June 25, 2017–Sermon Recap

A Tree and It’s Fruit

Chris Patton
June 25, 2017
Luke 6:43-49
Sermon Audio

Main Theme: Our spiritual condition is revealed by the fruit that we bear. Our spiritual condition is revealed by the fruit that we bear.

In seeking to make this connection between our spiritual state – our spiritual health – and fruit –  Jesus emphasizes the central importance of three things: Our hearts, our speech and our obedience.

I. Our Hearts

[43] “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, [44] for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. [45] The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

  • The good person refers to a genuine disciple. It refers to someone whose heart has been regenerated by the power of the Spirit and the good treasure of a transformed heart produces an abundance of good fruit!
  • The evil person on the other hand refers to someone who is not a genuine disciple. They might profess Christ, they might not. The bottom line is their hearts have not been regenerated. They are not born again. They don’t follow Jesus,  they don’t obey Jesus, they are dead in their sins and the result is an ugly thorn bush–a bramblebush that bears bad, evil fruit.
  • According to Jesus, the heart plays a vital role in how much or how little fruit we bear for Jesus. This serves as great reminder to diligently watch over own hearts (Prov. 4:23) because biblically fruit bearing is not an automatic–it’s not “let go and let God.” Rather, it involves grace-driven, faith-fueled, Spirit-powered exertion and effort.
  • It’s important that we not slack off in our pursuit of bearing fruit as we grow older and age.

II. Our Speech

[45] The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

  • While all fruit matters, few things reveal the condition of a person’s heart more than what they speak and what they say. Jesus reminds us – our words matter.
  • Jerry Bridges notes in his book “Respectable Sins” that biblically “sins of the tongue” include : “lying, slander, critical speech (even when true), harsh words, insults, sarcasm and ridicule.”
  • Bridges says “we would have to say that any speech that tends to tear down another person–either someone we are talking about or someone we are talking to — is sinful speech.”
  • Here Jesus Himself reminds us that sinful speech is not a trivial offense to be overlooked. What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of deeper problems in our hearts.

III. Our Obedience

[46] “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?  [47] Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like [48] he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. [49] But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (ESV)

  • It is possible to come to Jesus, to even pay Him his due respect and honor by calling Him Lord, and yet to fail to truly obey Him and do what He commands.
  • Jesus had just been telling the crowds of the importance of bearing fruit.
    • The fruit Jesus now calls for is obedience — doing what Jesus commands.
    • The good tree must bear the good fruit of obedience to Jesus otherwise it is not a good tree.
  • The one who hears the words of Jesus and does them – remains strong, Jesus says, in the midst of life’s difficult storms/trials. As those who have genuine saving faith, they also avoid the storm of God’s judgment on the last day because God’s judgment has already landed on His dearly beloved Son on that Cross.
  • Several Illustrations from Pilgrims Progress show the importance of genuine faith – faith that is evidenced by fruit.

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  1. What does it mean for a person to “bear fruit” ? Give some examples of the type of “good fruit” a Christian can bear.
  2. What role does our effort play in terms of the fruit that we bear? What is the difference between effort that depends on God’s grace and God’s Spirit and a fleshly, self-powered determination to do good?
  3. Over the years, what temptations have you perhaps faced in terms of “slacking off” in your pursuit of bearing fruit for Jesus.
  4. Re-read the Sermon Summary under the second point “Our Speech.” How does what comes out of our mouths connect to what is going on in our hearts?
  5. In what ways are you convicted that you need to change in the area of your speech?
  6. Verses 46-49 show that it is possible to come to Jesus, to even pay Him his due respect and honor by calling Him Lord, and yet to fail to truly obey Him and do what He commands. If someone is walking in deliberate sin and does not evidence a desire to obey Christ —  should that person be concerned? Should those around them be concerned? How would you speak to a person in that situation?

June 4, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Marks of True Christian Discipleship

Jeremy Bell
June 4, 2017
Luke 6:27-36
Sermon Audio

Main Theme: Christ’s disciples are those whose hearts have been transformed by gospel mercy, and they will demonstrate that mercy towards others.

 “Love Your Enemies”

  • The heart of this text is that Christ’s disciples are so changed by their rebirth in Christ that they’ll love not just their family or their friends, but that they’ll love even their enemies.
  • Who is my enemy? Given how broad and how wide is this call to love our enemies, I think the term “enemy” refers to those who oppose you in the way of Christlikeness.  It can encapsulate a range from those who very severely oppose you to those who more mildly mistreat you.

Radical Marks of the Disciple of Christ

  • Love your enemy (Verse 27)
    • This refers to the active presence of practical love for those who oppose you.
  • Do good to those who hate you (Verse 27)
    • To do something good for those who hate you  opposes the natural inclination of the flesh.
  • When cursed, bless them (Verse 28)
  • When abused, pray for them (Verse 28)
  • When struck on the cheek, offer the other (Verse 29a)
    • In Jesus’s example, revenge is excluded – it’s not optional.
  • When stolen from, offer more – (Verse 29b)
    • Illustration: Jean Valjean and Bishop Bienvenue
  • Give to those who beg from you – (Verse 30)
    • Being prepared to respond to others with mercy
    • The point is not to position ourselves to enable sinful patterns to continue as much as trust God to be at work in others as we walk in mercy towards them
  • Don’t demand your things back from a thief – (Verse 30)
    • This speaks to an absence of retribution for wrong.
    • Jesus calls us to self-denial that is generous and may win over the one who is hostile towards us.
  • Do to others as you would have them do to you – (Verse 31)
    • A form of Leviticus 19:18 in OT law
    • Love your neighbor as yourself
    • This is more than a call to avoid unfair treatment towards your neighbor, but rather to give generous consideration towards your neighbors, just as you would like them to treat you
  • 3 Illustrations of Love that Goes Beyond: True Christian love not only cares for friends, but for enemies, for those who won’t return the good that’s given, and those who fail to repay a loan of some kind.  – (Verse 32-34)
  • Verse 35 is a summary statement: Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  God is kind to the ungrateful and evil.
  • So you also, be merciful, even as your Father is merciful – (Verse 36)
    • Disciples bear a family resemblance. We will look like our Father who delights to show mercy.

How is this kind of love possible?

  • Those who have the law of God on their heart, who have been regenerated by the Spirit’s power, have the inclination and ability to obey God in these ways.
  • When we live in this world with an upside down kingdom perspective, we can rejoice, because
    • “Your reward will be great” (v.35)
    • “You will be sons of the Most High” (v.35)

People will know that we are children of the Most High God by the way we respond to our enemies (v.35).

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  1. How did Jesus Himself model the teaching he gives here in this passage — to love our enemies?
  2. What does it mean to love our enemies?
  3. How do the commands in this passage apply in the workplace, the community, the church, the family?
  4. In what ways does the flesh hinder us from doing as Jesus commands here?
  5. What role does dependence on the Holy Spirit play in our seeking to obey Jesus’ words here?
  6. What would applying this passage look like in your own life?

May 21, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Jesus Prayerfully Chooses His Servants

Jeremy Bell
May 14, 2017
Luke 6:12-16
Sermon Audio

Main Theme: This passage is about the absolute necessity and priority of prayer.

What does Jesus do? He looks to His Father (Verse 12)

  • Luke, of all the gospels, puts a particular emphasis on prayer.
  • Jesus was in complete submission to His Father (John 6:38, Luke 22:41, Phil. 2:5-8, John 5:30).

Having spent time with God, Jesus was ready to act (Verse 13)

  • When day came, it was time to move, for God had spoken.
  • God had directed Him, and it was occasion for action.
  • He will form a team and train them for leadership.
  • He undoubtedly prayed for the formation of this team and for the community they would experience together in the face of certain, determined opposition.

The Twelve: God chooses and uses ordinary and varied people, brought under the unity of His Lordship (Verses 14-16)

  • When I look at the apostles Jesus chose, I see ordinary men who learned to walk in the Spirit to do the things God had called them to.
  • These men were far from perfect, yet, God used them powerfully to change the known world in a single generation.

Application and Reminder

Believing faith-filled prayer is:

1. Humble Dependence Upon God

2. Active Submission to God’s Will

Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring
my will to thine,
and that without this it is folly to pray;
When I try to bring thy will to mine it is
to command Christ,
to be above him, and wiser than he:
this is my sin and pride.
I can only succeed when I pray
according to thy precept and promise,
and to be done with as it pleases thee,
according to thy sovereign will.

Valley of Vision – Living by Prayer

3. Waiting On God, By Faith

4. God-Exalting

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  1. Re-read verse 12. Here we see Jesus, the Son of God, praying all night to his heavenly Father. What does this teach us about Jesus?
  2. What does it mean to be a person who is dependent upon God in prayer?
  3. What are the dangers of prayerlessness? What might prayerlessness reveal about our hearts?
  4. What does your own personal prayer life look like?
  5. What blessings have you experienced through prayer?
  6. When convicted of a failure to pray, how does the gospel inform how we should respond?

May 7, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Embracing Jesus’ Identity & Following His Ways

Chris Patton
May 7, 2017
Luke 5:33-38
Sermon Audio

Main Theme: Receiving Jesus requires embracing Jesus for Who He Is and following His ways.

I. Jesus Identity (Who Jesus Is)

  • Jesus identifies Himself as The Bridegroom.
  • In the Old Testament, God repeatedly portrays Himself as the Bridegroom – and faithless Israel as the bride. The book of Hosea provides just one of many examples. And before those people on that day he said essentially, ‘I am the Divine Bridegroom. Indeed I am God Himself.’
  • Receiving Jesus involves more than simply reciting a prayer. It involves acknowledging who Jesus is – the heavenly Bridegroom, God Himself and submitting our lives to him.

II. Jesus Ways

  • His point to the crowd was ‘ If you are going to receive me, you can’t just add me to the Old Covenant given to Moses as well as all of your traditions.’ ‘You can’t just attach me to them. It won’t work.’
  • What He meant  in order for these Jewish people to receive Jesus – their outlook, their perspective, their values had to change. They had to become “new material” if you will.
  • Jesus is referring here to the New Covenant which he was bringing about through His life, death and resurrection.
  • The New Covenant is characterized by new life in regeneration.
    • It’s characterized by new hearts,as Ezekiel prophesied.
    • It’s characterized by people becoming new creations (2 Cor 5:17).
    • It’s characterized by faith, repentance, and the power to obey God.
    • It’s characterized by focus on Christ, His person and His work.
  • In order to receive Jesus it’s not enough to pray a prayer or to sign a card (as good as those things are), we must become New Covenant material, New Covenant wineskins.
  • That means change of heart, change of outlook, change of perspective, change of desires….change of everything….where Christ Jesus becomes the central focus of our lives; where living for Him and walking according to His New Covenant ways, His gospel ways becomes our main focus and our main priority, NOT other things. 
  • We don’t just receive Christ and embrace Christ once at conversion and then that’s it. The call of the Christian  is to embrace Christ daily. It’s  to make room for Him daily. It’s to walk in His gospel ways  and kingdom purposes daily.
  • The wineskins of our own hearts and lives can at times lose some of their elasticity, if you will, as we find any number of ways to crowd Jesus out and push Him, His ways, His purposes to the periphery of our lives. We can do this through sin. We can also do this through neglect of what is most important–our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  • Re-read the narrative (5:33-39).
  • What Old Testament passages do you recall where God is referred to as the ‘Bridegroom’ ?
  • The clear implication of the fact that Jesus is the Bridegroom is that He is God.
    • What does it mean to submit to Jesus as God?
    • How can we cherish Jesus is the heavenly Bridegroom?
  • What is the New Covenant? How is it distinct from the Old Covenant?
  • How does the whole idea of the New Covenant connect to becoming ‘new material’ or ‘new wineskins’?
  • The idea that one can be a Christian and yet fail to display any evidence of saving faith in the form of a change life has been called easy-believism. How does the idea of becoming new material or new wineskins speak to the “easy-believism” that is common today ?
  • What does it actually look like to make room for Christ daily?
  • What hinders us from making room for Christ daily?
  • What things might you need to adjust to make more room for Jesus — for Him and His purposes?

April 30, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Jesus Comes Looking

Jeremy Bell
April 30, 2017
Luke 5:27-32
Sermon Audio

Main Theme: Jesus comes looking for sinners, that they might repent and find life.

Jesus Went Looking for Levi (v.27)

  • Jesus looked intently, with compassion, at Levi.
  • Levi was a “low-level” tax collector. He wasn’t “elite” like Zacchaeus.
  • Tax collectors were known to be generally dishonest. They could charge a little extra to line their own pockets. They were view as unprincipled, greedy and traitors.  They were hated by the people of Israel.
  • Jesus loves to call sinners to be His disciples. In fact, sinners are the only kind of people that Jesus calls to be His disciples.

Levi Left All (v.28)

  • Jesus says to Levi two simple words – “Follow me.” That’s all it took for Levi to know Who was speaking to Him.
  • At Jesus’ invitation, Levi departed from his station — “And leaving everything, he rose and followed him (v.28)
  • Jesus offered Levi real joy. Levi saw this and was therefore willing to leave everything  to follow Christ.
  • “Follow Me” is an action. In order to follow Jesus we must forsake one thing in order to gain another. Jesus’ invitation to “follow me” is an invitation to forsake the lesser in order to gain the greater. That’s why in the gospels we read of a man would be willing to sell everything in order to buy a field (Matt. 13:44).
  • We can’t serve two masters. Either He’s Lord of all, or He’s not Lord at all. Either we fully submit to Him, or we do not.
  • Levi obeyed in such a way as to declare to Christ: you are my Lord! I will leave it all! I will let you change my priorities, my desires, my everything! Levi puts his relationship with Christ, and his desire to obey Christ first in his heart and in his life.
  • God was changing Levi’s hunger and thirsts

Discipleship is more a matter of hungering and thirsting than knowing and believing. Jesus’s command to follow Him is a command to align our love and longings with His – to want what God wants, to desire what God desires, to hunger and thirst after God and crave a world where He is all in all.”  — James Smith

A Changed Man with Changed Priorities: Levi Throws a Dinner Party (v.29)

  • Now a disciple of Jesus Christ, Levi threw a big feast at his house with Jesus as the center.
  • He brought all his friends and wanted them to know the Jesus who had given him life and joy.
  • Now a follower of Christ, Levi is on mission for Christ.

The Religious Leaders Don’t Like It (v.30)

  • The Pharisees wanted nothing to do with sinners – Jesus came to love people – regardless of their social status.
  • Jesus extends Himself to those that the Pharisees reject, and in rejecting others, they are demonstrating their rejection of Christ Himself.
  • Luke is seeking to make clear that those who are considered to be outsiders are welcomed to be insiders in Jesus’ kingdom.
  • If this is Jesus’ approach to people, to welcome them, then the role of the disciple of Jesus is to do the same.

Jesus Is For Those Who Are Sick With Sin (v.31)

  • He says “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick (v.31).”
  • The Pharisees are pretty confident that, given all of their self-determined righteousness, that they are “well.” Claiming to be healthy, they were the “sick.”
  • In reality, the Pharisees were the ones on the spiritual stretcher, all the while whizzing right by the hospital.

Call to Repent (v.32)

  • “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (v.32).”
  • Using the medical analogy, Jesus understands that we all, by nature, are spiritually sick.
  • The call to repentance is a call to receive the forgiveness of Christ by acknowledging our sin and crying out to the only ONE who can bring healing, by his forgiveness.

Jesus is Looking for You

  • Jesus goes after sinners who sense their need for God, who view themselves as sick with sin and come to Jesus.

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  • Re-read the narrative (5:27-5:31).
  • Levi was someone who was despised and hated by many, yet Jesus still sought after him. What are the implications for us?
  • Levi left all to follow Christ. What does that mean practically for us/for you?
  • What does it mean for Jesus to be Lord of our lives?
  • The Pharisees were clearly self-righteous. Why is self-righteousness so dangerous? What are some ways you can struggle with self-righteousness?
  • If we lived daily with a greater awareness of our desperate need for a Savior and the truth that in Christ, we have a Savior — what difference would that make in our lives?
  • What does it mean to repent? How do we see the fruits of repentance in Levi’s life? If someone you know claimed to be a Christian, yet failed to demonstrate the fruits of repentance in his or her life, what kind of things might you say to them in order to help them?

April 16, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Why Does the Resurrection Matter?

Jeremy Bell
April 16, 2017
1 Cor. 15:12-20
Sermon Audio

Introduction

The resurrection is the most important event in all of history.  If Jesus Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then His life, His teachings, His miracles, even His proclamation of the forgiveness of sins lacks truthfulness and therefore loses meaning. If the One who gives life was stuck in the grave of death, then His words lack purpose, direction, and ultimately, they lack truth. Who would want to follow someone who lacked truth? But Jesus Christ doesn’t lack truth. He was risen from the dead, therefore we have every reason for hope and joy!

Main Theme: The goal of this message is to show five truths, from the text, that the resurrection of Christ proclaims.

Truth #1: The Bible and It’s Claims are True

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain (v.14).”

  • The content of Paul’s preaching was the Word of God. It was the gospel (15:1-4).
  • The redemption of people like you and me, made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the point of the Bible. Take away the resurrection, and it all falls down.
  • We can’t deny the reality of the resurrection yet simultaneously affirm other truths of the Bible.
  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ affirms that the message and the claims of the Bible are true.

Truth #2: Faith in God is Rewarding

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain (v.14).”

  • God created us with this desire for relationship with Him, because He knows we long for Him, to know the hope of someone who never fails. Our sin broke that relationship.
  • Jesus came to give us hope and restore that relationship with God—a relationship that most satisfying and rewarding.
  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ declares that our faith is not in vain, but our faith in God is rewarding.

Truth #3 This World is Not Our Home

 “If in Christ we have hope in this world only, we are of all people most to be pitied (v.19).”

  • Following Christ is not easy. Paul’s own experience of the Christian life confirms this.
  • And so he says – if Christ came only to affect our lives on earth, then of all people in the world, people should look at us with pity, like we are fools.
  • But that is not true!

 “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17).”

Truth #4: Our Sins Are Forgiven

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (2 Cor. 15:17).”

  • There can be no worse sentence than to hear that our sins are not forgiven.
  • While Paul was in Athens, he preached that “[God] now commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
  • How would Christ be able to judge us if He is still dead? The resurrection reminds us that one day Christ will judge every person that’s ever lived.
  • But that’s not all that it reminds us of. It also declares a bold and wonderful truth over every believer in Jesus Christ – YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN!

Truth #5: We Will Rise Again!

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (15:20).”

  • Because He rose again, all who have faith in Christ will rise again too!
  • “We are more sure to arise out of our graves than out of our beds.” —  Thomas Watson

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  • Re-read 1 Cor.15:12-20. Why does Paul say ‘our faith futile, if Christ is not raised?’ What does he mean by that?
  • Paul writes in vs. 19, “If in Christ we have hope in this world only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” What does Paul mean by that? How are you living today, that makes no sense at all if Christ has not been raised?
  • How does the resurrection give us an eternal perspective regarding the present?
  • Who is someone who is an example to you of living with an eternal perspective?
  • Suffering is clearly part of life in a broken fallen world. How does Jesus’ resurrection give hope in the midst of suffering?

 

 

April 2, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Christ and the Leper

Jeremy Bell
April 2, 2017
Luke 5:12-16
Sermon Audio

Introduction

This is a picture of physical healing, and of spiritual cleansing as well. Jesus’ action towards those who have nothing is indicative of the kind of ministry he said he would have – ministry to the poor and setting the captives free. This hearkens back to Luke 4:18 and His reading in the synagogue.

Main Theme: Jesus gives cleansing mercy to all who come to Him in faith.

What is leprosy? 

  • Leprosy is an infectious skin disease that causes skin lesions, nerve damage and  terrible physical pain.
  • In that time, to have leprosy was to be an outcast. You were both sick and ostracized–out of the circle of family, friendship.

The leper took a bold step and approached Jesus (vs.12).

  • The leper came humbly.
  • The leper came in faith.

Jesus Responds – “I will; be clean!” (vs.13)

  • Jesus’ touch leads to immediate healing (vs.13).
  • The once sick, outcast, has been made well, and his relationships, though once broken by contamination, will be restored once again.

Go to the Priest (vs.14)

  • The priests had to officially declare formerly unclean people clean. It was a 7 day process, and sacrifices were necessary.
  • The former leper is officially restored back into the community.

The fact of Jesus’ power to heal was spreading–more and more people came for two reasons (vs.15):

  • To hear his authoritative teaching
  • To be healed of their infirmity

Jesus regularly withdrew from the crowds for fellowship with his Father through prayer (vs.16).

  • Amidst the busyness of ministry, Jesus needed time to pull away from people and pray and think and be apart for the purpose of fellowship with God in prayer
  • Spurgeon liked to tell his church to pray long and to pray often. He would say “the shortening of our prayer will be the weakening of our power.”
  • If our Lord needed to commune with God in prayer; we will be wise to do as He does,  otherwise, we’ll be impoverished of power. Our power comes through prayer!

Take home lessons:

  • Jesus is still healing today.
  • In the gospel, Jesus has moved with compassion towards us.
  • Through his person and work, Jesus offers full cleansing today.

Conclusion

Jesus is eager and willing to heal, both sin and sickness. The man asked if Jesus was willing and Jesus said “I will; be clean.” If you’re asking the same question as the leper, our Savior hasn’t changed. Come with your sin to the personal touch of our Lord. Come with your sickness to be ministered to by Jesus Christ.

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  • Re-read the narrative (5:12-5:16).
  • What would it have been like to live life as a leper in Jesus’ day?
  • Why was it such a bold step for this leper to approach Jesus and ask Jesus to heal him?
  • The leper’s example illustrates the importance of approaching Jesus with our requests both humbly and in faith.
    • What does it look like to pray both humbly and in faith?
    • In your own life, what prayers are you seeking to pray both humbly and in faith–for yourself? for others?
    • What things have you perhaps stopped praying for that you believe God is leading you to start praying for again?
  • The leper was ceremonially unclean.  Likewise, we are spiritually unclean because of our sin. Jesus made this man clean, and through His blood we have been made clean. How does it make you feel when you think about that?
  • Re-read vs.16.  How does Jesus’ example here of prayer, inspire you?

March 26, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Joining God’s Mission

Jeremy Bell
March 26, 2017
Luke 4:42-5:11
Sermon Audio

Introduction

Jesus was a man on a mission – He wanted to spread the Good News (4:43).  As we come to chapter 5, we see a literary turn in Luke as He tells of Jesus beginning to build His team, starting with Simon Peter. This story has to do with the call of Peter

Main Theme: Our gracious, holy God came to forgive us and call us to a life of joyful mission in Christ

How the story unfolds:

God’s Instruction‘Let down your nets.’

  • Peter – join me in a great catch! I want to show you Who I Am!
  • There something spectacular I want to do, and I want to involve you in it!

Peter’s Obedience‘Really?  Ok, I will.’

  • Really? I’m the fisherman and you’re the carpenter, right? We’ve worked hard all night, I’m tired – we caught nothing. But ok, you are my Master, so I will.
  • Notice the title Peter had given to Him – He responded to Jesus request by calling Him Master (5:5)
    • Remember, Jesus had healed Peter’s mother in law of her fever, so He knew something of the power of this Jesus
  • Despite his own experience of toiling all night with no results, despite the fact that he knew these waters well, despite the fact that he was tired, Peter obeys Jesus and trusts Jesus and lets down the nets.

God’s Power – Amazing bounty – only God could do this!

  • When Peter obeyed the Lord and dropped the nets, the response was a bigger catch than he’s ever had!
  • At some point Peter stops the feverish work aware that there another power at work here(5:8). Peter begins to recognize Who is in the boat with him.

Peter’s Response – ‘I am unholy; You are holy.  I am not worthy!’

“But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord (5:8).’”

God’s Response – ‘Do not fear, I am a merciful God.  By the way, you’ll now be catching people with good news, not catching fish with nets.  Follow me!’ (5:10)

Peter’s Response – ‘I’m leaving all and coming with you right now!’ (5:11)

Conclusion

This story is about God’s love and God’s desire to use people like us to accomplish Kingdom work.

A few take home lessons:

  1. Jesus came to us to forgive us, love us, and to call us to join Him in His mission
  2. A Holy God uses imperfect people to build His kingdom
  3. To follow Jesus in joyful mission, we must trust and obey

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  • Re-read the narrative (5:1-5:11).
  • What does this miracle reveal to us about the character and identity of Jesus?
  • In vs. 5, we see that despite his own experience of toiling all night with no results, despite the fact that he knew these waters well, despite the fact that he was tired, Peter obeyed Jesus and trusted Jesus and let down the nets. What does Peter’s example here mean for us when it comes to the mission Jesus has given us to proclaim Christ to the lost people we know?
  • What about what took place on that day caused Peter to fall on his knees before Jesus saying “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord (5:8).” Why did Peter say that?
  • Read Isaiah 6:1-6. What parallels do you see between Peter’s response to Jesus and Isaiah’s vision of the Lord?
  • How does this story in Luke 5 reveal Peter’s need and our need for a Savior?
  • PRAY: Take time to thank God giving us a Savior, making it possible for us as sinful people to have access to the holy God of the universe.

March 19, 2017 — Sermon Recap

Jesus’ Authority Over All

Jeremy Bell
March 19, 2017
Luke 4:31-45
Sermon Audio

Introduction
Last week, we saw how in Nazareth, Jesus made a claim, he rendered a verdict about Himself. He said He said He is the Anointed One who fulfills Isaiah 61. In our passage today, we begin to see the evidence that supports Jesus’ claim.

Main Theme: Jesus has authority over every evil force and any enslaving foe!

Supporting Evidence #1 – Authority Over Death 

  • Verse 28 – “When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.”
  • They drove Him out of the town, brought Him to the edge of the cliff and with an amazing brevity of words, Luke simply declares:
    • “Passing through their midst, He went away (4:30)”
  • People themselves cannot bring Jesus to His death. The crowd was intent on killing Jesus , on throwing Him from the cliff. But it wasn’t Jesus’ time, and He wasn’t going to have His life taken from Him, rather, He would lay it down at the moment of His choosing19
  • “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father (John 10:18).” 
  • Jesus has authority over His own death, and the timing of His death. No crowd, as wrathful as it may be, was going to dictate to the Son of God when He would die.

Supporting Evidence #2 – Authority In His Teaching

  • Jesus’ teaching had authority like none other, because he possessed authority, like none other — “and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority (4:32).”
  • Jesus “taught as one that knew the mind of God, and was commissioned to declare it.” — Matthew Henry
  • Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).”
  • When we declare the gospel to people, we can know that we are ambassadors of the King of the World.
  • Jesus is often said to be a good teacher, a moral man–but we insult the cause and reason for Christ’s coming to say he is merely that. Jesus is not a warm, motivational speaker or philosopher. No, Jesus has the power to reverse evil! He spoke with divine authority. When He speaks, things happen! What He says, He will do! What He declares, will be so!

Supporting Evidence # 3 – Authority Over the Demonic Realm

  • Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 1:9), and demons are his “henchmen” if you will.
  • Jesus rebuked demon and took authority over it’s action (4:35).
  • The demon obeyed the voice of Christ – and it came out.
  • The demon, though it threw the man down, did not have the ability to do the man harm
  • Demons flee at the power and presence of Jesus!
  • The man was set free! Here Jesus demonstrated both His power over all forces of darkness and His desire to set people free from what they could not free themselves.

Supporting Evidence # 4 – Authority Over Sickness

  • Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (4:39) of a fever.  When she was cured, she immediately (showing the completeness of the cure) got up and began serving them.
  • Following this, many were healed (4:40).  Jesus personally “laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.”

Conclusion

  • Let us approach our Lord with confidence
  • Jesus is God
  • Jesus has authority over all things
    • Authority over sin
    • Authority over sickness
    • Authority over any enslaving foe
    • And may we respond to our Lord with faith in Him

Questions for Discussion / Application:

  • In these three scenes, what observations do you have regarding Jesus? What are some of the things we learn about Him from these scenes?
  • Why does it “insult the cause and reason for Christ’s coming” to say that Jesus is simply “a good teacher” and “a moral man” ? How is Jesus’ teaching different from any other individual in all of history?
  • Jesus’ teaching was uniquely authoritative. Jesus spoke the very words of God. How should this encourage us as we represent Him and seek to faithfully speak the gospel to others?
  • In this narrative, we see Jesus’ authority over the demonic realm. How should this encourage us?
  • In this story, how do we see Jesus’ authority over sickness? How does seeing Jesus heal Peter’s mother-in-law and then numerous other individuals as well strengthen and encourage your faith?
  • When it comes to praying for the sick, we want to have faith that God delights to heal and still does heal today. We also want to have confidence in the goodness and sovereignty of God when God, for reasons unknown to us, chooses not to heal. How do we cultivate faith in both God’s healing power and faith in His sovereign goodness?
  • In this narrative, we’ve seen that Jesus delights to heal. He delights to set free those in bondage. In what ways do you desire to see the power of Jesus made known? What desires for healing and/or personal “breakthrough” (sin you want to overcome etc..) do you have that we can keep before the Lord in prayer?