Reviewing the Basics (2) “Why does God make such a big deal about sin?”

And so it is possible for us to have life instead of death. We are born dead in sin, but by grace through faith, we can be reconciled to God on the basis of what Jesus has done and so begin to experience the fullness of life that is rooted in a relationship of love with God. The richness of that now already is beyond words, but what we experience know is just a foretaste of what is to come. And the key to it all is giving God his due – living for him and not for ourselves and finding our great joy and satisfaction in him.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

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Sermon Series: Reviewing the Basics

Persecution and Elijah’s Fear

By nature we are all like Jezebel in our willful blindness to the reality and relevance of God. If we now believe in God and trust in Jesus for salvation, it is only because this miracle of grace as taken place in our lives. God has “shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This is what Jesus came to do. One of the things that Jesus came to do according to Isaiah 42:7 is give sight to the blind.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Reviewing the Basics (1) God’s Message to the World

Read: Luke 24:44-53
Text: verses 45-48

One of the greatest problems in the church and in each of our lives is a failure to live with the reality of who God really is. Our thoughts of God are far too small. Because of that we shove him to the periphery of our lives. The basic truth that we need to constantly be relearning is that everything is about God and that God is overwhelming in his greatness and glory. Our wellbeing in life is tied to our knowledge of the glory of God. And the great and fearfully serious sin that condemns us all is not to give God his due in our thoughts and in our actions and in our words. The call to repentance is first and foremost a call to give God the rightful place in our lives and God’s rightful place in our lives is first place in our lives.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

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Sermon Series: Reviewing the Basics

Ahab, Elijah and Prayer

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-46
Text: Verses 41-46

And this short single verse description of Elijah running before Ahab illustrates a hope for change that will soon be disappointed. What this story illustrates is the need for God to act in a new way if there is there is ever going to be lasting change. The story as a whole illustrates that sin leads to famine and death and the fact that it will take more than even something as spectacular as fire from heaven to make a lasting difference.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Jesus, a Pharisee and a Sinful Woman

We need to examine ourselves. This passage is teaching us that not everyone who is religious is saved. There are ways of being very meticulous about law-keeping while being strangers to Jesus and his mercy. One sign of this is feeling contempt for great sinners. Another sign is a coldness towards Jesus – a lack of love and heartfelt gratitude to him for his mercy towards great sinners.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Fire from Heaven

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 22-24, 30-40
Text: Verses 38-40

What we have here is an expression of God’s grace to his people. The fire that came from heaven fell upon the altar and consumed the burnt offering, the wood and the altar itself. And it did not consume the people.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Jesus: God’s Gentle Servant

Read: Matthew 12:9-21
Text: Verses 15-21

Notice that our text speaks of salvation in terms of justice. The salvation that Jesus came to bring involves justice. And justice means that our sins cannot just be overlooked and ignored. If anyone’s sin was just overlooked and ignored, there could never be a world of justice and peace and harmony. And what that means is that for Jesus to not break a bruised reed or not quench a smoldering wick, he himself had to absorb the just penalty for sin. For Jesus to be gentle and nurturing to us in our weakness and sinfulness, he had to pay the penalty for our sins. That is the meaning of the cross.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Elijah’s Prayer

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 22-24, 30-37
Text: Verses 32b-37

The truth of God and about God is revealed with more and more clarity as the story of the Bible progresses. And so it is with this truth of the great significance of the knowledge of God. And as with every other theme in Scripture Jesus Christ is the climax in one way or another.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Jesus and the Centurion

The main purpose of each of the gospels is to reveal Jesus to us and to call us to respond to him in faith and obedience. And since, loving, worshiping and trusting in Jesus is such a central part of what it means to be a Christian, it is always helpful for us to turn to the gospels and reflect on some aspect of what they have to teach us about Jesus, our Saviour and our Lord.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Elijah Repairs the Altar of the LORD

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 17-24, 30-32a
Text: Verses 30-32a

You see, idols will take over our lives if we let them. Remember for us, we are talking about things like money and pleasure and comfort when we are talking about idols. Idols are things that take the place of God in our lives – often they are things that are good in themselves, but they become idols if they become God-substitutes. The broken-down altar teaches us that if we are not fighting against idolatry in our lives, the idols will take over – they will squeeze out the worship of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra