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Sermon Archive

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Sun, Mar 27, 2022
n today’s sermon, with text taken from Romans 6: 10-11, Pastor Victor makes it clear that Jesus Christ’s blood shed on the old rugged cross will never lose its power. In the scripture’s passage the apostle Paul reveals to the Christian church at Rome that Jesus died to sin by an extraordinarily painful execution. However, our resurrected Savior was alive to God. It is important for us to truly grasp what he was conveying in his letter because it is just as meaningful to us today.

Jesus died on the cross to wash away the sins of all humanity. We know that His death was for the forgiveness of our sins because Christ is without sin. It is of great comfort to know that His one death was enough. We do not have to physically die for our own salvation. The scripture also tells us that Jesus lives to God, and therefore an abundant life can be ours. There is nothing tying us to a wrongful past, and we are liberated to choose a new path and live to please the Lord.

Although there is an ongoing archeological debate, it does not matter if the crucifixion took place on a vertical and horizontal cross or an X-shaped configuration. The holy cross sets us free from our baggage and burden of guilt. Jesus died so that we could have a relationship and get right with our Father in Heaven. We who trust in Him are emphatically dead to sin and alive to God because of Christ Jesus. The blood that Jesus shed on that cross has power that is everlasting. He died one death to save us all, and now we are free to live a full life for God’s glory.
Sun, Mar 20, 2022
As we spring forward into daylight savings time, Pastor Victor continues in the sermon series, What is at the Center of Christianity? This is a question those who are twice born will find rhetorical since it is clear the cross of our Lord and Savior is Christianity’s centerpiece. The cross is the cornerstone. In today’s text, Ephesians 2: 11-20, Paul tells the Gentiles though they were previously aliens from Israel, the blood of Jesus confers upon them full citizenship. Responsibility and certain benefits are essential elements of this status. The first benefit is that every Kingdom citizen has a position of proximity. Not even a sinful past can strip away citizenship because Calvary’s cross brings believers close to the Father and the Son. Secondly, we are people of unity. Although we are unified as one, we do not lose our identity. Our belonging does not negate our uniqueness. It actually embraces it. Finally, the cross is a place of peace. Through the cross barriers are broken and we live as one. Our origins, nationalities and denominations may differ, yet we all belong to the Kingdom of God. The citizenship conferred by the cross means we have a position of proximity, we are people of unity, and the cross is our place of peace. While earthly factions may seek to divide, destroy, and conquer, we of the faith community answer to a Higher Power, and He has the ultimate authority. The diversity and individuality of every citizen is celebrated. God’s Kingdom is comprised of a beautiful rainbow of both native born and naturalized citizens. Their citizenship is irrevocable because it is granted to all who gather at the glorious cross of Jesus Christ.
Sun, Mar 13, 2022
With the spring equinox fast approaching and Holy Week a mere five weeks away, Pastor Victor poses a question in his new sermon series, “What is at the Center of Christianity?” Perhaps there is no better place in the Bible to consider this query than in Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. In the text, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, it is apparent that the Christian story can be difficult to fully grasp because it is both problematic to the non-believer and filled with divine possibility for those who are saved.

The cross is nonsensically problematic to those without faith and simultaneously the holiest of symbols that believers look to as affirmation of humanity’s salvation. To the former it does not make sense that God in the flesh, our beloved Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, had to lose His life in such a gruesome, tortuous manner. From the perspective of those who are perishing the cross is indeed an unscalable stumbling block and they only see death. They have no sense of hope. However, from the entirely different angle or perspective of the latter, those whose minds are open with an optimistic nature and outlook, the cross represents humanity’s greatest hope and our salvation.

The cross truly presents a paradox in which the perishing perceive only impossibility and nonsense, while the faith-filled believe in our salvation because He died at Calvary on that old rugged cross. During this sacred season we often express our gratitude through a favorite gospel song. With hearts full of hope and love, we sing these words, “Jesus would not come down from the cross just to save Himself. He decided to die to save me.”

Thank God Jesus rose from that watery grave on the third day. Thank God Jesus decided that humanity was worthy of salvation. Thank God He sent His Son to serve as our steppingstone to life that is everlasting.
Sun, Feb 20, 2022
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
On this second Sunday of February, we received a powerful and meaningful sermon regarding the life of Methuselah. In the text, Genesis 5:25-27, we are offered the bare basics about his life. This man had the distinction of fathering a son named Lamech at the ripe old age of 187, and thereafter having more sons and daughters. Methuselah’s longevity is the longest recorded in the bible, as he lived 969 years. This in itself is remarkable, however, the true significance of Methuselah’s life is hidden. Pastor Victor notes that he is reduced to the number of years he lived, neglecting to clearly expound on Methuselah’s true contribution to humankind.

Just as Methuselah is confined to the prison of performance, only noting that he lived and died, people of color’s multi-dimensional portraits are typically flattened in the annals of American history. Our preacher explains that Black Americans’ historical and cultural significance is often limited in focus to fit the idea of American exceptionalism. Mainstream America enthusiastically spotlights our entertainers, sports stars, and some of our ‘firsts’, with no real interest in our lasting, significant and essential scientific, political, entrepreneurial and technological achievements.

Pastor Victor then delves into the concept of pebble possibilities, referring to the ripple effect that has much more significance than the initial percussive impact. There are possibilities that lives will be touched and perhaps transformed by your current act of service for kingdom purposes. While history books may not record the far-reaching effect of your deeds, God sees you and He will memorialize the good you have done for Him.

As we continue to proudly celebrate the significant contributions of Black Americans, let us remember not only the eponymous heroines and heroes of our culture. Let us embrace the significance, even if hidden, of every being who makes a contribution in the name of the Lord. Let us break out of the prisons of performance and acknowledge the ripples of pebble possibilities innate in each of us. Remember, Methuselah not only lived long, but he was Noah’s grandfather. You recall Noah and the ark, don’t you? Noah was the righteous man chosen by God to perpetuate the entire human race. Now, that is hidden significance.
Sun, Feb 06, 2022
Passage: Nehemiah 11:1
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Today our pastor hones in on the summary clause of scripture from Nehemiah 11:1, which reads, “At the time, I was cupbearer to the king.” In this autobiographical memoir of the praying Nehemiah, we find he is in service to a Persian king and therefore uniquely located in a position to gain the king’s favor to help his people in his hometown of Jerusalem. Pastor Victor’s timely and moving sermon brings to our attention four pertinent aspects of location.

The first aspect of location is that we are all temporally located. Every one of us live in a chronological period and we need to recognize that our time is a precious gift from God. Nehemiah understood that his location at the time in the royal palace was not just an individual privilege, but an opportunity to help his native Jerusalem. Our moments are to be used to help others by doing the Lord’s work. Every minute, every hour, of every day is an opportunity to do something worthwhile, to do something good.

The second aspect is that we are situationally located. We are a product of the time in which we live. There is no need to look back longingly for what is behind us, for that was not our time. Although this time is fraught with political divisions, a global pandemic, violence and brazen racism, the Lord placed us here for such a time as this. He designed us to endure and is counting on us to live faithfully and boldly during our given days.

The third aspect is being professionally located. Though our work may be difficult or even risky at times, we are located right where God needs us, for there He can use us to expand His kingdom. Like Nehemiah, in our professional location we may have access to the powerful and those in authority. There we have the opportunity to influence others and change hearts and minds. Wherever we are we can serve as witnesses of God’s goodness in our lives. We can be a blessing even in the workplace environment.

Then lastly, we are socially located. Nehemiah in his social location as servant to a king had a unique position and access to ask for the favor of the king to help his people. Though we may feel like the least, God can elevate us to a position of leadership where we can serve Him best.

We are temporally, situationally, professionally, and socially located to do great things for the Lord. Do not languish for we must optimize the gift of chronological time that He has given to us. Be assured that we are built for this time, and when we pray to a listening God as Nehemiah did and align ourselves with His plan and purpose all things are possible. So, my beloved, at present you can say, if I knew then what I know now, I have no reason to worry about anything for the Lord will always work it out.
Sun, Jan 30, 2022
Duration: 25 mins 1 sec
On this cold and cloudy fourth Sunday of 2022, Pastor Victor invites us to engage in an exercise in which we imagine with him the ancient biblical world. Here we find the Jewish people rebuilding a wall in an environment as complex as this the twenty first century which now is mired in battles, divisions, and trauma. In today’s text, Nehemiah 4:1-6, although their city of Jerusalem is in ruins, the people come together with a holistic vision to restore what has been destroyed. In this current day as we try to recover from the woes of this world, we can learn much from the characteristics of a people who work uniformly and collectively to accomplish God’s mission.

The first characteristic we see is that the people pursued a common goal. They worked together to complete the wall for everyone’s protection recognizing that the wall was also symbolic of the presence of God. Secondly, another characteristic was they worked for a common result. Personal agendas aside, theirs was a communal life, seeking to live in harmony with one another. They lived to finish what they started with the Lord directing their path. Lastly, the Jewish people practiced a common strategy for a common adversary. This tried-and-true strategy is assurance that their adversaries would not prevail.

Nehemiah prayed for a reversal of the situation in which his people found themselves. By pursuing a common goal, working toward a common result, and practicing a common strategy for a common adversary, they were confident the Lord would fight their battle and bring them the victory. God will also fight our battles, restoring us materially, secularly, and spiritually when we focus on our mission, and put our minds on doing the work He has purposed for us in this, His earthly kingdom.
Sun, Jan 16, 2022
Passage: Ezra 3:10-13
Duration: 24 mins 14 secs
In this Sunday’s passage, with text taken from Ezra 3: 10-13, builders are laying the foundation for a second temple since the first had been destroyed during the occupation. The formerly exiled Israelites witnessing the construction of the structure released shouts of joy and shouts of mourning. The young folks were excited by the prospect of a new temple, while the elders were saddened because the temple will not be as grand as the former. Because of their age they also contemplated the possibility of not being alive to see the temple’s completion. While their incongruent shouts were indistinguishable to listening ears, Pastor Victor tells us that God heard and responded to the blended shouts.

Our preacher has us reminisce about cherished duets’ sweet sopranos paired with tenors and baritones to make beautiful music together. These blended vocal ranges are quite pleasing to our ears. He goes on to have us reflect on these last two years of living in a pandemic, witnessing racial injustice, disastrous weather events, and legislators determined to thwart our nation’s progress toward equality. For some the pandemic has basically left them unfazed, watching their investments grow, working from home, enjoying more family time and long-awaited vacations. Their shouts are filled with joy for they feel they have made it through, even prospering during the pandemic.

Conversely, countless others have suffered the heartbreaking passing of loved ones, ill-health, job and property losses, or economic insecurity during this pandemic-impacted, tumultuous time. Some people are experiencing depressing social isolation, and still others, for example, those in the medical field, essential staff, educators, and caregivers in nursing homes have daily exposure to the virus due to their line of work. They are shouting because of their pain, hardship, feelings of hopelessness and weariness.

My beloved, no matter the source of the shout be very sure that God hears our blended cries of joy and pain. He hears us and He will act in response. The Lord is with us in the dark of night and the light of day. He will see us through every situation. Our struggles, our despair, and our sorrows are no match for the sovereign power of our living God. Praise the Lord at all times for when praises go up blessings do come down. So, raise your voice in a blended shout to the heavens, for God is always listening. God is always moving, and He is doing a new thing.
Sun, Dec 05, 2021
Passage: Luke 1:26-38
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
On this first Sunday of Advent, we light the purple candle symbolizing hope, and Pastor Victor commences a new sermon series, entitled “Jesus, Our Hope”.

In the passage taken from Luke 1:26-38, Mary from the small town of Nazareth is visited by the angel Gabriel. He tells the young virgin that she is honored with the favor of God, and though Mary is confused by Gabriel’s pronouncement that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ, she surrenders to His will for her life. In this world, there are distinct preferences for specific traits or lofty origins and accomplishments, however, the Lord honors His own with favor. In today’s message our preacher shares with us three common aspects of God’s favor.

The first aspect of favor is that God is pleased when we are welcoming and open to His plan for our lives. Just as Mary chose not to reject the message from the angel, God favors us when we welcome His direction and follow the path He has designed for us. God also favors an inquisitive spirit. An inquisitive spirit is one that does not reject God’s plans but seeks to understand and discover new, different and better ways of being.

Finally, one must be available and surrender all to the Lord. By allowing God to use us for His purposes, submitting mind, body and spirit to the Lord, we gain His favor. God’s limitless power enables us to accomplish all that He has in store for our lives. Thank God that as children of the Most High we are not dependent on the favor of humankind to have hope in our lives. Even though the world may relegate us as “other”, we have hope because of the child born in the manger. When we welcome God into our lives, have an inquisitive spirit and are available to Him, He will in turn honor us with divine favor. As we await with great anticipation the birth of our Savior, let us hold on to a spirit filled with hope, the hope that is ours because of His favor.
Sun, Nov 21, 2021
On this fifth Sunday in October, Pastor Victor concludes the enlightening sermon series, “The Evolution of a Henchman: The Spiritual Transformation of the Apostle Paul.” A completely converted Paul is now nearing the end of his life and is in confinement and restrained under house arrest. The reason? He is being held for hoping and believing in the promise of God. We learn from the text, Acts 27:17-22, although Paul is bound his spirit remains free. In this sermon the question before us is how does one experience liberation although confined? Of course, our preacher will provide to us the answer.

The first thing our pastor tells us is surely there is freedom when you honor God. An unbreakable connection to the Holy One allows a liberation that is not affected by current circumstances or situations. Honoring God has more sway than statutes and rules enforced by this world’s institutions. Secondly, honoring your authentic self prevents you from allowing others to have control over you. Being genuine means you are truly free from external forces that attempt to restrain you or toss you about. Finally, being true to one’s calling is liberating as well. We of the Christian faith have an assignment and a purpose to serve the Lord by sharing our unique gifts, and as long as we are heeding our call, we can live freely.

We experience complete and transcendent liberation by honoring our Creator, honoring ourselves and staying on the ordered path by honoring God’s call on our life. My beloved, our work is to understand and be faithful to the assignment our Lord and Savior has just for us. Therefore, even when earthly shackles do their best to bind us and our bodies are held in chains, our spirit and our mind cannot be constrained, and we continue to experience and live in a state of constant and unrestrained sweet freedom.
Sun, Nov 07, 2021
In today’s passage, Acts 28: 1-6, we find our shipwreck survivor Paul on the island of Malta surrounded by kind and welcoming islanders. Incredibly, as he is warmed by their inviting campfire, he has to contend with a poisonous snake bite which the locals assumed would lead to his quick demise. However, Paul had an immunity from the “venom of vipers”, as Pastor Victor tells us in this powerful sermon. He succinctly delineates three things that render Paul immune from that which seeks to destroy him. Blessed immunity allows the apostle to shake off his potential killer to be consumed by the crackling fire.

The first thing that contributes to Paul’s immunity was that he was close to the proceedings of the people. Closeness to a community of caring people helps to protect you from life’s vicious venom. When we look back over our lives it is clear that the strength, support and encouragement of the community has been and always will be essential to our well-being and progress. A hospitable community helps to keep you from hurt, harm and even imminent danger.

Secondly, Paul’s proximity to the fire was also significant. The same fire that provided warmth to restore him after being subjected to the raging sea and harsh weather was there to extinguish the deadly snake. It is amazing that the beautiful, majestic fire allowed Paul to recover and also eliminate the snake. And finally, because Paul was on a prescribed path and his divine assignment to spread the gospel was not complete, his immunity sustained him to repel anything that threatened to end his life prematurely and halt his sacred mission.

Being close to the proceedings of the people allows the beloved community to embrace us with their support and their loving kindness, thereby sustaining humanity. Our proximity to the fire provides warmth and restoration while protecting us from the ill-intentioned adversary. The immunity God grants ensures we can shake off the proverbial snakes that sometimes rear their ugly heads, enabling us to stay the course, follow our prescribed path and finish our earthly assignment which is to serve the Lord.

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204