09/08/2020

Looking through the Cross – Reconciliation

Passage: Ephesians 2:11-22

As we continue our series based on the book "Looking through the Cross" by Graham Tomlin, Jonny looks at the topic of "Reconciliation". The service was our first in the church building since recent restrictions were eased. We apologise for the quality of the audio.

Music for the introduction: "Acoustic Breeze" from Bensound.com. Other music taken from Worship Lyric Videos - all rights reserved - and used with their permission.

Audio

The following is an audio of the sermon.

Notes

These I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.
Isaiah 56:7

Christ is the culmination [or end] of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Romans 10:4

So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:24

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Romans 3:31

"Honour your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise.
Ephesians 6:2

Reflection

Psalm 34

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

David is rejoicing that in a time of great danger the Lord heard his cry for help and rescued him. He shares his testimony not to show that he is a favourite of the Lord but to encourage others. That they too might trust in God and similarly find him faithful. He calls on them to remember times already in their lives that God has been good to them.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Perhaps one of the consequences of living in quite an individualistic culture is that our faith can become individualistic. Worship can be done alone but its natural inclination is of a corporate identity. Here is the man appointed to be king inviting those around him, including soldiers and those in distress or debt or discontented (1 Sam 22:2), to join with him in praise to God. Worship is a great unifier, for before God all people appear unworthy. The distance between us and God is so large that the distance between ourselves is negligible. We have not seen God for who he is if we cling to arrogance or illusions of our own grandeur.

Despite God’s greatness, he is not distant. He answers our cries, and he shines the light of his face upon us, so that, “Those who look to him are radiant.” David continues to share his story so that those around him, may for themselves, “Taste and see that the Lord is Good.”

David rejoices that the Lord has delivered him from all fear in verse 4 and yet in verse 9 says “Fear the Lord, you his holy people.” Obviously, he must mean something different. To fear the Lord is not to cower in timidity but to be in awe, to comprehend his greatness and our weakness before him. It is to respect his strength and power, honour his righteousness and holiness while trusting in his grace and love. It is to guard ourselves against flippancy and treating God as mundane.

David describes the life in God that he invites people to. “Whoever of you loves life…” There are no qualifications, young or old, rich or poor, noble or of low birth. There are no prerequisites to coming before God, he only desires that you come.

No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.


We have a special Zoom meeting for children each Sunday around midday.
Please contact office@newhillschurch.org.uk if you would like to join in or to find out more.


Thank you to all who contributed to this page.
Please contact Jonny (JClipston@churchofscotland.org.uk) if you would like to be involved in future weeks.

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