The Hovering Spirit in Creation (Gen. 1:2)

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

On Genesis 1:2, the Spirit’s care of the earth at creation.

“‘…the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.’ The verb [rahap] basically means ‘flutter fly’; it is used in Deuteronomy 32:11 to describe an eagle stirring up the nest, fluttering over its young. In much the same way, the unformed, lifeless mass of the watery earth was under the care of the divine Spirit, who hovered over it, ensuring its future development.”

Allen P. Ross, Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, p. 107. Continue reading

Why We Never Give Up (2 Corinthians 4:13-16a)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 19, 2015


But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”   Continue reading

Death for Us, Life for You (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 21, 2015


7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.   Continue reading

7 Characteristics of Reformed Spirituality

I first met Dr. Hughes Old at RTS Orlando when I attended a course he taught based on his book Leading in Prayer. Though some will disagree with his evaluation, I respect his view on this subject because he has written so widely on the Reformed tradition including such works as Worship: Reformed According to Scripture, The Patristic Roots of Reformed WorshipThe Shaping of the Reformed Baptismal Rite in the Sixteenth CenturyHoly Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church and “Reformed tradition of Eucharistic piety and reflection.”

In “What is Reformed Spirituality? Played Over Again Lightly,” Hughes Oliphant Old identifies 7 central characteristics of the way Reformed culture has expressed itself since the time of John Calvin and his successors. He says it is a spirituality (piety, devotion, practice of Christian living) that emphasizes: the Word; the Psalter; the Lord’s Day; works of mercy; the covenant of grace embodied in the Lord’s Supper; stewardship; and, meditation on the mystery of divine Providence. Dr. Old states: Continue reading

Understanding the Presbyterian and Reformed Order of Worship

Reformed Forum’s audio discussion: The Order of Worship.

Glen Clary walks through a Reformed order of worship, explaining the Biblical precedent and rationale for elements such as the call to worship, invocation, different types of prayer, and the benediction along with the administration of Word and sacrament. Rev. Clary is pastor of Providence OPC in Pflugerville, TX.

Introduction begins at 0:00. Explanation begins at 4:45.

Seeking a New Ministry Position

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 2015

God uses many differing means to lead his people to their next ministry positions. And it’s been said that it’s not so much what you know as it is who you know that often opens such doors. So I’m reaching out to those of you who know the Lord and who know me because I am currently seeking a new ministry position that combines the following elements: Continue reading

Daily Dose of Greek

Want to begin or continue your study of New Testament Greek? Here’s something that may help. Sign up at Recommended by Dr. Mark Futato, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. Also, in August, Mark Futato’s will launch.

EPC Statement on Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

EPC statement on Supreme Court marriage ruling.

The Role of Pastors in the Church (1 Timothy 5:17-25)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | January 11, 2015

This message is adapted from a sermon by Philip Ryken, entitled “What Sheep Owe Their Shepherds” in the Reformed Expository Commentary series on 1 Timothy.


17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.  Continue reading

The Role of Elders in the Church (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | January 4, 2015

Audio recording not available. However, the text and manuscript can be read below.

This message is adapted from a sermon by Philip Ryken, entitled “Qualifications for Elders” in the Reformed Expository Commentary series on 1 Timothy.


1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. Continue reading

Who Is the Redeemer of God’s Chosen People? (John 1:1-5, 9-14; WLC 36)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | December 21, 2014

Audio file not available. However, the sermon text and manuscript can be found below.


1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Continue reading

Eagerly Awaiting Christ’s Coming (1 Corinthians 1:3-9)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | November 30, 2014


3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Continue reading

Thanksgiving: The Blessing of Generous Giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)

Sermon by Rev. Daniel L. Sonnenberg | November 23, 2014


6 “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.  Continue reading

Jesus’ Promise of the Spirit (Acts 1:1-11)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | November 16, 2014


The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. Continue reading

Seek the Welfare of Your City (Jeremiah 29:1-7)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | November 2, 2014 | Based on a sermon by the same title by Pastor Kevin DeYoung, Lansing, MI.


Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.  Continue reading

God’s Eternal Kingdom Vision (Revelation 7:9-10; 21:1-7, 23-27)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | October 19, 2014 | Based on the writings of Dr. Ken Priddy


Rev. 7:9-10  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;  10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”                  Continue reading

God’s Vision for the Church (Matthew 24:1-14)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | October 26, 2014 | Based on the writings of Dr. Ken Priddy


And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.  2 And He answered and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”   Continue reading

The Unshakable Kingdom (Hebrews 12:25-29)

Sermon by Rev. Daniel L. Sonnenberg | October 5, 2014


For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,  19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.  20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.”   Continue reading

Born Again Into the Kingdom (John 3:1-16)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | September 28, 2014


1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Continue reading

Inside or Outside the Kingdom? (Mark 12:28-34a)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | September 21, 2014

28 And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; [Deut. 6.4] 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’ [Deut. 6:5]. Continue reading

True Riches in the Kingdom (Mark 10:17-27)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | September 14, 2014


 17 And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”   Continue reading

The Only Hope of the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:1-11)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | September 7, 2014

Audio file not available.


Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?  2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?   Continue reading

No Turning Back in the Kingdom (Luke 9:57-62)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | August 31, 2014


57 And as they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”   Continue reading

The Power of the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:14-21)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | August 24, 2014


I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.  15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.  16 I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.   Continue reading

The Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, Part 2 (Matthew 13:18-23)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | August 17, 2014


“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. Continue reading

The Secrets of the Kingdom, Part 1 (Matthew 13:10-23)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | August 10, 2014


And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 “For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Continue reading

The Kingdom is Righteousness, Peace and Joy (Romans 14:13-23)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | August 3, 2014

13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this– not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Continue reading

A Present Kingdom (Luke 17:20-21)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 27, 2014

Kingdom of God, Part 3


Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;  21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”  (Lk. 17:20-21)

Continue reading

The First Priority of the Kingdom (Matthew 6:19-34)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 20, 2014

Audio not available. Kingdom of God, Part 2


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.   Continue reading

The Proclamation of the King(dom) (Mark 1:14-15)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 13, 2014


And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,  15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”


This is the first sermon in a series on the Kingdom of God. Continue reading

Rest for the Weary (Matthew 11:25-30)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 6, 2014


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.”
  • Nothing he did would please them.
  • Why? Bc they didn’t think they needed salvation.

Continue reading

Peter’s Pentecost Sermon (Acts 2:14-41)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 15, 2014


Acts 2:14-41

  • This message is based on a sermon by Derek Thomas from his expository commentary on Acts.
  • On the day of Pentecost we see and hear a very different man in Simon Peter.
  • In a month and a half, he has changed from the fearful coward we saw in the high priest’s courtyard to the brave and outspoken preacher portrayed here.
  • This about-face is the Spirit’s working in Peter.
  • This section of Acts is the first of fifteen “sermons” recorded by Luke – seven by Peter, five by Paul, and one each by Stephen and James.
  • In this sermon, obviously, Luke provides only a summary of what Peter actually said.
  • It was an exposition of many texts of scripture centered on a common theme.
  • It’s an example of how to preach Jesus Christ from the Old Testament.
  • Even though Pentecost was a revealing of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, more importantly it was a continuation of the ongoing ministry of the ascended Jesus Christ

Continue reading

The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 8, 2014


  • 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.

Continue reading

The Meaning of Jesus’ Ascension (Luke 24:44-53)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 1, 2014

Text: Luke 24:44-53.

  • Continuing in the series of the life and ministry of Christ.
  • Today’s message on the ascension of Christ based on sermon by Philip Graham Ryken, “He Ascended Into Heaven,” (Luke 24:49–53).
  • Good writers know how to finish as well as they start.
  • For example…The Road Not Taken, BY ROBERT FROST
  • Begins – Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood….
  • Ends – Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Continue reading

Another Counselor (John 14:15-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-11)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | May 25, 2014


 “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.”  

Continue reading

Trusting Jesus in Troubled Times (John 14:1-3)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | May 18, 2014


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

Fulfilling the Mission of Jesus (John 20:19-23)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | April 27, 2014


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

Transformed by the Resurrection (John 20:1-8) Easter

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | April 20, 2014

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet (John 13:1-17, 34-35) Maundy Thursday

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | April 17, 2014


Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Continue reading

Multiplication through Dying (John 12:20-26, 32-33) Palm Sunday

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg  | April 13, 2014


The hour for which J came into the world, was the hour in which he left it.” (Stott) Continue reading