“I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me,” by Louis A. Dole

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“I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” – Isaiah 45:4-5

Readings

Isaiah 45:1-13 · John 18:28-37 · Psalm 30

Sermon

Cyrus the Persian is mentioned twice in Isaiah and three times in Daniel. He was not an Israelite, not one of the “chosen” people. He was of the heathen world, but he was one of the great and good men of the ages. Isaiah prophesied of him even before he was born that he was chosen to be a special son of God.

Every individual, whatever his origin, may be such a son of God. God has a definite life plan for each individual, girding him visibly or invisibly for some exact use which it will be the true significance and glory of his life to have accomplished. Man is born for heaven. But the Lord alone is God, and from him alone is salvation. He said of himself, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” All who are in good will look to the Lord for truth and will receive him.

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“And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
“And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
“And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” – Matthew 17:1-3

Readings

Isaiah 6 · Matthew 17:1-13 · Psalm 97

Sermon

The Transfiguration is a picture of the Lord as He is in His glorified Humanity. The Lord took Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain apart from the others, and He was transfigured before them. His face shone as the sun, His raiment was white as the light, Moses and Elijah were with Him, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice was heard from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” And when they had come down from the mountain, the Lord said to them, “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.”

In order that they might witness His Transfiguration the Lord raised His three closest disciples out of their ordinary states into the high mountain of spiritual perception. He drew aside the veil of the senses, and gave them a glimpse of His glory as they would see Him in the after life, that they and men of all time might have some true idea of His real nature.

Many years later the Lord appeared to John in vision as described in the opening chapter of the Book of Revelation.

The Transfiguration has a lesson for us. It is the example and pattern of the change which takes place in us by our regeneration. It shows what we may remotely, finitely become compared with our state at present, for by regeneration we become formed into His image and likeness.

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“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:18-19

Readings

Joshua 23:1-11 · Matthew 16:13-28 · Psalm 96

Sermon

The words of our text express one of the fundamental truths concerning the Christian Church. By some this passage has been misinterpreted and quoted as teaching that the church would be founded on the Apostle Peter and that to him would be given the power to open or to shut heaven to men. But the church is not founded upon men. It is founded upon the Lord.

The church is the Lord’s kingdom on the earth. Abstractly it may be thought of as a system of truth concerning the Lord and the souls of men. Concretely it may be thought of as a body of men and women who acknowledge these truths and seek to live according to them.

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