Sermons by Mitchell Gregory
As Jesus hangs on the cross in darkness, He cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He is quoting from Psalm 22:1, a psalm which foretells the future suffering of the Messiah. Jesus is not only enduring the agonies of the crucifixion, but is also experiencing being abandoned by God the Father as He bears the sin of the world. Jesus is absorbing the judgement of God we deserve.
Exodus 3:1-6 describes the calling of Moses in an extraordinary event. God reveals Himself as omnipotent over creation as He speaks to Moses from a burning bush which is never consumed. God calls “Moses, Moses” with the repetition of the name signifying affection. He instructs Moses to remove his sandals because the holy God (without equal / without sin) is in this place. Moses responds in fear and humility; God responds with reassurance and sends Moses out to serve him.
“Jacob, Jacob.” God spoke with affection to Jacob in a moment of deep spiritual significance and tells Jacob not to fear as he prepares to enter the land of Egypt. God reassures Jacob that He will keep His promises and prove His faithfulness. Like Jacob, we need a faithful God and God is faithful. Our response must be to embrace God’s promises and act in obedience.
God is always worthy of our trust and obedience, even when His dealings with us are baffling from our perspective. Abraham believed the promises of God in spite of the perplexity of God’s command to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The Lord responded to the obedience of Abraham by calling out “Abraham, Abraham,” and providing a substitute sacrifice. Like Abraham, let us be reminded that no one ever trusted God in vain.
The repetition of a name indicates great urgency paired with affection and intimacy. Jesus gently reminds Martha that our first duty and highest privilege is to humbly listen to Him. We often live shallow lives because we neglect the discipline of listening to Jesus through His word. Like Joshua, let us say to the Lord, “What does my lord say to his servant” Joshua 5:14 (ESV)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not…
God’s love gift of His son: It is free: we cannot earn God’s love. It is unending: a certain promise of eternal life. It is sacrificial and boundless: It is available to all, no matter the depth of our sin or the frailty of our faith.
Faith is the essential spiritual requirement to receive eternal life, according to John 3:16. But what exactly is saving faith? We must know and agree with the facts of the gospel that are explained in the Bible. Additionally, we must commit ourselves to Christ, asking Him for His gift of love and mercy, entrusting ourselves to Him. Although we may only have a “scrap of faith” mixed with some unbelief, God invites us to put our faith in Christ and find forgiveness and grace.
John 3:16 is the story of story of: The Greatest Danger: Our greatest danger is perishing, being condemned to eternal ruin, separated from the goodness of Christ after we die. The Greatest Rescue: Our greatest rescue is by God who so loved the world, the world that was hostile to Him and that rebelled against Him, that He sent His only Son to die for our rebellion that we might not perish, but have eternal life. The Greatest Promise: Our greatest promise is the that we can have eternal life and it can be our present possession that cannot be taken away.
God lovingly and freely gives the gift of eternal life to all who believe in His Son. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:40 (ESV) Eternal life is a present reality that we possess now, an eternal relationship that will be fully realized in the resurrection when we will enjoy Him forever. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)
John 3:16 expresses the depth of God’s great love for us. The holy self-existent God who holds us accountable loved the world: all of humanity. In love He gave His Son, Emmanuel, God with us, to die as a substitutionary sacrifice and pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus calls us to trust and believe in Him so that we might not perish but find everlasting life.
Hebrews 3:3 reminds us to pray for out persecuted brothers and sisters. Continue to remember those in prison, as if you were together with them prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Here are a few ways we can pray: Pray that the persecuted church (and we as well) will be unafraid and faithful (Revelation 2:8-11). Pray for God to fill them with the Holy Spirit and enable them to speak and act boldly with clarity, wisdom, and courage (Acts 4:31). Pray that they will be joyful, rejoicing that Jesus and His name are worthy of any cost (Acts 5:41).
It is impossible to live a life of Christian holiness without the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished by letting God’s Word saturate our lives (cf. Colossians 3:16-27) and by asking the Spirit to control us. Lives filled with the Holy Spirit are characterized by worship form the heart, gratitude for God’s presence, and sovereignty, and submission to one another out of reverence for Christ.
What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 4:25-32 gives examples of how believers can grieve the Hoy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God in Deity and in love for us. Whenever a person participates in lies, sinful anger, stealing, corrupt speech, and animosity we fail to live up to our confession of faith and we grieve the Holy Spirit. Instead, let us pursue truthfulness, generosity, encouragement and compassion.
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague spiritual force, co-equal with God in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit lives in believers, a forever present Helper who reveals the truths of Scripture to us. It is important to follow the command of Jesus to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit to increasingly fill us and work in our lives.
In the verse above Jesus makes this promise to all believers that not only will we carry on His work, but we will do His work in a greater way than He did. What could this possibly mean that we could do greater works? Pastor Gregory breaks down this verse for us and shows us how the work of spreading the gospel to reach others is an even greater work.
The only way that we accurately know the Father is through knowing Jesus. God the Father and Jesus share one divine essence – “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). God’s character and nature are on full display in Jesus. Jesus makes the Father known by His words and by His mighty works.
Jesus plainly claims to be the exclusive path to the Father. In scripture: “I am” is the sacred name of the eternal, self-existing God (Exodus 3:14). “The way” is a path that begins under God’s judgement and ends in the presence of God in His house. The only path is Jesus, our sin-bearing substitute. “The truth”,Jesus came to bear witness to the truth that brings us freedom. (John 8:32) “The life” Those who believe in Christ Have crossed over from death to life! (John 5:24)
In John 14, Jesus comforts His disciples and explains to them how to live for his glory in this world. He encourages them to believe in Him and to trust in the promise of heaven. Heaven is a real place, available to all who believe in the Gospel. It is our eternal home, a place filled with joy and love. There we will be with Jesus “…at home with the Lord.”
Why does our celebration of the Lord’s Supper matter? Jesus commanded us to celebrate communion. We should share Christ’s fervent desire to participate because it represents Christ’s death that brings us forgiveness and salvation. It’s a memorial meal that looks back at Jesus, and a family meal that reminds us to look around at those with whom we share unity in Christ. Communion is a victorious meal where we look forward to Christ’s return in glory, and it is a time to give thanks and worship.