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"Sermons"

We Would See Jesus

Sunday, May 7, 1967
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, GREECE

Dr. King gives this sermon to a congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He conveys a message of Christ's acceptance of all despite any person's wrong doings in the past. He also points out that Christ's work is exemplified through individual acts of kindness and helping others.

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Sunday, June 5, 1966
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Alabama (AL)

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.

MLK Draft: Man's Extensions

Boston, MA, California (CA), New York, NY, CHINA

Dr. King describes how man has invented tools to extend his knowledge: the telescope for his eyes, the microphone and radio for his ears, and the airplane and automobile for his legs.

Answer to a Perplexing Question

Sunday, March 3, 1963
Atlanta, GA, South Africa, ISRAEL

Dr. King preaches about faith, based on Matthew 17:14-20, and applies it to the Civil Rights Movement. He defines faith as cooperating with God by surrendering to God's will so that His strength may act freely through us. He asserts that faith, intellect, and work must blend together.

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.

God

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

Faith As A Way of Knowing (Wieman)

Dr. King cites Henry Nelson Wieman's "The Source of Human Good" on faith as a way of knowing.

On Being a Good Neighbor

Dr. King tells the Biblical story of the "Good Samaritan on the Road to Jericho," in which a traveler has been robbed, beaten and left for dead. Dr. King connects this story to the Declaration of Independence and offers an analysis of the modern era. Following the example of the "Good Samaritan," he encourages looking beyond "race, religion and nationality" to help those wounded by injustices.

Love in Action

GREECE, ISRAEL

Dr. King expounds on the love of God by referencing a verse from the Bible in the Book of Luke. The verse states, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Dr. King notes the truth of this verse is also revealed in race relation of today.

"Discerning the Signs of History"

Sunday, November 15, 1964
Atlanta, GA

Dr. King believes that there are lessons in understanding the process of history, that evil carries the seed of destruction and that militarism is ultimately suicidal. Dr. King states that "history teaches the lesson that all reality hinges on moral foundations."

Cooperative/Noble Competition

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Dr. King writes a sermon on the topic "Cooperative Competition." King utilizes the biblical text deriving from Luke chapter 22 verse 24, which expresses how Jesus views competition. According to the text, Jesus thinks that competition is good as long as an individual competes with humility and serving others.

Soul

Dr. King quotes Ephesus of Heraclitus' thoughts on soul.

God (Dewey)

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

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.

Sermon Notes on Character

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

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

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

Loving Your Enemies

Sunday, November 10, 1957
Washington, D.C., Montgomery, AL

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.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

Sunday, November 4, 1956
Montgomery, AL, FRANCE, New York, NY, ISRAEL

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 is a Spirit

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

Levels of Love

Sunday, May 21, 1967
Atlanta, GA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, CHINA, FRANCE

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.

Right & Wrong

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

Sermon on Conformity Thought "Nonconformist - J. Bond"

Sunday, January 16, 1966
VIETNAM, FRANCE

Dr. King in this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church speaks to his congregation on the topic of disent. He expresses in detail about how we essentially must not conform to standards set by society.

Optimism

Dr. King quotes F. S. Marvin's "The Living Past."

Making the Best of a Bad Mess

In this sermon, Dr. King discusses the letter Paul sent to Titus while he was in Crete. According to the letter, Crete was a terrible place for Christians, and Titus may have been confused as to why he was left there. Paul wrote to him saying that he left him there to make the situation better for the other people there. That is how one makes the best out of a bad mess.

Our God is Able

Sunday, January 4, 1953
Boston, MA

Reverend Frederick M. Meek retells a story in the New Testament about a civilization and their journey to discover that God is able.

Loving Your Enemies

Dr. King's sermon "Love Your Enemies" is inspired by the life and message of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, one must love not only those who love them, but also those who attempt to harm them. Dr. King is empathetic towards those who find it difficult to follow this practice, but regards it as necessary.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

New York, NY, EGYPT, ISRAEL

"A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" by Dr. King discusses the importance of creating a synthesis of opposites and characteristics of one engaged in shrewd thinking with a loving spirit.

MLK Draft Notes: Worship

Dr. King preached this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist church on August 7, 1955. In this handwritten outline, Dr. King focuses on the practice of worship, claiming that it is an intrinsic part of human culture. After outlining a negative definition of worship, he approaches it from a "positive angle," describing a multitude of experiences he deems worshipful. Ultimately, he asserts that worship is useful on both a private and public level as it "helps us to transcend the hurly-burly of everyday life."

Who is Truly Great

Dr. King addresses the subject of individual greatness within society and how to truly go about achieving such a status. He begins by dispelling common signifiers of greatness before indicating that greatness can only be substantively measured through the ability to put others before self. Dr. King cites the life of Jesus Christ as an example of humility culminating into greatness.

God

Dr. King notes that Samuel Alexander does not see God as creator but creature.