Peace with God (Cornerstone)
Jan 29, 2017 - Rev Paul Rasmussen
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- What do you imagine when you hear the word “sin?” How does that jive with what you heard Paul discuss in this sermon?
- What tools do you typically turn to tackle your (little “s”) sin? How do those tools work for you?
- Think of a time when you experienced peace with God. What did it feel like? How did it translate into the other areas of your life (i.e. work, relationships, etc.)
- Are you at peace with God today? What do you think about that?
You can’t make guacamole without avocados. You can’t make marinara sauce without tomatoes. There are just some ingredients that are essential to making a particular recipe work.
In the final week of this series, Paul uncovers the essential ingredient for the Good Life. Without it, you can have something – but it won’t be the Good Life. The missing ingredient?
Peace with God.
To make peace with God implies that it doesn’t currently exist; that God and humanity are not, in fact, at peace with one another. And while that seems like a bold claim to make, it’s actually not that hard to substantiate. You can read the news or look at what sells in Hollywood, but my hunch is you don’t have to look much farther than your own front door to see how our hunger for power or pleasure puts us at odds with God’s will for our lives.
In this sermon, you’ll hear Paul explain what sin is and why it’s a problem. His explanation is eye-opening, yet gentle. Instead of provoking a defensive, “Not me!” you’ll wonder, “Well what do I do about it?”
He offers two suggestions:
Make peace with God.
Remain at peace with God.
You make peace with God when you come to terms with Jesus Christ, when you look his square in the face – and in a move full of mystery and power, you ask him to be Lord of your life. Jesus has made peace with God on your behalf – you can’t work your way into peace with God, but you can take Jesus up on his offer of Grace at the Cross.
Have you had this experience?
Some folks have made peace with God through Jesus, but they slip in and out of peace. So how do we remain at peace with God?
By pursuing a relationship with him. By following his teaching. It’s the “O” word – obedience. It’s through obedience to Christ that we step into our full purpose. It’s through obedience to Christ we learn to have peace with ourselves and peace with others. It’s through obedience to Christ that we finally step into the Good Life.
Is this you? Are you at peace with God?
That’s our hope for you, church. We want you to experience the Good Life that’s found in Christ. And if you’re struggling with any part of it – the premise, the idea, the pathway – reach out to us! Email us at . The Good Life is within reach. Don’t wait.
There’s a powerful story in Genesis about Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:22-32). During your First 15, spend some time in this passage.
Jacob is wrestling with the Lord for a blessing – for peace. This moment is a turning point in Jacob’s story (if you’re interested, read the chapters around it). He wrestled with God and was blessed for the fight because “he saw God face to face, and yet [his] life was spared.”
In Jesus, we see God face to face. And our lives have been spared because of his sacrifice. But too often, the church teaches that faith should be easy. The Bible doesn’t offer such trite advice: Jacob’s story validates that often, faith is a struggle – a war. And we are blessed by not backing down.
What do you do when your faith is a struggle? Do you search for easy answers or pious platitudes? Do you shy away from the deeper questions that gnaw at you? Or do you gird your loins and go to the mattresses with God? He is big enough to handle your doubts, your fears, your questions. Don’t back down. Don’t be afraid.