FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
Where communion with God has been restored, there deliverance from death is bound to follow. – Geerhardus Vos
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: John 12:12-19
Praise to the Lord - Adoration
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed - Adoration
Before the Throne of God Above - Grace
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates - Response
Hallelujah! What a Savior - 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 Colossians.
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)
Christ, the Solid Rock
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Heavenly Father, we confess that our glory has been our comfort, rather than your Son's cross. We confess that we crave the fellowship of those already like us, rather than the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. We confess that we work to save our own lives, rather than lose our lives for Christ’s sake and the gospel. Have mercy on us, Father, and grant us the gift of gospel repentance. Cleanse us by the finished work of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and restore to us the joy of your salvation. Amen.
Words of Grace
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Genesis 5-9
1. Creation Undone (5:1-7:24)
2. Creation Redone (8:1-9:29)
The Heart of the Message
Among all the details and questions that swirl around the story of Noah and the flood there are two key truths we are meant to see. The first is that out of disaster and judgement God brings new life. Remember this story is written to God’s people after 400 years in slavery. They had experienced a wealth of disaster and judgment. But God heard their cry and sent a deliverer to rescue them and to bring them into a whole new land, a whole new life. God’s covenant promises provide you with a hope that nothing in this life can take from you. The second is that through one comes blessing to many. This is what we might call a gospel principle. We are told that Noah did everything God asked him to do. (6:12) He obeyed God, which led to the rescue of his family and all the creatures with him. In Romans 5:9 Paul writes, “by one man’s obedience, many will be made righteous.” The story of Noah points us toward the new and better Noah, Jesus who not only brings his people safely through the waters of judgement, but he himself is crushed by that judgement so his people never would be. Jesus refers to his death as a baptism. (Lk. 12:50). Peter likens Christian Baptism to the experience of Noah and his family brought safely through the flood. (1 Pet. 3:20-21) Christian baptism connects us to Jesus in his death and resurrection! It reminds us that the judgement we deserve has fallen on him and the blessing he deserves falls on us so that through faith we might walk in newness of life. (Rom. 6:1-11) The story of the flood is full of good news for the world and for you individually! It’s a story that teaches us God will win in the end no matter how bad things get and it will be glorious!
- What features of this story stand out to you the most? What do you notice about the characters?
- What questions do you have about the story of Noah and the Flood? (tip: Consider what God wants you to get from this story by what he has said more than what he hasn’t said.)
- What elements of this story can you most relate to?
- Where do you see good news in this story? Why is the flood insufficient? (hint: 8:21)
- How might this story give you hope when everything looks and feels hopeless? (re: 9:8-17)
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 11. What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?
A. Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate, or be hostile to our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love. Seventh, that we abstain from sexual immorality and live purely and faithfully, whether in marriage or in single life, avoiding all impure actions, looks, words, thoughts, or desires, and whatever might lead to them. Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good from someone we might benefit.
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”