FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
We cheapen the gospel if we represent it as a deliverance only from unhappiness, fear, guilt, and other felt needs, instead of as a rescue from the coming wrath. – John Stott
It is a great comfort to know that our judge will be none other than our savior. – John Stott
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Romans 2:17-29
Holy, Holy, Holy - Adoration
Jesus, Cast a Look on Me - Confession
Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts - Grace
The Lord’s Prayer
Be Thou My Vision - 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 Philemon.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
So how many of you know what Fortnite is? Well if you don't know about it yet, give it a little time. It's all the rage in the video gaming world. Here is an interesting piece from the NY Times entitled "Parenting the Fortnite Addict."
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Depth of Mercy
Jesus speaks and pleads his blood
He disarms the wrath of God
Now my Father's mercies move
Justice lingers into love
There for me the savior stands
Shows his wounds and spreads his hands
God is love, I know, I feel
Jesus weeps and loves me still
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Father in heaven, we need to be forgiven. We have tried to work off our guilt and shame; to pile up good deeds that outweigh our bad deeds. We have tried to change through our own efforts. When this doesn’t work, we turn to denial and distraction, leaving some of us arrogant and the rest of us anxious and depressed. Forgive us for thinking we could save ourselves rather than resting in the merits of Jesus Christ. Forgive us for our pride. Forgive us and heal us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Words of Grace
22 Thus says the Lord God: 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 …[A]nd you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Ezekiel 36:22, 25-28
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Romans 2:1-16
1. The kindness of God (v. 4)
2. The judgment of God (v. 5-16)
The Heart of the Message
God’s kindness is purposeful. In other words, God’s grace saves to a new life in Christ not just from an old life of sin and condemnation. Learning to live life in light of God’s kindness rather than your or others moral performance is the path to freedom from judgmentalism. God’s judgement likewise is very practical. It shows that God doesn’t plays favorites and that he is fair. It is according to what one does. Contrary to what you might think, this is what makes God’s judgment good news. In the gospel we are judged by the works of Jesus and he is judged by our works. Ultimately, this is the kindness of God intended to lead us to repentance!
- What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
- Verses 1-4 describe two alternative approaches to life. How would you describe the two approaches? Which do you resonate with the most?
- Verses 5-16 are about God’s future judgment. What comes to mind when you think about God’s judgment? How does Paul apply God’s judgment to the problem of judging others?
- How might your attitude toward others change if you grasped God’s kindness and judgment?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 17. What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security.
Romans 1:21 and 25
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. . . . They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. . . .