Mid-Service Comments - Why Jesus Came
Please find below Brett Harris' notes from the Mid-service comments this past Sunday. Evaluate your heart against Scripture in understanding Jesus' purpose in his first coming and how that impacts your view of our purpose in following him.
Acts 7 tells us of Stephen's stoning; the first martyr of the Christian faith. At the beginning of Acts 8, we see that a man named Saul is approving of the execution and that Saul himself was ravaging the church - he was doing whatever he could to stop the church.
Later in Acts we read that Saul was heading to Damascus, still breathing threats and murder against believers. That's some pretty strong language. His anger and hatred of Christ and his church is strong and it motivates his life.
On that very road, Saul was stopped by Christ himself and told that he, Christ, had work for Saul to do. Most of the rest of the book of Acts tells of Saul/Paul's life after his encounter with Jesus.
And most of the NT are letters written by Paul to churches or individuals that he loves or wants to see.
The man closest to Paul's heart was Timothy; he wrote two letters to him. In his first letter, chapter 1, Paul gives a brief summary of his conversion from who he was to who he is.
1 Timothy 1:12-16
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He didn't come to overthrow any social order. He did not come primarily to be an example to us, though he certainly is. He came to save sinners, even those who were blasphemers, persecutors and violent opponents of Jesus Christ himself.
It is Jesus who saves you, Jesus who takes on himself the shame of your sin, Jesus who stood in your place when the penalty for sin was carried out.
If Jesus can save a man who whose heart was complete hatred toward him, then he can save anyone; there is no one beyond his reach.
Lord, your grace and your mercy and your patience toward us are greater than we can imagine.
I don't think we fully understand how arrogant and hard-hearted and disobedient we were and are toward you.
But you are patient and loving and long-suffering toward us. Thank you for your kindness toward us. Thank you for saving us.
Lord, we all know others who are not saved. They are like Paul, blaspheming and hating you. Help us to know how to pray for them. Help us to know how to talk to them. Please help us to see the opportunities that you give us to talk to them about Christ.
Give us the patience and grace toward them that you showed toward us.
To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.