It is with holy fear, reverence, and awe, that I dare to preach the gospel of the Lamb of God on this New Year’s Day. Jesus laid down his life for all his people and was slain on the cross to take away the sins of the world. (Text: John 19:16-36)

This essay by J.I. Packer encourages and emboldens me as I prepare my heart and life. In it he says,

“[T]here is really only one point to be made in the field of soteriology: the point that God saves sinners. God—the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son and Spirit; three Persons working together in sovereign wisdom, power and love to achieve the salvation of a chosen people, the Father electing, the Son fulfilling the Father’s will by redeeming, the Spirit executing the purpose of Father and Son by renewing. Saves—does everything, first to last, that is involved in bringing man from death in sin to life in glory: plans, achieves and communicates redemption, calls and keeps, justifies, sanctifies, glorifies. Sinners—men as God finds them, guilty, vile, helpless, powerless, unable to lift a finger to do God’s will or better their spiritual lot. God saves sinners—and the force of this confession may not be weakened by disrupting the unity of the work of the Trinity, or by dividing the achievement of salvation between God and man and making the decisive part man’s own, or by soft-pedaling the sinner’s inability so as to allow him to share the praise of his salvation with his Saviour.” 

(I dare you to read the whole thing here — especially you pastors and ministers.)

Collect. Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen (Common Prayer, The Holy Name, January 1)

Grace with you,

Pastor Marq