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Sermon Text for July 15th – Romans 1:18-2:16

Fred Bengen will be preaching this coming Sunday. Here’s his text:

18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, 19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. 

24 Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen. 

26 For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 The men in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error. 

28 And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. 29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud,f others who practice them. 

2 Therefore, every one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no favoritism with God. 

12 All who sin without the law will also perish without the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified. 14 So, when Gentiles, who do not by nature have the law, do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts either accuse or even excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

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Sermon Text for July 8th – 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

16 I repeat: Let no one consider me a fool. But if you do, at least accept me as a fool so that I can also boast a little. 17 What I am saying in this matter of boasting, I don’t speak as the Lord would, but as it were, foolishly. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will also boast. 19 For you, being so wise, gladly put up with fools! 20 In fact, you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone is arrogant toward you, if someone slaps you in the face. 21 I say this to our shame: We have been too weak for that! 

But in whatever anyone dares to boast—I am talking foolishly—I also dare: 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I’m talking like a madman—I’m a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, many times near death. 

24 Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26 On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers; 27 toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing. 28 Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 

30 If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, a ruler under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to arrest me. 33 So I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands. 

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Sermon Text for June 24th – 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

I wish you would put up with a little foolishness from me. Yes, do put up with me! For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband—to present a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly! 

Now I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles.” Even if I am untrained in public speaking, I am certainly not untrained in knowledge. Indeed, we have in every way made that clear to you in everything. Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by taking pay from them to minister to you. When I was present with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, since the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have kept myself, and will keep myself, from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows I do! 

12 But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want to be regarded as our equals in what they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.

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Sermon Text for June 17th – 2 Corinthians 10:7-18

Look at what is obvious. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, let him remind himself of this: Just as he belongs to Christ, so do we. For if I boast a little too much about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be put to shame. I don’t want to seem as though I am trying to terrify you with my letters. 10 For it is said, “His letters are weighty and powerful, but his physical presence is weak and his public speaking amounts to nothing.” 11 Let such a person consider this: What we are in our letters, when we are absent, we will also be in our actions when we are present. 

12 For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned to us, which reaches even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we had not reached you, since we have come to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We are not boasting beyond measure about other people’s labors. On the contrary, we have the hope that as your faith increases, our area of ministry will be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel to the regions beyond you without boasting about what has already been done in someone else’s area of ministry. 17 So let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. 18 For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.

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Sermon Text for June 10th – 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Now I Paul, myself, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. I beg you that when I am present I will not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are behaving according to the flesh. For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 

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Sermon Text for June 3rd – 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

Now concerning the ministry to the saints, it is unnecessary for me to write to you. For I know your eagerness, and I boast about you to the Macedonians: “Achaia has been ready since last year,” and your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you in this matter would not prove empty, and so that you would be ready just as I said. Otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we, not to mention you, would be put to shame in that situation. Therefore I considered it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance the generous gift you promised, so that it will be ready as a gift and not as an extortion. 

The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. As it is written: 

He distributed freely; 
he gave to the poor; 
his righteousness endures forever.

10 Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 

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