Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
Just as water and fire cannot exist together, neither can God's holiness with man's sinfulness. How can the gap be bridged?
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.
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.
It is no accident that the Bible often refers to judgment day as ‘the Day of the LORD.’ We live our lives as if we are the lead actors in the drama of this world. Judgment day is the day when God is paramount. On that day, all people will step back and see the world being put right when God is placed at the center of all things.
Money is not inherently evil, but it is often dangerous because it has a power to blind us to spiritual reality. When a person becomes financially successful, they start to feel that they are a success in all areas, and they can easily become blinded to their own sin. Also, the love of money is a unique sin because few people can see greed in themselves. Instead, we falsely believe that luxuries are necessities. Finally, money deceives us by telling us that it can bring us security, and this makes us unwilling to part with our money.
Naturally we’re inclined to spend our money on ourselves and if we have any left over, we will give it to ministry and charity. However, Jesus shows us how our priorities need to change. Giving to ministry and charity must come first. Only then should we figure out how to spend the rest of our money. Yet, it is only through the Gospel that we can give so much away. It is only when we are spiritually rich that we can stop looking at money as our real wealth and security.
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.
The rich young ruler in this passage has followed all the rules, but receives an astonishing rebuttal from Jesus. Any encounter with the “real” Jesus shocks us. His religious assumptions failed him because he didn't understand treasure in heaven, and failed to recognize the true freedom and inheritance Jesus offers us.
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 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.