Sunday Recap Vol. 1.26

FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR

Psalm 130

Verse 1

From the depths of woe I raise to Thee
The voice of lamentation; 
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me
And hear my supplication; 
If Thou iniquities dost mark, 
Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
O who shall stand before Thee?

Verse 2

To wash away the crimson stain, 
Grace, grace alone availeth; 
Our works, alas! Are all in vain; 
In much the best life faileth; 
No man can glory in Thy sight, 
All must alike confess Thy might,
And live alone by mercy

 

Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap! 

The Sunday Recap is a brief fly-by of what we did during Sunday worship. Did anything land with you from worship on Sunday? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?

Food For Thought!

True faith…is but laying hold of a savior’s hand, leaning on a husband’s arm, and receiving a physician’s medicine. It brings with it nothing to Christ but a sinful soul. It gives nothing, contributes nothing, pays nothing, performs nothing. It only receives, takes, accepts, grasps, and embraces the glorious gift of [grace] which Christ bestows, and by renewed daily acts enjoys that gift.
 
J.C. Ryle

Confession of Sin:

Prayer of Confession
Father in heaven, we need to be forgiven. We have tried to heal ourselves. Instead of trusting in the death of Jesus Christ, we have tried to work off our guilt. We have tried so hard to pile up good deeds that outweigh our sins. When this doesn’t work, we quickly turn to denial and distraction. Instead of trusting in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have tried to change through our own efforts. We have tried to change our hearts through sheer willpower. This has left some of us arrogant. This has left most of us anxious and depressed. Forgive us for trying to heal ourselves. Forgive us for neglecting your grace. Forgive us and heal us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
 
Words of Grace
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
 
1 Peter 2:21-24

Confession of Faith: The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646)
 
Q. 26. How does Christ execute the office of a king?

A. Christ executes the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

Philippians 2:6-11

[T]hough [Jesus] was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesusevery knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Listen To This Weeks Sermon: "Help My Unbelief!"

Sermon Text: Mark 9:14-29
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.  22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out andconvulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Sermon Outline
1. The source of unbelief (v. 19; 18, 22, 28-29)
2. The character of faith (v. 21, 23-24, 28-29)
3. The need for prayer (v. 25-27; Mark 8:31; 9:10; 14:36)

Sermon Summary

Jesus gave up his glory in order to transform our unbelief into faith in him.

1. The source of unbelief (v. 19; 18, 22, 28-29)

  • Jesus identifies our greatest problem (v. 19; 18, 28-29; 22)
  • Regardless of the form it takes, it is a universal problem (v. 19)
  • Why is unbelief such a problem? Because it is at root a relational problem. (v. 29)

Transition: The presence of unbelief in our lives may look different, but it’s transformation will always look the same.

2. The character of faith (v. 21, 23-24, 28-29)

  • It begins with God's curiosity and interest in us (v. 21; 28-29)
  • It doesn't wait for questions and doubts to go away (v. 23-24)
  • It grows with simple prayers of 'repentant helplessness' (v. 24; 2 Cor. 12:9)

Transition: “Prayer is faith turned toward God." It’s what the disciples failed to do and the Father struggled to do. But Jesus teaches us that prayer is indispensable…it’s how we get access to him, his grace and his power…so why is it so important?

 

3. The need for prayer (v. 25-27; Mark 8:31; 9:10; 14:36)

  • Prayer gets us out of ourselves and our circumstances into Jesus and what he came to do (v. 25-27)
  • Prayer grows as we find help from Jesus' prayer life (Mark 14:36; 15:34)
  • Therefore, we need to put together the prayer of the Father and Jesus' prayer (v. 24 with Mark 14:36)

Conclusion:
So are you plagued with doubts – of an intellectual kind or an experiential kind? Do what this Father does…take them to Jesus!

It’s why Jesus gave up his glory and came down the mountain…it’s why he gave up heaven…to turn your heart and life toward him through going to the cross for you and thereby giving you free access to his grace and his power to make all things new!

Reflection Questions

  1. What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
  2. What questions does this passage raise for you?
  3. Was there anything that bothered you?
  4. What does it mean to you that Jesus came down the mountain?
  5. Which kind of unbelief do you see most in your life (e.g. the disciples or the father)?
  6. What stands out to you most about Jesus from this passage?
  7. If you are struggling to believe the gospel what should you do? How will you try to do it this week?

Suggested Resources & The Week Ahead
As I mentioned Sunday, various branches of the Christian Church regard the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday as the season of Lent. For those of you who are interested here is the link I sent out Sunday morning to a lenten devotional put out by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

If you are looking for something a bit more substantial, I could not recommend too highly this book by John Stott. It is a must read for anyone who desires to learn what it means to live in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Songs for this week:
Come Thou Fount
God Of My Life To Thee I Call
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
Abide With Me
Into Thy Gracious Hands I Fall

Until next time,

Will

Psalm 130

Verse 3

Therefore my trust is in the Lord, 
And not in mine own merit; 
On Him my soul shall rest, His word
Upholds my fainting spirit; 
His promised mercy is my fort, 
My comfort and my sweet support;
I wait for it with patience

Verse 5

Though great our sins and sore our woes
His grace much more aboundeth; 
His helping love no limit knows, 
Our upmost need it soundeth. 
Our Shepherd good and true is He, 
Who will at last His Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow