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12.03.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: You can find messages of “hope” on everything from greeting cards to billboards this time of year. But do you feel like you have hope? Where do you put your hope? Is your hope directly proportional to your performance in life? Come and hear how the gospel overturns this assumption as we close our mini-series on justification by faith.

 

REFLECTION:

Much that we have interpreted as a defect of sanctification in church people is really an outgrowth of their loss of bearing with respect to justification. Christians who are no longer sure that God loves and accepts them in Jesus, apart from their present spiritual achievements, are subconsciously radically insecure people…. Their insecurity shows itself in pride, a fierce, defensive assertion of their own righteousness [or “rightness”], and defensive criticism of others. They come naturally to hate other cultural styles and other races in order to bolster their own security and discharge the suppressed anger.

—Richard Lovelace, The Dynamics of Spiritual Life

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 52:7-10

7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8 The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem
for the Lord has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

 

Romans 5:1-11

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 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. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

O Lord our God, you have searched us and known us. You know not only what we say, but also what we think.

You know that we have been quick to boast in ourselves and eager to condemn others.

We have been slow to acknowledge our faults and hesitant to turn to you in need.

We have doubted the power of your love and forgotten the abundance of your grace.

Father, forgive us through Jesus Christ, and heal us by the power of your Spirit. Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER: Christ is coming! let creation

Words by John Ross Macduff, Music by Coram Deo Church

 

Verse 1

Christ is coming! let creation

From her groans and labors cease,

Let the glorious proclamation

Hope restore, and faith increase.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Come, Thou blessed Prince of Peace.

 

Verse 2

Earth can now but tell the story

Of Thy bitter cross and pain;

She shall yet behold Thy glory

When the Lord comes back to reign.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Let each heart repeat the strain.

 

Verse 3

Long Thy people have been pining

For Thy peace and rest, and Thee,

Soon, in heav’nly glory shining,

Their Restorer shall they see.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Haste the joyous jubilee.

 

Verse 4

With that blessed hope before us,

Let no harp remain unstrung;

Let the mighty advent chorus

Onward roll on every tongue.

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

 

 

 

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