Each week, we aim to prepare our hearts before the Lord in anticipation of our worship gathering. Therefore, we'll post the Scriptures, Big Idea, Songs, and other reflections that will help us all enter into worship together - with one heart, one voice, and one mind - in full accord (Philippians 2:2). Here are some ways you can prepare your heart...
- READ through the text that will be preached on Sunday. Take a few moments or more to familiarize yourself with it, study, or meditate on it.
- SING, LISTEN, OR READ through the songs that we'll be singing together. Meditate on the truth and substance they instill. Consider the ways of your own heart as you do. This is also a good opportunity to become familiar with new songs in advance of our time together.
- PRAY and ask the Lord to open your heart to Him and to draw you into thoughtful worship as you reflect on who He is, what He's done for us in Jesus, who we are, and what He's called us to do.
The Power of the Gospel - We are being saved from the Power of Sin
We have been saved from the PENALTY of sin because of Jesus’ life and death (past tense), we are being saved from the POWER of sin because of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. (present tense), and we will be saved from the PRESENCE of sin because of Jesus’ return. (future tense).
Notice that each statement has a different tense — past, present, and future. Romans 1:16 says that “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Throughout the Bible, salvation is spoken of as an accomplished event (past tense), an ongoing experience (present tense), and a coming reality (future tense). Over the next few weeks we’ll look in depth at salvation in each of these three tenses —> this wk. Present Tense
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
J.D. Greer: Religion can tell you what to do--namely, to “love God with all your heart, soul and mind” and “to love your neighbor as yourself”; but the gospel alone gives you the power to do it.”
Tim Keller: We never “get beyond the gospel” in our Christian life to something more “advanced.” The gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s of Christianity, but it is the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom. We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by our obedience; rather, the gospel is the way we grow (Galatians 3:1-3) and are regularly renewed (Colossians 1:6). It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed door, the power through every barrier (Romans 1:16-17).”
Elyse Fitzpatrick: Most of us have never really understood that Christianity is not a self-help religion meant to enable moral people to become more moral. We don’t need a self-help book; we need a Savior. We don’t need to get our collective act together; we need death and resurrection and the life-transforming truths of the gospel. And we don’t need them just once, at the beginning of our Christian life; we need them every moment of every day.”
Here are a few videos of songs we'll sing together this Sunday. Enjoy, and endeavor to enter into worship as you do.
ALL THE POOR AND POWERLESS
KARI JOBE (FEATURING CODY CARNES)