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Following Christ is a Struggle, not a Stroll

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Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 13:22-30.

Following Christ is a Struggle, not a Stroll  (Luke 13:22-30)

I.   Jesus will not encourage speculation about __________ (Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 13:1-5; John 21:20-22)

A. This avoids repentance and does not lead to faith.  

B. He directs your attention to _____________.  Why? 

II.  The narrow door demands _____________ you have. 

A. “’Make every effort’ (agonizesthe) to enter through the narrow door “(v.24).

B. Agonizomai (vb.), agonia (n.):  terms used in significant contests (athletics and war).

1. “Fight (agonizou) the good fight (agona) of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).

2. “Let us run with endurance the race (agona) marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:2).

3. “And being in an agony (agonia) He prayed more               earnestly” (Luke 22:44).

III. The Lord provides _______________ you need.

A. “For 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” (Romans 8:13). 

1. This struggle = _______________ , which is itself a gift of God (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25).

2. This struggle ____________ from who you already are in Christ (Romans 8:13; Hebrews 12:2-3).   It is the ____________of your salvation, not the cause.

B. Your _______________ life is a journey through the narrow door (v.24).

IV. Athleticism redefined. 


Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 12:49-59.


Fireproof!  (Luke 12:49-59)

I.   Jesus ___________(vv.51-53; Luke 14:26).

A. The coming of Jesus creates a crisis in families (Matthew 1:19; Luke 2:34-35, 48-50).

B. Jesus disrupts the ____________ (the drift away from God) in every family.

II.  The _________ of God is coming (v.49)!

A. It is mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible!

B. It is not bad temper, but a manifestation of God’s ______________________. 

C. A wrath-less god does make him more attractive.  It makes him _____________________________. 

III. The wrath of God is poured out upon ________ (vv.49-50), sparing ____________________ (Colossians 1:19-20)!

A. His is a __________ baptism, which brings peace with God (Luke 22:44; 1 John 1:7).  By His mercy, you are ________________________ (Luke 3:17)!

B. The ___________ of Jesus are sufficient proof that He ushers in the messianic age (vv.54-56), and His coming into a sinful world is necessarily disruptive. 

C. Settle your accounts now, while there is time (vv.57-59). 

1. Debtor’s prison is an illustration of ________.   

2. ________ has paid the very last penny for you!  


The Peril of Plenty

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 12:13-21.

The Peril of Plenty  (Luke 12:13-21)

I.   Pleonexia = covetousness, greed, insatiableness (v.15).

A. It is _______________.

B. “Pleonexia never rests from acquiring pleon [‘more’],” Plutarch, On Love of Wealth (Moralia, 523 E).   

C. It is ______________ (Colossians 3:5; Matthew 6:24).

D. _______________ are especially symptomatic.

II.  God is so generous He gives _____________________.  What is our response? 

A. Hoarding.   

1. Possessions are not intrinsically evil, but they are intrinsically ______________. 

2. The more you have, the more ______________ you put   between yourself and others (vv. 17-19; Isaiah 5:8).

3. Surpluses provide only the ____________ of security, for life is not a right but a gift—on loan from God (v.20).

B. Sharing. 

1. “Paul envisions ______________ redistribution of goods among Christians to address the imbalance between rich and poor. 

“To give to another’s need is to lay a gift on the altar of God.” 

“The bellies of the poor were better storerooms than than the rich man’s barns,” (St. Augustine of Hippo, North Africa).

2. Our abundance today will relieve the needs of others today, while their abundance tomorrow will relieve our need         tomorrow (2 Corinthians 8:14).   This is God’s way of _______________________.   

3. To be “rich toward God” is to view all life as _________________ (v. 16; John 3:27; 1 Corinthians 4:7),     including _______________________ (Ephesians 2:8-9).


The Holy Host

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 10:38-42.

Notes on the text

v.38:  To welcome Jesus into one’s home is a hallmark of a disciple. 

          For a rabbi to come into a ____________ home to teach was unheard of.

v.39: Mary assumes the _____________ of a disciple (Acts 22:3), and she “kept on” listening.   

v.40  Martha was distracted (meaning “pulled away”), suggesting she would rather be __________________________.

v.41: Jesus has no patience with some grievances (cf. John 12:13-15); “many things” refers to ______________ meal preparation.

v.42: Mary has chosen the good portion, referring to a portion of __________ (Genesis 43:34; Deuteronomy 18:8).

The Holy Host (Luke 10:38-42)

I.   The actual ___________ is ___________.

A. The “good portion” is ______________.

B.  “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).


II.  The way to welcome Jesus is to _____________________ (vv.39, 42).

A. True worship is “____________________” (Lutheran Service Book, pp. 151ff.).

B. ____________ comes before _____________. 

C. You can take it with you when you die—the _____________ of Jesus (v.42; John 3:16; 11:25-26; 14:1-6).


Life’s a ditch: help needed!

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 10:25-37.

Life’s a ditch:  help needed!  (Luke 10:25-37)

I.   Theology must be learned ________________ (v.28; Luke  9:57-62; Matthew 5:21ff.). 

A. “A ____________ sea never made a skillful sailor.” 

B. True theologians recognize their ________________ (v.30; John 15:5). 

II.  The Christian life consists of _____________ in the      compassion of God (vv.33-36), and ________________ toward all (v.37).

A. Compassion: consciousness of another’s ____________ and the desire to alleviate it (v.33).

1. It arises from a sense of connection to another.

2. ___________ is connected to you (Genesis 1:26-27; Colossians 3:9-10; Genesis 14:16; Ruth 3:9;     Hebrews 2:11).

B. Who are more generous:  the rich or the poor?  The ________ and the ________ who think of themselves as ________ (Luke 21:1-4).


You are an answer to prayer

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 10:2.

“You are an answer to prayer” (Luke 10:2)

v.1            “After sending the twelve (Luke 9:1-6), Jesus sends out 72 more, but…

v.2            … even seventy-two is not enough.  ______ are an answer to prayer!

v.3            We are vulnerable and must depend on the ____________.  When attacked, we cannot respond ____________ (Luke 9:54-55; Romans 12:19-21).

v.4            God would provide for them through their ____________ (see v.7).

v.5 You are a carrier of __________ into the lives of others.

v.6 It is possible to reject a __________ (United States v. Wilson, 1833). 

v.7 We don’t do this for ourselves. 

v.8 Respect others!

v.9 We care for the ________________.

v.10-11 This pantomimes an ancient Israelite practice of re-entering the Holy Land.

v.12-15 Rejecting the Gospel is worse than the sins of _________.

v.16 Rejecting your message = rejecting ________ =    rejecting ____________.

v.17 ________ is always a temptation.

v.18 The ___________ overcomes Satan.

v.19 Our Shepherd protects us, yet we remain vulnerable and mortal (v.3).

v.20 We must always focus on ________ actions, not ________.   Our names are written in heaven (divine passive).  See also Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Daniel 12:1; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 21:27.


I.   The _____________ are not enough, but we are (v.2)!

A. The greatest barrier to evangelism:  our ________________ about others.

B. But we have the most ____________, beautiful        message of all time (v.5).

C. Like the 72, ____________ precede the Lord, who is  coming soon (v.1).

II.  __________ are the Light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16) and the presence of Jesus and the Father in the world today (v.16).


Wayfarers All

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 9:51-62.

“Wayfarers All” (Luke 9:51-62)

I.   Jesus journeys to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:27).

A. His determination (v.51; cf. Isaiah 50:7).

B. Jesus’ journey begins with ________________, foreshadowing the cross (v.53).

C. Jesus _____________ James and John, foreshadowing the cross (v.55) and the Samaritan mission (Acts 8:4ff.).

II.  “Follow Me” (v.59). 

A. Since the Fall (Genesis 3:24), God’s people have been __________________ (Genesis12:1-3; John14:6;            Hebrews 11:13). 

B. We want to place ________________ on discipleship (vv.59, 61).

1. Jesus claims ____________ over the best, not the worst, of human relationships.

2. Jesus never asks us to choose Him over the devil but to choose Him over the _____________.

C. Like the disciples, we will continue to ________, but Jesus’ response will be one of ______________ (2 Timothy 2:13).