Category Archives: Sermon Audio

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

On February 20, 2011, I had the privilege of preaching Mark 3:7–35 at Kenwood Baptist Church, “Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit.”

You must either submit yourself to the authorized teaching of the Apostles of Jesus (Mark 3:13–19) or reject him as either a maniac (cf. Mark 2:21) or one whose power comes from an unclean spirit (cf. Mark 2:22, 30).

Jesus is the bond-breaker, the sick-healer,
The bane of unclean spirits and the binder of the strong man.
He is the truth-speaker, the world’s-ruler,
The King of Israel and her humble servant.
He is the sin-bearer, the hope-giver,
The bridegroom and the lover of our souls.

And they defiled his name
By mentioning it in the same breath with Beelzebul’s.
They attributed the life-giving, rest-bringing, leper-cleansing, bondage-breaking power Jesus exercised
To the prince of demons.

What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? I’ll give you the best answer I’ve got.

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A Day in the Life of Jesus

On January 30, 2011 I had the privilege of preaching Mark 1:14–45 at Kenwood Baptist Church, “A Day in the Life of Jesus.”

In Mark 1:15 Jesus claims that the time is fulfilled (perhaps interpreting Daniel 9:24–27?) and that the kingdom of God is at hand. It’s a bold man who claims that his coming marks the fulfillment of the time and the arrival of God’s kingdom.

These are deadly serious claims. Mark presents Jesus claiming that the culmination of all that has preceded has finally arrived. The whole history of the world has been building, Jesus claims, to this moment.

Do you see this audacity? Do you see this boldness? This is no gentle Jesus, meek and mild. This is a Jesus who comes declaring that the moment has arrived. This is a Jesus who has gone into action with decision and firmness and resolve. This is a Jesus who has come as a peasant but who nevertheless talks like he is the world’s true King.

Do you know this Jesus? No, I mean do you know him? He will not be domesticated. You cannot tame him. His sails will not be trimmed and his rough edges cannot be sanded away. He confronts us as he is. Do you know him?

To know him is to bow. To know him is to be awed by his magnificence. To know him is to be owned by him. To know him is to feel in the depths of your being that he made you, that he sustains you, and that he can therefore command you to storm the very gates of hell and expect to be obeyed.

If you think you can have him as you want him, you don’t know him.
If you think you can line him up next to the other authorities in your life, you don’t know him.
If you think you can decide which aspects of his character you like and which you’ll disregard, you don’t know him.
If you think that he’s weak, let me assure you, you do not know him.
If you think he is optional. You certainly don’t know him.

Let’s get this straight, shall we?

Jesus of Nazareth is Lord of the Universe.

You are either a loyal subject of the world’s true King, or you are a rebel who will be crushed.

If you’d like to hear more about Mark’s presentation of “A Day in the Life of Jesus” from Mark 1:14–45, this link’s for you.

 

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In the Wilderness Prepare the Way of the Lord

On January 16, 2011 I had the privilege of preaching on Mark 1:1–13 at Kenwood Baptist Church, “The Baptist and the Christ.”

In this text John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus in the wilderness, and there are some interesting statements in roughly contemporary texts from Josephus that shed light on the symbolic import of what John was doing in the wilderness.

Josephus, War, 2.258:

“Besides these there arose another body of villains, with purer hands but more impious intentions, who no less than the assassins ruined the peace of the city. Deceivers and imposters, under the pretence of divine inspiration fostering revolutionary changes, they persuaded the multitude to act like madmen, and led them out into the desert under the belief that God would there give them tokens of deliverance. Against them Felix, regarding this as but the preliminary to insurrection, sent a body of cavalry and heavy-armed infantry, and put a large number to the sword” (italics mine).

Similarly Antiquities, 20.168–170:

“. . . called upon the mob to follow them into the desert. For they said that they would show them unmistakable marvels and signs that would be wrought in harmony with God’s design. . . . there came to Jerusalem from Egypt a man who declared that he was a prophet and advised the masses of the common people to go out with him to the mountain called the Mount of Olives . . . For he asserted that he wished to demonstrate from there that at his command Jerusalem’s walls would fall down, through which he promised to provide them an entrance into the city” (italics mine).

Josephus, Antiquities, 20.188:

“. . . the dupes of a certain imposter who had promised them salvation and rest from troubles, if they chose to follow him into the wilderness” (italics mine).

These texts also shed light on something Jesus said in Matthew 24:26–28,

“So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (italics mine).

See also Josephus, Antiquities, 20.97:

“During the period when Fadus was procurator of Judaea, a certain imposter named Theudas persuaded the majority of the masses to take up their possessions and to follow him to the Jordan River. He stated that he was a prophet and that at his command the river would be parted and would provide them an easy passage” (italics mine).

If you’d like to hear my interpretation of the significance of these things, it’s only a click away.

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Jeremy Farmer, Psalm 127, and Taking the Gospel Where Christ Has Not Been Named

This past Sunday we were privileged to hear a fabulous exposition of Psalm 127 in its canonical context at Kenwood Baptist Church from Jeremy Farmer. This was the first sermon I’ve heard on Psalm 127, and Jeremy did a great job tracing out how this Psalm of Solomon fits with the promise to David and is fulfilled in Jesus.

You definitely want to hear this.

If you’re like me, you’re eager to know about and support those who are taking the gospel where Christ has not been named, and Jeremy and his family are doing just that. So I commend him to you. Jeremy is a great preacher who understands biblical theology and does a great job articulating God’s big purpose from the perspective of the whole story.

Check out their website. They have raised about 60% of the support they need, and they hope to be ready to go to Cambodia by May of 2011.

If you want to know how to help them get there, you can visit this page, and you can contact them here.

Here’s how Jeremy concluded his sermon:

The eternal purpose of God is to call out from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, a multitude redeemed by the blood of His Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, over whom He will crown His Son, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King of kings and Lord of lords forever.

This is the passion of the heart of God that cannot be quenched, the obsession of His mind that cannot be denied, the vision of His eye that cannot grow dim, and the destination to which He has committed His omnipotent, immutable, eternal being: a destination He will not abandon. (Daryl Champlin)

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Hasten the Day

Hasten the Day
Prepared for the conclusion of a sermon on Isaiah 40:1–11,  “Prepare the Way of the Lord,” preached at Kenwood Baptist Church on January 2, 2010.

The Lord will come, prepare the way;
The Christ is slain, hasten the day;
He rose again, so we can say
To all who hear: Prepare the way!

His glory shines; his arm will rule.
He will repay to every fool
Who won’t repent the deeds done cruel.
Come Lord Jesus, in wrath to rule.

Now see the Judge so tender grow,
And steadfast lovingkindness show,
To all who their own weakness know,
And therefore take his easy yoke.

Like heavens high above the earth,
His love toward those who know his worth.

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Sermons on Nehemiah

In God’s kindness we made our way through both Ezra and Nehemiah at Kenwood Baptist Church. The sermons on Ezra can be found here.

May the Lord bless his word.

September 12, 2010, Nehemiah 1–2, “Pray and Act”

September 19, 2010, Nehemiah 3–4, “Building While the Nations Rage”

October 3, 2010, Nehemiah 5, “A Wartime Lifestyle on a Millionaire’s Budget”

October 10, 2010, Nehemiah 6–7, “Press On”

October 24, 2010, Technical difficulty – Nehemiah 8, “God’s Word Forms God’s People” was not recorded

October 31, 2010, Nehemiah 9, “Repentance”

November 14, 2010, Nehemiah 10, “Making a Covenant to Keep the Covenant”

November 28, 2010, Nehemiah 11–12, “Repopulating the City and Dedicating the Wall”

December 5, 2010, Nehemiah 13, “The Ongoing Need for Correction and Repentance”

December 26, 2010, “The Messianic Hope in Ezra–Nehemiah”

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1 Peter 5:1-11, Shepherd, Submit, Stand

It was my privilege to preach at the installation of Ryan Bishop as the Pastor of Graham Bible Church in Graham, TX this past Sunday.

The apostle Peter, the rock, follows Christ by humbling himself to serve others, identifying himself as a fellow-elder as he exhorts elders to model Christ-like self-sacrificing shepherding (1 Pet 5:1-4).

Then he calls the congregations to Christ-like humble submission to authority (“I came not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me”) as he calls them to be subject to the elders in humility (1 Pet 5:5-7).

Peter then explains that Christ-like shepherding and Christ-like submission are enacted in Christ-like standing against Satan (1 Pet 5:8-9).

He concludes with a promise and a doxology (1 Pet 5:10-11).

Spurgeon, being dead, yet speaketh, and here are some of his eloquent statements that appeared in this sermon:

“It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.” (Lectures to My Students, 2).

On the pastor’s job description:

“To face the enemies of truth, to defend the bulwarks of the faith, to rule well in the house of God, to comfort all that mourn, to edify the saints, to guide the perplexed, to bear with the froward, to win and nurse souls—all these and a thousand other works beside are not for a Feeble-mind or a Ready-to-halt, but are reserved for Great-heart whom the Lord has made strong for himself. Seek then strength from the Strong One, wisdom from the Wise One, in fact, all from the God of all” (Lectures to My Students, 12).

On seeing the saints safely home:

“I am occupied in my small way, as Mr. Great-heart was employed in Bunyan’s day.  I do not compare myself with that champion, but I am in the same line of business.  I am engaged in personally-conducted tours to Heaven; and I have with me, at the present time, dear Old Father Honest:  I am glad he is still alive and active.  And there is Christiana, and there are her children.  It is my business, as best I can, to kill dragons, and cut off giants’ heads, and lead on the timid and trembling.  I am often afraid of losing some of the weaklings.  I have the heart-ache for them; but, by God’s grace, and your kind and generous help in looking after one another, I hope we shall all travel safely to the river’s edge.  Oh, how many have I had to part with there!  I have stood on the brink, and I have heard them singing in the midst of the stream, and I have almost seen the shining ones lead them up the hill, and through the gates, into the Celestial City” (source).

Have a listen here: 1 Peter 5:1-11, Shepherd, Submit, Stand

What is the greatest honor you can imagine? Perhaps the medal of honor given to an American soldier? The honor that Christ the King will bestow on those who served him faithfully so far surpasses that as to make the comparison of the two seem inappropriate. The church is God’s cause in the world. She is Christ’s own bride. The work done in the church has eternal ramifications and it pertains to all nations.

There is no other gospel that saves, no institution more significant, no agenda more important, no task more urgent, no cause more noble, no message more true, no office more dependant on the character of those who discharge it, and no reward greater than what Peter describes here.

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