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Thursday, November 07 2019

From October 6, 2019

(1st Sermon at MSPC)

“The Blood of the Cross”

Ephesians 1:7-8; 2:11-12;

I John 1:8-9; Rev. 12:7-11

Sermon by Rev. Kenneth Chorle

Pastor of Market Street Presbyterian Church of Lima, Ohio

Introduction: Several years ago, I was in the kitchen cooking. I went to reach into a drawer without looking at the contents of the drawer. As I slide my hand into the drawer, my finger encountered a sharp object, a large paring knife. Immediately, my finger started to bleed, and blood got on the knife and in the drawer. I only noticed my finger was bleeding after I did something on the stove. So, blood got on the food and on the stove. Rather than spending time cooking, I had to clean up a real bloody mess.

            “If it bleeds, it leads.” “If it bleeds, it leads.” This was and perhaps still is the motto used to determine lead news stories in print and on TV and radio and maybe on all forms of media.

            If blood is spilt, then people gather around to see what happened. Blood strangely draws our attention.

My mother had considerable experience teaching children. She discovered that when children stop paying attention to the Bible lesson, all she had to do was say the word “blood” and she would regain their attention.

Preview Statement: The title of this message is “The Blood of the Cross.” In this message, I will give you four results of the blood of Jesus spilt on the cross of Calvary.

First, the blood of the cross is the payment for our redemption. (Ephesians 1:7-8)

Second, the blood of the cross is the cleansing agent for our sins. (I John 1:8-9)

Third, the blood of the cross is the way of communion with God, the Father. (Ephesians 2:11-12)

Fourth, the blood of the cross is the means to overcome the devil. (Revelation 12:7-11)

Transition: Let us now look at these four results of the blood of the cross of Jesus!

  1. First, the blood of the cross is the payment for our redemption. (Ephesians 1:7-8)
  1. Redemption is not a term that Americans are familiar with due to our economic system. The economic system in the Old Testament incorporated the concept of redemption. Basically, the term means “to buy back.” If an item is sold, it may be recovered or bought back by the original owner. The closest we come to this concept might be a pawn shop. Someone puts a possession down for collateral in getting a loan of money. The original owner can recover or buy back the possession as soon as the loan is repaid.
  2. Let me illustrate with a true to life story. My mother lived with me in the final year of her life. After she passed into glory and joined the church triumphant at age 90, I had to go through her clothing. I donated most of her clothing to the local Goodwill store. When this was complete, my wife, Audrey, asked me about a nice raincoat that was hers. Did I include my wife’s raincoat in the box of clothing donated to Goodwill? Yes, I made a mistake and accidently sent my wife’s rain jacket to the Goodwill store.

So, I promised my wife I would recover her nice ladies raincoat. At first, I thought about going to the store and pleading my ignorance and mistake and ask for it to be returned to me. But, soon I realized it was far better to locate the raincoat and purchase it or buy it back.

I went to the store and found the raincoat. Then, I took it to the checkout counter and paid $10.00 to buy back the jacket I had donated. I once had the jacket. I lost the jacket due to my mistake or my blunder. Then, I paid a price to buy it back.

The application is that Adam and Eve and all their descendants, you and me and the entire human race, once with God in perfect fellowship. A blunder or mistake or sin happened. Adam and Eve got separated or alienated from God, our Father. The only way to get back to fellowship with God was to “buy back” or REDEEM the human race. A price had to be paid to get the human race back! The price was the precious blood of the Son, the Lord Jesus. The price paid was the blood of the cross. Thus, all humanity could be bought back to God and have fellowship with Him, the creator of all the universe.

II.        Second, the blood of the cross is the cleansing agent for our sins. (I John 1:8-9)

  1. A habit I am trying to break is placing an ink pen in my front pocket on my shirt. I have had numerous times of finding ink blots on my shirts at the bottom of the front pocket. So, I am trying my best NOT to put a pen in my shirt pocket. The ink is difficult to remove. Stains can be very stubborn and not easily removed in the wash.
  2. But, the Bible tells us that “the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin.” Blood is a staining agent! It is not sold in local retail stores with the wash stain removers. Again, the Bible tells us of the power of the blood of Christ to remove the effects of sin. The blood of Christ cleanses our dirty filthy rags of unrighteousness.
  3. The wonderful news given to us in First John chapter one verses eight and nine is that the blood of Christ cleanses ALL sin. The word ALL is an amazing word in the Bible. Once, I preached an entire series of sermons on the word “All.”  A prankster in our church, left a box of detergent on my desk. Do you know the brand name of the box of detergent? Yes, it was “All.”  

Review: First, the blood of the cross is the payment for our redemption. (Ephesians 1:7-8)

Second, the blood of the cross is the cleansing agent for our sins. (I John 1:8-9)

Transition: Now let us go to the third result of the blood of the cross of Jesus on Calvary.

  1. Third, the blood of the cross is the way of communion with God, the Father. (Ephesians 2:11-12)
  2. Fourth, the blood of the cross is our victory over the devil, the accuser of the brethren.
  1. The apostle, John, tells us about the war. John was a war correspondent. The archangel, Michael, and his good angelic forces went after the real terrorist group, the dragon and the dragon’s evil angels. The result was that the dragon was thrown down from heaven to the earth.
  2. The dragon is really our true enemy. Two additional terms are used to describe our foe. Satan means adversary or enemy. Devil means accuser. The accuser comes to you and to me and tries to make us feel guilty. He can call up sins of the past and hold the sins of the past in our faces. These sins have already been covered by the blood of Jesus. Yet, the accuser of the brethren wants to make us feel guilty. His evil tricks also include making up things against us or slandering us.
  3. We have victory over the cunning evil one only by the blood of the Lamb, the Lamb of God, Jesus, who takes away the sins of the world. The blood of the Lamb settles everything. The devil or the one who falsely accuses or slanders us cannot accomplish any evil on a believer that is covered by the precious blood of the Lamb.
  4. Any attempts to remove the precious blood of Jesus from the text of Scripture or even the great hymns of the church is an evil scheme. Yes, Christianity is centered in the blood. Why? Well, the book of Leviticus tells us that life is in the blood. Continuous bleeding that cannot be stopped will kill any human on the earth. We can only loose a certain amount of blood without loss of life. If you lose one pint of blood, you will be fine. Two pints of blood lost can cause shock. Loosing five to six pints of blood leads to death.
  5. When Jesus shed his blood on the cross, Jesus gave his very life for us to save us. Thus, the blood of the cross is the means to drive the devil away when we are attacked!  

From October 30, 2019

“Sola: The Word at the Heart of the Reformation”

Ephesians 2:8-10; I Tim. 2:5

(Reformation Sunday at Market St. Presbyterian Church Lima, Ohio

Rev. Kenneth Chorle, Pastor

Introduction: “Bulletin Boards!” Have you ever considered the significance of bulletin boards. In the year 1801, a man by the name of James Pillans, invented the concept of a bulletin board. James Pillans was a teacher at a school in Edinburg Scotland. (Ya for Scotland! The Scottish get some credit!) Later, in the year 1925 a man from Kansas, George Brooks, takes out a patent on a cork bulletin board. In 1941, the patent on cork bulletin boards expires. So, for you and for me we had bulletin boards in our education and in our place of work and in the church building.

            To add to the history of bulletin boards, the concept of digital bulletin board came about in 1976. By 1978, the BBS, or Bulletin Board System, was in use. This involved using a modem to connect a home computer with the Internet. Messages were sent directly to your home computer on BBS. But, soon the
BBS became outdated and was not needed due to the invention of the World Wide Web or WWW.

            Before the modern WWW or the BBS or the cork bulletin board, there were wooden doors and nails. In Medieval times in a college or university setting, it was popular to use a door as a bulletin board.

            In the year 1517 on Oct. 31 in Wittenberg, Germany, an Augustinian monk, by the name of Martin Luther, took a nail and hammer and tacked to the door of the church at Wittenberg what he called “Ninety-Five Theses.” The Ninety-Five Theses were topics that Martin Luther wanted to debate and discuss for the purpose of bringing some changes to the Roman Catholic Church. The intent was not to break away from the church, but the intent was to change the church from within.

            (A few words of praise need to be given to the Roman Catholic Church because it did harbor the basics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for about 1,400 years. Basically, there were no other options for common people to hear the Gospel except the official Roman Catholic Church. So, Reformation Sunday should not be about bashing the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, some words of praise for Roman Catholicism need to be offered on Reformation Sunday in addition to presenting the teachings of Martin Luther, the German Reformer.)  

            What made Luther’s ideas spread far and wide was that his writings were taken to a printer. The moveable type printer had just been invented by Gutenberg. So, Medieval mass production of books was now possible. All of Luther’s writings were ultimately distributed in Germany and in Europe.

            So, on Oct. 31, 1517, what is now called “The Reformation” began. At the heart of the Reformation was one and only one word-the Latin word “SOLA.” “Sola” translated in English means “alone” or “only.” For those who love music and wish to sing by yourself completely alone, you call this a “solo” from the Latin word SOLA.

Preview Statement: In this message, I will preach on the Latin word “SOLA” as it applies to the heart of the Protestant Reformation. There are five uses of the word “ALONE” or “SOLA” that make up the heart of the Protestant Reformation that began under Martin Luther.

  1. SOLA SCRIPTURA: Scripture Alone.
  2. SOLA GRATIA: Grace Alone.
  3. SOLA FIDES: Faith Alone.
  4. SOLA Christus: Christ Alone.
  5. SOLI DEO GLORIA: To God Alone Be the Glory.

Transition:    Let us begin with “SOLA SCRIPTURA” or Scripture Alone.

  1. First, Sola Scriptura, or Scripture alone, is at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.
  1. Martin Luther had many scruples with the Roman Catholic system. He protested against the selling of indulgences. He protested against the way in which the entire system was encouraging the concept of working your way to heaven by gaining the merits of the church.
  2. After it was clear that Martin Luther was teaching things contrary to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope issued an order on paper that had a seal, or bull, placed on it. The sealed order, called a Papal Bull, or Papal Seal, commanded that Luther say in Latin “REVOCO,” meaning I recant, or I repent, or I was in error.
  3. At the meeting place called “Worms,” in January of 1521 a conference was held where Luther was challenged to state publicly his sorrow for his writings and his mistaken ways. It is called the “Diet of Worms.” No, it was not a food diet. No, it was not an invitation for Luther to eat earth worms. At this conference, or assembly, or Diet, Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor, was present and so were many high-ranking officials of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther’s reply was that unless his “errors” were shown and proven in Scripture , he was not going to repent.
  4. “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason (I do not accept the authority of popes and councils because they have contradicted each other), my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God. Amen.” (Luther’s words at the Diet of Worms.)
  5. Luther was taken away by some knights to the castle at Wartburg, where he took the Greek New Testament and translated it into the German Language. Prior to this great event, only those who could read Latin where able to read the Bible, the Latin Vulgate. By doing this, Luther empowered all German speaking people to open the Bible and read it for themselves. Sola Scriptura was established by giving the people of Germany the Scriptures to read in their own language.
  1. Second, Sola Gratia, or Grace alone, is also at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.
  1. How is a man or woman saved or justified in the eyes of almighty God? The presentation of the Roman Catholic system was a works-based system, that indicated that salvation came by doing all the right things as presented by the local priests.
  2. Hence, the good works of a participant in the rituals of the Roman system merited God’s grace. We might say that grace was earned because of good works.
  3. This meant that a man or woman had a role in his or her salvation. But, Luther presented in all his teachings that Salvation was completely the act of God in a person’s life. Out of God’s goodness, God bestowed salvation. It was completely a gift. Ephes. 2:8-10
  4. It is not grace plus works that brings merit and earns salvation. Rather, it is grace alone. God’s goodness demonstrated in the gift of salvation without any consideration of our actions, or good works. This can best be illustrated by a cartoon that appeared many years ago in the comic strip “Dennis the Menace.” Dennis and his buddy Tommy are delighted that the neighbor, Mrs. Wilson, gave them a batch of delicious cookies. Tommy is puzzled and says to Dennis that Mrs. Wilson should not have given them cookies because as boys they had NOT been very good. Dennis replies: “Mrs. Wilson does not give us cookies because we have been good. Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies because she is good!”
  1. Third, Sole Fides is another use of Sola at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.
  1. Once God gives out His grace to a man or woman, then the man or woman gets a faith to believe and accept what God has done in Christ for him or her.
  2. Ephes. 2:8-10. Grace is first, then comes faith. The faith is not accompanied by works.
  3. However, if you look carefully at Ephes. 2:8-10 you will see that works will come after salvation has been experienced. Salvation is faith alone. But, the Christian life involves God’s people doing good works after the free gift of salvation has been accepted.
  1. Fourth, Solus Christus is at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.
  1. The Roman Catholic system involved the use of the local priest as a mediator. The members were to confess their sins to a local priest to be forgiven. However, Luther proposed that confession of sin can be made directly to God through Jesus Christ without the use of the mediator of the local priest.
  2. The life, death of Jesus on the cross and Jesus’ resurrection is sufficient to bring salvation and a transformed life. Nothing can be taken from the work of Christ on the cross nothing can be added to Christ Alone.
  3. "I must listen to the gospel. It tells me not what I must do, but what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done for me." - Martin Luther quote
  1. Lastly or fifth, Soli Deo Gloria is at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.

A.  Glory is a difficult concept to convey. But, if you know of the origin of the word, or etymology, it is easier to grasp. The Greek word is “doxa,” and in its non-biblical use it means opinion or worth. So, often these days, you are asked to stay on the phone line and take a survey to express your view of the service or product. You are sometimes given a scale and asked to select a number rating the person who was your server. In the same way, you are asked to rate God. Well, this does not sound right because who am I to rate God? So, instead I give God all the glory. I rate God the highest rating possible on an infinite scale. God is good to me and to others and to the world that He in His nature and in His works is completely off the scale in term of love and goodness.

B.  The Reformation was happening close to the period of time known as The Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time when scholars were praising mankind or humankind for achievements. This era was the start of what is now called “humanism” or total faith in man/woman to solve problems and be self sufficient and not God dependent. To declare “to God be the Glory” was to counteract the findings of the Renaissance. The Renaissance declared “to man or to woman be the glory.”  The Reformation wanted nothing to do with human glory and all to do about God’s glory.

C. Later, some great musicians such as Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel, later would use this Latin Reformation phrase on their musical works.


  1. SOLA SCRIPTURA: Scripture Alone.
  2. SOLA GRATIA: Grace Alone.
  3. SOLA FIDES: Faith Alone.
  4. SOLA Christus: Christ Alone.
  5. SOLi DEO GLORIA: To God Alone Be the Glory.


Each one of the five uses of the Latin word “sola” is in question today. Because churches and pastors are forsaking these vital Reformation principles, modern Christianity is sinking down and becoming just like the world around us.

All five principles of the Reformation with the Latin word Sola need to be applied here at Market St. Presbyterian Church and to any Church who bears the name Christian! All five principles of the Reformation with the Latin word Sola need to be applied in your life and mine. SOLi DEO GLORIA: To God Alone Be the Glory. Amen!

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