Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Search results for:
"Sermons"

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.

Outline for Why Does History Move?

Dr. King's sermon outline references Hegel and Marx in relation to questions surrounding the concept of history.

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.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

Dr. King writes an imaginary letter to modern day Christians from the perspective of the apostle Paul. In the letter, Paul praises his listeners for their technological advancements, yet reprimands them for their spiritual degradation. He encourages them to uphold Christian values despite outside factors.

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."

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

This outline to Dr. King's sermon "A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" focuses on the premise that being a tough minded individual involves making critical decisions. The sermon emphasizes that those who possess a soft mind tend to be gullible and strictly follow the status quo. According to Dr. King, "We must come to the realization that life demands a tough mind."

The Eternal Significance of Christ

Dr. King outlines a sermon and references the Book of 2 Corinthians. The passage states "It is impossible to understand the significance of Christ without understanding the whole history of Biblical religion."

Love in Action

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.

Unity

These notes, prepared by Dr. King, were for a sermon entitled "Unity." This sermon, believed to be composed during the time of 1948-1954, was never delivered.

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."

Predestination

Dr. King defines predestination.

Mastering Ourselves

"Mastering Ourselves" is Dr. King's exploration of the inner struggle for good and evil that occurs within every human's experience. Dr. King asserts that this "dualism" can sometimes cause good people to do bad things and bad people to do good things. According to Dr. King, this can only be overcome through identifying and replacing one's own weaknesses. He also suggests finding a profitable way to use leisure time coupled with a devotional life and continuous prayer.

Eulogy for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Victims

This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.

Note Cards on God

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

The Second Sunday After Easter

Sunday, April 28, 1968

The preacher begins by reminding the audience about various forms of evil, the church's mission to help humans obtain heavenly rights and other topics from the previous week's sermon. After recapping last Sunday's sermon, the preacher uses the Word of God to answer the question, "How should Christians react to the afflictions they suffer in the world?" The three answers to this question are broken up into three different sections and explained in depth by the speaker.

Sin

Dr. King quotes Isaiah 9:17, a passage from the Bible concerning sin.

Outline for The Secret of Adjustment

In this sermon, Dr. King notes applicable methods used to deal with the tensions in life. It is said that "the secret to adjustment is to find contentment." King further references the experience of the Apostle Paul and what he learned in confronting this problem.

Cooperative/Noble Competition

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.

Interruptions: Man from Porlock

Sunday, January 21, 1968

Dr. King delivered this sermon, "Interruptions," on January 21, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He describes how no one lives a life free of interruptions, and that the major problem of life is learning how to handle them.

Secrets of Married Happiness

Dr. King writes notes regarding the way to a successful marriage. King asserts that in order to have a happy marriage, husband and wife must communicate and get to know one another's similarities and differences. It is also important to engage in mutual compromise.

Questions Which Easter Answers

Dr. King writes a sermon entitled, "Questions Which Easter Answers." King asserts that while many people attend church on Easter because of its value as it relates to Christ, the true significance in Easter is in the fact that is makes one think of immortality; as symbolized in Jesus Christ.

Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

Sunday, April 30, 1967

"Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" is a sermon Dr. King delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967 in Atlanta. In this draft of the sermon, Dr. King references a previous speech, "Beyond Vietnam," that he delivered to the group "Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam" at Riverside Baptist Church in New York City.

Optimism

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

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.

Excerpt from The Drum Major Instinct

This passage quotes one of Dr. King's acclaimed sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He defines the desire to lead as "the Drum Major instinct." Seeing himself as a Drum Major for justice, peace, and righteousness, Dr. King posits what should be said at his funeral.

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 Significant Contributions of Jeremiah to Religious Thought

These handwritten notes appear to be a draft of the essay "The Significant Contributions of Jeremiah to Religious Thought." Dr. King wrote this for James Bennett Pritchard's class on the Old Testament at Crozer Theological Seminary. Circa September 14, 1948 - November 24, 1948. The actual essay is in the King Archive at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

MLK Draft: Man's Extensions

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.

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.

Sermon at The Washington Cathedral

Sunday, March 31, 1968

In a sermon written by Dr. King and addressed to an audience at the Washington Cathedral, the Reverend expounds upon the problem of poverty and war. In describing a projected human revolution, Dr. King states, "Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability." This is just one of the many passages in this inspirational sermon encouraging hope and freedom for all.