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Interactive Sermons on the New Life

This series arose out of my teaching the Nazarene Membership Class to new parishioners at New Life and from years of pastoral counseling.  Parishioners often ask a wide range of very unexpected questions in these settings.  So I decided to do this distributed series, stretched out over a couple years, where I would preach about 2/3 of a regular sermon and then open the floor for questions.  These were very interesting Sundays!  Obviously, I have not found the time yet to post all the sermons in this series.   I'm not sure when I'll complete this.   However, I have Word and PowerPoint files for all of them and if you want a copy just let me know and I'll email them to you.

The entire list of sermons in this series is shown below.  Where you see a sermon title in blue, highlighted, and underlined, just click on the title to go to a Google Doc of that sermon.  Similarly, when you click on the Presentation File you will get the Google Presentation version of the PowerPoint file I used.


Courteous living

1. Gossip, slander, profane & coarse speech

Ephesians 4.29, Leviticus 19.1-18

Thesis: God calls Christ-followers to speech that is humble, true, and loving – this precludes gossip, slander, profanity and coarse language.

This is part of the Interactive Series on Character & Conduct in the New Life. It is a simple and direct Christian teaching on several forms of inappropriate speech:

  • Profane
  • Coarse (near profane)
  • Gossip
  • Lying
  • Slander
As you would expect, after unpacking the list the sermon helps the listener come up with a strategy to do better.

2. Quarreling

Not yet posted.  Contact Tim if you want an advanced copy.

Modest living

3. Caring for others

This one deals with both Christian brothers and sisters and also with people outside the church/faith. Not yet posted.  Contact Tim if you want an advanced copy.

4. Modesty and humility

Not yet posted.  Contact Tim if you want an advanced copy.

Dangerous entertainments – practices that threaten our bodies or minds

5. Lotteries/gambling

This one is in two series, this one on Interactive Sermons and also in the “Disputable Matters” series.

6. Promiscuous dancing

I had originally planned to do a separate sermon on this but covered most of the content in the one on Modesty and Humility.  Not yet posted.  Contact Tim if you want an advanced copy.

7. Tobacco/alcohol/drugs

This is an important topic but I must admit that I didn't get around to preaching a sermon on it before I retired.  Sorry about that.  Maybe I'll get something together in the future, but no current plans to do so.  If you have done a sermon in this area and are willing to share it with me, please send it to me.

Loving God with all our hearts

8. Evangelism - Why Christians Evangelise

2 Corinthians 5.13-21 (... anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The Old life is gone; a new life has begun!...)

Thesis: Evangelism is an important behavior of Christians because it is a response to the heart of Christ who suffered and sorrowed for our sin, and who also suffered and died for the sins of everyone we know.

Here is a sermon full of great anecdotes to help communicate the message of evangelism, and does it in the process of unpacking this text. In a nutshell here is why we share the good news of new life in Christ with people around us.

  • Because Christ already died for everyone around us; now the gift of forgiveness and a new life awaits all who will receive it and give themselves to Christ.
  • Because we love Christ and he assigns each of us this responsibility.
  • Because we love the people Christ loved… which is everyone.

Here is how we do not communicate the good news of Jesus: NOT with sales techniques, coercion, trickery, bait-and-switch or any other kind of manipulation.

And here is how we do: 

  • By living our lives in a Fellowship of Believers because there is no other way to live this Christ life.
  • By transparently living our life in Christ while also engaged in the kingdoms of this world (school, work, neighborhoods, social clubs, etc).
  • By sustaining Prayers of Faith for the people all around us, always being ready to give a reason for the hope that others see in us (1 Peter 3.15). 

9. Sabbath Keeping & Public Worship

Mark 7.1-23.  Fits Year B, Proper 17

Thesis:  Keeping Sabbath and Public Worship are two essential practices God uses to transform our hearts into hearts that beat like Jesus’ heart.

Presentation file.

10.Secret societies

This is another one I never preached on.  Maybe someday I'll get to it.  If you already have, please send me your sermon. 

11. Tithing - God Owns Everything; We are His Managers

This sermon is included in the collection of sermons I've preached on Money Sermons. There you can find more about this particular sermon, several other sermons on money, and a link to other teachings about money in the church.

Presentation file.

Marriage and sexuality

12. Abortion 

Done 7/26/09.  Not yet posted.  Contact Tim if you want an advanced copy.

13. Marriage and Divorce

Mark 10.1-9, Ephesians 5.21-33.  RCL Year B:  Proper 22 is the scripture for the Mark passage.  But the Ephesians passage doesn’t show up in the RCL!  Two surrounding Ephesians passages that do appear in the RCL are for B Proper 15 & 16. 

Thesis:  God’s idea for marriage is a man and a woman living in an Ephesians 5 relationship, but only if properly understood.

This one brings new understanding to Paul's teaching in Ephesians 5.  Here's one of two stories used in the sermon that give you a flavor of what I mean:

I recall a fight my wife and I had some time ago. We were civil, but both knew there was a lack of love between us. I knew what I should do, but I was not doing it. Finally, she took the initiative and began to breathe life back into our romance. As she did, my attitude changed. Love began to flow again. A short time later I thanked her for what she had done. She accepted my thanks but asked that we not make a habit of this solution. If we default to her taking the initiative and me doing the responding, she would be taking on the role of Christ and me of the church – that is backward!

(The stories come from an article by James Danaher, Prof of Philosophy at Nyack College in NY.)

Presentation file.  

14. Sexual purity

1 Corinthians 10.6.12-20.  Fits B 2Epiphany. 

Thesis:  God’s intention for us is to live lives of sexual purity, and he provides the resources to do this even while living in a very impure world.

Presentation file.

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