My First Full Sermon

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Puritan Board Freshman
I wrote a sermon, and I would appreciate any positive criticism. I am not a seminary graduate, so my doctrine may not be perfect, but I read everything that I can.

Here it is:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

Because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. We will see later on in this chapter where Paul speaks of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Christ dwells in us by His Spirit and He is also seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. This is a glorious mystery.

There is however an obstacle that stands in the way of our being received back into right relationship with God. Sin separates us from God. We not only do bad things, we are born in sin. As depraved sinners we are naturally unwilling to serve God. So we must rely on His grace to save us. If He does not save us, there is no hope left for us. Let us pray that He will have mercy on us. He has promised us that He will not cast anyone out that comes to Him in sincerity.

When we read the book of Romans, we see that God cannot simply overlook sin. God is holy and He hates sin. His just and holy wrath is kindled against us. There is only one way of escape from the wrath of God.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 3:36

Let's get back to our main text. Of this you have heard before in the word of truth, the gospel. The gospel is good news. It is good news, not simply because we are forgiven of our sins, or that we escape hell, or even that we are able to see our loved ones in heaven. As great as these gifts are, the main reason that the gospel is good news is that we are reconciled to God by it. We have news of reconciliation. We have received word that our relationship with God can be restored through Jesus Christ. God's plan of salvation is that He wants to be with us. He loved us, even in our sin. God is the greatest gift that we receive through the gospel.

Of course, the good news is also that we are justified in the sight of God. This is the means by which we are brought back into relationship with God.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

I would like to share something with you that I read in a book by John Piper called God Is The Gospel:

Consider another picture of the gospel arriving. This time not the
ancient town crier, but a modernprison camp. Imagine American
prisoners of war held behind barbed wire in a camp with little food
and filthy conditions near the end of the Second World War. On the
outside of the fence the captors arefree and go about their business
as though they don'thave a care. Inside the fence the captured sol-
diers are thin, hollow-eyed, unshaven, and dirty. Some die each day.
Then somehow a shortwave radio is smuggled into one of the
barracks. There is connection with the outside world and the
progress of the war. Then one day the captors on the outside of the
fence see something very strange. Inside the fence the weak, dirty, unshaved American soldiers are smiling and laughing, and a few who have the strength give a whoop and throw tin pans into the air.
What makes this so strange to everyone outside the fence is
that nothing has changed. These American soldiers are still in
captivity. They still have little food and water. And many are still
sick and dying. But what the captors don't know is that what
these soldiers do have is news. The enemy lines have been broken
through. The decisive battle of liberation has been fought. And
the liberating troops are only miles away from the camp. Freedom
is imminent.

This is the difference that news makes. Christians have heard the
news that Christ has come into the world and has fought the deci-
sive battle to defeat Satan and death and sin and hell. The war will be over soon, and thereis no longer any doubt as to who will win. Christ will win, and he will liberate all those who have put their hope in him.

The good news is not that thereis no pain or death or sin or
hell. There is. The good news is that the King himself has come,
and these enemies have been defeated, and if we trust in what he
has done and what he promises, we will escape the death sentence
and see the gloryof our Liberator and live with him forever. This
news fills us with hope and joy (Rom. 15:13) and frees us from
self-pity and empowers us to love those who aresuffering. In this
hope-sustained love he will help us persevere until the final trum-
pet of liberation sounds and the prison camp is made into a "new
earth" (2 Pet. 3:13).
The Gospel—Proclamation and Explanation, pg. 21,
God Is the Gospel

Let us continue and read the rest of the chapter, Ephesians 1
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Here it is again, the forgiveness of sins. That's the obstacle between us and God, and God sent His Son to die for us to eliminate that obstacle and all the others. Christ has defeated sin, death, hell, and the devil.
The Preeminence of Christ
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul's Ministry to the Church
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Ephesians 1

I want to read one last scripture to you, a very familiar passage which I'm sure that all of you have heard. It comes from the 29th chapter of Jeremiah.
It reads,
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

So, we see here in Jeremiah as well that our hope is in God. Our future is heaven, to be sure. But we can't stop there. Ultimately, our future is God Himself. He should be our greatest desire. We should find our greatest fulfillment in Him. God is our hope.

So, how de we apply these truths to our lives? I think the best way is to seek God's kingdom and His righteousness. This is what the scripture teaches. If we do not find our joy in God, we will have no hope.

I want to encourage you to keep the faith. God is able to keep you from falling. If you abide in Christ, He will present you blameless before the throne. And on that glorious day, we will receive the fulness of our reward. We will spend eternity with God.

It needs to be edited further, but that's basically it.


Puritan Board Junior

Nice job, brother. You have some excellent verses there that I'm sure you would expound on even more than what you have written out.


Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for sharing Jared.

This is quite a hefty portion of Holy Scripture!

You may be able to expound more on this part of the passage: indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth...

Since you are explaining the gospel in this message, this part of the passage might help the listeners understand how important a firm understanding of the gospel is to a Christian. Even our sanctification is related to the gospel, and the gospel bears fruit only as people understand the grace of God in truth.

Grace to you.
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