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Sermon Notes and Outlines II

King, Martin Luther Jr.
January 1, 1953 to December 31, 1954
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


“The Relevance of the Holy Spirit”
A very good sermon esp for preachers
For central points see DeWolf, TLC, 272 F.1

“The Meaning of Salvatin”
Salvation implies three things

  1. It brings about a new relationship with ourselves

  2. It brings about a new relationship with God.

  3. It brings about a new relationsship with other persons

See DeWolf, TLC, 287 F2

“The Mission of the Church”3
See DeWolf, TLC, 322F4

“The Kingdom as Present and yet to Come”
Use a double text: “The Kingdom of God is within you”5
the kingdom will come in the future

  1. Definition of the Kingdon

  2. The Kingdom As Present

  3. The Kingdom not yet

See DeWolf TLC, 299F6

God Is A Spirit
Text: “God is a spirit... ”7
The assertion has three meaning

  1. God is above that which is material and Physical

  2. God is not impeded by the weakness of flesh.

There is an ethical and rational side to his nature. See Knudson, RTOT, Ch IV8

1. King refers to a subsection of chapter 32 in L. Harold DeWolf’s book A Theology of the Living Church titled “Significance of Belief in the Holy Spirit.” De Wolf wrote: “The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is a guarantee within the ancient Christian tradition itself of every man’s right and obligation to look beyond tradition. For there is always ‘new truth yet to break forth,’ not only through new study of the Bible, but also through other channels, from the God in whom is all truth and who speaks anew in every age” (A Theology of the Living Church, p. 273). This document is dated based on the publication date of DeWolf’s 1953 book. He was King’s dissertation advisor at Boston University.

2. King refers to chapter 34, titled “The New Birth” (DeWolf, A Theology of the Living Church, pp. 287-296). DeWolf examined the importance of being “born anew” from psychological, ethical, and theological perspectives. Each of these, he argued, revealed that salvation “involves change within the individual, change in his relation to God and change in his relation to other persons” (pp. 287-288).

3. King developed a full sermon with this title (see King, “The Mission of the Church,” 1953-1956).

4. King refers to a section of chapter 37 titled “Purpose of the Organized Church.” DeWolf critiqued false conceptions of the church’s purpose, bemoaning those who equate it with “the whole kingdom of God,” while noting the church exists to nurture and express Christian love (DeWolf, A Theology of the Living Church, pp. 322-326).

5. Cf. Luke 17:21.

6. King refers to chapter 35, titled “The Kingdom as Present and Growing.” De Wolf discussed a “Definition of the Kingdom,” “The Kingdom Present,” and “The Kingdom Not Yet.” He defined the Kingdom as the “reign of God” in which the “supreme uniting principle is love.” “The kingdom is, in some respects and in some human experience, already present” for God is present and active even now. He cautioned, however, that the continued presence of sin is “grim evidence that the kingdom has not come” (DeWolf, A Theology of the Living Church, pp. 299-305).

7. Cf. John 4:24.

8. In Albert Knudson’s book The Religious Teaching of the Old Testament, chapter 4 is titled “The Spirituality of God.” He wrote: “The word ‘spirituality’ as applied to God has at least three distinct meanings. It means that God is a spirit distinguished from material or physical existence. It means that he is free from the weakness of flesh, and is a supramundane power, superior to the forces of nature. It means also that there is an inner side to his personality, a rational and ethical side, and that it is here that his essential nature is to be found” (Knudson, The Religious Teaching of the Old Testament, p. 93).


CSKC, INP, Coretta Scott King Collection, In Private Hands, Sermon Files, folder 123.