Trinity 11 Sermon, 2017
Luke 18:9-14; Genesis 4:1-15
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

The Baptism of young children confesses something that much of the world has a great problem believing:

That even the most beloved newborn baby is not, strictly speaking, in the eyes of God, according to faith, good.

Jesus says, “No one is good [but] God alone” (Mk. 10:18).

He doesn’t mean, “No man can be good.”

He does mean, “Only those who God calls to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are, properly speaking, good.”

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The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2017
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt
Luke 19:41-48

I realized something in preparation for this sermon. As a non-native Illinoisian, I’m unaware exactly how the name of this state is to be pronounced.

Are you from Illinois? Or Illinois?

That’s the kind of thing that interests me but is of no real use. I was not a good student of history, because I care about truly insignificant details.

So, are you a good student of history?

What about Bible history?

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Trinity 9 Sermon, 2017
Psalm 54 (Introit, Trinity 9)
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Psalm 54, which is the Introit this day of the church year, the Ninth Sunday after Trinity, is a prayer of David, fleeing from Saul. He was hiding, then, among the Ziphites, and when they learned of it, they hunted David to earn favor with Saul.

David was surrounded by enemies.

He was in terrible danger.

So he cried to God:

“O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves” (Psalm 54:1-3).

That’s the right sort of thing for Christians to ask when they’re surrounded by enemies.

But asking this does something to David.

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Trinity 8 Sermon, 2017
Matthew 7:15-23
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Take my word for it, this will not be your favorite sermon.

And, that’s okay.

Because Jesus’ sermon, in today’s Gospel lesson, is no one’s favorite sermon—and it’s Scripture.

But before we get to that—I have two rhetorical questions for you.

They’re rhetorical questions—the answers are implied.  These should be softball questions—the answers should be easy.

Would you rather hear a sermon preached by Jesus or a false prophet? The answer is, of course, is Jesus.

That’s one. And this is the second:

Would you rather hear a sermon that says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17) or a sermon suggesting that (A) Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, and (B) Only God can forgive sins?

Be careful. Which would you rather hear?

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