Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sermons on Gospel of Mark 8.30.09

Today I had the privilege of filling the pulpit of Nashua OPC for Pastor Steve Miller. It was a blessed and encouraging Lord's Day. For my two sermons, I preached from my overview series on the Gospel of Mark.

The morning sermon "Take Heart; It is the I Am" came from Mark 6.45-52 & Exodus 3.1-17. Here is a preview:
. . . As Jesus leaves communion with the Father to descend from on high to save his people, we find that with his advent on the lake, this is no normal rescue operation. He enters into their predicament, but not with their limitations. The disciples find themselves losing a battle with the elements of this world even with their technology and experience; but Christ is not limited to the technology and experience of this world. Rather, with his advent, he comes empowered with the realities of the heavenly world to come. As such, he does not need a boat, he simply walks across the lake! And he does so unhindered by the storm, the wind and the waves. He simply walks! How miraculous! What a demonstration of the power and present reality of the kingdom of God!

. . . We can become self-reliant, focused only on the immediate trouble and become afraid--and as a result we forget that Christ has come near. We forget that for the sake of glorifying himself he has invaded history and undergone a storm that we could never endure in order to deliver us from the storms of this life and bring us safely to the shores of the life to come.

You can listen to the entire sermon here.

The evening sermon "A Confession and a Cross" came from Mark 8.27-38 & Daniel 7.9-14. Here is a preview:
. . . As fallen sinners, we are experts at making God conform to our image instead of our conforming to his. At the same time, we are only too eager to conform to the image of our idols, whether it be our idea of God or the constantly changing fads and fashions of the world. We cannot let our understanding of Jesus be shaped and defined by what the world wants Jesus to be. We cannot just go along with what others say about Jesus.

. . . We need more than belief in Jesus, we need belief in Jesus as the Christ with a proper understanding of his mission of death and resurrection. The cross and resurrection are programmatic for understanding the mission of the royal son.
. . . But the proper confession of Christ includes not only coming to grips with his cross--but coming to grips with our own. . . . The cross and resurrection of Christ are central to our confession--but also for living out our confession. Just as it si the central unifying principle of the mission of Christ, it becomes the central unifying principle of our lives in Christ that is to shape our very existence. Let us joyfully follow Him, gladly denying ourselves and taking up the cross, for it is Christ that we are called to follow.
Take the shadow of the cross for your abiding, place,
Be content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
Your sinful self your only shame, your glory all the cross.
You can listen to the entire sermon here.

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