A Fulfilling Mission (Matthew 5:17-20)

Jesus enters history to fulfill the law and the prophets.  Christ summarizes his mission as the messiah who has entered history fulfill rather than to abolish.  Why is this important?  What does this definition of his mission tell us about Jesus living up to His name? 

Worship Elements: Communion: Core Warning (1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 11:17-34)

Paul, the apostle, gives a very stern warning to the church communicating a warning to Corinth that some people have died in the congregation because they have not appropriately approached the sacrament.  This is a passage that can make someone approach the supper with great caution.  In fact, someone might not want to come to the supper at all considering that there are people who have died in the past.  Why would we come to the Lord’s table when there is such a stern and fixed warning in Scripture? 

Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16)

Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and they are to be the light on the hill.  This sounds like Jesus is giving us very strong directives, but what does it mean to be salt and light?  What do these commands imply about our Christian life?  What does it look like for us to live out this ethic? 

Certain Assurance (Matthew 5:1-12)

Jesus takes his stand on the mountain to teach the crowds and his disciples.  This should be a sermon that is full of good news.  This is expected to be a sermon where Christ promises absolute victory.  However, Christ talks about mourning, oppression, and persecution.  How can Christ’s message truly offer us hope?  Has the kingdom failed in some way? 

Worship Elements: Communion: Passover (Ex. 12)

The Lord’s people have been enslaved for 400 years and doubt whether or not the Lord is really with them.  The Lord promises that his people will not remain in slavey.   So, what how is the Lord going to deliver His people from this time of slavery?  What is Israel going to do in light of this deliverance that the Lord promises? How does this deliverance pave the way for the Lord’s Supper? 

Worship Elements: Communion: Sacrifices (Leviticus 7)

Moses lays out the expectations for the sacrificial system with Israel. Moses communicates essential points of this sacrificial system from Leviticus 7.  This chapter teaches us that there are feasts anyone can eat, other feasts only the priests, and then there are offerings that are not eaten at all by the priests.  Why does the Lord have some meals with his people?  Why does the Lord have some meals with the priests?  What does any of this have to do with the Lord’s Supper?

Jesus' Public Ministry (Matthew 4:12-25)

Jesus announces that the kingdom of heaven is present.  This is great to hear, but what do we do with John the Baptist being arrested?  What do we do with Christ retreating to Galilee?  The issue then: how can Christ say that the kingdom is present when the context of this chapter seems to contradict His message? 

Worship Elements: Pleasing to the Lord (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

The apostle Paul exhorts fathers, wives, and bondservants to live out their lives before the Lord’s face.  The Lord does not only exhort adults to life a life pleasing to the Lord, but Paul also exhorts children.  Why would Paul exhort children to obey their parents for that pleases the Lord?  Could there be implications in this exhortation for baptism?  

Jesus’ Tempations (Matthew 4:1-11)

We believe that Jesus is Immanuel or God with us.  He is enters history to save his people from their sins.  So, if Christ’s mission is to save his people from their sins then why is he wasting his time in the wilderness?  Why would Christ spend this time being tempted rather than just go to the cross? How can these temptations be so essential for Christ’s mission?  How can these temptations be essential for Christ’s mission to save his people from their sins? 

John’s Baptismal Concession (Matthew 3:13-17)

Ministers do not like to be wrong, and we really do not like the find out that we missed the point of a text.  We could say this is pride, but the honest truth is we want to handle God’s word competently.   I wonder how John the Baptist felt when Christ came to him for baptism.  It must have been strange to see the one who delivers his people from their sins to be identified with sinners.  Why does Jesus need to be baptized? Does this contradict John’s message regarding the fire baptism that is coming?