Sermons

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He’s Not Just Trying to Patch You Up

Matthew 9:14-26 contains one of the great glories of the gospel in this passage: You get newness of life – new wine, new wineskins, and completely new clothing. Here is a sermon I preached on this passage:

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People often want to put a patch of religion on their unshrunk cloth. They want to make themselves better. It seems easier than newness of life. This mindset is contradicted in Matthew 9:14-26, which presents us with a question from the disciples of John and the healings of two people, whose hopes were shattered. One was a girl who was well for 12 years and then died, and the other was a woman who had been sick for 12 years and had spent her livelihood on physicians.

Our text opens with a question from the disciples of John. They ask,  (more…)

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The Weight of Your Afflictions

I preached on Matthew 8:14-27.

These are some of the statements that I made during the application portion of the sermon:

The presence of your afflictions are not according to chance.

The timing of your afflictions are all part of God’s pre-ordained plan to sum up all things in Christ.

The weight of your afflictions are carefully measured, to bring you forth as gold.

The number of your afflictions are strategically appointed to buffet you enough to change you.

The length of your afflictions will be no shorter or longer than what pleases God, in order to enlarge your patience.

The outcome of your afflictions are designed to address a God-glorifying end.

The arms which brought the afflictions will hold you through them.

You listen to the message here.

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Who Is My Mother and My Brother?

In Matthew 12:38-50, it is recorded of Jesus: “And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'”

Are you of relation to Christ? If so, what evidence do you have that it is true?

Our church went through this passage of Matthew and discussed this profound statement of our Lord.

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The Danger of Bad Doctrine

This past Sunday, I preached on Matthew 16:1-12, where Jesus warns His disciples to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees.

Matthew 16:12 says, “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”

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The Importance of Difficulties in the Christian Ministry

The Founders Ministries Blog had this helpful post: The Preacher’s Difficult Work

John Venn (1759-1813) became rector of Clapham Church in South London in 1792 and served there until his death. He was the son of the better known, Henry Venn, also a minister in the Church of England, and a friend of William Wilberforce and Charles Simeon. He also served as chaplain to the Clapham Sect. After his death, a collection of his sermons was published by his son. The first message in the first volume is “The Importance and Difficulties of the Christian Ministry” based on 1 Corinthians 2:3. The whole message is worth reading. The following excerpt is taken from that sermon.

It is a difficult service in its own nature. Were the work of a preacher indeed confined to the delivery of a moral discourse, this would not be an arduous task. But a Minister of the Gospel has much more to do. He will endeavour, under Divine Grace, to bring every individual in his congregation to live no longer to himself, but unto Him who died for us. But here the passions, prejudices, and perhaps the temporal interests of men combine to oppose his success. It is not easy to obtain any influence over the mind of another; but to obtain such an influence as to direct it contrary to the natural current of its desires and passions, is a work of the highest difficulty. Yet such is the work of a Minister. He has to arrest the sinner in his course of sin; to shake his strong hold of  security; to make the stout-hearted tremble under the denunciation of God’s judgment; to lead him to deny himself, as to sacrifice the inclinations most dear to him–to repent, and become a new creature. Neither is the work of the Ministry less arduous in respect to those whoa re not open and profligate sinners. Self-love, the most powerful passion of the human breast, will render it equally difficult to convince the formalist of the unsoundness of his religion, the pharisee of the pride of his heart, and the mere moralist of his deficiency in the sight of God. In all these cases, we have to convey unpleasant tidings; to persuade to what is disagreeable; to effect not only a reformation in the conduct of men, and a regulation of their passions, but, what is of still higher difficulty, a change in their good opinion of themselves.  Nay, further we have not merely to “wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” “Who is sufficient for these things?” For this office the Christian Minister may in himself “have no resources above those of any of his congregation,” their weaknesses are his weaknesses, he must therefore undertake his work in weakness, fear and much trembling, but knowing that it may yet be effectual, for it is in weakness that Christ’s strength is always made perfect.

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Beheaded, Matthew 14:1-21

Here is my sermon on Matthew 14:1-22, contrasting the kingdoms of Herod the Tetrarch and our Lord Jesus.

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Do Our Injuries Fall on Us by Chance?

Thomas Watson wrote beautifully about the sermon on the mount. In the section on “Blessed are the Meek,” he says this:

Consider that all the injuries and unkind usages we meet with from the world, do not fall out by chance—but are disposed of by the all-wise God for our good. Many are like the foolish cur, which snarls at the stone, never looking to the hand that threw it; or like the horse, who being spurred by the rider, bites the snaffle. If we looked higher than instruments our hearts would grow meek and calm. David looked beyond Shimei’s rage: ‘Let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him’ (2 Samuel 16:11). What wisdom is it for Christians to see the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men! Job eyed God in his affliction, and that meekened his spirit. ‘The Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord!’ (Job 1:21). He does not say, The Chaldeans have taken away—but ‘The Lord has taken away’. What made Christ so meek in his sufferings? He did not look at Judas or Pilate—but at his Father. ‘The cup which my Father has given me’ (John 18:11). When wicked men revile and injure us, they are but God’s executioners. Who is angry with the executioner?

And as God has a hand in all the affronts and discourtesies we receive from men (for they but hand them over to us), so God will do us good by all, if we belong to him. ‘It may be’ (says David) ‘that the Lord will look upon my affliction, and requite me good for his cursing’ (2 Samuel 16:12). Usually, when the Lord intends us some signal mercy, he fits us for it by some eminent trial. As Moses’ hand was first leprous before it wrought salvation (Exodus 4:6), so God may let his people be belepered with the cursings and revilings of men, before he shower down some blessings upon them. ‘It may be the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.’

Thomas Watson on the Beatitudes, Blessed are the Meek

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The Kingdom of Heaven: Come and Nest in Its Branches

This past Sunday, we considered Matthew 13:24-43, where Jesus is teaching about the kingdom of heaven. In this passage, Jesus gives three parables: 1) the wheat and the tares, 2) the grain of mustard seed, and 3) the leaven. He explains through these what the kingdom of heaven is like and what those who hear should know about it.

You can listen the sermon through this audio player:

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The Parable of the Sower

How can you know you are saved? Jesus answers this question in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, where He speaks to the multitude by way of parables. The first is the parable of four soils – the wayside, the stony soil, the thorny soil, and the good soil. Which one of these grounds are you? Have you born fruit – some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty?

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A Preacher’s Responsibility

A preacher has a number of responsibilities and hopes for the congregation. Here are a few of them:

1. Represent the words of God to them accurately, so that they can compare everything in their lives with the truth of Scripture

2. Give them a vision of the majesty of God

3. Help them find their greatest delight and happiness in God

4. Instruct them in the flow of history and their place in history

5. Show them the world as it really is

6. Equip them for the work of the ministry

7. Explain and dissect their problems in the light of Scripture so they can see who they really are (more…)

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Who Is My Mother and Brother?

In Matthew 12:38-50, it is recorded of Jesus: “And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'”

Are you of relation to Christ? If so, what evidence do you have that it is true?

Last Sunday, our church went through this passage of Matthew and discussed this profound statement of our Lord.

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The Fishless Fisherman’s Fellowship

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Summary

The 11th Day of Christmas: Puritans on Christmas

I would to God that every holy day (including Christmas – ed.) whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the Word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.” – Martin Bucer, cited in William Ames, A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God’s Worship (1633), pp. 359-60.

“And next in particular, concerning festival days findeth that in the explication of the first head of the first book of discipline it was thought good that the feasts of Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany, with the feasts of the Apostles, Martyrs, and Virgin Mary be utterly abolished because they are neither commanded nor warranted by Scripture and that such as observe them be punished by Civil Magistrates. Here utter abolition is craved and not reformation of abuses only and that because the observation of such feasts have no warrant from the word of God.” – The Acts of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland, December 10, Session 17, 1638, pp. 37-38

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The 9th Day of Christmas: Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon, entitled Joy Born at Bethlehem (preached Dec. 24 1871) and opened the sermon with this:

WE HAVE NO superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred.

In another place in the Treasury of David on Psalm 81:4 he says:

For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. It was a precept binding upon all the tribes that a sacred season should be set apart to commemorate the Lord’s mercy; and truly it was but the Lord’s due, he had a right and a claim to such special homage. When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas, Whitsuntide, and other Popish festivals was ever instituted by a divine statute, we also will attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men, as to observe the ordinances of the Lord. We ask concerning every rite and rubric, “Is this a law of the God of Jacob?” and if it be not clearly so, it is of no authority with us, who walk in Christian liberty.

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