Dr. Jonathan Sloan gives a sermon about biblical paradoxes, based on Matthew 16:21-28 (link).
Call to Worship
We enter the church this morning to exit the ways of the world;
Jesus leads us from bad to good.
We seek everlasting life;
but must endure temporary death.
Jesus’ teachings often appear to be contradictory or difficult to understand. We continue to hold that which needs to be released and hear that which needs to be muted. We come with questions in order to leave enlightened.
Let us worship God!
Prayer of Confession
Almighty God, we should praise You but instead condemn You. We choose to gain the world by losing ourselves in it. We should deny ourselves and accept You but instead believe evil lies and doubt Your holy truth. We know to follow You means to carry a cross beside You; but we seek ways to place the burden on others and turn from Your path. Help us to believe that in order to live eternally with You we must die to the sin that separates us…
*Assurance of Pardon
Jesus calls us to the cross, where He bears our pain and forgives our sin with mercy, grace and life everlasting.
Thanks be to God!
Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
The Cross and Self-Denial
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”