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"Sermons"

A Christmas Sermon

Sunday, December 24, 1967

Dr. King discusses the topics of peace, the state of mankind, and his vision for the future during the delivery of this sermon to the congregation of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Original Sin

Dr. King writes a definition of original sin.

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.

Outline of Sincerity Is Not Enough

This partial sermon outline in Dr. King's handwriting focuses on the subject "Sincerity Is Not Enough", based on the text Romans 10:2.

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.

Answer to a Perplexing Question

Sunday, March 3, 1963

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.

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.

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.

God is Light

Dr. King prepares a sermon entitled, "God is Light." He refers to I John 1:5 during his preparation.

Dr. King Sermon Outline - "Moral Absolutism"

Dr. King drafted this handwritten outline entitled "Moral Absolutism." The focus is on judgement and its relation to both good and evil.

MLK Note Card - Schleiermacher, Theology and God-consciousness

The person to whom Dr. King is referring is the German philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher.

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.

Love

Dr. King quotes Tertullian on the subject of love from “Adversus Marcionem.”

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.

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.

Dr. King Sermon Outline

"A Constructive Use of the Sense of Shame" is the title of this sermon outline, prepared by Dr. King. The parable of the 'Prodigal Son' is the chosen text for the sermon.

Loving Your Enemies

Sunday, November 17, 1957

Dr. King interprets Jesus' command to "love your enemies" and outlines how to accomplish this goal. He closes this sermon by relating the philosophy of love to the use of nonviolence as a means to overcome oppression.

The Mastery of Fear

This outline explains the direction of Dr. King's sermon entitled "The Mastery of Fear." In it, Dr. King explores the challenges and necessity of confronting fear.

God

Dr. King describes the power of God.

"Discerning the Signs of History"

Sunday, November 15, 1964

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."

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

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

Remember Who You Are!

Thursday, December 6, 1956

Dr. King addresses the student body and officials of Howard University with a poignant sermon entitled, "Remember Who You Are." The content of the sermon makes various references between Jesus, Shakespeare and Greek philosophers who sought to identify the mechanisms that made man important to society.

MLK Sermon: Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

Sunday, April 30, 1967

Dr. King gives a sermon on why he does not support the war in Vietnam.

Soul

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

If I Can Help Somebody

These are the words to a song written in 1945 by Alma Bazel Androzzo that was made famous by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Dr. King quotes this song in his Drum Major Instinct sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968.

Is It Wrong to Segregate?

Sunday, June 5, 1960

This Sermon titled "Is It Wrong to Segregate?" was delivered by the Reverend A. L. Kendrick on June 5, 1960. He expounds on several topics including equal rights, communism and the political element of the government.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

Sunday, August 30, 1959

An early foreshadowing of his nonviolent philosophy, Dr. King advises Negroes of a particular course of action they should adhere to in order to properly equip themselves to combat racial injustice. Seeking to avoid both complacency and hostility, he challenges those who desire self-satisfaction, as well as those who seek to pacify their oppressors, by proposing the idea of one having both a tough mind and a tender heart.

MLK Sermon Outline

Dr. King prepares an Easter sermon entitled "Why Death Could Not Hold Him." He references scripture passage Acts 2: 24. The date and place of delivery for this sermon is unknown.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

Dr. King uses Matthew 10:16 as the text for this sermon delivered August 30, 1959 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. Soft mindedness, he asserts, makes men gullible, superstitious, and fearful of change and fosters the belief that science and religion are in conflict. It contributes to racial prejudice and is capitalized upon by dictators. But tough mindedness, King says, must be tempered by a compassionate heart. The nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice must combine tough mindedness and tenderness of heart.

MLK's Acceptance Sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

Dr. King accepts his appointment as the new pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. His first time serving as head of a ministry, Dr. King admits that he has no pretense to being an extraordinary preacher and comes only with the claim of "being a servant of Christ."