Sermons from November 2020
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…
Paul expresses thanks to God in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 for His transforming grace in the lives of the Thessalonians. Their faith has produced a zeal for good works, their love has prompted them to intense labor and service, and their confident hope in the return or Christ has resulted in steadfast endurance. Let us verbally express our thanks to God for these same virtues and ask Him to increase them in our lives.
Paul’s greeting to the Thessalonians is “Grace and peace to you…”. Grace is God’s undeserved favor and kindness to those who have dishonored His name, disobeyed His laws, and rejected His authority. Peace is reconciliation with God through being justified by faith in Christ and His substitutionary sacrifice for us. Grace and peace make us into a church community, called out of the world to publicly belong to Christ.
The Bible contains the authoritative truth of God which has the power to change us. The book of 1 Thessalonians teaches us how to live in anticipation of the return of Christ, with joy and with love for each other and for a lost world. As we begin our study of 1 Thessalonians , let us study this epistle humbly, expectantly, and prayerfully.
The living hope that Peter proclaims in 1 Peter 1:3 is the hope of a certain future that is based on the finished work of Christ and is established by His resurrection. Hope flows out of personal transformation and fixes our gaze on future certainties. We are to be alert, ready for action, conforming our lives to the pattern of Christ.