Sermon Synopsis for August 13
As believers, it does us well to remember the great things God brings our way through salvation. Many Christians are either slow and sluggish, depressed and discouraged, or sinful and selfish in their spiritual journey because of their forgetfulness concerning the faith. When one remembers the great benefits of being saved, one is more likely to live wholeheartedly for Jesus.
A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Everyone can experience a unique, covenant relationship with God. The Lord does not favor one people group over another. The invitation to an unending covenant relationship has been extended to all humanity (John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2). When we encounter Christ, we experience a qualitatively and quantitatively better type of life! Christ has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Matthew 28:20). No one and no thing can pry us from His sovereign grip (John 10:28). We will never be cut off from the life of God. We have life abundantly (John 10:10) and eternally (John 17:3) forever!
CONFIDENCE FROM GOD.
Along with a covenant relationship, we also have great confidence from God. Though we were once strangers to the covenant-keeping God, we have been brought into His family and made a part of His people. Because we know the God who is “making everything new,” we have confidence in the midst of life's pains and problems, struggles and sins, hurts and hangups. We have hope, and we have help for life’s difficult people and demanding problems. We have boldness, courage, peace, and staying power from Christ. We don’t have to find our strength, significance, and satisfaction in what we possess, what we accomplish, and what others think about us. We don’t have to trust in our ability to control people, our circumstances, or our future. We are held by a God who holds the future, so we have hope!
CLOSENESS WITH GOD.
Born again believers also enjoy a unique sort of closeness to God. Paul said, “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). Sinners are made near because of the blood, not self-effort. They are near to God through the blood of Christ, not our works, merit, religion, or spiritual heritage. The blood of Jesus didn’t contain magical and mystical properties which washed sinners of sins. It was simply a symbol of life. When one trusts in Jesus’ death, he or she receives the life of God. Instead of experiencing death and destruction, believers enjoy abundant and eternal life. They are close to a God who will never leave them nor forsake them. Whereas they were once far away from their Creator, they are now near!
CALMNESS FROM GOD (vs. 14-15).
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful” (John 14:27). Because of the harmony of the soul which Jesus produces, believers are free from the fear which frustrates most of fallen humanity. The peace of which Jesus spoke is disposition characterized by inner-rest and tranquility. The concept is similar to that of Shalom peace, something which Jesus’ Hebrew disciples were well acclimated. It involved, not just the absence of conflict, but the presence of prosperity and tranquility. To have peace with God isn’t just to have a cessation of hostilities, it is to have the abundance of life, friendship, and blessing.