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Right & Wrong

Dr. King quotes James Martineau’s “Types of Ethical Theory, Volume II.”

Levels of Love

Sunday, May 21, 1967

Dr. King describes five levels of love, from lowest to highest: utilitarian love, friendship, romantic love, humanitarian love, and agape. The last he refers to as Christian love, the love of God operating in the human heart. The first four, he states, are love for one’s own sake. The fifth is love for another person for their sake. This sermon was delivered by Dr. King on May 21, 1967 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Danger of Misguided Goodness

Under the title, "The Danger of Misguided Goodness," the central message in these sermon notes is the need for all individuals to be morally conscientious.

How to Believe in a Good God in the Midst of Glaring Evil

Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "How to Believe in a Good God in the Midst of Glaring Evil." In this sermon, King asserts that in many instances the facts of life contradicts a believer's faith, and poses reasons why one should hold firm to their faith.

"The Drum Major Instinct" Ebenezer Baptist Church

Sunday, February 4, 1968

The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon delivered by Dr. King at the Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church, frames the “instinct” as being responsible for the social ills of the world. Dr. King proclaims that racial inequality in America and the war in Vietnam are the result of nations engaging in a “bitter colossal contest for supremacy.” He suggests that the only way to end this “suicidal thrust” is to abide by an altered definition of the instinct – the definition of Jesus Christ.

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

This draft examines segregation and the reason Dr. King deems it his responsibility to discuss the matter.

God (Dewey)

According to Dr. King's understanding of Dewey's interpretation, God is the connection between the ideal and the actual.

God

Dr. King expresses the power of God as being infinite beyond comprehension of man.

A Christian Movement in a Revolutionary Age

Tuesday, September 28, 1965

In this address, Dr. King fuses the philosophies in the Old and New Testament regarding revolutionary social change. He argues that the most creative and constructive revolutionary force for change is one that combines the Old Testament’s “righteousness and justice that flow down like a mighty stream” with the New Testament’s call to love one’s enemies and bless those who persecute you. He asserts that God has been working actively since the time of Moses for the freedom and perfection of people and society. Dr.

God is a Spirit

Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "God Is A Spirit" and lists three different meanings for that assertion.

What Is Man?

This is one of several documents where Dr. King explores the nature of "man." He considers the question "what is man?" to be a timeless concept that "confronts any generation." Dr. King's analysis incorporates Biblical and Shakespearean texts, among other notable references.

MLK Sermon: The Dimensions of A Complete Life

Sunday, April 19, 1959

In this sermon given at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. King details the three dimensions of a complete life: length, breadth, and height.

Fleeing From God

This sermon, delivered by Dr. King on April 4, 1956, discusses the human desire to escape God. Dr. King attributes this inclination to the fact that man wants to hide from God's immanent nature and harbors a general unwillingness to follow God's commandments.

Discerning the Signs of History

Dr. King's sermon "Discerning the Signs of History" asserts "evil carries the seeds of its own destruction." King gives examples throughout history, such as slavery, colonialism, and the rise and fall of King Louis XVI.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

Sunday, November 4, 1956

Dr. King shares "Paul's Letter to American Christians" with the congregation of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In this contemporary letter revised by Dr. King, Apostle Paul writes concerning the "responsibilities of Americans to live as Christians." He discusses his appreciation for America, the danger of capitalism, communism, segregation in churches, and the many denominations of Protestantism. But above all things, Apostle Paul believes that love is the most "durable power in the world."

God

Dr. King cites and comments on a passage from I Chronicles about the gods that are idols.

It's Hard to Be a Christian

Dr. King outlines his sermon entitled "It's Hard to Be a Christian." King asserts that in order for one to be a fully committed Christian he or she must subordinate their ego and prioritize their concern for God's kingdom.

Note Cards on God

Dr. King's writes on the possibility of finding God from the First Book of Chronicles.

Sacrifice

Dr. King explains that Isaiah 1:11 means God can’t be appeased by sacrifice but demands righteous living.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Dr. King delivers a sermon that urges his listeners to search for their purpose in life. He requests that his younger listeners attend school and strive for higher education. He stresses to not let the color of their skin keep them from achieving their dreams.

The Birth of a New Nation

Dr. King compares the ongoing civil rights struggle in the United States to the Hebrews' Exodus from Egypt.

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Sunday, June 5, 1966

In this sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. King spells out guidelines for the church: healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive (freeing people from everything that enslaves), and preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord, he says, is every year the time is right to do right, stop lying and cheating, do justice, learn to live as brothers and beat swords into plowshares.

The Drum Major Instinct Sermon Outline

Monday, February 5, 1968

Dr. King outlines on scraps of paper his great sermon based on Mark 10:37. Everyone wants to be first, to get attention, he says, starting with our first cry as a baby. Adults want to do good and be praised. If the drum major instinct is not harnessed, the personality is distorted and we become boastful, gossip, put others down. On a societal level, this leads to exclusive social groups, racial prejudice and war. King states that Jesus’ answer is to dedicate this great force to worthy ends – goodness, moral excellence, generosity, kindness and service. .

The False God of Science

Sunday, July 5, 1953

In this manuscript the author addresses their belief on the validity of modern man making a god of science.

Sermon Notes on Character

This document contains Dr. King's notes on character.

"Lost Sheep" or "The God of the Lost"

Sunday, September 18, 1966

Dr. King delivers a sermon about the parable of the lost sheep from the book of Luke. In this sermon, Dr. King poses the question that has pondered mankind for ages, "What is God Like?" He declares, "God is like a good shepherd" caring for his sheep. Dr. King commends the good done in America, but compares the nation to "a lost sheep" for failing to maintain equality for all men. He summarizes by describing good as a process, that everyone is significant and God is seeking to find the lost.

Loving Your Enemies

Sunday, November 10, 1957

In this sermon, Dr. King states that "love is the key to the solution of the problems which we confront in the world today." Dr. King notes that this is not a simple task, but it is necessary.

Handwritten Notecard about Peace

On this notecard, Dr. King outlines J Maritain's views on Peace, from the book Christianity and Democracy.

New Wine in Old Bottles

Sunday, January 2, 1966

In a New Year's sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. King addresses Matthew 9:17. His explains that new ideas or inspiration cannot thrive in closed minds or old structures, such as the idea of equality in a segregated society. While Victor Hugo's "idea whose time has come" may be here, Dr. King says, we need to "help time" and overcome the initial resistance to new ideas with persistence and a transformation of the old structures.

MLK Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Sunday, January 16, 1966

As pastor of Ebenezer, Dr. King delivered this particular sermon to his congregation in January of 196. He begins by referencing representative-elect Julian Bond's statement against war and against America's involvement in Vietnam, and he commends Mr. Bond for being courageous enough to speak his mind. He uses quotes from historical figures and biblical passages to support his claim that humans should be men of conviction and not of conformity. Dr.