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 - Jesus saves us from the Penalty 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. Past Tense
Romans 3:9-26 -
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 4:4-5 -
"Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness."
Anonymous: The message of Christianity is that we are more sinful than we ever realized, but we are more loved and accepted than we ever could have imagined, thanks to what Jesus has done for us.
Martin Luther: Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him and say, "Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You took on you what was mine; yet set on me what was yours. You became what you were not, that I might become what I was not.
Richard Hooker: Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God himself. Let it be counted folly or frenzy or fury or whatsoever. It is our wisdom and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, that man has sinned and God has suffered; that God has made himself the sin of men, and we the righteousness of God.
J.I. Packer : There is unspeakable comfort, the sort of comfort that energizes, in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me - in the way I am so often disillusioned with myself - and quench his determination to bless me. There is certainly great cause for humility in the thought that he sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow men do not see, and that he sees more twisted corruption in me than I see in myself. There is however equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that for some unfathomable reason he wants me as his friend and desires to be my friend and has given his Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.
Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff. I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.
We don't know what the song list will be this week. However, this song is a powerful display of God's Holy demeanor toward His children. If you're able, carve out a few minutes to listen in and consider the words. The truth they speak of is mighty.
HE WHO IS MIGHTY
Sovereign Grace Music