This weekend, we returned to continue our series on the book of Romans. Joe preached from what is possibly my favorite passage of Scripture - Romans 3:21-31. The gospel of grace, and the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from the law, are both very clearly laid out here, and I am reminded of the amazing gift that we have been given in Christ. We all need to be constantly reminded of what the work of Christ has accomplished for us, because it changes everything. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "I Need You" (G) [Kristian Stanfill] Call To Worship Welcome/Greeting Time "Marvelous Light" (Bb) [Charlie Hall] "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Nothing But The Blood" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Lamb Of God" (Ab) [original] Message - "Romans 3:21-31 - Justification" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Offering/Announcements Dismissal
"I Need You" - We sang this song in our preparation time this weekend. I love the clarity of this song, and how it lays out our desperation for Christ's work for us. We are lost without Him. We are hopeless and helpless without Him. It is such a powerful song. We bring it down from the key of Bb to G, and it is much more singable for our congregation. I want to incorporate this song more into our regular worship sets, as I think our congregation is getting a better grasp of it.
"Marvelous Light" - This was our opener this week. We haven't sung this song in a while, but I think it was very fitting for us to sing this week as we focused on the cross. While we were a people without any hope and without spiritual life, Jesus stepped in and died for us, conquering sin and death. He has adopted us as sons and daughters, and has made us alive together with Him. Praise God that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for us.
"You Alone Can Rescue" - This song continues to be one of my favorites. The chorus really draws the line in the sand regarding the gospel: "You alone can rescue/ You alone can save/ You alone can lift us from the grave/ You came down to find us/ And led us out of death/ To You alone belongs the highest praise." Because Jesus is the one who rescued us, He is the only one who deserves the credit, the praise, and the glory. He is the only one!
"Nothing But The Blood" - We haven't done this song much at Fellowship, but it was a perfect fit to our talk on justification this weekend. Nothing but the blood of Jesus reconciles us to God and makes it possible for us to be declared righteous before a holy God. His blood is the payment for our sin, satisfying the wrath of God against sin, and making peace with God for us. I was moved to tears several times this weekend as we sang this song. Jesus is our peace.
"Lamb of God" - This is a song that I wrote a few years ago as I was studying Isaiah 53. I wanted to write a song that really described the nature of the payment that Jesus paid for us as our substitute. I wanted to challenge us as a congregation to not sing these kinds of songs lightly, but to try and envision the suffering that Jesus bore in our place. I think that is how we sing of Christ's sacrifice on the cross with meaning. It is, and should be, overwhelming to think of how much Christ suffered for us, and how much He has given us that we did not deserve. He is far too good to us.
"Jesus Messiah" - We sang this song as our response this week. This about summed it all up from this weekend. As 2 Corinthians says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus took our place, and He gives us His.
This weekend was really powerful, and I really experienced the presence of Christ as we worshiped in our services. When we focus so clearly and heavily on what Jesus accomplished for us, it is hard to avoid being overwhelmed with thanksgiving. I had to hold it together a few times when it was really hitting home. Our team did a great job. We also played Warren Barfield's "Saved" a few times this weekend between services, just to have fun and celebrate our salvation in Christ. God is good!
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!
In the Son, Bill
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!