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"Sermons"

We Would See Jesus

Dr. King summarizes a biblical passage from the Book of John, in which he describes "inquiring Greeks" from a rich heritage who came to Philip and made the simple request, "sir, we would see Jesus." These words are also the title of one of Dr. King's sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

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.

Right & Wrong

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

The Answer to a Perplexing Question

"Why Could Not We Cast Him Out?" is a chapter in Dr. King's book "Strength to Love." In this chapter, Dr. King discusses the methods in which man attempts to deal with evil in the world. Two methodologies are distinguished. The first concerns man's independent attempt to remove evil and the second stems from man's ideology of making God solely responsible for eliminating evil. Dr. King concludes that neither method is successful and that man has to find a medium between the two.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Sunday, April 9, 1967

Dr. King discusses the primary three dimensions of life, which include: length, breadth, and height.

Original Sin

Dr. King writes a definition of original sin.

On Being A Good Neighbor

In Dr. King's sermon "On Being A Good Neighbor," he explains variety of stories that aid him in defining a good samaritan as an altruistic human being. He uses the path to Jerusalem and Jericho as a walking path where people must help others to accomplish one goal equality.

Handwritten Notecard about Peace

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

The Eternality of God Verses The Temporality of Man

This document is an outline of the sermon titled "The Eternality of God Versus the Temporality of Man." In the first two sections, Dr. King contrasts the time-conditioned nature of man with God, who transcends time. The final portion highlights a significant fact that God is absolute and unchangeable.

Love

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

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.

The Ultimate Doom of Evil

Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "The Ultimate Doom of Evil." The text is derived from a Biblical text, which states that one should not fret over evil doers because God is our vindicator.

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.

Shattered Dreams and Unfulfilled Hopes

Dr. King based this sermon on unfulfilled hopes and dreams. He focused on the story of the Apostle Paul and his wish to journey to Spain. Paul did eventually go to Spain but "as a prisoner and not as a free man." Dr. King told his congregation that they all faced unfulfilled dreams at some point in their lives.

Shattered Dreams

In a sermon entitled "Shattered Dreams", Dr. King opens with a passage from Romans 15:24. The Reverend continues with the expansion of hopes and the contrast of shattered dreams. Delivering this message from a theological vantage point, Dr. King closes with "Christian faith makes it possible for us nobly to accept that which cannot be changed, to meet disappointments and sorrow with an inner poise..."

Who Are We?

Saturday, February 5, 1966

In this sermon Dr. King contemplates "who are we?" and "what is man?". He differentiates between the pessimistic attitudes of the materialistic understandings of man and the optimistic attitudes of humanistic definitions of man. King also states that man is neither all good nor all bad, but a combination. Man is both an everlasting miracle and mystery.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New Wine in New Bottles

Dr. King outlines a sermon he preached at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery on October 17, 1954. His text is Matthew 9:17. He compares new ideas to new wine, stating that an idea cannot progress if people are not ready to accept it; this is what it means for an idea to be before its time. New ideas require new structures to contain them. The same is true in our personal lives when we resolve to rid ourselves of bad habits.

Sermon on Conformity Thought "Nonconformist - J. Bond"

Sunday, January 16, 1966

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.

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.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

This sermon is one draft of Dr. King's "Three Dimensions of a Complete Life." It was first delivered by Dr. King to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
Another version is entitled, "The Dimensions of a Complete Life." The first dimension is concerned with the well-being of the self. The second dimension is concerned with the well-being of others. The last dimension is concerned with reaching towards God.
As Dr. King implies, if all of these dimensions are equal, then a complete life will be obtained.

"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.

MLK Note Card - Schleiermacher, Theology and God-consciousness

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

Transformed Nonconformist

Sunday, January 16, 1966

Dr. King discusses the importance of not conforming in a sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dr. King thoroughly discusses the hardships and the benefits that come with being a transformed non-conformist.

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.

Old Bull, The Great Violinist

Dr. King relates the mishap of a great violinist, during a concert, to the general act of overcoming obstacles in life.

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.