Elder's Prayer - April 22, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
We continue our worship of Him who miraculously and purposefully saved us through the reading of His word.
From 1 Peter 1 and 2:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith - we are guarded through the gift of faith! - for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice…!
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and you rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith - the salvation of your souls.
Therefore… set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. It is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
...You were ransomed from your futile ways... with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God - God, who raised Christ up from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
...You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
...You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Lord, how grateful we are that you caused us to be born again! And that we are given hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Thank you for the gift of faith which you produced within each of one us who believe in you, and that because of that faith we have hope, and we have salvation! We don’t yet know what that salvation will look like when we arrive in glory, but we know that we will be with you - who made us and loved us - and we know that we will be like you, for we will see you as you are. Guard us with unwavering faith and trust in you and the promises of your word. Though we cannot see you, yet we can know you and possess the reward of peace in this life and hope for the life to come by FAITH!
Produce within us lifestyles that are reflectively holy, consistent with your own character. And give us joy in living according to the instruction of your word. Transform us into your obedient children. And as we are transformed, shaped into your desired and predicted building blocks, make us wilful, joyful, and knowledgeable of the great structure, the church, your body, which you planned before the world and we were created. Whoever believes in you will NOT be put to shame!
You made us, you chose us, you brought forth a people of us by your mercy. Help us to daily live honorably, worthy of the name of Christ which we claim. And cause us to glorify you - be glorified because of what you are making of us! - that those who observe us also would glorify you in the days to come. Thank you for the privilege of worshipping you this morning.
In Jesus name, Amen.