Sermon notes for this Sunday.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Topic: One Day That Changed the World: Part Two
1 Timothy 3:16
Today, let’s consider the gospel of Jesus by asking a few questions:
1. What did God do at the birth of Jesus? The Word of God—the creative, spoken word by which God created all things and sustains the universe, the same word that was spoken to Israel as the Law and Prophets—became flesh in Jesus. Jesus is the creative word and the Law and Prophets enfleshed. God Himself became incarnate in the person of Christ to save His people from their sins through reconciliation and union with God and to redeem His good creation. God became a man to save man.
2. What did God do in the life and ministry of Jesus? God lived among men to show that the Word made flesh fulfills the Law (perfect righteousness) and Prophets (future hope) and recreates the world. Jesus is the faithfulness of God made flesh. God announced and inaugurated His promised kingdom through the preaching and ministry of Jesus and those whom He called to follow Him. God brought heaven to earth and previewed and produced the coming age in present human history.
3. What did God do in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? God confronted the power of sin and death that enslaved His people, took upon Himself the pain and penalty of divine alienation and broke the power of sin and death by descending into hell and rising again the third day victorious over death, hell and the grave. God planted the seeds of the heavenly world to come in the present earthly, evil age and made the victory of God inevitable.
4. What did God do in the ascension of Jesus to the throne of God? God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him to His own right hand upon the throne of God to rule over all heavenly angels and earthly powers. God made Jesus the head of the church and the head of all creation. Jesus is Lord over all nations, Lord of lords and King of kings, President of presidents, Prime Minister of prime ministers. Jesus rules!
5. What did God do in the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost? God omnipresenced the Spirit of Jesus, the glorified humanity of Christ, and poured out His divine/human Spirit into the hearts of all believers so that Jesus is everywhere present and gathered with His people when they worship in every nation under heaven. Thus, the kingdom of God comes in the earth as the church marches forward proclaiming the gospel of Jesus—that God has kept in Christ His promise to Abraham to bless all nations through His children—through preaching, praise and prayer.
As the church becomes salt in the earth and light in the world and individuals believe the gospel, every realm of life is slowly transformed: the gospel transforms politics, education, science, medicine, art, film, music, literature, sports, fashion, economy, architecture, engineering, technology, space exploration, oceanography, culinary arts, psychology, philosophy, theology, religion, and any other thing that is a part of God’s good creation. The world is changed by the preaching of the gospel! And by this same Spirit of transformation dwelling within believers God is drawing all creation toward its ultimate and full transformation in the resurrection of the saints when Jesus comes again.
Conclusion: One final, pressing question: if God did all of this, then what does it mean for me? How does the birth of Jesus and all the events that followed change my world? If all of this is true, then how should I live? Here’s how:
I must believe the gospel and accept the truth of what God has done in Christ and what it means for me.
I must obey the command of the gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to actualize and personalize the gospel in my life by repentance (turning from my sin); by baptism (the covenant ceremony where the church baptizes you in the the name of Jesus into the body of Christ); and by being filled with the Holy Spirit (as they were at Pentecost).
I must become a disciple (student, follower) of Jesus in everyday life and allow the gospel to make me a mediator of the rule of God into the world around me. When the gospel changes my world, I become a means of change to the world around me.
This leads us to The Call: Who wants to follow Jesus in this way?