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False Christ's: Jesus the Cheerleader

Pastor Armstrong's lenten sermon series: Will the real Jesus please stand up? False Christs in the world and in the church.

“Our false Christ of the week:  ‘Jesus, the cheerleader’”

I.   The problem:  a faulty worldview:  ethical         hedonism—_____________, rather than God’s Word, constitute truth.  

A. This false Christ/idol exalts _____________ and avoids __________, always cheering you on in the pursuit of ________________ (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

B. This false Christ/idol avoids _________________ and any mention of __________. 

II.   The result:  you have no need of the real Jesus.

A. You will not call on the doctor unless you realize you are _________ (Mark 2:17).

B. Avoiding the Law encourages ________________ (1 John 3:4).

III.  The solution:  we don’t __________ people into the faith, we confess ___________________. 

A. Jesus is not a _____________, He is    objective, unchanging __________ (John 14:6). 

B. He proclaims both __________________ and sin’s _________________ (Mark 1:17; Matthew 25:41).

C. He came to call not the “righteous,” but _______________ (Luke 5:32; 1 John 1:8-9; Romans 5:20). 


Toxic righteousness

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

"Toxic righteousness" (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)

I.   Your righteousness (piety/good work) can be ________________ to you when:

A. you do it to be “__________________” (“theathenai autois” or “theater to them”);

B. in this way, you become a “______________ “(“hypokrites” or “hypocrite”). 

1. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (King Solomon in Proverbs 16:18).

2. “Pride (vainglory) is the source of all sin without            exception.”  (St. Thomas Aquinas)

3. “Our righteousness is more dangerous than our _______.” (Dr. Martin Luther)

II.   We were made to notice and to be noticed by ________. 

A. He has become our true Father and we His adopted children through the ministry of His unique Son (Galatians 4:4-5;       Romans 8:29).

B. As our true Father, He _______________ what we do in secret (vv. 4,6,18).

C. The desire to be noticed by God is ___________.

D. The desire to be noticed by others is ____________ in God’s ability to notice.

III.  Our Father’s rewards are rewards of grace.

A. They are not __________________ but freely given by God (Luke 17:10).

B. They ________________ whatever service is rendered (Matthew 19:29; 25:21,23).


The ‘Son of God’ makes us ‘sons of God

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 9:28-36.

“The ‘Son of God’ makes us ‘sons of God’”  (Luke 9:28-36)

I.    What does it mean to be the only-begotten (one-of-a-kind) “Son of God”?  (See v. 35; John 1:18.)

Verse 35:

“This” = the One who will accomplish His __________________ in Jerusalem ( v. 31).

“is” = is.

“My” = _________________. 

“Son” = the ________, the One who ___________ everything (Psalm 2:7-8; Hebrews 1:2). 

“My” = (see above).

“chosen One” = “selected in the past as the most ___________________.”

(NOTE:  God’s choices are never ____________, they are      always _____________.)

“Listen to Him” = “If you want to know Me, God the Father, don’t come to Me, you go to _______.”  (1 Timothy 6:16; John 1:18; 3:35)

II.   What difference does it make?

A. God sends His one-of-a-kind Son into the world to redeem ___________ (1 Corinthians 10:1-4; Galatians 4:3-4).

B. Through our Baptism and our faith in the _______________ of God’s one-of-a-kind Son, God the Father has made us His ____________ sons (Galatians 3:26-27; 4:5).


Unnatural acts: the transforming power of grace

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 6:32-38.

“Unnatural acts:  the transforming power of grace” (Luke 6:27-38)

I.   “Natural” acts include:

A. physical reflexes ________________________________;

B. emotional reflexes __________________________ (see also vv.32-34).

II.  “Unnatural” acts (vv.27, 36):

A. come naturally to ______________________ (v.36);

1. Jesus preaches what He ________________ (vv. 27-31, 35-38);

2. Whatever He _________ of us He first _________ for us (Matthew 16:24; John 13:1-15);

B. come naturally to those who have received mercy (Luke 7:47; 19:1-10). 

1. You and your enemies share:

a. the same ____________  (Romans 2:1);

b. the same ____________  (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

2. His mercy _______________ us to be merciful (v.36).


Blessed are the beggars

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 13:31-35.

Blessed are the beggars (Luke 6:17-26) 

I.   Jesus is present and touchable in our Gospel.  His flesh is real and it has power to ______________ (vv.17-19).

II.  Who are the poor, the hungry, the weeping (vv.20-23)?  ____________________________________

A. They have left everything (Luke 5:11).

B. The “poor” (“ptochoi”) literally means “______________.“ 

1. It is a shameful condition of dependency and helplessness which ___________ called them into.   

2. This is the most extreme form of poverty (see Luke 9:3). 

a. It teaches dependence on God.

b. It is an effective evangelism strategy (“The Ben Franklin Effect”).

III. Who are the rich, the full, the laughing (vv.24-26)? ____________________________________________

IV. God exceedingly fair and merciful to all people in Christ (Luke 16:25).

A. The Beatitudes are _____________ _ promises to all who suffer because of their connection to Christ.

B. The Woes are _______________ promises to all who love this present world more than Christ and His kingdom: “You have received your consolation” (v.24). 

V.  Jesus is present and touchable for you today.

A. He calls us to confess our own dependency and helplessness (John 15:5).  “We are beggars, this is true.”  (Martin Luther)

B. His Beatitudes attract us into the kingdom of God by         removing the _____________ of dependency and giving _____________ to helplessness.

C. We share in ___________ of the same Jesus who imparts His life to us (Matthew 26:26; John 6:54).


Catching Men Alive

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 5:1-11.

“Catching Men Alive” (Luke 5:1-11)

I.   Deadly water

A. We _______ if we remain in it (hypothermia/exhaustion). 

B. In Scripture, the ocean depths are symbolic of chaos, evil and death (Genesis 1:2; Jonah 2).

1. This is life outside of _________ (Genesis 2:17; 3:16-19).

2. Access to the tree of life is _______________ (Genesis 3:22-24).

II.  Salvation is in the boat.

A. It is the place of Christ’s _____________ (v. 3). 

B. It is the place of _______________ and _________________ (vv. 8-10). 

C. The cross is __________________ (Galatians 3:13-14; John 3:14-15).

III. Confession and Absolution lead to _____________.

A. Men will be “_________________” (v.10).

B. The nets = __________ and __________________. 


The Word at Work: the Gospel is an Event

Pastor Armstrong's sermon is based on Luke 4:31-44.

“The Word at Work:  the Gospel is an Event“ (Luke 4:31-44)

I.   Words become _______________ through our insincerity.

A. Cliche conversation. 

B. Unfulfilled promises.

II.  Yet words are powerful ____________________ (Isaiah 55:11; Revelation 1:16). 

A. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

B. Jesus‘ words are ___________ (vv.32,35,36,39,41).

1. The Law creates ______________________ (2 Corinthians 7:10).

2. The Gospel creates ___________ (Romans 1:16; 10:17). 

III. To gather in His name is to gather for ______________. 

A. Christ Himself is present (Matthew 18:20).

1. _______ are removed,

2. ____________ is given,

3. ___________ is strengthened,

4. __________________ are restored. 

B. Our words are ______________ when we speak the truth (Matthew 5:37; Ephesians 4:25).