Experiencing Change (MP3 Series)

by Timothy J. Keller

The following sermons are in MP3 format.  To download, right-click and sve to your hard drive.

Overview

When I Survey
When Paul prays for the Ephesian church,he does not pray for an improvement in their external circumstances. Rather,Paul prays for God to grant the members of the Ephesians church a profound internal knowledge of the depths of God's love. Paul prays that the doctrines that the Christians intellectually believe would become experientially real to their hearts. Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21; Colossians 2; 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 139; Philippians 2:6

How to Change (YouTube)
Christian growth is described through the metaphor of the fruit of the spirit,which is a gradual process that begins with the seed of the Holy Spirit. As we are changed from the inside out,organically and radically,we will find deep joy and lasting change. Scripture: Galatians 5:16-18,22-25

How the Gospel Changes Us
The default mode of the human heart is to work on our behavior and outer appearance,but the gospel changes us at the heart level. To grow,we must understand the difference between religion and the gospel,and apply the gospel to our hearts to confront the idols at the root of our sin. This talk was given at a training conference at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

New Hope

Joy - Overcoming Boredom
A Christian is not a person free from sorrow. On the contrary,when a person becomes a Christian,God softens that person's heart so that they become even more vulnerable to the world's pains. Yet,a Christian is someone who has a deep joy that can never be taken away. Sorrow is temporary,but a Christian's joy is permanent. Scripture: John 16:16-22; Psalm 30:5; Proverbs 8; John 1:1; Zephaniah 3:17; Hebrews 12:2; Ezekiel 36:26; Job 1:22; 1 Peter 1:6; Romans 5:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:13

A Christian's Happiness
Romans 8:28 is one of the most famous verses in the Bible. People love the thought that God works out all things for good for those who love Him. Yet,Romans 8:28 is intimately connected with Romans 8:29-30 where God promises to bodily resurrect those He has called. In other words,the Bible does not promise that Christians will have more pleasant circumstances in this life than non-Christians. The Bible promises a better life to come - not better life circumstances in this world. Scripture: Romans 8:28-30; John 17:13; John 16:22; Romans 8:35; John 11:33-35; Romans 8:18

Born into Hope (YouTube)
We need a living hope to get through life and endure suffering. A living hope enables us to have both sorrow and joy. Our living hope is an inheritance achieved for us by Christ. Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-9; 1 Peter 1,Hebrews 12

Truth, Tears, Anger, and Grace (YouTube)
A recording of the Sunday service after 9/11. Jesus experiences both anger and grief in the face of human suffering. But he also brings about a resurrection; according to the Bible,everything bad will come untrue. Jesus is the perfect Counselor who gives us grace even when he has to suffer for us. Scripture: John 11:20-53

Hope for the World
We are irreducibly hope-based creatures. If we believe that this world is an accident and that when we die we rot,then that lack of hope will cast a shadow on way we live and see all of life. But if we believe the Christian Gospel,then no matter what happens in our lives,we possess a hope that will always strengthen us. Christians find their hope in the certainty of God's love for them through Jesus Christ. Christians live in the hope of knowing that the entire physical creation will be renewed into a perfect world without pain and death. Ephesians 1:11-14; Joshua 3-04; Ephesians 1:18; Hebrews 11:1; Psalm 16:11; Romans 8:21-24; Psalm 96:12-13; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Ephesians 2:12; Proverbs 13:12

New Peace

Entering His Rest (4th)
The weekly Sabbath points to a deeper rest that we all yearn to enter. All of us,at some level,feel that our lives are a trial and that we have failed to measure up. A person becomes a Christian when they admit that they have failed the trial and when they accept Jesus' record instead of their own. Only then can they truly enter God's rest. Hebrews 4:1-12; Psalm 3:1-6; Psalm 23:3; Romans 2:1,14-16; John 5:17

Praying Our Tears
Suffering is inevitable,and we should always expect tears. But by investing our tears we can not only grow from them but eventually find joy through them. In praying our tears,we remember God's grace,behold the cross and find assurance in glory yet to come. Scripture: Psalm 39:12-13; 126:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:17, Psalm 16, Psalm 17

Praying Our Fears
Anxiety is a deep fear that threatens your sense of self. But we must obey Christ in times of hardship,and place our hope in Christ's sacrifice on our behalf. Scripture: Psalm 3:1-8; Genesis 15:1,8

Peace (YouTube)
Christian peace is not the absence of troubles. It is a peace that is unshakeable even in the midst of troubles. During difficult times,Christians are called to remember the living God who works out all things for good for those who love Him. If we set our heart on anything besides God,we can lose our peace. But if our greatest love is the unchanging God,then our peace can never be taken from us. Scripture: Philippians 4:4-12; Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 8:28; Isaiah 57:20-21; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Mark 15:34

New Purpose

The Search for Happiness (YouTube)
Is happiness possible? Is the very notion of happiness a fraud that intelligent people have learned to see through? The Bible believes that happiness is real,but that true happiness is extremely different than what people normally seek. Biblical happiness is an unwavering happiness that does not depend upon everything going well in our lives. Psalm 1; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 1:6; Matthew 6:31-34; Jeremiah 17; Luke 15:21

A Reason for Living: An Open Forum (YouTube)
To find absolute freedom in life, we must admit that life on its own accord is meaningless. True meaning in life is only found through Jesus Christ, the designer of life.

The Strength of Samson (video)
We live in an age that is skeptical of heroism,an age that prefers the "authenticity" of a person's flaws to the hagiography of their achievements. Yet,the Bible presents us with a view of heroes that refuses to be contained by our modern categories. Samson was a flawed and sinful man that God used for tremendous purposes. But more than that,Samson points us to the ultimate hero,Jesus Christ,who unlike Samson did not slay his enemies,but through sacrificial love turned his persecutors into his friends. Judges 15:9-20; Romans 4:5; Luke 23:34; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Psalm 110; Ephesians 1:20-23; John 18:36; Romans 12:21

The Search for God
We all need a "burning bush" to disrupt our lives and explode our paradigms of God. As we encounter God we see he is both absolutely holy and loving. He speaks to us through Christ,who was consumed in the fire for us. Scripture: Exodus 3:1-10

Christ, Our Life
In life we are inevitably changed and shaped by the things we desire. When good things turn into ultimate things,they become idols. However,by devoting our lives to the gospel,we can give up our idols and look to Jesus,with whom we died and are now raised. Scripture: Colossians 3:1-14

Everyone with a Gift (YouTube)
In this passage, Paul offers the essence of the Christian life. If you believe the Christian truth, what does it mean to live the Christian life on the basis of that? This sermon traces through the essence of the Christian life and the power we need to live it. Scripture: Romans 12:1-8

Freedom from Idols

Removing Idols of the Heart
The essential dynamic of change in the heart of the Christian runs on a cycle of repentance and faith. Repentance is unmasking the idols of the heart,the motivations for action and bases for identity other than Christ,and then taking them to the Cross. Faith is trusting in the forgiveness of Christ,understanding both the depth of our sin and the worth of Christ's sacrifice. Scripture: Colossians 3:5-11

Perfect Freedom (YouTube)
The Apostle Paul examines the concept of grace and the reason why our lives must follow Christ's example. Only through God's grace and accepting Christ into our lives will we ever find true freedom and our true selves. Scripture: Romans 6:1-7;11-18

Hope and Money
Money is not inherently evil,but it is often dangerous because it has a power to blind us to spiritual reality. When a person becomes financially successful,they start to feel that they are a success in all areas,and they can easily become blinded to their own sin. Also,the love of money is a unique sin because few people can see greed in themselves. Instead,we falsely believe that luxuries are necessities. Finally,money deceives us by telling us that it can bring us security,and this makes us unwilling to part with our money. It is only when we see the real security we have in Christ that we can relinquish the deceitful security offered by money. Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Philippians 4:12-13; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Job 1:21

The King and the Furnace (streaming)
In sixth century BC, Babylon was the preeminent power in the world, and this passage shows how they conquered Israel and deported the professional classes, including artisans, scholars, and government and military officers, in order to subjugate them through assimilation. This passage shows how Daniel and his three friends confronted the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. What happened in that confrontation? This sermon teaches three things: the pressure of pluralism, the precision of truth faith, and the promises of suffering. Scripture: Daniel 3:14-29; 1 Peter 1:7; Job 5:7; 1 Peter 4:12; Isaiah 43:1-5

Identity

War Between Your Selves part 1
Everyone has a war within themselves. We all want to live according to a high moral code,but none of us can meet the demands of our moral code. The reason for this is that inside of ourselves there is a desire for evil as well as a desire for good. Therefore,none of us can win the battle. But the battle changes when we become a Christian. The deepest parts of ourselves change so that for the first time our most inner being delights in the law of God. We move from a battle we cannot win to a battle we cannot lose. Scripture: Romans 7:1-25; Acts 9:4; Galatians 5:17; Romans 2:15; Colossians 3:1-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21

The New Birth
A common misunderstanding of being "born again" is that it's an experience for broken people,a way for outcasts and moral failures to turn their life around. Yet,when Jesus teaches on being born again,He does so by challenging a man who is the very opposite of the born again stereotype. Nicodemus was an upright moral man and a leader in his society - and yet Jesus said that all of his accomplishments meant nothing unless he was born again. Scripture: John 3:1-15; Matthew 21:31; Ephesians 4:24; Ezekiel 37; 1 Peter 1:23; John 4; Numbers 21:4-9; John 7:50-52; John 19:38:42; John 16:19-21

Inside-Out Living
A common misconception about religion is that it is seeking approval and acceptance from God through our behavior,but this approach is self-centered and self-righteous,leading only to a rejection of God and Christian community. Real acceptance from God only comes from accepting God's grace and Christ's sacrifice to atone for our sins. Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

The Gospel and Your Self
The cure for our self-absorption is an encounter with God. The real God is infinitely glorious,weighty,and beautiful. When God moves from being a concept to a reality,he changes our beliefs and priorities by displaying his beauty,man's sinfulness,and purifying man by grace. Once changed,we can live new lives for him. Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-13

Hope for Your Life
The Bible teaches that every Christian has been "born again." Yet,this term is commonly misunderstood. Being born again is not about improving one's morality or having a powerful spiritual experience. It is a completely new way of seeing the world. It is the eyes of the new birth that allow a Christian to see the truth of the Gospel. The new birth is also the engine of Christian growth. It is the new heart God gives that helps us put our hope in God rather than the idols of this world. Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-13; John 3:1-21; John 16:19-21

Control

Your Plans: God's Plans (YouTube)
The only way to understand God's plans for us is to see Christ truly and trust him fully. Gods plans for us are not abandoned to fate; our choices matter,and once we have committed entirely to His will,we can receive his guidance humbly and boldly. Scripture: Proverbs 11:3; 12:5,15; 15:22; 16:1-4,9,25,33; 21:5; 27:1

Jesus at His Father's Feast
Even as a boy,Jesus was confusing everyone. He confused the religious experts by his wisdom. He confused his parents who lost him and were searching all over for him. Yet Jesus was where he was meant to be - in His Father's house. Jesus continues to confuse all of us today,giving us lives that confound our expectations. Yet,though we cannot understand everything Jesus does,the one thing we know with certainty is that He is constantly inviting us to join Him at His Father's feast. Scripture: Luke 2:41-52; Luke 24:18-26; Matthew 2:13-15; Luke 8:24-25

Security

Abraham and the Torch
It is much easier to believe in God than to trust in God. God calls Abraham to live a life of faith,but Abraham struggles. He asks God how he knows that he can trust God. God responds with a demonstration that is one of the clearest pointers to the Gospel in the Old Testament. In so doing,God enables Abraham to truly live a life of faith. Scripture: Genesis 15:1-21; Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 22:2; Hebrews 6:17-19; Jeremiah 34:17-20; Mark 15:33-34; Isaiah 53:8

How Money Makes us Fools
Money is not a peripheral subject for Jesus. Jesus is always concerned about the hearts of His followers,and He constantly teaches about money because our attitude towards money is a window into our hearts. We put our trust in money instead of trusting in God. We look to money for the security that only God can provide. Yet,when we see how Jesus gave up his heavenly riches in order to draw near to us,we can forsake our earthly riches in order to draw near to Him. Luke 12:13-21; Luke 12:41; Luke 3:11-14; Luke 16:13-14; Luke 19:1-10; Luke 11:39-42; Acts 4-6; Exodus 33:5; Luke 12:49-51; Matthew 5:29-30; Matthew 13:24-30,36-43; Isaiah 40:8; Luke 16:9; 1 Corinthians 1:18,25; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Real Security and the Call of God
Through Abraham we see how God's personal call graciously challenges every aspect of our lives,by giving us entirely new lives with a radical new purpose. God's call to Abraham presents him with the opportunity to find his true self,and to rely on the ultimate security that comes from trusting Him. Scripture: Genesis 11:27-12:9; Joshua 24

Approval

The Breastplate of Righteousness-1
In our contemporary culture, the word “righteousness” has come to mean “self-righteousness.” In the Bible, however, being “righteous” has a relational quality. It means being presentable; it means being good enough to please. We spend so much of our time working to be presentable, accentuating our best qualities and covering our flaws. Being a Christian means resting in Jesus’ righteousness rather that working harder to improve our own. Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18

Coming to Christ-2
All of us are seeking a verdict. Whether it’s the anxiety we feel when we go out on a date with someone we like or when we are interviewed for a job, we need to know that we have passed the test. In the beatitudes Jesus teaches that only those who are poor in spirit, only those who rely on Jesus’ record instead of their own, can pass the ultimate test—whether we can enter the Kingdom of God. Scripture: Matthew 5:1-6; John 3:3; Romans 3:10.

Blessed Self-Forgetfulness
Few things in this world are as self-focused as the human ego. Every triumph and every slight has the potential to send us either into pride or despondency. Yet, in this passage from 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul shows us another way: a way where we forget ourselves to the point where we not only cease caring what others think, but where we even fail to care what we think of ourselves. Instead, we rest and rejoice in what God thinks of us in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7; 1 Timothy 1:15.

The Man the King Delights to Honor YouTube
Haman, who plots to kill the Jews exiled in Persia, exemplifies pride and its downfalls. His pride manifests itself in self-absorption, an inability to learn from his mistakes, a progression into more serious forms of evil, and a blindness to his own pride. Pride is overcome by forgetting oneself and clothing oneself in the overwhelming praise of the Father through Christ. Scripture: Esther 3:1-6; 6:1-10

The Problem of Blessing
All people crave the blessings of uniquely valuable people. To get this blessing we disguise ourselves and hide our true selves. Yet the only blessing that lasts is the blessing of God, which comes from Christ, who gave up his right as first-born. Scripture: Genesis 27:18-34

Forgiveness

Forgiving and Forgiven (YouTube)
Ephesians 4:25-32

Coping with Suffering

The Wounded Spirit (YouTube)
The Bible teaches an extremely nuanced vision of the human spirit. We are physical beings whose spirits can be brought low by physical ailments. We are relational beings who need the love and support of friends. We are moral beings who can be crushed by the weight of our sin. We are existential beings who seek to find meaning in our lives. Lastly,we are faith-based being who will always put our hope in something. Unless we put our faith and hope in God,we will never satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. Scripture: Proverbs 12:25; 13:12; 14:10,13,30; 15:4,13-14; 16:2; 18:14; 28:1; Ephesians 3:16; Leviticus 26:14-17; Genesis 3:24; Psalm 22:14

Heman's Cry of Darkness (YouTube)
The Bible is incredibly realistic about the inevitability of suffering in this life and about its effect on people. Psalm 88 stands out among the psalms for its lack of hope and for the way the psalmist criticizes God. In this sermon,Tim Keller shows how we can stay close to God even when everything outside of us is going wrong and when our hearts feel a million miles from God. Scripture: Psalm 88:1-2, 6-18; Psalm 39; Job 1; 1 Chronicles 6; Matthew 27:45-46,51-52

Questions of Suffering
No book in all of literature addresses the questions of suffering and evil with the spiritual wisdom of the book of Job. In this sermon,Timothy Keller demonstrates how the Christian approach to suffering differs from both cynical and moralistic viewpoints. Christians are called to hold onto the mystery and stay in a relationship with a God we cannot control - but whose goodness we cannot doubt when we truly grasp the Gospel. Scripture: Job 1:8-22

Can a Mother Forget? (audio)
When external circumstances are daunting or when internally God feels remote,Christians often struggle to believe that they are truly loved by God. Yet,in this passage from Isaiah,God gives us an astounding metaphor to show us the depths of His love. God takes one of the most loving relationships - the relationship between a mother and her nursing infant - and shows how even that love does not compare to His love for us. Scripture: Isaiah 49:1-16; 1 John 3:18; Psalm 27:10

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