Do you believe God is for you?
It seems a little much sometimes, doesn’t it?
After all, who am I?
Plus, look at the life I have lived and all the ways I have failed and continue to fail. If I were to stand trial before a jury of my peers, I guarantee they wouldn’t walk away saying that I was worthy of God’s approval. The truth is that if I were my own judge and I were honest I would condemn myself.
What you say about yourself and what others say about you isn’t the end of the story.
Because God has acted.
God has acted through Jesus Christ to provide complete forgiveness for sinners. God has acted through Jesus Christ to provide a perfect righteousness for those who know they need it. And because of Jesus’ work, God is able to make statements and promises that are absolutely astounding.
One of my favorites is Romans 3:21-22.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction.”
And what God the Father wants from us is to believe it.
Do you believe it?
This Sunday we are going to talk about how to be certain that God is for you, because believing God is for you is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian.
This is what it means to have saving faith.
Saving faith is a “firm and certain knowledge of God the Father’s good-hearted, kind, merciful intentions towards us, that is founded upon the truth of the promises we find in God’s Word, centered primarily on Christ, and revealed to our minds and sealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
Here, as one old theologian once said, “is the chief hinge on which faith turns: that we do not regard the promises of mercy that God offers as true only outside ourselves, but not at all in us; rather that we make them ours by inwardly embracing them.”
“Briefly,” he continues, “he alone is truly a believer, who convinced, by a firm conviction that God is a kindly and well-disposed Father toward him, promises himself all things on the basis of his generosity; who relying upon the promises of divine benevolence toward him, lays hold on an undoubted expectation of salvation.”
Are you convinced?
Sometimes it’s a challenge, honestly.
How can we know for sure this is true? How can we be certain?
This Sunday we are going to look at where Satan tells Jesus to find assurance and Jesus’ vital, life-transforming response. Satan has ideas about where assurance should come from, but Jesus’ shows us he’s absolutely wrong.
Come ready! Come expectant! Come praying!
I’ve included some things in the sermon brief document that I think will help you and your children benefit from the message this Sunday. Check them out. Print out what’s helpful. Or perhaps you can come up with a better plan yourself. For the younger children this Sunday, you can have them listen for the word, “Father.” To encourage them, my wife Marda will have some treats afterward.
We are excited about the beginning of Transformation Groups. Here is an article you might find helpful as you begin.
Order of Service