Gospel

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

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

The Widow of Zarephath

This is how the good news comes in the Bible. It comes with a summons to surrender everything to God, and to trust that he will keep his word to give all that is necessary in return. The good news that Elijah brought to this Gentile woman included a demand to offer all that she had to God and to trust that God would be true to his promise to provide all that she needed. And then we are told, “And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Seventh Commandment (6) Flee Sexual Immorality

Again it is important to remember that self-control does not come easily. It is not that the gift of self-control makes it possible for us to exercise self-control with ease. It can be a long battle. For some people it is harder than others. People struggle for self-control in different areas. And yet here again, there is hope for progress because of the good news that Jesus died and rose again so that we might be enabled to live self-controlled lives.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Resurrection, the Gospel and the Christian Life

Read: 2 Timothy 1:1-14
Text: Verses 8-14

The Christian message is surprising and counter-intuitive in many ways. There are many things about it that are difficult to take. On the one hand, it is the most glorious message possible – a message of the forgiveness of sins, of acceptance with God, of eternal life, of the satisfaction of our deepest longings. But on the other hand, it is a call to suffering and death. Jesus himself tells us to count the cost. Jesus himself tells us that following involves self-denial and taking up our cross.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Seventh Commandment (5) Homosexuality

We are not defined by our desires. We are made by God and for God. The way to life and blessedness is the way of salvation in Jesus Christ, and the way of being, renewed in the image of Christ. That involves dying to self. It involves that for all of us, no matter what our particular struggles and inclinations are. Just giving into our desires is the way of death. One of the great themes of the New Testament is that in Christ it is possible to live a life that is pleasing to God – not perfectly in this life, but nevertheless really. The Bible does not hide the fact that this is sometimes very hard. But it insists that the Christian life is the life of blessedness and true well-being. There is no better way to live than the life that is the result of salvation in Christ – the life of submission to God – the life of love and service – the life of putting God’s will before our own.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Seventh Commandment (3) Singleness (2)

The deep joy and satisfaction that is possible for us as human beings does not come from seeking joy and happiness directly but by seeking God and his kingdom. It is when our focus is not on ourselves, but outside of ourselves on enjoying our relationship with God and giving ourselves in his service that the result of that is the profound joy and happiness that we are designed to enjoy. This is why the Bible focuses on obedience rather than the idea of satisfying our desires with the things of this life.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Birth of Jesus

Jesus is more than the reason for the season. Jesus is the reason for everything. As the risen and ascended Jesus himself says to John in Revelation 1:17, “I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Believing, Confessing, Preaching and Hearing

In the formality of setting aside preachers and in the formality of preaching by those officially set apart, the greatness and the power of the king are emphasized as well as the submissive attitude of the hearers. Behind the official preaching of the word is God himself and the message comes with his authority. The congregation is gathered before the king to receive his word. And that is the context in which faith is normally born and grows. Faith is not something that we discover. It is a response to a message from the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And it is a message of good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra