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Elder's Prayer - April 1, 2018

Elder's Prayer

Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.

Who do you believe Jesus is?  Do you believe him to be the Jesus the Bible portrays him to be?  Do you believe him to be a mere historical figure, a good man, a good teacher, who lived once and died a martyr?  Do you believe him to be a spiritual figure, a representative of God, who illusioned a life, illusioned a death, and illusioned a resurrection?  Or do you believe, as the Bible portrays him to be, the Jesus who did the work of the gospel?

The gospel…  there is a Holy God in whose presence sin cannot exist, creator, sovereign, and just; we are sinful, determined to defy Him, doomed to rebel against him, incapable of surviving in His presence; Jesus, fully God and fully man, graciously mediates the communication between our sinful selves and God’s holiness; and we must respond by repenting from our sin and believe in Jesus unto a life of “following” obedience.

Do you believe in the Jesus who did the work of the gospel?

1 Corinthians 15:

...For I, Paul, delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:  that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers, then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain.  If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins! Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied...

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead!  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead,  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Death is swallowed up in victory. O death , where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting? But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Father, you alone are holy, perfect in character, and gracious to provide us a Savior, Jesus Christ, and we praise you for the display of your love to us through the sacrificial death of your Son on the cross.  It is Christ alone who gives us reason to live, who gives us understanding of morality, who gives us answers to our origin and even our destiny. Father, let there not be one here today who hears the truth of your gospel preached who does not understand it’s implication - that their destiny is dependent upon repentance from their sins, and faith in Jesus, the resurrected and living Savior.  You alone, Jesus, are the resurrection and the life. He that believes in you, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in you shall never die. He that believes the Son has life. But whoever does not believe in the Son shall not see life. Rather, the wrath of God abides on him. Remove distractions about us today that the truth of your word might reach our minds, transform us to be more like you, and cause our worship to be genuine and honoring to you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.