The spirit of discontent is a fire that burns within our soul and renders us ineffective in our witness of Christ to others. Praise the Lord for His gracious intervention through His Word and Spirit. The Holy Spirit guided the Apostle Paul to not only set before us five outward expressions of inward contentment but also to instruct us on how to extinguish the flames of discontentment. Rev. Richard Stetler, in his sermon from Philippians 4:1-13, summarized the three steps of learning to be content found there as “Stop, Drop & Roll.” We hope that you will find his sermon (below) as helpful and encouraging as we have.
Our Lord Jesus Christ declared to the Apostle Paul that he was sent to the Gentiles “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). What is this inheritance that God promised to give? What must you do to qualify to receive it? How is the Holy Spirit involved in this great gift of love? Paul answers these questions in Ephesians 1:11-14. The sermon provided below is intended to help expand upon his answers.
- Grace – Do you know what God has done for you?
- Faith – Are you in the line of faith?
- Love – How can you express your appreciation to God?
What is the purpose of the cosmos? Unbelief’s ultimate answer is “there is no reason.” For those who trust in Christ alone for salvation, there is a better answer. It found in the Word of God. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible…All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). He created, sustains, and has redeemed all things for His purpose and glory. The right response is to acknowledge this truth and act appropriately, that is to trust and obey our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The sermon from Ephesians 1:7-12 (provided below) is intended to expand on these great truths. Here are the three main points of the sermon:
- In Christ, we have redemption and reconciliation
- In Christ, all things are gathered together
- “That we should be to the praise of His glory”
The Apostle Paul begins this epistle of grace by focusing our attention on the source of all blessings, that is the Triune God. We are greatly blessed due to the greatness of the blessedness of God. Then he moves on to reveal and revel in the blessings that each person of the Godhead lavishes upon the beloved in Christ. The sermon from Ephesians 1:3-6 (provided below) is intended to expand on these great truths. Here are the three main points of the sermon:
- Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
- How vast are the blessings in Christ!
- “To the praise of the glory of His grace”
Why should you live in a way that pleases God? Answer: Because of the greatness of God’s love for you (His wonderful blessings in Christ).
How do you do so? Answer: Live your life according to God’s great love for you (“walk worthy of your calling”).
The Apostle Paul expanded upon these two important points in his letter to the Ephesians (and to us as well). The sermon (available below) is intended to introduce you to this letter and begin to expound the truths proclaimed in this letter of God’s grace.
Our Lord saved us to be His special, set apart (holy) people. Praise Him that He who has begun a good work will complete it. The completion of the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness and the manifestation of His glory presence therein not only pointed to the wonderful truth that God himself would tabernacle among us (John 1:14) but that He delights in making us His dwelling place in the world. How does this truth impact you when we gather in His name or when you go about your life in this world? The main points for the sermon (below) based on Exodus chapters 39 and 40 are as follows:
- Preparing for the Glory Presence
- Raising up for the Glory Presence
- Living in and for the Glory Presence
From the defeat (fall) of Adam in the garden, God’s people have anticipated the Lord God’s complete victory over all His enemies, including sin, death, and the devil. Their prayers were answered in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross and the empty tomb. We continue to pray for the full outworking of that victory in time and eternity, on earth as it is in heaven. The main points for the sermon (below) based on Psalm 72 are as follows:
- Thine is the Kingdom
- Thine is the Power
- Thine is the Glory
What is the primary reason that you are here on earth? The Apostle Paul answered this question thus; “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). What keeps you from fulfilling this purpose? In a word, sin. Yet it is “through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22). How can you express thankfulness to Him for His great love and mercy? The main points for the sermon (below) based on Exodus 34 are as follows:
- The Glory revealed through the Lord’s presence and proclamation
- The Glory renewed through word and deed
- The Glory reflected through Moses’ presence and proclamation
Can you identify with the psalmist, who in his distress cried “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4). Do you know the greatness of your need for God’s gracious presence? And how can you express your gratitude for the revelation of His glorious presence both in this life and in the one to come? The main points for the sermon (below) based on Exodus 33 are as follows:
- Sin (idolatry) leads to separation
- Yet God is merciful and patient (grace)
- Do you desire to see the face of God?
The Apostle Peter wrote that the various trials that we face in life are due to the wonderful goal that God has intended, namely “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:7-9). The main points for the sermon (below) based on Exodus 32 are as follows:
- “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin”
- “And sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death”
- “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”