Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
On the night in which he was arrested, Jesus identified himself by saying simply, "I am He." His adversaries were literally knocked to the ground by the astonishing weight of the statement. As fellow Jews, they knew that Jesus was powerfully asserting his divinity.
Christmas shows why Christianity is unique. In all other religions, a prophet arrives and teaches how we can find eternal life. In Christianity, God comes to us and gives himself as the way to eternal life. Christmas shows that salvation is by grace, that we can have true intimacy with God, that love really matters, and that there exists an unceasing river of joy beneath all the sorrows of this world.
Many people today believe that Jesus never claimed to be God. They think Jesus was merely a wise teacher whose followers later deified him. Yet, key passages, such as Philippians 2, demonstrate that from the very beginning of Christianity, Jesus was worshiped as God. In our lives, we can only see Jesus’ love for us once we realize that he is God. Jesus left the perfect love of the Trinity in order to serve us. He then sends His disciples out into the world, following in his footsteps, serving and sacrificially loving others.
A great temptation for Christians is relating to God in a mercenary fashion. We desire to use God in order to further our own purposes. Even when we want to serve God, we place limits upon our obedience. Accepting Jesus as Lord combats this tendency. Instead of acting as if God exists to serve us, we live our lives striving to serve him--no matter what the cost.
John’s Gospel begins by teaching that Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Just as we come to know a person through speaking to them and listening to their words, we come to know God by listening to Jesus speak to us. Yet, Jesus did not come solely to speak. He came to live among us so that there is nothing we will suffer that He has not also suffered. But most of all, He came to die for us. In the incarnation, God became vulnerable to us—even to death—and yet He loved us so much that He was glad to so.
If the baby in manger really is God, then Jesus is not a mere teacher whose instructions we can accept or reject as we please. Instead, Jesus calls us to a life of radical obedience to Him. Christmas isn’t about hanging out in front of comfortable fireplaces. When Jesus came into this world, he lost all his comfort. Jesus went from the joys of heaven to a filthy manger. Jesus likewise calls us to exit our comfort zones and live a life of adventure and service.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 12:2; Mark 10:29.
Becoming a Christian is not a change of degree but a change in kind. It is leaving your native home and entering the Kingdom of God. But entering the Kingdom of God means being willing to sacrifice everything that goes against your new King. In other words, the Kingdom of God will cost you everything you have. But is it expensive? Not at all. It’s a bargain.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Colossians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 4:20; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 2:8; Romans 8:18; Joshua 7.
We naturally have a love/hate relationship with kings. For thousands of years, myths and legends have centered on the return of a noble king who will rule the people justly. Yet, submitting to a king means that we have to subordinate our own will to the king—and no one yearns for that.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Romans 8:7; Leviticus 19:2; Exodus 20:3; Exodus 34:7; Luke 14:26; Job 23:10.
In the conclusion to the sermon on the mount, Jesus challenges everyone. He challenges those who don’t attend church by telling them that not all roads lead to God. He challenges those inside the church by telling them that not everyone who calls him “Lord, Lord” will be saved.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: John 14:6; 1 Samuel 15; Philippians 3:4-9.
Jesus behaves in a completely different way than church leaders. When church leaders meet people who are excited to attend their church, they are ecstatic. Yet when Jesus meets people who claim to be eager to follow Him, Jesus rebukes them. Jesus does not take advantage of their idealism. Instead, Jesus cautions them about the sacrifices that will occur if they follow Him.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Romans 14:17.