Sermon Outlines

The outlines are very fully-developed, making them ideal for personal study, young preachers, or men doing occasional fill-in appointments. Audio recordings are added to each posting after the outlines are preached.

Tuesday
Mar202012

Sing Praises to God

Updated on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:54PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

One of the most distinctive things about churches of Christ is the music. When made by spirit-filled worshipers, its a Cappella quality resonates with meaning unimpeded by innovation and instrumentation. We must always be careful that the focus of our musical worship is not wholly shifted to the mechanics of eschewing the instrument, but is concentrated upon the words of the hymns and the work of giving our best to a worthy God.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar072012

Do You Do Well to Be Angry?

Updated on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 1:16PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Even the most mild-mannered people get angry. Even God gets angry – although the results are often more universal when he does it. There are times when a person should be angry and times when people are angry without cause. Regardless of the reasons, we have to learn to control our anger or watch passively as it starts to control us and alienate the people around – strangers, neighbors, and loved ones most of all. If allowed, anger will take control and become the reflexive response to even the slightest problems.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb232012

By This We Know

Updated on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 1:30PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Obedience and doctrinal conformity have a negative connotation among some in these freethinking days of religious liberation and denominational decline. Obedience appears to some people to be synonymous with legalism or an affront to the sacred creed, while doctrinal orthodoxy is likewise deemed too narrow and often confused with the imposition of personal opinion. In a religious world where so many would rather feel saved than experience any intellectual satisfaction about it, we should not be surprised that obedience becomes endangered and suspect. Obedience, however, is essential to the genuineness and endurance of real faith.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb152012

If You Continue

Updated on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:46PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The Christians in Colossae was not thinking about quitting the church or beginning to have doubts about the existence of God. They were not flirting with a denomination or falling prey to a heightened desire for carnal immorality. When Paul wrote them with special encouragement toward steadfast faithfulness, his concern was that they were vulnerable to false teachers’ promises of deeper insight and knowledge, which actually amounted to erudite error and apostasy. Our own perseverance is likewise conditional upon our resistance of worldly wisdom and the false appearance of religion.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov172011

We Have Left Everything

Updated on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 12:15PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The idea that half of all marriages will end in divorce is a clever bit of statistical fiction, based on numbers that indicate, for instance, that in a certain year, there were 2.4 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces; while that sounds like a fifty percent divorce rate, it ignores the fact that the two figures are almost entirely independent of each other. In other words, of the 1.2 million couples divorcing that year, very few were also among the 2.4 million that got married the same year. The 1.2 million divorcing couples were drawn from many different years of marriages. A statistical judgment on the likelihood of marital failure is difficult to ascertain, but an anecdotal observation of the number of divorces among our relatives, neighbors, friends, and even brethren is alarming enough to compel us to take the subject seriously.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct262011

Mercy Not Sacrifice

Updated on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 8:35PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Ritual has always played a role in religion, but sometimes the ritual literally takes over the religion and becomes its purpose, definition, and goal. When that happens, the heart of religion has been broken by externals, and shallowness and corruption are the result. It is not that the rituals are necessarily wrong, but that, over time, they can be allowed to obscure the spirit of faith sufficiently that they replace any motivation toward the truer exercise of the teaching of Christ, which goes deeper and far beyond ritual. What we must do, then, is learn what Jesus means by desiring mercy ahead of sacrifice.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct182011

Taxed

With the exception of years like this one in which April 15 falls outside of the five-day work week, the ides of April is Tax Day, the deadline to file one’s tax return and pay up. The history of taxation follows the history of civilization and naturally finds its way into the histories of Israel and the church. While no one seems to be overjoyed to pay taxes, the will of God regarding them restrain his people from ignoring the edict of the state. And so we pay … and pay … and pay.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct042011

Go to Siloam and Wash

Updated on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 4:22PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The miracles of Jesus were amazing and their authenticity was difficult to deny, even for his enemies who were devoted to his destruction in spite of them. Although the signs and wonders he worked were great, many people insisted upon rejecting his teaching and his authority, just as they do today. Our attitude should always be a rather simple one when we are confronted with the person of Christ in Scripture – we ought to be ready to comply with his instruction, knowing it is in our best interest, even if it compels us to crucify our pride, to risk becoming a spectacle, or to subject ourselves to overwhelming personal change.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep202011

Peace on Earth

Updated on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 10:12PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

In a hymn that is really fitting for any time of the year, we sing about “Peace on earth and mercy mild,” a subject that has special appeal to the rest of the world around Christmastime when Hark! The Herald Angels Sing gets most of its attention. Knowing that Christmas is likely not the birthday of Jesus and that the Bible commands no observance of his nativity is useful information, but it still leaves us curious about the savior’s potential to bring peace on Earth.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep062011

Welcome To Providence

Updated on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 8:02PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The providence of God is one of those Bible subjects that is monumentally important, but perceived to be so mysterious that Christians might be better off ignoring it, lest we be thought like the charismatics. When we study the providence of God, however, miracles play only a small role in the subject, and in fact, we provoke God’s providence every time we pray anyway. It is not only safe to discuss providence, it is necessary to keep us from falling into deism, a belief system that basically portrays God as apathetic and powerless since the morning after creation. In today’s lesson, we shall study about providence and the way that it affected certain Bible characters. We hope that we will come away with a better appreciation for how God answers prayer today, in the wisest way.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug232011

My Church

Updated on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 1:02PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

When you plan to visit an unfamiliar community, or even just when you are passing through somewhere, it is common to look at the places of worship and identify them according to the way they identify themselves. Many are designated as outposts of some well-known Protestant denomination, while others are clearly Roman Catholic or evidence of a modern form of interdenominationalism. Truly, however, the identity of a religious house cannot be fully known simply by looking at the words on the outside wall, but those words do give some indication of what the people inside would aspire to be. What is the identity of the church that belongs to Christ?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug172011

Talking Like a Madman

Updated on Friday, June 15, 2012 at 12:08PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 1:48PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Chances are, because of your faith, you have either been accused to the face or behind your back of being a little crazy. The convictions of members of churches of Christ are just that distinctive and enough in conflict with the acceptable creeds of Protestantism that we seem like madmen and rabble rousers to those in the mainstream of Christendom and among agnostics and atheists. Such accusations are examples of usually mild persecution and put us in good company with the likes of Christ and the apostle Paul who were likewise accused of madness.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug102011

A Good Minister

Paul wrote at least a couple letters to his young protege, Timothy, encouraging him to be a faithful preacher of the gospel (First Timothy 4:1-11). Although a young man, Timothy was commissioned to teach the will of God without compromise, to live according to it as best he could, and to perpetuate it by training others to follow suit. There is among the people of God today a shortage of good ministers because the work is very difficult, not terribly lucrative, and fraught with obstacles.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul272011

Showers That Water The Earth

Updated on Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 12:35PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Whenever we go a long time without rain, we suddenly stop taking water for granted and start appreciating a gift that we suddenly lack. Thanks to modern technologies, we are able to store up vast supplies of water and transport them wherever we need them, but even these technologies are dependent upon rain falling somewhere along the chain of supply. When our lawns are turning brown and our foundations are straining against the shifting soil, we are alerted to the need for rain. When our crops begin to fail, our livestock face premature slaughter, and our authorities warn us to ration our faucets, it becomes impossible to take water for granted. Our dependence upon the heavens for something so simple and necessary as water is an occasional reminder of our reliance upon God, but we ought to have a constant sense of that fellowship.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul202011

The Sweat of Your Face

Updated on Monday, September 5, 2011 at 8:44AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The happiest period of my college experience was the brief time when, as a senior, I was unemployed for about a month in between stints managing the convenience store and arriving at Channel 15. I soon found a passion for television work, but leaving behind the drudgery of retail was welcome in itself. Many people have that kind of relationship with their work, seeing it as a necessary evil, dreaming of the weekend, vacation, holidays, and retirement. I am blessed now not to have what I consider a job, but to engage daily in a joy that enables me to support myself and my family, while doing a work that is mostly pleasant and rewarding, even if there are the inevitable reminders that all work is work.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul082011

March Forth

Updated on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 4:43PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Sometimes Christians are uncomfortable with the military action of the Old Testament or the imagery in the New Testament. Predictably, some find an inconsistency between the teachings of Christ, which almost seem pacifist to them, and the function of the soldier. Old Testament Israel, of course, was a physical nation, ordered by God and required by circumstances to wage wars on combative neighbors. From that experience, and the ubiquity of the Roman occupiers, New Testament writers drew a metaphorical parallel to the warfare in which every Christian must find himself. To reject the imagery is to deny the reality that we are under attack by the tempter and pacifism in this battle means certain defeat.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul052011

The Other Beatitudes

Updated on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 3:58PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 12:52PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 1:28PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:21PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

This is a four-part series of lessons on the Bible's beatitudes. The beatitudes are among the best-known teachings of Christ Jesus, even if their practical implications prove difficult to assimilate into life. Found most prominently in the sermon on the mount of Matthew chapter five, the beatitudes are either the commands of faithful discipleship or the rewards of a holy lifestyle – perhaps they are a mixture of both. In this series of lessons, we want to go beyond the obvious, to see the beatitudes in other settings and to learn just how practical and essential they are, to see them as more than rote commands, as the fruit of faithful imitation of the teaching and life of Christ throughout the Bible, including in the Psalms and Revelation.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun282011

Malicious Gossips

Updated on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 12:07PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Gossip is a strange little thing. Everybody condemns it, but almost everybody does it. Everybody seems to agree it shouldn’t go on, but no one seems quite sure what it is or what distinguishes gossip from news. How is gossip different from slander, some wonder, and does the difference even matter? In many New Testament passages, it is actually “gossips” who are personally condemned, their iniquity merely provoking such judgment as something so deeply ingrained in their character that they offer it little resistance.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun282011

Sermons in Scripture and Song

Updated on Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 6:58PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 7:48PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 8:05PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Updated on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 7:57PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

These sermons combine scripture readings with appropriate song selections and prayers to present a biblical theme in a way that the entire congregation can participate.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun242011

911

Updated on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 7:57AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Note: This lesson is intended for use on September 11, 2011. Today marks exactly ten years since Muslim terrorists crashed four American jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killed more than three thousand people and changing the course of history. Most of you remember that day like it was yesterday, while some of you were not even born yet, or were too young to comprehend why an entire nation was weeping and angry. We pledged that day as a nation never to forget, and we have kept that pledge to some degree, although we have abandoned it where it mattered most. The spiritual revival that followed 9/11 saw people dropping to their knees in prayer and returning to places of worship; even God was welcome in our public discourse again. It was all too temporary, however, as the wounds healed and the threat seemed as distant as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is debatable that we learned anything of lasting spiritual import from 9/11, at least on a broad scale. That “Lamentation in America” as I called it while preaching on it five days later should still be sufficient to teach an enduring lesson about always being prepared to face an eternity that often arrives sooner than expected.

Click to read more ...