Sermons on Sin

The Roaring Lion

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God…

Elders Who Shepherd and Members Who Submit

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you…

Forgive

Jesus said a lot about his expectations that his followers forgive people who sin against us, seemingly going so far as to say that God’s forgiveness of us hinges on our forgiving others. It’s embedded in the Lord’s Prayer (“Forgive us, as we forgive those who sin against us.”), and in the story above, the forgiven servant who withholds forgiveness from his servant finds himself being punished severely. And yet many people–even Christians–still harbor bitterness in their hearts from offenses…

Renew a Right Spirit Within Me

Our theme for 2021 is RENEW, and on the first Sunday of each month, I plan to address a different aspect of renewal. This Sunday we’ll focus our attention on a famous psalm of David. The background of Psalm 51 is his sin with Bathsheba and his being convicted of his sin by Nathan the prophet. [To appreciate the context and to get a feel for David’s remorse, you might read the whole psalm.] David is devastated by what he’s…

This Man Went Down to his House Justified

This week we enter a four-week stretch in the One Word devotional readings where we focus on the nature of salvation. These four themes are Justification, Propitiation, Redemption, and Atonement. Tomorrow we’ll study the first of those–Justification–by using a story Jesus once told about two men who went to the temple to pray. One pleased God, and one didn’t. The punch line is verse 14: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.” That…

Set Free: How the Gospel Rescues You From Guilt, Shame, and Fear

As you know, I haven’t preached at Hoover for the last two weeks, but there’s a theme that unites what we’ve been reading in the One Word devotional book and what we’ll read in the next couple of weeks. Two weeks ago the theme was Worry, this week it’s Shame, and next week it’s Guilt. When I was trying to think of a way to tie the ideas together, I ran across a book called, The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures. It…

Truth Matters

Pilate’s question makes it sound like he would fit quite well in our post-truth society. Asking “What is truth?” with a tone of skepticism is fairly common these days. As we studied a couple of weeks ago when our emphasis was on Scripture, most folks are comfortable with “truths” but not “Truth.” They’re even less comfortable with the idea of the Truth being a Person. For whatever reason, Jesus wasn’t squishy on truth. Standing before the person who–from a human…