Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
This is an exciting week in the life of our church! This Sunday we will begin worshipping at our new location, the Kids ‘R’ Kids on Forest Trails and Hwy 6 (behind Walgreens and next to Copperfield Church). The address is 15230 Forest Trails Drive, Houston, 77095. Also, we will be enjoying a fellowship meal together at the church after worship. Please be in prayer that the Lord would make the transition smooth and that, with all the logistical changes, our focus would always be on Christ and Him crucified!
This would be a wonderful time to invite your friends and co-workers to join us for worship!
And for those who are able we will meet at our old location at 10:00am Saturday to move our stuff into the new place.
Finally, this weeks devotional is a reflection on the gospel – the good news of Christ dying for sinners!
From the Pastor’s Desk
Galatians 1:4-5,“He [Jesus] gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
In his second epistle, the apostle Peter states that some things that Paul wrote are “hard to understand” (2 Pet 3:16). While this is certainly true, the core elements of the gospel, however, are not included in those hard to understand things! Scattered throughout the New Testament letters, we find simple and concise summaries of the good news of Christ (e.g. Rom 5:8-10; 1 Cor 15:3-5; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; 1 Pet 3:18 just to name a few). In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we find one such ‘gospel snapshot.’ In Gal 1:4-5 Paul writes, “He [Jesus] gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
There are several points to make regarding this verse. First, the ‘who’ question. The focus of the gospel is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ ‘gave himself’ – he willingly and voluntarily gave himself for sinners (cf. Phil 2:7, ‘made himself … humbled himself’). He was not coerced or forced against his will; but rather he left his throne in glory because of his goodness and mercy to redeem a people.
Second, the ‘what’ question. What is it specifically that Christ did? He gave himself … for our sins! He went to the cross as our substitute. He gave himself and suffered the full wrath of the Father that we deserve (cf. Matt 20:28; Rom 4:25)!
Third, the ‘why’ question. Why did Christ die as our substitute? The text tells us: “to deliver us from the present evil age.” We needed deliverance. We needed to be set free. The Bible tells us that we are in bondage to sin. We are slaves to sin. Paul tells us that, apart from this redemption by Christ, we are in the snare of the devil, captured by him to do his will (2 Tim 2:26).
And finally, the result. How are we to respond to this truth? Paul shows us how we ought to respond: “…to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” We respond in worship! How could we respond any other way! What else could we do but fall to our knees in worship! In fact, the entirety of our lives is to be one great act of worship. The apostle Paul states in Rom 12:1, “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (cf. 1 Pet 2:5).
There is one over-arching point that should be made regarding the gospel in general and this passage in particular. The focus is on Christ! It is his work! The gospel is the good news of what God has done for lost sinners. The gospel has a shape – a heaven to earth vertical line. Yes, the gospel affects every aspect of our lives as we are called to be faithful servants of Christ. But at the end of the day, the gospel is what God has done for sinners in Christ! That is why it is good news. If it depended upon something we do, we would all be hopelessly lost. This day, may we rejoice in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins.
God bless and I look forward to seeing you Sunday,