Sermon Notes: 12/26: New Beginnings – Lighting the Way

WELCOME: to Central Church of Christ. As we shift from a wonderful Christmas season to thinking about the new year of 2022, we want to focus on New Beginnings and Psalm 119 is the perfect place to begin!

  • This chapter is not only unique in its length but also in its symmetry, for it is laid out to coincide with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • The Psalm is a mosaic arranged around the central theme of God’s Word being a perfect acrostic structure. Each of the 22 stanzas contain precisely 8 verses and each of the 8 verses correspond with the letter of the Hebrew alphabet (each letter being represented 8 times? for instance, the first 8 verses all begin with the Hebrew letter aleph; the next begin with the letter bet and so on.)
  • Interesting that there are 8 verses in each stanza, for the number eight is the number of NEW BEGINNINGS in the Bible? Noah was the 8th person in the Ark (Genesis 7: 7; 2 Peter 2: 5) and the one who began the human race anew. The Hebrew male child is to be circumcised on the 8th day of his new life. On the 8th day (the first day after the Sabbath), Jesus Christ came bursting forth from the grave. This Psalm is to be one of NEW BEGINNINGS. This is why this 7-part series is entitled New Beginnings in the Word.

II Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

James 1:22 “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  (And Luke 6:46)

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


Psalm 119 Excerpts

1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,

    who walk according to the law of the Lord.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?

    By living according to your word.

10 I seek you with all my heart;

    do not let me stray from your commands.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart

    that I might not sin against you.


Matthew 15:18-20 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”

Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Psalm 119:11 “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.

James 1:16-17 “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” 

14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.



ILL.- The Anvil of God’s Word

Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door

And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;

When looking in, I saw upon the floor,

Old hammers worn with beating years of time.


“How many anvils have you had,” said I,

“To wear and batter these hammers so?”

“Just one,” said he; then with a twinkling eye,

“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”


And so, I thought, the anvil of God’s Word,

For ages, skeptics blows have beat upon;

Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,

The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.


~ John Clifford

John Clifford has poetically explained what the good Lord taught 2600 years ago:

‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’ (Jeremiah 23:29)

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