Category: Sermon Notes

The Necessity of the Cross

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: The Agony and the Ecstasy

TITLE:  The Necessity of the Cross

Scripture:  I Cor. 1:18-25

 

I.    IT WAS NECESSARY TO FULFILL GOD’S PLAN    

“A void has opened in the heart of Christianity. Where the cross once stood is now a vacuum.”

Remember these two words: Penal substitution.  Penal denotes (punishment). Substitution speaks of a (replacement).  Penal substitution atonement is where one person bears the penalty someone else deserves.

Plain teaching of Scripture: “Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom.5:6) “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom.5:8)  “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Rom.4:25) (NLT)

“The cross is a powerful interruption to our ‘easy way out’ thinking. It catches us up short. It confronts our vain wishes. The horrible suffering and death of the perfect Messiah, Jesus, on a criminal’s cross, outside of the city on a hill of death, tells us in no uncertain terms that when it comes to humanity’s deepest and inescapable problem, there is no easy way out. None.” Tripp

 

II.   IT WAS NECESSARY TO PAY FOR SIN (and our salvation)                 

What is sin?

1)     Doing what (God forbids).

2)     Not doing what the (Word of God requires).

4 essential things about God’s forgiveness:

1.     It is (inclusive).

2.     It is (for now).

3.     It is for those (who want it).

4.     Leads to (godly living).

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Title: The Heart of the Cross- Romans 3: 9-31

 

 

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The Shadow of the Cross

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: The Agony and the Ecstasy

TITLE:  The Shadow of the Cross

Scripture:  Psalm 130

 

I.     THE CROSS CASTS ITS SHADOW                

Six lessons the shadow of the cross teaches us:

        1. (Who we are).
        2. (What we need).
        3. (Who God is).
        4. (What God offers us).
        5. (How we should live).
        6. (Hope and courage) is ours for the asking.

From Journey to the Cross by Paul David Tripp

“Never perfect, but perfectly forgiven…This is life as we know it forgiven and free, life as we know it more abundantly” Petra song

II.   THE CROSS OFFERS ITS RELIEF                

 

Thoughts from Psalm 130:

1.  One of the benefits of the cross is that it meets us (in the depths). See Ps.69:1-2

2.  (Forgiveness of sin).

“Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.”  Ex. 34: 6-7a  (NLT)

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Title: The Necessity of the Cross- I Cor. 1:18-25

 

 

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Be Sensible-Be Wise

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Be Sensible-Be Wise

Scripture: Eccl. 10

 

It is possible to live our entire lives from the wrong (perspective). Believing we are right, we can be wrong.

 

I.    BE SENSIBLE        

Three main categories of wisdom vs folly:

1.     (Advantages vs Disadvantages)   “It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.” Pr.17:12 (NLT)   “Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.” Pr.18:6 (NLT)

2.     (Humility and Patience) vs. Popularity and Partiality.

3.     (Risks vs. Stupidity).

 

II.   BE WISE     

Two advantages of being wise:

1)     Wisdom prepares the way for (success).  (v.10) “Using a dull ax requires great strength so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” (NLT)

2)     Wisdom (thinks ahead), before the fact.

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Title: The Shadow of the Cross- Psalm 130

 

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Your Destiny

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Your Density Destiny

Scripture: Eccl. 9: 1-10

 

(Death) is the great equalizer. “Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes.”

 

I.    DEATH WILL RENDER LIFE (MEANINGLESS)

Four basic philosophies which do not work:

1.     (Materialism). “Supply yourself!”

2.     (Hedonism) “Enjoy yourself!”

3.     (Humanism) “Exalt yourself!”

4.     (Fatalism) “Resign yourself!”

Since godliness is not a guarantee of (prosperity or comfort), we cannot look at our circumstances to determine if (God is for us or against us).

II.   DEATH CAN RENDER LIFE (MEANINGFUL)

6 things ways we should enjoy life:

1)     He says eat your (bread with pleasure). (v.7a)

2)     He says drink your wine with a (glad heart). (v.7b)

3)     He tells them to wear (white all the time).  (v.8a)

4)     He tells them to put (oil on their head).  (v.8b)

5)     He tells them to (enjoy life with your wife). (v.9)

6)     He tells them to (enjoy work) and (their activities). (v.10)

 

“The only way to get rid of death is to get rid of sin.”

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Be Sensible-Be Wise- Eccl 10

 

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The Hole

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  The Hole

Scripture: Eccl. 5: 8 – 6:12

 

“Our hearts are restless, O God, until they find their rest in you.”  Augustine

 

THE HOLE EXPOSED        

“I looked at life from both sides now/From give and take and still somehow/It’s love’s illusions that I recall/I really don’t know love at all.”  That song is a song about (futility).

It is very easy to get (envious) of what others have. Envy can lead to a stronger emotion called (jealousy).  Then the (disquiet) kicks in. The feeling of (“It’s not fair”) follows. The feeling of (dissatisfaction) becomes real, as does the feeling of (“I want more”).

Another downer from Solomon: (failure) is a real possibility.

 

THE HOLE FILLED      

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”  William Butler Yeats

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”  Plato

Three truths we must come to grip with:

1.     God is (sovereign)- (v.10a)

2.     We (are not)- (v.10b)

3.     Disputing those is a (waste of time)- (v.11)

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Your Density Destiny- Eccl 9: 1-10

 

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Religion Investigated

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Religion Investigated

Scripture: Eccl. 5: 1-7

 

“When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God…we’re doing it for ourselves because God takes pleasure when we’re happy…When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really, you’re doing it for yourself.”  (Quote by Victoria Osteen)

 “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Westminster Shorter Catechism

“It is possible to go to church and hear little about God and much about you.” One religious leader

 

I.    NO HEART, NO MEANING

Worship has become a whole lot about me-(my desires, my likes, my preferences) and a lot less about God.

“The essence of sin is that man seeks his own in everything, even in God.” Luther

Three religious rituals Solomon exposes:

1.     (Approaching God) (v.1)  “As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.”

2.     (Prayer) (Vv.2-3)   See also Mt. 6:7-8

3.     (Commitment) (Vv.4-6)

II.   RIGHT HEART, CONFIDENT APPROACH           

“Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead.” (V.7 in NLT)

See story in Luke 18: 9-14

When we come to God we must approach Him with (reverence and awe). He is not some hack we can use or blow off. He is not our homeboy or our co-pilot. He is the (captain). He is the One worthy of our (worship and adoration). He is worthy of our (respect).

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: The Hole- Eccl 5:8-6:12

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Pitfalls and Platforms

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Pitfalls and Platforms

Scripture: Eccl. 3: 16-4:16

 

I.    PITFALLS TO AVOID           

1.     First pitfall to avoid is (Injustice). Two lessons Solomon teaches us about injustice:

1)     Injustice will only be (temporary).

2)     Injustice reveals our (beastlike qualities).

2.     Second pitfall to avoid is (Tyranny).   “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

3.     Third pitfall to avoid is (Rivalry).

4.     Three other pitfalls listed for us:

1)     (Stupidity) v.5

2)     (Misery) Vv.7-8

3)     (Popularity) Vv.13-16

II.   PLATFORMS TO BUILD UPON           

Platform #1: (Contentment)  See I Timothy 6:6-8

“Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasures and inner turmoil. A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.” Pr.15:16-17 (NLT)

“Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.” Pr.16:8 (NLT)

 

Platform #2: (Companionship)

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Religion Investigated- Eccl 5:1-7

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Time Travel

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Time Travel

Scripture: Eccl. 3: 1-15

 

I.    TIME HAS NO MEANING WITHOUT GOD

Solomon says it all comes down to a life of measurable chunks which he calls (matters). The NLT calls them (activities)

Keep in mind what Solomon has been teaching us in the previous two chapters: if this cursed world is all there is, then all our actions in this life are futile.

One writer calls this poem (the quiet versus the disquiet).

A couple questions to consider:

1.     What is the (profit?)

2.     What is the (purpose?)

II.   TIME HAS MEANING WITH GOD          

God’s most impeccable timing is in Gal.4:4- “When the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman…” (NLT)

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Rom.5:6 (NLT)

What is verse 11 teaching us:

1)     God has made everything (beautiful) in its time.

2)     God has put (eternity) in our hearts.

3)     God has not (revealed) His eternal plan.

3 applications:

1.     Wait for God’s time.

2.     Live your whole life knowing that there is a time for you to die.

3.     Make good use of whatever time you have.

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Pitfalls and Platforms- Eccl 4:1-16

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Work, Eat, Drink, and What?

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Work, Eat, Drink, and What?

Scripture: Eccl. 2: 18-26

 

I.     THE EMPTY PURSUIT OF WORK          

Brief “Previously on Life Matters” recap

Verse 18: we are about the read the diary of a (workaholic).

Turn to Luke 12: 13-21

 

II.   THE EMPTY PURSUIT OF DEBAUCHERY         

(“I said in my heart”) is so counterintuitive to what we could or should do.  That phrase can be paraphrased as (“I resolved”).

The (sensual life) will get you nowhere.

Solomon says enjoying life is (from God).

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Time Travel- Eccl.3:1-15

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Life is Sacred

2021 THEME: Life on the Edge

Series: Life Matters

TITLE:  Life is Sacred

Scripture: Psalm 139: 13-18

 

Over 20 million babies have been casualties of being unwanted. “95+% of children killed by abortion are killed for reasons of convenience; not incest, not rape, not the physical condition of the unborn, and not the threatened health of the mother.” (Chuck Swindoll)

I.   HOW PRO-LIFE IS THE BIBLE?         

Scriptures to consider:

1)     Gen.4:1

2)     Job 3:3

3)     Psalm 51:5

4)     Luke 1:41. Same word used later in Luke 2:12,16

5)     Isaiah 49:1

6)     Jeremiah 1:5

7)     Judges 13

 

II.   HOW DOES GOD SEE THE UNBORN?       

Psalm 139 breakdown:

1.     Verse 13- Two key words

a)     Inward parts is the word for (kidneys).

b)     Knitted literally means (to interweave).

2.     Verse 14- David breaks into spontaneous praise for the (way he is made).

3.     Verse 15- David refocuses on the womb.

a)     Frame actually means (bony substance).

b)     All this takes place in (secret).

4.     Verse 16- Removes any doubt that any conception is an (accident) or a (surprise).

 

Theme: Life on the Edge / Series: Life Matters

Title: Work, Eat, Drink, and What? Eccl.2:18-26

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