This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 26 April 2014
Acts 2:14,22-32; 1 Peter 1:3-9 Faith, Hope and the Resurrection
Acts 2:14, 22-32 is part of the first sermon ever preached. It was
in response to the disciples’ speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost. When
the disciples spoke in tongues, some people in the crowd thought that they were
drunk. Peter stated that this was not true because it was 9:00 in the morning.
Peter was drunk with anything, he was drunk with the Holy Spirit. It allowed
Peter to preach with conviction and faith. It allowed him to preach with the
same boldness, courage and urgency that Jesus did. Peter preached Christ. He
explained God’s gift of salvation, what people did to refuse it, what God did
in spite of their refusal to accept his gift, and what would happen to those
who would accept the gift.
declared that God wants his people to live in Christ. Christ’s life, death and
resurrection were part of God’s plan for his people, and they are still part of
his plan for us today. God’s plan could not be stopped then, and it can’t be
stopped now. The crucifixion was predetermined by God, but it did not absolve
the guilt of the people who put Jesus to death. They thought that they had
ended Jesus’ ministry, but death could not keep Jesus in the grave, and it
could not stop his ministry.
said that death did not have the power to hold Jesus because Jesus was no
ordinary man. He was God’s designated Messiah. Peter backs up this claim by referring
to Psalm 16:8-11, which speaks of one who will not be abandoned to hell or
experience corruption. King David wrote that particular psalm, and since his
body died and decayed, the Holy One mentioned in the psalm refers to someone
other than the speaker. David saw Jesus as the one who would not be abandoned
to hell and whose flesh would not experience decay. In other words, David knew that Jesus would rise from the
was not lost when Jesus died on the cross. On the contrary, things were just
beginning. God raised Jesus from the dead, and Jesus will return one day to
judge everyone. No one is beyond salvation, no matter how bad their lives are.
that happened in Jesus’ ministry was part of God’s plan to reveal Jesus as the
long-promised Messiah. God worked through Jesus. Jesus himself said that he
could do nothing by himself. All of his teachings and miracles were the result
of God the Father working through him.
Holy Spirit fulfilled the prophecy of the prophet Joel. Jesus could not have
sent the Holy Spirit if he was dead; therefore, Jesus is alive! Jesus could not
have send the Holy Spirit unless he had ascended to heaven as the Lord.
Therefore, we can know for certain that God made Jesus both Lord and Christ. If
we believe in Christ, we must repent of our sins, believe in the Gospel and
give ourselves to a life of following Jesus. We have received God’s grace, and
therefore we have to give grace in our relationships with other people.
ongoing presence casts a light on depression, despondency, death and damnation.
Jesus is the light that shines in our dark, sin-filled world. When we obey God,
we know what the outcome of our lives will be. We know what will happen to us
when we die. We can rest in the hope of eternal salvation.
we are to believe in Jesus, we must do so by faith, including the confession of
faith by those whose lives have been shaped by Christ. Peter’s sermon is a good
example, because he and the other disciples were eyewitnesses to Christ’s
teachings and miracles. Faith-both ours and the faith of others-invites us to
enter into a relationship with Christ. Faith is an invitation to expand our
memories and our lives to include him. Faith invites us to live in him.
Holy Spirit is the unseen force that gives us our power. It guides us. For
example, the Holy Spirit combined with the teaching of other learned pastors
and scholars guides me when I prepare and deliver homilies. Hopefully the Holy
Spirit works in each and every one of you as you listen to them. The Holy
Spirit gives us the power to cope when life throws us challenges because the
result will be eternal life with Jesus in heaven. Our adversities purify and
strengthen us if they are met by faith.
Holy Spirit also comforts us, especially when we travel through the dark times
of our lives. It counteracts the pressures of our everyday lives. All we have
to do is to know where the flow of the power is going and follow it. If we do,
we can walk with courage and confidence. We would be like the elderly lady who
was confined to a wheelchair and lived in a nursing home. One day she was
visited by a very dignified pastor. As he stood to leave, she asked him to have
a word of prayer. He gently took her hand and prayed that God would be with her
to bring her comfort, strength and healing.
he finished praying, her face began to glow. Something amazing was happening in
her heart and in her body. She asked the minister to help her to her feet. At
first she took a few uncertain steps, and then she began to jump up and down,
dance and shout with joy and happiness until the whole nursing home was
she quieted down, the minister hurried out to his car, closed the door, grabbed
hold of the steering wheel and prayed a little prayer, “Lord, don’t you ever do that to me again!”
can’t separate the death, resurrection and exultation of Jesus. Each of these
events gives meaning to the others. Each is an important piece of how God
establishes and confirms Jesus’ messiahship and lordship, which results in the
sending of the Holy Spirit. They fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They
show us that Jesus came to heal broken people-those who are broken physically,
mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to
everyone who asks for it. People who receive the Holy Spirit are changed. They
are healed. They are put back together. They are not the same people they were
Holy Spirit allows us to see visions and dream dreams. As the old saying goes,
if you can dream it, you can do it. The Holy Spirit motivates us and changes us
because God’s hand is also upon us. The Holy Spirit lives in us just like it
entered the lives of the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus has been
raised from the dead and is sitting at the right hand of God. Jesus is alive
and praying for us. He is praying that everything we need to live faith-filled
and faithful lives has been provided.
speech tells us how we have access to salvation. Jesus gives us salvation, but
only if we repent and are baptized in his name. Peter’s sermon is the core
message of the Book of Acts. The Holy Spirit gives power to God’s people, the
end times are here, the Messiah has come and a message of salvation must be
preached so that those who hear it may receive the new life Christ offers.
& Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series, Vol. 28: Acts (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1983)
J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible, NASB
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2006)
E.P.: Allen, R.B & House, H.W.: Nelson’s
New Illustrated Bible Commentary Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1999)