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Sermon Starters

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


Third Sunday After Pentecost 

Option A: From  Kelly Bedard 

Good News for the Faint-Hearted!
2 Corinthians 4:13-18

A. Losing Heart?
     1. Because "outwardly [you] are wasting away"?
     2. Because you are fixing your eyes on your "light and momentary troubles," on temporary externals ("what is seen")?

B. Take Heart!
     1. Because "inwardly [you] are being renewed day by day"!
     2. Because the Holy Spirit fixes your eyes on "an eternal glory that far outweighs them all," on eternal internals ("what is unseen")!

Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

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Option B: From Wayne Dobratz

The Story of "Fear"
Genesis 3:9-15

1) ITS ORIGIN

 A. Doubt about God's Word

 B. Believing that sin is better than obedience

C. Shifting the blame to others and to God.

2) ITS AUTHOR

 A. Jesus called him the "Father of Lies." (John 8:44)

 B. His speciality: pretending to have our best interests at heart.

 C. His real intent: "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

 3) ITS SOLUTION--THE PROMISED SAVIOR

 A. He will crush Satan's Head,

 B. While having his heal bruised in death as our Substitute. (Gen. 3:15)

 C. He came to destroy Satan's work (1 John 3:8).

 D. He came to take away the fear of death--Heb. 2:14-15 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

 E. The Savior's favorite greetings?
    1. SHALOM--peace be with you.
    2. FEAR NOT.

Adam Clarke writes on Gen. 3:15 "Jesus Christ died to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and to destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Thus he bruises his head-destroys his power and lordship over mankind, turning them from the power of Satan unto God; Acts 26:18. And Satan bruises his heel-God so ordered it, that the salvation of man could only be brought about by the death of Christ...."

Matthew Henry writes a fitting conclusion for a message on this text: "A gracious promise is here made of Christ, as the Deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan. Here was the dawn of the gospel day: no sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. This gracious revelation of a Savior came unasked and unlooked for. Without a revelation of mercy, giving some hope of forgiveness, the convicted sinner would sink into despair, and be hardened. By faith in this promise, our first parents, and the patriarchs before the flood, were justified and saved. Notice is given concerning Christ:

 1. His incarnation, or coming in the flesh. It speaks great encouragement to sinners, that their Savior is the Seed of the woman, bone of our bone, Hebrews 2:11, 14.

 2. His sufferings and death; pointed at in Satan's bruising his heel, that is, his human nature. And Christ's sufferings are continued in the sufferings of the saints for his name. The devil tempts them, persecutes and slays them; and so bruises the heel of Christ, who is afflicted in their afflictions. But while the heel is bruised on earth, the Head is in heaven.

3. His victory over Satan thereby. Christ baffled Satan's temptations, rescued souls out of his hands. By his death he gave a fatal blow to the devil's kingdom, a wound to the head of this serpent that cannot be healed. As the gospel gains ground, Satan falls."

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

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