Elder's Prayer - October 8, 2017
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
God created the heavens and the earth. He also created mankind, men and women, to have fellowship with him.
He gave the first man and woman one commandment, which they broke, which then broke the fellowship they had with God.
Because we are descendants of that first man and first woman, we are by nature sinners, children of wrath. We sin against God naturally, intentionally, knowingly.
The result of our sin is death, both physical and spiritual. We will die, physically, each one of us, because of the sin we have committed against God. We might live 70, 80, or 90 years, but then that's it; death comes for all of us.
But when we die, we will still be separated from God. The Bible tells us that we are condemned already. As children of wrath, God will punish us for our sins. But we've sinned against a holy and perfect God, so the punishment due our sin is eternal. God will punish the sinner forever for their sin.
But there is good news. God has provided a way for us to escape the punishment for our sins.
John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world (us), that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish, but have eternal life.
God provides his own son to stand in our place. Jesus lived a perfect life, fulfilling the commandments of God that we cannot fulfill. Then he died on a cross, receiving in himself God's punishment for our sin. And then he resurrected from the dead, defeating death.
Not only does Jesus take the penalty for our sin upon him, he provides the righteousness we need to stand before God.
And now, the Bible tells us, Jesus sits at God's right hand, always interceding for those that he saves.
So how can you be saved? Repent and believe. Turn away from your sin and ask God to forgive, then believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that his work in life and in death and in resurrection are sufficient to bring you into fellowship with the God who created all things.
Father, you are glorious and mighty. You are holy and righteous. Your judgments are right and true.
You also created us. You know everything about us. You know our thoughts, our actions, our intentions. There is nothing that we can hide from you.
You know our sin. You know how deep our sin is, how pervasive our sin, you know how much we sin. And you know how intentional our sin is.
Yet, even while we were sinners, you sent Christ to die for us. You knew how much we would sin and you still sent Christ. You knew how rebellious we would be toward you and you still provided Christ to pay for our sin. You knew how much we would hate you, yet you still loved us.
We sin - and you love.
We sin - and you show us grace
We sin - and you send Christ to save us from our sin.
Father, your love is amazing. At times, your love is incomprehensible, beyond what we can fully understand.
And when we struggle, help us to remember the sufficiency of your gospel. When we doubt, remind us that you are quick to forgive and our hope is not found in ourselves, but in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, your Son.