Heavenly Father, thank you for the mighty work of grace you performed through your servant Martin, and for the many fruits of that work which we enjoy today. Grant us strength to stand firm in your truth, and proclaim your truth with a boldness and veracity sent from you. Send us forth in your strength to proclaim the Gospel, which is salvation to the world. Amen.
Some people are closet Mormons and don’t realize it. The Book of Mormon in II Nephi 25:23… “. . . We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Ouch! If me doing something to be saved is in the mix I am in major trouble. Let’s let the Bible set the record straight… Ephesians 2:8-9… “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Thanks be to God that He does it all. We would mess things up if we were part of the equation.
One Verse Sermons
Jesus, our Lord, was handed over to death because of our failures and was brought back to life so that we could receive God’s approval.
GOD’S WORD Translation
The Christian life is not about moving from vice to virtue, but moving from virtue to Grace.
Here’s a bumper sticker I designed. I welcome your feedback on this initial design.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV)
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
John Newton (1725-1807) known for the great hymn “Amazing Grace” expressed understanding of Law and Gospel in another hymn he wrote…
“Safely Through Another Week” – Verse 5…
May Thy Gospel’s joyful sound
Conquer sinners, comfort saints;
Make the fruits of grace abound,
Bring relief for all complaints.
Thus may all our Sabbaths prove
Till we join the Church above.
In the thousands of sermons that I have heard I have never heard this illustration until today.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10.45)
Jesus came as a suffering servant, not a conquering king. As he walked amongst the people, as he healed, taught, and cleansed, Jesus absorbed the evil of the world. He took upon himself the brokenness, the injustice, the hatred – all of it – from the beginning of time to the end, all of it was collected and focused upon him.
He came to serve. He gave his life as a ransom for many.
Historian and theologian N.T. Wright describes something of what this is like by referencing an old fable about a fox with fleas:
“Do you know how a fox gets rid of its fleas? The fox goes along the hedgerow, and collects little bits of sheep’s wool. Then he makes it all into a ball of wool, which he holds in his mouth. Then he goes to the stream, and slowly, slowly, walks down into the water. He lowers himself right down into the water, with the ball of wool in his mouth, until at last he is totally submerged; then he lets go, and ball of wool floats away downstream, carrying all the fleas with it. The fox merges, clean. In this image, Jesus is the ball of wool… He takes the weight of the world’s evil upon himself, so that the world may emerge, clean.” (N.T. Wright, Following Jesus, p.48)