FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
In the New Testament portrayal of the application of redemption, justification…and sanctification…are often closely intertwined, as if there two concepts were identical. In reality, however, they are quite distinct: justification is the perfect righteousness of Christ reckoned to us, covering the remaining imperfections in our lives like a robe of stainless holiness; sanctification is the process of removing those imperfections as we are enabled more and more to put off the bondage of sin and put on new life in Christ. The biblical writers closely conjoined these two elements not because they were identical but because they are inseparable in our experience and rooted in our union with Christ. – Richard Lovelace
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Romans 8:18-25
Alleluia Sing to Jesus - Adoration
How Firm a Foundation - Adoration
He Leadeth Me - Grace
I am Jesus’ Little Lamb - Baptism
All Things New - Response
Thine Everlasting Throne - Communion
Doxology - Tallis Canon
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos that summarizes in a few minutes one book of the Bible.
This week check out the summary of 2 Samuel.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus I Come
Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come; Jesus I come.
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my wanting and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Heavenly Father, your love brings life to dead souls, light to darkened minds, and strength to weak wills. Depending on our own strength we stumble; proclaiming our own goodness, we sin; glorying in our own righteousness we corrupt everything we touch; indulging in self-pity we blind ourselves to the needs of those around us. Please forgive us and help us to believe that no wrong we have done, and no good we have failed to do, is too great for you to forgive through the merits of Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.
Words of Grace
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Romans 8:12-17
1. Our new situation (v. 12)
2. The task at hand (v. 13)
3. The Spirit of Adoption (v. 14-17)
The Heart of the Message
Paul says in Romans 7 the law of God is good and holy and righteous, but it can’t change you. There is no life to be found in the Law of God. If it is true that the believer has died to sin (6:2) how can we change when the presence of sin remains? In other words, if we have died to sin but sin has not yet died in us what hope is there? Paul’s answer to this question is what chapter 8 is all about. God in Christ has done what the law could not do so that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us (8:3-4). To be a Christian means that indwelling sin is now met with the power of God’s indwelling Spirit (Rom. 8:11)! The believer’s situation is totally different now (v. 12). And it is a situation of dependent action that leads to life (v. 13). The life of faith is counterintuitive. There is a way of life that leads to death and a death that leads to life (v. 13; see Mark 8:35). And yet the death that leads to life isn’t something we do on our own but BY the Spirit. The same Spirit who raised Jesus Christ from the dead and who will give life to our mortal bodies (8:11). The task of putting to death sin is now necessary and possible because of what Jesus has done by giving us his Spirit! In other words, Jesus has given you all the resources necessary to put sin to death and to walk in newness of life. And yet if we are honest the task of putting sin to death is not always straight forward and we are not always good at it. What then? Answer: The Spirit of Adoption. The process of Gospel change takes place in the context of your new family. By grace through faith the believer now belongs to a new family by virtue of a loving and gracious Father who wants you in his family regardless of your successes or failures. The Spirit of Adoption proves your new identity by His work in your life (v. 14). The Spirit of Adoption replaces fear with freedom in your relationship with God (v. 15). The Spirit of Adoption bears witness to you of your true identity as a child of God (v. 16). The Spirit of Adoption points to your inheritance in and with Jesus Christ (v. 17). So what does it mean to be led by the Spirit? To be governed by Him and shaped by Him to love what God loves and to rejoice in the love of your Heavenly Father and the security of your Savior, Jesus Christ.
What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
How would you describe the new situation of the believer? (re: 6:2,14; 7:4,6; 8:12)
How is 8:13 a one sentence summary of the life and work of Jesus?
How would you describe the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of faith?
What is an example of sin you need to put to death? How will you do that this week?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 45. Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
A. No, only the blood of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit can cleanse us from sin.
John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”