Without God we have no hope. Christ is our peace and He broke down the middle wall reconciling us to become Christ followers. His salvation is a gift. We must consider the goodness of God by meditating on His character and reading His word.
Bulletin Titles: The Gift of Grace: Sola Gratia
Scripture: Romans 11
Canons of Dort – Section 01- Article 10
Theme: The Israelite remnant and gentile inclusion has demonstrated God's gracious electing purpose at work in the world.
The Example of Elijah
The Grafted Olive Tree
God cuts the new covenant and it is unconditional. If God does it, He keeps it. If we do it, we can break it. He has called us, predetermined our end, justified, and glorified us. How could you have a condition based on what God has already done? He would have to change His mind and the God we serve doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
According to this passage, all the nation of Israel must be saved. To be a Jew, under the old covenant, you must be circumcised and keep the law. Under the new covenant, you must be rooted in Christ. This truth is there for both the Jew and the Gentile: you must believe in Christ. Because of faith, we are grafted in, because of unbelief, some are cut off. If you are grafted in, don't be full of pride--it's all because of grace.
Muchos crean que lo que se hacen en la iglesia es sagrada y espiritual, pero lo que se hace en la corte, en el congreso o en el oficio del gobierno es secular. Este salmo nos enseña que tal conclusión es mil veces equivocada.
Micah’s was a stern word. After shooting down the wealthy (Chapter 2), he turned both barrels on the failed leadership of God’s people (Chapter 3). In vivid, even grotesque, language he delivers God’s verdict. God did does not take kindly to people abusing his generosity. The authority that magistrates are supposed to wield is his authority; the wisdom that prophets are supposed to offer is his wisdom. To rule without justice and to prophesy without truth is an offense to the one who is the source of all justice and truth.
This sermon explores the motivation behind Daniel faithfully serving two successive, pagan, world dominating empires. It also seeks to understand why the other leaders of the empire were so opposed to Daniel being promoted by the king. The answers to these questions make Daniel extremely relevant to our own days.
Judaizers and legalists assumed they would inherit the promises of Abraham, because they were his natural offspring and they kept the law. Paul makes it clear that, depending upon law-keeping for righteousness, they were in fact disinherited. Only the children of Abraham by faith inherit the promises!
It is bitterly ironic that it was Jewish people under the law who should be so disinherited - for they exalted in their pride of descent and in the Mosaic law. But they are not alone: all legalist religionists suffer the same sad fate.
The Lord Jesus Himself had warned of such a fate for all who trust in self-righteousness. He announced that vile sinners would receive mercy for the asking, but smug legalists would not.
God's casting out of the legalists is a merciful move, because it clears the decks for sinners to be received by faith. Jews cast out, and Gentiles never in, are now subject to being received by God as His true people by faith in His Son the Savior!
Now God calls from among all sinners who are not His people, Jews and Gentiles, and all who trust in Jesus are adopted as His true people. By casting out the legalists, a host of faithful people may be brought in to Christ.
Even those who have been cut off, cast out, declared "not my people" by God - even those children born of the flesh can be born anew by the Holy Ghost of promise, and made to inherit all the blessings of God.
We were all born of the flesh - Jews and Gentiles - with no hope of salvation, because we all trusted in our own works to save us.
But the Holy Ghost can raise us from the dead to new life in Jesus, and by faith we become, no longer children of the bondwoman, but free!
Belgic Confession Article 34 (Part I)
We believe and confess that Jesus Christ, in whom the law is fulfilled, has by his shed blood put an end to every other shedding of blood, which anyone might do or wish to do in order to atone or satisfy for sins.
Having abolished circumcision, which was done with blood, he established in its place the sacrament of baptism. By it we are received into God’s church and set apart from all other people and alien religions, that we may be dedicated entirely to him, bearing his mark and sign. It also witnesses to us that he will be our God forever, since he is our gracious Father.
Therefore he has commanded that all those who belong to him be baptized with pure water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In this way he signifies to us that just as water washes away the dirt of the body when it is poured on us and also is seen on the body of the baptized when it is sprinkled on him, so too the blood of Christ does the same thing internally, in the soul, by the Holy Spirit. It washes and cleanses it from its sins and transforms us from being the children of wrath into the children of God.
This does not happen by the physical water but by the sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God, who is our Red Sea, through which we must pass to escape the tyranny of Pharaoh, who is the devil, and to enter the spiritual land of Canaan.
So ministers, as far as their work is concerned, give us the sacrament and what is visible, but our Lord gives what the sacrament signifies-- namely the invisible gifts and graces; washing, purifying, and cleansing our souls of all filth and unrighteousness...
Es fácil, viviendo con los mundanos mes tras mes, envidiar algo de su prosperidad y su poder. Pero en realidad no tiene sentido. Nosotros tenemos la mejor situación, y ellos solamente merecen nuestra lastima.