Summary: With a fresh look at a very familiar text Pastor Terry begins the series "Welcome Home" with a look at God’s immeasurable love for mankind.

“For God loved so much…” “that He gave…”

Romans 8:32

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Is this your concept of God? A gracious Creator who - - - gives?

What about all of the evil in the world?

What about all the hurting children? … The hungry people?

What about all the sickness, disease and death?

Couldn’t God stop all of this?

“Yes, and He will!”

John 10:10-11

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

What is Christianity all about?

I tried to come up with a list of what Christianity is not, but the truth is, we don’t need a definition of what it isn’t, the world around us is all too familiar with what Christianity isn’t!

Christianity does not Prevent life from happening, it Preserves us through it.

Romans 8:35, 38-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It’s up to you and me to show the world what Christianity is!

What it is

People, who just like the person you pass on the street, - - -whether they knew it or not, needed a Savior.

Creation was a divine set up. God created us with a void in our heart – the need for a relationship that only He can satisfy.

Then, just at the right moment,

 He sent the Law to expose the missing p-i-e-c-e.

 He sent the Prophets to point to the missing p-e-a-c-e.

 He sent His Son, the Prince of Peace.

Even now…through you and me… God sends us, as Ambassadors of His peace to a world that is craving some peace. … Because “God so loved the world…”

Christianity is stepping out of the comfort of these four walls and rescuing lost humanity.

Christianity is going fishing and tending sheep.

Jesus took Peter, a fisherman from Galilee and made him a sheep herder to the world.

What do you smell like?

Jesus was often condemned because of the crowd He hung with.

The Rose of Sharon came to smell like sheep!

And He did it because of Love.

• Love caused Him to withhold wrath toward Adam’s sin

• Love caused Him to seek one who would find Grace in His eyes and thus save mankind from a watery grave.

• Love caused Him to send a ram as Isaac’s substitute

• Love caused death to Passover the blood stained doors.

• Love causes Judgment to Passover our blood washed souls!

Because God so loved the world! He so loved you!!

God touched down on earth – in the form of flesh – to experience our struggles, to feel our pain ….

Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-11

4 Surely He has borne our grief And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

[The Message]

4 But the fact is, it was our pains he carried - our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. 5 But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him - our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. 6 We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. 10 Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it - life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.

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