For Sunday, August 24, Archbishop Foley Beach asked all Anglican Churches in ACNA to hold a special prayer service for the Christians suffering and dying in Syria and Iraq. I used this opportunity to change the readings to reflect the theme of suffering and persecution for the Lord. It was an emotional sermon, but preaching on Revelation 6:9-17 I was able to show how Jesus promised that, unfortunately, there will be those who lose their lives to follow him; but also that the time will come when their blood will be avenged by Jesus himself. While it can be hard to make sense of the persecution we see in the world, it should be a comfort to know that the Lamb will vindicate his fallen.
On August 3, 2014 I preached on Matthew 14:13-21 which is the feeding of the 5,000. The sermon was not focused on the miracle, but on the motive for Jesus’ ministry to the masses that day- his own compassion.
On July 27, 2014 I preached on Romans 8:31-39, concluding three weeks of preaching through Romans 8. This sermon focused on Paul’s clear teaching that if God is for us, no one can be against us or bring any charge against us; and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ. These are two important points for us to understand.
Last Sunday I preached on Romans 8:18-30, which is the second in a three part series on Romans 8, and part of a larger study through at least Romans 8 and 9 that we will be doing. This message focused on how God’s promises to his people continue to get better and better (a theme begun in the first sermon on Romans 8), showing how God will give us a redeemed creation and redeemed bodies, and how he has also given us the Holy Spirit to intercede in prayer for us because we don’t know how to pray for the things we need to pray for. Because it is the Spirit (who is God) praying for us, we know that his prayers will be answered because he prays God’s perfect will for us.
From here, Paul revisits suffering by assuring us that Christian suffering is not purposeless. It is used to conform us to the image of Christ that we can be his brothers and sisters. Then Paul launches into the goodness of God’s plan that he sets aside some for himself and sees his plan through from predestination to glorification. Since it is God’s work to fulfill his plan on our behalf, we can trust that his plan is unfailing and our salvation is secure.
Here is the link:
This past Sunday I preached on Romans 8:9-17. This is the first of a series of sermons on Romans 8 and 9. I see Romans 8 as a testimony of good things that just keep getting better as Paul goes further and further into the chapter. If we are in the Spirit, we belong to Christ. If we have the Spirit, we have been raised from the dead. If we have the Spirit, we are children of God. We are not just children in a generic sense, but we are adopted. We are brought into God’s perfectly loving family. We are more than just adopted; we are made heirs with Christ.
The passage ends here, but there is even more good news coming as we learn in the future about the security of our salvation. Here is the link:
On June 15, Jon Saunders, head of Spartan Christian Fellowship, preached at New Life and preached on the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3. He sought to explain what it means that Jesus’ baptism was to fulfill all righteousness. Jon gave a good message and it is well worth the listen.
On July 6, Fr. Richard Dalton preached for me while I was on vacation. He was entertaining and convicting and I believe that you will enjoy his message.
Here are links to the sermon audio for June 1, Ascension Sunday; June 8, Pentecost; and June 29, third Sunday after Pentecost. Unfortunately, the sermon didn’t record for Trinity Sunday, so that one isn’t available.
Ascension- Here I talked about the importance of the ascensions alongside the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection as one of the inseparably central aspects of Christ’s work.
Pentecost- Here I talked about the importance of Pentecost and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Church as an actual event in history.
Third Sunday after Pentecost- Here I talk about Isaiah 2, the problem with idolatry, and our need to decide between trusting in God or man.
On December 8 I preached about the Nicene Creed, more specifically, about the changes we see to the Creed in the Anglican Church in North America Eucharist Liturgy. The “changes” were corrections in the translation to return us to the earliest version of the Nicene Creed as accepted at the Council of Constantinople in 381. I felt that it was important to spend time “in the weeds” on this topic because we say the Creed every week and the changes were noticeable. It was a good opportunity to show how these changes (in particular the removal of the clause “and the Son” from the line saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father “and the Son”) reflect the original text, and put us in communion with the Orthodox Church, the second largest Christian church in the world. I would encourage taking the time to listen to this explanation, especially if you like Church History. It is roughly 26 minutes long.
On December 15 I preached on Matthew 11:2-11 and talked about the issue of expectations. We are in a season of expectation (Advent) as we await the celebration of Christ’s birth and the return of Christ to bring his final judgment. The passage was about John the Baptist being in prison and questioning whether or not Jesus was really the Messiah- a doubt spurred by John’s expectation that the Messiah would set the prisoners free. He was a prisoner and didn’t want to die in jail so he was wondering what was up with Jesus. But Jesus showed that his purposes are so much bigger and so much better than the expectations and what we would have him do for us. He didn’t come to just free prisoners on earth, but to free us from our imprisonment to sin and give us the right to be sons and daughters of God, living together with him in his eternal kingdom.
I apologize as this sermon was longer than I intended, coming in at about 36 minutes.
Here is my sermon from this past Sunday, December 1, which was the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the beginning of the Church year and is a season of expectation, anticipation, and most importantly, hope. We look forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises with hope, because we have seen God and his goodness and we know that hope in him will never fail.
This message looked at how important patience is to hope, and how God provides hope even in the midst of turmoil- as he did to Judah even as he was preparing to send them into exile.
This past Sunday I preached on Luke 20:27-38. In this passage the Sadducees, those who don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, come to Jesus to try to disprove the resurrection (the idea that all people will be resurrected in the end) by posing a question that they think would show how ridiculous of a concept it is. They pose a question regarding seven marriages to one woman- each husband died then she remarried. They asked, then, whose wife will she be in the resurrection?
Jesus understood their purpose and laid out for them that they were wrong for two reasons. They were wrong because they didn’t believe in the power of God; and they were wrong because they didn’t even understand their own scriptures. Using his best apologetic method, Jesus pointed the Sadducees back to the book of Exodus to show how God called himself the God of those who had already died. Jesus’ response was, “He is the God of the living, not the dead.”
This then begs the questions that we each must ask ourselves, “Do you believe in the power of God, and do you know the scriptures?”