Theme: Those to whom the truth about Jesus has been revealed are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of being his followers.
In Jr. High, I was a clumsy boy
And to make it worse, the steps of the stairways in our school had front edges made of steel which made them strong but slippery.
So I frequently slipped on them going up the stairs. When I did, because I was holding my books in my arms, they went flying everywhere.
It was embarrassing.
The cool kids looking on did nothing to help, they just laughed at how clumsy and uncool I was.
Jesus had been preaching the good news of the coming kingdom of God, but some were acting like spoiled children saying, “We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.”
This sermon is based on a sermon by Derek Thomas, entitled “Pentecostal Fire!”
Pentecost is one of those pivotal moments in history, along with creation, the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection, ascension, and the second coming of Christ.
Its connection with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ is crucial if we are to understand its significance and uniqueness.
What happened at Pentecost happened in direct relationship to the ascension of Jesus into heaven (Acts 1:11).
Jesus’ ascension signaled a series of significant events:
signaled the glorification of Jesus’ body from its previous condition of both humiliation and resurrection;
signaled his entrance into the exalted position promised by his Father – “Therefore God has highly exalted him (Philippians 2:9); from which he now
distributes gifts to the church– Eph 4; and
intercedes on our behalf – Hebrews 4:14.
Jesus’ going away to a particular place indicates where his people will eventually be taken.
The Ascension shows that this existence on earth is temporary and that his redemptive work on the cross promises a new physical order of existence at his coming again at the end of the age – Acts 1:11.
Thus, Pentecost was an important milepost in biblical history.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
The next few weeks we will be looking at how Jesus prepared his disciples for his departure – in his death and his ascension first by assuring them that their separation from him was only temporary, that they would be together again one day. And second, by assuring them that, in fact, it was even better that he should go away, so that a new stage of his redemptive plan – his world-wide work of redemption – might begin through the coming of the Holy Spirit. We will look at Jesus’ promise here to go and prepare a place for them, his promise to send the Spirit later in John 14, his high priestly prayer for them in John 17 and Jesus’ sending the Spirit and Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. This sermon is based in large part on a sermon by James Boice entitled, “Calm Words for Troubled Hearts,” but adapted to our situation here today. Continue reading →
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”Continue reading →
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.
Mat 17:1-8 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Continue reading →
Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | February 23, 2014
Sermon Text: Matthew 5:38-48
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Continue reading →
Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | February 16, 2014
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[a] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[b]his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[c] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[d]
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Continue reading →
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Continue reading →
Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | February, 2, 2014
The Sermon on the Mount
In this season, we are celebrating the manifestation or revelation of Jesus as the Christ to the world, especially in his preaching and miracles, his words and works.
At the end of Matt 4, we’re told Jesus went about all Galilee preaching “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The message of sermon on the mount is what it means to repent and to belong to the kingdom of heaven.
The sermon is a description of the lifestyle of those who belong to that kingdom.
To belong to the kingdom of God is to belong to the people among whom the reign of God has already begun.
Jesus himself is the king in God’s kingdom.
Where he reigns, there the kingdom of heaven is already present.
Jesus’ sermon is intended to give you a vision of what the Lord intends your life to become.
He describes a lifestyle patterned after his own, empowered by the Spirit of Christ, living in you by regeneration.
The problem is, you live in a fallen world.
The new lifestyle of the kingdom is to be lived out where you’re opposed by the world, the flesh, and the devil.
That battle will be finally won, the promised rewards will be finally received, the kingdom will be finally consummated when Christ returns and puts everything under his authority in the new heavens and the new earth.
But until that time, you’re in a spiritual battle.
In the beatitudes Jesus announces the principles that govern the citizens in the new community he has come to establish.
The beatitudes are not not to be taken individually, but together, like the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.
They are not merely individual evidences, but mutual evidences of God grace in your life.
You may be weaker in one area than another.
But taken together, they view various aspects of Christlike character.
The kind of life, the quality of life, that Jesus brings into his kingdom is his own life, his own character, his own values, his own ethics.
Transformation or sanctification is a process.
Kingdom life is Jesus’ life lived out in you as his redeemed subject.
As J.I. Packer says, Regeneration is birth; sanctification is growth.
God implants desires that were not there before.
The HS “works in you to will and to act according to God’s purpose.”
And he prompts you to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2.12-13).”
That’s what Jesus was doing when he went up into the hill country, sat down and taught his disciples that day.
Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | December 24, 2013
Audio file not available.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Sermon by Rev. Daniel L. Sonnenberg | December 24, 2014 | Christmas Eve
Recording not available.
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. (Lk. 1:35)
“Christ the Son of God became human by taking a true body and a reasoning soul. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary out of her substance and was born of her, but he was sinless.” (Westminster Larger Catechism Q.37)
“That which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:20-21).
“The mediator, who was to reconcile God and humanity, had to be himself both God and human and in one person to make the works appropriate to each nature acceptable to God on our behalf and counted on by us as the works of the whole person.” (Westminster Larger Catechism Q.40)
Luke 21:25-36 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”Continue reading →