Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
A Christian is someone whose primary citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. Being a Christian is a legal status. One is either a Christian or one is not a Christian; there is no in between. Yet, this does not mean that Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good. The very fact that Christians’ greatest love is for the world to come means that they are not enslaved to the ordinary things in this world. This freedom from worldly goods is the very thing that allows Christians to sacrificially serve others.
The Kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world. Ordinary kingdoms come by conquest and therefore they are impossible to miss. However, when Jesus uses the metaphor of a tiny seed in order to describe God’s Kingdom, he shows how easy it can be to be oblivious to God’s Kingdom. Therefore, it can difficult to know whether one has entered God’s Kingdom. Jesus tells the parable of the sower in order to help individuals test whether or not they are truly in this most unlikely kingdom.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasts two groups who appear the same on the outside, but have different motives on the inside. Religious people are superficial, hiding behind the letter of the law; but people who are changed by the gospel are shining in the spirit of the law.
In his triumphant entry to Jerusalem, Jesus juxtaposes power and weakness. In cleansing the temple, he restores God's sanctuary for the benefit of everyone. When he curses the fig tree, he shows how his power should be fruitful in us.
Jesus introduces a revolutionary kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount. He contrasts the pattern, power, and product of two kingdoms: the old one which we are currently under, and the new one which is to come. Jesus' teaching goes against every natural instinct, and represents a reversal of the world's values.
In addressing Israel's exile, Jeremiah poses the question of why we long for home. This world can't sustain us, so how we can get home? The answer is in Jesus' sacrifice, which gives us the gift of a fully sustained life in our relationship with God.