Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

From Rev. Kelly Bedard

"Eternal Etiquette"
Luke 14:1, 7-14

 A. Shoddy Manners

    1. Picking for ourselves places of honor and considering ourselves distinguished

    2. Ultimately all earthly places, honors and egos will be given up into death

 B. Godly Manners

    1. Jesus relegates Himself to the lowest place, the cross, which rightfully should be ours

    2. Jesus invites/exalts/resurrects all those who are low (sinful)


1. As to heav'n we go, high is the roof there, but the gate is low. (Farrar) 

2. True lowliness and conscious unworthiness in the sight of God are the real conditions of  advancement and honor. (Erdman) 

3. ptochos (verse 13): more than financially poor, i.e., afflicted, destitute of the Christian  virtues and eternal riches. 

4. tuphlos (verse 13) also can also be construed to mean mental blindness.

5. Our inviting might neither be received or returned in this life but, instead, in the next. In the meantime, like Jesus, we are encouraged to unselfish motivations and giving without the  expectation or demand of return. 

From Rev. Wayne Dobratz
“A Pure Marriage Bed”
Hebrews 13:4-8

You just can't escape those tabloids, whether the paper or TV versions. An actress, more famous for her lesbian affair than her work, is now married and 3 months pregnant. She told Larry King "all about it" the other night. The former President received $10 Million for a book not yet written, part of which will tell about his lurid White House affair with a former intern.

 A California Congressman is being pressured by members of his own party not to seek re-election because of his affair with a now missing Congressional intern. Go through the check out line and you still see the face of Princess Diana. Your mind thinks to her adulteries and that of her estranged husband, Prince Charles. You remember her tragic death, caused by a  drunken driver. You know it wouldn't have happened that way, had hers been...


 I. Scorn it and you will reap disaster.

A. Princess Diana died because there was no guard rail in the tunnel where her car crashed.

B. The pure marriage bed is a guard rail protecting against the ills we've been experiencing without it.
    1. Sexually transmitted diseases-Rom. 1:24ff, Rev. 2:20-22
    2. Broken Homes, Broken Lives-Rom. 6:21, Gal. 6:8
    3. Death results from ignoring God's guard rail-Prov. 7:7-27

II. Embrace God's way and you will experience God's blessings
A. God's way teaches us to avoid sin and embrace life
    1. Deut. 30:10-20
    2. Rom. 6:21-23

B. The Spirit gives freedom from sin and death
    1. Isa. 61:1 "freedom for the captives"
    2. 2 Cor. 3:17
    3. Rom. 8:2
    4. John 8:32

III. God's Word has the power-Text, v.6 "The Lord is my Helper."
A. To avoid temptation
    1. Prov. 7:4-5
    2. Ps. 119:9-11
    3. Prov. 1:10
    4. Rom. 6:13
    5. Eph. 6:13

B. To give you new life-v. 7 "Imitate the Leaders' way of life"
    1. Rom. 6:1-4
    2. Rom. 6:9-11
    3. Ezek. 36:26
    4. 2 Cor. 5:17
    5. Titus 3:5
    6. 1 Peter 1:23

Matthew Henry writes:
Here you have, 1. A recommendation of God's ordinance of marriage, that it is honorable in all, and ought to be so esteemed by all, and not denied to those to whom God has not denied it. It is honorable, for God instituted it for man in paradise, knowing it was not good for him to be alone. He married and blessed the first couple, the first parents of mankind, to direct all to
look unto God in that great concern, and to marry in the Lord.

Christ honored marriage with his presence and first miracle. It is honorable as a means to prevent impurity and a defiled bed. It is honorable and happy, when persons come together pure and chaste, and preserve the marriage bed undefiled, not only from unlawful but inordinate affections. 

2. A dreadful but just censure of impurity and lewdness: Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

(1.) God knows who are guilty of such sins, no darkness can hide them from him.

 (2.) He will call such sins by their proper names, not by the names of love and
                     gallantry, but of whoredom and adultery, whoredom in the single state and
                     adultery in the married state.

 (3.) He will bring them into judgment, he will judge them, either by their own
                 consciences here, and set their sins in order before them for their deep humiliation
                 (and conscience, when awakened, will be very severe upon such sinners), or he will
                 set them at his tribunal at death, and in the last day; he will convict them, condemn
                 them, and cast them out for ever, if they die under the guilt of this sin.

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:33 PM