Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After–The Christmas Story

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13

Christmas is a time of looking back. The once upon a time of the Christmas story is the birth of our Savior and the events surrounding it. We rightly celebrate the miracle of the Incarnation. Emmanuel, God with us!

However, doesn’t the celebration deserve a looking forward to the glorious future that awaits us in Him?

The revelation of Christ surely includes His birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection, all amazing facets of God’s Grace toward us. But, the hope that sets our hearts to sail ever higher and surer is a hope that rests fully on the Grace that will be brought to us at the final revelation of our Savior. Our hope resides not only in that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, but in what we have not yet seen and patiently wait for; we will be like Him and see Him as He really is. This is Grace that is embodied not only in the birth of God’s Son, but also in His future revelation and our future glorification.

God gives Grace. He increases Grace. Grace upon Grace, His manifold Grace! And then, with nothing of our own work or merit attached to it, when all has been fulfilled, He lavishes us with more Grace. We are swept away in a mighty, rolling river of Grace, and the vast seas of this world are but a drop compared to the ocean of Grace that awaits us at the eternal and full revelation of His Son in the world to come. This is the happily ever after we long for.

To this end we hasten, to this end we hope.

Looking back and looking forward; Grace began the Christmas story, and Grace will finish it, too.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Merry Christmas!

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel


Boasting In Our Deliverance From Condemnation

Sermon Notes – Pastor Milton Vincent
March 18, 2012 – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Romans 8:33-34

Paul has already affirmed that we are delivered from the reality of condemnation (Rom 8:1) to every charge- NOT GUILTY. This is the objective fact. Yet subjectively we may say we have not been delivered from condemnation because of the fears and forebodings, thoughts we often have regarding condemnation from God.

Courtroom in in . The Classical Revival courth...

Courtroom in in . The Classical Revival courthouse was built in 1890, and is listed in the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are objectively delivered from condemnation on the day of our salvation, but subjectively we often don’t feel that way. Why?

OUR ACCUSERS:
-Satan: Rev. 12:10
-Others: Others pile condemnation on us and we slip “into the septic infection of condemnation.” (Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say ‘I Do’)
-Our own hearts: 1 John 3:20

No one can ever step forward and bring a legitimate charge against us that has not already been covered by Christ’s blood.

FIVE RESPONSES TO ANYONE (INCLUDING OURSELVES) WHO WOULD ACCUSE OR CONDEMN US BEFORE GOD

1. It is God who justifies us. (v. 33)
-God decides to think of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us.
-He declares us righteous in His sight.
-God does this! We cannot justify ourselves.
-Paul would say he doesn’t look to others or even himself, it is God who justifies. (1 Cor. 4:3-5)
-A Christian knows that he cannot justify himself. We would agree with all charges against us.

2. It is Christ who died for us. (v. 34)
-When we have a true encounter with the cross of Christ we realize that we have already been accused of the worst sin.
-The cross is a blunt instrument that God uses to show us our sin.
-We are violators of the 6th commandment (“You shall not murder.”). We killed Jesus. We are murderers of the Son of God.
-The essence of all sin ever committed is the murder of God.

“We finally see the very thing we dreaded to discover. At last we find out who we are. The cross brings us out of hiding. It breaks our denial but only in the very instant that it shows us the possibility of forgiveness.” -Becky Pippert

3. It is Christ who was raised from the dead after dying for us. (v. 34)
-The death of Christ is the purchase of our justification. The resurrection is the receipt. (See Rom. 4:25)
-God looked at His Son’s death and then at all of your sin and said (in a manner of speaking), “This death atones for all that sin.” We know this because Jesus rose from the dead.
-The resurrection proves and validates that His death was sufficient.

4. It is Christ who is at the right hand of God for us. (v.34)
-This One who died for me, who was raised for me, is the One that God has elevated to His very right hand. An incredible reality!
-The One who loved me so much He was willing to die for me is right now at the right Hand of God.
-The right hand of God is a:
Position of highest reward
Position of absolute Lordship and power over all.
Position of highest access to and influence with the Father.
-Feel the weight and blessing that the One who loved us more than anyone else could, God has elevated to His right hand!

5. It is Christ who intercedes for us. (v. 34)
-We have an advocate (lit.) “toward” the Father. (1 John 2:1)
-We need to appreciate that when we sin, our righteousness is in heaven-Jesus is at the right hand of the Father.

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear ten-thousand enemies who come against me. Nevertheless, distance makes no difference. ‘He ever liveth to make intercession for us.'” -Robert Murray McCheyne

-Appreciate that Paul is imagining people coming forward to condemn him before God. He does not look at his accusers but at God, and Christ who died, was buried, and rose again.
-For every look at yourself, give ten looks at God.
-LOOK TO HIM!
-Directed toward accusers who would cause us to think that God has changed His mind about our justification.

Romans 8:31 asks, “What then shall we say to these things…?” Don’t just read this, speak these truths out loud. Say these things along with the Apostle Paul.


A Gospel Feast

Sermon Notes – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church – August 29, 2010
Pastor Milton Vincent

The Gospel in a nutshell is the Good News of Salvation for hell-deserving sinners through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel, we are forgiven, justified, made a child of God, become recipients of the Holy Spirit, are privileged to pray, loved by Jesus daily, filled with exceeding power, have fellowship with the saints, and have an inheritance in Heaven. The list of what is ours in the Gospel can go on and on. The Gospel is BIG.

…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.   I Peter 2:2-5

THE EFFECTS OF GOSPEL FEASTING

1. Progressive growth into Salvation
– 
If you feast on the Gospel, you will grow.
–  Increase in every way, size, stature, strength, ability, agility, wisdom (spiritual)
–  In this way, you will become a force to be reckoned with to the enemy, strong, not weak. Peter says, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
–  You get strong by Gospel feasting.

2. Continuous transformation
–  As you continually (present tense) come to Him as a living stone, daily and progressively, you are being edified (built up), a fitted stone for a certain purpose
–  The word edify literally means to build a house. From nothing to something, from something natural and raw to something fitted, prepared, useful. Edify includes the idea of transformation. For example in Genesis 2:22, the Lord edified Adam’s rib into a woman.

3. Likeness to Christ
–  “you also as living stones”… like Jesus, fitted, prepared and shaped for God’s purpose
–  So that others can partake of the living waters that flow from us, nourishing others in Christ

4. Radical community with like-minded lovers of Christ
–  Being built into a spiritual house
–  A community characterized by:
          the Spirit moving and glorifying Jesus
          holiness
          service (a holy priesthood, serving and representing God before people)
          worship (not just singing songs) but in actions, acts of service

May God help us to feast freely on what we have in the Gospel!

 

 
 


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