Sunday Preview: God With Us

Throughout the month of December, we have been exploring how God secured our hope. Last week, we delved into the roles of Abraham in the book of Romans and Hebrews, emphasizing the importance of trusting in God's faithfulness to His promises. On Sunday, we will focus on God's greatest desire: to be in a relationship with us. This desire was so profound that He sent His Son to live among us and become our atonement for sin.

What God Desired From the Beginning:
In the book of Genesis, we find a description of the world before sin, a world of perfection. God created everything and blessed it abundantly. However, there was one restriction, one test of obedience. Adam and Eve, driven by selfishness, destroyed the perfect relationship they had with God. This act of disobedience severed their connection with Him.

God Moves to Restore the Relationship:
Despite humanity's repeated failures to understand and trust Him, God tirelessly sought to restore the broken relationship. From Abraham and the Patriarchs to Moses in Egypt, through the wilderness and the conquest, and even during the period of the Judges and the establishment of the kingdom of Israel, God demonstrated patience and mercy. However, people often turned away from Him, relying on their own flawed understanding and rejecting the guidance of His prophets.

God Sent Jesus:
In Matthew 1:21, we learn that God sent His Son, Jesus, to save His people from their sins. The birth of Jesus is significant because it paves the way for our adoption as God's sons and daughters. Galatians 4:4-5 highlights that through Jesus' birth, we can receive the adoption as sons. This adoption grants us the privilege of having the Spirit of God's Son dwell within us, allowing us to cry out to God as our Father. Through Jesus, we are no longer slaves but heirs to God's eternal inheritance (Galatians 4:6-7).

The Impact of Jesus' Birth:
The birth of Jesus brings forth new birth and a living hope for all believers (1 Peter 1:3-4). It is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that we receive this imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance kept in heaven for us. 1 John 3:1 emphasizes the incredible love of the Father, as He calls us His children.

Only God could design a plan that allows for such an intimate connection between Himself and humanity. Through Jesus, God is not just with us but also within us, dwelling in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6). As a result of Jesus' work on the cross, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We are forgiven, redeemed, and sanctified, and the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives within us, promising us eternal life (Romans 8:11).
As you prepare for worship, you might think on these questions:
  1. How does the story of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden highlight the importance of obedience and trust in our relationship with God?
  2. Why do you think God continued to pursue a relationship with humanity despite their repeated failures and lack of understanding?
  3. Reflecting on Galatians 4:4-5, what does it mean for us to receive the adoption as sons through Jesus' birth? How does this impact our identity as believers?
  4. How does the birth of Jesus bring forth a living hope for us, as mentioned in 1 Peter 1:3-4? How does this hope differ from temporary hopes that we often chase in the world?
  5. Consider Romans 8:1 and the freedom from condemnation that Jesus' work on the cross provides. How does this truth shape our understanding of forgiveness, redemption, and sanctification?

Those Serving

Kody Pritt
Jim Grushon
Matt Barnhart
Boyd Hastings
John Key
James Johnson
Chris Terrian
Bob Zehring
Matt Ringle
Galatians 4.4-7
Matthew Allen
Dan Dekoski
Mark Ringle
Kathy Downey / Tina Jacobs
Paul Braden / Eric Renegar
Jason Schofield
Jeri Hastings
Mike Rosato

Matthew Allen

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