Sermons on Communion
God’s pattern of redemption — God reconciling the world to Himself — is not a pattern of might and power. Just as Christ suffered shame and reproach on the cross, we are to identify with Him in suffering as we are sent as ambassadors of reconciliation. We should fix our eyes on what is unseen and eternal, view others as having intrinsic value, and give our resources sacrificially, so that God’s glory may increase and that others may find the hope of eternal life.
On the cross, the Son of God endured agony and public humiliation. As He heard the mocking of the onlookers He spoke words of forgiveness, promise, care, and victory. The significance of the cross is that Christ died specifically for each of us as individuals, to absorb the wrath of God on our behalf and bring us to reconciliation with God. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on…
Jesus is the Redeemer who rescues us from our slavery to sin. The Son of Man and glorious High King of Heaven (Daniel 7:13-14) is the same one who gave His life to ransom many (1Peter 1:18-19). Through faith in Christ , we can be set free now from the penalty and power of sin, and one day we will be freed from the presence of sin in heaven.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, stands in heaven triumphant. What rewards has Jesus purchased for Himself by His sacrificial death? His reward is a holy people being sanctified more and more through the Word and the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:25-27). These people are also to be zealous for good works, not in order to achieve salvation, but as an outgrowth of salvation by grace. Finally, Jesus receives the glad, reverent adoration of eternal worshippers (Revelation 5:9-10). When the dust of history settles, the Lamb wins!
The Cross Benediction (Revelation 1:5b-6) reminds us that Christ’s love for us has been demonstrated by His death on the cross. Christ’s redemption saves us from the penalty and power of sin now and from the presence of sin in eternity. We are now part of His kingdom, the sovereign rule of Christ in our hearts and lives. We are to gratefully serve as priests, making Him known to others.
The world counts as folly what we count most precious: the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14 exhorts us to make the cross our exclusive boast – what we joyfully exalt in, what shapes and molds our lives. The cross is worthy of our boast because it satisfies the wrath of God (Isaiah 53:6), it secures us in the love of God (1 John 4:10), and it separates us from the grip and influence of the world’s priorities (1 John 2:15-17).
How can we overcome fear that tries to take root in our hearts and lives? We are reminded in Hebrews 13:5-8 of the promise of Jesus to never leave or forsake us. No one can do anything of consequence to us in light of eternity, and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. So fear not! Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you…
What is justification? God, motivated by grace, declares guilty people to be righteous. God is both just and the justifier, sending His son to be the atonement for our sin.
The Gospel is an announcement of good news. Salvation is our rescue from guilt, separation from God, slavery to sin, and eternal death. Salvation is also rescue for life, adoption as children of God, and blessedness. The Gospel message is filled with the inherent power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
In Psalm 32 King David expresses the blessedness of forgiveness. David had committed sins of which the consequences of those sins still occurred, but he received forgiveness and a restored relationship with the Father when he cried out to God. Righteousness comes through faith to us as well. It is credited to us as a gift, apart from works.
Mark 1:14-15 marks a turning point in history when Jesus proclaims, “The time has come.” Israel had been waiting for the Messiah for thousands of years, the Promised One who would suffer and die for our sins and bring deliverance from sin. Our response to the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf should be one of repentance and faith, awe and worship.
Grace is undeserved, unearned redeeming love and forgiveness. God’s forgiving grace is eternal and irreversible.
Nothing more powerful than the love of Jesus on the cross has ever happened in this world. The entire sin debt that we owe to God has been cancelled forever. Satan and his demonic forces have been defeated. The cross is a triumphant cross of victory.
“It is finished” (John 19:30). What was finished? Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation – the satisfying of the wrath of God. The cross was necessary because we have sinned against a holy God. God’s wonderful love for us is always linked in Scripture to the cross. Salvation through faith in the crucified and risen Christ is free and available to all.
In Colossians 1:12-14, Paul expresses gratitude to God for many reasons, all related to Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf. We have been qualified for heaven, delivered from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are eternally forgiven and redeemed from our sins. Our expressions of gratitude should be natural and habitual. Thanks be to God!
In Christ we are saints, not because of what we do, but because we are set apart for God, His treasured possession. We are faithful brothers in Christ, sharing a deep family bond with all who have put their faith in the Lord. Where are we? We are in Christ, part of a new kingdom, a new mindset. Yet we are also still “in Colossae,” part of a particular earthly community. We are called to engage with the world in order to win it for Christ.
As we look intently at the identity of Jesus, we will be awestruck, humbled, and our love for Him will increase. The author of Hebrews opens the book with a wonderful description of Christ, God’s final and perfect communication to us. Jesus is the heir of all things, the creator, the radiance of God’s glory, and the sustainer of the universe. Christ has purified us from our sins and now sits on high. This majestic Jesus is who we need and all we need.
As Jesus hangs on the cross in darkness, He cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He is quoting from Psalm 22:1, a psalm which foretells the future suffering of the Messiah. Jesus is not only enduring the agonies of the crucifixion, but is also experiencing being abandoned by God the Father as He bears the sin of the world. Jesus is absorbing the judgement of God we deserve.
Faith alone is the key to forgiveness and salvation. We all know and feel our guilt and brokenness before a holy God. Jesus Christ alone must be the object of our faith that brings justification and peace with God. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, not a feeling. It can be increased through prayer and the study scripture. Faith is not a work, but spurs us on to good works as we serve as the representatives of Christ.
In the verse above Jesus makes this promise to all believers that not only will we carry on His work, but we will do His work in a greater way than He did. What could this possibly mean that we could do greater works? Pastor Gregory breaks down this verse for us and shows us how the work of spreading the gospel to reach others is an even greater work.