Sermon Text: Philippians 4:10-14
An excerpt from a biography entitled “Benjamin Franklin; An American Life,” author, Walter Isaacson says that over the years Franklin, one of the more remarkable Americans, was guided by one question: “How does one live a life that is useful, virtuous, worthy, moral, and spiritually meaningful?”
Isaacson goes on to say that Franklin was uncomfortable with the theological certainty and the ethical legalism of the traditional churches. 200 years later, I think he still would be a little “uncomfortable.” During his 84 years, some of the most influential thinkers of the age were DEISTS. That is, they accepted the existence of God and thought God should be recognized and worshiped, but concluded that, all in all, God didn’t have much to do with human life. Franklin became disenchanted, started to attend the Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and said of deism, “I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful.”
Weekly, we come to worship so that we might get REAL. We come to worship so that we can learn, in practical ways, how to act out of faith in our daily living. For me, as well as Benjamin Franklin, Deism, or any religious belief that does not have practical application and simply lives in the past or the future … is not very useful.
We’ve been taught for years that the Gospel is good news … and indeed it is that. But this morning I want us to make sure we understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is more than that … it is “NOW-NEWS.” As Christians we are called to “proclaim the Gospel.”
“Pro” means “advancing or spreading forward”;
“Claim” means “to assert or maintain as a fact”;
“Gospel” means “now-news”.
And so, as Christians, who happen to be Presbyterian … we are called to “ADVANCE” the “FACT” that the gospel is the “NOW-NEWS” of Jesus Christ. … Read full sermon here (PDF)