Elder's Prayer - January 6, 2019
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
There are times when my failures and my sins can seem overwhelming to me. I can see the consequences of my failures and of some of my sins, and that can be a heavy burden to carry, especially when I see how my failures and sins affect others.
Sometimes we can spend so much time focused on the failure and sin that we forget that God has done greater things for us that overcome or overshadow our failures and sins.
For instance, Romans 4:5 says "and to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…"
In all of those failures and sins, there is nothing that would have gained me righteousness if I had succeed in them; I would not be counted righteous if I had not failed or had not sinned.
What God counts to me as righteousness is my faith in the one who took my sins as his own and suffered for them on the cross.
Or Romans 5:1 – therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So the peace that I have with God does not come through those things that I failed to do or sinned in. Now, our sin does affect us; we do grieve the Holy Spirit when we sin, but that lasting peace with God is not broken/lost because I fail to do something or that I sin. The eternal/lasting peace that we have with God is because of the work that Jesus did on our behalf.
So what happens when I sin? Am I condemned by them?
Romans 8:1, 33-34 – there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…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.
So don’t sin, and keep trying to not fail at things, but when you do sin (or fail), and your sins accuse you, remember that it is God who has justified you through your faith in Christ. And remember that it is Christ who took on all of your sin and paid the full penalty for it.
Regularly remind yourself that all of your failures, all of your sin, are covered in full by Jesus Christ.
Father, when we consider your love, we are amazed and wonder how you could love those who hate you.
What would move you to care for your enemies in a way that would provide for their forgiveness and would grant them status so that one day they will be able to stand in your presence as sons and daughters?
Even though we were weak, you sent Christ to die for us. Even though we were sinners, you sent Christ to live obediently for our benefit. Even when we were your enemies, you reconciled us to you through the death of your son.
Forgive our sins. Remind us that you have saved us to change us, that you have not left us in our sins, but have made us new, you have joined with us through Christ, we are free from sin, no longer to be slaves to it.
Yet when we sin, we can have confidence that the penalty for our sin was paid completely by Jesus at the cross; that the work that Christ did in his life and death was sufficient to cover our sin in total.
Remind us also that our failures do not diminish your love for us. We’ve done nothing to earn your love; you have granted it freely, and nothing can separate us from your love if we are in Christ Jesus.