Now a righteousness for us sinners that comes from God has been revealed, the same righteousness to which the entire Scriptures bear witness. It is a righteous that we obtain by faith in Jesus Christ. Indeed faith is the only way to obtain this righteousness. We are declared right in God’s sight because of what Jesus did for us as our redeemer, removing us from this slavery to sin and guilt and because of what Jesus did for us as our propitiation, turning away God’s holy wrath that was against us on account of our sin and guilt. We are declared righteous, not guilty, we are acquitted because of what Christ did for us, in our place, and this happens when we trust what Christ has done and forsake all hope of earning our peace with God through our own efforts. This is the only way sinners, Jews and Gentiles alike, can be put right with God because we are not righteous in ourselves and never shall be as the result of our own efforts and because God, just judge that he is, must deal justly with our sin and guilt. He cannot declare us righteous unless in some real sense we have become so. And the only way we can become righteous is for the righteousness of Christ, his satisfaction of divine justice, his paying the debt of our sin, the ransom price of our redemption, to be made ours through faith.
There is a righteousness before God, before the judgment of God, for the unrighteous; there is a deliverance from eternal punishment and it is available to any and every sinner if only he or she will turn away from the futility of supposing he or she can earn a right standing before God and instead trust himself or herself to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ in the place and for the sake of sinners. That is the gospel, that the good news.
Taken from a sermon on Romans 3:21-26 by Dr. Robert S. Rayburn
Jesus talked about HEAVEN! In His last conversation with His disciples Jesus said in John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Let’s reflect here for just a moment! HEAVEN is a prepared place for a prepared people. HEAVEN is where JESUS is! As I write, Jesus is preparing a place for you and me! One day you will be with Jesus my friend and so will I! HEAVEN, the word has a beautiful ring to it! The Apostle John in Revelation 21:3-4 says, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Jesus talked about HEAVEN! Wow, what a place! JESUS is there and I can’t wait to see HIM! What about you?
As Christians our families are important to us. Genesis 2-3 records for us the creation of man and woman, marriage, sex and family! The significance of family is crucial as we seek to reach our families and people around us with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Needless to say, Satan will do his part to undermine and even destroy your family. He is relentless in his pursuit of your home and family life. If this sounds personal, it is! Your Christian family is under attack. Daily, relentlessly, you as a husband or you as a wife are being targeted. Some would say it this way… you are in Satan’s crosshairs! Knowing this, how should you respond? First, have FAITH in God. Develop a deep, growing daily walk the Lord. Mom and Dad read your Bibles, pray with and for each other. Pray with and for your children. Secondly, be FAITHFUL to the Lord and His church. Purposefully plan your worship with your church family. Set your church time apart, reserve the time for being together with other believers to worship the Lord and to grow together as God’s people. Thirdly, FIGHT for these precious truths with all you are, and with all you have! Having a godly family requires 100% of who you are as God’s child. Dads give 100%… Moms give 100% to the Lord… He will honor your wholehearted dependence upon HIM. Your children were given to you by the Lord… raise them to honor HIM. Having a Christian home requires work… hard work! Faith, faithfulness and a fighting spirit will not produce a perfect home. But they will make it possible for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. They will open Gospel opportunities for you as a parent. The Lord wants to bless you! Love Him, be faithful to Him and fight Satan with every fiber of your being. Your Christian family is worth it!
SUNDAY SCHOOL BIBLE STUDY – I want to encourage every Sunday School teacher and class member as you attend your classes on Sunday. Read your lessons, pray for one another and invite others to join you in your class. Recently I started teaching Sunday School again. I love teaching, but I also love interacting with brothers and sisters around God’s Word. Find a class, get involved and you will be amazed how quickly you begin to grow in your walk with the Lord. There are study guides available… there are ministry opportunities as well. Praying for and with others is a tremendous blessing, don’t miss out on it! If you have questions about what class to attend, please see me or call me. I will see that you get connected with the right class. Start this Sunday and you will see that what I am saying is true.
CAROLINA PREGNANCY CENTER BABY BOTTLES – We passed these out this past Sunday. Fill yours with coins and return it to the church. The CPC does a great work in our community. They deserve our support. Do your part and make a difference for Jesus’ sake! They are in the trenches for babies… let’s support them!
Prayer works! As Sons and Daughters of God, we have access to God and His Throne through Jesus our Lord! Remarkably enough Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. And He did teach them to pray. Their prayers are recorded in the Book of Acts. As a matter of fact, they prayed powerful prayers of blessing and thanksgiving to the Lord for His guidance and protection. Paul told the church at Thessalonica (I Thess. 5:17) to “Pray without ceasing.” We should do the same! Obviously we can’t walk around mumbling prayers under our breath, but we can assume an attitude and humble presence before the Lord as we do our daily tasks. Think about it… let these three words press deeply upon your heart, memorize them and seek the Lord through prayer as you serve Him daily! Do the words, “And the peace of God that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) sound familiar? Well that is exactly what will happen as you “Pray without ceasing” and let your sovereign God have access to the depths of your being. Seek Him in prayer and you will find Him! Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
AN ENCOURAGING WORD: Daily I think about you… Grace Church! Daily I pray for you, usually with Cheryl or another brother or sister at Grace Church. I know daily you are all over Greenville, our city of favor and influence. Keep in mind that daily the Lord gives us opportunities to represent Him. Daily I ask the Lord to go before you at work, school or wherever you go! I believe we are here together for God’s greater glory, to see people come to faith in Christ. God’s Word is clear about this… He has given us this opportunity, right now to exalt Jesus through the Gospel. Remember: Together is always better!
Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday. For more than fifteen years we have supported The Carolina Pregnancy Center. With joy, we have sent in our monthly support through our missions giving. Sunday we will have information in our bulletins and hand out baby bottles for an offering to this good work. This center is in the trenches of life for babies. The Lord is using them! Please give to support their ministry. The Lord will be honored and glorified as you give.
Serving Jesus Together!
Mike and Cheryl <><
Some time ago I heard someone say, “Every day is a new day!” Think about it like this. Every day the sun comes up and the sun goes down… night falls, and the daylight breaks! Considering that the Lord setup His creation in this fashion, what does it mean for us as His children? The Word of God connects the Lord with everything that happens in our lives. Every day we live, we do so knowing that it could be our last. Therefore, we should live our lives purposefully and intentionally desiring to please the One who made us and the One who has absolute control over how long we live. Every day is a gift from God. Wrap up each day knowing that you have brought honor and glory to your Maker and to your God! Church, one day Jesus is coming again. Be ready when He comes, and serve with the intention of taking as many others with you as possible. You were saved by His design… to live out the days He made specifically for you to live… live and breathe with Him is mind!
CHALLENGE… Begin 2016 with a strong desire to grow in your walk with the Lord. Be faithful in the services, give generously to our church ministry and missions, join a small group, and invest in a quiet time daily which includes prayer and Bible reading. Practice these few spiritual disciplines, and see the Lord work in your life! Live for Someone bigger than yourself… JESUS! This world is passing away. Remember, Jesus is Lord and His Kingdom is eternal… follow Him!
Serving with Humility!
Pastor Mike <><
What is it that the people of the world really want? What would make a difference to them? The familiar words of Edgar Guest provide an answer:
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do.
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear.
For right living speaks a language which to every one is dear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
That last stanza contains a powerful image: “Men believe what they behold.” They don’t believe what you say, they only believe what they see. If the two don’t match up, your words will be disregarded. Those of us who make our living by moving our lips ought to ponder that thought carefully.