This sermon focuses on the Preacher's command to remember, an imperative that frequently appears in Scripture.
sermons | study
These are sermons preached during our Sunday worship services. (Recordings were not always successful, so there are gaps in the postings.)
The Preacher crowds six imperative verbs into verses nine and ten. Clearly he is emphasizing an important point of application as he moves towards the conclusion of his book.
In this last main section of the body of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher is reviewing important themes and bringing his teaching to its climax. Of primary importance are two commands that he repeats twice in these verses. This sermon considers the first of these imperatives: rejoice!
In the poetic books of the Bible, structure and repetition are significant. In this passage, the double commands at the beginning and end (verses 1-2 and 6) and the repetition of the phrase "do not know" calls our attention to the key teaching of the Preacher here.
Wisdom has been an important theme in Ecclesiastes thus far, and now foolishness–wisdom's antithesis–comes to the forefront. The Preacher continues to consider human life "under the sun," that is, from the perspective of this earthly life, even as he leads us to seek for eternal truth.
The careful reader will notice the repetition of the word wisdom in this passage, as the Preacher considers typical human attitudes and reactions to wisdom. As is often the case in the book of Ecclesiastes, the intent is to show us the reality of life under the sun–that reality is sometimes to be accepted and sometimes to be resisted.
The Preacher continues to reinforce the key themes that he has presented in Ecclesiastes. In this text, he confronts human self-confidence head on.
In chapter nine, the Preacher brings his thoughts to a climax with a series of commands. Although he is not ready to bring the book to a conclusion, he is progressively unfolding for us the book's overall theme.
One of the aspects of Ecclesiastes that makes it timeless is that it provides a realistic view of human nature and the human condition. This, in turn, makes the wisdom presented in the book as valuable to us today as it was when it was first composed.
This sermon was preached at the Sunday worship service of the New Ipswich Congregational Church. Their pastor, Ken Whitson is a good friend and asked me to preach in his absence. I love this particular text, which has been a great encouragement to me for many years.
It seems highly likely that this letter was written by James the Just, brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem Church. Abel points out that the teaching of James shows important connections with the teaching of Jesus that is recorded in the Gospels.
I found this passage to be the most difficult to interpret thus far in the book of Ecclesiastes. When we find a text that is hard, we need to exercise care not to avoid the difficulties it presents, for there may lay the heart of its message. At the same time, we want to be careful to interpret the passage within the context of the Scriptures as a whole, and to look for its connection to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ecclesiastes 7 uses proverbs to provide unusual contrasts that emphasize the distinctive world view that Scripture affirms.
Scripture never presents an unrealistic view of human life, and that is clearly evident in this chapter. Here we find the human condition starkly described in unequivocal language.
Paul's prayer for the Ephesian church (or churches) is perfectly relevant for us today. (The prayer following the sermon is usually included on these recordings, but the battery on the recorder ran out before the prayer was finished, so it has been omitted on this posting.)
This message completes our consideration of this text. It focuses on the Apostle's admonition to husband, but it has applications relevant to all followers of Christ.
The Church has the opportunity to speak a clear word concerning marriage at a time when many in our culture are confused and conflicted.
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.
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?