Sermons from December 2020
Isaiah 7:1-16 contains the famous prophecy of the virgin giving birth to a son named “Immanuel” and is part of the larger “book of Immanuel” in chapters 7-12. What was the context of this prophecy? The people of Judah and the house of David faced terrible trials as enemies seemed to be surrounding them on every side. What hope did the prophets give the people? The coming of the Messiah. Though the troubles of life tempt us to take our eyes off of Christ, ultimately, he is the only hope we have.
In John’s famous prologue that opens his gospel (1:1-18), John opens with a description of Christ going back to eternity. Christ, as the eternal Son of God, existed in eternity with the Father and became flesh to save those who receive him from sin. He is not an ordinary person, not merely a good teacher, he is God himself, and therefore there is a requirement to receive him as such for all people.
In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus says that the people of God are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This is what the church is by nature and therefore her purpose is to glorify God in all that she does. The church is not to retreat from the world but permeate it to spread the gospel of grace to a lost and dying world.
It can often feel like our lives are a journey through the wilderness like the Israelites in the desert. In Deuteronomy 8:1-20, Moses shows God’s good purposes in making his people go through such difficulties. Above all he shows that God makes us go through these things that we might learn that “man does not live by bread alone but by everything that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 5:3-12 is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount and Christ’s famous beatitudes where he makes surprising statements about who will receive the blessings of the Kingdom of God, which has come with Christ the King. Though the King has come, there will still be suffering in this world, and those who maintain godliness in the context of waiting for the full consummation of the Kingdom will have its blessings on the last day.
In Deuteronomy 7:1-11 Moses exhorted the people of God to be fully separate from the world and even destroy the altars of the people in the land when they enter it. In Deuteronomy 7:12-26 Moses continues this theme but answers the question, “Can the people of God actually defeat these other nations?” God calls us to oppose the world, but he also promises that the world will triumph in the end. God will give his people the kingdom.
In Matthew 5:1-2 Jesus gives his famous Sermon on the Mount. He gives this sermon as the reigning King and lawgiver of the coming Kingdom of God, showing what true devotion to God looks like. Christ is the King as David’s son, the lawgiver as the new Moses, and the reigning Son of God. As such he teaches with authority, showing what being a true member of God’s kingdom looks like.
In Deuteronomy 7:1-11, Moses gives instructions to the Israelites to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan completely. Such instruction is difficult to receive today. What does it mean? For Christians, it means complete separation from and opposition to the idolatry of the world because of God’s love for them.