Category: Sermon Manuscripts (Page 1 of 7)

Sermon Notes: Four Responses to Jesus on Good Friday

Sermon Notes for Good Friday: Good Friday - A Call for Action

Introduction

The late Rev. Billy Graham once said, “We all talk about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. But we seldom talk about the sacrifice he expects from us!” Of course, Pastor Billy wasn’t implying we shouldn’t remember the price Jesus paid in exchange for our redemption. He was saying mere head knowledge of Jesus’ sufferings is useless unless we do something with it because knowledge demands response. The Bible says,

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Sermon notes: The necessity for Faith and Works in the Salvation of Man

Sermon notes: The necessity for faith and works in the salvation of Man

Introduction

I have been preaching God’s word for the past 20 years. However, I believe the sermon you are going to hear from me today is the most important sermon I will preach ever. I tell you so because it concerns the eternal salvation of our precious soul. It’s based on a question many Christians seem to struggle with. Is faith alone sufficient to be saved or should faith be accompanied by works?

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Sermon notes: Daniel in the Den of Lions

Sermon notes: Daniel in the Den of Lions

Introduction

In today’s sermon I want to consider yet another famous passage in the Bible. It is none other than the 6th chapter of the Book of Daniel or better known as the chapter in which he was thrown into the Den of Lions. This passage has five important Christian principles for us tonight.  

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Sermon notes: Doubts and how to eliminate them?

Sermon notes: Doubts and how to eliminate them?

Introduction

The name Charles Bradley Templeton (1915-2001) might not ring a bell to some of us but all of us are familiar with the International Christian Movement known as “Youth for Christ.” Templeton was its co-founder. According to The Christian Post–in the year 1957,  after a struggle with doubts, Templeton rejected Christianity and became an atheist.

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Sermon notes: The Parable of the Sower

Sermon notes: The parable of the Sower

Introduction

I am fully aware that I have preached to you from this passage before but wanted to share the same today for a very good reason. As your Pastor I am responsible for your personal spiritual growth. You know, sometimes we get complacent in our Christian walk which hinders our spiritual growth. When that happens I have to stir your nest and remind you to start moving forward again. So, I am going to stir your nest tonight. Now, like I told you the last time I preached from this passage, Jesus spoke about four different groups of people that are in the Church.

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Sermon notes: Jesus raises a widow’s son

Sermon notes: Jesus raises a widow’s son

Introduction

Today I want to consider another woman we meet in the Bible. She doesn’t have a name but we know she was a widow from Nain (A village located 14 kilometers south of Nazareth) whose only son had died. Death had taken away her only source of hope, strength as well as protection. There was nothing she could do about it but weep bitterly. But then something unexpected happened. A stranger she met told her not to weep. The rest is history.

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Sermon notes: Jesus raises Jairus’ Daughter

Sermon notes: Jesus raise Jairus’ Daughter

Introduction

Someone said, “I bet the Funeral Parlors in Jesus’ day just about went broke. Anywhere Jesus went, the dead were being raised.” Jesus probably raised many people from the dead during his earthly ministry, although the Bible records only three of them.

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Sermon Notes: Salt of the Earth, Light of the World and the City on a Hill

Sermon Notes: The Salt of the Earth, Light of the World and the City on a Hill

Introduction

Last month I had the joy of walking you through Jesus’ teaching on the Beatitudes and together we were able to discover some amazing truths to help ourselves in our walk with God. If you missed those sermons, don’t worry. You can get to them by going here.

Tonight I want us to consider another important portion of scripture recorded in the same passage as the Beatitudes. Once again please turn your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5. We will read verses 13 through 16, (Matthew 5:13-16). Some of you might question the necessity for this sermon because many other sermons have been preached from these verses before. This sermon however is going to be a much simple and an easy to understand version.

Preaching the undiluted truth in a simple manner is a challenging task. I spent countless hours writing and rewriting these notes until I was certain this is precisely what the Holy Spirit wants me to tell. So here’s another sermon to help you in your walk with Christ. If you are a Preacher yourself please feel free to use these notes in any way you see fit.

1. Salt of the Earth

It’s interesting that this is a phrase commonly used outside the Bible also. While there is an award winning Biographical Documentary Film titled ‘Salt of the Earth’ according to the Meriam-Webster Dictionary it’s a phrase used to refer to people of good character.

But why did Jesus say we are are the Salt of the Earth? Salt is a unique chemical compound. There’s nothing else like it. Jesus was implying we ought to be a different kind of people. The question is what makes us different from the rest of the world? We must go back to the original language in which the New Testament was written to find the answer .

The Greek word for salt is ‘halas’ which means prudent. Prudence manifests itself in many different ways. However the book of Colossians says “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6) Here for salt Paul is using the same Greek word as Matthew. Then prudence is the defining characteristic of a disciple and it manifests through our words.

Now Salt cannot loose its favour because it’s a stable compound. If so why did Jesus say ‘But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.’ (Matthew 5:13)

In the ancient days unlike now salt was not harvested through means of vaporization. Salt was harvested using much less reliable methods. The salt harvested using such methods was unclean sometimes and often ended up being thrown into the street and trodden under the feet of people walking by.

Jesus is saying we can choose to be prudent or imprudent. Just like salt without savor is useless so is the imprudent Christian because there’s no substitute for a prudent Christian.

How do we choose to be prudent? The Bible says ‘For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.’ (Matthew 12:34b) It also warns us to guard the heart above everything else. ‘Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life.’ (Proverbs 4:23). If you want to be a prudent Christian you must start by changing your heart.

2. Light of the World

Now we move from the metaphor of the ‘Salt of the Earth’ to the ‘Light of the World’. The Gospel of John says Jesus is the true light, (John 1:9). Then why did Jesus call us the light of the world? It’s obvious we are not the light ourselves. I can think of at least three reasons.

First, Jesus was basically saying our lifestyle should be a manifestation of his light. The Greek word ‘phos’ used by Matthew in place of light here gives the meaning ‘manifest’. The Amplified Version makes this a lot clearer. It says “You are the light of Christ to the world.” Jesus is not saying we are the light ourselves but witnesses of his light.

Second, I told you we can choose to be prudent or imprudent. Jesus is giving us another choice here. We can choose to be the witnesses of light or inhabitants of darkness. It’s important that we understand darkness is not the opposite of light as many seem to believe. The Meriam-Webster Dictionary defines dark as the absence of light. Likewise light becomes absent when our lifestyle contradicts God’s expressed will allowing darkness to take over, (John 12:35).

Third, Jesus is calling us to be different a second time. (The first time was when he said we are the salt of the earth.) He is implying that the difference between a disciple and a non-believer should be no lesser than the sharp contrast that exists between dark and light. In fact when non-believers see us they should be convinced of the darkness engulfing their own lives.

What must we do to become witnesses of light? The 1st Epistle by St. John says this. “In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.” (1 John 1:4) We become witnesses of Jesus’ light through our relationship with him. Interestingly John talks about this relationship to Jesus several times.

• Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. (John 14:23)
• “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.” (John 15:5)
• What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:3-4)

Finally being witnesses of Jesus’ light isn’t enough. It’s not beneficial to others unless we let that light shine. With that we come to the third metaphor which is ‘The City on a Hill’.

3. The City set on a Hill

Ancient towns were often built of white limestone. They gleamed in the Sun during the day and at night the inhabitants’ oil lamps would shed glow over the surrounding area. Hence these cities served as beacons for directing travelers toward the city as they could be spotted from miles away at night as well as broad day light. So Jesus’ audience knew exactly what he was talking about. In the same way we also must help the weary pilgrims of life to find their way to Christ by shining his light for him.

Then Jesus shifts the focus of his audience from the glow of a city to the glow of a single household. In the ancient Middle East houses were lit using small clay lamps. Since those houses were simple one room structures placing the lamp on a lamp stand gave light to the entire house. Jesus used this earthly example to teach a spiritual lesson. That is we should not blend in with unbelievers for the fear of offending them because such behavior is like lighting a lamp and putting it under a basket indeed.

Shining your light isn’t always a pleasant experience because light is not welcomed everywhere for it exposes the works of darkness. The Bible says “But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them.” (Ephesians 5:13 – NLT) We have to decide whether we want to please God or please men before we can shine our light before others, (John 12:42-43)

Jesus said we shine our light through our good works. In Greek ‘works’ is translated as ‘ergon’. It means ‘labour’. Labour is the price of good works. Unless you are willing to pay the price you cannot shine your light.

Conclusion

In closing I would like to share a thought which happened to cross my mind while preparing this sermon. As God has called us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world it makes us the most important group of people on the surface of this earth. It should be our prayer that the Holy Spirit will equip us with his grace to live a life worthy of that calling.

(If this sermon was helpful to you please consider leaving your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. It would be a great encouragement to me personally.)

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