Jesus Fulfills God’s Promises

The Awesome Nature of Christ
John 1:6-7, 14-17
Matthew Raley (5-19-13)

Many believers understand that they need assurance of their relationship with the Lord.  But the way they seek it leaves them troubled.  They come to Christ in desperation, in crisis, hoping he will wipe their pain and hardship away. As though Jesus were a drug, they look for spiritual hits through songs, or activities, or teaching, as if the Christian life is induced rather than lived.  As the hits wear off and the highs get weaker, they wonder why the Lord has abandoned them.  They expected Christ to give hits that never wear off.

When they hear about the holiness of God, the power of sin, and the reality of death, they feel what any rational person would feel- fear.  ”This is making me feel worse!”  They shut their ears and look for another spiritual hit.

Assurance comes from God’s work in your thinking.  The foundation of assurance is not inside you, and it cannot come from emotions.  It can only from realizing how big God is, and how big his plans are.  Assurance comes from seeing Christ’s fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.

In today’s message we continue our survey of our proposed belief statement.  In this context of assurance, we will  focus on Christ’s fulfillment of all God’s promises to Israel:

4. Jesus Christ is God incarnate—one person with two natures (John 1:1-5, 14-18). He is fully God and became fully man, completing all God’s promises to Israel (Romans 1:1-7). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit when his mother Mary was a virgin (Luke 2:7-21). Though Jesus Christ never sinned (Isaiah 53:7-9), he was crucified as a criminal under Pontius Pilate (John 19:17-42). But the Father raised Jesus from the dead bodily (John 20:19-31). Jesus then ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50-53) and sat on heaven’s throne where he mediates for us (Hebrews 1:1-4; 2.17-18).

 

Published in: on May 22, 2013 at 5:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Jesus Christ Is a Human Being

The Awesome Nature of Christ
John 1.1-18
Matthew Raley (5-12-13)

Many people, Christians included, see the Christian life as trying to open a door. They believe that the Father is on the other side, and they believe that the door is Jesus: they can only pass by going through him.

They try various ways to open it. Someone gives them detailed instructions for opening the door, and they follow these instructions to the letter. But they cannot get to the Father. Someone else says there’s a key, a kind of mystical experience that opens the door by magic. Still another person informs them that a door is an engineering marvel, and that they can’t open it because they don’t understand the principles by which it works. None of this gets them through Jesus to the Father. Finally, someone else says that doors don’t really matter and that they should just do what makes them happy.

They do all of this on the assumption that the door is shut. We are going to see this morning that Jesus, the door, is open.

In today’s message as we continue surveying our proposed belief statement, we will focus on the real-life implications of Christ’s humanity:

4. Jesus Christ is God incarnate—one person with two natures (John 1:1-5, 14-18). He is fully God and became fully man, completing all God’s promises to Israel (Romans 1:1-7). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit when his mother Mary was a virgin (Luke 2:7-21). Though Jesus Christ never sinned (Isaiah 53:7-9), he was crucified as a criminal under Pontius Pilate (John 19:17-42). But the Father raised Jesus from the dead bodily (John 20:19-31). Jesus then ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50-53) and sat on heaven’s throne where he mediates for us (Hebrews 1:1-4; 2.17-18).

 

Published in: on May 22, 2013 at 5:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Jesus Christ Is God

The Awesome Nature of Christ
John 1:1-18
Matthew Raley (5- 5-13)

There is a silent crisis of assurance among evangelicals. We have plenty of slogans, but very little confidence. How do I know I’m saved? Why don’t I see Christ’s power in my life? Why do I feel worthless? Why do I feel so guilty?  How can I face God?

As long as you seek assurance from your experiences, you will remain on a roller-coaster. Assurance only comes from knowing the doctrine we will study this month, the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and using it to speak to your emotions.

In our continuing survey of our proposed belief statement, we will spend this month studying the famous prologue to the Gospel of John. Today, we begin with the divine nature of Jesus Christ. Your sense of assurance begins with the fact that he is God.

4. Jesus Christ is God incarnate—one person with two natures (John 1:1-5, 14-18). He is fully God and became fully man, completing all God’s promises to Israel (Romans 1:1-7). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit when his mother Mary was a virgin (Luke 2:7-21). Though Jesus Christ never sinned (Isaiah 53:7-9), he was crucified as a criminal under Pontius Pilate (John 19:17-42). But the Father raised Jesus from the dead bodily (John 20:19-31). Jesus then ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50-53) and sat on heaven’s throne where he mediates for us (Hebrews 1:1-4; 2.17-18).

Published in: on May 22, 2013 at 4:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Confronting Death’s Power

The Dignity of Human Beings
Genesis 2-3
Matthew Raley (4- 28-13)

We began this series with the story of two Belgians who, at their request, were killed by their doctor. The power of death, and our desire to control life, hangs over this issue of human dignity. Our society has been blessed with technology which saves lives, from the reduction of infant mortality to the ability to extend and control the end of life.  This has created in us an illusion of control, a sense that we are able to manage life from beginning to end, when in truth we are under the power of death and need to confront it.

In today’s sermon we will see that the essence of human depravity is the ambition to wrest control of life from God, and that when we try to control life, we are by definition assuming the authority to kill.

Published in: on May 6, 2013 at 4:44 am  Leave a Comment