November 15, 2020 • Matt Miller
Here we see Jesus begin His famous Sermon on the Mount. He begins His introduction with a series of paradoxical statements, famously known as the beatitudes. While many have thought this is a sermon on ethics, it is a sermon on salvation. It is a declaration of who is in His kingdom and who is not. In these four statements (or beatitudes) Jesus gives us an opportunity to self-reflect. They are four marks of a converted soul. Are we of Him and among the blessed, or are we not of Him and among the cursed? This is the question He wants His audience to wrestle with, and it is His question to us. These are the indicators of a redeemed heart, and therefore, who is blessed.
Preaching, Power, and Popularity
November 8, 2020 • Matt Miller
Luke gives us a summary statement of Jesus' immense popularity. Many are coming to Him for various reasons; hoping to hear Him, be healed, and be amazed. It's a passage that reflects on the people's perspective toward Jesus up to this point in His ministry. Yet, Luke masterfully places this before Jesus' Sermon on the Plain. Jesus will end that sermon by saying true disciples are not one's who merely here and consume, but obey. It is a powerful reminder that we must examine ourselves to see if our life truly bears the marks of a faithful disciple.
The Master's Men
November 1, 2020 • Matt Miller
Jesus now gathers His twelve disciples for ministry. Among the crowd of followers, Jesus chooses twelve, very common, very ordinary men. They are imperfect and weak, yet the Lord will use them to accomplish mighty things. God is not looking for super saints to accomplish His purposes. He uses the weakness of common, ordinary men to fulfill the extraordinary. And the weaker we are, the more useful we'll be. And it all began with these twelve men who will become the foundation of His Church.
October 18, 2020 • Matt Miller
Jesus endures a string of three assaults by the Pharisees. Yet, here, He intentionally heightens the tension. He wants to make a very strong contrast between His way of salvation, and the way of self-righteous religion. What Jesus reveals is that a person is either with Him or against Him. There is no neutrality. For the lowly sinner, He offers grace. But for the self-righteous, He offers judgment. Which are you?
Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath
October 11, 2020 • Matt Miller
Jesus is assaulted by false accusations on a point of Law, specifically, regarding Sabbath observance. Jesus, once again, uses the confrontation to expose the false religion of the Pharisees, but also reveal Who He is. Jesus masterfully traps the Pharisees, who are seeking to trap Him. It's a wonderful account that gives the sinner much hope in Jesus Christ. Salvation does not come through religious Law-keeping, but by embracing the One Who is Lord of the Sabbath. For He is our rest.
The Incompatibility of the Gospel
October 4, 2020 • Matt Miller
This is a poignant passage revealing the uniqueness of the Gospel. It shows how Jesus' message is utterly new, and therefore, incompatible with any form of religion, or self-righteous effort. It is a passage revealing the purity of the Gospel, and that anything false corrupts its efficacy to save sinners. It is a timely message in light of a pluralistic, syncretistic culture, which says that there are many paths to salvation. Jesus says there is only one path, and it is His path alone.
Calling Sinners to Repentance
August 23, 2020 • Matt Miller
This passage reveals the extent of Jesus' forgiveness. There is no sin too great and wide that He is not able and willing to forgive. We see, again, the contrast between the helpless sinner, and the self-righteous pharisee. Jesus can only heal those who know themselves to be sinners. He cannot forgive those who do not see it, or want it. It is a great passage showing us the extent of God's forgiveness. Our only job is to see our sin, and embrace this forgiveness by faith. When we do, not only will we be forgiven, but turned into a disciple to do great things for the Lord.
The Faith Healer
August 9, 2020 • Matt Miller
We continue in the healing section of Luke's Gospel. This is a wonderful account of Jesus' saving work, demonstrating that not only is He the Christ, but that He has come to forgive sin. We see three different groups in this account: those who hate God, the religious neutral, and true disciples. It is a straightforward account, but a clear picture of the sinner's saving response in light of Jesus' authority to forgive sin. The sinner must come admitting his sin, and trust in Christ by faith alone for the forgiveness of sin.
Coming to Jesus
March 8, 2020 • Matt Miller
We begin the healing section of Luke's Gospel. Intimately attached to Jesus' healing miracles is His authority to forgive sin. This is a wonderful account of Jesus' purifying work. Not only can the sinner be cleansed from their sin, but they can become legally right before the just judgments of God's perfect Law. Yet, where the Law condemns, Jesus makes well. The only condition is that we must come to Jesus as this leper comes; desperately, worshipfully, hastily, humbly, and believing. If we bring the full weight of our wretched sin to Christ, He is forever willing, and eternally able, to forgive.
December 15, 2019 • Matt Miller
What is your purpose in this life? If you're a Christian, why have you been saved? Jesus answers this question as He gathers His first disciples. He gives His call for radical self-denial. True disciples are to pick up the mantle of Jesus' mission and follow Him. Jesus is unbelievably clear that true disciples cannot still be defined by the former life, but must be defined by the holy mission of building the kingdom.
His Authoritative Word
December 1, 2019 • Matt Miller
After escaping an attempted execution in Nazareth, Jesus returns to Capernaum and begins teaching in the synagogue. In a dramatic display of power, Jesus confirms the authority of His Word by expressing the power of His Word over truth, spirits, and sickness. Capernaum responds vastly different than Nazareth. Instead of seeking to kill Him, they seek to keep Him. However, He gives the clear statement that He must be about the preaching of the kingdom. The passage shows the passion of Jesus. The priority of His ministry will be the preaching of His Word. For His Word is what possesses authority. Therefore, it's through His Word alone that He will liberate those enslaved to the powers of sin, Satan, and death.
November 10, 2019 • Matt Miller
There's only two kinds of people in the world - those who accept Jesus, and those who reject. Luke seeks to show the kind of person Jesus receives. He shows the kind of person Jesus has come to save, and yet He also shows the kind He rejects in judgement. This is a very important passage at the outset of Jesus' ministry, for it shows the paradigm that will typify His ministry. There's much wonder over His miracles, yet much hatred for His message. The key point is to understand ourselves as broken sinners, in need of God's grace. We must receive His promise of forgiveness by faith alone.
Jesus the Preacher
October 27, 2019 • Matt Miller
This passage begins Jesus' ministry in Galilee. It's a powerful passage in which Jesus establishes the purpose for which He's come, and the nature of what He will do. In short, Luke is clear that the Messiah's come to preach. He's come for the broken sinner in desperate need of rescue. The entire story line is moving toward the cross, but the road to the cross will be marked with the ministry of Spirit-filled preaching.
The Temptations of Jesus Christ (Part IV)
October 13, 2019 • Matt Miller
The final temptation of the devil is an attempt to get Jesus to presume upon a promise of the Father. It's a subtle, but tremendously deceptive temptation. Jesus is confronted with the devil's Scripture-twisting scheme, but ultimately overcomes. They key application for Christians is to rightly understand the Scriptures, but so that they might rightly apply the Scriptures. While we can hold onto the promises of God, we must never demand that they be fulfilled as we desire them to be fulfilled. When we fail, we must always look to Jesus Christ, the One Who perfectly overcame every temptation on our behalf.
The Temptations of Jesus Christ (Part III)
September 29, 2019 • Matt Miller
This sermon covers the second of three temptations that Jesus receives from the devil. The first temptation was an attempt to cause Jesus to doubt the love of the Father, but the second is an attempt to cause Jesus to doubt the plan of the Father. The devil is very subtle with his deceit. The assault is great, and the lie is slippery, but Jesus perfectly overcomes. Not only can we look to Jesus as model in resisting temptation, but His refusal to give in shows why He is our perfect substitute. Though we might fail, there is One Who stood in our place and never did.