Transforming By Truth

This Sunday was the end of our Big Words series. Our focus was on sanctification (from Romans 6:1-14).

  1. All Christians are dead to sin because we died with Christ.
  2. Therefore, do not let sin reign.

You can listen to each sermon here, but just to remind you of the rest of big words:

  1. Justification (26th March; Romans 3:19-26). God is our biggest problem (vv19-20) but by his grace (v24) and through faith in Christ (vv22, 25) God has declared us innocent. The charges are dropped and we are justified (vv22, 24, 25, 26).
  2. Reconciliation (2nd April; 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2). We had rejected our Creator and rebelled against our loving Heavenly Father. Our relationship with him was in tatters. But in his great love we can now be at peace with God – through the death of Christ. The impact of this is massive. Not only are our relationships changed, but also our whole identities. We are not just the same old person now reconciled – now we are part of God’s restored, reconciled new creation.
  3. Redemption (9th April; Ephesians 1:7). John MacDiarmid helped us understand that the price has been paid. We are redeemed to love and serve God.
  4. Propitiation (14th April; 1 John 2:2). Not only is Jesus our Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:20-22) who takes away our sin (expiation), He is also our propitiation (sin offering/sacrifice of atonement) onto whom God’s anger is turned meaning we can be atoned for.
  5. Resurrection (16th April; 1 Corinthians 15:22-27). At Jesus’ resurrection Jesus defeated death – but death is not yet destroyed. One day, death will be forever destroyed and Jesus will hand over the Kingdom to his Father and take his seat of glad submission (v28). Our resurrection is guaranteed because Jesus will complete the job given him by his Father.

At our 5pm Gathering we continued our course thinking about The Trustworthy-God.

Living In Community

This week’s notice sheet is here: 2017-04-23 – Notice Sheet – Sanctification.

Remember that Gospel Communities start again this week. There are groups meeting on Wednesday afternoons, Wednesday evenings and Thursday evenings. If you are not yet part of one – get in touch. Details of the subject matter for the next 8 weeks is here.

The Thanksgiving service for Nora Cracknell is today (Monday 24th) at 12noon at the church building.

Engaging Our Culture

One of the things we have tried to consider over the past few weeks is how those big words are bigger than just ‘me-and-my-salvation’. There is often a tendency to think about salvation in very small and individualistic terms (i.e. it’s just about me and my personal relationship with Jesus). Most weeks, the passage has forced us to think bigger:

  • Romans 3 is drenched in the context of salvation being the same for Jews and Gentiles (i.e. everyone).
  • Reconciliation is tied securely to our job as disciple-makers. Paul speaks of the reconciliation of believers and then immediately urges them as “co-workers” not to let their salvation be wasted (“in vain”) but rather to make it know as Christ’s embassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20; 6:1-3)
  • The idea of redemption is tied to our relationships with those around us (see Ephesians 2:11-22)
  • The ideas of atonement in Leviticus are a community celebration. Similarly, Romans 6 is written to a group of believers. We have responsibility to enjoy these truths together and to keep reminding each other of them.

Wouldn’t it be sad if we spent the last 5 weeks reading and delighting in what God has done for us, but had no concern to encourage others around us about how gracious, just and holy our Father is – or how humble and servant-hearted our Lord is.