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Scott Sauls Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David 2009 — Sermon #13: David and Absalom

Sermon preached on September 6, 2009.

The teaching is based on Psalm 63.

Scott Sauls preached this message. Rev. Sauls is a Lead Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; his preaching style is very similar to that of his Senior Pastor, Tim Keller.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction:

Psalm 63 shows us David at a time when his exterior life is in shambles and his interior life has never been better. What are the signs of spiritual health that we see here in David?

Outline: Signs of Spiritual Health

I. A Thirsty Soul

II. A Clinging Soul

III. A Joyful Soul

IV. A Tender Soul

I. A thirsty soul: an insatiable appetite for the things of God

  • Children are a better teacher for you than the best preacher in the world about what it is to be in the Kingdom
    • Kids cry out for nourishment; they demand it
    • Paul said crave the milk of the Word; Ezekiel even said the harsh words felt sweet; Jesus said His nourishment was to do God’s will
  • How do you respond when a worship service goes over or Bible study runs long?

II. A clinging soul (same word as cleaving in Genesis 2)

  • I’d rather die than live without your life, because your life is better than life.
  • David is saying, “If I lost my connection to God, I would die inside, I would lose the will to live.”
  • Everyone leans on a crutch that they use to move on out into the world with confidence
    • There are a million ways to self-medicate
  • David’s crutch for a season was the arms of women; God knew that the only way to knock that crutch out from under David was turning his son against him
    • The things we interpret as God’s judgment on us or the worst things that could ever happen to us could actually be the best things, because they will make us more God dependent.

III. A joyful heart

  • Rev. Sauls used to think reverent meant serious and grumpy
  • Luke 15 — the elder son has been good, reverent; the father says, “Come in and sing and dance and drink. This singing and dancing and welcoming in is a picture of the Kingdom: JOY.
  • How do you tell if you have real joy? It flourishes in hard times.
  • Think and and enumerate the glories of your beloved–it’s a discipline sometimes, something you start even if you don’t feel like it.
  • “the humblest, most well-balanced minds praise most” -C. S. Lewis
  • Praise: seeing what is truly valuable and treating it for the treasure that it is

IV. A tender soul

  • If you don’t want things set right, you’re not emotionally healthy
    • If your God is not just, He is an enabling co-dependent.
  • David, upon Absalom’s death: “Would that I have died instead of you.”
  • David, the recipient of this unchanging covenant love, was once a home-wrecker and a murderer.
    • God delights in forgiving even the most heinous sins to show us the roots, the jaded, twisted, misshapen parts of us, the leprosy
  • Personal Example: Rev. Sauls once came to his car in NYC and found that the window had been bashed out. He then had two options:
    • 1) Resent the city
    • 2) Love the city: this means that I must remember my own history; as I pay for someone else’s sins (by paying to get my car fixed), I must remember with joy that I don’t have to pay for my sins

Conclusion:

Jesus was the true king who went to the desert (as David went to the desert to flee from Absalom). He went willingly, because He clung to your heart. The thought of saving you was worth death to him.

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Tim Keller Sermon Notes – 3 Traits of Spirit-Filled Life

In one of his excellent marriage series of sermons, Tim Keller reviews three qualities of someone who is filled with the Spirit of God. I don’t want to forget them:
–able to receive criticism without being crushed
–able to give criticism without crushing
–able to forgive with no residual anger

Tim Keller sermon notes / Series: Practical Grace / Sermon: Forgiving Grace

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

I dug up these sermon notes this morning, wanting to post them today. I picked them seemingly at random. But as I read them, what joy I had. I just spent a half hour meditating on Romans 15:7, which is basically the gospel (I’m unacceptable, yet I was accepted, so I can accept people). My thoughts went to a situation today where a student whose been defiant and disrespectful to me for a long time made pretty clear evidence against herself as a vulgar graffiti artist. My inclination was to get out a sample of her writing, compare it to the graffiti, and take the case to our assistant principal tomorrow.

But this is a good word from Tim Keller: If you try to get justice before forgiving someone, you’re not going for justice, you’re going for vengeance. And, you’ll never get justice.

God bless you, and may He use these notes to sanctify You as a Father instructs His children.

Tim Keller / Series: Practical Grace / Sermon: Forgiving Grace

Scripture: 2 Cor 4:7-18 “jars of clay”, 12:7-10

 

Suffering = not a choice

Long-suffering = an active choice

 

Forgiving spirit: the ability to bear injuries and mistreatment from other people without it taking your poise or getting you down.

 

Hebrews 12:15 Take care lest any harbor a root of bitterness…

–Anger is called a root in this metaphor, the deepest part of the tree.

1. We can admit to others and ourselves the sin of anxiety, worry, lust, depression, but we cannot admit anger. We hide it from ourselves, we always minimize it. We always minimize just how mad we continue to be. The anger passes into you and it twists you, making you cynical and hard and starting a low- grade spiritual fever that goes on and on and on and on.

 

2. Anger works in a subterranean way in your life. It’s down there and you don’t know it, it’s affecting you and don’t know it.

 

Long-suffering—to not have how you’ve been wronged affect you. This is the big task!

–If you don’t have this, you’ll be in prison, tortured, not free

 

What is it?

3 things you’ve got to do when the little roots of anger try to come in:

  1. Cancel the debt, refuse revenge

    • You do not make the other person pay the debt of emotional pain, but you pay it down yourself. When someone wrongs you it creates an emotional debt of pain, it’s a debt that you feel.

    • The other person has to pay: insult them, gossip about them, ruin their reputation with other people, slander them, all while saying “revenge is beneath me”

    • You want to hurt them because it makes you feel better. It’s paying down the debt. You want to see them pay. Slowly you feel less and less that the person owes you.

    • BUT it passes into you. It has melted you into its likeness. When we make the other person pay, we are becoming like the evil it did to us.

    • Paying it down yourself: Every time you want to rehash the past with a person, but you don’t, it hurts. Every time you want to rub their nose in it but you don’t, it hurts. Every time you see them prospering and you refuse to stick little pins in them in your imagination, it hurts.

    • Why does it hurt? Because it’s costly not to take the revenge. (Wow.)

    • But dealing with that hurt and refusing to take revenge means you still possess your soul. You’ve beaten your wrongdoer—you’ve beaten them with love.

  2. Be moved with compassion for someone else’s misery.

    • Automatically when someone wrongs you your heart is going to start enumerating the differences between you and that person.

    • If you want to possess your soul, you’ve got to stress the commonality between you and the person.

    • Whenever someone wrongs you, you caricature them in your heart, making huge their worst feature. Deep in every human soul is a deep desire to justify yourself. We’re afraid that we’re not okay, that we’re not desirable. That fear is behind workaholism, racism. It’s all self-justification, rooted in fear. It’s behind how you caricature the person who wrongs you. You need to feel noble, you need to feel superior, you need to feel better.

    • In order to transform that to grace, you’ve got to focus on the commonality. I am fallible, so is this person. I am weak, I make dumb mistakes, so does this person. (This is amazing.)

3. Let him go.

 

I don’t want to forgive, I want justice. If you want to confront them before forgiving them, you’re going for justice. You’re going to hurt them. AND you’ll never get justice.

 

Vengeance is selfish, you’re not concerned with truth, it’s all about you.

Resignation is selfish, you’re letting a person go on sinning.

Forgiving spirit: Doesn’t like conflict, doesn’t avoid it. Doesn’t do vengeance, doesn’t do resignation.

 

How in the world are we ever going to do this?

Behold the king who became a servant. Jesus Christ: It’s paid. He knew that his servants would ruin him—that’s why he came.

After all she’s done for me, I’m almost happy about this tiny opportunity to show her how much she means to me.

Jesus didn’t make you pay a bit.

You’ll never be able to pay the debts people have to you unless you see the infinite debt. After all he’s done for me, I’m almost glad to have the opportunity to show him what he means to me by paying this debt.

 

Col 3:12 Therefore as God’s chosen people set apart and dearly loved clothed yourselves with patience.

Not be patient in order to be loved, but because your utterly loved you can be patient. — (This is a facet of the gospel-changed heart.)

Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: “The Real Jesus” — Sermon #12: “With the Powerless” 1996-1997

The teaching is based on Luke 7:36-50, Story of woman washing Jesus’ feet with tears in Simon the Pharisee’s house.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

In this excellent series of sermons, Keller seeks to give his congregation a biography of the life of Jesus. Prior to Christmas, the sermons focus on the incarnational stories. Following Christmas and leading up to spring, it focuses on the encounters and events of His life. Leading up to Easter, it focuses on the final week of Jesus’… well, I can’t say His life, because He’s still alive… but you know what I mean.

Tim Keller tends to relax and humble me in Christ, whereas Mark Driscoll tells to get me excited and bold in Him. Both preach the gospel and tend to teach through books of the Bible.

For me, a guy who tends to gravitate toward extremes, it is very good for me to listen to both of these men to combat my generally religious, I’ve-got-to-earn-Jesus tendencies.

I generally listen to sermons while running or driving, so these notes are far from complete–but since I try to jot down notes afterwards anyway, I might as well share. I heartily recommend purchasing Tim Keller’s sermons from his website, and heartily encourage you not to rationalize stealing them!

This sermon hit my religious bones good, hopefully crushing them a little more.

With the Powerless

(Luke 7:36-50, Story of woman washing Jesus’ feet with tears in Simon the Pharisee’s house)

  • The story is about two people–the woman and Simon
  • The story is about two seekers–Simon invited Jesus over (invitation to relationship) and the woman came to him
  • Simon had conditions: he wanted a discussion, a high-minded conversation; he didn’t want touching and weeping and letting down of hair!
  • The woman had no conditions–she came and gave her fear (letting her hair down in front of these men could have been dangerous), her money (the alabaster jar of perfume was expensive), her very livelihood and career (wearing an alabaster jar of perfume around your neck increased your sexual appeal; she was a prostitute; to pour out these jars required breaking them due to the narrow neck). Shecame to Jesus unconditionally; if He was who He said He was, she implied, He could have what little she had.
  • Aspects of Simon religion:
    • Jesus says, You don’t get it! You don’t see that you can’t make it!
    • Simon thinks he can pay the cost for the forgiveness of debt.
      • Whether a spider bite kills you are a lion rips you to shreds, you’re still dead–one person is pretty-looking dead, the other is ugly-looking dead, but both are dead. The same with our debt.
      • Forgiveness never happens without someone getting hurt–someone gets wronged, and either the person who owes it pays it or the person who deserves to get it has to absorb it. We can’t pay it, so God has to get hurt.
      • Some ppl bristle when Keller says, “If you don’t come to God through Jesus, you have an impersonal religion”
        • What did it cost your god to have that personal relationship with you. Where is the agony? Where are the thorns? Where are the nails?
          • Don’t believe all that is necessary? Well that’s exactly why you’re not weeping and letting your hair down and laying all you at the feet of Jesus! That’s the reason it’s impersonal! It cost nothing.
          • Your religion is more like Simon’s, not hers. You don’t see or know the cost.
          • If you get rid of the messenger and just have the message, there’s no weeping, no tears, no joy, no power.
    • Simon’s religion is academic.
  • Because of the two understandings:
    • Simon gets exactly what He wants–a seminar. An academic experience. And an insult, and a cold shoulder.
    • The woman gets an ability to love she didn’t have before. The reason she’s able to love now is because she sees that she’s forgiven.
      • Your ability to love people and life is completely due to how deeply you see your sin and your ability to be forgiven.
      • If you have too high a view of yourself, you’ll see yourself as undeserving of the hurt you receive, and if you have to low a view of yourself, you’ll see yourself as undeserving of forgiveness–and either way you won’t be able to forgive.
    • She didn’t just get the ability, she got a love that could fill her up.
    • She doesn’t care what anybody thinks. When everyone turns around, she lets her hair down (an outrageous action). In doing this, she showed courage. She didn’t run. By surrendering to Jesus, she got power. She found that she would never have to surrender to anyone else.
      • Your faith has saved you–past tense! In Simon religion, you never have a past tense! You’re always hoping you’re saved.
      • Jesus says, literally, “Go into peace.” The power you give to me, the more you’ll get back.
  • Do you have Simon religion?
    • Look at this woman. This is the gospel–it’s not the powerful, it’s the marginal who show you how to become a Christian.
  • Are you a believer?
    • Do you love like this woman? Do you have this kind of satisfaction in Jesus Christ? Are you having trouble loving life?
      • It’s in your power! You have forgotten your debt. You have forgotten His life.
      • Hymn: Take my love, my Lord, I pour / At Thy feet its treasure store; / Take myself, and I will be, / Ever, only, all for Thee. / Ever, only, all for Thee.