. It means “teaching” or “instruction,” inclusive of all of God’s Word—both law (commands) and gospel (promises & good news). Who would make this “teaching” go out, and serve as a light to the nations? See Matt. 12:18-21; Luke 2:32

3. How does the church bear this light to the nations? How is Jesus’ teaching the way to eternal life? John 6:68; 5:24; 14:6

4. What does it mean to pursue righteousness? Is. 51:1, 7. What are two different ways to pursue it, and which one leads to eternal life? Rom. 9:30-32.

5. Whose righteousness do we get by faith? What is the quality of this righteousness and salvation? Isaiah 51:6

6. How can the success (or apparent lack thereof) of the mission sometimes cause discouragement or doubt? How does the example of Abraham and Sarah remind us of how God is able to work when things seem barren or unsuccessful? Isaiah 51:1-2.

7. How is the church a sanctuary or oasis in the desert? A lighthouse? Who is the water? The Light? John 7:37-38; 8:12.

Beggars All

Beggars All

August 1, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 55:1-5 for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, on how Jesus satisfies our spiritual emptiness, hunger, and thirst.

Sermon Talking Points Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: https://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Imagine yourself parched from a long trek through the hot desert, and discovering a fountain of cool, refreshing water. How would you feel? Imagine yourself a poor, starving beggar, being offered a feast of rich food for free. How would you react?

2. Why would we want to deny the fact that we are beggars? Why might we not want to carry that around as our identity? Who would we rather be seen as? What is the personality or identity that you try to “project” as a person? How do you want people to see you?

3. Why does Isaiah 55:2 expose our disguises and posturing as unable to fool God? Why can material things and earthly pleasures not truly satisfy the emptiness within us?

4. What is the source of the emptiness that we feel in our souls? Why is God the only person who can fill that emptiness and satisfy us? Reflect on this quote from St. Augustine: “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”

5. Apply Luther’s dying words to yourself: “We are beggars all, this is true.” What perspective does this bring?

6. What is the fountain of water to which we are invited to drink? What is the rich feast where we are invited to eat? John 4:10-15; 7:37-39; 6:47-69; Isaiah 25:6-9. What is the price of admission? Who paid for our place at the table? Consequently, we are beggars, invited to the feast!

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

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

Formed from the Womb

Formed from the Womb

January 17, 2011

Sermon on Isaiah 49:1-7 for Life Sunday.

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: https://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Who is the main speaker in the passage, Isaiah 49:1-7? How was He called by God and named before birth? Is. 7:14; 9:1-7; Luke 1:31; 2:21. 2. How does the Eternal Son of God, Christ, reflect on His purpose and ministry in this prophecy? How is this passage an affirmation of life from within the womb? How else does Scripture affirm the life of the unborn? Psalm 139:13-16; Ps. 71:5-6; 22:9-10. How do these verses show that unborn infants can trust in God, and are already spiritual beings? Cf. Luke 1:15; 1:41-44. Why is all human life valuable? Gen. 9:6 3. How can we work to protect the innocent and vulnerable in society, especially those children who are unborn? Why must we never do evil so that good may result? Why doesn’t the end justify the means? Romans 3:8; 12:21. How can we work to overcome evil with good? 4. Why did Christ seem discouraged and almost defeated? What opposition did He encounter? John 1:11; 6:41-71; continue reading the following chapters of John 7 & 8 for further examples of His rejection. 5. What was Christ’s hope in the midst of the doubt and discouragement of His ministry? What was His recompense? Who would guarantee the final success of His work? 6. How did God have even greater things in mind for Jesus than merely the promised redemption of Israel? How will all finally see and glorify Jesus for His salvation? How is Christ the nation of Israel reduced down to one man? How is He the one faithful Israelite, and what did God prepare Him from before birth to do? Hosea 11:1; Matt. 2:15

Streams in the Desert

Streams in the Desert

December 13, 2010

Sermon on Isaiah 35:1-10 & Matthew 11:2-6 for the 3rd Sunday in Advent, about the desert being turned into salvation, and about Jesus fulfilling the signs of the Messiah.

Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: https://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. How was turning the land into a desert or wasteland a divine punishment in the Old Testament? Leviticus 26:14ff, esp. vs. 19-20, 32-33, but also 40-45. Psalm 107:33-34. How is it’s “re-greening” a blessing? Psalm 107:35-38; Isaiah 43:18-21; 58:11. How does this “re-greening” come about? Who arrives on the scene when this happens?

2. What signs from Isaiah 35 and 61 became proof to John the Baptist that Jesus was the promised Messiah described in those prophecies, and that He was the God who came to save us? What additional signs did Jesus perform? How did these establish who He was?

3. Through that desert that was being transformed into a garden, Isaiah pictures a highway called the Way of Holiness. Cf. Isaiah 11:12, 16; 51:10-11. Who travels on this highway, and who doesn’t? How does one get to travel on this highway?

4. How is our heart like a desert? What does Isaiah 35 show us about what God can do for the condition of the human heart? Where does the Way of Holiness lead to? Isaiah 35:10. What blessings do those who travel there enjoy? How do those come to fullest expression in heaven?

5. How can our arrival in heaven be described as a “return?” What are the glimpses of joy that you get in this life? Why does joy not always last in this life? How will that be different in heaven, and why? Instead of using our breath for sighing from grief, how will it be used in heaven?

6. How can it be that sorrow and sighing will be gone? How is the joy of heaven secured for all believers?

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