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Sermon Notes & Slides

10.28.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

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Sermon Notes

Glorifying God in Our Vocation 
Luke 3:10-14
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: Reformation Sunday is an opportunity for us to give thanks to God for the recovery of the gospel and its application in the Christian life. Though observed on the last Sunday in October in commemoration of Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses, we can appreciate it more by peeling back the historical layers that led up to this moment in time. Before Luther challenged the sale of indulgences he had surrendered himself to God as an Augustinian monk, believing that the truly spiritual life was lived through religious orders. After coming to a biblical understanding of the gospel (grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone), Luther then considered how Christians ought to live their lives in light of the gospel. His teaching on vocation erased the distinction between sacred and secular callings and empowered otherwise “ordinary” Christians to serve God and others with dignity and love.

01. We glorify God in our vocation when we use our creative abilities and physical efforts to improve the lives of others in the present and the future.

02. We glorify God in our vocation when we serve others in kindness and love, and when we bear our work-related burdens in a Christ-like manner.

03. We glorify God in our vocation when we live within our means, give to others in need, and rest in the assurance that He is in control.

04. We glorify God in our vocation when we refuse to wrap our identity in our career and continue to trust Him when our career comes to an end. 

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. Although Luther erased the distinction between sacred and secular, he did not diminish the need for people to serve in various offices of the church. Think of all the areas where people serve in the church and discuss how our lives would be affected without their help. What areas of the church are you praying for others to fill? What areas of the church might you be able to serve? See 1 Corinthians 12 for further insight.

2. Since God gave Adam work to do in the Garden of Eden, we know that work is good. However, after the fall humans began using their talents in sinful ways (see Genesis 11:1-9). What kinds of work are inherently sinful and therefore off-limits for Christians? How can our gifts and talents turn otherwise good work into a sinful endeavor? How can we redeem “lesser” jobs with our Christian attitude?

3. Do you tend to think of pastors or missionaries as being more spiritual than “ordinary” Christians? What biblical evidence do you have for this position? Are you ever tempted to compartmentalize your faith while at work? How have you been blessed by Christians in the workplace?

4. Discuss the following statement attributed to Martin Luther: “God doesn’t need our good works. Our neighbor does.” In what way does the gospel actually free us to do good works? Are you liberated in the knowledge that we serve God and others in love, rather than from fear or attempting to pacify?

5. If you are a young person considering a career or someone who is currently serving in a dream job, speak to a Christian who is retired. Ask what life was like during the early period of their transition and seek their wise counsel on how to avoid tying your identity to your career.

For Further Reading: Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work (Penguin Book, 2012).

10.21.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

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Opening the Eyes of the Blind
Acts 26:12-23
Pastor Taylor Mendoza

Introduction: Paul had appealed to Caesar. As a result, he found himself standing trial in a Roman court, facing his accusers, the Jews. Festus, the new Roman governor, was in a difficult situation. Did he dare send Paul to the emperor with no real accusation against him? That certainly wouldn’t be popular with Caesar. What was he going to do? It was in that moment that King Agrippa and Bernice arrived from their capital in the north to pay respects to the new governor. Agrippa knew Jewish law, and the spirit of the Jews, which provided Festus with a big opportunity. Agrippa agreed to hear Paul, and so the scene was set for Paul’s defense. Finally, Paul spoke.


1. The act of God in which he calls people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith.

2. God does not merely call people to himself, but he also calls all believers to ministry.

3. Cultivate a hunger for the work of ministry.

4. In your ministry, go and proclaim the gospel to all nations, cultures, and races.


10.14.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

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Do This in Remembrance of Me
Matthew 26:26-29
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: The Lord’s Supper has had many names and has been the source of considerable debate. It was originally based on the Passover meal, where Jesus gave new meaning in light of a new covenant. This seemingly simple ceremony led the early church to experience controversies from within and without. Over time, questions were raised about the bread: what type of bread, what happens to the bread, and whether it was sufficient to provide bread only. Reformers divided over the real presence of Christ in the meal; and evangelicals divided over whether non-believers should partake. More recently, the cup has been the focus of attention with issues of content and symbolism. Despite these differences, the Bible is sufficiently clear regarding the reason we observe; the symbols we use; the participants we welcome; the frequency of our participation; and the ultimate occasion for the Lord’s Supper.

01. Jesus dined with sinners and offered himself as the solution to their sins

02. Jesus intends for us to use both bread and cup 

03. Jesus invites believers to partake 

04. Jesus encourages us to observe this meal again and again

05. Jesus promises to dine with us when He returns

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. Although there is some dispute about the timing of Jesus’s last meal with His disciples, most biblical scholars identify this as a Passover meal. What parallels do you find in the observance of Passover and the Lord’s Supper? Think along the lines of substitutionary, sacrificial death; old and new covenant; and celebrating past redemption with an eye towards future consummation.

2. Do you have a favorite memory of participating in the Lord’s Supper? What made this occasion unique? In what biblical and practical ways do you think the Lord’s Supper can become more meaningful today?

3. Do you find convincing evidence in Scripture for the doctrine of transubstantiation? How does the development of this doctrine serve as a warning about the use of tradition in church practices?

4. What examples from Scripture can you think of that incorporate visible signs to reinforce spiritual realities? How do such visible signs reinforce, rather than replace, the means of grace we receive through the preaching and reading of the Word of God?

5. Prior to instituting the Lord’s Supper in Matthew 26, Jesus taught in parables regarding His return (Matthew 25). How does the message of these parables connect with His promise to dine with us when He returns? How does the Lord’s Supper encourage you to look forward to His coming, as well as look back to His work on the cross?

For Further Reading: John Hammett, 40 Questions about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Kregel, 2015.


10.07.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

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I Shall Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever
1 Samuel 27-31
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: The closing chapters of 1 Samuel bring a final resolution to the contest between David and Saul. Although Saul recognized David’s claim to the throne (24:20), he still pursues David with the intent to dispose of him. David’s fears get the best of him again, so he returns to Philistine territory in order to preserve his life (27). Saul continues his degenerate path by consulting a medium, upon which he discovers that his life will soon come to an end (28). Despite David’s apparent lack of faith, the Lord delivers him from having to fight against the people of Israel (29) and grants him victory over their enemies (30). As predicted by Samuel, Saul’s life comes to an end in inglorious fashion (31). By God’s grace, David has persevered and will soon be king over Israel.

01. Perseverance is not a virtue when the path leads to death and final separation from God.

02. Perseverance is not mental toughness or willpower. It is the gift of God to all who trust in the Lord.

03. Perseverance is understandably hard in this lifetime but it brings unspeakable joy in the life to come.

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. Given David’s increased faith in the Lord in 1 Samuel 23-26, are you surprised that David once again fears Saul and therefore returns to the land of the Philistines? Do you find that your walk with the Lord sometimes includes significant progress and certain setbacks? Read Romans 7:15-25 for further insight.

2. Even though Saul ordered mediums and necromancers to be expelled from the land, he easily located someone to do the work for him. What does this suggest about the prevalence of evil in the world? Imagine a city, state, or country with godly leadership and godly laws on the books—would such a place be free from sin? How does this reality lead you to long for a better world that is beyond this world?

3. What indicators from chapter 28 suggest that Samuel actually appeared and spoke to Saul? Are we to believe that people can communicate with the dead, or does this text underscore God permitting this to occur at this time for His own purposes? Read Mark 9:2-8 for another example of the dead appearing to others for God’s own purposes.

4. Notice in chapter 29 how the Lord delivers David from having to fight against the Israelites. What similar providences have happened in your life where the Lord delivered you from poor decisions you had made? How does this kindly intervention from the Lord encourage you in light of poor decisions others also make? Are you encouraged to continue praying on their behalf?

5. What does the kindness of David towards the two hundred men (30:21-25) suggest about the kindness of the Lord towards those who grow weary in well-doing? How then should we treat brothers and sisters in the Lord when they do not measure up to our own standards? Read Matthew 20:1-16 for further insight.

For Further Reading: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Final Perseverance of the Saints: An Exposition of Romans 8:17-39. Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.


9.30.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

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All the Days of My Life
1 Samuel 21-26
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: First Samuel is clear that God has chosen David over Saul, but chapters 21-26 indicate that neither David nor Saul have fully worked this out. Saul pursues David as if he has a chance to rid himself of his rival, and David flees from Saul as if he himself could die at any moment. Chapters 21-22 portray David on the run, preserving his life by acquiring food and weaponry (21:1-9), feigning insanity (21:10-15), and gaining a following (22:1-2); while Saul pursues David and kills those who offer him support (22:6-19). Significantly, David inquires of the Lord on multiple occasions (23:2, 10) and though Saul discovers David’s whereabouts (23:7, 19), the Lord protects David from harm (23:14, 26-28). On two separate occasions, David has the opportunity to take Saul’s life (chapters 24, 26), but he refrains from doing so out of respect for the Lord (24:6; 26:11). David’s actions throughout this section show that the longer he lives, the more he depends upon the Lord.

01. The longer we live without the Lord, the more consequences of sin we shall bear.

02. The longer we live for the Lord, the more appreciative we are on the means of grace.

03. The longer we live for the Lord, the more we long to live righteously before God and others.

04. The longer we live for the Lord, the more indebted are we to those who speak life to us.

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. What do you make of the fact that David’s attempts to preserve his life are motivated by fear of man? Do you find it surprising that a person with his background of trusting the Lord finds himself depending on his own resourcefulness rather than the Lord? Have you experienced similar occasions when you know that you should trust the Lord, but begin to believe you can take care of yourself just as well?

2. Compare 1 Samuel 21:1-6 with Matthew 12:1-14. How does Jesus use the episode of David and the consecrated bread to illustrate the danger of a legalistic understanding of God’s law? In what ways do we need to apply such truths today? In what ways might we go too far in the area of compassion and thus miss the point of God’s commands altogether?

3. Note the kinds of people that gathered around David in 24:2. What does it suggest about David when these people are attracted to and transformed by his leadership? How does this “motley crew” resemble the twelve that Jesus called to be His disciples?

4. David blamed himself for the murder of the eighty-five priests, even though Saul gave the order and Doeg carried out the command (1 Samuel 22:17-22). What is the proper balance between owning up to the consequences of our actions and understanding that we are not entirely responsible for the actions of others? What hope does the Bible give for those who bear tremendous guilt for their past decisions?

5. 1 Samuel 23 describes how the Lord delivered David through direct communication (verses 1-5) and through special circumstance (verses 26-29). How would you articulate the relationship between prayer and providence? Do you tend to see more providences as you pray?

6. David’s preservation of Saul is all the more remarkable because he had opportunity, motive, and encouragement to take Saul’s life instead. How difficult is it to trust in the Lord and His timing when taking matters into our own hands is otherwise acceptable to others and likely easier on ourselves? Read Psalm 57 for further encouragement.

For Further Reading: Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. InterVarsity Press, 2000; 20th Anniversary Edition.


9.23.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

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Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me
1 Samuel 18-20
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: 1 Samuel 18 highlights further differences between David and Saul. As David increased in popularity, Saul degenerated to near insanity. Several texts describe how people loved David or took joy in what David did, which contributed to Saul’s angry reaction. 1 Samuel 19 continues the narrative by showing how Saul’s attempts to dispose of David were foiled by various means: Jonathan’s intercession (19:4-6); David’s swift action (19:9-10); Michal’s forward thinking (19:11-17); and the Holy Spirit’s intervention (19:18-24). Jonathan and David rightly conclude that Saul’s hatred will not be satiated until David is dead (20:1-34), so they seal their friendship in the Lord together as David begins a life on the run (20:35-42). This entire section raises an important question: How can David say that goodness and mercy shall follow him, when he is but one step away from death? (1 Samuel 20:3)

01. God’s goodness is fundamental to His nature. His mercy flows from His goodness in response to a fallen world.

02. God’s goodness does not preclude His judgment on unbelievers nor hardships in the lives of believers.

03. God’s goodness is often seen through His mercies, which sometimes come to believers in very ordinary ways and oftentimes is appreciated only in hindsight.

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. Why was Saul envious of David? Since the Philistines were a common enemy of Israel (not just Saul or David), should Saul have acted differently when the people of Israel celebrated their defeat? How would your life change in the workplace if everyone celebrated a job well done without worrying about who gets the credit? What is distinctly Christian about “rejoicing with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:12)?

2. It is clear that nothing Saul devises can harm David. Why is this so? Are you encouraged by the fact that even the trials in our lives are ordained for our good and God’s glory?

3. In 1 Samuel 19-20, God’s providence comes in the form of “natural” means (i.e., a good word from someone; a personal skill; intervention from a loved one). Does the fact that God uses others to highlight His mercies in our lives make His providences any less remarkable? How have you benefitted from friends, family, or fellow Christians as God’s means of grace in your life?

3. Jonathan and David’s friendship forms an important part of the narrative. What does this friendship suggest about Jonathan’s character given the fact that he should have succeeded his father as king? How does their friendship in the Lord mirror that of brothers and sisters in Christ? See 2 Samuel 9 for further insight into David’s fulfillment of his promise to Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20:14-17.

4. David’s comment that “there is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3) was made in the context of being hunted by Saul. How does David’s comment apply to all of us, even when life itself is peaceful? In what ways would your life change if you took David’s words to heart? How can we live productively in light of this fact?

5. God’s judgment on Saul continues throughout this section. What does this suggest about unbelievers who dismiss God’s call for repentance on the premise that they can “get right” with God later in life? See the interplay between Pharaoh hardening his heart and God hardening Pharaoh’s heart for further consideration (Exodus 8:15, 32; 9:34; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10).


9.16.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

You Anoint My Head With Oil
1 Samuel 16-17
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: Many have read this text primarily as the battle between David and Goliath, but it actually deals more with the transition from Saul to David. As Samuel mourns for Saul, the Lord sends him to anoint David as the next king of Israel (16:1-5). Several significant contrasts then become evident: Saul loses the Spirit while David receives the Spirit (16:13-14); Saul loses touch with reality while David’s music helps calm him (16:14-23); and Saul is unwilling to fight Goliath while David is unwilling to back down (17). Although this section contains multiple details with respect to external appearances, the central passage assures us that “the Lord looks on the heart” (16:7). Thus, David’s encounter with Goliath tells us much about the kind of person who truly loves the Lord and is fit to lead God’s people.

01. External religion assumes we have a right standing before God based on past religious experience, the affirmation of others, or an occasional sense of peace.

02. True religion is an internal work of grace in our hearts that manifests itself with a singular focus to glorify God in all things.

03. Those who truly love the Lord defend His honor; they faithfully build upon His previous mercies; they continue to care about the things of God; and they long to have a positive impact on the people of God.

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. What does the Lord’s rebuke to Samuel in 16:1 suggest about looking forward to the future rather than regretting the past as we serve the Lord?

2. How does the Lord alleviate Samuel’s fear in 16:2? How does this plan fit with passages such as 1 Samuel 15:29 and Titus 1:2?

3. Note the frequent references to the physical appearance of people in 1 Samuel 16-17. Why do you think these details are given when the Lord Himself says that He looks on the heart? What mistakes do we make when we judge by appearances only?

4. What accounts for the departure of the Spirit of the Lord from Saul in 16:14? Why is it important to distinguish between this event and the presence of the Spirit in believers today? See Ephesians 1:11-14 for further insight.

5. What problems might arise when we use 1 Samuel 17 as a lesson about defeating giants in our lives? What indications are provided within the text to highlight Goliath’s arrogance towards God as the primary problem?

6. Does your translation of the Bible contain a footnote for 1 Samuel 17:4? If so, what does the alternate reading suggest about Goliath’s height? Does this potential difference change the dramatics of the story in any way?

7. Which people in your life have set an example for you to live more earnestly for the Lord?

For Further Reading: Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit (IVP Academic, 1997).

9.9.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

In the Presence of My Enemies
1 Samuel 13-15
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: As Saul’s kingship begins to take shape, the enemies of Israel have little chance of winning battles against God’s people. The Philistines are defeated (13:2-4; 14:6-23); Israel wins battles over several other people groups (14:47-48); and the Amalekites are targeted for destruction (15:1-7). Despite these victories, God regrets that He has made Saul king over Israel (15:10, 35) and Samuel announces that God has rejected Saul (15:26). The basis for this rejection was due to Saul’s unlawful sacrifice (13:8-14); his rash vow (14:24-45); and his refusal to obey the Lord’s command (15:7-26). In a striking turn of events, the search for a king after God’s heart is already underway even while Saul continues to reign.

01. God’s opposition to sin and resolve to judge sinful humans is not merely an Old Testament concept. God is eternally holy and will do worse to his enemies than our present text depicts.

02. God’s enemies are those without the desire or ability to obey God’s commandments; without regard for God’s glory; and without true repentance for their sins.

03. God’s provision for salvation is found in the One who obeyed Him in all things, and gave His life as a sacrifice for all who would believe.

04. God’s people are called to put to death sin in their own lives in order to make their calling and election sure.

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. What does the mixture of Saul’s victories in battle and his failures before the Lord suggest about how we should define success? See Matthew 16:26.
2. The Bible uses anthropomorphic language when it states that God “regretted that He made Saul king.” Why is this type of language useful in helping us to understand God better? In what ways can we go wrong by pressing this type of language too far?
3. If someone were to say, “I see no difference between the killing of innocents in 1 Samuel 13-15 and the killing of innocents on September 11, 2001,” how would you respond?
4. How does the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament (a) affirm that there is no difference between the Old and New Testament revelation of God, and (b) confirm that believers today are never to go to war to advance the kingdom of God?
5. What is the essence of the phrase “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22)? Does the former cancel out the latter, or are both somehow essential for serving the Lord?
6. Look carefully at Saul’s response to Samuel in 15:24-31. What indication can you find that suggests Saul’s repentance was superficial? Compare this section with 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. What are the indicators of true repentance?

For Further Reading: Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance. Originally published, 1688; Banner of Truth edition, 1987.


9.2.2018 Sermon Notes and Slides

Your Rod and Staff Comfort Me
1 Samuel 8-12
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor

Introduction: Israel’s request for a king to lead them came from a desire to be like other nations, hence it was a rejection of God’s leadership (chapter 8). Despite the warnings they received about the future consequences of their decision, Israel clamored all the more and the Lord gave them what they wanted (chapter 9). From a purely human perspective, Saul seemed to be an excellent choice as king, but evidence of Saul’s lack of godly character would become clearer over time and God’s people would suffer for it (chapters 10-11). Samuel’s final words on the matter offered a mixture of somber reflection and great comfort as the Lord proves Himself to be Israel’s true king (chapter 12).

01. We reject the Lord’s leadership when we place our will above God’s will, move in our time instead of God’s time, and seek our purposes instead of His glory.

02. God may respond to our rejection by giving us what we ask for instead of what we need. One way to know the difference is to consider long-term benefits over short-term gains.

03. When God’s Word is silent on a matter we should listen to those whose character is unquestioned, who are committed to following Scripture, and who lovingly pray for those with whom they disagree.

04. We can take comfort in the fact that God never ultimately rejects His people. Our foolishness and faithlessness are overcome by God’s wisdom and faithfulness.

Questions For Discussion & Discovery

1. What commonalities can be found between the sons of Eli and the sons of Samuel? Given the fact that Samuel is often presented in a good light, following the Lord at every turn, how does one account for the failure of his sons to honor the Lord?

2. Do you think it was realistic for Israel to exist as a country without a king when surrounding nations had their king and a standing army? Can you think of ways that God’s people employ worldly standards in order to be “successful”? Why is such an approach ultimately doomed to fail?

3. What clues from the text indicate that God is in control even when His people reject Him to get what they want? What does this truth imply about the importance of denying ourselves in order to follow the Lord?

4. With so many voices clamoring for attention in order to move Israel in a certain direction, what does the text tell us about Samuel that shows he truly cares about the things of God? What example does Samuel provide for us when dealing with rejection? How does his example of integrity in the face of rejection point us to Christ?

5. The fact that God never ultimately rejects his people can be misunderstood but must be embraced. What examples can you think of where people wrongly presume on God’s faithfulness to justify their sin? What examples can you think of where God’s faithfulness truly brings relief to the brokenhearted?

For Further Reading: Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (orig. published, 1648; Banner of Truth, 1964).