Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
Paul’s prayers for the churches he wrote to can seem counter-intuitive. Despite the hardships suffered by the early churches, Paul never prayed for alleviation of difficulties. Instead, he prayed that through their sufferings, the church would identify with the sufferings of Christ, and experience a deeper realization of God’s love.
The Biblical view of sex is unique. It rejects the view, held by some conservative cultures, that sex is dirty. Instead, the Bible views sex so highly that it cannot be shared casually with anyone outside the covenantal relationship of marriage. Sex is meant to bind two people together. It renews the covenant that they have made with one another.
No one person has all the spiritual gifts. Some have the gift of speaking truth, some have the gift of encouraging, and others have a gift for organization. It is only when people with diverse gifts come together that the church will best minister to those in need. Yet—as important as spiritual gifts are—developing Christian character must take precedence. If we are mainly concerned with Christian character but think little about gifts, then Christians will be effective in ministry.
The premise of Christian marriage is that two people are filled with the Holy Spirit and are committed to serving one another. Wives are to grant husbands leadership in the marriage. Husbands are to use that leadership not for their own selfish desires but to sacrificially serve their wives. The purpose of Christian marriage is not for individual self-fulfillment, but to work for the growth and sanctification of the spouse. Lastly, Christian marriage is not an end in itself, but a pointer to Jesus Christ, the ultimate spouse who will never let us down.
In this talk, Tim Keller tries to elucidate several issues concerning spiritual gifts. First, we don’t choose which gifts we have; they are given by God. Secondly, the church body plays a role (but does not have the final say) in confirming a person’s gifts. Thirdly, we must be careful to never mistake our talents for spiritual fruit. Finally, Tim discusses the three elements to discerning a call: affinity, ability, and opportunity.
Biblical hospitality goes far deeper than merely entertaining your friends and family at your home. In the Bible, hospitality is proactively seeking to welcome the marginalized. Hospitality is providing a warm home for the lonely. Throughout the Bible, God is the exemplar of hospitality. God provided a home for the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt. But most of all, God the Father even abandoned Jesus in order to bring us home to God.
Too often people see the church as a hindrance to their spirituality rather than the necessary fuel for its growth. The Biblical church is called to be a community unlike any other, a place where people welcome the outsider, spur one another to good works, encourage one another in difficult times, and work to help all members grow in Christ.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Hebrews 10:1-2; Mark 15:34.
When the message of the Gospel of Christ is being received, it creates the potential for the kind of community we long for, but generally fail to realize. What are the barriers to this kind of community and how do we overcome them?
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Hebrews 3:13; Romans 15:14; Romans 12:9; John 17:20-24; Romans 15:1-3; Matthew 27:46.
What was it about early Christianity that made it spread like wildfire through the Mediterranean world? There was something astonishingly attractive in the inclusiveness of a religion that drew people from across all racial, cultural, economic, intellectual and philosophical divides.
Being made in the image of God means, among other things, that we were not created to be in isolation. There is nothing more humanizing and life-engendering than friendship. In Christ, we have the true archetype of the friend we need, and the kind of friendship others need us to provide.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Genesis 2:18; Psalm 25:14; Ephesians 1:18; Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Matthew 26:36-46; Psalm 55:12-14.