Are We Disobeying God When We Worry? [An Intro to Hermeneutics]

[Sermon given by Jim Shaul on 01.24.2021]

The apostle Paul commands his readers to “be anxious for nothing”. Whoa. Is that what he really means?

The topic of this sermon is hermeneutics, which is a fancy word for “how to understand and apply a text”. The term is most often used in the context of the Christian Bible; however, you can apply hermeneutics to any text. We apply hermeneutics when we read through instruction manuals. We read through the directions, determine the meaning of what’s being said and, in light our situation and goal, decide what actions to take based on what was said.

There are LOTS of commands (in other words, direct instructions) in scripture. How can Christians know which commands apply to them and which don’t? Jesus at one point tells his disciples to take swords with them (Luke 22:36-38). We’re followers of Jesus, right? Shouldn’t we take swords around with us? Of course not. There are countless other commands like this that most people gloss over instinctively because they can just tell that these don’t apply to them.

But what if we sometimes gloss over commands that DO apply to us?

Then we need to ask ourselves: how can we determine whether we as Christians today need to obey any given command in scripture?

This sermon gives some principles to keep in mind when making such a determination and a couple case studies for illustration. You’ll hear:

  • The difference between what it meant to be a follower of Jesus when people were literally walking around behind Jesus and what it means to follow Jesus today.
  • The Sermon on the Mount: it was a sermon given by Jesus specifically to his disciples, but there were LOTS of people obviously listening in. So who’s this directed to?
  • Should Christians sell all their things and not give a single thought to what they wear and what they’re going to eat?
  • What is the reason Jesus gives that we’re not to worry? It’s because God takes care of his children.

God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers. How much more important are we than birds and flowers? Just as a good parent joyfully provides for their children, how much more joyful and abundantly will God provide for His people?

It’s natural for people to worry, but it gets something fundamentally wrong about who’s in charge. We have responsibilities, but it’s God’s job to ensure we are equipped to fulfill them. Rather than focus on the worldly logistics, His heart is for us to seek His kingdom and righteousness as our number one priority. Think of it this way, until you have fulfilled God’s will for your life, you are invincible, undefeatable, unkillable, fully protected by God.

God’s got this, so stop worrying.

Verses Referenced:
Psalm 34:8-10
Matthew 6:19
Matthew 6:25-34 (key passage)
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (incorrectly cited in the sermon as 1 Corinthians)
Philippians 4:19
Philippians 4:6-7

Name the Unknown logo, three blue rectangles

Hey, if you learned something from this sermon, I would greatly appreciate you sharing this with your friends and family (links below). It’s very likely you know someone who is struggling with worry/anxiety, I pray this post is a blessing to them. Thank you for helping us to reach more curious minds!

2 comments

  1. BTW….the answer is yes.

    On Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 8:40 AM Name the Unknown wrote:

    > Dustin posted: ” [Sermon given by Jim Shaul on 01.24.2021] The apostle > Paul commands his readers to “be anxious for nothing”. Whoa. Is that what > he really means? The topic of this sermon is hermeneutics, which is a fancy > word for “how to understand and apply a text” >

    Like

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