Archive for the Sermons Category
Actually, there is no such thing as “Throwback Thursday,” but today we are linking to a sermon preached by Ryan from October 19, 2003 from Ephesians 6:10-24, titled, “Put on Your Armor and Pray.”
The title of this sermon should ring a bell for most of us. If you’ve been up at DSC in the evenings dropping off kids or volunteering in this year’s VBS, you’ll know that this year’s theme comes from Ephesians 6. For those of you who are parents, perhaps this sermon will come in handy as you instruct your children in the Scriptures in follow-up to VBS this year. For all of us, Ephesians 6 is an important text of Scripture and this is a sermon we need. And, of course, it will also be interesting to hear Ryan’s voice from 2003!
Here are some of the verses the kids have been hearing and learning all week at VBS:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance . . .
After a short bout with shingles last weekend (many thanks to Trent for pinch-hitting!), I’m eager to get back to and wrap up our mini-series of praise in the Psalms. This coming Sunday, Lord willing, we’ll look at “The Aims” of praise, according to the Psalms.
Here are a few things you could do between now and Sunday AM to make the most of your time with others and the Lord.
You could read through and seek to apply these 10 suggested preparations for Sunday AM from John Piper:
1. Pray that God Would Give You a Good and Honest Heart
The heart we need is a work of God. That’s why we pray for it. “I will give you a new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26). “I will give them a heart to know Me” (Jeremiah 24:7). Let’s pray, “O Lord, give me a heart for you. Give me a good and honest heart. Give me a soft and receptive heart. Give me a humble and meek heart. Give me an fruitful heart.”
2. Meditate on the Word of God
“O taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8). On Saturday night, read some delicious portion of your Bible with a view to stirring up hunger for God. This is the appetizer for Sunday morning’s meal.
3. Purify Your Mind by Turning Away from Worldly Entertainment
“Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). It astonishes me how many Christians watch the same banal, empty, silly, trivial, titillating, suggestive, immodest TV shows that most unbelievers watch. This makes us small and weak and worldly and inauthentic in worship. Instead, turn off the television on Saturday night and read something true and great and beautiful and pure and honorable and excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Your heart will unshrivel and be able to feel greatness again.
4. Trust in the Truth That You Already Have
The hearing of the Word of God that fails during trial has no root (Luke 8:13). What is the root we need? It is trust. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream.” Trusting in the truth is the best way to prepare yourself to receive more.
5. Rest Long Enough Saturday Night to be Alert and Hopeful Sunday Morning
“All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). I am not laying down any law here. I am saying: there are Saturday night ways that ruin Sunday morning worship. Don’t be enslaved by them. Without sufficient sleep, our minds are dull, our emotions are flat, our proneness to depression is higher, and our fuses are short. My counsel: decide when you must get up on Sunday in order to have time to eat, get dressed, pray and meditate on the Word, prepare the family, and travel to church; and then compute backward eight hours and be sure that you are in bed 15 minutes before that. Read your Bible in bed and fall asleep with the Word of God in your mind. I especially exhort parents to teach teenagers that Saturday is not the night to stay out late with friends. If there is a special late night, make if Friday. It is a terrible thing to teach children that worship is so optional that it doesn’t matter if you are exhausted when you come.
6. Forebear One Another Sunday Morning Without Grumbling and Criticism
“They grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of the LORD” (Psalm 106:25). Sunday morning grumbling and controversy and quarreling can ruin a worship service for a family. When there is something you are angry about or some conflict that you genuinely think needs to be talked about, forebear. Of course if you are clearly the problem and need to apologize, do it as quickly as you can (Matthew 5:23-24). But if you are fuming because of the children’s or spouse’s delinquency, forebear, that is, be slow to anger and quick to listen (James 1:19). In worship, open yourself to God’s exposing the log in your own eye. It may be that all of you will be humbled and chastened so that no serious conflict is necessary.
7. Be Meek and Teachable When You Come
“Receive with meekness the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Meekness and teachability are not gullibility. You have your Bible and you have your brain. Use them. But if we come with a chip on our shoulders and a suspicion of the preaching, week after week, we will not hear the Word of God. Meekness is a humble openness to God’s truth with a longing to be changed by it.
8. Be Still as You Enter the Room and Focus Your Mind’s Attention and Heart’s Affection on God
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). As we enter the sanctuary, let us come on the lookout for God, and leave on the lookout for people. Come with a quiet passion to seek God and his power. We will not be an unfriendly church if we are aggressive in our pursuit of God during the prelude and aggressive in our pursuit of visitors during the postlude.
9. Think Earnestly About What Is Sung and Prayed and Preached
“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20). So Paul says to Timothy, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7). Anything worth hearing is worth thinking about. If you would take heed how you hear, think about what you hear.
10. Desire the Truth of God’s Word More Than You Desire Riches or Food
“Like newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). As you sit quietly and pray and meditate on the text and the songs, remind yourself of what Psalm 19:10-11 says about the Words of God: “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”
Of course, if you’ve missed any of the three previous messages on praise on the Psalms, you could also get caught up today or tomorrow. We’ve looked at “The Basics” of praise, “The Ingredients” of praise, and “The Form” of praise.
You could remind yourself a few of John Wesley’s “Directions for Singing:”
Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing.
Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.
Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually….
Or you could simply read one of the most exultant Psalms, Psalm 145. This coming Sunday we’ll be all over the Psalms, but we’ll give special attention to this crescendo of the Psalter.
And, of course, pray! Pray that God would help us come eager, expectant, and exultant. Pray, “satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psa. 90:14). I’m praying that for you now.
The internet is good for many things. I’m sure you can think of a few.
Perhaps the best thing that the internet is good for is the wide and voluminous distribution of the Word of God.
Of course, the most important sermon any of us hears in a week is the sermon we hear when we’re together with the body on Sunday morning. But there is a place for listening to a specific sermon at a specific time to address a specific question or need, or just to hear more of the Bible.
That’s part of why we publish almost ten years of preaching and approximately 400 sermons at the DSC Messages page. That’s a lot of sermons! For that reason, it is good to be familiar with the various ways to search the sermon database.
Search by Scripture (New!)
Search by Series
When searching by series, sermons can be filtered by sermon series, conference, seminar weekend, or type of event, like Lord’s Supper. Here are some examples:
- Clarus 2005 – The Reformation: Why Was It Needed and Do We Need Another?
- Colossians: Christ is All
- Elders Q&A
- Lord’s Supper
- Mapping Out The Old Testament
- Proverbs: Wisdom for the Home
- Psalms: Pour Out Your Heart to Him
- Seminar: The Reliability of The Bible
- The Word on Parenting
Search by Speaker
If you remember or want to listen to a sermon by a particular preacher, you can search by speaker. Here are some examples of familiar names:
Search by Topic
Under the umbrella categories of “Theology,” “Worldview and Culture,” “The Christian Life,” “Family,” and “Church and Ministry,” sermons are searchable by a number of topics. Here are some examples:
- The Grace of God
- Assurance of Salvation
- Death and Dying
- Knowing God’s Will
- Work and Vocation
- Church Planting
Search by Date
If you remember a sermon from a particular year or time of year, you can search by year back to 2004.
Jesus didn’t show up out of nowhere. Luke 24 records the story of Jesus’ interaction with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus where “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (24:27). And when he did this, the text says, their hearts “burn[ed]” within them (24:32). And so we have much to look forward to in December.
December Sermon Series
Starting this Sunday, Ryan will show us the greatness and the glory of the promised One, Jesus Christ, in a four part series that will culminate on the Sunday following Christmas. Here are the titles and times, so you know what’s ahead:
Sunday, December 12 (9:00 & 10:45 AM): “Someone’s Coming”
Sunday, December 19 (9:00 & 10:45 AM): “Jesus: God Dwells”
Friday, December 24 (4:00 & 6:00 PM): “Jesus: God Redeems”
Sunday, December 26 (9:00 & 10:45 AM): “Jesus: God Reigns”
While we’re on the subject of December and Christmas and Christ, two more things:
Christmas Resources at the Resource Center
In addition to this sermon series, DSC has a number of resources available at the Resource Center to help you see Christ clearly and spread Christ broadly during this month. Cause for Praise CDs are available for pick-up (if you pre-ordered) or purchase for $10. All DSC sermon CDs are 50% off, including past Clarus conferences and special speakers. The Resource Center has also been stocked with a number of books about Christ for adults and children for purchase as gifts. To listen to past Christmas season sermons, visit the Christmas section of the Messages portion of this site.
Remember to Invite Friends to one of DSC’s December Services
For those who don’t know Christ, Scripture says that they are “[without] hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). As those who have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ, we are privileged messengers of the news that Christ has come, and that through Christ God dwells, God redeems, and God reigns. Remember the appropriateness of the season for inviting friends, family and neighbors to church, and let’s be especially hospitable on Sunday mornings knowing that we are joined by visitors who may be hearing the gospel or hearing the gospel savingly for the very first time. And let’s pray faithfully that many would come to know Christ, not only as the baby that he surely was, but as the risen and reigning King that he is.
We were privileged to have Ed Stetzer preaching for us on Sunday, July 18th. He preached from 1 Peter 4:8-11, “Empowering All God’s People for Mission.” If you missed it, please do take the time to listen.
Dr. Stetzer is President of LifeWay Research (SBC) and is LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence, where he oversees a large team of Christian researchers examining the health of churches worldwide. He has planted, pastored, and revitalized numerous churches; and he has trained pastors and church planters around the world. He holds two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written several books. Dr. Stetzer is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USA Today and CNN.
In short, he is one of this generation’s leading thinkers in the areas of evangelism, church planting, and culture, so, again, it is a great privilege for us to have him preach for us. He’ll be preaching from Invite a friend to join you that Sunday.
If you’d like to spend some time getting to know Ed and his work some more, here are some things to check out:
- You can click over to his blog for all kinds of stats, studies, and articles
- Specifically, you may want to read a series of blog posts on what it means to be “missional”
- You can watch Ed faithfully preaching the gospel and mission on TBN of all places
- You can watch him teach on “The New Media” at R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier Conference
- Or, you may want to pick up one of Ed’s books and start reading
A good friend of mine, Dr. Fred Zaspel, will be at DSC Sunday, June 27th. In addition to preaching in both of our morning services, Fred will give a special talk at 6:00 PM that evening — “Romans 9: Hard to Understand or Hard to Believe?” This will be followed by an open Q&A on the passage and its teaching. I’ve heard Fred preach this passage and answer questions on related doctrines, and I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed.
Childcare is available for five-years-olds and younger. Just email Terry Ash if you plan on taking advantage of that.
Let me say a little more about Fred and how I know him. He has invested hours in me personally over the last dozen years. He has sent me a lot of books, articles, pep-talk emails, and spent probably hundreds of hours on the phone helping me with this or that pastoral dilemma. For all practical purposes, he’s really been a long-distance Paul to this Timothy. In addition to his pastoral and writing ministries, Fred directs the theology and biblical studies curriculum for To Every Tribe missions. He recently completed his PhD dissertation on B.B. Warfield, which is to be published by Crossway later this year. It will certainly be the most thorough and authoritative work on one of the most important American theologians. On a slightly lower shelf of reading, he also co-authored (with Tom Wells) New Covenant Theology. Even more accessible, dozens, or even hundreds, of Fred’s sermons and articles are online at biblicalstudies.com. And, Lord willing, we’ll be posting some of those articles over the next couple weeks.
So, all that to say, we hope you’ll be looking forward to June 27th, and planning on coming that Sunday PM to soak in Romans 9. Maybe even invite a friend from another church to come with you!
We just wrapped up Clarus ’10 with Wayne Grudem and Randy Alcorn. The theme was “Between Heaven and Earth” and touched upon various topics such as, suffering, heaven, business, ethics, government, and economics. The audio for the eight different sessions, including two Q&A sessions, is now online (for free). If you weren’t able to attend some or all of the sessions, let me encourage taking the time to listen. Some good, helpful, thought-provoking stuff!
- Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business, with Wayne Grudem
- The God Who Brings Good Out of Bad: Suffering, Evil, and the Promise of Heaven (Rom. 8:14ff), with Randy Alcorn
- Business Ethics: Working, Buying, and Selling according to God’s Moral Standards, with Wayne Grudem
- Investing in Eternity: Financial Stewardship and Eternal Rewards, with Randy Alcorn
- Panel Discussion 1, with Randy Alcorn and Wayne Grudem
- The Bible’s Solution to World Poverty: 50 Factors within Nations that Determine Their Wealth or Poverty, with Wayne Grudem
- Panel Discussion 2, with Randy Alcorn and Wayne Grudem
- Keep Your Heart with All Vigilance (Prov. 4:23), with Wayne Grudem (Sunday AM service at DSC)