Sermons by Richard Wolfe (Page 2)
God’s Love for Us
God’s Love for Us Scripture: Romans 5:6-11 God is love. He chose to love Israel even though they were “the least of all peoples.” In the same way, he chose to love us even though we were weak, ungodly, sinful and God’s enemies. Every thing Jesus did, from miracles to teachings to rebukes, and ultimately going to the cross, was done because he loves us. The entire gospel story is built on the fact of God’s love for people who don’t deserve to be loved that much.
God’s Love for Israel
Scripture: Deuteronomy 7:6-11 The story of Israel is the story of God’s love. God chose flawed people, such as Abraham, to create His special people. God chose weak, ungodly and rebellious Israel to be His special treasure on earth. Even the commandments of God, against which Israel so often rebelled, were the gift of a loving God. They were God’s people because of His love, and they should obey His commands for the same reason. Additional Referenced Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:32-36 Deuteronomy 4:37-40 Deuteronomy 7:6; 1 Peter 2:9-10 Deuteronomy 4:7 Joshua 25:2-3, 15, Genesis 22:8; Deuteronomy 7:11 Deuteronomy 8:5-6 Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5; Romans 11:1; 10:13
God Is Love
God Is Love Scripture: 1 John 4:7-12 More than being a God who loves, our God IS love. He cannot do anything that isn’t loving, even if we don’t understand how love fits in. The ultimate expression of his love is not that he sacrificed someone for our sins, but he sacrificed His Only Begotten Son for our sins. In response, we are called to love one another. This is the first of four lessons related to the fact that our God is love.
Three Good Reasons
Scripture: John 1:1-5 John wrote his Gospel to produce faith in Jesus as God’s Son. He begins by offering 3 good reasons to believe in Jesus: He is the Word; He made all things; He gives light to live by.
Armored Christians Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20 The Ephesian Christians were surrounded by the enemy. The threat often looked physical, but in reality it was a spiritual battle. God called and equipped them as a united fighting force to withstand the attacks of Satan.
Altered and Glistening!
Scripture: Mark 9:2-9 The transfiguration of Jesus is unlike any other miracle or event in his ministry. This affirmation from heaven prepared Jesus to enter the last, and most challenging, phase of his earthly ministry. The experience humbled, impressed and confused the 3 disciples. It exalts Jesus above even the most honored of Old Testament heroes.
Walking in the Church
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-6 The context of Ephesians is the role of the church, and the nature of life in the church. In the church, Christians are called to treat each other kindly, to work together to build the body, and to live godly lives that speak well of the church. Standard doctrines are hardly mentioned in the second half of Ephesians. The “worthy walk” is described in terms of lifestyle and relationships among Christians.
The Impressive Power of Jesus
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41 Jesus was an excellent teacher and people were impressed by the things he said. But they were amazed – even fearful – when he displayed his power through miracles. Here was a man who could control nature by his words, who could command evil spirits, raise the dead and heal illnesses when no one else could find a remedy. Those who came to Jesus were often desperate, and came to Jesus hoping that he could help when no one else could. That’s exactly what we all need to realize.
The Church and the Plan
The Church & the Plan Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14 The church will usually be a marginalized minority in the eyes of the world, but she is the precious and planned gathering together of God’s people. As God works his plan, some, such as Old Testament Israel, will be chosen to fill special and exclusive roles. That is the case of today’s church. No other group can fill the role that God has planned for and given to the church. To claim Christ, but opt out of the church, is to disregard God’s plan.
A Long Walk Home
A Long Walk Home Scripture: John 4:46-54 We are saved by grace, but that does not remove the need for faithful action on our part. Jesus gives rest, but he gives it to those who “come to him.” Jesus healed a boy without even seeing him, but the father had first “come to Jesus,” and then made a long walk home without knowing for sure if what Jesus promised would happen. Only when he arrived home did he know for sure that the promise was fulfilled.
Living Better to Die Better
AM Sermon: Living Better to Die Better Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 The process of dying can be more intimidating than the final event. How we live and how we prepare can make a lot of difference in how we experience that process. Getting old can bring burdens that Ecclesiastes calls “the evil days.” Loneliness as we die is one of the greatest fears, and is best addressed by taking good care of our relationships. Good living and good planning can give us precious opportunities to say a proper, “Good-bye.”
Why Christians Live and Die
Scripture: Psalm 23 Men who suffered greatly, such as David and Paul, give us the most positive view of life and death. Life is a gift from God to be used to his glory for as long as he chooses to prolong it. Like birth, death is an ominous transition into the great unknown that we can approach with confidence since Jesus has shown the way.
Leaving Our Earthly Tent
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1 Christians believe in heaven, that we are going to heaven, and that heaven will be a better place to live than earth. Yet, we hang on to life here as if there were no tomorrow. Our faith should be make a difference in how we approach death. We have options for health care, and even for dying, that previous generations didn’t have. We need to think on how our faith makes our responses to those options different from the responses of those who have no hope. Hebrews 9:27 2 Corinthians 4:8,10 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 2 Corinthians 5:4, 6-8
Commitment: A Path to Success
Scripture: Philippians 2:1-4 The Bible is our best guide to strong, happy marriages. Where the world sees biblical teachings as restrictions, Christians should see them as the path to success. However, biblical guidance for marriage is not limited to the precious few passages that address directly the subject of marriage. Wherever the Bible teaches us how to be strong, faithful Christians, we will find indispensable guidance for how to grow as godly wives & husbands.
Just As I Am
Jesus accepted association with all kinds of people, including “tax collectors and sinners.” People often use this example to argue that the church should accept everyone regardless of lifestyle without calling for any change or repentance. The whole story is that Jesus accepted contact with all, and called all to repent. Mark 2:13-17 Luke 5:27-32 John 8:1-11 Matthew 11:28 John 8:11 Matthew 9:13 Mark 1:15 Luke 14:26-27,33;13:3 Matthew 21:31 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Quite often we sin because we try to go with what “works.” We have desires, and satisfying those desires as soon as possible is an attraction that produces temptations. We see that other people seem to get what they want through sinful behavior. We don’t want to be a sinful person, but for a moment, we are tempted to do what “works.” Many Bible stories tell of people who sinned, and it seemed to work. Even Judas betrayed Jesus for money, and it worked. He got the money. It was a shortsighted approach, but sinning is usually shortsighted.
God Moves in Mysterious Ways
John 11:1-7 God moves in mysterious ways. His ways and his timetable often baffle us, especially when we think our problem is urgent and God takes his time. Lazarus, the friend of Jesus was ill, but he and his family waited almost an entire week for Jesus to respond to their 911 call. By then, Lazarus had been dead for four days. If Jesus was going to restore Lazarus to good health, why not act sooner?
The Varied Temptations of Jesus
“Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are,” says the Bible in Hebrews 4:15. Beginning in the wilderness, but throughout his ministry, Satan tried to lure Jesus away from trusting God’s power, presence and plan. He offered shortcuts to world fame. He played on doubt and on vanity. He used enemies and friends. Indeed, Jesus was tempted as we are. And just as with Jesus, every temptation is an opportunity either to do wrong or to do right.
When Clay Talks
Scripture: Isaiah 45:9-13 It is preposterous that clay would talk and critique the work of the potter. It is no less preposterous that mankind would critique the work of God, the Creator. God works constantly to teach us things we desperately need to know, but are slow to learn. He pokes and squeezes, shapes and reshapes, to make us the way we need to be. It’s not always pleasant, but when we trust the Potter, his way is always best.
Knowing God’s Will
Scripture: Judges 6:36-40 Learning God’s will for our lives is not a matter trying to guess what God might want, or of deciphering hidden clues about “open doors.” In the Bible, God tells us all we need to know to please him. Beyond that, he allows us to make choices according to our likes and preferences. When a decision is ours to make, we should not expect God to make it for us.