We’re a few weeks into 2022, and this is our first “Songs for Sunday” of the year!
I’ve been thinking a lot about grace this week, and here’s the quote that sparked a lot of that thinking:
We talk a lot about grace at Christ Community. We should! But, sometimes, I think we need a reminder of why, which is part of why I’ve been thinking about grace – the part of the quote above that says, “rescue you from you“.
I need to be rescued from my sin. You need rescue from yours. It is easy sometimes to take the problem of sin and see it as an us v. them situation – to look at it as the sin of the world v. God’s people. That kind of thinking is dangerous and, quite honestly, foolish (I’m speaking from experience here). How is it that we are so easily forgetful of how dangerous our sin is? Well, the answer is grace.
If you belong to Christ, you have experienced grace upon grace. Time and again, Christ has forgiven and covered your sin. Grace. So, we tend to forget the sins of the past (and mostly ignore the sins of the present). That’s why the Bible gives us such beautiful examples as 1 Peter 2:9-10:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
We need to be reminded of Whose we are despite who we were.
As the Church, we celebrate being God’s people, but we were formerly God’s enemies because of our sin (Romans 5:9-10).
As the Church, we celebrate receiving mercy from the God we know to be “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6), but we sometimes forget that we were formerly facing the “wages of [our] sin” – death (Romans 6:23).
As the Church, we celebrate being in “His marvelous light”, but we forget that He called us “out of darkness”. And the darkness is where we wanted to be. We wanted to commit the sin we committed. We still do.
John, pastor of CCC, has said several times over the past few weeks that no one has died due to lack of sin. But everyone who does not put their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior faces death eternally. That’s bad news. It’s the worst news – unless you’ve experienced the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
So, we must remember why we needed grace. We must remember that His grace saved us from ourselves. And rejoice that He is restoring us to who He created us to be in Him. Then, and only then, will we become a “people for His own possession”. And we will “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light”.
That’s good news! And that’s what we are singing about tomorrow: the grace of Jesus Christ that is greater than our sin – but not the gift of grace itself. We are going to make much of the One who brings the grace – “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession” (Titus 2:12-14)!
Here are our Scriptures & songs:
- Titus 2:11-14 —
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.
- Grace Wins —
Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Romans 3:23, Romans 5:6-8, Romans 5:16-18, Romans 8:1, 1 Timothy 1:13-14, Ephesians 1:6-7, 2 Corinthians 9:8, John 1:16, Ephesians 2:7, Ezekiel 36:26, 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, Luke 15:11-32, John 4, Matthew 9:27-31, John 9, Luke 16:19-31
- Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) —
Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Romans 3:21-24, Romans 5:1-2, Romans 8:1-4, Jeremiah 17:9, Luke 15, John 9:25-29, Psalm 112:1, Psalm 31:5, Ephesians 2:4, Lamentations 3:22-23, 1 John 4:18, Matthew 13:44-46, John 8:31-36, Psalm 23:6, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 119:49, Psalm 119:81, Psalm 119:114, 2 Samuel 22:3, Lamentations 3:24, 2 Peter 3:10, Joel 2:31, Revelation 21:3
- Lamentations 3:16-24 —
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD.”
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in Him.”
- Jesus Messiah —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 2:8, Psalm 136:1, Acts 17:3, Luke 2:11, Philippians 2:9, Job 19:25, Isaiah 44:24, Matthew 1:23, Matthew 28:20, Isaiah 61:1, 1 Timothy 2:6, Philippians 2:10, Luke 22:19-20, Romans 5:5, Matthew 27:51, John 3:16, Romans 5:3-4, 1 Peter 1:3, Jude 25, John 8:12, Isaiah 59:1-2
- In Christ Alone —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: John 14:6, Ephesians 5:8, Psalm 28:7-8, Psalm 40:3, Ephesians 2:19-22, Matthew 7:24-27, Romans 5:1-8, Joshua 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:7, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, 1 Corinthians 15:28, Philippians 2:16, John 19:38-42, John 8:12, John 3:19-20, Acts 3:15, Acts 4:33, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Romans 6:15-23, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, Galatians 3:13, Revelation 21:3, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Romans 8:1-2, Romans 1:16, Deuteronomy 4:39, Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 43:13, Daniel 4:35, Ephesians 1:11, Matthew 16:17-19, Romans 8:35-39, John 10:28-30, Psalm 115:18, Revelation 5:9-13, Luke 9:23-26, Philippians 2:5-11
- (invitation) Lord, I Need You —
Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: 1 John 1:9, Matthew 11:29, John 14:27, Colossians 1:17, Proverbs 3:5-6, Hebrews 4:16, 1 John 2:1, Romans 1:17, Romans 5:20-21, 2 Timothy 2:1, 2 Corinthians 3:17, Romans 8:9-10, Galatians 2:20, Psalm 33:3, Matthew 6:13, James 4:7, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 Peter 1:3-5
- (offertory) Battle Belongs —
Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Romans 8:37, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Psalm 23:4, 1 John 4:18, Joshua 1:9, Psalm 27:1, 2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 6:18, Hebrews 12:2, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Corinthians 2:14, 1 John 5:4-5, Revelation 12:10-11, Romans 8:31, Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:17, Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 61:3, Galatians 2:19-20, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Corinthians 15:14-17, Ruth 2:12, 2 Samuel 22:3-4, Psalm 3:3, Nahum 1:7, Psalm 107:10-16, Luke 1:79, Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4
If you have not been gathering, consider gathering with your church family again. Various variants are still issues in this prolonged pandemic, but prayerfully consider gathering in the 10:00 Bible study where there is plenty of room for social distancing and one could slip out before the worship crowd comes in for the 11:00 service.