A sermon based on Psalm 96 by Joe Byler, preached on May 17th, 2015 at Veritas Short North as part of the “Summer in the Psalms” series.
A sermon based on Psalm 96 by Joe Byler, preached on May 17th, 2015 at Veritas West as part of the “Practical Theology” series.
So often, prayer is a one-sided conversation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. So, what does it mean to listen to God? The Spirit, dwelling in us, speaks to us and opens our eyes to what God is saying in Scripture. What we listen to shapes us. Let’s listen to God.
The church in Sardis was known for being alive, but Jesus had found their works incomplete. They were doing what seemed to be all of the right things, but they weren’t awake. They had forgotten the Gospel that they had received and heard before and their affections had drifted from Christ, as we are so prone to ourselves. How can we wake up? How can we as a church and community remember and remind each other of the Gospel we have received?
By God’s grace through Jesus Christ on the cross, our sins are forgiven and we are made righteous with God. There is nothing at all that we can do to earn our salvation. Yet we are called to obedience. Scripture commands us to be holy as God Himself is holy. We are to work out our salvation as God works it in us. So do we work for our salvation or do we not? The answer lies in the Gospel. Our identity is radically changed, not just the circumstances of our afterlife. If our identity is in the Gospel, it only makes sense that we would act in obedience to God. But what should this look like?
In this part of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian believers, he continues to talk about their liberty in Christ. We have a freedom in Christ because we are not made holy by the law. But, we must evaluate the motives our hearts and really consider if something is bringing glory to God. But how do we figure out what it means to glorify God? We look at the person of Jesus, who gave us a route to God, and also showed us what it means to live a God-glorifying life.
Our elders explain upfront who we the church are and how we live. We are to be members of community, learners, servants, and missionaries. Remember that you are the church. If you identify a need in the church, do not merely point out that something is missing, but rather be a part of the change. Learn how to engage your community group in the rhythms of life.