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.
The formerly blind beggar is now being questioned by the Pharisees. The Pharisees begin to see Jesus as a criminal and not the Messiah. We see from this passage that Jesus has the authority to heal on the Sabbath, because he is the Son of God. The beggar helps us understand the nature of Christ more through his words to the Pharisees. Jesus is more than just a prophet, but he is never less.
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.
In this Psalm we see a demonstration of the distinction between notional, and experiential knowledge. While intellectual knowledge is necessary, it is not sufficient. We are called to live out the truth in relationship to God, in Christ. To this end, the David shares his personal experience of the goodness of God, and then encourages his readers to partake of God in order to experience his goodness for themselves.
“Love” is definitely one of our favorite subjects as Christians. But it is also one of the most misunderstood subjects in the church because our idea of love is typically rooted in worldly wisdom rather than in scriptural truth. Biblically speaking, true love is rooted in death. Christ’s death demonstrated God’s love and secured our love. So the questions we answer through this sermon are, “What does it mean for us to be ‘constrained’ by love?” and “What does the death of Christ mean for our life and ministry?”
It can be very difficult when we are confronted with either difficult truth, or difficult circumstances. It is certainly difficult to reconcile the two when are faced with both at the same point in life. Perhaps you are in a place of honest struggle to reconcile what you see with your eyes and what you know to be true. As we look this passage, we find that by looking to Jesus in faith, we can find relief from our struggle, and the joy of the presence of God.
Jesus has now come into Jerusalem, teaching boldly in the Temple. Never shrinking back from proclaiming the truth, He uses Moses to show how the Jews were not keeping the Law, and the Sabbath as an example to demonstrate how they see only the material and are blind to the spiritual. As a result, we will see three distinct responses; the response of faith by many of the people, the response of unbelief by the Pharisees, and the anxious inquiry of the Jews.
As Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, his heart for their well-being and spiritual health bled through every word. These verses are a prayer of sorts for their deepening love and burgeoning knowledge of Christ, who Himself is the Christian’s and the church’s greatest wealth and treasure. As Morningview stands on the cusp of a significant capitol campaign for the renovation of our building, the focus is set upon drawing near to, depending upon, and treasuring Christ.
John Murray has rightly noted that calling upon God’s name for salvation does not occur “in a vacuum; it occurs only in a context created by proclamation of the gospel on the part of those commissioned to proclaim it.” What Paul does here with this series of questions in verses 14 and 15 is walk us backwards from the sinner calling upon the Lord to the original cause of God sending His messengers to preach. What we are meant to understand is that the proclamation of God’s Word is God’s ordained means to draw His people to Himself in saving faith.
In this third section, we have seen the growing opposition toward Jesus from the religious leaders of His day. Jesus answered that opposition by explaining His equality and the ultimate unity of His works with the Father. These verses describe one of our Lords most remarkable miracles. As we walk though this story together, we see first that the place and time where this takes place is clearly noted, to give greater evidence of the truth of the story. The circumstances are specified, so that the details may be proven. We will be encouraged to see that when true faith is tested it is for our sake, for the sake of God’s provision and salvation for those around us, as well as to display Christ’s compassion, power, sufficiency, and humility.