Tag Archives: Cumberland Bible Church

Audio Sermon: Entrance into the Kingdom

Text: Matthew 13:1-23

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This message was preached by Pastor Don Harrelson on Sunday January 10, 2021, at Cumberland Bible Church, Cumberland, MD.

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Be an Example

Many Christians don’t know how to live the Christian life simply because they don’t have a role model to follow.

Are you being a good example to other believers? Does your life exhibit qualities that set the example for others to follow?

You might be thinking why do I have to be an example, and second, in what way am I to suppose be an example to others?

Paul in writing to Timothy commands him in 1 Timothy 4:12 that he is to be an example to other believers in his outer life and in his inner life.

In your outer life, you are to be an example in word and in conversation.

As an example in word. You are to be exemplary in your speech. You are to be honest and speak the truth in love.

Your speech is important because a person’s speech reflects what is in his heart. Your speech is to be encouraging and edifying. All types of  sinful speech must be avoided., such as angry speech, impure speech, and slanderous words.

Next, you are to be an example in conversation. Your life is to be controlled by the Word of God, and you are not to be an hypocrite.

The word conversation means conduct or manner of life.

Therefore, you are to be a model of righteous living who manifests his biblical convictions in every area of his life.

You are to be an example to other believers in what you say and how you act. You are to be an example with your lips and your life.

Paul continues to exhort Timothy to be an example to other believers. He turns from the outer life to the inner life.

First, you are to be an example in love. Biblical love is far different than the emotion our culture calls love. Biblical love is a self-sacrificing love. For example, biblical love is illustrated in in John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Literally speaking this verse means that are you willing to die for your friends. But figuratively speaking are you willing to give them your time? Love is to be the motivation for your life– first toward God and then towards others

Next, you are to be an example in spirit. This word simply means do you have an inner enthusiasm and the excitement of a child of God. Are you passionate about God? Are you passionate about your Christian life?

Third, you are to be an example in faith. The idea here is faithfulness. It means you trust God and are faithful towards Him. Do you have an unswerving commitment? Are you someone who can be counted on?

Finally, you are to be an example in purity. This means that you live your life in such a contradistinction from that of how the world lives, thus showing how truly a godly person is to live. It means sexual purity both in actions and in the intentions of the heart.

Will you be an example for others to follow? It takes effort in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, but the dividends pay off for you and for others.

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Jesus Is Bigger than Christmas[1]

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Have you ever stop to think that your view of Jesus tends to shrink over time? It is not because your theology drifts or shifts. But it happens because you tend to focus on one aspect of Him and forget the rest. And when that happens the result is a shrinking Jesus.

And as your shrinking Jesus becomes small Jesus, He is easily eclipsed by your idols and ego.

This is perfectly illustrated at Christmas time.

The bright lights, the decorations, the gifts, the traditions and so on leave Jesus in the manager. With so much hubbub, many don’t of think of Jesus at Christmas time. They say, “Jesus, who?” And that is completely said because Christmas is to be all about Him. If they do happen to think of Jesus at Christmastime, many just leave Him in the manger. There thoughts are about the little baby Jesus. But Jesus is so much more.

Jesus did not come to promote holiday cheer, boost end-of-year sales, or even to serve as the central figure in a nativity scene. Yes, Christmas is to be all about Him. It is to be all about Him because He brought Light into a dark world. He came into the world to save sinners.

In order to save sinners, Christ had to put away what makes people sinners, namely sin.

Romans 8:3 — For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Christ put away the sins of many by carrying them to the cross, and then to the grave.

Heb. 9:28 — So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Great sinners need a great Savior. That is exactly what Christ is, for He is “able to save them to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25)

The bigger and more biblical your understanding of who Jesus is, the more likely He is to be such an object of love and adoration that the idols that aim at capturing your attention and swaying allegiance will loose their power.

Will you remember Jesus this Christmas? Don’t let the decorations and traditions of Christmas squeeze Jesus out of the picture. And will you remember that He is more than a babe in a manger.

When you think of Jesus this Christmas, remember this — He is bigger than you tend to think. He is the perfect revelation of God, the radiance of His glory, the exact imprint of His nature; He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Everything belongs to Him and exists for Him. He is the author of your salvation, the perfecter of your faith, the only One in whom you can find the forgiveness of sin, the only One in whom you can find life. He is your Savior! He is Jesus!


[1] With many thanks, the seed thoughts and inspiration for this devotional comes from Joe Thorn’s entry “Jesus Is Big” in his book Note to Self: the Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2011), pp. 49-51 and Joel R. Beeke and William Boekestein’s entry “To Save Sinners” in their book Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013), pp. 5-8..

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Audio Sermon: God Is Faithful

Text: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

This message was preached by Pastor Don Harrelson on Sunday October 6, 2013, at Cumberland Bible Church in Cumberland, MD.

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