Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Option #1: "The Source of Joy in the Church"
Philippians 2:1-4
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

I. Being connected to Christ--v1, John 14:27; comfort, Spirit fellowship, tenderness, compassion--Col 3:12; Matt 9:16; Lk 15:20; 2 Cor 1:3

II. God’s people living that joy--vv2-4; by being like-minded, 1 Cor 13:4ff; by having the same love, Ps 133:1, Rom 5:5, James 2:8; by being one in spirit and purpose, Acts 2:46; Gal. 5:22ff

III. God’s people modeling Christ’s humility--vv5-11

Adam Clarke: Fulfil ye my joy--Fill up my joy so that nothing shall be wanting to complete it. This, he says, would be done by their union, zeal, and humility; compare John 3:29. That ye be like-minded--Greek: That ye think the same thing; perfect unity of sentiment, opinion, and plan would be desirable if it could be attained. It may be, so far as to prevent discord, schism, contention and strife in the church, and so that Christians may be harmonious in promoting the same great work--the salvation of souls. Having the same love--love to the same objects, and the same love one for another. Though their opinions might differ on some points, yet they might be united in love; see the notes at 1 Cor 1:10.  Being of one accord--sumpsuchoi--of one soul; having your souls joined together. The word used here does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means a union of soul; or an acting together as if but one soul actuated them. Of one mind--Greek: "Thinking the same thing." The apostle here uses a great variety of expressions to denote the same thing. The object which he aimed at was union of heart, of feeling, of plan, of purpose. He wished them to avoid all divisions and strifes; and to show the power of religion by being united in the common cause. Probably there is no single thing so much insisted on in the New Testament as the importance of harmony among Christians.

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The fall sports season has begun. Please join me in thinking about what would happen if athletes did what some folks do in the Church. Paul says: "Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose."

Ask just about any pastor and he will tell you that there have been times when he has wondered which side some folks are playing on. Let’s take football for example. All 11 guys have to have the same goal: to get the ball across the opponents’ goal line. Imagine what would happen if one guy says: "I don’t want to run the ball; throw it to Joe instead." Why, they’d never get anywhere.

Or if you're playing volleyball. One player’s job is to set up the kill shot. But she says: "No I don’t want to. I want to hit the kill shot." Or maybe you’re playing soccer. The coach tells you to "head" the ball into the goal if you can. But you tell him: "I don’t want to do that; I just got my hair done!" It wouldn’t be long and you’d be sitting at McDonald’s wondering why you lost the game.

Paul says that we are to be like-minded. That means to have the same goal, to play together, to be a team, to rejoice in each others' success. It means to follow Jesus and to do what He asks us to do so that more people might have eternal life and we join them there for the greatest celebration in all of history. Jesus made it possible for us to go there; now let’s be LIKE-MINDED and take as many people along as we can. Let’s be great Christian teammates.


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Option #2: "Sinners Are In!"
Matthew 21:(23-27) 28-32
Rev. Mark Borchert, B.S., M.Div.


Point: God establishes His kingdom on His terms.


Problem: We try to establish God’s kingdom. We try to establish it on our terms.


Promise: God’s kingdom is established for sinners who believe His Son.



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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:46:28 AM