Sermon: True Faith Believes Enough to Act Matthew 17:14-20

Truth Taught- True faith believes enough to act and will accomplish great things

Introduction

Jesus, Peter, James, and John have made it off the mountain where the three disciples witnessed the transfiguration of Christ.  Now, they are back to the present and times of trial, back to the real world. 

What’s been going on down at the bottom of the mountain while Jesus has been gone?  Not much different than when Moses was coming down Mount Sinai.  The other disciples have been struggling.  They were engaged in an attempted exorcism which has gone terribly wrong.  What was the problem? 
There is something strangely similar here to the account of Moses descending Mount Sinai and finding unbelief at the bottom.  So, too Jesus finds a lack of faith when He descends the mountain.  The disciples should be carrying on His ministry with authority but cannot due to a lack of faith.

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Sermon: …Until The Son Of Man Is Raised From The Dead: Matthew 17:9-13

Truth Taught- Jesus promises His disciples that He will be raised from the dead

Introduction

Jesus is placing His disciples on a theological fast track.  He is pressing them with one concept after another and they are just barely keeping up.
I remember in Biblical Greek Class the book spoke about a fog in which we would live for a year.  What the author meant was there will be times when you feel frustrated because you think you’re not getting it.  But if you keep at it you will discover that you are getting it.  The fog was where you currently were but if you look back to about two weeks ago, you understand the material then but not so much the material right now.  That was fog.  I remember going home after class a wondering why I took the class in the first place, after all, it was an elective.  None of my friends took it.  But God had given us a very good professor and I was there to learn not just take the easy road.  Then I’d sit down and discover that I actually was learning the material and by the end of the year I had a pretty good grasp of the Basics of Biblical Greek.
This is where the disciples are.  Jesus is teaching them so much so quickly that they are in the fog.  However, as time goes on they won’t stay there.

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Sermon: The Paradox of the Christian LifeMatthew 16:24-28

Truth Taught- Jesus commands us to live a life of complete and consistent self-denial

Introduction

Peter has made the amazing declaration that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God and Jesus has declared that God the Father has revealed this truth to him.  Then, in our text from last week Jesus explained to Peter what His Messiahship means, namely, that He has been sent to die and then be raised on the third day.  When Peter hears this, he rebukes Jesus.  Jesus’ version of His messiahship and Peter’s version didn’t match.   Jesus knew that His Kingdom meant gathering a people for Himself and that meant He had to die for their sins.  This is the reality of what being the Messiah means.  Peter had a different idea.  His was here and now.  Jesus was so popular and He could do so many things.  He could remove Rome and restore the glory to Jerusalem and Israel.  This was the Messiah Peter envisioned, not a dead Messiah.
So, we saw what Jesus’ Messiahship meant for Him.  Now today, let’s look together at what it means for His disciples throughout the centuries.  Here’s what Jesus’ Messiahship means for us today as Christians.  As we read this, we will need to reckon with what Jesus tells all of His followers throughout the ages.  How will we react?  Will we be like Peter rebuking Jesus because what Jesus tells us about being a follower is not what we envisioned Christianity to be or will we accept and embrace Jesus’ commands?  Like every passage in the Scriptures, we must deal with what we read.  We either accept it and obey it or we reject it and disobey what it says. 

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Sermon: The Paradox of the Messiah Matthew 16:21-23

Truth Taught- Jesus’ mission as Messiah is the great paradox: the only path to glory is through suffering and death.

Now that His followers were convinced beyond any doubt that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God Jesus begins His shift to teach them what being the Messiah means and what the Messiah’s mission must involve. 
Jesus spoke vaguely before but know after their belief is shown to be genuine our Lord moves forward to explain to them what being the Messiah means for Him and for them as well.
Matthew records for us three separate occasions when Jesus told His disciples what His mission finally entails…Here’s what being the Messiah means…   

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Sermon: Who Do You Say That I Am? Matthew 6:13-18

Truth Taught- Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of God

Today we are going to see the disciples are given their midterm test.  This test has only one question.  Get it right you get an A, miss it and you will repeat the first half of the semester again.

I remember in seminary taking a midterm exam that was very unique.  It had 100 questions and it contained material I had never seen before.  I had studied all the notes, read all the assigned reading, studied all the quizzes and was ready for the exam.  This test was not what I’d studied.  I had never even heard this stuff before.  None of the questions were a part of the class.  This test had nothing on it that was in any of the reading, the class notes or on the quizzes.  I had no sufficient data to answer the questions.

The same sort of thing was true when Jesus gave His exam.  The disciples did not have sufficient data to arrive at the correct answer.

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Sermon: Baptized Into Jesus’ Death and Life Romans 5:20-6:12

Truth Taught- Water baptism is the earthly portrayal of the heavenly reality

1.  Water Baptism Rightly Follows Salvation

Promised in prophets in the Old Testament for those in the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon the church by Jesus Christ through the power of his resurrection. The Spirit now brings believers into communion with the Father and the Son through the new birth, fills the believer with the love of God, works holiness in the lives of believers, and convinces people of the truth of the gospel.

When we believe the Gospel and are saved by grace through faith we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, He indwells us as believers.  This Spirit baptism at salvation is a gift to all who believe.  

In the Book of Acts where the Holy Spirit is highlighted throughout we see that believers are saved and indwelt with the Holy Spirit called the Spirit Baptism and then those believers who have already been saved are baptized in water.  We see very clearly that water baptism rightly follows salvation.

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