Preparing for Worship // December 10, 2017

Preparing for Worship // December 10, 2017

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One of the beautiful things about the salvation that is offered to us in the gospel is that it is simple enough that a thief on a cross can understand it deeply enough to be saved (Luke 23:39-43), but at the same time, over the course of two millennia, the greatest minds and hearts of Christianity have not been able to plumb its depths. While there is certainly a place for a more simple and foundational understanding of the gospel (Tom will be laying out the essentials of the gospel clearly and beautifully this Sunday), what I want to do here is take a look here at the breadth of ways that Scripture refers to our salvation. To do so, I will give a quick overview of several of the words and phrases that Scripture uses to describe this wonderful salvation that we have. My hope is that this will give you a fuller picture of the beautiful salvation that Christ offers to us.

Justification: This is a legal declaration in which God declares us to be righteous in His sight based on the righteousness of Christ. Because our sin has been done away with, so has the judgment that we deserve because of those sins.

Gospel: This word, meaning “good news,” teaches us that our salvation has already been accomplished. Tim Keller says, “The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, ‘This is what you have to do in order to connect to God forever; this is how you have to live in order to earn your way to God.’ But the gospel says, ‘This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you.’” ~King’s Cross

Sanctification: There are two parts of sanctification. We are immediately, at the moment of our justification, made holy (set-apart). Sanctification also involves the life-long work of the Holy Spirit making us more and more like Jesus Christ. We are saved in order to do good works. 

Adoption: When we are justified we are also brought into the family of God. In the act of adoption, God declares us to be his child, with all the privileges that go along with it. Salvation is not just legal (Justification); it is also relational.

Betrothal to Christ: Along with Adoption, this reality reminds us that our salvation is relational. We have been brought into a loving, committed relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ.

Faith and Repentance: As we turn to God (Faith), we also turn away from our sin (Repentance). 

Freed from Sin: Sin is no longer our master. We do not have to obey the sinful impulses and desires that continue to plague us. 

Grace: Every single aspect of our salvation (Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Faith and Repentance, etc.) is a free gift from God.

THE WORD

Scripture: Romans 6:23
Sermon: Sharing Full Life: Our Message of Life

SONGS

Song of Ascent: Come to Us Emmanuel (Ordinary Time)
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O Come O Come Emmanuel
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Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling (tune: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus)
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Angels We Have Heard On High
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Song of Preparation: Gather Round Ye Children Come (Andrew Peterson)
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Song of Response: Joy To the World
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