“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Readings

Exodus 15:1-22 · Revelation 19:11-21 · Psalm 144

Sermon

This week-end we celebrate Memorial Day. War is accompanied with so much destruction, waste, loss of life, both physical and mental suffering that we are not surprised when we hear some people declaring war to be wrong, all wrong, always wrong, wrong for everybody, wrong even in self defense.

The doctrines of our church teach that in most ancient times people lived in peace, that no one desired more than necessaries and so riches were not collected and hoarded. But eventually lust for wealth sprang up. Then men commenced to desire the possessions of others, and the love of accumulated riches and dominion ever grew. Wars then arose, their purpose being to extend dominion and get the property of others.

Who cannot now see that those who started the first world war did so to wrest wealth and territory from other nations? So from one point of view we see clearly that war arises from the love of dominion and lust for riches growing until it bursts all restraints. The beginning of a war is always in evil. But our problem is not so simple. Have we a moral right, by force of arms, to resist and conquer this lust of plunder which, like Lucifer who exemplifies it, would enslave all the world and ascend, if it could, even above the Most High?

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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6

Readings

Isaiah 30:1-17 · John 14:1-17 · Psalm 43

Sermon

The fourteenth chapter of John contains some of the most striking statements concerning the Lord to be found in the Scriptures, and in it the Lord revealed Himself more freely to His disciples than He had done in any of His previous conversations with them.

One of these statements is, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Jesus here places Himself on an equality with God, and demands the same belief in Him as that which men should direct to God. But although He is God and God alone, He here makes a distinction between God and Jesus, or between the Father and the Son. This distinction is a most important one, as our Lord plainly teaches. He said to His disciples, “Ye believe in God.” Why ask them to do more? It was because though they believed in God, yet they were in darkness and not in light. They were in doubt, obscurity, and fear. He told them that if they would believe in Him, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, would come, who would lead them in the paths of peace. If they would believe in Jesus as they believed in God, they would be brought out of bondage and dwell in the Promised Land.

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“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” by Louis A. Dole

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“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32

Readings

Deuteronomy 32:1-14 · John 8:12-32 · Psalm 85

Sermon

In many places in the writings the importance of knowing the truth is emphasized, for it is by a life in conformity with truth that man is born again; and unless he is born again, he does not attain the end for which he was created, namely, heaven. The knowledge of the truth of which Jesus speaks in the words of our text is practical knowledge: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Also the Divine truth is eternal and unchangeable. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” No human understanding of the Lord’s Word nor any human attainment is final, but the Lord’s truth is eternally the same.

Of himself man is unable to acquire knowledge of spiritual truths; his faculties are not suited to such attainment. In the final analysis knowledge of spiritual truth is imparted to him by revelation. Likewise he cannot become regenerate by any intellectual activity of his own. Regeneration is effected by the Lord alone in such as learn and accept the truths He has revealed, and live according to them. All men are born unregenerate. The Lord saves all who will allow themselves to be saved, and those allow themselves to be saved who accept the truths of the Word and live a life of love to the Lord and the neighbor. There is no other way.

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The Light of the World, by Louis A. Dole

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“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Readings

Isaiah 61 · John 8:12-32 · Psalm 27

Sermon

From the very beginning the Lord’s Advent was associated with light. It was prophesied of His coming, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” When the Lord was born, the shepherds saw a great light, and it was a star that led the wise men from the east to the place where the young child lay.

It is clear that the Lord is meant in the words, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee… The sun shall no more be thy light by day… but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” And of the Holy City it is written, “There shall be no night there; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Throughout the Scriptures the Lord is spoken of as the source of light. In the opening verses of the first chapter of John the Lord as the Word is six times spoken of as the light of the world, and in the eighth chapter He declares positively, “I am the light of the world.”

Why is so much said in the Word regarding light, and why is the Lord so often associated with it?

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“And I give unto them eternal life,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I give unto them eternal life.” – John 10:28

Readings

Daniel 12 · Matthew 28 · Psalm 30

Sermon

The Lord’s life, death, and resurrection, as recorded in the Gospels, were not only significant in their literal bearing, but they were outward revelations of great spiritual facts which are realized in all who follow Him in the regeneration. The life that the Lord came to make manifest to men is a superlatively desirable life, a life filled with happiness from Him, which endures forever and which has its beginnings now and here, as we follow Him. The life that He lived in the world as the Word made flesh was the symbol of the life that He now lives in the mind that opens itself to receive Him. As we learn and keep His precepts the literal history of the Lord’s life becomes, in course of time, transformed into a spiritual history written on the pages of the soul’s book of life.

There was a time in the long ago Golden Age of the world when the Lord spoke to the inner consciousness of men by an interior revelation of Himself to the mind; but when the glory of that period came to an end through man’s turning to the love of self and the world, He revealed to men His Word in a written form, and finally as this same Word He assumed a natural humanity, that He might reach men through a visible manifestation of Himself to their sight. So He lived before men the life that was within the written Word, which was with God and which was God, glorified with the glory which it had with the Father before the world was.

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“Sir, we would see Jesus,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Sir, we would see Jesus.” – John 12:21

Readings

Isaiah 49:7-17 · John 12:12-26 · Psalm 33:1-11

Sermon

Today is celebrated throughout the Christian Church as Palm Sunday in memory of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem amid the acclamations of the people.

Earlier in His ministry, after He had performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, the multitude sought to make Him their king and, knowing what was in their hearts, He withdrew from them. But the multitude followed on to Capernaum, where the next day they found Him. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, told them that they were following Him because of the loaves and fishes. Then He told them that they were laboring for the bread that satisfieth not, and that He had come into the world to teach them the things of eternal life. When He finished telling them of His mission, it is recorded that many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. They were natural minded and though they had heard Him and witnessed His miracles, when He told them to “labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,” they were angered. They knew the joys of material prosperity, the delights of success in the world. They knew the pleasures of honor and fame. These were tangible things. But “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,” what is it?

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“This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” – John 3:19-21

Readings

Isaiah 1:1-20 · John 3:16-36 · Psalm 75

Sermon

These words are from the Lord’s admonition to Nicodemus. They were spoken under circumstances which should have brought the point home to Nicodemus. Frequently the Lord used His environment to enforce a lesson. The conditions on this occasion were such as to point up His remarks.

This lesson of knowing and not doing, a lesson on light and darkness, was given to one who had sought the Lord at night. Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews. Occupying a high position, he was solicitous about what the people thought of him. He had heard of the miracles that the Lord had wrought, or possibly he had seen some of them, especially at the Passover. However it had been, he had become convinced that Jesus was sent from God; for he reasoned that if Jesus were not of God, He could not have performed such miracles.

Two forces are struggling in Nicodemus. One convinces him that the Lord’s claims are genuine and makes him desire to know more about Him. The other causes him to think of his official position, and of the hatred of the Jews for the Lord, which will be turned against him if he is known to be a disciple of Jesus. Which shall he do – serve the Lord and incur the ill will of his associates, or keep his office and deny the Lord?

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“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee,” by Louis A. Dole

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“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” – John 2:11

Readings

Exodus 16:9-21 · John 2:1-11 · Psalm 147

Sermon

Though this miracle was done at the beginning of the Lord’s ministry, it discloses the purpose for which the Lord came into the world. Beginnings have their origin in a purpose, and the purpose of anything is the end for the attainment of which a beginning is made.

The beginning of many miracles wrought by our Lord in the days of His flesh was the marriage at Cana of Galilee. To bring about a marriage between Himself and the Church, and a marriage of faith and charity in those who form the Church was the very purpose of His miracles. To unite in a heavenly marriage the will of man with his understanding, his knowledge of truth with the love and practice of it, to unite heaven and the Church on earth is the purpose of all revelation, to confer on men grace and power, that the Lord’s qualities may be embodied in them and His work of redemption carried out in them and His glorification in finite measure fulfilled in them. Symbolic of this – and of much else besides – it is written, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory.”

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“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” – John 17:3

Readings

Isaiah 38:1-16 · John 17:1-17 · Psalm 51:1-11

Sermon

In the church year the second Sunday in Advent is designated as “Bible Sunday.” In the opening chapter of the book of Revelation we read: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

No man is wise who does not believe in God. A man’s idea of God may be confused, but however confused it is, he does not trust entirely in himself, but looks to One outside of himself as the source of life, power, and blessing.

Our text tells us that a knowledge of God is essential to eternal life. And we are also commanded: “Search the scriptures; for… they are they which testify of me.”

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“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
“For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” – John 6:54, 55

Readings

Exodus 29:1-21 · John 6:47-66 · Psalm 105:17-36

Sermon

These words are very familiar to us, as they occur in our Communion service. When the Lord spoke them, it is recorded, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” They apprehended all the Lord’s sayings naturally, and in this case objected to the Lord’s terms because they were natural. And it is recorded further, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

Today, while no one believes that it is literally intended that one be washed in the blood of the Lord to be cleansed from sin, many still turn away from the churches because they are repelled by the emphasis put on such natural phrases. And many in the churches, by interpreting them to mean that the Lord by shedding His blood on the cross paid the penalty due to man for all his sins, continue in their sins with the assurance that if they “confess Christ” they are saved.

What does it really mean to be “saved by the blood of the Lamb?”

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