My First Sermon

I finally did it today. I preached in Australia. My text was Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (for those of you who are crossoraders, you’ve heard this sermon before). I thought this would be a great text to preach to the congergation, for several reasons. First, it explains the purpose of the Old Testament Law, something most people misunderstand. Second, the text serves as a key to unlocking the meaning of the Old Testament. In short, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 serves as the pathway to the Old Testament. 

The title of the sermon was “The Demands of God”. My proposition was: “Four Things God Demands From His Covenant People”, which are: I. God Demands Your Allegiance (6:4); II. God Demands Your Love (6:5); III. God Demands Your Attention (6:6); IV. God Demands Your Relationships (6:7-9).  

A central point that I tried to emphasize is that the purpose of the Mosaic Law was not the means whereby Israel was to enter into a relationship with God. That was never the purpose of the Mosaic Law. The purpose of the Mosaic Law was simply to provide Israel with an opportunity to tangibly express their love and devotion to Yahweh. God demands that Israel give allegiance to Him and Him alone. He demands that Israel love Him with all her heart, soul, and strength. He demands that Israel give Him her undivided attention by cherishing the Word of God. And He demands that everyone of Israel’s relationships should be dominated by, and consistent with, the Word of God. Each of these demands is reaffirmed in the New Testament. Thus, the basic essence of what God required of Israel is the very same thing that God requires of His new covenant people, the church.

All of this presupposes one simple fact: a relationship with Yahweh. It is impossible to keep the demands of God, to obey God at all, if one does not already have a relationship with God in the first place. Keeping the essence of the Law does not place one into a relationship with God. Keeping the Law is only how you show God that you actually love Him. So the question is: How does one enter into a relationship with God? The answer: By beleving in Christ and repenting of one’s sins (see Abraham’s example: Genesis 15:6; affirmed in the NT Galatians 3:6-14).

The point is this: If you are not a Christian, then keeping the Law is a dead end street (it’s actually called “Legalism”). You can’t do it. Before you can seek to obey God, and to love Him, you must first know Him. Then, and only then, are you in a position to obey Him. The only way to enter into a relationship with God is not by keeping his Law, but by having faith in Christ Jesus. After expressing faith in Christ, obedience is a possibility by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:13). But prior to this work of grace (called “regeneration”) the only thing that keeping the law of God will do is condemn you to hell. Repent and belive the gospel. And then, you can love God with your life.

I did not plan on turing this blog into a sermon, but there you have it. Maybe my Sunday blog will be my “sermon recap”. We will see what the future holds.

Everyone was responsive, even though I preached for fifty minites. I can only trust that the Spirit of God did His work in the hearts of those who heard the Word. I am considering preaching a series on the book of Deuteronomy on Sunday monrings once I get rolling in July. That is yet to be determined.

After church, Gary and Judith joined us for lunch. We had homemade ice cream, jelly (what we Americans call “Jello”), and coffee. Australians love their tea and coffee. The afternoon was pretty uneventful. Nap and rest. Then, Daniel preached in the PM service on Daniel 9, “Our Entrance Into God and God’s Entrance Into Us”. He preaches with such conviction. It is a privalege to sit under his teaching.

Tommorow I move into my apartment, officially. More on that tommorow, or the day after. =)

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3 Responses to “My First Sermon”

  1. Patrick Anderson Says:

    Great to hear Brian. Thanks for the posts. I know we’re keeping up with what’s going on for you here at the guys place. Thanks again for keeping us updated. Will be praying for you. . .

  2. Bobby Says:

    Hey Brian,

    Congrats on preaching for the first time down there. I’m glad that everything is going well so far and I pray that the Lord will bless your ministry. I found Dever’s series on Deuteronomy really helpful- you may enjoy checking it out, especially if you’re going to do a series on that book. You can find it on CHBC’s website- I think he preached it about a year ago.

    Things are good here in L.A. The library is nice and quiet…I finished Calvin’s Institutes and I’m working through some more Warfield right now, on the clock. The Lord is good!

    Bobby

  3. Kelley C Says:

    BRIAN! Yo we have a girl we want to hook you up with and she’s thinking of moving to LA but then you aren’t there 😦 I’m betting on you meeting an Australian girl and falling into deep love and living in Oz for the rest of your life. And that would be your mom’s worst nightmare. But I would come visit b/c I love Australia!!!!! Anyhow…be cool, don’t preach too long and spare some change for the little people.

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