Sermon Outlines

State Goal: $1.7 million

By Pastor Neil Treme, Glenmora Baptist Church, Glenmora, LA

The Gospel and Your Hometown

Colossians 1:3-8

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.

Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Key Biblical Truth: For the Gospel to bear fruit, burdened believers must share it in the power of the Holy Spirit to the lost.

  1. The Power of the Gospel is Worth Celebrating v. 3
    1. Context – A Report received while Paul was in prison in Rome – a good report
      1. New Church started – where there was no church.
      2. The Church was started by a young man named Epaphras.
      3. Paul was not the founder.
      4. It did not matter to him who was responsible
    2. Celebration – A Response to the Report
      1. We see the Apostle celebrating the news he heard, people saved, and a new church started.
      2. He does so by giving thanks to the Father!
      3. Imagine in your mind’s eye a tear of joy coming to the old Apostle’s eyes or him raising his hands up to the Father in praise, shouting out “Glory to God” as he heard the report of the marvelous work of God in Colossae.
      4. Paul learned from Jesus about celebration. The mindset of Jesus was one of celebration, He said there is joy in heaven when one sinner repents. Also, the parable of the Prodigal Son tells us that the Father celebrates with the return of the repentant son!
      5. Paul expressed sincere thanks to God for the power of the Gospel to save. He also expressed gratitude to God because the Gospel changes lives.
  2. The Gospel Really Does Work and Change Lives vv. 4-5
    1. Evidenced by a New, Sure Faith v. 4a
      1. Before the church planter showed up, they were pagan idol worshippers who bowed down to man-made idols, or they were Jews trusting their ability to keep the law to be made right with God. Both Gentiles and Jews had faith, but not saving faith.
      2. Everyone has a previous faith that does not save. Most of the world’s people are religious but lost. They have faith but not saving faith.
      3. The object of faith makes all the difference in the world.
      4. The Colossians were convicted and convinced by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was the Way!
    2. Evidenced by a Supernatural Love v. 4b
      1. Love for all the saints – Jews-Gentiles becoming one family.
      2. Different races and nationalities living life side-by-side as the children of God.
      3. Differences of skin color, languages, heritage all being put aside for the sake of a new race that Peter calls the “Chosen race.”
      4. The word for love is the word “agape.” The Gospel motivated them to truly love unconditionally and sacrificially. The Gospel motivated them to be like Jesus, who was no respecter of persons.
      5. We know that the family of God is made up of all kinds of people. Our call is to love one another. John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
      6. The apostle John later in I John 3:11 said “for this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” And in verse 14, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.”
    3. Evidenced by a Living Hope v. 5
      1. A hope in the present because Jesus was Lord.
        1. Many, before Christ, were going through difficult times – like sheep without a shepherd.
        2. Before Christ, they had no hope for this life or the next one. They had no purpose and no certainty.
        3. Jesus gives hope for this life in which we live
      2. A hope for the future because Jesus opens up the way to heaven.
        1. We have the promise of an eternal home.
        2. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
        3. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated sin, the devil and death. Sinners can be reconciled to God. All who repent and believe are promised eternal life (John 6:47).
    4. An Important Question – How did the Gospel make a difference and display its power in their lives?
      1. First, they heard and understood the word of truth, vv. 5, 6.
      2. They learned it. Meaning someone taught it to them.
      3. The Bible says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
      4. The Gospel must be heard and believed in order to change lives. That is what happened in Colossae.
      5. How did it happen? How did they hear? How did they learn the Gospel?
      6. The answer is through a young man who was glorious saved and transformed by the Gospel and was burden for his hometown neighbors, friends and family as well as the nearby towns!
  3. The Power of the Gospel is Unleashed Through Ordinary Men Who are Faithful Servants v. 7 The answer is through Epaphras.
    1. Epaphras Heard and Received the Gospel
      1. Saved through the ministry of the apostle Paul while Paul was in prison in Ephesus.
      2. God did a marvelous work of salvation in him.
      3. He was changed and also received a burden for his hometown. He wanted those he loved to be saved.
    2. Epaphras’ Burden Moved Him to Proclaim the Gospel Locally
      1. He returned home and began proclaiming the Gospel.
      2. People were saved. People were transformed. The church was started.
      3. Epaphras was a grateful man, made new by Jesus. He wanted others to know.
      4. Notice what Paul says about Epaphras:
        1. In verse 7 he writes, “Beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.”
        2. In Colossians 4:12 – 13 we see he was a prayer warrior and a disciple maker.
        3. He was a church planter. Many believe that he planted the churches in Laodicea and Hierapolis (4:13).
  4. Conclusion
    1. Has the Power of the Gospel changed your life? Today you can experience its power by doing as the Colossians did and believe. They heard and received, and fruit was born.
    2. The Gospel affects every area of life. We live motivated by the Gospel.
    3. Understand that God can use you to unleash the power of the Gospel in your community and your world. You can be an “Epaphras.”

By Pastor Casey Johnson, Bonita Road Baptist Church, Bastrop, LA

Sitting or Serving

Luke 10:38-42

Before we dive into this particular family that Jesus is visiting with, I want to show you one thing that I think is relevant to us from this text.

Notice in verse 38 where it says, “Now it happened that He went…”

QUESTION: Why do I think this is relevant?

ANSWER: Because this is Jesus giving us a foreshadowing of the life we are called to live. It is a life of Going! We see this not only here, but throughout the rest of Jesus’ life and ministry…

It was so important to Jesus that, after his resurrection, before his ascension into heaven, he gave this command to His church….

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit, teaching them to obey all things I have commanded you and lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”

AND…Here in lies one of the greatest problems with the church today…We’ve stopped going!

We have somewhere along the way decided that staying is better than going!

We have determined that building better buildings, creating better services, and getting better talent on stage is the key to reaching the lost of this world…. And yet we find the son of God GOING from place to place, sharing the message of hope to all who would listen!

What we see in the Gospels is the absolute king of Glory saying in….

Luke 19:10, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Ex. Share an example of the Hide and Go seek game. It’s called” Hide and go seek,” not “Hide and stay.” The only way to find them was to go seek them.

In an article by Kelly Stickle in 2019, she wrote about a survey that was taken among US church goers. Here are some of the statistics…

  • 51% of church goers were unfamiliar with the term, “Great Commission”
  • 64% of Christians believe evangelism is optional
  • 95% of Christians have never won a soul to Christ

The church has to make going a priority again, if we are ever going to be all that God wants us to be!

TRUE STATEMENT: Going is the hardest thing in the world to do because staying is so easy.

LET ME SAY IT A DIFFERENT WAY: Going is the hardest thing in the world to do because staying is so comfortable.

TAKE NOTE: The key to going is found within the context of this encounter Jesus has with this particular family.

As Jesus was going, he came to the house of Mary and Martha.

Now, let’s look at this family that Jesus is visiting with. We know these individuals to be the sisters of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. We know from the gospels that they were from a town called Bethany. It would also seem, in this case, that Martha could be a widow, because it says it was her house and she was most likely the oldest of the siblings. We also know from the gospels that Jesus spent a significant amount of time with them throughout His earthly ministry.

So, those are some things we glean about this family, but let’s look at this story!

(Exegete the text)

Here are a few truths from this text:

I. The first thing Martha did right, was to welcome Jesus into her house. (V. 38)

Spiritually speaking, we welcome Jesus into our home when we welcome Jesus in our heart to be the Lord of our life. When Jesus becomes the Lord of our life, we begin to fill our home with all that Jesus is and all that Jesus has for our lives. What we say, what we do, and how we live changes. This truly is a game changer.

QUESTION: What are some ways your house has changed since you let Jesus in?

II. For Jesus, it’s not a matter of performance, it’s a matter of priority. (V. 40-42)

While Martha made excellent preparations for Jesus, she ended up making those preparations the priority. Mary, on the other hand, made Jesus the priority!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s easy for us to make the stuff we do for Jesus the priority and miss Jesus all together.

Sometimes we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of working for Jesus instead of walking with Jesus!

Jesus is not trying to create workaholics; He’s trying to create intimate children.

III. Our going with the message of Jesus will always be at its worst, until our sitting at the feet of Jesus is at its best! (V. 41)

WE ASK THIS QUESTIONS: How can we be better about the great commission? How can we be better at sharing the Gospel?

ANSWER: By spending more time with Jesus!

Reaching the towns and cities around us will never happen unless we are personally spending time with Jesus. Often times we want to talk about all of the things we need to do for our cities, but in reality, the greatest thing we can do is … SPEND personal time with Jesus!