If you are interested in hearing a very helpful sermon on racial reconciliation, particularly in the context of the PCA, check out this one preached by Randy Nabors last Sunday.
Third Millennium Ministries published an excerpt from an old sermon of Tim Keller’s on Matthew 11.2-6 on “Who is the Real Jesus” . . . and it gets right to the heart.
1) I am thinking about becoming a Christian, or I am thinking about Christianity and want to know whether it is true, but I am struggling. I want to be a doctor and I don’t whether I will make it through med-school. Will Jesus help me get through med-school? Or
2) I am struggling because I have a bad marriage and am thinking of getting a divorce. What is the Christian view on divorce? Will I be supported?
3) I have a problem with self-esteem. I have a problem with guilt. I have been in a lot of abusive relationships. If I come to Jesus, will he make me fell good about myself?
4) I am gay, and I want to know that if when I come to Christianity, will I be supported or will I be condemned?
What is Jesus answer to those four questions? They are actually all the same. You know what his answer is? Not yes, not no. He says that they are the wrong first question because of the reason the thief was wrong and John was right. The reason the thief says I want to know what you are going to do about my life before I give myself to you. I want to know whether you are the messiah by the way in which you support me. In other words, the thief says, if you let me live the way I know I should live then I know you are the one … and John the Baptist just says, “Are you the one?” And the reason that John is right and the thief is wrong, is not because John is more spiritual, but because he is more sensible. And that is this. The thief, and everybody who asks one of those four questions assumes they already know how their life should be lived, who they really are, and how the world out to go before they know whether he is the Author of life … Whether He is the One your heart was built for. How in the world can you assume that you know who you are and what you need before you even know if you were created or were an accident? How can you know who you are and what you were made for before you know whether you can communicate with and know the creator of the universe?
In preparation for this week’s sermon on Leviticus 19, I have had to think quite a bit about God’s Holiness. Here are a few quotes I have run across.
Holiness is more than a mere attribute of God—it is the sum of all His attributes, the outshining of all that God is. -Jonathan Edwards
There is nothing which my heart desires more than to see you, the members of this church, distinguished for holiness. It is the Christian’s crown and glory. An unholy church! It is of no use to the world and of no esteem among men. Oh, it is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. And the larger the church, the more influential, the worse nuisance does it become when it becomes unholy. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church. -C. H. Spurgeon
Holiness is the quintessential quality of Yahweh. In the entire universe, he alone is intrinsically holy. The nominal sentence, Yahweh is holy, points in this direction. That God is holy means that he is exalted, awesome in power, glorious in appearance, pure in character. God’s holiness is contagious. Wherever his presence is, that place becomes holy. -John E. Hartley
Holiness is God’s beauty and glory. When God would be drawn—as much as He can be—He is drawn in this attribute of holiness. Power is in His hand; omniscience in His eyes; mercy in His bowels; but holiness is His beauty! -Stephen Charnock
from Mark Driscoll’s Blog:
There is an ongoing debate as to the purpose of the sermon and whether it should focus on converting the lost or maturing the saved. The apparent conflict between preaching for seekers and preaching for believers is resolved simply by noting that both need to repent of sin and trust in Jesus to live a new life empowered by the Spirit. Therefore, a sermon can and should effectively communicate to both audiences, and it will if the preacher is able to go after the root of sin and explain Christian jargon in order to speak the “tongue” of the hearer. This includes saying the name of Jesus and making him known.
-Preached April 20, 2008