Sermons by John Spranklin (Page 5)

Sermons by John Spranklin (Page 5)

John Spranklin

Simple salvation for a Syrian soldier

2 Kings 5 is the riveting story of the healing of Naaman, the Aramean (Syrian) military commander. Naaman is introduced to us as a powerful, important, successful, influential man who is master of his own destiny. But he has leprosy – a problem that renders him weak, helpless and dying. This is a story full of irony in which the solution to his problem is, in every way, not what he expects. Naaman is humbled, he is healed, and he acknowledges the God of Israel as the one true God, and commits himself to staying devoted to him.

Sin’s slippery slope

Numbers 25 is the crazy story of a priest driving a spear through an adulterous, idol-worshipping couple, and in so doing, turning aside the wrath of God from the whole community of Israel. We learn that at the root of all sin is idolatry, that sin is serious and so making atonement for sin requires extreme measures. And so we are prompted to consider what idols we are yoking ourselves to, to confront sin in our lives and what it will take to cut sin off, but it also causes us to be amazed at what God has done for us in Christ, and to look forward to a new creation where we will no longer battle with sin.

Kingdom living in relationship with others

From judging others, to how we pray, to doing to others what we’d like them to do to us; Jesus covers various issues in these verses as he helps his followers to see the implications of being part of the Kingdom for all of their lives, in particular in relationship with other people.

Faith Alone

Salvation is found in Christ alone and comes by grace alone. But as a gift, is must be received to be of any consequence for the individual. So we ask, “How do we receive salvation?” The gift of salvation is received by faith alone. A believer is justified before God by faith alone. Real saving faith involves knowledge, assent and trust. Real saving faith leads to assurance, peace and humility in the life of the believer.

Christ Alone

“Christ Alone” affirms that because of his exclusive identity, and the sufficiency of his saving work, Christ alone is the basis of our salvation.

Still By Grace

The people of Israel have brazenly rebelled against God by not going into the land. And we find ourselves asking, “Where to from here?” “After this kind of failure, how will God’s people continue in relationship with him?” Numbers 15 outlines a series of offerings they are to make and things they are to do once they enter the Promised Land which will remind them that not only did they start their journey because of God’s grace, but each step is taken only by God’s grace. We who have been saved by God’s grace through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus also fail and rebel. And likewise, we are only able to continue in relationship with God on the basis of his continued grace.

The King’s people… in the world

Having already given his disciples a description of life as the King’s people, in the beatitudes, Jesus addresses the question, “What does it mean to be the people of the king in our relationship to the world?” He says they are salt and light in the world. That is, as followers of Jesus (the King’s people) our lives are to cause others to glorify God by being unmistakably distinctive.

A costly conversation

The Israelites were required to sacrifice hundreds of animals to make preparation for the ministry in the Tabernacle. The pinnacle and the end point of this costly preparation is hearing God speak to them through Moses. God speaks to Christians through the Bible and reveals himself to us through his Son Jesus. Do we treasure this relationship with God enough?

The Son comes

Jesus finally arrives on the scene, he is baptised and is about to begin his public ministry. John the Baptist and the Heavenly Voice announce him to be God’s chosen Messiah who will suffer for and rescue his people. He comes with all authority. People, then and now, must respond in true repentance.

Hear, O Israel…

Deuteronomy 6 speaks to a generation who need to hear and remember the story of God’s salvation if they are going to love God and live for him wholeheartedly. Like them, we need to pass on the story of God’s salvation, through Jesus Christ, from generation to generation.