FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
The gospel is Jesus Christ given to us with all the blessings of God contained in him. – Ian Murray
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Romans 1:18-32
Immortal, Invisible - Adoration
King of Saints - Adoration
And Can It Be - Grace
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me - Response
More Like Jesus - Communion
Doxology Old 100th
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 Timothy.
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)
There's A Wideness
There's a wideness in God's mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.
There is healing in his blood.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
God of mercy, we humbly confess our need of your pardoning grace. We shelter arrogance and pride in our hearts, believing that our efforts will secure what only you can give us. We are quick to judge and grumble when our plans, pleasures, and preferences are threatened. We are slow to offer mercy, both inwardly and outwardly, towards those you have placed in our lives and called us to love. Forgive our self-righteousness and our self-absorption. Fix our eyes on our savior, Jesus Christ, that we may become enraptured with Him, for it’s in his name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
[B]ut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Romans 1:1-17
1. The gospel of God is historic (v. 1-5)
2. The gospel of God is relational (v. 6-15)
3. The gospel of God is powerful (v. 16-17)
The Heart of the Message
Like most letters in the first century Paul follows the typical pattern. He introduces himself, identifies the recipient and offers a greeting. However, unlike most first century letters, Paul expands the opening of this letter to highlight central themes that he will pick up and expand throughout this letter. The gospel is the fulfillment of God’s age-old promises (v. 1-5) that radically changes our relationship with God and one another (v. 6-15) and provides for us what we could never do on our own (v. 16-17). Central to the opening verses is the truth that in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed and received by faith alone. So what? Why should you care? Speaking in his capacity as an apostle, Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” Remember who Paul is. He used to be a persecutor of the church and now he is THE champion of the good news for the people most unlike him. How can you tell if the power of the Gospel is making inroads in your life? Look for shame. What has the power to dissolve shame? The gospel of God. Jesus died on the cross to take away your guilt and shame, to take your filthy record upon himself in order to give you his perfect, righteous record and so make you beautiful and acceptable in God’s sight. So here is the question. Will you give your guilt and shame to Jesus? Will you entrust him to bear it for you? Will you accept the gift of his life for your life?
- What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
- Make a list of all the things you learn about the Gospel of God from this passage?
- What is a central mark of gospel community? How have you experienced this?
- Drawing from these verses, what does it mean to be a Christian?
- How exactly is the gospel the power of God for salvation? So what?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 15. Since no one can keep the law, what is its purpose?
A. That we may know the holy nature and will of God, and the sinful nature and disobedience of our hearts; and thus our need of a Savior. The law also teaches and exhorts us to live a life worthy of our Savior.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.