Summary: The hope of salvation is based on the assurance that God really loves us
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“From Miserable to Marvelous”
“The hope of salvation is based on the assurance that God really loves us.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
(Start with title and Text)
2 part question – how many of you can relate to one of the hands? Come on, Paul describes himself as the worst of sinners – how many of you can relate to one of the hands? How many of you are thankful for Jesus and his forgiveness? I know I am. Our hope of salvation is based on the assurance that God really loves us. (Repeat) If God didn’t love us – he would not have sent Jesus, and we would still be dead in our sins. God is very clear about his love for you, and he wants you to know him and his love.
It is God’s desire for us, this morning, to identify attitudes, actions and the excuses we have – that prevent us from gaining a relationship with him, and moving to maturity. Church, God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you where you are. It is God’s desire for us this morning to remove things in our lives. To get rid of what I call the miserable – relationships that are not holy, friendships that drag you down, situations that keep you busy, unforgiveness that you hang on to, justifications that you wear like a badge of honor for certain attitudes or apathy that you have. It is God’s desire for us, this morning, to not only identify and remove but to move ourselves towards the marvelous. From Misery to the Marvelous – God does not want you to live a miserable life – God does not want the emptiness and loneliness that is the result of your sin. It is in the marvelous that we have eternal life, salvation, and heaven – the Bible says that he will wipe every tear, from our eyes. The same verse from Revelation says that the Lamb will be our shepherd, and he will lead us to springs of living water. Church, that will be a marvelous time.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to Roman 5:6-8 (read) (Advance)
I see two things this morning – actually three but the middle one is the same. It is God’s purpose this morning that we in our individual lives and together as the church turn ourselves towards his will and his purpose.
I. Wrath to Grace
The Bible paints a picture:
a. Of God’s wrath
i. Old Testament –
1. Prideful people (clear disobedience) would bring about God’s wrath – his anger
2. Normally it included destruction – death or getting kicked out of lands – (Advance)
Isaiah 9:19 (NIV) By the wrath of the LORD Almighty the land will be scorched and the people will be fuel for the fire; no one will spare his brother.
Nahum 1:6 (NIV) Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
God’s wrath is not where anyone wanted to be. Yet, God’s people found themselves at the center of God’s wrath on several occasions, throughout the Old Testament.. Starting with the garden of Eden – he kicked Adam and Eve out – The flood is another example – God provided Noah the means and ability to build a ship for salvation, but destroyed mankind in the process – Joshua’s army – Joshua was a Godly leader, but they had sin in the camp – Achan – he took the booty (I love that word…booty) Joshua 7:1a – but the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things, later in Joshua 7, Joshua pleads with God, and God’s response – vs. (Advance) 12c I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. Basically, God telling the people – you want to end up at destruction through sin – I’ll get you there faster and destroy you myself.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever – Right? How does the pouring out like fire and smashing rocks line up with the 6 pound baby Jesus in Matthew, Mark and Luke?
b. New Testament’s view of Wrath
Is actually not much different than the Old Testament. Hear me clearly – God created us, and he loves us – and he hates what separates us from him. Regardless if it’s murder, drunkenness, sexual sin, lying or apathy towards the church, and his family. He HATES what separates us from him. Church – He doesn’t hate you – he hates the sin in your life. Follow me on this --