Archives For Preaching

I am again privileged to be part of the Haddon Robinson Study Retreat. This we are studying the Old Testament books of Hosea, Amos, and Micah under the instruction of Wheaton’s Danny Carroll.

Each year a group of pastors gather for a week of intense study Covenant Harbor Camp near Lake Geneva, WI . Our format is simple. We invite a world-class scholar to teach us on one or more books of the Bible. As we are taught on a technical level, we collaborate to envision how to preach the Scripture we are studying to our congregations.

We were inspired by Dr. Haddon Robinson to begin this retreat. Haddon is one of the most influential teachers of homiletics (preaching) in the English speaking world in the last 100 years. Most of us who are part of this retreat studied under Haddon. All share a commitment to the clear proclamation of God’s Word.

Participants are thankful for a family who underwrite part of the cost of our retreat. We are also thankful for our churches that value the opportunity for their pastors to get away from our many responsibilities for a time of intense focus on the Word.

Our group comes from all over North America. If you click through to the interactive map, you will see that we have participants who come from everywhere from Edmonton to South Carolina. Combined, we have hundreds of years of pastoral experience.

The great theologian John Murray explained that an unwillingness to preach judgment inevitably leads to a lack of biblical joy. 

Many Christians would agree with the assessment that there is a lack of joy amongst Christians. But fewer would agree with John Murray’s explanation of why we often lack joy. Murray argued that when the judgment of God is not preached the joy of grace will be lost. Quoting Murray:

There is an amazing and distressing paucity of the agonizing question which is, after all, the basic religious question: how can a man be just with God? And there is likewise, and inevitably as a consequence, a paucity of the exultant joy which comes with the realization of complete and irrevocable justification by free grace through faith. The root from which all such impoverishment proceeds is the absence of from our thinking and from our preaching of the divine judgment upon sin. Without the ministry of judgment and condemnation the foundation is not laid in the conviction which gives meaning and appeal to the gospel of free and sovereign grace. Collected Writings of John Murray: Claims of Truth (His Collected Writings of John Murray; V. 1) (His Collected Writings of John Murray; V. 1), “Some Necessary Emphases in Preaching,” page 145. 

Murray’s logic:

  1. God’s righteous judgment is preached.
  2. Hearers ask, “How can a person be right with God?”
  3. The question is answered, “Through the grace of God.” (Eph 2:8-9).
  4. Those who turn in repentance and receive by faith the gift of eternal life are filled with joy (1 Peter 1:8, Jude 24-25). 

The sequence must begin with point 1. 

See also:

What Do Christians Mean When They Reference the Gospel or Good News

Baptism at the Red Brick Church in Stillman ValleySee if you can prayerfully fill in the blanks before Sunday’s sermon (6/19/16) at the Red Brick Church. For more on Sunday’s excitement, see this announcement

Update: Your can now listen to this sermon here.

The people at our church know that I am not generally a fan of “fill in the blank” sermon notes. However, given our baptism service on Sunday — and a crunch for time — I am providing more information than normal on our sermon notes including blanks to complete.

Here’s the challenge:

  1. Printout  (see below) or download the sermon notes.
  2. Study the text and collateral texts and see if you can anticipate where the sermon is going. Can you fill in the blanks?
  3. If you’re feeling really good – – send your notes to Chris is advance or bring them to church.
  4. Above all, pray! It’s going to be a great Sunday.

SERMON TITLE: The Story We are Living

Given the baptism service, our time is limited this morning. We will spend less time in pastoral prayer. Be sure and review the prayer requests on the back of the bulletin and be in an attitude of prayer for one another and throughout the service and week.

Our sermon text (Acts 8:26-40) makes each of the supporting points for the sermon. Notice I have also provided cross references which likewise teach these same truths. If you take the time this week to review these truths your faith will be strengthened as you are increasingly rooted in biblical thinking (Colossians 2:6-7).

Big Idea / Central Thought: As a local church, we are witnessing, l__________ & experiencing the s____________ of Acts 8:26-40.   

  1. Look up: a merciful God is s____________ s___________ (Acts 16:31, Ephesians 1:4-5)– [26] Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. [27] And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure.
  1. Bow to the the e_______________ of Christ (Isaiah 45:22, John 4:22, Acts 4:12)- He had come to Jerusalem to worship (27b)
  1. Focus on the s_____________ of the W______________ of Christ (Romans 10:17)– [28] and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
  1. Humbly recognize the n____________ of pastors / evangelists (Luke 24:27, Ephesians 4:11-13, Romans 10:14-15) – [31] And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” . . . [35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
  1. Understand the a_______________ work of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:21-25) (Hint: study “terms to know”) –

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

  1. Picture the p___________ p______________of baptism (Matt 28:18-20, John 3:23, Acts 16:33, Romans 6:1-7) – (Hint: Nestea)

TERMS TO KNOW

Acts (The book of) – A New Testament book of the Bible written A.D. 70 by Dr. Luke. Luke also wrote the Gospel of Luke. The title of “Acts” references the “acts” or “deeds” of the Apostles of Christ. Acts begins with the resurrected Christ ascending to heaven having instructed his followers to wait for Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit would be poured out on the Church) and to go into all the world making the disciples. After Acts 2 and Pentecost, Acts tells the story of the Spirit empowered Word of Christ igniting the early Church as people believed from Jerusalem to Rome (Acts 6:7, 9:31, 12:24, 16:5, 19:20, 28:30-31).

*Atonement – Broadly, the word “atonement” refers to reparation for an offense. In the context of the Christian faith the wrong in view is the rebellion of all image bearers against our Creator and the reparation is the reconciling of God and humanity through the work of God’s only unique Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus atoned for the sins of Christians.

But how did Jesus atone for the sins of his people? The Bible teaches that the atoning work of Christ involves both substitution and satisfaction. Christ was the substitute for his people and he satisfied the demands of God’s justice (1 John 4:10, Isaiah 53:4-5, 2 Cor 5:21).[1]

Said another way, the central aspect of Christ’s atoning work is that that he paid the penalty for his people on the cross. Theologians refer to this truth as penal substitutionary atonement. Michael Horton summarizes, “Christ died in our place, bearing God’s wrath, satisfying his justice, and reconciling us to the Father.”[2]

In order that we might grasp both the problem sin creates, and the solution for how sinners can be right with God, the Bible describes sin using different pictures including debt, enmity, and crime. R.C. Sproul helps us understand how Christ atones for our sin with the following table.[3]

Sin as . . . Man God Christ
Debt Debtor Creditor Surety
Enmity Enemy Violated One Mediator
Crime Criminal Judge Substitute

For more, see Kevin DeYoung’s important post, Substitution is Not a “Theory of the Atonement”[4]

Baptism – Along with the Lord’s Supper/Communion, one of two ordinances/sacraments given to believers. Christ commanded both. Baptism pictures death and resurrection in Christ and the cleansing of sins. Baptism is passive for the person being baptized. We do not baptize ourselves. This pictures the truth that God is the one who graciously saves.

Gospel – The word “gospel” means “good news” and the good news is that God offers salvation for those who turn in repentance from their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12, Acts 20:21, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5).[5]

Isaiah the Prophet  – Eighth century prophet (circa 700 B.C.) whose massive book supplies central prophecies of Christ. His prophecies include the virgin birth (7:14), the promise of a wonderful counselor, everlasting God, the prince of peace (9:6-7), and the Servant Songs that include Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53 is the passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading in Acts 8.

Preacher / proclamation – The Holy Spirit empowers people to proclaim the good news / gospel so that people can understand salvation and believe in Jesus. Pastors are special gifts from Christ to his people given to equip God’s people (Ephesians 4:11).

Propitiation – The turning away of wrath or anger usually by an offering.[6] Propitiation appeases the wrath of God rightly brought about by our sin.[7] So 1 John 4:10 summarizes, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10 ESV).”

Similarly, in arguably the most important paragraph ever written,[8] Paul wrote that Christ was “put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:25a)

So, on the Cross, Jesus satisfied the wrath of God by dying in the place of Christians.

Hence, the Gettys were right to refuse to remove from their song, “In Christ Alone,” the words, “till on the cross where Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” See here.[9]

If you find yourself uncomfortable with the idea of the wrath of God, see Can a God Without Wrath Be Good?[10]

Wrath of God –  The settled indignation of God against sin. God will punish those who sin with eternal condemnation (hell) unless there is atonement for their sins.

*******

[1] R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1992), 172–73.

[2] Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 208.

[3] R.C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2007), 42.

[4] Kevin DeYoung, “Substitution Is Not a ‘Theory of the Atonement,’” The Gospel Coalition, March 22, 2016, https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2016/03/22/substitution-is-not-a-theory-of-the-atonement/.

[5] See also Chris Brauns, “What Do Christians Mean When They Reference the Gospel or Good News?,” A Brick in the Valley: The Web Site of Pastor and Author Chris Brauns, June 13, 2013, http://chrisbrauns.com/2013/06/what-do-christians-mean-when-they-reference-the-gospel-or-good-news/.

[6] Leon Morris, The Cross of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 6.

[7] Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 809.

[8] Chris Brauns, “The Most Important Paragraph Ever Written!,” A Brick in the Valley: The Web Site of Pastor and Author Chris Brauns, March 19, 2010, http://chrisbrauns.com/2010/03/the-most-important-paragraph-ever-written/.

[9] Collin Hansen, “Keith Getty on What Makes ‘In Christ Alone’ Accepted and Contested,” TGC – The Gospel Coalition, December 9, 2013, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/keith-getty-on-what-makes-in-christ-alone-beloved-and-contested.

[10] Sam Storms, “Can a God without Wrath Be Good?,” Enjoying God, February 14, 2014, http://www.samstorms.com/enjoying-god-blog/post/can-a-god-without-wrath-be-good.

Parents grieving and concerned for their childrenConcerned and broken parents are some of the most tired people I know. Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 3 will consider how God sustains his people even when they are brokenhearted for their children and full of regret over their own mistakes that may have contributed to their children’s situation. Join us Sunday at either 9 or 10:30 at the Red Brick Church. You can now listen to the sermon here.

It is difficult to imagine a more heart wrenching context than that of Psalm 3. The heading reads, “A Psalm of David, When He Fled From Absalom.” Which is to say, that David’s son was trying to kill him and Psalm 3 is David’s inspired reflection on that terrible time.

The sequence of events that led up to Absalom’s attempt at a coup is full of sin and pain. The account can be picked up at 2 Samuel 11.

  • It includes David’s adultery and subsequent murder of Uriah (2 Sam 11).
  • The death of David and Bathsheba’s baby.
  • David’s son, Amnon’s rape of David’s daughter Tamar (2 Samuel 13).
  • Absalom’s murder of Amnon (2 Sam 13:23-39).
  • Absalom’s treachery (2 Sam 15).
  • Absalom’s defeat and death (2 Sam 18).
  • David’s unspeakable grief (2 Sam 18:33).

So Absalom’s rebellion followed David’s own horrific sin and culminated in Absalom’s execution.

Thankfully, I have never been the pastor for someone in a situation as devastating as King David’s. Yet, I have talked with so many parents who are leveled by their children’s rebellion. I published a post in 2008, “How Should Parents Unpack Forgiveness With Rebellious Adult Children?” As of today, it has 287 comments. The comments for that post are a catalog of pain.

Given the pain of hurting parents, I am deeply thankful for the presence of Psalm 3 in the Bible. If you are a hurting parents, I would strongly encourage you to:

But also meditate on Psalm 3! How was it that David was able to keep his sanity amid such a mess? Sunday I plan to preach on Psalm 3 on Sunday (6/12/16). The audio should be posted soon on our church web site.

Be assured, even for devastated parents, God’s word revives the soul (Psalm 19:7).

 

CDB_4702For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Cor 1:20, NIV

This week I am blessed to join with a group of pastors at Covenant Harbor Retreat Center (Lake Geneva, WI). We will enjoy digging into 2 Corinthians under the instruction of Dr. George Guthrie of Union University.

With a couple of exceptions, what our group has in common is that we were privileged to complete doctoral work under Dr. Haddon Robinson. Now, we are committed to sharpening our preaching “saws” in an ongoing way.

Haddon Robinson at the GCTS Study Group 2014What our group does not have in common is:

  • The regions where we serve. The map included in this post shows that we come from all over North America: from Houston to Edmonton, Oregon to South Carolina.
  • The size of our cities or communities.  Some serve in rural communities, others in urban settings. Some are in the suburbs, others in the inner city.
  • The size of our churches. Some are part of large churches. Some are in small churches. Others are in new church plants.
  • Denominations. Just a sampling of our group includes Assembly of God, Baptist, Evangelical Free Church of America, Independent, and Presbyterian.
  • The venues in which we minister. A number have published books. Many have written articles one place or another. Most preach and teach on a weekly basis. Several teach homiletics (preaching) at Bible colleges or seminaries.

If you click through to the map, and then click on each pin, you will find more information about the ministries where we serve.

Pastors and Ministry leaders gather with Union University theologian George Guthrie to study 2 Corinthians.

Pastors and Ministry leaders gather with Union University theologian George Guthrie to study 2 Corinthians.

At Lake Geneva, our week will feature:

  • Intense study. Dr. Guthrie recently published a major commentary on 2 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). He is one of the top NT scholars in the English speaking world and, having previously studied Hebrews with him, we are excited to learn from him again.
  • Sermon planning. Our goal is to return from our time together so that we can feed our flocks a rich diet of God’s Word. We use the common vocabulary taught to us by Haddon Robinsons: subject, complement, exegetical idea etc.
  • Ministry Updates. Each year when we gather together, we give updates and learn how we can pray for one another.
  • Prayer. At the beginning of each day, we spend time in prayer.
  • Food. The food service for Covenant Harbor is excellent!
  • Long walks and hot coffee. On most evenings, we take a 1.5 mile walk each way to the local Starbucks where we laugh and enjoy one anothers company.
  • Hockey Instruction. Several of our number hail from north of the border. Theirs is a colder climate and some of us have taken it upon ourselves to encourage an interest in hockey, which played on ice such as it is, would seem well suited for their arctic habitat. While the Canadians pick up fairly quickly on theological matters, it is taking them longer to understand hockey. It is our ardent hope that over the years those of us from the U.S. can teach them more about the sport. There is some indication they are making progress.

It is not lost on our group that we are uniquely blessed to have such an opportunity to study and be recharged. We are thankful for:

  • The support of our churches who encourage us to go.
  • A Wisconsin family that generously supports this retreat.
  • Gifted theologians who spend a week in Wisconsin in order to equip us.
  • The ongoing leadership of several in our group who continue to cast the vision and recruit speakers.
  • Administrative support from individuals at Fellowship Church (Greenville) and Blackhawk Church (Madison) who coordinate the logistics of reminding forgetful pastors to register, collecting our funds, and other administrative duties.

The below gallery of pictures were taken across a number of years. This is the second year that Haddon has not been able to make our retreat. We miss him being with us.

 

 

 

Children praying during a time of worship at Vacation Bible School in 2013.

I need the help of our church children in drawing pictures for our series on the End Times and the return of King Jesus. Draw pictures of one or more of the below Bible passages. We will find a way to share them with our church family.

Our church is doing a series on eschatology or the “end times.” Pastors sometimes avoid preaching about this important subject because it is controversial. But the Bible has many, many pages about what it will be like when Jesus returns. This is the Word of God that feeds our souls. We dare not avoid it because someone might disagree with us.

The best way to study the return of Jesus is to meditate on key Bible passages. I am asking our church children to help me do this between now and Easter. Draw a picture of one or more of the following scenes. We will then share with our church family. Be sure and read what the Bible says about each scene – – and then label your picture.

  1. 5th Tree, Right Side of the River Facing the Throne of Jesus – Revelation 22:1-5 promises God’s people that we will all be together before the throne of Jesus. Our church family is planning to meet at the 5th tree back from the throne, on the right side (see here). Some of our folks don’t follow directions well. A picture will help everyone be in the right spot.
  2. The Rapture of 1 Thess 4:16-18 – In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul encouraged the early church that we do not grieve without hope when we lose a loved one. Jesus is coming back and those who died in Jesus will be resurrected. Those who are alive will be “caught up” or raptured to meet Jesus in the clouds. We need a picture!
  3. The Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 – Some of the most important teaching about the end times comes from the Olivet Discourse – – a sermon Jesus gave on the Mt. of Olives on Tuesday of Holy Week. Draw a picture of our Lord teaching his disciples about when he will come back.
  4. Meeting Friends in Heaven that Were Reached Through Missions (Luke 16:8-9) – In the parable of the dishonest manager, Luke 16:1-13, Jesus told us that we can use our worldly treasure – – which will not last – – to make friends and be welcomed into heaven. Our church gives money to missions. We are praying we will meet many people in heaven who were helped by our investment. What will our meeting with people from around the world look like?
  5. Jesus is preparing a house with many rooms (John 14:1-6) – Jesus promised that he was going away to prepare a place for us. And the author of Hebrews tells us that Abraham was looking forward to a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10). Draw a picture of the heavenly city Jesus is preparing.

Christ said his disciples are the "salt" of the world.Two documents from Chris Brauns’s personal notes for his series on the Sermon on the Mount. One is an uneven summary of the sermons. The other is the glossary of terms I thought I should understand in order to preach the series.

Sunday I preached my 25th and final sermon in my series on the Sermon on the Mount. The exhortation was to “make fresh decisions to be astonished by hearing Jesus’s words and obeying them.” Listen here.

As a part of the sermon, I pointed out some highlights from the series. You can review those highlights in the below document.

SERMON SUMMARIES FOR THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

It may also be of interest to you see the glossary I made for my own study. This is technical because I wrote it for my own use. It’s unedited and of uneven quality.

Glossary for the Sermon on the Mount

One of the points I stress to our church family in an ongoing way is that a sermon should be a biblical bullet fired at the life of the listener. In the preaching from our pulpit, we are praying that sermons will be:

  1. Biblical – Clearly true to the text, centered on Christ and the gospel.
  2. Bullet – Focused on a central thought that is an engine powerful enough to pull the freight of the passage. Every sermon needs a clear focus.
  3. Fired – which is to say preach with unction or the power of the Spirit. We are praying that our preaching will go out with the power of the Spirit.
  4. At the life of the Listener – Significant for life in the 21st century.

Most authorities on preaching recognize the importance of a clear central thought. Below are some classic quotes including my mentor’s (Haddon Robinson) memorable quote, “a sermon should fire a bullet not buckshot.”

Haddon Robinson:

Rhetoricians emphasize the necessity of a clearly stated central thought so strongly that virtually every textbook devotes some space to a treatment of the principle. Terminology may vary – – central idea, proposition, theme, thesis statement, main thought – – but the concept is the same . . . A sermon should be a bullet, not buckshot. Ideally each sermon is the explanation, interpretation, or application of a single dominant idea supported by other ideas, all drawn from one passage or several passages of Scripture.[1]

Duane Litfin:

. . . a speech to be maximally effective, ought to attempt to develop more or less fully only one major proposition. . . Any unit that does not contribute to the whole should be eliminated, regardless of how interesting it may be in itself.[2]

J.H. Jowett:

I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. I find the getting of that sentence is the hardest, the most exacting, and the most fruitful labour in my study. To compel oneself to fashion that sentence, to dismiss every word that is vague, ragged, ambiguous, to think oneself through to a form of words which defines the theme with scrupulous exactness – – this is surely one of the most vital and essential factors in the making of a sermon: and I do not think any sermon ought to be preached or even written, until that sentence has emerged, clear and lucid as a cloudless moon.[3]

John MacArthur:

. . . make sure that every expository message has a single theme that is crystal clear so that your people know exactly what you are saying, how you have supported it, and how it is applied to their lives. The thing that kills people in what is sometimes called expository preaching is randomly meandering through a passage.[4]

Keith Willhite:

. . . I am convinced that preaching with a single proposition is the best way to learn to preach . . . A single bullet is much more powerful than a small piece of shot or even the collective effect of many shots. A disjointed comment on words or phrases will be of little value in changing lives since propositions of God’s Truth, not minutiae, move people to think and act differently.[5]

Sidney Greidanus:

Whatever word we use, the theme or idea of the sermon ought to state as clearly and succinctly as possible the point the sermon seeks to make.[6]

Samuel T. Logan:

But a sermon, to be great, to be effective, whether it is long or short, must be focused. . . The aim must be precise and good preachers recognize this, often instinctively.[7]

Bryan Chappell:

State each idea in such a way that it directly develops the overall purpose of the sermon or immediately supports a point that does.[8]

Chappell’s “3 A.M. test” is especially vivid.

The 3 A.M. test requires you to imagine [someone] awaking you from your deepest slumber with this simple question, ‘What’s the sermon about today Pastor?’ If you cannot give a crisp answer, you know the sermon is probably half-baked. Thoughts you cannot gather at 3 A.M. are not likely to be caught by others at 11:AM.[9]

Robert Lewis Dabney:

Affirmatively, rhetorical unity requires these two things. The speaker must, first, have one main subject of discourse, to which he adheres with supreme reference throughout. But this is not enough. He must, second, propose to himself one definite impression on the hearer’s soul, to the making of which everything in the sermon is bent.[10]

Tony Merida:

At the heart of classical expository preaching theory is the conviction that the sermon is mainly about one big idea or theme.[11]

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[1] Robinson, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 35-36, 35.

[2] Litfin, 80, 153.

[3] Jowett, quoted in Robinson, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, 37.

[4] MacArthur, “Frequently Asked Questions About Expository Preaching,” 347.

[5] Willhite, 13, 22.

[6] Greidanus, 137.

[7] Samuel T. Logan, “The Phenomenology of Preaching,” in The Preacher and Preaching: Reviving the Art in the Twentieth Century, ed. Samuel T. Logan (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1986), 129.

[8] Chapell, 133.

[9] Ibid., 39.

[10] Robert Lewis Dabney, Sacred Rhetoric: Or, a Course of Lectures on Preaching (Richmond: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1870), 109.

[11] Tony Merida, Faithful Preaching: Declaring Scripture with Responsibility, Passion and Authenticity (Nashville: B&H Publishing Company, 2009), 76.

Screenshot 2015-03-14 18.32.37I’m looking forward to preaching at Oxford Bible Fellowship this morning (3/15/15). Those who would like an electronic copy of my Powerpoint slides can find them at the below link.

Oxford Bible Fellowship Sermon Notes for 3/15/15

MatthewstudyOn January 25, I will begin a preaching series, Astonished: A New Series on the Sermon on the Mount. Here are 7 reasons I am really excited for it to begin. Some of my enthusiasm is evident in my study notes and you can see a draft of them here.

1.  Jesus promised that in hearing his words and in following him we find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30). So many people in our community are weighed down and worn out. I can’t wait to share how Christ offers rest.

2. The Sermon on the Mount includes some of the most famous truths ever proclaimed:

·      The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

·      The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)

·      Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged (Matthew 7:1)

·      The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12)

·      A Major Section on Worry (Matthew 6:25-34)

There is a reason these paragraphs are famous! Let’s meditate on them together.

3.     The Sermon on the Mount changed the world.  This is no exaggeration. We will see how so much of the Sermon on the Mount has shaped our understanding of ethics and morality.

4.     The Sermon on the Mount is a manageable length. In my Bible, Matthew 5-7 is less than four pages long. These pages can be read over and over again. There is no reason everyone in our church can’t really get to know the greatest sermon every preached.

5.     Our church has made it possible for me to prepare. I’ve spent a lot of time prayerfully studying. I have some of the best resources in the history of the world.  The picture to the right is just a portion of my library. It’s a great day to meditate on and proclaim the Sermon on the Mount.  You can see a draft of some of my notes here. Keep in mind it’s a draft of my own study notes so there are lots of errors and things that need to be reworded.

6.     The Sermon on the Mount tells how we can be part of the Kingdom of God. Our joy is only as big as what we’re a part of. The Sermon on the Mount tells how we can be part of the biggest thing in the history of the universe.

7.     Most important, the Sermon on the Mount is the featured sermon of the Lord Jesus Christ. Could any sermon be more exciting to study and preach?