Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Matthew 24 Sermon Notes

Matthew 24:1-31
Sermon Notes
Olivet Discourse
Gathered Elect
April 23, 2017
Lynchburg, Virginia

         We now come to the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus had ongoing conflict with the leading Jews, the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, chief priests and elders. This list of leading Jews included nearly all the leadership of Judaism. Their refusal to believe in Him comes to a head.
They will not believe. He now warns them about what is going to come upon them. His own disciples did not clearly understand His words. However, they do so in after days. The Lord uses these sayings of Jesus to protect His elect

Easter Feast Again

Today is Easter Feast again. Easter Day has passed but we are in Easter Season for several more weeks, until Ascension and Pentecost.
         But even after that, even when we enter into the season after Pentecost, we still meet on Sunday for an Easter Feast. Every Lords Day we gather and receive communion. We remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. His death granted us forgiven life. And His Resurrection justified us in that He overcame the penalty of sin by rising from the dead.
      We do remember the Lord’s death in this meal but we also celebrate His victory over death. And we do this every Sunday of the year, not just on Easter or the Sundays during Easter. For us, every Sunday is an Easter Feast.

New and Old Sins

The Bible tells us not to grow weary in doing good. This is related to doing good works for others. We need to keep on doing this even when we grow tired or bored.
         Another area where we must not grow weary in doing good is confessing our sins. Some sins are the same old sins for which we have confessed a hundred times, a thousand times, maybe a hundred thousand times: covetousness, envy, lust, gossip, anger, discontentment, critical speech. But do not grow weary in that fight. Keep fighting those enemies. Keep confessing those sins, even another hundred thousand times.

         Sometimes, we are faced with new temptations or sins we had not anticipated. We are drawn in or caught and find ourselves faced with new struggles at age thirty, or forty, or fifty or sixty, sins that we may not have dealt with earlier in life. Bitterness, complaining, grumbling, poor reactions to disappointments related to family members, or simply just facing different temptations as you age. Confess these, too. The Lord loves a humble suppliant. He gladly grants forgiveness. So, do not retain sins, old ones or new ones. Confess them to the Lord, receive forgiveness and walk in newness of life.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Matthew 28 Sermon- Easter

Matthew 28:1-20
Sermon Notes
The King is Alive
Easter Sunday
April 16, 2017
Lynchburg, Virginia

         The main thing about the Resurrection is that Jesus is not dead. It is not simply that He rose from the dead. He did. He overcame death by that same Spirit that dwells in us. But there is something even more profound than spiritual life after death in this Resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead and He is still alive!
         He is not merely alive in the Spirit. Of course, He is. In fact, His Spirit never died, just like your Spirit will never die. While Jesus was in the tomb, His Spirit was alive. But His body was most certainly dead. But since He is risen in His resurrection body, His body will never die. He is immune to decay and death. He has entered eternal life in body as well as Spirit.  His body will live forever!

Resurrection Life

We are not simply waiting to go to heaven. We are waiting to go to heaven. There is real joy in longing for the day when we will no longer struggle in our fallen mortal bodies. I look forward to that day and so should you. But we are not merely waiting to go to heaven.
         To some degree, heaven has already begun for us. You, who love the Lord Jesus, have already entered heaven. This heaven is not yet perfect. Jesus has defeated sin and death but He has not yet utterly banished them and condemned them to hell. That day awaits us.

         But we are sitting here, right now, in the Resurrection Life. Jesus has ushered us into eternity. We are seated in this room with saints who will live forever and whose forever life is already begun. This is a taste of our final heaven. It is good, very good and will only get better and better until that day when it is perfected in the Final Resurrection. Welcome to Resurrection Life.

Too Good to Be True?

Sometimes we encounter something that seems too good to be true and it almost always is. Some advertising gimmick. A free vacation. Almost always some level of fraud. Or at the very least, as bait and switch. We are out of that item, here buy this one. It is always someone trying to take you for a ride.

The Resurrection might seem like that. Death is defeated? Life forever? Here, sign up right here. But the Resurrection is true and not too good to be true. It is too true to be bad. The Lord Jesus is alive. You are justified in His death and resurrection. You can stand before the Lord forgiven, whole, hopeful and even happy. This is so true and so good. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Good Friday Homily- An Expedient Death

Good Friday Homily
An Expedient Death
April 14, 2017

On Good Friday, we look on with horror as the minions of death and hell gather round our Lord. They condemn Him in an unjust trial, mock Him as a pretend king, tear the flesh off His back with a spiked whip, spit on Him, punch Him in the face, beat a crown of long thorns into His skull until His face is covered in blood.  Some are aghast at the violence while others rejoice at the despicable sight.
Why would our Lord submit to such brutality and humiliation from vile men? He could have called down legions of angels to defend Him and to attack His enemies. But He did not do so. He did not respond to the evil with resistance. For our sakes, He suffered.
These stripes, these wounds, these humiliations, these spittings, these strikings, the bloody crown and the torn flesh were meant for you. It was your just due as offspring of your father, Adam. Even you, little children, who gather at Easter to see the risen Jesus. Don’t forget to gather on Friday to see the cursed and bleeding Jesus. And it was not enough that you were born from Adam, you acted, and even still act like him, too.
You have done that which He said not to do. You have seen that the dainties of life are good to look upon and to eat and to make one wise unto the ways of the world.
We justify ourselves and retreat to our relative goodness. We say that we are Christians and have our acts cleaned up. But by what standard? Do you compare yourself to that vile sinner over there, the one that beats his chest and pleads for the mercy of God to forgive him, a sinner? Or, do you see yourself as relatively better so think yourselves better, indeed?
It is just for such thinking, such fallen Adamic thinking, that our Lord endured the pain and humiliation, the abandonment of His friends and being left to His enemies.
What should we make of this desecration? Shall we lament in sackcloth and ashes? Shall we afflict ourselves, since it was we who should have died in His place? Would we take this cup of woe from Jesus? Would we rescue Jesus from the cross?

Caiaphas said it was expedient for Jesus to die.
The wicked High Priest, Caiaphas, prophesied by the Spirit of God “John 11:47-53 47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Caiaphas thought that Jesus would die and save the Jews from the wrath of the Romans. He said it would be expedient for Jesus to die. How little he knew how much truth he spoke. It was expedient for Jesus to die.
Jesus died for the Jews and the Romans and all of them who are far or near, as many will declare the blessing of the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who came in the name of The Father.
This expedient death, not to put an end of the disciples of Christ, as Caiaphas thought, but as a means to gather all the children of God to Jesus.

Jesus also said it was expedient for Him to die.
John 16:7   Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
We would not take back the strokes that Jesus bore. We must not take Him from the cross. We must not despise the humiliation of our Savior, our humiliation in embracing the accursed cross. We preach Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor.1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Jesus must die to defeat death. He made a show of His enemies openly on the cross, triumphing over them in it. His triumph is our triumph. The devil is judged. He is found guilty. The power of death and hell and the devil is utterly destroyed in the death of our righteous Lord. His was an expedient death, indeed.