If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)
The power is in the seed - Jesus is achieving our salvation and everything good thing that is in and through us . Paul wrote,
‘Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 1:6)
Next week we will look at our cooperation in God’s work, however, in this man-centric world, it’s important to reset our hope entirely on Jesus. The world of godless psychology and self-help can invade the church and our thinking. We easily become prideful or fearful as we put too much emphasis on what we have to do. Let’s be clear, any good thing in us or that’s done through us is only possible through union with Jesus - the power is in the seed!
Let’s consider a few things that Jesus has achieved for us
i) New life
‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.’ (Ephesians 2:4-5)
In order for us to receive Jesus in the first place, Jesus, by the Spirit, makes us spiritually alive. This gift is called ‘regeneration’. This is a gift from God. Sin makes us rebels toward God. In our natural selves, we would never trust and love Jesus. God performs heart surgery on us by the Holy Spirit. Jesus has gifted you with resurrection life. That is why you have faith in Jesus! The power is in the seed! John Murray has written,
‘Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is a judgment of God with respect to us. The distinction is like that of the distinction between the act of a surgeon and the act of a judge. The surgeon, when he removes an inward cancer, does something in us. That is not what a judge does-he gives a verdict regarding our judicial status. If we are innocent he declares accordingly.’ (John Murray)
‘Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.’ (Romans 8:30)
I could have included ‘predestination’ but we can’t cover everything!
When we put our faith in Jesus’ death for us, we are ‘justified’ - accounted fully righteous. Jesus’ righteousness is ‘imputed’ (credited) to our account. God has declared that that you have lived the righteous life: you have done everything you should have done and have not done anything that you should not have done! God has gifted you with Jesus’ righteousness. You contribute nothing! The power is in the seed!
We have new life because Jesus died. We have justification because Jesus took the guilt of our sin. Salvation from beginning to end is a gift from God for the helpless.
Are we singing praise to Jesus for what He has achieved for us? In yesterday’s devotional, we were encouraged to keep singing our praises to God. Surely the facts of our justification and new life inspire us to worship Jesus. So let’s do that now.
A great song that you might want to use in ‘Yet not I but through Christ in me’.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – THE POWER IS IN THE SEED
Do you have any funny or interesting experiences of trying to grow something?
Introduction - please read in your group
Please read Read Genesis 37:18-33
On Sunday our message was entitled, ‘The power is in the seed’. Joseph was like a seed. He was sown in a kind of death as he was put into the cistern and sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph will achieve salvation for his family who deserve nothing.
This account is a prefiguring of the gospel. Jesus, like Joseph, will die for those who deserve nothing.
Jesus, like Joseph, will achieve everything for us.
God wants to teach us that our salvation, transformation, all our good works are a result of the power of 'the seed' - Jesus working in and through us.
This, of course, does not encourage passivity. If we have truly received Jesus, His power will work in us in a far greater way than thinking that we are are responsible for everything.
Please read Mark 4:26-28
The power is in the seed - Jesus has died, He's risen, He's working to complete the restoration of all things.
Discuss together (Before getting into smaller groups)
Some of us find it very difficult to talk about what Jesus is doing. The victory He is winning. We are the kind of people that spend little time worshipping because we feel that we need to quickly move on to 'productivity' in praying for things or doing things. Are you more focussed on your failures, your weakness, what you must do, rather than rejoicing in the power of Jesus who is achieving God’s plans?
Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:
What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message)?
What will you do in response?
How can we pray for you?
This week, as I hope you've seen in the Church News, we are praying for our Community Groups. Community Groups are so important in connecting together in building friendships and strengthening our relationship with God.
At this time of not being able to meet together as we usually do, it is so good that we are able to meet online in smaller groups.
Prayer points for this week -
For each leader, as they faithfully serve in leading their group.
That each person would be encouraged and encourage others in their group.
That our faith would be strengthened as we share Gods word together.
That we would see growth and more groups starting.
For more leaders.
Please share from this week’s Church News