Sermons from September 2019
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.
John 14:15 – Few things make Christians more uncomfortable than the topic of evangelism, yet the Bible emphasizes its essential place in the church’s identity and mission in the world. This lesson will consider the place that Jesus gave to love in evangelism and what it means for our practice of evangelism today.
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
James 1:17 — The connection between the Old and New Testaments offers one example where readers today sometimes miss the elements God intends to unite the two parts of the Bible. We will therefore take time to explore some of the features of the Old Testament that extend into the New Testament, their connection to Jesus, and how Jesus’ place in them both creates continuity and change.
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.
We thank our God for you always. Report from Mel Latorre on the work in Brazil.
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.