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When Truth stares you in the face

Pastor Armstrong's sermon for Christ the King Sunday is based on John 18:33-40.

“When Truth stares you in the face”  (John 18:33-40)

I.   Jesus’ “audacious” truth claim. 

A. “_________________ who is of the truth listens to My voice” (v.37).  “No such claim on man’s allegiance was ever made by any other master” (Bernard of Clairvaux).

B. Christ’s truth claim is an __________________ to Pilate     (cf. 34).

II.  Pilate’s truth question.

A. Is it sincere?

1. Early church commentators: _______.

2. Modern commentators: ________. 

B. It is ________________ question.

1. The ancient Greek view:  “aletheia” or “truth” = that which reflects reality (i.e. life as it is actually lived). 

2. The postmodern view:  absolute truth does not exist.  Truth is socially constructed and individually determined.  “Truth is made rather than found” (Richard Rorty). 

III. Jesus’ answer to Pilate:

A. not in ________, but in ________ (v.40; John 19-21). 

B. Truth is not only a proclamation but a ______________ (John 14:6).


God at Work

Pastor Armstrong's Thanksgiving Eve sermon is based on Luke 17:11-19.

“God at Work” (Luke 17:11-19)

I.  Leprosy _______________ the ten men (vv.12-13).

A. ____________experience of isolation (v.12).

B. They make, with one voice, an open-ended request (v.13).

C. ______________ knows no boundaries, but neither does God’s ________________.  Cleansing restored them to community life (v.14)

II.  “Kindness” (mercy) _______________ the ten men (vv.14-19)

A. Only one _____________ and was _____________ to acknowledge God (vv. 15-16).

B. The Samaritan recognized God at work in ___________________ (vv.15-18).

C. How should one respond to God’s mercy?   (Vv.15-16;             Ephesians 5:20).

III. Application:  All ten were cleansed (v.14).  Temporal gifts are a given automatically. By striving for the temporal, we are likely to miss the __________________gifts of God.

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or   ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that   you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  (Matthew 6:31-33)

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this      petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our    daily bread with thanksgiving.  (Small Catechism)


Endurance: why you need it and where to find it

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Mark 13:1-13.

“Endurance:  why you need it and where to find it” (Mark 13:1-13)

I.   With their “world” ending, what comfort do the disciples have? 

A. They have Jesus, the true _________ (John 2:19).

B. They __________ Jesus (vv. 9-13).

II.  How do disciples endure to the end the loss of all things (vv.5-13)?

A. Endurance is a ___________, a characteristic of God that He instills in us. 

B. God creates endurance in us by His _________ = the ___________ = His ________ (See John 13:37-37;    21:15-19.).  

1. “_________ endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).

2. Remove your gaze from what you are __________, and fix your gaze on what you are ___________. 

(“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of   witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside  every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on  Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has      endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3)).

The Lord’s celebrities

Pastor Armstrong sermon is based on Mark 12:38-44.

“The Lord’s celebrities” (Mark 12:38-44)

I.   The Lord brings down the proud (Luke 1:52a).

A. Celebrities live what all of us ____________ about.

B. “Beware” = ______________ (v.38)!

II.  The Lord lifts up the lowly (Luke 1:52b).

A. The widow gives up her ______________ (v.44)!

B. The widow is a ____________ figure.

1. Jesus celebrates the widow because He sees ______________ in her. 

2. Verses 38-44 contrast the way we instinctively are (________________) and the way Jesus instinctively is (________________) (Mark 10:45).

C. By giving up His own life, our Lord finds and forgives us and celebrates _______ (Luke 15:1-32)!

D. The Lord celebrates what He sees of Himself in ___________ (Matthew 25:34-40).

God's allsaint's mission victory...

Guest Preacher Rev. Dr. Gregory Setlz's sermon is based on Revelation chapter 7.

“God’s all-saints’ mission  victory—every nation worshipping around the throne of the Lamb,”  (Revelation 7:9-11)

Making ‘sense’ of God

Pastor Armstrong's All Saint's sermon is based on 1 John 3:1-3.

“Making ‘sense’ of God:  experiencing God through the senses,”  (1 John 3:1-3)

I.   The challenge to faith: God doesn’t seem to make sense.

A. We are called ________________ (vv.1-2), but our senses contradict this. 

B. In this world, __________________ and our senses won’t agree (v.2). 

C. And yet, what God calls us is what we truly are (Genesis 18:7; 32:28; Matthew 16:18; Romans 4:17).

D. In this world, God makes Himself known to us through the mediation of words, water, bread and wine (Exodus 33:18-23; John 1:18; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

II.  The world to come (the new heavens and the new earth) is a sensory experience of God:   

A. __________________ (v.2; Job 19:25-27; Revelation 22:4);

B. __________________ (Revelation 1:15; 21:5-8);

C. __________________ (Revelation 7:17).

D. The distance/danger sin has caused has been overcome by the _______________ of the Lamb (v.3; Revelation 7:14).

What's mine is ours:

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on both Mark 10:23-31 & Acts 4:32-37.

“What’s mine is ours:  ownership and sharing in the New Testament” (Mark 10:23-31; Acts 4:32-37)

I.  You are a ___________ (v.24; 10:13-16):

A. completely dependent;

B. and needing the security of a ________________ (vv.29-30).

II.  In marriage, it’s never “____________” or “____________” but “_____________.”

A. Christ and the church share ________________________              (2 Corinthians 5:21).

B. To love the Lord is to love __________________________ (vv.29-30; Acts 4:32-37).