Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Serpent of a Sermon

On Sunday I preached from the key text of John 3:14-15 about Moses lifting up a serpent on a pole. As it was the last day (Cap Go Mei) of the Lunar New Year of the Snake, I thought I preached a sermon on the symbol of the snake in the Bible, covering from Genesis to Revelation. I prepared only 12 slides, mostly scriptural texts. I spoke first about the snake being a negative symbol in most instances but in John 3:14 we have a symbol of a snake as a positive symbol as the Son of Man was compared to the Snake lifted on the pole just as the Son of Man was lifted on a pole, the cross. Then I spoke about the negative symbol from the temptation of Eve by the serpent to Paul's admonition in 2 Cor 11 alluding to the Genesis' temptation account that we should stay focused in our pure and sincere devotion to Christ keeping our guard against the wiles of the serpent. The serpent's main task is to sow doubt about God's command. I ended with the exhortation that when we read Scripture and if it is clear we ought not doubt God's Word, but do our best to keep or obey God's Word by the power of the Holy Spirit which dwells in us.

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