The ideal of Christian ‘love’ is one of the church’s favorite subjects to expound, but it is too frequently the one where we fall the most short. In this sermon, we explore the character of Biblical love and how it is to be displayed within the Body of Christ. Biblical love originates with God, is marked by purity, and seeks all that is good and righteous for the beloved.
How far does faith go without works? The answer, not very far. The overflow of faith is obedience to the commandments of God. As believers, we are called to thrive in good works, to love our neighbors, to fight sin, and to pray. Most importantly, we are called to love the very One who created us and redeemed us. The book of James shows us how genuine faith is display in a love of God’s commands.
This is the fourth of four sermons on the public means of grace as we seek to apply Paul’s admonition to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In Romans 12:3-5, Paul addresses again the issue of human pride in preparation for describing what gospel life should be like in the community of the redeemed. As we think of ourselves rightly — in comparison to Christ — we will discover the beautiful truth of the unity, diversity, and mutuality that God has designed for us in the body of Christ.
“How can I know God’s will for my life?” Persons who ask this question usually think of God’s will in terms of a career, a mate, a school choice, a job choice, or a big financial decision. To rightly discern His will, we must go to Scripture to see how God reveals it to us. There we see two aspects of God’s will — His revealed moral will and His secret will of decree. Both of these aspects are a comfort to believers, and they guard us from thinking that we need a new revelation from God every time we face a big decision. As we ground ourselves in his Word and apply it to our lives, we will ultimately prove His will.
As Paul continues his transition to the ethical and moral instructions of Romans 12-15, he develops further in verse 2 what is entailed in being living sacrifices that are acceptable to God. First, to not be conformed to this world means we must be like Christ — striking a balance between being in the world but not of the world. Second, we must submit to and join with the Holy Spirit as He works both inwardly and outwardly upon us. We must pursue the Person and truth of Christ, praying for the humility to embrace that truth and glory in that truth when it is set before us.
With the beginning of Romans 12, Paul makes a distinct shift in his letter to the Romans. Given the robust theology of the gospel expounded in the first eleven chapters, he now turns to the subject of how believers are to live the truth of the gospel in all their relational as societal spheres. Here in the fist verse, he exhorts believers, on the basis of God’s incredible mercies, to offer themselves as living and holy sacrifices. This is the only fitting response for those redeemed by Christ: to offer our whole self to Him is thanksgiving, praise, worship, and adoration.
Lee Dymond is the Baptist Campus Ministries Pastor at Auburn University Montgomery. In this Sunday evening sermon, he expounds Hebrews 12:1-2 to encourage believers to beware of drifting away in their walks of faith. To keep from drifting, we must lay aside all sin and encumbrance, and set our gaze upon Christ who is the author and perfecter of our faith.
Do you want to be free indeed? The Jews have just heard Jesus explain who he is and what he has come to do. In this section, we see that the Jews have believed in him; however, this belief was a nominal belief. The Jews did not have genuine saving faith. Jesus teaches the Jews about the truth and obedience in this section, but more importantly he shows them that if they wish to be free from the bondage of sin then they must trust in the Son who can set them free.
Questions of adultery, hypocrisy, and conspiracy all meet the Lord Jesus Christ outside temple walls. In John 8 the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus by bringing a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery before Him. The Pharisees give him two options: either he can stone the woman or let her go free. Jesus, in all of wisdom, brings the weight of the Law to reign down on the Pharisees. Then we see a beautiful glimpse of His mercy towards the adulterous woman.
In this final message our of Flourish in Faith emphasis, we go all the way to the end of Second Corinthians to consider Paul’s final exhortation to that congregation. In this single verse, we hear God’s command to rejoice, be made complete, be comforted by one another, be like minded, live in peace, and walk in the love and peace of God. These traits represent life in a healthy church, and they result in joy pervading the body of Christ.