Reviewing the Basics (3) “What Does it Mean to be a Sinner?”

Our status needs to be changed. In order to be saved our status needs to be changed from guilty to not guilty – from guilty to righteous. But we need more than a change in status before God’s law. The kind of people we are needs to be changed. Our nature needs to be changed. We need to be changed from people who are inclined towards evil to people who are inclined towards obedience.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Troubler of Israel?

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-19
Text: Verse 17

The word of the Lord is a profoundly disturbing word to those who are unwilling to submit to the authority of God. The word of God promises peace and fulness of life to those who believe in Jesus and submit to him as Lord, but that is always on the far side of submission to the authority of God, repentance for sin and dying to self. And the call to repentance is offensive to those who think they have nothing to repent of. And so there will always be something about the message of God’s word that is troublesome for sinners.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Ninth Commandment (1) “Do not bear false witness”

This is at the heart of what Jesus did to bring about the prophecies of a world of justice and wellbeing for all. To bring about that vision for the future of the world, Jesus began with the heart of the matter – he dealt with the root problem of all the selfishness and cruelty and injustice in the world. He dealt with sin. He broke the power of sin. And he called men and women and children to believe on him, repent of their sins and live out of the renewing power of the gospel.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

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

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

Celebration and Theology (go together)

Read: Romans 5

Now given the fact that Christ gave his life for us while we were his enemies, we can be all the more confident that he will save us in the end now that we have been reconciled to God. Given the fact that Christ gave his life for us while we were fighting against him, we can be sure that we will be saved by his life. It is wonderfully true that Christ’s life saves us as well as his death. But the point the Paul is emphasizing at this point is since Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us while we were his enemies, we can be absolutely sure that we will be saved in the future.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

God’s Covenant People Need the Gospel

Read: Romans 2

The application here is that we must realize that being part of the church does not automatically make us right with God and that we must examine our own hearts and lives so that we are aware of our own sins and the seriousness of our own sins. This is so very important because the only way to be saved is through the gospel and the gospel requires that we understand and confess that we are sinners and that we deserve the wrath of God against our sins. This is the point that Paul is stressing in this second chapter of Romans.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Introduction and the Need for the Gospel

Read: Romans 1

And so, when Paul says that the gospel reveals the righteousness of God he is saying something that is more relevant to you than whatever it is that tends to dominate your thoughts. The world is about God. Real life is about God. The purpose of everything is the glory of God. And so, this idea that the gospel reveals the righteousness of God is supremely important for your life.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Ten Commandments (2) Introduction (2) The Law and our Predicament

The law exposed the depth of Israel’s sinful condition. It exposed the fact that all that God had done for them so far was not enough. Delivering them from Egypt. Embracing them as his people. Giving them the law as the way of life and blessing. All of that was not enough. It did not accomplish what God had wanted it to accomplish. What it did instead was expose the fact that human beings are sinful to the very core of our being. It exposed the fact that we have sinful hearts. It exposed the fact that we are anti-God at the deepest level of our being. Jeremiah summed it up when he said in 17:3 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra