Preparing for Worship // May 26, 2019

Preparing for Worship // May 26, 2019

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I have recently been re-exposed to the world of contract negotiations. My housing situation is changing, so I had to negotiate the terms of a new place to rent and was reminded of just how little power I have in those situations. A lot of the conversations felt like me saying, “I would like to not pay as much.” The landlord would reply, “Well, that’s just how much rent is.” And I would be left saying, “Ok.” As the person in need of a place to put all my things, I had very little to bring to the negotiation table besides the promise that I am a pleasant and responsible person who pays bills mostly on time.

When the Bible speaks of covenants, it speaks about contracts and agreements between two parties, typically God and His people. In our natural state, we find ourselves without shelter and without any way of paying rent. In the old covenant, God provides us with a contract to sign saying that if we offer faithful sacrifices and become holy, then God will accept that as payment and let us live in His presence. All over the Old Testament we read how God’s people rarely held up their end of this already merciful deal. There were entire decades when the Israelites never paid rent. But God was patient and accepted payment when it came, and sometimes strongly prodded them in the right direction. Then, God graciously went into re-negotiation with us to bring about the covenant He had in mind all along. The last few weeks we have learned that we have a Great High Priest in Jesus. We have the supreme representative in contract negotiations. Because of our sin, we owe God a debt that we can never repay, so Jesus steps in as our negotiator, our guarantor, and our payment. In this negotiation God comes to us saying that He knows we have terrible credit, no liquid assets, and are completely helpless on our own. But God wants us to be able to enjoy living in His presence so He’ll do the heavy lifting so we can enjoy the benefits. This new covenant is like the old covenant in many ways, but a better covenant in every way. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Hebrews 8:1-13
Sermon: A Better Covenant

SONGS

Father Long Before Creation (Andrew Osenga)
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A Debtor to Mercy Alone  (Indelible Grace)
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There is a Fountain Filled With Blood (arr. Digerness)
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Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding
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Song of Preparation: Ever Be (Bethel Music)
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Song of Response: O Love that Will Not Let Me Go (Indelible Grace)
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