Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 10/06/2019 by Raif Turner
Throughout this sermon, Jesus had made it clear that something more essential than physical lineage and submission to ceremonial rites was required to make people spiritual heirs of Abraham. There was a straiter gate which had to be entered than any privilege which natural birth gave admittance to, a narrower way to be traversed than that religious life mapped out by the scribes and the Pharisees. The true children of Abraham are those who have his faith (Romans 4:16), who do his works (John 8:39), and who are vitally united to Christ (Gal. 3:29).
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 09/29/2019 by Raif Turner
the teachings of the Sermon require perfection, as Jesus says : “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5:48). The first Beatitude teaches poverty of spirit, a sense of moral bankruptcy, and the realization that we cannot live the Sermon on the Mount in our own strength. When we approach God as beggars and receive grace to do the impossible—we succeed!
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 09/22/2019 by Raif Turner
A critical, judgmental, condemning spirit is endemic to the human situation. And though we often joke about it, experiencing it is most unpleasant. Even sadder, the church of Jesus Christ is itself full of those who make a habit of criticism and condemnation. Some seem to think their critical spirit is a spiritual gift. But the Lord does not agree. In the opening verses of Matthew 7, our Lord sets the record straight in no uncertain terms. He tells us how we should relate to our brothers and sisters in this matter of judgmentalism, especially in respect to the fact that we will all undergo a final judgment.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 09/15/2019 by Raif Turner
In Matthew 6:19–24 Jesus focuses on the attitude toward luxury, the unnecessary physical possessions men store and stockpile for selfish reasons. In verses 25–34 He focuses on the attitude toward what men eat, drink, and wear, the necessities of life they must have to exist.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 09/08/2019 by Raif Turner
In the present passage Jesus looks at materialism—particularly in regard to luxuries—from the three perspectives of treasure, vision, and master.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 08/25/2019 by Raif Turner
When many of us need to consume less food than we do, why ask God to supply our daily bread? Such praying seems irrelevant on the lips of a well-fed American. But this part of the Disciples’ Prayer, like every other part, extends beyond the first century to all believers, in every age and in every situation. In this pattern for prayer our Lord gives all the necessary ingredients for praying.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 08/18/2019 by Raif Turner
Someone has said that many Christians offer their prayers like sailors use their pumps—only when the ship leaks. But to be obedient disciples, and to experience the fullness of communion with God, believers must pray as Jesus prayed.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 08/11/2019 by Raif Turner
The Bible is unequivocal about God’s absolute sovereignty. But it is equally unequivocal in declaring that within His sovereignty God calls on His people to beseech Him in prayer. In prayer, we implore His help in guidance, provision, protection, mercy, forgiveness, and countless other needs. It is neither required nor possible to fathom the divine working that makes prayer effective. God simply commands us to obey the principles of prayer that His Word gives.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 08/04/2019 by Raif Turner
In Matthew 6:1-18, Jesus gives three examples where He forbids hypocritical religious practice and then commands genuine religious practice. The goal for disciples of Jesus is to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect (5:48). The disciple’s character is to be modeled on the Father’s character, and the disciple’s performance is to be done for the Father’s approval. Disciples must impress God alone.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 07/21/2019 by Raif Turner
In His sixth, and last, illustration contrasting the false righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees with the true righteousness of God, Jesus contrasts their kind of love with God’s. The greatest evidence of their humanistic, self-centered system of religion was in the matter of love. The way the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees viewed themselves in relation to others proved how far they had corrupted God’s standard. They totally lacked the humility, mourning over their own sin, meekness, yearning for true righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, and peacemaking spirit that are to belong to God’s kingdom citizens.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 07/14/2019 by Raif Turner
Probably no part of the Sermon on the Mount has been so misinterpreted and misapplied as 5:38–42. It has been interpreted to mean that Christians are to be sanctimonious doormats. It has been used to promote pacifism, conscientious objection to military service, lawlessness, anarchy, and a host of other positions that it does not support. But Jesus already had made plain that He did not come to eliminate even the smallest part of God’s law (5:17–19), which includes respect for and obedience to human law and authority.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 07/07/2019 by Raif Turner
Truth is so scarce that nearly everyone is suspect. Our whole society is largely built on a network of fabrication, of manufactured “truth.” The Jews of Jesus’ day revered the idea of truth in principle, but in practice it was buried under their system of tradition. In Matthew 5:33–37 Jesus exposes their convenient distortion and contradiction of the divine revelation they claimed to love and teach.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 06/30/2019 by Raif Turner
The many confused and conflicting ideas in our day about the biblical teaching on divorce are not caused by any deficiency in God’s revelation but by the fact that sin has clouded men’s minds to the straightforward simplicity of what God has said. Jesus refutes the incorrect understanding of the scribes and Pharisees and reemphasizes biblical teachings.
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 06/23/2019 by Raif Turner
Lust is like anger in that it seeks power over another person. Both anger and lust put other people down, though by seemingly opposite emotions—by hatred and by desire. Jesus declares war on the secular gods of both anger and lust. Discipleship’s first social forms are patience and purity. “Blessed are the merciful” and “Blessed are the pure in heart.”
Preached at LakeRidge Baptist Church on 06/16/2019 by Raif Turner
Hundreds of committed Christians have teenagers and adult children whose difficulties include drugs, rebellion, alcoholism, and coldness of heart toward God. These Parents ask, “What did we do wrong?” assuming that the fault is theirs.