Sermons on Christian Living
Matthew 11:28-30 We need rest. Do we think about how we rest? Do you think God understands our need for rest better than we do? Sunday morning we’ll study the concept of rest as physically & spiritually renewing as well as the rest God promises in Christ.
God calls Christians “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Conforming to Jesus’ image means pouring one’s self into the template of his life and teachings. That pouring, however, reveals areas where Jesus acted very differently than we might act. We will consider one of those areas in this lesson – Jesus’ practice of forgiveness – and think about what his example means for our lives.
Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for neglecting “the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faithfulness” in Matthew 23:23. This lesson will consider why he included faithfulness in his list of weightier matters, how God develops it in the Bible, and the place it should consequently have within our lives.
Rather than exalting God through the spiritual authority they claimed, Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for exalting themselves at the expense of the people they claimed to teach and lead. In particular, Jesus censored them for neglecting the mercy, one of the “weightier matters” of God’s law. This lesson will consider mercy’s place in the Bible and in our lives
Job 31:1-12. In this passage, Job is defending himself against the accusation of adultery. This is quite an accusation for a guy who has just lost everything. The Bible understands a lifelong commitment to purity can be challenging. And so we get more than a list of rules. We see in Job’s response that his idea of a pure heart goes beyond not committing adultery. This is surprisingly similar to Jesus! For Job, a pure heart that translated into pure actions protected the well-being of his family and resulted in a community better able to recognize the values & purposes of God.
Jesus’ identification of justice as one of the “weightier matters of the law” did not offer a new insight to the audience listening to his condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees. The Bible’s persistent teachings about God’s justice provided an anchor for the Jewish peoples’ hopes; they were awaiting the day when God would exercise His justice on their behalf and free them from oppressing nations. Even though the people listening to Jesus teach would have given God’s justice a “weightier” place, Jesus applied God’s justice in a way that resonated with the Bible’s teachings while, at the same time, challenging conventional understandings. We will therefore consider the weightier place Jesus gave to justice and explore the place it should have within our lives.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus indicated that justice, mercy, and faithfulness hold priority in obedience to God. This lesson will consider the balance Jesus’ comment pointed toward and will explore other passages that help map out that balance and the place it ought to have in our lives as followers of Jesus.
Matthew 5:33-37 God is a God of truth, honesty and plain speech. He calls His people to tell the truth, even when it hurts.
Selfless & Faithful: The story of Ruth
1 Corinthians chapter eight contains part of Paul’s response to a question raised by the Christians in the city of Corinth – he told them to think less about their rights and more about their selfless service to one another. This lesson examines Paul’s response as part of our series examining the selflessness that ought to define our lives as followers of Jesus.
1 Kings 21 Life can easily consume me with thoughts of, well, me! We covet and do not get, which leads to strife. But the Bible’s teaching helps us to rejoice with others, rather than take from them. We also learn to appreciate the value of work and to not look past others in need. Jesus says: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15
The New Testament offers a few curious statements about suffering. Paul, for example, embraced his suffering while Peter even told people they should rejoice in their suffering. We, I think, would (rightly) agree that following Jesus would include helping persecuted people, so what are we to do with Paul and Peter’s comments? This lesson will consider suffering’s place in the new identity God gives to us through Jesus and its place within our lives today.
This lesson considers the Bible’s picture of humanity’s division into two groups in Genesis 3:15 (those who belong to God and those who belong to the serpent), how they are developed in its story, and what it means for us today.
Paul’s short letter to Philemon regarding his slave Onesimus can almost be ignored for its deceptively straight forward message and its small size. Even though we might pay little attention to the book, its message would have surprised Paul’s Roman world and, when properly understood, continues to surprise our world. This lesson will explore the book and consider Paul’s belief that Jesus gives Christians new identities that create a new world order
1 Timothy 2:8 — Paul, in his comments to Timothy, offers a picture of biblical manhood. In contrast to our culture’s common emphasis on things self-centered interests like just violence, power, money, or sexuality, Paul instead defined biblical manhood as involving prayer, purity, and peacefulness. We will therefore, considering our celebration of Fathers’ Day today, explore those three qualities, how Jesus helps us better understand them, and how they can express themselves within fathers’ lives.
Genesis 1:26-28 — Genesis describes the purpose God gave to humanity in the creation – to rule His creation. Although humanity’s rebellion changed its relationship with the world, it did not remove the obligation of that creational mission. This lesson will explore what it looks like to have a proper relationship with the creation.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 — This lesson will trace God’s resolution of humanity’s rebelliousness by following His promises to give people new hearts, a promise fulfilled as part of the new identity Jesus gives to us.
This lesson considers baptism’s symbolic reenactment of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection and the new identity that God gives to people when they are baptized.
Peter wrote that Christians are created for the purpose of loving one another (1 Peter 1:22). This lesson will continue to explore the purposes Jesus gives to our lives by considering the purpose of love and the way Jesus’ example and teachings shape the love that should define us