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The Lord’s Day

March 15, 2015

“The Family-Part 3” (CE lesson) and “The Certainty of Salvation” (sermon) are available on SermonAudio.

Reading from the Law: Psalm 130:1-4

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; 
Lord, hear my voice!

Let Your ears be attentive
 To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, 
O Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with You,
 That You may be feared.
(NKJV)

Commentary

In this passage the psalmist cries out to God in sorrow and despair. There may have been times in life when we have experienced sorrow and desperation and have found it difficult to turn God during these times. Unfortunately and sinfully it is often not our first instinct to cry out to God as it should be, but to turn to ourselves or other means of support. However as we do turn to God during these times we find our prayers to be more heartfelt than when praying other times we all seems to be going well for us. Here the Psalmist turns to God in his sorrow. He confesses his sinfulness to God, realizing that he deserves punishment for his sin and no favor from God. This sinful condition applies not only to the psalmist but to all mankind. We all deserve God’s wrath as punishment for our sin and rebellion. But God is merciful to his people, those who fear, worship and honor Him. As we confess our sin and cry out in faith He does show mercy to us and forgiveness. It is through the understanding of God’s mercy and grace toward us that we are able to rightly cultivate the fear of God in our hearts.

Reading from the Gospel: Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Commentary

Paul pauses in the middle of his teaching on justification to answer this question: What does being declared righteous in Christ mean for us now? Verse one gives us part of that answer. Because we have been justified, we have peace with God. We cannot understand the full ramifications of this peace unless we are fully convinced of what our relationship to our Creator was truly like before we knew Jesus. Scripture describes this relationship as an all our war. Contrary to many popular ideas about God and humanity, the Lords’s attitude toward fallen men and women who are outside of Christ is not one of kind benevolence or even neutral toleration. To be sure, our Maker is kind to some degree even to His enemies but his disposition toward sinners is hostility and hatred. The Old Testament prophets understood this well. They saw that God was at war with even the covenant community of Israel because of its sin. But the prophets foresaw a great day of salvation when God would save His people to bring them peace – ruling them by His Anointed King. This peace isn’t the mere cessation of hostilities but is much more. This peace is a holistic concept, a condition in which people enjoy complete and permanent well-being. Romans 5:1 tells us that because we are justified, we enjoy this peace. Perhaps the most important thing to understand about this peace is that it can never be lost. Jesus has not brokered a fragile cease-fire with God, such that full scale war can erupt at the slightest provocation. Instead, He has brought us a peace that can never be lost. If we are truly in Christ, we will never become His enemies again. “Christ is our peace, so for us there is no more war with God.

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