Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sermons on the go

With the recent discovery of the wealth of good mp3 sermons found online, I should now be able to spend my time commuting in busy Kuala Lumpur in a more worthwhile manner.

I have heard three so far. Ligon Duncan's "How to Listen to a Bad Sermon", which I thought was just excellent. Gordon Wenham's "Praying the Psalms" was just as superb to bring us back to the practice of praying the psalms - he gives theological and practical reasons for praying and using not only praise psalms but also lament and penitential psalms in public worship.

Today, I listened to John Piper's "Marriage: God's Showcase of Covenant Keeping Grace". It was very refreshing to hear a great sermon preached on the subject of marriage. He has approached it in a manner I have never ever encountered any preacher doing so. He based his sermon on Colossians 2:13-15, 3:12-19.

Colossians 2:13-15, 3:12-19
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him ...
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

Piper sees marriage as the doing of God and the display of God. It is God who is the subject, the head, the leader, the initiator, the creator; not the husband, not the wife. In this sermon (there are several parts to the series found here in the Desiring God website) he sees marriage, as taught by Jesus and Paul, the model of Christ and the Church, and it needs a solid basis in grace.

In short, in a Christian marriage relationship, we should not so much look into the spouse in his or her weakness, which will surely show after years of being naked in body, soul and spirit together. Instead, we are to look at each other as forgiven and justified by faith in Christ. He or she is just as much forgiven as you are. So look at him how Christ looks at him; look at her how Christ looks at her - justified and forgiven - and receive each other in peace and love.

I find this message so utterly refreshing.



  1. I like listening to the sermons on line. I'll check them out.

  2. Very refreshing indeed and oh so true.