Building upon last Sunday's text, our consideration of Ephesians 5:1-21 will help us to discern important aspects of how we are to live as relational beings in a manner that both brings glory to God and good to others and ourselves.
sermons | study
These are sermons preached during our Sunday worship services. (Recordings were not always successful, so there are gaps in the postings.)
The Scriptures answer the deepest questions of human beings, and the three passages that we are considering here provide a fine example of that. My recording this morning during worship was unsuccessful, so I re-recorded the message at home.
One of the themes of Luke's writings–the Gospel of Luke and Acts–is joy. In the first chapter of Luke, Zachariah is given the promise of "joy and gladness," and in the closing verses of the book, we read of the "great joy" of the disciples after Jesus' ascension. What is the joy promised in the gospel, and how does one experience it?
Luke's account of the first Easter Sunday provides us with an emphasis that is unique among the Gospels. That emphasis will be reflected in the New Testament's use of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The contrast between Jesus understanding of what is commonly called "the Triumphal Entry" and the perceptions of others is striking. While others rejoice, Jesus weeps, for he perceives a reality that they cannot see.
This psalm is traditionally identified as one of seven penitential psalms and is also one of five psalms that are explicitly given the title a prayer. Some portions are clearly petitions to God, but there are also prophetic elements. Likewise, portions of Psalm 102 are a personal lament, but it also has in view the people of God as a whole.
The Letter of James has many echoes of the teaching of Jesus, making this passage from chapter five an appropriate text for consideration prior to the observance of the Lord's Supper.
James 1:22–25: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." (ESV) An application of this principle is seen later in the epistle, in James 2:1-13.
We hear in John's First Epistle echoes of the passage from his Gospel that we considered in the two sermons previous to this one. The love of God, the second birth, and the theme of knowledge are some of the themes found in both texts. These form the backdrop in today's text for the call to us as Christians to live in Christ and to purify ourselves.
This sermon continues a consideration of the remarkable presentation of the gospel to Nicodemus.
Sometimes it is helpful to begin a consideration of the truth by contrasting it with a common misunderstanding.
The correct understanding of a biblical text always involves a knowledge of its context. By considering a verse like Philippians 4:13 in its setting, we are better able to interpret it correctly.
This text from Philippians is an excellent resource for considering the concept of humility from a biblical perspective.
The theme of gentleness is found in numerous places in the New Testament. This passage from Colossians provides a fine opportunity to think about gentleness as a Christian attribute.
Mike Steele's suggestion that I preach on the theme of gentleness led me to this text, about which J. C. Ryle comments "There are few passages in the four Gospels more important than this. There are few which contain in so short a compass, so many precious truths."
John Calvin writes in his preface to his commentary on the Book of Psalms “I have been accustomed to call this book, I think not inappropriately, ‘An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul;’ for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror.” Throughout this month, we have been considering the Psalms as “An Anatomy of the Soul of Jesus Christ,” for time and again we have been impressed with the extent to which they not only prophesy historical facts concerning Jesus, but also reveal our Lord and Savior’s mind and heart.
The "gloria in excelsis Deo" of Christmas may be seen as a response to the call of Psalm 148 to praise the LORD in the highest. This beautiful psalm reminds us of both our calling and the salvation that is ours in Jesus Christ.
The New Testament authors refer to the Psalms as prophetic in revealing Jesus as the Messiah. It is therefore not surprising that Psalm 119, which extols the beauty and truth of God's Word, is also a revelation of the Word made flesh.
This short psalm is packed with theological significance. Jesus himself announces its partial fulfillment during his earthly ministry, and the book of Hebrews points to its final and ultimate fulfillment at the end of time. Psalm 8 also has important application to our own lives today.
In considering the revelation of Jesus as the Messiah in the Psalms, certainly Psalm 22 is would be on the short list of psalms to be included. A simple sermon can but introduce what this remarkable psalm has to show to us of the Savior whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.