Sermon Recap for August 27, 2017
The cross is the ultimate beacon of Gods justice and mercy.
The Standard of Purity
The primary focus of the Christian life is not doing what’s right, following the rules, or getting an instruction manual for how to live. We are incapable of meeting God’s standard, but instead we must rely on the blood of Jesus.
We heard from Isaiah 51:1-6, which reads:
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
you who seek the Lord:
look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
that I might bless him and multiply him.
For the Lord comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
“Give attention to me, my people,
and give ear to me, my nation;
for a law will go out from me,
and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
My righteousness draws near,
my salvation has gone out,
and my arms will judge the peoples;
the coastlands hope for me,
and for my arm they wait.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
and my righteousness will never be dismayed.
Missing the Point of The Gospel
Have you ever felt as though you were the only one who pursued righteousness? Many of the prophet’s original listeners would have had a very similar feeling as they heard that opening line of this prophecy. These people who no doubt felt as though they were the only ones who cared about doing what was right.
If you think the primary focus of Christianity is doing what is right, if you think the Bible is God’s rule book, or his instruction manual for life, you’ve missed the point. Isaiah doesn’t leave us in the dark. He’s going to tell us not only what the point of his message is, but what the point of our whole faith is:
Isaiah is saying “look to Christ.”
Perfect Justice and Perfect Mercy
A quarry is a bunch of little rocks that have all been chipped off of one massive rock. The quarry in the passage above is the church: the place where so many small rocks are gathered round the base of the Rock from which they were all hewn. The Servant in Isaiah says to look to the quarry, because that is where we’ll find the Rock.
Christ said that where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am present. We find Christ in the community, in the preached word, and in the sacraments of His church, and in the people He has made His covenant with.
But when this law, this Torah went out from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, he was not calling his disciples to treat each other better than any group of humans had ever treated each other, and he wasn’t calling them to a higher standard of purity in their thought lives, he was trying to get the point across that they were incapable of living up to God’s standard of righteousness. And so are we.
The cross is the ultimate beacon of Gods justice. This is the one place in all of history that we can look to and see both the perfect justice and the perfect mercy of God displayed all at once.
At the cross, we see God’s perfect justice as He deals out the due punishment for all of the sins of mankind, but we also see His perfect mercy as God the Son in the person of Jesus Christ who takes that punishment upon himself.
God offers us comfort and restoration. For those of us who are in Him, we have eternal hope, that though everything in this life falls apart, the God under whose nail-scarred, everlasting arms we make our dwelling will never let us go.
We are thankful for another evening of worship and are excited to meet you or hear from you if you are new here or would like to visit us at Omni. This is where we gather.
Gathering groups and Night of Prayer are cancelled for this week as we will be participating in the Prayer Walk for Cedar Hill Schools (see below). However, if you are not part of a Gathering Group, we strongly encourage you to sign up for one (sign-up sheets are at church on Sundays). As of now, our gathering groups meet throughout the week in Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville.
September 24 – Baptism Sunday @ Omni Fellowship