Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Option A: By Rev. Kelly Bedard

Perpetual "Yes" & Ongoing "Amen"!
2 Corinthians 1:18-22

(The outline below assumes two postal slogans in getting at the crux of the above text)

A. Sitting on the Premises

Do not:

1. Fold: literally, "to cease to operate" as intended; theologically, separated from God: in contact, but out of touch (Isaiah 43 [OT reading])

2. Spindle: having a penchant (derivative of spindle) for demanding full payment; greedy and impatient

3. Mutilate: literally, "to be deprived of an essential part"; theologically, salvation

B. Standing on the Promises

1. Signed

a. References a signet ring which functioned as a signature and guarantee of full payment

b. Marked and identified as God's property, assured of His protection

c. Modern Greek: engagement ring

2. Sealed: separated for God--e.g., consecrated to an office or for religious service; literally, anointed, making contact

3. Delivered: literally, "earnest," a pledge or guarantee of part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest

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

Option B: By Rev. Wayne Dobratz

"God's AMAZING Grace"
Isaiah 43:24-25

Note: The last two verses of the Old Testament Lesson for the 7th Sunday after the Epiphany teach us about "God's Amazing Grace."

John Newton lived his famous praise song long before he wrote it. By his own description, he was " a libertine", i.e. he recognized no God to whom he was responsible. He profited for a time as a slave trader. But the Spirit showed him his sin and his Savior. Newton wrote his own epitaph: "Here lies John Newton, Clerk, a libertine and former slave trader, who was, by the rich mercy of God, redeemed and appointed to proclaim the faith he had long labored to destroy."

When Newton was an old man, his memory was fading. A friend urged him to stop preaching. But Newton replied, "My memory is nearly gone; but this much I remember: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior."

God's AMAZING Grace
Isaiah 43:24-25

I. We also have burdened (grieved) God with our sins; yet He blots them out.

A. We have made him weary with our rebellion.

1. As in Gen. 6:6-7

2. As he was with Saul in 1 Sam. 15:11

B. Yet He blots out our sins. The Hebrew word "Macha" means to "wipe away, blot out, obliterate."

1. As in Ps. 51:1-2

2. As in Ps. 109:13-14 Here the word has the sense of the name being erased so that future generations will never know it.

3. As in Is. 44:22. The word is used here to describe the way the wind blows clouds away and as the morning mist is swept away.

II. He remembers to forget our sins

A. As in Jer. 31:34 (NIV) For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. 35 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD Almighty is his name:

B. He remembers His covenant... to bless all nations with His single descendant, Christ, as we see in Gen. 12:1-9 and Gal. 3:15-16

C. He chooses not to record these sins and count them against us.

1. As recorded in Ps. 130:3-4 (NIV) If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

2. As the Spirit teaches in Ps. 32:1-2 (NIV) Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

III. His Spirit reminds us to repent of sin

A. As in Mk. 1:15

1. Repentance is changing your mind about your sin

2. Repentance is embracing Jesus in faith as the Savior from sin.

B. Repentance is to return to your Baptism.

1. As Paul writes in Rom. 6: 1-14

2. It is evidenced by the fruit of new life in Christ as written in Matt. 3:8-10 and Matt. 7:16ff.

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

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM