Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
Grace and Peace in the name of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. What good news is the gospel of Christ. Indeed, the greatest news in the world. Do we desire to tell this news to others? Do we long that others many come to know the same grace that has gripped our hearts. May we pray today for open doors to share the gospel. May we pray today for open doors to invite others to church. And may we pray today for the Spirit’s work in preparing hearts to heart the good news of Jesus Christ!
Here are some important announcements:
- Men’s Breakfast – this Saturday at 8:30 at the Egg and I on Hwy 6 and Little York. Please let me know if you plan to join us. We will be looking at ch. 11, “Men in Friendship.”
- Lord’s Supper, Deacon’s Offering, Fellowship Lunch – this Sunday, we will collect the deacon’s offering, celebrate the Lord, Supper, and enjoy our monthly fellowship meal. Plan to bring your favorite chili recipe; and we will need some folks to bring drinks and salad.
- Bible Study – next Wednesday we will meet at the Van Tubergen’s at 7:00 to begin an 8-week study of Galatians. Plan to join us for this time!
- Spring Retreat – register now for our Spring retreat with Providence OPC on April 23-25. You can find more info and register here: http://providencepres.com/retreat/
- Devotion – this week’s devotion is a final reflection on the wrath of God, focusing on the answer to God’s wrath in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless and I will see you this Lord’s Day!
From the Pastor’s Desk
“The Wrath of God, part III”
Romans 3:21-22, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law … through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”
The last two weeks we have reflected on the wrath of God as revealed in Romans 1. God’s wrath is a reality with which we all must deal. The wrath of God is prompted – or caused – by man’s sinfulness, our willful suppression of the truth. As the Apostle Paul concludes, “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin” (Rom 3:9). Is there hope? Is there a place where we can turn? Is there an answer to this eternally damning diagnosis? Indeed there is! Beginning in Romans 3:21, Paul unfolds the glorious solution to mankind’s sin problem.
There are three brief points I want us to see in Rom 3:21-26. First, Paul tells us this solution was present in the Old Testament: “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it” (v. 21). The ‘law and the prophets’ (standard terminology to refer to the Old Testament) bear witness to – or point to – or reveal the gospel. In other words, God’s solution to mankind’s sin problem was no ‘new thing.’ The gospel of salvation was revealed in the Old Testament (although less clearly than in the New Testament, though not less truly). The law and the prophets spoke about the coming salvation in Christ. And a believer living in the days of Moses, for example, would look forward in faith to the person and work of Christ just as we today look back in faith to the person and work of Christ.
Second, Paul tells us that Jesus dealt with the wrath of God: “… Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood” (v. 25). Jesus Christ ‘propitiated’ the Father. What does this mean? It simply means Jesus quenched the wrath of the Father – he absorbed the wrath of the Father – he bore the wrath of the Father … due to sinners like you and me! “For God so love the world, that he gave his only Son … to suffer and to absorb the wrath of Almighty God.” Jesus is the true lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). And he takes away this sin by being made to ‘be sin’ and absorbing the judgment to due to us (2 Cor 5:21).
And finally, this glorious work of Christ is received by faith: “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe … to be received by faith … the one who has faith in Jesus” (vv. 22. 25. 26). The once and for all perfect work of Christ to satisfy the justice and wrath of God is of NO VALUE to us unless we receive him by faith. As we rest in Christ by faith, we confess ‘nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” Because it was at the cross where Jesus propitiated the Father. And faith is the hand of helplessness clutching the hand of Christ the King who died as our substitute on the cross.
Christ and he alone is our salvation – he is our hope – he is the only hope for sinners. Apart from him there is only death and hell and condemnation. But in him there is forgiveness, and joy, and life. The answer to God’s wrath is God’s son! Look to Him! Rest in Him!!