Sermon Starters

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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

First Sunday In Lent

Option #1: "A Tale of Two Adams"
Romans 5:12-19
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

I. The First Adam brought death--vv12, 14a-b; cf Gen 2:17; 3:6; Ezek 18:4; James 1:15
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Adam is the "type" (pattern or resemblance) of him who was to come, i.e., THE MESSIAH). It is indeed interesting to compare, on Scripture authority, Adam as the root of sin and death to all, with CHRIST, who is to all true Christians the root of holiness and life.
Barnes Notes on the New Testament: Death reigned. Under his dark and withering reign people sank down to the grave. We have a similar expression when we represent death as "the king of terrors." It is a striking and affecting personification, for:
(1) His reign is absolute. He strikes down whom he pleases and when he pleases.
(2) There is no escape. All must bow to his scepter and be humbled beneath his hand.
(3) It is universal. Old and young alike are the subjects of his gloomy empire.
(4) It would be an eternal reign if it were not for the gospel. It would shed unmitigated woes upon the earth; and the silent tread of this terrible king would produce only desolation and tears forever.
II. The Second Adam brought life--vv15-19; Matt 20:28; 1 Cor 15:21ff; I John 4:9-10, 5:11-12; Rev 20:15
Albert Barnes: By one man’s offence--or, by one offence."If, under the administration of a just and merciful Being it has occurred that, by the offence of one, death hath exerted so wide a dominion, we have reason much more to expect...that they who are brought under his plan of saving mercy shall be brought to new life.
They which receive abundance of grace--the abundant favor; the mercy that shall counterbalance and surpass the evils introduced by the sin of Adam. That favor shall be more than sufficient to counterbalance all those evils. The evils which they suffer in consequence of the sin of Adam bear no comparison with the mercies of eternal life that shall flow to them from the work of the Savior.
The gift of righteousness--this stands opposed to the evils introduced by Adam. As the effect of his sin was to produce condemnation, so here the gift of righteousness refers to the opposite, to pardon, to justification, to acceptance with God. To show that people were thus justified by the gospel was the leading design of the apostle; and the argument here is that if by one man’s sin death reigned over those who were under condemnation...we have much more reason to suppose that they who are delivered from sin by the death of Christ, and accepted of God, shall reign with him in life.
Shall reign--the word "reign" is often applied to the condition of saints in heaven, 2 Tim 2:12, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him"; Rev 5:10; 20:6; 22:5. It means that they shall be exalted to a glorious state of happiness in heaven; that they shall be triumphant over all their enemies; shall gain an ultimate victory; and shall partake with the Captain of their salvation in the splendors of his dominion above, Rev 3:21; Luke 22:30.
In life--this stands opposed to the death that reigned as the consequence of the sin of Adam. It denotes complete freedom from condemnation; from temporal death; from sickness, pain, and sin. It is the usual expression to denote the complete bliss of the saints in glory; note, John 3:36.
By one, Jesus Christ--as the consequence of his work. The apostle here does not state the mode or manner in which this was done; nor does he say that it was perfectly parallel in the mode with the effects of the sin of Adam. He is comparing the results or consequences of the sin of the one and of the work of the other. There is a similarity in the consequences. The way in which the work of Christ had contributed to this he had stated in Rom 3:24, 28.

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Visual aid: a container of liquid soap

I used to work at a church that had a school. I remember walking into the washroom one day when the teacher was showing the boys how to wash their hands. There is a right and wrong way to do that.

We shake hands in our country when we’re saying hello or when we’re saying good-bye. There’s a problem with that, though. What’s the first thing you’re supposed to do when you feel a cough or a sneeze coming? Right! You cover your mouth so you don’t send a gazillion germs flying out.

So the first time you shake hands with someone after that, you're spreading the germs that have landed there and you get the germs that are on the other person's hands. You wash your hands when you get them dirty and you wash your hands to get rid of germs. You use soap like this to kill the germs. 

But we all have an infection that a tanker car of this soap will never stop. We all have been infected with a disease called SIN, and sooner or later it will kill us all.

Jesus came to cure this disease of sin and death. He never sinned even once and he was born without sin, so he is the CURE. He takes with him to his cross all those germs of sin and death that we carry around. He is the CURE for sin and death.

It costs a lot of money to cure a disease, but the price here isn’t in money; it was in blood. His holy precious blood kills the germs of our sin. We know it works because he rose from death and he tells us: BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU WILL LIVE ALSO.

Your Baptism washes you clean of sin.  Return to it everyday as you repent of your sin. Remember: "The blood of Jesus, God's Son, cleanses from all sin" (1 John 1:7).  

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Option #2: "God Loves The Devil Out Of Us!"
Matthew 4:1-11
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: God loves us, devilish and deceitful though we are and be!

The Problem: Like the devil, we yearn to be in control, are deceived by our loveliness and loveability.

The Promise: God quarantines us this Lententide, by the Holy Spirit reminding us of our redemption and healing in Christ Jesus and of His temptation-overcoming power available to and through us.
1.Satan urg[es Jesus and us] to be [a] devilish sort[s] of king[s], well-fed, popular, and cross-less. (Scott Bruzek)
2.A church too fond of power, place and claims would do well to walk in [Jesus'] steps. (Fred Craddock)
3.Will I walk with God whether or not I get that job, whether or not that cancer is healed, whether or not my loved one pulls through a life-threatening situation? Or am I going to put God to a test and say, "If you do this for me, then you're my God, but if not, I will have nothing to do with you." The Spirit-filled life which Jesus lived was a life that was unconditionally surrendered to God regardless of the outcome.(Jirair Tashjian)
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:35 PM