Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Lent 1
Series C

 Option One: Rev. Kelly Bedard

 "Fessing Up!"
Romans 10:8b-13

Note: The following outline plays on the familiar childhood battle cry, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words/names can never hurt me!"

A. God's Word Converts

     1. The stick (cross) and stone (empty tomb) break our "bones"

     2. Though the Word is sometimes beyond words/belief, we trust it/Him 

 B. The Convert Confesses God

     1. Word, not works, righteousness

     2. The Word hurts us in order that we may be healed

Notes :

1. eggus (near): the Rabbis used the term "to make nigh" as equivalent to "to make a proselyte"

2. kataischuno (ashamed): one is said to be put to shame who suffers a repulse, or whom some hope has deceived

3. diastole (difference): of the different sounds musical instruments make

4. plouteo (to be rich, to have abundance): is affluent in resources so that He can give blessings of salvation to all

5. epikaleomai (call on): an expression finding its explanation in the fact that prayers addressed to God ordinarily began with an invocation of the divine name

6. "If a man called Jesus kurios he was ranking him with the Emperor and with God; he was giving him the supreme place in his life; he was pledging him implicit obedience and reverent worship." (Barclay)

7. Wuest, quoting Robertson on Jesus Christ is Lord: "No Jew would do this who had not really trusted Christ, for Kurios in the LXX is used of God. No Gentile would do it who had not ceased worshipping the emperor as Kurios. The word Kurios was and is the touchstone of faith."

 Rev. Kelly Bedard

Option Two: Rev. Wayne Dobratz

"Defeating the Oldest Enemy"
Lk 4:1-13

Intro: Basic training is not the favorite memory of many who served in the Armed Forces. But sooner or later, the soldiers realized that the physical conditioning and the combat training were designed to save their lives. So it is with us in our learning of God's Word. Jesus gives us some training today in...Defeating the Oldest Enemy

I. By recognizing his tactics

A. Deception, a/k/a "disinformation" today.
1. He is a liar and the father of lies, as Jesus told us in John 8:44.
2. He is a murderer-his lies are designed to kill-John 8:44. Martin Luther writes: "If we must live on earth, then we must realize that we are guests in a hotel with a scoundrel as a host who has a sign over his door that reads 'The House of Murder and the House of Lies.' Christ himself has said that Satan is a murderer for killing the body, a liar for misleading the soul. That is the devil's trade and work; that is the way that he keeps house."

B. He will even us use the truth for his own purpose, as long as he can distort it, as he did in Lk. 4:10-11.

Transition: Jesus shows by His example that God's children must know the Scripture so that they may use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Jesus guides us in Defeating The Oldest Enemy

II. By swinging the sword of the Spirit

A. He could have used His power as God, but He didn't. In His humiliation,
"He did not always and fully use the divine attributes communicated to His human nature."

B. He learned God's Word as a child (Lk. 2:46-27).

C. His combat tactic in the Desert Temptation-the Word of God-readily
available also to you and me today, as in Eph. 6:17, Heb. 4:12, Rev. 1:16, Rev. 2:12, & Rev. 2:16.

Adam Clarke writes about this "Sword of the Spirit" which Christians must use today--The sword of which St. Paul speaks is, as he explains it, the word of God; that is, the revelation which God has given of himself, or what we call the Holy Scriptures. This is called the sword of the Spirit, because it comes from the Holy Spirit, and receives its fulfillment in the soul through the operation of the Holy Spirit. An ability to quote this on proper occasions, and especially in times of temptation and trial, has a wonderful tendency to cut in pieces the snares of the adversary. 

In God's word a genuine Christian may have unlimited confidence, and to every purpose to which it is applicable it may be brought with the greatest effect. The shield, faith, and the sword-the word of God, or faith in God's unchangeable word, are the principal armor of the soul. He in whom the word of God dwells richly, and who has that faith by which he knows that he has redemption, even the forgiveness of sins, need not fear the power of any adversary. He stands fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made him free.

And Martin Luther has written: "I have read that a man who could have no peace because of the devil made the sign of the cross on his chest and said 'The Word was made flesh,' which was to say 'I am a Christian.' Then the devil was defeated and chased away, and the man had peace. And I believe that it is true if the man spoke these words from a believing heart. One does not gain much ground against the devil with a lengthy disputation but with brief words, such as 'I am a Christian, of the same flesh and blood as is my Lord Christ, the Son of God. Settle your account with Him.' Then the devil does not stay long" (From a Sermon on John 1:14).

Rev. Wayne Dobratz

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

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