Salvation

The Sixth Commandment (1) The Value of Human Life

Human life is almost infinitely valuable. The glory of God is the most important value of existence. The human beings as the image of God are glorious beings because they reflect the glory of God. Sin is such a horrible thing that it requires the destruction of the most glorious thing. And the love of God is so great that he was willing to sacrifice his dearly beloved Son for the rebels. And so this God is even more glorious and more worthy of our love and worship than we could have ever known apart from his saving love for sinners.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Thanksgiving

Read: Psalm 65

Thanksgiving in the Bible is part of the response of God’s covenant people to God’s salvation and it is part of praise and part of a relationship of prayer and forgiveness and dwelling in God’s courts and being satisfied with the goodness of God’s house and the holiness of his temple. And it is in the context of that relationship that we are to think of the bounty of the harvest and celebrate the fruitfulness that is rooted in God and his favor.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Sin and Grace

Read: Romans 3

All that talk about our sin and guilt and our inability to keep the law and to be justified by law-keeping – all that negative stuff paves the way for this message that we can be free from our sin and guilt and in God’s good books by receiving righteousness as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing more precious in all the world than being right with God and we can have that without earning it, just by receiving it by faith.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Narrow Door

So, when Jesus says to those who are refused entry into his house, “I do not know where you are from,” he means that he does not have a saving relationship with these people. He does not know them in a saving way. So, it is not enough to know something about Jesus. It is not enough to call Jesus Lord. It is not enough to have some acquaintance with Jesus.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

What Jesus Came to Do

But through believing in Christ our sins are forgiven and we have peace with God. Through believing in Christ the power of sin is broken in our lives so that we are learning to live lives that please God. Through believing in Christ we are renewed so that we are learning to find our greatest joy in loving and worshipping and serving God. Through believing in Christ we receive eternal life – that is the life of the world to come. Through believing in Christ we know that death is not the end, but that we will rise from the dead and live with Christ in a renewed creation forever and ever.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (10) Union With Christ

Separation between God and man is the reason for all that is wrong in the world and all that is wrong in our lives and the reason for that separation is sin. The biblical teaching about union with Christ is how that separation is overcome; it is about how we can have a close and intimate relationship with God. Union has to do with being united. It has to do with being one. And being one with God is at the heart of having a good life. It is at the heart of all blessing. This is what it means to be saved.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Jacob Blesses Reuben

Those with weak characters are unstable
in their inner beings and so winds of temptation or foolishness push
them this way and that. Those with strong characters are steadfast and
stable who are not easily deflected from what is right and what is wise
and what is godly. In the context of the Bible we must understand these
differences in the light of sin and grace. We are all weak by nature, but
Jesus died so that those who trust in him might be gradually changed to
be people of strong character who have learned self-denial and self-control and to “walk by the Spirit” and are learning “not” to “gratify the
desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra