Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CREC- Communion 1- Covenant Promises

This is the first of 15 Sermons on the CREC

Communion 1
Sermon Notes
October 15, 2017
Lynchburg, Virginia
Text: Luke 1:67-75

         Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
The text I read this morning is Zacharias speaking on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist. But in this portion of his famous speech, he is not talking about John. He is speaking about the Messiah. He does not yet know His name. Jesus was born six months later.
But the words Zacharias says here are an excellent starting point for our discussion about the CREC. Over the next 14 Sundays, I am going to preach through our acronym, CREC, The Communion of Evangelical Reformed Churches.
How do you preach an Acronym? How do you preach the name of a denomination?
We intend to ground everything that we do in Scripture. We may not always be successful but it is certainly our intent to only do what the Bible calls us to and to refuse to do those things the Bible tells us not to do.

Peace and Joy

We have heard about God’s promises to His people. He promised even at the very beginning of our Fall into Sin, that He would send salvation by a Redeemer, the seed of the woman that would crush the head of the serpent.
         Jesus is that seed. The long-awaited promise has arrived. Jesus has crushed the world, the flesh and the devil.
         God’s people have been vindicated.  The accuser has been silenced. The Judge of all the Earth has spoken that He is pleased with His only begotten Son. Furthermore, those who belong to Jesus, who believe that He is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, have also become the children of God.
         And since we are God’s heirs according to Christ, the Father is also pleased with us. The Good News is that God, the Father, is our Father. He is our God and we are His people. He has been faithful to His promis to provide a way for us into the most Holy Place. We are seated in that place for a Covenant Meal with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

         The Good News to us is peace and joy in Jesus Christ. Come and welcome beloved saints. Beloved children, enter into the joy of Your Father in Heaven. Amen.

Good News

Without Christ Jesus, you are still in your sins, without God and without hope in the world. But God has not left you in that estate of sin and misery. He has provided salvation for you through a redeemer. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for sinners, to take away the divine wrath, to tear down the veil to the holy of holies and to invite you to worship God at His mercy seat.
The Good News is that though man, and you through that first man, Adam, sinned in him and fell with him in that first transgression, and that the second Adam, the Lord Jesus, was faithful, even to death on a tree.  In Jesus, all the promises of God are yay and amen. His love has made you accepted among the beloved. He has washed you and presented you to His Father as a holy and beloved child of God.

The Good News is that there no longer remains any sacrifice for sins because all of your sins are covered by Jesus. Thus, God, the Father, is pleased to have you in His presence. What relief and joy, what grace and peace.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Psalm 50- Consuming Fire

Psalm 50
Consuming Fire

Sermon Notes
Lynchburg, Virginia

         We are to bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. What is that? Thanksgiving. Can you thank Him today? Are you characterized by thankfulness?
Our God is a Consuming Fire and you must be consumed. Have you been?
A sacrifice was an animal slaughtered and offered to the Lord. We don’t have to do that anymore. Jesus was the once sacrifice to God to satisfy divine justice. We now simply come into His presence with thanksgiving.
But our modern idea of a sacrifice fits here. A sacrifice is something you offer
 :destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else 
b :something given up or lost  
the sacrifices made by parents
       Miriam Webster Definition.

         We offer the ‘sacrifice’ of thanksgiving.

Gathered Together

The righteous are gathered together but the wicked perish. In God’s Providence, the righteous and the wicked sometimes gather at the same place.
What is the difference? Confession, repentance, gratitude, and contentment are all marks of the righteous.
Slander, grumbling, complaining, hidden unconfessed sins, and ingratitude are all marks of the wicked. 
Of course, sometimes even the righteous sin in this way. What do you do with such sins?
You act like the righteous saved by Jesus Christ. Confess, repent, be grateful. Rest in contentment and peace in Jesus Christ.

This meal is the meal of thanksgiving, of gratitude, of rest, of peace. Let us eat with thankful and peaceful hearts. Amen.