150503 Matthew 7:24-27

Sermon Text: Matthew 7:24-27

Sermon Theme: Are You Going to be Wise or Foolish?

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Do you think you are a wise class? While I don't know the grade point average for those of you who don't attend our St. Matthew's school, Mr. Ziel did share with me that for the 13 of you who attend our school the grade point average is 3.510. So I would say, that as a group, you are pretty wise. Let's put that to the test this afternoon. Let's try a math problem. There are 17 of you in this year's class. So, what is 172? 17 x 17 = 289. Maybe you don't like math. How about a history question? What happened on this date, May 3, in the year 1765? The first medical college opened in America in the city of Philadelphia. To know how to do math, to know events that happened in our country's history, is important for us. But today we are not talking about the knowledge we can get out of a math book or a history book. Rather, we are talking about the knowledge that comes from THE Book, the Bible. Today, as you celebrate your Confirmation Day, the question for you to answer for yourself is this: Are You Going to be Wise or Foolish?

Read more: 150503 Matthew 7:24-27

150503 Acts 8:26-40

Text: Acts 8:26-40
Theme: God's Word Works...One Soul At A Time

Over the past few weeks I have been doing my best to keep up with the new NBC mini-series, AD: The Bible Continues, partly because I am curious, partly because I know that others are watching and I want to be able to answer any questions people might have. I was particularly interested in the episode that aired two weeks ago because it depicted the events of Pentecost. From my days as a Sunday School student I can still remember the picture of the disciples with little Bic lighter flames floating above their heads, and I was afraid that the television version would look just as corny.

As it turns out, my fears were unfounded. Instead of tiny flames flickering on the screen, the heavens opened and a stream of fire rushed down and swirled around the disciples and the house where they were staying. Is that what the fire really looked like? I don't know, but it did look pretty impressive, like something worthy of the power of the Holy Spirit.

What was missing from the episode were the other manifestations of the Spirit's power. It didn't show the disciples speaking in languages they had never learned. It didn't show Peter's sermon or the crowd's reaction. And it didn't show thousands of people confessing their sins and confessing their faith and lining up to be baptized by the disciples.

The Holy Spirit worked through the Word of God to bring three thousand people to faith in God on a single day. That is perhaps the most impressive Pentecost miracle, but not because of the impressive numbers. Today's sermon text cautions us against getting caught up in the numbers and instead encourages us to focus us on what is more important.

The Holy Spirit led Philip far away from the crowded streets of Jerusalem, far away from his successful mission work in Samaria, to share the good news, not with hundreds or thousands of people, but with a single individual. And because that man went away from that encounter rejoicing, we rejoice too. We rejoice because the Holy Spirit is still working among us, and because...

GOD'S WORD WORKS...ONE SOUL AT A TIME

Read more: 150503 Acts 8:26-40

150426 Acts 4:32-33

Sermon Text: Acts 4:32 – 33

Sermon Theme: Our Easter Celebration Continues as Members of the Good Shepherd's Flock

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

For our sermon series during this Easter Season, we continue to focus on the book of Acts and the account of the early Christian Church. The members of the early Church are continuing to celebrate Easter long after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel message is spreading. Despite all the efforts to silence the followers of Jesus, more and more people are hearing the Good News that Jesus Christ lives and that through the risen Savior there is forgiveness of all sins. Today, on this Fourth Sunday in the Easter Season, on this Sunday known as "Good Shepherd Sunday", based on the two verses from Acts chapter 4 that I just read, you and I give thanks that as our Easter celebration continues we gather together as members of the Good Shepherd's flock.

Read more: 150426 Acts 4:32-33

150419 Acts 4:8-12

Text: Acts 4:8-12
Theme: There Is Only One Truth!

The title of the MSNBC online article caught my attention: "39 Powerful Quotes That Will Change The Way You Live And Think." I was curious, so I clicked my way through all thirty nine of them. Some I found interesting, like this one: "A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." Several were thought provoking, like this observation made by Stephen Covey: "We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions." And a few quotes taught important life lessons, like this one from Mark Twain: "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

I like quotes and quotations, and I appreciated most of the quotes that made the list, except for one. It wasn't attributed to anyone, but in twenty first century America it could be attributed to almost anyone. The anonymous quote reads: "You never know the truth. You know 'a' truth." That way of thinking is not only popular today. It is pervasive, and it has a name, relativism. According to relativism, there are no objective standards. There are no moral absolutes. There is no clear distinction between right and wrong. Everything, including everything we perceive to be true, is relative.

"You never know the truth. You know 'a' truth." Those words are powerful, but in this case powerful is not necessarily beneficial. Our culture's shift toward relativism is not a sign of progress or intellectual enlightenment. For Christians it is dangerous because it undercuts the foundations of our faith. It challenges the one who called God's Word truth (John 17:17) and referred to himself as the Truth (John 14:6). It threatens to rob us of our confidence in God's Word and our hope for eternal life.

According to relativism, the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth. But we know that's not true, and so did the apostle Peter. He wasn't afraid to stand up for the truth. He wasn't afraid to testify to the truth. His inspired confession inspires us, and it reminds us that when it comes to spiritual things, when it comes to matters of the soul, when it comes to salvation...

THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUTH!

I. The name of Jesus heals
II. Only the name of Jesus saves

Read more: 150419 Acts 4:8-12

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
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9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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