The two sermons which follow were preached by Robert E. Coleman at the funerals of his parents. His father, James Henry Coleman, was buried January 7, 1975, and his mother, Helen Hood Coleman on August 21, 1985. Both messages offer fitting tribute to loved ones, and provide a model for bringing comfort and inspiration in the funeral setting.
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In a million pulpits around the globe this Easter Sunday, preachers are proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. So what? What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make? This sermon boldly asks and confidently answers this most important of questions.
The ministry to which we are called is the preaching of "the glorious gospel of Christ" (4:4). As evangelists, teachers, pastors, and laymen, we must be divinely motivated, if our ministry is to be effective. Paul proceeds to outline the threefold motivation of our ministry, the first being HOPE, which he defines as and "eternal weight of glory."
Followers of Jesus have been given different names over the centuries. At first, they were called "Christians," which means "Christ ones" (Acts 11:26). The commonest word for these committed to Jesus is disciple, which means a learner. In his epistle, Paul addressed the Christians as saints, those set apart for God. They are also called believers, beloved, or children of God. Each of these names describes a distinctive characteristic of the lives of those who follow Christ. In our text, John suggests another name for Christians: overcomers. A Christian is one who overcomes.
The question is not whether or not God is on my side but whether I am on God's side.