Matt. 8:18-22 - The Cost of Discipleship PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 22 February 2009 02:00
  1. Introduction

    1. The German Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become well-known for his book titled "The Cost of Discipleship" in which he gives Christian reasons we should be willing to die for our faith. Bonhoeffer wrote, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." His book was published in 1937. Bonhoeffer resisted the anti-Christian national socialism of the Nazis during WWII, was imprisoned in Buchenwald and hung by the Gestapo in 1945. When Bonhoeffer followed Jesus, it cost him his life.

    2. When great crowds accompanied Jesus in Luke 14, He said to them,

      1. 26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'

    3. Consider the cost of following Jesus Christ. It will cost you your life, but following Jesus is worth the cost, because He gives you eternal life.

    4. Outline. In this passage Jesus tells you what it will cost you to be His disciple. In vv. 18-20 He tells you the cost to your home, and in vv. 21-22, the cost to your family.

      1. The Cost to Your Home vv. 18-20

      2. The Cost to Your Family vv. 21-22

Matthew: The King Has Come PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 02:00

Matthew: The King Has Come

  1. General Introduction

    1. Author: Matthew; undisputed in early church tradition

    2. Date: Probably 64-70 AD. After Mark written with Peter's help in Rome; before Jerusalem fell.

    3. Purpose: Authoritative teaching about Jesus and His kingdom. For Jews and Gentiles: Instruct Jews in their Messiah (fulfillments); proclaim salvation to all Gentiles throughout the world (Great Commission)

    4. Key Themes: The Kingdom of God has come in Christ. How to live as citizens of Christ's kingdom.

    5. Structure

      1. Prologue 1, 2

      2. 5 Narrative-then-Discourse sections on the Kingdom, ended by a common formula in 7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1.

      3. Conclusion: Passion/Resurrection 26-28


  1. Prologue: Christ's identity and work 1, 2

    1. The Genealogy of the King 1:1-17

    2. The Birth of the King 1:18-2:23


  1. The Kingdom of God 3-25

    1. The Kingdom Comes in Christ 3-7

      1. Initiating the Kingdom in Jesus 3:1-4:11 Baptism, wilderness temptation

      2. Announcing the Kingdom 4:12-25 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Calls disciples, preaches, heals.

      3. First Discourse: Sermon on the Mount 5-7 The blessings, law, piety, heart, judgment, forgiveness, and obedience of Christ's kingdom and its citizens.


    3. The Works of the Kingdom 8-10

      1. Christ Demonstrates God's Work 8, 9 Healing the sick, calling disciples, power over nature, spirits, sin, sinners, death; call to faith. "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

      2. Second Discourse: Kingdom Mission: Christ Commissions God's Workers 10 First preaching & healing mission, instruction in workers' task, warnings & encouragements.


    5. The Nature of the Kingdom 11-13

      1. Earthly or Heavenly? The Identity of John and of Jesus 11, 12 Forerunner; Messiah. Both call to faith, repentance, & salvation. But Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, gentle, works by God's Spirit, greater than Jonah the prophet & Solomon the king.

      2. Third Discourse: Kingdom Parables 13 Preaching the gospel, believers & unbelievers, worldwide growth, great value, final judgment, spiritual growth, rejection by the world.


    7. The Authority of the Kingdom 14-18

      1. Jesus' Character and Authority 14-17 John dies. Jesus feeds, protects, heals; Pharisees mislead, defile, and will be destroyed! Keys of the Kingdom, mission is to die on cross, transfiguration ("Listen to him!"), authority by faith.

      2. Fourth Discourse: Character and Authority of the Church 18 Humility before Christ, resist temptation, salvation & reconciliation, else excommunication, forgive as you have been forgiven.


    9. Kingdom Blessings and Kingdom Judgments 19-25

      1. Final Questions From Galilee to Jerusalem: Why May Enter? 19, 20 Family life: divorce, remarriage, children. Riches vs. entering kingdom; fairness in kingdom wages. Opening the eyes of the spiritually & physically blind.

      2. The King Enters Jerusalem 21-23 Triumphal entry, cleansing the temple, men resist the King's authority. Pharisees & Saducees lay traps, but are condemned.

      3. Fifth Discourse: Kingdom Judgment 24, 25 Signs of the end of the age, watch & be ready by obeying.


  1. Conclusion: Passion and Resurrection 26-28

    1. Preparations 26:1-56 Anointed, Passover/Last Supper, Gethsemane prayer, betrayal & arrest.

    2. The Trial and Execution of the King 26:57-27:56

    3. Burial, Resurrection, Great Commission 27:57-28:20

Matt. 8:14-17 - He Took Our Illnesses and Bore Our Diseases PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 15 February 2009 13:52
  1. Introduction

    1. One of the great themes at Covenant College is that all of life should be lived in a Christian way, and we should transform culture to bring it into accord with God's saving work. This goal of transforming culture is similar to waging a culture war, but different in that rather than only pointing out where our opponents need to change, we actually make those changes within our own sphere of influence. A simple example is that at your workplace you should be honest and do the best job you can with the gifts God has given you. The Lord is concerned not only that you attend church services and read your Bible, but also that His saving work be applied throughout your whole life. We see that concern in this passage.

    2. Despite their brevity, these verses provides historical and biographical background information about Peter that cannot be found except in a couple other passages. It is not good to emphasize these background details in a sermon when they don't clearly serve the the purpose of the passage or the sermon. But here they do tie together in one direction, which shows the greatness and fullness of God's concern to change not just one little part of your life, but the whole of your life.

    3. We see this in the way Christ healed. Christ is known as the Great Physician. No physician can heal as Christ healed in this passage; human medicine is more external and limited in its effects, but Christ's healing went directly to the illness and removed it completely. This should convince you that Christ cares about your bodily illness, and He cares to redeem every aspect of your life that has been marred by sin.

    4. Outline. This passage teaches us the depth of Christ's healing, the breadth of Christ's healing, and the point of Christ's healing.

      1. The Depth of Christ's Healing vv. 14-15

      2. The Breadth of Christ's Healing v. 16

      3. The Point of Christ's Healing v. 17

James 3:6-9 - The Root of Human Impotence PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 02:00

James: A Handbook on Holiness


The Root of Human Impotence

James 3:6-9


General outline:


  1. The Way to Holiness: The Divine Perspective 1:2-27

    1. The Trial-Temptation Complex 1:2-18

    2. The Word of God 1:19-27

  2. The Principles of Holiness: The Biblical Framework 2:1-26

    1. The Law is the Structure of Holiness 2:1-13

    2. Faith is the Dynamics of Holiness 2:14-26

  3. The Implementation of Holiness: The Christian Experience 3:1-4:10

    1. The Obstacle to Victory: Human Impotence 3:1-9

      1. The Fact of Human Impotence 3:1-5

      2. The Root of Human Impotence 3:6-9


James 3:6-9

The Nature of the Enemy Within

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.

The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

The Power of the Enemy Within

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,

8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

The Effectiveness of the Enemy Within

9 With it we bless our Lord and Father,

and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.


Discussion Questions:


  1. V. 6: The tongue is a tool of indwelling sin, which is our enemy within. What things does a fire do that the tongue does also? ____________________________________________________

  2. How is the tongue "a world?" ____________________________________________________

  3. How does the tongue influence your body and life? ___________________________________

  4. Where does the tongue's power & influence come from? ______________________________

  5. V. 7: How does "mankind" differ from all animals' "kinds?" ___________________________

  6. V. 8: What does poison do? _________________ What do we do with it? _________________

  7. V. 9: Indwelling sin can turn us 180°—from __________ to ___________! What can save us? "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" "If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom. 7:24; 8:13)

Matt. 8:5-13 - Sons by Faith PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 08 February 2009 12:09
  1. Introduction

    1. My sense of humor is shaped partly by the things I'm afraid of. I think it's so funny to get someone worrying that there might be a bear in the woods outside, and the very next night I'm chased by a bear in my dreams! I never had a younger brother to whom I could give the line that if he was disobedient, Mom and Dad could take him back to hospital like they did with his other brother who isn't here anymore! Children who are adopted sometimes worry they don't really belong in their adoptive family. But God gives us the assurance that because He adopted us, we truly belong in the family of God.

    2. The doctrine of adoption has often been neglected in the Reformed tradition, not to mention in churches that don't like doctrine. But it is as essential to Christianity as it is to call God your "Father." You can call God your Father because through adoption He has called you his child. We confess in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms that adoption is one of the chief blessings God gives us in salvation. In this passage we learn that the way to receive this blessing of adoption is by faith in Jesus Christ. We become God's sons by faith.

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