Sermon Starters

"I Shall Return"

John 14:1-3

Intro.: When the Japanese attacked the Philippines during World War II, General Douglas MacArthur famously promised the people there, "I shall return," and he did. Jesus has promised us that He will return, and He will.

I. He Shall Return Personally

A. "I will come again" (John 14:3)

B. "This same Jesus" (Acts 1:9-11)

C. ‑"The Lord Himself shall descend"
(1 Thess. 4:16)

II. He Shall Return Visibly (Rev. 1:5)

III. He Shall Return Unexpectedly (Mark 13:32-37, 1 Thess. 5:1-3)

IV. He Shall Return Quickly

A. "I come quickly" (Rev. 22:20)

B. Like lightning (Matt. 24:27)

C. "In the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:52)

V. He Shall Return Trimphantly (Matt. 24:30-31)

Conc.: What should we do? 1) Prepare with urgency (Matt. 24:44, Heb. 11:7). 2) Wait with patience (Heb. 10:36-37). 3) Watch with anticipation (Titus 2:13). 4) Work with zeal (Matt. 24:46).

Victor Knowles

The Exercise of Faith-Abel

Hebrews 11:1-4; Genesis 4:1-8; Luke 18:10-14

Intro.: Hebrews 11 contains the most complete treatise on faith to be found in the Bible, and its biographical illustrations show us faith at work in the lives of a variety of people. They were all ordinary, sinful people, but they are mentioned because they believed God.

I. Abel-The First Man of Faith (Heb. 11:1-4)

A. His faith enabled him to approach God and worship Him acceptably.

1. Enoch walked with God (Heb. 11:5).

2. Noah worked for God (Heb. 11:7).

3. But Abel worshipped God.

4. Only in worship can we effectively walk with and work for God.

B. Two ways to approach God (Gen. 4:1-8).

1. True way (Abel)-in faith.

2. False way (Cain)-in selfish works.

II. Abel Exercised Faith by Discounting Human Reasoning and Obeying God

A. Both Cain and Abel were sinners (Rom. 5:12).

B. Cain's offering followed his desires.

1. The fruit of his labor.

2. He chose to do it on his terms, not God's.

C. Abel's offering followed God's instruction.

1. Shed blood (Gen. 3:21, Heb. 9:22).

2. Symbolism of a spotless lamb.

D. The blood of the Lamb

1. The only way to approach a holy God.

2. Faith is the recognition of this fact.

III. Abel Exercised Faith by Acknowledging His Sin and His Need of God's Forgiveness.

A. Abel's sacrifice spoke of man's sin and God's remedy.

B. Cain's offering did not acknowledge his sin.

C. Parallel with the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:10-14).

1. One was proud, blind in his sin, and was rejected.

2. The other was humble, acknowledged his need, and was accepted.

IV. Abel Exercised Faith by Recognizing That No Effort of His Own Could Gain Acceptance Before God

A. Abel's language could have been "Not the labour of my hands can fulfil Thy law's demandsNothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling."

B. Cain's language could have been "All the labour of my hands can fulfil Thy law's demands. Something in my hand I bring"

1. Cain brought his best, but it was not acceptable

2. Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:20, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:5

V. Abel Exercised Faith by Providing an Offering that Foreshadowed Christ.

A. Standing on the promise (Gen. 3:15).

B. Trust in God's faithfulness.

VI. Abel Exercised Faith by Accepting God's Testimony that He Was Righteous

A. "By faith he was commended as a righteous man" (Heb. 11:4).

1. He believed that God had accepted his offering and justified him.

2. His faith brought him assurance of salvation (Heb. 10:19-22).

Conc.: The blood of Jesus "speaks a better word than that of the blood of Abel" (Heb. 12:24). Abel's murder was prophetic, pointing forward to Christ's sacrifice. Jesus' blood declared that the work of Salvation is finished. Abel, by his faith, "still speaks, even though he is dead" (Heb. 11:4), proclaiming that there is still only one way for a guilty sinner to approach a holy God.

Adapted from Francis W. Dixon
Words of Life Ministries

Understanding the Gospel

Galatians 1:1-5

Editor's Note: In this series, Joe will be building expositional sermons using the key word study method and referencing the KeyWord Study Bible © from AMG Publishers. Greek terms are marked with their corresponding number from Strong's dictionary.

Background: The Galatian churches had only a short time before heard and believed the Gospel, but false teachers had come and began to pervert the truth by teaching that men must do something in order to earn salvation. Paul's letter was written to exalt Christ as the supreme Savior with sufficient grace to provide eternal salvation.

Proposition: In Galatians 1:1-5, we will make 3 observations about the Gospel

I. The Origin of the Gospel (1:1-2)

Key Word: "apostle" (apostolos [652], "one sent, apostle, ambassador").

1. The term implies a sender (the Lord) and identifies the one sent with the sender's message (the Gospel).

2. Paul emphasizes that his calling and his message came from God, not man.

II. The Outline of the Gospel (1:3-4)

A. Substitution of Christ ("who gave Himself").

Key Word: "gave" (dontos, aorist, passive participle; from didomi [1325], "To give of one's own accord and with good will. . .")

1. Christ gave Himself as a gift (Matt. 20:28).

2. Salvation comes through Christ's gift (Acts 4:12).

3. Salvation is based only in our relationship to Christ, not our performance.

B. Sin of man ("for our sins").

Key Word: "for" (huper [5228], a preposition meaning "in behalf of, for the sake of.")

1. Introduces purpose of Christ's gift.

2. He gave His life as an offering for our sin (1 Pet. 2:24).

C. Salvation from sin ("that he might deliver us from this present evil age").

Key Word: "deliver" (exelhtai, from exaireo  [1807], "to take or pluck out . . ., deliver, rescue"), used when Peter was freed from jail by the angel (Acts 12:11), et al.

1. We are being rescued from something not desirable.

2. "This present evil age" refers not to contemporary time, but to the whole evil system of time and space dominated by Satan.

3. This is what Christ has delivered us from.

D. Sovereignty of God ("according to the will of our God and Father").

Key Word: "will" (thelema [2307], "determination, choice"; that which results from the process of determinations).

1. That which God has determined to do.

2. His plan for us (John 1:13).

III. The Outcome of the Gospel (1:5)

A. "To whom be glory forever and ever, Amen."

B. Emphasis on "whom" (God).

1. The ultimate outcome of the Gospel is the glory of God.

2. That is Why we minister (2 Cor. 4:15)!

Application: We must get the Gospel right!

Joe Fauth

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
Disciple Banner Ad