Sermon Text for July 3rd – 1 Timothy 6:3-10

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

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Sermon Text for June 26th – 1 Timothy 6:1-2

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

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Persecution Is Not the Greatest Danger for Christians

Oh believe me, Christians are not so much in danger when they are persecuted as when they are admired. When we stand upon the pinnacle of popularity, we may well tremble and fear. When we are hissed at, and hooted, then we do not have cause to be alarmed; when we are dandled on the lap of fortune, and nursed upon the knees of the people; when all men speak well of us then woe is to us. It is not in the cold wintry wind that I take off my coat of righteousness, and throw it away; when the sun comes up, when the weather is warm, and the air balmy, then I unguardedly strip off my robes and become naked. Good God! how many a man has been made naked by the love of this world! The world has flattered and applauded him; he has drunk the flattery; it is an intoxicating draught; he has staggered, he has reeled, he has sinned, he has lost his reputation; and as a comet that before flashed across the sky, does wander far into space, and is lost in darkness, so does he; great as he was, he falls; mighty as he was, he wanders, and is lost. But the true child of God is never so; he is as safe when the world smiles, as when it frowns; he cares as little for her praise as for her criticism. If he is praised, and it is true, he says, “My deeds deserve praise, but I refer all honor to my God.” Great souls know what they merit from their critic; to them it is nothing more than the giving of their daily income. Some men cannot live without a large amount of praise; and if they have no more than they deserve, let them have it. If they are children of God, they will be kept steady; they will not be ruined or spoiled; but they will stand with feet like hinds’ feet upon high places. –  “This is the victory that overcomes the world.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Victory of Faith,” preached March 18th, 1856.

Sermon Text for June 19th – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

This Sunday Tom Boyer will be preaching his last sermon at Oikos before he and his family leave for seminary. Here is his text:

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

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Back from Sabbatical

Our church very generously sent me away on a 10-week sabbatical following the birth of our new son (Nate the Great). While I was gone, our friends in the 3Strand Network very graciously filled the pulpit in my absence. I now present you with the complete list of sermons:

Enjoy getting caught up!

What Should Motivate a Minister

The love of Christ ought to so predominate, so to possess his mind, and to bear him along, that every interfering, or opposing principle, should be neutralized or extinguished. This should suggest all his plans, guide all his operations, give energy to all his efforts, and afford him comfort under all his trials. Constrained by the love of Christ, he should cheerfully forgo all the comforts of ease, affluence, and worldly honor, to serve his Master in places far remote; or far removed from public observation. This holy affection should impel him to undertake the most arduous duties and encounter the most formidable dangers; this should enkindle the ardor of his eloquence, and supply the pathos of his most tender addresses. This is the hallowed fire which should be kept bright and burning continually. All other warmth is no better than ‘strange fire’. Nothing but the love of Christ can make a truly faithful pastor, or evangelist, assiduous in all his services, and indefatigable in the most private and self-denying duties of his office. Other motives may lead a man to great diligence in preparing for his labors in the pulpit, where splendid eloquence wins as much applause as anywhere else. Other motives also may stimulate a minister to great public exertion, and give him all the appearance of fervent zeal and devotedness to God, in the eyes of men; but if supreme love to Christ be wanting, he is, after all, nothing; or, at best, a mere ‘sounding brass or tinkling cymbal’. Genius, learning, eloquence, zeal, public exertion, and great sacrifices, even if it should be of all our goods, and of our lives themselves, will be accounted of no value, in the eyes of the Lord, if love to Christ be wanting.

– Archibald Alexander, The Pastor Office, quoted in Princeton and Preaching, pp. 126-27.