Sermons by Mitchell Gregory (Page 2)
The Cross Benediction (Revelation 1:5b-6) reminds us that Christ’s love for us has been demonstrated by His death on the cross. Christ’s redemption saves us from the penalty and power of sin now and from the presence of sin in eternity. We are now part of His kingdom, the sovereign rule of Christ in our hearts and lives. We are to gratefully serve as priests, making Him known to others.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:16, the apostle Paul pronounces a benediction of peace. The Lord Jesus is our source of peace, reconciling us to God (Isaiah 53:5). His peace is sufficient because He is sovereign, and His peace is certain because He is always with us (Philippians 4:17 and 2 Timothy 4:17). Our messiah is Emmanuel, God with us, the prince of peace.
Biblical hope is not wishful thinking. It is a confident expectation based on the promises of God. Paul’s benediction of hope in Romans 15:13 reminds us that God is our source and continuing supplier of hope. He is able to fill us with joy and peace, even in difficult times, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our role is to place our belief and trust in God.
In Romans 15:5-6, Paul pronounces a benediction of unity upon his readers. The benediction encourages them to live in harmony and to welcome each other. Unity among believers matters because it brings glory to God, it follows the example of Christ, and it is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our Unity should be a witness to a watching world (John 17:20-23). We are to be a unified body, a family, a fellowship.
A benediction is a sincere, earnest wish for all who hear it to receive by faith. Paul’s New Testament letters are filled with benedictions of grace because he understood the reality, necessity, and wonder of God’s grace. Grace is the undeserved favor of God, lavished upon us and available because of Christs’s sacrificial death on the cross. “Grace to you” refers to our salvation apart from our own works. “Grace with you” refers to our ability to access God’s grace in our lives each day.
To worship God better we must know God and take up His character. Know that the Lord is God, know that He is good, gracious, steadfast in His love. He is truly worthy of thankful praise and devoted worship.
The last command of the Bible is “Worship God” (Revelation 22:9). Jesus warned the people against hypocritical worship (Mark 7:7) So how can we worship in spirit and truth? True worship is a mark of saving faith. It is both a corporate activity and a daily lifestyle. Our worship of all three members of the Trinity will continue throughout eternity.
In Mark 7:1-13 Jesus rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for replacing the truth of God’s Word with the traditions of men. Their rules and rituals reflected a desire to put forth a show of outward purity rather than the cultivation of a heart which inwardly follows the truth of scripture. Let us never neglect the Word of God and always worship God in Spirit and in truth.
The Beatitudes are a portrait of what a Christian should look like. Each quality listed should apply to every believer, and each leads to the approval of God. Although righteousness leads to persecution it also allow us to be blessed in persecution.
The world counts as folly what we count most precious: the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14 exhorts us to make the cross our exclusive boast – what we joyfully exalt in, what shapes and molds our lives. The cross is worthy of our boast because it satisfies the wrath of God (Isaiah 53:6), it secures us in the love of God (1 John 4:10), and it separates us from the grip and influence of the world’s priorities (1 John 2:15-17).
In Mark 6:45-52, Jesus knows the need of the disciples during the stormy, night sea. He walks on the water demonstrating that He is God. He reassures the disciples, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” using the term for the holy name of God, I AM. In the Bible, the sea represents chaos and evil. Jesus saves us not only from the storms of life but from our sin. (Psalm 130:1 Out of the depths I cry to…
The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand in Mark 6:30-44 demonstrates that Jesus is compassionate, powerful, and sufficient like no others. Just like the early disciples, let us receive our strength and supply from Jesus and pass it on to others through the Word of God.
God doesn’t always intervene in difficult situations, but God’s always sovereign over our days. Suffering is not a sign that God is against us. Whether we are delivered from trials like Joseph or endure martyrdom like John the Baptist, His faithfulness and steadfast love remain.
In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sends out the 12 apostles to preach the Gospel of repentance. They were instructed to travel light, trusting in God’s provision, and to travel in pairs, avoiding isolation. We are also part of God’s plan to reach the world. Let us be faithful to our calling, not withholding the truth, so that we can declare with Paul, “I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all (Acts 20:26 ESV).
In Mark 6:1-6, Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and is greeted with contempt and unbelief. Jesus limited His miracles there because of the obstinance and cold-hearted indifference of the people. Those who reject Christ miss His blessings and face the prospect of dying in their sins (John 8:24). Following Him in discipleship involves listening to Him, learning from Him, and deepening in our devotion to Him. He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples…
Jesus displays His awesome power by raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead in Mark 5:21-43. We can also take hope in the assurance that death has been defeated. Those who believe in Christ immediately go to be with Him at the moment of death, and their bodies will one day be raised when Christ returns.
The woman healed by Jesus in Mark 5:24-34 had spent 12 years living with illness and the isolation of ceremonial uncleanliness. She reaches out to Christ in faith, is healed, and then wishes to slip back into obscurity. Jesus calls her out in order to give her words of encouragement and to take her from timid faith to testifying faith.
Jesus the Son of God, came to our world on a mission of mercy. His miracles reveal His compassion, His omnipotence, and His rescue of us from the powers of sin and darkness.
The account of Jesus calming the storm at sea in Mark 4:35-41 reveals much about His true identity. Jesus understands what it means to share our humanity as he falls asleep in the boat, exhausted from a long day of ministry and opposition. Jesus demonstrates that He is sovereign over creation as He instantly calms the storm.
Our salvation comes by faith in Christ alone, but the validating mark of the believer is a life of increasing obedience to the word of God. It is not enough to merely listen to the teachings of Christ. We must obey His Word as revealed in Scripture confessing our sins when needed. Jesus said that His redeemed, eternal family members are those who listen to and obey His teachings.