Sermons on Grace
Sunday, May 14, 2023 1 Timothy 1: The King Eternal Letter writing in our electronic age is quite uncommon, isn’t it? I was never a great letter writer before texting and emailing, but it’s been years, it seems, since I’ve written a letter, and especially a letter with pen and paper. In the Bible, we have in our hands two letters written by a man named Paul to his protégé. His disciple in the faith, named Timothy. Timothy was like…
Jesus was frequently accused of being friends with the worst sinners in society. The outcasts. The untouchables. And the accusations were true. So he opens wide the heart of God in an astonishing trio of parables, including his best known one, the Prodigal Son. This Sunday from Luke 15 we will seek to have hearts full of gratitude, for God has diligently and actively sought us out in the gospel story. And we will seek to have great joy, for God joyfully loves and welcomes us.
In a remarkable story in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus powerfully contrasts a self-righteous Pharisee with a sinful woman. The man looks with disdain on her, while she reveals a deep love for Jesus that springs out of the forgiveness he has granted. What can we learn from her? She models to us humility and faith that discovers the riches of God’s grace and results in a deeper love for Jesus.
In this week’s passage, Jesus proclaims that the long awaited “year of the Lord’s favor”, is here! In his very brief sermon he tells his hometown, the people he grew up with, that he is, in fact, the Messiah. In two strange analogies to Old Testament stories, he tells them the surprising nature of his ministry: God’s grace is free, is open to the gentiles, and we should receive it as humbly as a widow and a leper. This shocking claim enrages the town. And we should ask ourselves, how do we respond?
We are continuing our series through the minor prophets this morning in Zechariah. Please turn there with me. Zechariah is the longest of the minor prophets. Same chapter count as Hosea, but more words. It has been called “little Isaiah” – because it picks up on many of the same themes and uses similar imagery. The book is very complex and as far as an efficient summary and outline of the book as a whole, I don’t think I can…
This week we conclude our series with 2 Samuel 21-24, a carefully constructed epilogue to “The book of Samuel” which compiles scenes from the life of Samuel, Saul, and David. In it we find connections with the introduction to the book, Hannah’s poem/prayer, that help us see the main thrust of the prophet’s message: God is faithful to his promise in spite of man’s failures, God opposes the proud and exalts the humble, and that a promised king is coming which will bring blessing to all the nations.
We are now coming to the end of Moses’ sermon to the nation of Israel before they enter the promised land at last. Moses prophesies the success of their entry into the land, and also their eventual failure to live up to the law of God. Moses teaches them a song that will remind them of who they are and call them to repentance and hope in God generations later. We can take heart today that God sees us, his people, and has compassion on us, even in our worst rebellion.
Even in his highly exhortative book, James appeals to the truths of the gospel of Christ. When we authentically engage with the whole gospel–what God has done, is doing, and will do in Christ–our lives will be transformed.
Grace Saves Us and Trains Us Titus 2:11-15 Stonebrook Church – 9/18/2016 – Matt Heerema Titus 2:11–15 (ESV) 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from…