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12.3.2017 Sermon Notes & Slides

Sermon Notes – 12.24.2017

God with Us
Matthew 1:18-25
Pastor John Sloan

Introduction: Someone has said that the season of Advent is like getting a flat tire on the middle of the busy freeway: it forces us to reluctantly slow down, reflect, and wait. With the world whizzing around us and the frenetic pace of our own schedules leaving us dizzied and exhausted, how easy it is to miss the power and significance of one incredible word: Immanuel. Yes, God has come down to us. As a babe in a manger. But how does that change our everyday lives?

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. How were first-century betrothals different that our current marital engagements? In light of Mary’s unexpected pregnancy, what did Joseph have every right to do?

2. How did Joseph demonstrate remarkable grace?

3. From what specifically did Jesus come to save us (verse 21)? Why do we need to be saved?

4. What happens to anything that is separated from God?

5. 19th Century British preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, once wrote: “A man must have forgiveness, or else everything will be emptiness to him.” What do you think he meant? How have you experienced God’s forgiveness?

6. In what sense could the reality that God is “with us” be terrifying? How does it bring unparalleled comfort?

Sermon Slides

1. Read Matthew 1:18-25.

2. “Infidelity during betrothal made divorce virtually obligatory.”

3 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

4. “A man must have forgiveness, or else everything will be emptiness to him.” – Charles Spurgeon

5. “Our wants and longings and desires are at the core of our identity, the wellspring from which our actions and behavior flow. Our wants reverberate from our heart, the epicenter of the human person. Jesus doesn’t just inform our intellect but forms our very loves.” – James K.A. Smith

6. Read Matthew 1:22-23.

7. “Matthew’s entire gospel ios to be read in light of its end.” – Davies & Allison

Sermon Notes – 12.17.2017

Voice of an Angel
Luke 1:26-56
Pastor John Sloan

Introduction: A teenage peasant girl. An unexpected pregnancy. A visit from an angel. The announcement of a king’s arrival. None of those statements cry predictable. Yet, every detail was ordained by God in order to showcase the beauty and magnificence of his salvation. It is a plan of redemption that prompts a singularly fitting response: a song of worship.




Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. What does phrase “O favored one” mean in verse 28?

2. How do verses 32-33 connect with Genesis 3:15?

3. The witness of Scripture is this: we are accepted by God then we obey, not we obey then are accepted. Why does this matter?

4. Mary rejoiced in “God my Savior” (verse 47). What does this reveal about Mary’s understanding of herself, her world, and her God?

5. What does it mean to delight in God’s salvation? How have you done so in the past week? Month?

6. What does God do for those who believe they’re good? What about those who know they’re bad? How have you seen this dynamic of God at work in your own life?

Sermon Slides

1. Read Luke 1:26-38.

2. “It must be emphasized that despite all these qualities, God’s choice of Mary to bear this child springs from his grace, not from any inherent merit that she possesses. She is the object of God’s unmerited, graciously provided goodness.” – Darrell Bock

“Mary didn’t find acceptance because of our own merit; she found grace because of the goodness of God.” –  Johannes Brenz

4. 01. For his glory and wise purposes, God pursues decidedly imperfect people and lavishes upon them his undeserved favor (or, grace).

5. Read Luke 1:38 again.

6. Read Luke 1:39-45.

7. Read Luke 1:46-47.

8. 02. We magnify the Lord most beautifully when we fully delight in his salvation.

9. “God, deliver me from sluggishness on the one hand and from ambition on the other. May I do all I can do, and feel no more lifted up than if I did nothing.” – Jonathan Blanchard

10. Read Luke1:48-55.

11. 03. The holy God comes to the rescue of the lowly and broken, leading the redeemed ones to sing with joy.

Sermon Notes – 12.10.2017

A Sign from God
Isaiah 7:1-17
Pastor John Sloan

Introduction: From fires that consume entire neighborhoods, to storms that flood expansive cities, to stories of evil that permeate our news coverage, reminders of brokenness are everywhere. The Scriptures make it clear that this chaos is caused by sin, the breaking of our relationship with the God who made us, and our subsequent attempts to build our lives on created things rather than our Creator. Nevertheless, because God is merciful and loving, his grace will have the final say. God will bring about peace through the person and work of a Redeemer, a Savior. That’s a promise that God made thousands of years ago.




Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. What is the historical context of this passage? Why does that always matter when interpreting the Bible?

2. Ahaz’s initial response to the threat of destruction is to stockpile his resources (verse 3). How do you tend to respond to crises in your life? In what ways are you inclined to trust in your own instincts and abilities?

3. God tells Ahaz to “be quiet” (verse 5)? How well do you practice quietness before the Lord?

4. Read verse 9. How would you define “faith”?

5. As assurance of the Lord’s deliverance, Isaiah says, “Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call his name Immanuel” (verse 14). How does the evangelist Matthew apply this prophecy to Christ (see Matthew 1:23)?

6. How does this oracle of God, fulfilled in the person of Jesus, strengthen your faith in God’s promises?

Sermon Slides

1. “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” – 1 Kings 12:14
2. 1050 BC United Monarchy (under Saul, David & Solomon)
930 BC Kingdom is Divided
740 BC God calls Isaiah into ministry
734 BC Israel-Syria Alliance
3. Read Isaiah 7:1-7.
4. 01. Amid chaos, confusion and the threat of defeat, God delights in showing himself strong on behalf of his people.
5. Read Isaiah 7:7-9.
6. Read Isaiah 7:7-9 (again).
“A whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting and confiding self-commitment. Intellect, feeling, and will converge upon Christ. … There is a consensus of all the functions of a man’s heart.” – John Murray
8. True faith is trusting in God in such a way that our hearts despise our own “wisdom” and anything the world offers as a substitute for God, as we grasp by the Spirit’s power our complete need for God’s provision, namely Christ, in such a way that it moves us to courageous and sacrificial action.
9. 02. Life with God is a life of faith.
10. Read Isaiah 7:10-17.
11. “There are situations where outward piety and inward unbelief are identical.” – Otto Kaiser
12. “It’s bad enough that you make people tired with your pious, timid hypocrisies, but now you’re making God tired.” – Eugene Peterson
13. Read Isaiah 7:14 (again).
14. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. … [Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.’” – Matthew 1:18, 21-22
15. 03. Jesus came to deliver us from our greatest enemy, the seemingly unconquerable spiritual alliance of sin and death.
16. “Matthew saw in Isaiah’s prophecy of the Immanuel sign-child a picture of our ultimate salvation. We face a coalition of hostile powers far worse than Syria and Ephraim of old. We face the alliance of sin and death, they never go away, and we are no match for them. But at this ultimate level the baby Jesus fulfills the truest meaning of Immanuel, God with us.’” – Ray Ortlund Jr.

Sermon Notes

Predicament & Promise
Genesis 3:8-21
Pastor John Sloan

Introduction: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. So goes the song that rings over airwaves and throughout department stores during December (or earlier in the year). Sure, this is a season of joy. But for many, this is a time when sorrow takes center stage. When loneliness seems inescapable. For all of us, this should be a time of celebration, but also a time of longing, longing for things to be right. When we reflect on the coming of Jesus, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask the question: What prompted Jesus to leave the confines of heaven to inhabit the dirt of this earth?




Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. Why did Adam and Eve hide themselves from the presence of the Lord? Are there habits or actions in your life that you’ve tried to keep hidden from God?

2. The serpent’s chief ploy was to cause Eve to doubt God’s goodness. Are there areas in your life where you doubt the goodness of God? How will you overcome those doubts?

3. What are some of the physical/ earthly effects of Adam and Eve’s rebellion? What about relational effects?

4. What is the most devastating consequence of the revolt of our first parents?

5. What does the author mean when he says that the seed of the woman will “bruise” or “crush” the head of the serpent (verse15)?

6. What are some ways that the seed of the woman’s offspring will restore creation? How does this bring you hope?

Sermon Slides

1. Read Genesis 3:8-21.
2. “You didn’t want heaven without us.”
3. “And the Lord God commanded the man saying you shall surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:16
4. “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” – Genesis 3:3
5. 01. The perfect goodness of God’s created world was forever tainted by mankind’s rebellion in the garden.
6. “Our first parents, being seduced by the subtlety and temptation of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. … By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.” – Westminster Confession
7. 02. The worst consequence of our first parents’ revolt: we are born into Adam’s fallen condition.
8. Read Genesis 3:15.
9. “His ‘heel’ has this meaning: that the son of the virgin, who is our Lord Jesus Christ, was going to blast with venom—that is depose and destroy—all of Satan’s power, majesty and dominion; but in turn, Satan was going to infect with venom—that is, afflict—Christ with every kind of adversity in his humanity, as much in his own person as in his members who are believers in him.” – Johannes Brenz
10. 03. By living, dying and rising for us, Jesus secured for us forgiveness and eternal life—but those actions required that he must first be born.
11. “Here is the real purpose of the coming of Christ. Here is the heart of the incarnation. Christ Jesus came to deal effectively with sin, to become the atonement for sin, the liquidator of man’s guilt, as well as the Conqueror and Annihilator of sin. – George Peters
12. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:21-22