Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
Modern people are uncomfortable with the existence of evil, let alone the existence of the Devil. Yet, the Bible teaches that we cannot fully understand the world we live in unless we realize that there are supernatural agents of evil. But it is not enough to believe in the Devil; a Christian must study his methods. Satan practices evil subtly. He tempts and accuses people rather than overthrowing their will. Temptation is when the Devil asks us to ignore the holiness of God. Accusation is when he blinds us to the love and grace of God.
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.
We are irreducibly hope-based creatures. If we believe that this world is an accident and that when we die we rot, then that lack of hope will cast a shadow on way we live and see all of life. But if we believe the Christian Gospel, then no matter what happens in our lives, we possess a hope that will always strengthen us. Christians find their hope in the certainty of God’s love for them through Jesus Christ. Christians live in the hope of knowing that the entire physical creation will be renewed into a perfect world without pain and death.
The great tension of the Old Testament is the seemingly ambiguous status of God’s covenant with His people. Sometimes God speaks as if He will bless Israel irrespective of whether or not they keep the statues of His covenant. Other times the blessing appears to be conditional upon their obedience. This deep tension is resolved through the cross. Jesus takes upon Himself the curse for breaking the covenant. Meanwhile, all of us who have disobeyed the covenant receive—through faith in Christ--the reward that Jesus deserved for keeping the covenant.
The Bible teaches an extremely nuanced vision of the human spirit. We are physical beings whose spirits can be brought low by physical ailments. We are relational beings who need the love and support of friends. We are moral beings who can be crushed by the weight of our sin. We are existential beings who seek to find meaning in our lives. Lastly, we are faith-based being who will always put our hope in something. Unless we put our faith and hope in God, we will never satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
Jesus is offensive. He is offensive to every culture in every part of the world and in every period of time. The Gospel message that all our accomplishments are worthless and that we must rely on Jesus alone for salvation offends us to the core. In the Gospels, no one ever “liked” Jesus or responded to Him moderately. They either tried to kill Jesus or they worshipped Him and gave up everything to follow Him.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Luke 2:29-35; John 14:6; Matthew 15:12; 2 Kings 5; Numbers 22:28-30.
Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus concludes his teaching by admonishing his hearers to forsake the broad path and enter through the narrow gate. When Christians say that a person can only be saved through Jesus, it sounds incredibly narrow. Yet on the other side of that narrow gate there is the tremendous space of grace. On the other hand, if we believe that all “good” people can be saved, then we are truly narrow because we have abandoned grace.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Matthew 5-7.
All of us need to come and see Jesus. For skeptics and seekers “come and see” means to come, think, and examine the evidence. For Christians “come and see” means to come and be a disciple of Jesus. We often think we are following Jesus, but we are really just following our own hearts. We must always strive to see Jesus as He is, not as we would have Him be. Finally, “come and see” means processing everything with friends. It means being part of a church where people encourage one another to “come and see” Jesus.
Romans 8:28 is one of the most famous verses in the Bible. People love the thought that God works out all things for good for those who love Him. Yet, Romans 8:28 is intimately connected with Romans 8:29-30 where God promises to bodily resurrect those He has called. In other words, the Bible does not promise that Christians will have more pleasant circumstances in this life than non-Christians. The Bible promises a better life to come—not better life circumstances in this world.
Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only natural son of God; everyone else must be adopted. Yet once someone becomes a Christian, they immediately become a child of God. Being a child is a legal relationship--it means that we do not cease to be children when we behave in ways that are displeasing to the Father. It even means that God loves us as much as He loves His only natural son.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: John 1:12; John 17:26; Romans 8:20-21; 1 Corinthians 13:12; John 17:24; Psalm 17:15.