Sermon Starters

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Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

Option #1: "The Kind of Spirit God Gave You"
I Timothy 1:7-10

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

I. Not the timid kind--vv7a

Word Pictures in the New Testament: a spirit of fearfulness (pneuma deilias). Here pneuma is the charisma of verse 6, the human spirit as endowed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15). Deilia is an old word (deilos, deido˘) and always in a bad sense of cowardice, only here in NT

 II. But, rather, the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline--v7b

Of power (dunameo˘s): one of Paul’s characteristic words (Romans 1:16). Of love (agape˘s): one of the gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). "Which drives out fear," (Lock) as in 1 John 4:18. Of discipline (so˘phronismou): late KoinÚ word (from so˘phronizo˘, to control), self-control, here only in NT. See 1 Timothy 2:9 for so˘phrosune˘.

III. Where this spirit leads

    A. A life set apart for His service by grace--v9a-b

    B. It goes back to the beginning of time--v9c

Called us with a holy calling (kalesantos kle˘sei hagia˘i): probably dative, "to a holy calling." Kle˘sis here apparently not the invitation, but the consecrated service, "the upward calling" (Philippians 3:14). Purpose (prothesin): see Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:11 for prothesin: which was given before times eternal (pro chrono˘n aio˘nio˘n); see Titus 1:2.

    C. It testifies of Jesus’ destruction of death and the immortality He brings--v10

But hath now been manifested: see Titus 1:3; Colossians 1:26; 3:4. By the appearing (dia te˘s epiphaneias): only here of the Incarnation (except the verb, Titus 2:11; 3:4), but for the second coming see Titus 2:13. Who abolished death (katarge˘santos men ton thanaton): first aorist active participle of katargeo˘, the very phrase in 1 Corinthians 15:26; Heb 2:14. Brought to light (pho˘tisantos de): first aorist active participle of pho˘tizo˘, literary KoinÚ word for which see note on 1 Corinthians 4:5; Ephesians 1:18, to turn the light on. Life and incorruption (zo˘e˘n kai aphtharsian): the opposite of thanatos, "life and immortality" (unchangeable life).

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Children's Message


Today’s Bible text speaks about ETERNAL LIFE. Since you’re young and healthy and full of energy, you probably don’t think about eternal life very often. I didn’t either when I was your age--at least not until someone close to me died; then I thought about eternal life a lot.

A close relative of mine had cancer and I watched him waste away from a strong man of 250 pound to a man who weighed less than 100 when he died. When you see something like that, you think about what the Bible means when it talks about eternal life.

Pastors watch this happen often with people in our churches. None of those people would want to live with their sickness forever. So ETERNAL LIFE is much more than just life that never ends. We’re talking about the quality of life, too; by that I mean the eternal life Jesus gives is happy and joyful, the kind of life you’d never want to end. I’m sure you’ve had some good times that you wished would never end.

Listen to what Paul wrote about this:

(2 Tim 1:10): Jesus (who) has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

When we rise from the dead on the last day, death will be out of business. The Bible says there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old things will be gone. When Jesus rose from the dead, he didn’t look like a man who had been crucified. Some of his old friends didn’t even recognize him. I don’t know how old you and I will be when he wakes us up from the dead, but I do know that you will like the life he gives you and you will thank God that it will never end.

That’s why we call it ETERNAL LIFE. It is the life that is really life, seeing God face to face forever in the joyful celebration of our Father’s house.

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Option #2: "Faith: God's Answer To Our "Why?" Questions"
Habakkuk 1:1-3; 2:1-4
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: all things are in the hands of the Lord, the One who created all things
The Problem: we feel abandoned by God; preoccupation with understanding, personal revelation and justice
The Promise: God in Christ has acted and will act on our behalf and, through the Holy Spirit, empowers us, like Habakkuk, to wait, watch, "write" and reveal (proclaim the Gospel)
(The above is inspired by and adapted from a homiletical help by Henry Gerike)  
1. Faithfulness to God is the willingness to choose to live life a certain way under God, even when the "vision" may be far off in the future and the present circumstances are bleak and barren. (Dennis Bratcher)
2. God will see you through what He leads you to.
3. Gracious Redeemer, shake this slumber from my soul!

    Say to me now, "Awake, awake! and Christ shall make thee whole."
    Lay to thy mighty hand! Alarm me in this hour,
    and make me fully understand the thunder of thy power.

    Give me on thee to call, always to watch and pray,
    lest I into temptation fall and cast my shield away;
    for each assault prepared and ready may I be,
    for ever standing on my guard and looking up to thee.

    O do thou always warn my soul of evil near!
    When to the right or left I turn, thy voice still let me hear;
    "Come back! this is the way, come back, and walk herein!"
    O may I hearken and obey and shun the paths of sin!

    Thou seest my feebleness; Jesus, be thou my power,
    My help and refuge in distress, my fortress and my tower;
    Give me to trust in thee. Be thou my sure abode,
    my horn, and rock, and buckler be, my Saviour, and my God.

    Myself I cannot save, myself I cannot keep,
    but strength in thee I surely have, whose eyelids never sleep;
    my soul to thee alone now therefore I commend;
    thou, Jesus, love me as thy own, and love me to the end.

    (Charles Wesley)

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