Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on August 31, 2014.
Turn with me to Matthew 7:1-6. Today we are going to examine what I believe to be the most misunderstood, misused and abused sections in the Bible. This is a section that the world loves to throw around, especially in the face of Christians.
Now as we read this section we must remind ourselves that these are the words of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus is the leader of our Church, he is the Son of the Living God, everything he says is true and everything he says we must obey. So as with all scripture we desire this text to equip us so that we can accomplish the work of God in a way that pleases Him. So with that said, let us read our text, pray that God would guide us to His truth, and study God’s Word.
Now before I get into the Bible, I want to first make a logical argument. When someone who has just been confronted for their sin, throws Matthew 7 back in your face, they are effectively violating their own terms. They have become a hypocrite. For what they are doing is judging your judgment. Do you follow? By their attempts to avoid your accusation, by accusing you of sin by judgment, they have effectively created their own noose. They are now standing in judgment over you. So perhaps you should respond back to them, don’t judge me for judging you.
Now the question before us becomes, is this what Jesus intended? Is this what Jesus was trying to create, a perpetual, never-ending “don’t judge me” argument? Obviously not. So let’s first start by understanding what this section does not say.
When Jesus says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” he does not mean to avoid discussions about sin. Nor does he mean for us not to evaluate people and their sinfulness. This is obvious by Jesus’ own statements in this section.
For those who have been with us since we began this journey, you have heard me say multiple times that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount could also be titled the Sermon on the Heart. For every topic that Jesus addresses is an attempt to address the condition of our sinful hearts and our need for Jesus to perform heart surgery on us, so as to be able to fulfill these radical commands of Christ.
In doing this, throughout the sermon, Jesus continuously stacks his teachings up against the teaching and the behavior of the Scribes and the Pharisees. The Scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of that day. He does this in the beginning of the Sermon of the Mount by saying,
So as we begin chapter 7, Jesus is not changing the back drop of his teaching. He is still stacking up his teachings of against the teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees. Therefore, when Jesus says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” he is speaking to how the religious leaders wrongly go about addressing sin. So the question is how was their judgment wrong?
It is wrong the same way they were wrong about everything else. They way they addressed sin in people’s lives was based, not on the righteousness of God, but on the righteousness of man. The scribes and the Pharisees were judging self-righteously. In our text, Jesus gives us an illustration to help us understand the wrong form of judgment.
They did everything they could and more to give the appearance that they were holy. They worked hard to follow every rule and every tradition to a “T” and they believed that if they worked hard enough then God would bless them. They focused all their attention on cleaning up their lives on the outside. Listen to what Jesus says about them later in Matthew 23.
The bottom line is that we are saved by grace and we stand in grace. When we recognize that we are not God, and we are saved by grace alone, we are transferred from darkness to light, and we have eyes to see. The log comes out. And only when this happens are we able to help our brothers and sisters with sin in their lives. Until we have confessed our sins and abide in the grace of Jesus Christ, we are utterly useless. If we stand in judgment as God over the sins of others we do more damage then good. But if we humbly walk as sinners saved by grace, healing can begin with our brothers and sisters, for we can given them what helped us, Jesus Christ.
I believe the Apostle Paul is a fantastic picture of this right judgment. For those who don’t know Paul was a Pharisee. He called himself a “Hebrew of Hebrews.” When Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, he was speaking of Paul. Eventually Paul was captured by the grace of God. Listen to how Paul addresses the most sinful Church in the Bible, the Church in Corinth.
When you confront someone about sin in their life, the driving force behind it must be loving, not Lording. This does not mean that we avoid the sin discussion. If you love them, you will confront them. It means that when we see something in their eye that is bringing them to tears, we should come up along side them and weep, and mourn for them, not as their god, but as their brother and sister.
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on August 24, 2014
Today we are stepping away from our journey through the Sermon on the Mount to talk about something that I believe is fundamental to your sanctification, to your becoming like Jesus in your life, and that is baptism. Next Sunday, immediately following Church, all of you are invited and encouraged to re-congregate at Central Park to celebrate the work of Jesus Christ through at least two of our members. My hope for today is that this sermon will spur more of you to consider your need to be baptized, not as a baby, but as a born again Christian.
Now with this said, there is not enough time for me to speak exhaustively about all the theology as it relates to baptism in one sermon. Therefore, I ask for your grace if he do not hear me saying something that you wish would be said. The hardest part of preaching is not coming up with 40 minutes of material; it is limiting it to only 40 minutes, which as you know I fail to do from time to time.
Our text for today is Romans 6:1-14. As always, let us read our text and pray that God’s Word would shine on our hearts are reveal to us His truth.
Having said this, if baptism is not necessary for justification before God, why did Jesus himself implement it, and not only implement it, but command it? If you recall, baptism is a part of the great commission, which are the last marching orders of Jesus.
What is Baptism?
To keep it simple, baptism is a symbol. What is a symbol? It is something that represents or stands for something else. A symbol is not the real thing, but it reminds you of the real thing.
When you think about it, the Bible is full of symbols. The rainbow is a symbol of the covenant between God and man regarding not flooding the earth. Circumcision is a symbol of God’s covenant with ethnic Israel. The ark of the covenant was the symbol of God’s covenant presence with ethnic Israel. Communion is the symbol of the new covenant of the blood and body of Jesus.
Our God frequently speaks to us by using symbols, and this is how I want you to think about baptism. I want you to think about it as God speaking. It is his ceremony, and he wants his ceremony to tell you and tell the world something. This is why I have titled my message today Baptism, the Visible Word. For those who are taking our systematic theology class on Sunday mornings you will recognize that I borrowed that word from Dr. John Frame. But this is how I want us at Cornerstone to understand baptism, it is God's visible Word to the World and to us.
So with that said, what is God saying through baptism? What does this visible word proclaim? Simply put, it proclaims the inward reality of a believer’s union with Jesus Christ, and this union begins with your death.
Baptized into Death
Look at Romans 6:3-14 and see the times that death is mentioned.
What is the old self? Look again at verse 6. The best description of the old self is a slave to sin. Before my union with Christ, the best and most comprehensive way to describe who I was, was to say that Phil Parsons was a slave to sin. Sin had complete and utter authority in my life. I was chained to it. Nothing I did, glorified God. Listen to Ephesians 2:1-2 which is a great description of the old self.
Raised to Life
The second part that God is proclaiming through Baptism is the newness of life.
And all of this happens at the moment of conversion. At that moment that you hear the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and you place your entire life in the hands of the son of God there is a cataclysmic change in your life. One minute you are dead, and the next minute you are alive. The old self is gone and a new life has begun, and this is what baptism is a symbol of. This is what baptism is pointing to. Baptism is an outward symbol of an inward reality of a born again, believer of Jesus Christ.
However, the questions remains, why did Jesus implement a ceremony that points to this internal reality. Why does he command that each and everyone who becomes a disciple to find water, be dunked under and be lifted out? As I said earlier, baptism is a symbol of our justification but is for the purpose of sanctification.
Having said that these people were not perfect. They were redeemed yes, but they still struggled with their flesh, there sin. These people were justified before the Lord, but they were not perfect. They struggled with living a holy life to the Lord. God had begun a good work in them, but He had not completed it. This struggle with sin is true for every Christians who has accepted Christ. We are eternally saved, but we are not instantly perfect. Listen to what Jesus prays for the night of his arrest I regards to his disciples.
It is the visible Word of baptism that Paul is telling those is Rome to remember as they struggle with their sin. He wants them to look back and remember who they are. He wants them to remember that they are no longer of the World. They are no longer slaves to sin. Paul wants them to consider themselves dead. They must instead live their life as if sin has no dominion over us. They must walk in newness of life and present ourselves to the Lord, not to Satan.
And this is why Jesus commands that all disciples to immediately participate in this act of baptism, not because Jesus is all about rituals, but because he is all about sanctification. For some reason, we in our weakness tend to forget who we are in Jesus. We, at times, struggle to act in a way that matches our identity in Christ. Baptism helps us to remember. When we accept Jesus into our hearts it happens on the inside. Baptism brings that internal reality to the outside so that you can look back and understand that the old self is dead, so leave him dead.
And this is why all believers should participate in a believers baptism, not just an infant baptism. You are undermining the gift of God's visible word. Infant baptism carries no message for you. It is not a symbol of your conversion, it is a symbol of your parents religion. If you have given your life to Christ, allow that visible Word of God to be proclaimed so that when Satan comes knocking on your door you can look back and remember who you are in Christ.
Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on August 17, 2014
Today marks our third and final week on the topic of money. My goal from this short sermon series was to put money in its proper place and God in His. As I stated last week, I believe that we in America have reversed their respective roles. We have used God to serve our love for money instead of using money to serve our love for God. If the self-proclaimed Christians would recognize that money is a gift from God to be used for the glory God, we would start to move some major mountains in this fallen world; even us, tiny little Cornerstone. If you don’t believe me, listen to this text regarding the poor and afflicted Churches in Macedonia.
In light of this goal, today we are going to explore one of the major obstacles that prevents us from giving, fear. Because of the uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring we cling to every last cent that we have. However, today I am not going to limit myself to talking about anxiety as it relates to money only, but anxiety in general. So lets is read our text, pray and turn our eyes to God's Word.
This week there has been a flurry of tweets, posts, blogs and articles written about the death of Robin Williams, with everyone grasping for straws seeking answers and solutions. Many of these people never once thought about what God says about the topic. I don’t believe it is an accident that today we here at Cornerstone arrive at a text that provides the solution. However, before we get there, I want to us to understand something about Jesus.
In verse 34 Jesus says, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” This understanding of trouble is not a distant understanding. Jesus is acutely aware of the difficulties of life. He knows what it is like to be hungry. He knows what it is like to have enemies. He knows what it is like to have burdens. Why? Because we have a God who came down from his throne and dwelt among us. Listen to Hebrews 4:15-16.
First let us talk about God's will as it relates to anxiety. In our text we see Jesus say three times “do not be anxious”, verse 25, 31, and 34. This word anxious in Greek is merimnaō. It means to be troubled, worried, concerned, to overly dwell upon something. I think we can all agree that all of us have been troubled, worried, or overly concerned about something in our lives. Perhaps as I speak right now you are only half listening because something is weighing heavily on your mind. Perhaps you didn’t sleep very well last night because you were worried about your finances, work, kids, your marriage, school, politics, the economy, insurance, your health, the middle east, etc. The list can go on and on. The bottom line is that we are worriers, and therefore this scripture is extremely relevant to our lives.
In our text Jesus makes it abundantly clear that God’s will for your life is for you not to worry. His desire for you is that you not be anxious about any of those things I just listed. He does not want you to lose sleep over money problems, food problems, and relationship problems. God wants you be free from the slavery of anxiety.
I think this understanding is extremely important for Christians. So many times, Satan convinces us that God doesn’t care about our day to day activities, baloney. God cares. He cares about the nervousness we feel as we drive down the interstate. He cares about the cold sweat we experience when we are interviewing for a job. He cares about the sickness in our gut when we are waiting for the phone call from the doctor. God cares. We need to know and be reminded that the Sovereign God of the Universe is 100% for you. He wants his children to be cured of this condition of anxiety, and this text is proof. So first of all we need to hear loud and clear that God’s will for your life is that you an anxiety free.
Let us now turn to the problem. Why do we feel anxious? Why do we work ourselves up into a frenzy, or become so overwhelmed about things that we can barely get out of bed? The answer is in our text.
No the source of our anxiety is not a world problem, it is a heart problem. We worry because we have “little faith.” Our lack of faith produces the anxiety, the worry, the concern. Our problem is a trust issue. Now when we hear faith, we should never let that word be an end in itself. For faith must have an object. Faith in what? Jesus is referring to faith in God. Now this is important, because many people when they say have faith, they are not saying have faith in God, they are instead saying have faith that everything will work out. This is the health and wealth movement of Joel Olsteen. God never promises a change to your troubles. But he does talk about a changed heart. They are talking about outcomes, not God.
We need to be clear hear, that Jesus is not talking about outcomes, he is talking about God. Our problem is that we do not have faith in the Sovereign God of the Universe. Turn with me to Mark 4:35-41.
This truth is important for us to know. Jesus, who is the Author of Life, has diagnosed our illness as a lack of faith in God. Now that we know the problem, we can figure out the solution. Now we can move forward. Therefore the next time you find yourself being anxious we can pinpoint that the cause is not the situation, but our little faith in God.
So if our little faith is the problem, what is the solution? This is what I love about the Bible, Jesus gives us practical advice that can easily implement in our life. Today we will very quickly touch on five ways to overcome anxiety. The first one is common sense, but important.
1. Worrying doesn't help.
Verse 27, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” No matter how long you stay up at night and trouble your spirit about your finances, it don't add a second to your earthly existence. God tells us that our days our numbered, and worrying doesn't change that number. You will die when you die. This is so important, we spend so much time worrying as if our worrying has power. It doesn't, so stop. Worrying is one of the most worthless things you can do.
2. God values you.
Verse 26, “Are you not of more value than they?” What an amazing verse. The God of the Universe who needs nothing, finds value in you. You are not some random collection of accidental cells floating through space. You are not a nobody, you are a somebody. God looks down from His Almighty throne and he cares for you. In fact he cares so much for you He sent his Son to die for you. Listen to this verse.
3. Life is more than food and clothing.
Verse 24, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Why did God create you? It is not to look good. It is not to have a fridge full of processed food. God created you to glorify him. This is why we wake up in the morning. This is why we have jobs. This is why we have families. Everything we do is to glorify you. When we have this mindset, lacking things that are secondary to life start to take on a proper place. No longer do we lose sleep over our budget, for life is not about budgets, it is about God's glory.
4. God knows you and knows your need.
Verse 32, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
All of us have made God too small and too distant. We fail to recognize that God is sovereign over all creation. This is a God who is so awesome, that he feeds the birds, and clothes the lilies. He is in complete control over everything. Nothing happens in this life without him doing it. This is what Jesus is proclaiming. This is what Jesus was rebuking the disciples about in the boat. They didn't get that the storm is not outside God's plan, God orchestrated it.
This is also true for your life. God is intimately aware and in control of everything in your life, whether large or small. He is present in your life, and nothing happens to you without his permission. This means that if you lose your job tomorrow, this is not a surprise to God. This means if you get cancer tomorrow, there is a God ordained reason for it.
The truth of God's utter and all powerful control holds so much comfort in times of trouble. When we accept that God is in utter control of all things, we can stop worrying and start worshiping. We can turn to Him and say, I don't get it, but I trust you. And instead of tossing and turning when the storms are raging, we can sleep, just like Jesus did in the back of the boat.
All of these solutions, serve one purpose, to increase our faith in God. We must battle our anxiety with faith in God. The bottom line is that we need to understand that we are not God, but there is a God who holds the Universe in His hands and he knows you and loves you.
America has a $16 Trillion economy. This is hard to wrap our heads around. According to Forbes.com the bottom 5% of Americans are richer than 68% of the world. Also according to Forbes the bottom 10% of Americans are socioeconomically better off than the top 10% of every other nation the planet expect 10. This includes better than Russia, Portugal, Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico.
Just to make this a little more personable, there is a website called globalrichlist.com that allows you to put in your income and it approximates where you fall on the global scale. If you make more than $33,000 a year, based on income, you are a part of the top 1% richest people on the planet. As an elected official, there are only 6 million people on the planet that make more than I do a year. As it relates to income, I make more money than 99.9% of the World. According to this site it would take a person in Indonesia 113 years to make what I make in one year. My monthly income would pay the salary of 366 doctors in Kyrgyzstan.
With this said, should we feel guilty about this? Does the fact that God has chosen to gives us earthly treasures mean that we are cursed? Maybe. The reason I say this is because of the frequent warnings we see in the Bible in regards to wealth. As I said, two weeks ago, Jesus speaks of money more than heaven and hell combined. Listen to some of these warnings.
I believe this is one of the main reason’s God created the nation of Israel, to give us a living picture of what it means to have a God, what it looks like to have a relationship with a God. So with that in mind, turn in your Bibles to Exodus 20:1-6.
With that in mind, what does God say next? He says do not make god’s for yourself? Yĕhovah 'Elohiym says don’t look at the world and try to fashion together the dust and replace Me with My creation. Don’t make gods. Now right now we may be saying, hold on, what is God talking about. I can barely make supper, let alone make a god. What does God mean when he says don’t make for yourself a God? Look at verse 5, “You shall not bow down to them or serve them.”
God is telling us that a god for us is something we bow down to, worship, praise, exult, honor, submit to. To make a god means to have something in your life that you serve, obey, cater, devote ourselves to, or work for. If you have something in your life that you allow to have control or authority over your life, than you, my friend, have made yourself a god. Whether intentionally or not, you have replaced God with creation. Therefore a god is anything that has control and authority over your life. With this in mind, let us turn back to Matthew 6, and look at verse 24.
Perhaps you don’t agree. Perhaps you think that this only applies to the Donald Trumps of this world, but not to you. Let me ask you some questions: have you purchased a lottery ticket? Have you dreamed about what you would do if you won? What is the first question you have when looking for a job, salary? What do you and your spouse fight about? What causes anxiety in your life? How much money goes into your 401k verses going to God? What is keeping you from going on a mission trip? What would make you more sad, missing out on a job promotion, or missing out a sharing the Gospel? Is your vote dependent on the economy? To use a business term, Cash is King.
If you still don’t think you struggle with this, let me ask what if you lost your retirement money? What if the 100,000 you have stored away just vanished? Or what if you lost your job, and you go from making 35,000 year to nothing? Does money’s presence in your life hold your emotions hostage? Is the tone of your home dictated by the bills you receive that day? If so, I think you have made money your God.
Last question, if I said you have one wish, what would it be? Honestly, would you ask for riches in the world or would you ask for the riches of God’s Grace?
I hate to say this, but many of us have stood in the shoes of Judas, exchanging Jesus Christ for a 30 pieces of silver. We would rather have the presence of money, over the presence of the Lord.
We are, at a point, that we need to face the facts. We need to pick who will be our God. Will it be money? Or will it be God? Will the greatest treasure in your heart be your stuff or Jesus Christ. You can’t choose both. You have to pick. There is no fence sitting when it comes to following Jesus. We need to be done with this cheap grace stuff. When Jesus calls us to himself, he bids you come and die.
Turn with me to Luke 14:1-24.
Let us sing the song:
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
Let chose to make Christ our vision. Let us set our eyes, not upon treasure of this world where moth and rust destroy, but on the eternal treasure of the High King of Heaven.
If we do this. If we do not make money our god, but instead let the Self-Existing Creator be our God. If we place our eyes upon Jesus Christ as our greatest treasure, Jesus promises to us a fullness that our hearts desperately long for.
Think of your eyes as a window to your soul. No so much seeing in, but letting in. The bigger the window, the more light. The cleaner the window, the more light. Listen to what Jesus says in Revelation 3:17-19. We have looked at this text before, but it is too good to pass up.
So how? How do we do this? How do we set our eyes upon Jesus? Do we just sing a song and assume that it happens? No. We see Jesus when we read this Book. This book is about Jesus Christ. Every day, instead of counting our money we should be counting our blessings that flow to us through Calvary.
I realize that we have looked at a lot of Scripture today, but God’s Word says it so much better than my word. Listen to what Paul prays for the Church in Ephesus,
This week at Vacation Bible School the kids learned about the Word of God, the Bible. Why did we pick this topic? Why not pick a fun story from the Old Testament. Why talk about some dusty old book that no in America seems to be reading anymore.
We picked it because their destiny lies in what they think about this book and the truth that it contains. Where these kids spend eternity, whether it be Heaven or Hell, rises and falls upon their belief in the Words found in these pages. This is not only true for our kids, but it is true for all of us. This book, God's Word to us, is the revelation of our salvation. This book has the answers to your deepest questions and your deepest need. This book is the primary key in unlocking the joy your so desperately long for.
The verse that we used to start our week at Vacation Bible School is Pslam 119:105, I will use to start today.
Think about this. If this is really God's Word this means that when you read the Bible you are standing before the throne of your Creator soaking in his presence and wisdom. This means that the words on these pages are not like any other words you have ever come in contact with before. For these words are from a being who is Holy, all powerful, all knowing, and unchanging. If this book is the Word of God, then this book has power. For it was God's Word that created the heavens and the Earth. God said, let there be light, and their was light. It was God's words that brought something from nothing.
I am guessing that if you truly believed this book is the breath of God, you would read it more than you eat food. It would be your daily bread. It would be the source of your life. It would be what you used to nourish your soul when it is famished and longing for satisfaction. If you believe this book was God's Word you would say things like Jesus did in Matthew 4:4.
Our problem is that we don't believe that this book is the breath of God, at least not as much as we should. We see it as just another book on the shelf. We see it as an archaic, historical book that our grandparents built their life upon but it holds little relevance to us in this age. We see this book as something for pastors and priests, but holds no value for the common man. No, Satan has done an excellent job of keeping the lamp of God's Word turned off in our homes.
Satan's desire is to keep you as far away from this book as possible, for He hates the Word of God. Why? Because he knows it power. In Ephesians 6:17 we are told that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The Bilbe is our weapon by which we do battle against the schemes of the devil. Satan would rather you be unarmed when he shows up at your house tonight to tempt you.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, not only does it say that all scripture is breathed out by God, but it also says:
Therefore, since the beginning of creation, Satan has declared war on the Word of God. The very first attack was not on Adam and Eve, but on the Word of God. The first words out of Satan’s mouth in the beginning of human history was, “Did God actually say…” And Satan has not changed his strategy. Why? Because it worked then, and it works now. Satan is working overtime attempting to keep you from knowing the truth that is in God’s Word.
In Mark Chapter 4 Jesus tells a parable about four soils and the seed that is sowed on the four soils. The seed in the parable we are told is the Word of God and the four soils are: 1) the path, 2) the rocky ground, 3) the thorns, and 4) the good soil. Listen to what he says about the seeds that are sown on the path.
One of the main ways he has done this is to whisper the lie into the ear of this nation that the Bible was written by men independent of God. That it is not God's Word but man's word. To those who believe the Bible is man's word, I ask, have you ever read it? Have you ever opened up the pages and seen what this book says? Have you ever considered the reality of this book and the miracle that it is that I hold it in my hand today?
To all of the Bible doubters I say with confidence and with full assurance that this is God's Word. It was written by men and inspired by God. Why do I say this? Because the proof is in the pudding. The more I read these pages the more I smell the breath of my Creator. The evidence is overwhelming.
God is all powerful and all knowing and all present and He inspired men to be messengers His truth. The Bible itself is a collection of 66 separate books, written by 40 different men, over a period of 1600 years. God used shepherds, Kings, prophets, poets, doctors, fishermen, Pharisees, and tax collectors to bring His Word to mankind. This alone is amazing. That I hold a book that has parts that were written 3600 years ago is unprecedented.
Despite the age, variety of styles and numerous authors there is a supernatural consistency that runs throughout each and every book that points to one singular truth, our deep and desperate need for Jesus Christ. The consistency of this book is incomparable. It is 66 books, but one Story. It is a variety of men, but one Spirit inspiring them all.
I am always amazed that people struggle with this. Why do people fabricate such a small God? If God can stretch out the heavens with his fingers, then those same fingers can write a book. Not only that but this book testifies that the author is God.
The next way Satan attempts to keep us from this book is to tell us that it is not relevant to our lives. That there is nothing in this book that matters. It is just a collection of boring stories. This could not be farther from the truth, for as I said earlier this morning, your destiny rises and falls upon the pages of this book. Just as Peter says in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,”
In this book God gives gives us the diagnosis of our soul, and the prognosis is not good. In this book God tells us that our hearts are desperately sick. In this book God reveals to us that we are sinners. In this book God warns us of his wrath. In this book God informs us that we are blind, deaf, lost, broken and spiritually dead. In this book that God tells us we are destined to face judgment before a Holy God with nothing to offer him but our filthy rags of unrighteous works. This book is a window into the wickedness of our soul, showing us our depravity and the hopelessness of our state. This book is like scalpel opening up our hearts and showing to us that our condition is fatal.
Having said that, also in this book that we are introduced to the Great Physician who can heal our sickness. In this book we are told of the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the World. In this book God paints a picture of the suffering King who was hung on a cross to purchase a people for His own possession. In this book God bears witness to his obedient Son who loved Him and was perfectly righteous. In in this book the Glory of God is displayed in the face of Jesus. It is in this book we are introduced to the Hero to our Story, Jesus Christ.
Therefore this book, the Bible, God’s Word, holds within its pages the diagnosis of our condition and the cure to our disease. It truly is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. For it points us to Jesus Christ who is the way, truth and the life, and that no one gets to the Father but through him. And off course, Satan does not want you to know any of this. He wants us to be oblivious to the disease we call sin. Listen to what 2 Corinthians 4:4 says about Satan.
At Cornerstone we deeply recognize the power of God's Word. Our desire is for people to be educated, holy, equipped, competent, and able to do the work of God. Our desire is to hand each person the sword of God's Word so that they can do battle against Satan. Our desire is for people to be saved. Our desire is to help people find the door into Heaven, to find the door to joy, and they way we do this is the way God told us to do it, to feed upon every word that comes from His mouth.
So in closing, if you don't have a Bible, we would love for you to take one. If you want someone to read it with you, ask, and we would love to. If you want to study this book, we have several Bible studies that meet throughout the week. But above all, open it up and read it. Let the light of God shine into your life.