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
Jun212011

Do Not Stir Up Love Until It Pleases

Updated on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 12:41PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The Song of Solomon has gone through an interpretive transformation over the centuries. Until recently, scholars just could not accept such an intimate book at face value, and resorted to analogizing it into utter obscurity. Now, however, we have come to acknowledge that it really is a book about romantic love, especially young love with all of its emotion and drama. The Song of Solomon is a celebration of love, but is also a cautionary tale about falling too hard and too fast.

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Wednesday
Jun152011

Character Studies

The goal of these character studies is to magnify the great men and women of the Bible, including those characters that were mostly virtuous and some that were irredeemably evil. They are examined here warts and all and applications are attempted that might lead the reader to greater awareness of his own character and potential.

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Tuesday
Jun142011

Imitators of God

Updated on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 1:05PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

One of the joys of fatherhood is watching one of your very young children trying to imitate your work or habits as a respectful homage to something they admire. Boys will put on their dads shoes and waddle around, or dress up and pretend to do their father’s job. Little girls cannot wait to get at the makeup table, to play house with their dollies, or subject their little brothers to imaginary tea parties. They grow out of this stage all too quickly, however, and by the time they are teenagers, their chief goal seems to be finding the precise opposite of their parents and pursuing that. Christians can get caught in between those two extremes, but we are urged to be imitators of our Father in Heaven, never allowing ourselves to reflect the darker reality that lurks in the mind of the tempter. It is the difference between being beloved children or sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:1-21).

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Tuesday
Jun072011

Aim For Restoration

Updated on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 12:20PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Reformation or restoration? That’s a question that has concerned mankind as long as things have been evolving beyond their original identities into things that eventually need to be repaired somehow. Houses, organizations, systems, and ideas all eventually require somebody to make the decision – do we try to reform, that is, make a few modifications to improve matters – or do we aim for restoration – to try as hard as we can to bring everything back to its original, pristine condition and purpose? For the last half-millennium, many believers in Christ have settled for reformation, while a handful here and there have insisted on pursuing restoration of the first century pattern. What we find from Scripture is that restoration should always be our aim when things have progressed beyond what is scriptural and right.

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Tuesday
May102011

Truly Life

Updated on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 1:13PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Serving God has never been without its price. Wealthy men like Abraham, Job and John Mark found the costs to be difficult to be borne, so much that the infamous rich, young ruler walked away from Jesus rather than pay it. Strong people like Moses, Elijah and Jeremiah sometimes buckled under the pressure, even if they never quite broke. Today, people can look at the Christian life and see many deprivations and restrictions that seem unpleasant and sometimes the people of God make it look worse by wearing misery upon their faces and their tongues. In spite of all the evidence that the disciple’s life is filled with adversity, we are nevertheless constantly reminded that a life of forgiveness and direction is better than aimlessness and guilt, and that we are in pursuit of “that which is truly life” (First Timothy 6:19).

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Tuesday
May102011

Giving Thanks to the Lord

Updated on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 4:29PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

They were finally completing the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem when Ezra found the remnant people overcome with emotions of gratitude and bittersweet sentimentality. They were a thankful people because they had lost everything with not much hope of getting it back. Now, they had been restored to their homeland and had a place to worship, even if it wasn’t anywhere near as grand as what the old folks remembered from their youth. In many ways, we are too spoiled to embrace gratitude as deeply as we should, or as the new generation of Jews did in Ezra’s time, but if we can begin to understand how much we lost by sinning against God, and how much we regained through faith, perhaps our thankfulness can be restored, too.

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Tuesday
May032011

What Does the Lord Require?

Updated on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 4:35PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

What does God want from me? It is a question that has plagued believers as long as people have believed in God. Job must have wondered what God wanted from him as he found himself seemingly punished for doing the right thing. Even today, many people are confused as to why their lives seem so unrewarding, when they feel as if they are doing fairly well, or at least better than some who seem to be prospering. What does the Lord require? There are some Old Testament principles that come into play in the covenant of Christ that might help us better understand what God wants. Deuteronomy is the second giving of the Law of Moses, or a summary of Hebrew history up to the point that Moses then died.

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Tuesday
Apr262011

Distracted With Much

Updated on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 1:21PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

It was once a staple of our public prayers – we petitioned God to help us during the worship assembly to dismiss temporarily the cares of this world. No doubt, God was listening, but so was the tempter, also keen on employing technological advances and cultural opportunities to serve his cause. Even a meeting house without windows is wide open to the distractions and concerns of the world beyond its walls. Our thirst for communication and connectedness will not even permit us to go an hour or two without interrupting the flow of worship to plug in and catch up.

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Tuesday
Apr192011

Burning Daylight

Updated on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 7:55PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

When Daylight Saving Time suddenly ends, we are dramatically struck by how much less daylight we seem to have when we need it most. The days keep getting shorter and night comes sooner than desired. it is times like those that we often hear the complaint made – “We’re burning daylight!” when someone appears to be indecisive or just wasting time. Of course, the truth is that we’re always burning daylight when it comes to this life and its appointment with eternity.

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Tuesday
Apr122011

Disguises

Updated on Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 1:19PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Every year on All Hallows’ Eve, millions of Americans – children and adults alike – don silly or strange costumes and take to the streets in search of candy or amusement, or both. There is certainly something very dubious in the costumes that celebrate evil, and even in the holiday itself, which is an amalgam of pagan superstition and Catholic appeasement. It is the costuming, however, that is most integral to American Halloween, and for some, to their faith throughout the year. Christian hypocrisy is likewise a matter of disguising one’s deepest carnal intentions with a pious costume that must be stripped away eventually.

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Tuesday
Apr052011

Yet Once More

Updated on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 1:36PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Experiencing an earthquake is an amazing and frightening thing. All of a sudden, everything you depended upon for stability and took for granted as immovable begins to shake and slide under your feet and all around you. It is for that reason that God often shook the earth to demonstrate his authority in the affairs of men, to signal a change he was making, and to remind his people of the certainty of judgment.

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Tuesday
Mar222011

A Beautiful Woman Without Discretion

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:28PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

No one can make another person sin, but everyone, of course, has the potential to become a stumbling block to somebody else. Hypocrisy, discouragement, and false teaching can all contribute to provoking someone else to doubt, anxiety, or error. Then again, we can provoke one of the strongest sinful longings that exists simply by the way that we attire or carry ourselves. A beautiful woman without a sense of discretion is hardly uncommon, but a beautiful, godly woman without discretion is sad and disturbing.

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Tuesday
Mar082011

Better Than a Birthday

Updated on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 8:13AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

It seems that the celebration of birthdays in ancient times was mainly reserved for great and powerful people, sometimes marking the dates of their actual births and at other times, commemorating their ascensions to power. It is likely that many common people, not being born in hospitals, became unsure of exactly how old they were, or on what day they were born. Even the birth date of Christ is shrouded in mystery – neither the date nor the year are ever mentioned in Scripture. We know that he was presumed to be about thirty years old when his ministry began, but we do not know exactly in what year that was. Birthdays are terribly important to us today, but the Bible suggests that there is more to learn from someone’s death day than his birthday.

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Tuesday
Mar012011

No Reason for the Death Penalty

Updated on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:43AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Capital punishment is a controversial issue in this age. It probably has always been so to some degree, but until the twentieth century, the execution of properly convicted criminals was carried out with far less consternation. Capital punishment is certainly a policy issue, as it is commonly administered today only by duly appointed ministers of civil governments. Capital punishment, is, however, also an issue for Bible students, and, as always, our faith ought to inform our politics rather than the other way around. We ought to be Christians first, in submission to the will of God, not reading his will in a way that will merely support political positions we want to take as supporters of a party or a candidate.

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Tuesday
Feb222011

The Good Fight

James was deeply concerned with a problem among Christians, namely that at times they seem to grow complacent in their faith, waiting idly for the glorious day of judgment, which might not prove to be all that splendid if something does not rouse them out of their spiritual funk. That complacency allows for moral drift, always in the direction of the tempter, and so in the fourth chapter of his inspired letter, the brother of our Lord advises a reversal of course. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

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Tuesday
Feb152011

Friendship With The World

Updated on Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 4:29PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

“Friendship with the world is hostility toward God.” To the Christian, there is no more solemn warning than one that promises alienation from our savior. This one, however, can be somewhat perplexing, especially if we are unsure of what friendship with the world even is. After all, we are required to live on the planet and it would seem to be impossible to cloister oneself so thoroughly that contact with worldly people is altogether eliminated.

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Tuesday
Feb082011

12 Shocking Truths About Bible Baptism

Updated on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 12:39PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Baptism continues to be a controversial subject, as even most who undergo it, do not hold that it was necessary to, or even prior to, their conversion or salvation. It might surprise you to find what the Bible says about baptism.

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Tuesday
Feb012011

Some Trust in Chariots and Some in Horses

Updated on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 11:40AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The horse occupies an important place in the literature and history of the peoples of the Bible, just as it does the people of America, especially in the west. Commentators suggest that the Jews might have become acquainted with the animal while in Egypt; certainly the image of Pharaoh’s chariots plunging into the once-parted Red Sea is indelible upon the story of the Exodus. Before that time, all that associates God’s people with the equine is an obscure prophecy regarding the tribe of Dan (see Genesis 49:17); what follows is a rich history, but one that often portrays the animal as a metaphor for trust in armies instead of God, of impending destruction, sometimes of rescue.

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Tuesday
Jan252011

My Sister Sarah

Updated on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:07AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

There are two separate occasions in the book of Genesis in which the great patriarch, Abram, and his wife, the equally great matriarch, Sarai, were caught in a lie, a well-intended, seemingly necessary fib, told for self-preservation and without malice toward the hearer. Nonetheless, God disapproved of their deception and punished them with guilt, exceeded only by the tangible threat made against the people that believed their falsehood. Those events become cautionary tales against the well-meaning, self-preserving lies we are tempted to tell from time to time.

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Tuesday
Jan182011

Quit Ye Like Men

Updated on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 7:42PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The average person today might have little idea what to do if told, “Quit ye like men.” If that sounds like language straight out of Jacobean England, it is, and from the King James Bible. Although it might seem like the passage is encouraging people to give up like cowards, it is really admonishing them to stand fast like soldiers, and it is that degree of courage and loyalty that we seek to inspire today.

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