Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

First Sunday After Pentecost/Trinity Sunday
Series B

Option #1: "The Three Trinity Episodes"
Deuteronomy 6:4-8
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

Recommendation: "Break up" these episodes with a Trinity hymn verse or two.

Deuteronomy 6:4-8--Episode 1: "The Walk and the Talk"

A. We are to "hearken" (listen to attentively) the one true God

B. God’s commands are to be a matter of the heart

C. Parents are to communicate His commands to children on a daily basis--see v7; also Prov 15:2

D. Parents are not to depend upon church professionals to do their educating for them. They are to reinforce God’s    Word in a visible form--vv8-9--see Preface to Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Romans 8:14-17--Episode 2: "The Will"

A. "Sons" is a legal term, including both male and female

B. The Spirit of God leads us to regard God as our Father and testifies of that relationship--v16

C. As children of God we are also "heirs," along with Christ, who sealed the relationship with His blood--v17; see also Matt 26:34

D. Destination: the glory of eternal life--v17b

John 3:1-17--Episode 3: "Born >From Above"

A. A religious leader of the Jews comes to Jesus for understanding--vv1-2

B. Jesus declares the impossibility of knowing God’s truth without this "birth from above"--anoothen; means "from above"--vv3-9

Thayer definition:

1) from above, from a higher place; 1a) of things which come from heaven or God

2) from the first, from the beginning, from the very first

3) anew, over again

C. It is not so much an "experience" as it is receiving the truth of  Christ by God’s Spirit--see especially vv9- 13

D. Jesus’ sacrifice is the heart and soul of the Scripture, as His sacrifice was pictured in the Brass Serpent being lifted up--v14--and in the Passover ceremony as the spotless Lamb--John 1:29

E. Eternal life is a gift from our great Triune God; it is not the Lord’s desire to condemn the world, but to save it--vv16-17

Archibald  Robertson, John 3:14: Moses lifted up the serpent (Mo˘use˘s hupso˘sen ton ophin). Reference to Num 21:7ff. where Moses set the brazen serpent upon the standard, that those who believed might look and live. Jesus draws a vivid parallel between the act of Moses and the Cross on which he himself (the Son of man) "must" (dei, one of the heavenly things) "be lifted up" ( Jesus is complimenting the standing and intelligence of Nicodemus as "the teacher of Israel" by telling him this great truth and fact that lies at the basis of the work of the kingdom of God [the atoning death of Christ on the Cross]).

Holman Bible Dictionary: NICODEMUS. John identifies Nicodemus as a Pharisee, "a ruler of the Jews" (John 3:1), that is, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, and as "a teacher of Israel" (John 3:10), that is, an authority on the interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures. Nicodemus’ coming at night suggests his timidity and his trek from the darkness of his own sin and ignorance to the light of Jesus

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Object: desk name plate with CEO or Chairman of the Board pasted upon it.

I just read the best known Bible verse of all, something that you memorized in Sunday School. I’ll start it out and I’m sure you can finish it: God so ...

Right! But I’m guessing you don’t remember the name of the man who was the first to hear those words from Jesus. What was his name? NICODEMUS! Who was he? He was a big deal, that’s who he was. He was a part of the Jewish ruling council and, yet, here he is coming to Jesus at night because he needs some answers.

Here’s what I want you to remember: There are people who have learned God’s Word from their parents and in Sunday School. When they get to be "a big deal," they want nothing more to do with Jesus and His Word.

In coming to Jesus for answers, Jesus shows that these people have it all wrong. Make sure that God’s Word is an important part of your life for your whole life. After all, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.

Be a really wise man/woman when you grow up and keep on learning from Jesus just the way Nicodemus did.

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Option #2: "God's Proper Name"
John 3:1-17
Rev. Alan Kornacki, B.A., M.Div.
The Point: Baptism is the rebirth by which we enter the kingdom of God.
The Problem: Instead of trusting God and His Word which makes this so, we ask "How can this be?" and look for our own gate into the kingdom.
The Promise: Because God places His holy name on us in Baptism, we are marked as His own children and heirs of the kingdom.


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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 12:26:44 PM