The Prelude – March 24th

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A Title Fitting the Lord

Throughout history, the sum total of authority and power of an entire empire may be consolidated in a term. A term to condense the vastness and greatness of that empire into a single word. For a commoner or a member of the Senate, the majesty of Rome would conjure such a sentiment. At it’s peak, the Roman empire represented 2.5 million square miles of land. And in every square inch of that territory, a representative of the emperor would execute the edicts of “Rome”, would describe the greatness of the empire, would call everyone to aspire in praising the majesty of this great land.

And yet, this authority, power, and beauty, is only a small, and temporary, and limited majesty of the God who stands over it. Today, we gather to worship the Glorious and Mighty God, whose title is appropriately Majesty. Unlike Roman Emperors, He will never die and never had a beginning. Unlike the Roman rule, He executes judgment with perfect righteousness and flourishes all human life. Unlike the sovereignty of that earthly empire, He does not take lands from others, but creates them from nothing and displays his abundant grace by inviting His people to enjoy the fruits of the land.

Let us sing with zeal:

Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome In beauty
Joyful songs we raise
Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome in beauty
Greatly to be praised

Eliminating All Doubt

Are you tempted to doubt that the greatest problem in the world, resides in you? We can quickly survey the world around us and see evidences and examples of evil that are far from our worst thought. Yet, God eliminates all doubt in Romans 5:12, when He says “therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Before we can sing the Glory of the Cross, we must confess what makes it glorious in the first place – its’ necessity. Sin and pride. Ungodly men. Guilty and filthy. Unrecognized rebellion. It’s in me. Is it in you?

If there is any doubt, God would ask, ‘will you die?” A yes to that question, answers the former. Ask your God to reveal and recall your sins to mind, that they may be confessed and repented of. Pause and confess to one another, so that you may lead one another to the only place of forgiveness.

What wisdom once devised the plan
Where all our sin and pride
Was placed upon the perfect Lamb
Who suffered, bled, and died?

If once Died, and Then Resurrected, What Can Be Done to You?      

Previously, as an unredeemed sinner, and now as a worldly saint who often sins, the cross is a beautiful picture of the gospel of saving grace. Slowly read the words of our soul’s song:

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You

As baptism pictures, we have died in Christ. We have been resurrected to new life. Glory be to God.

And what would such a man do, who was once dead, but now breathes the air of resurrected life?

No matter what the consequences, he would tell the world of His savior and the salvation that is possible for others.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

What can persecuting men to do you? What can illness actually take away? What can financial limitation hinder? We possess eternal life. Tell each other this very simple and profound truth. You, believer, possess eternal life, both the quality and quantity of the Majestic and Glorious God. God + Nothing = Everything.

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