Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Most Encouraging Sermon I Heard Last Year

Ray Ortlund, Jr. preached at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville this past Sunday. We were visiting my family in the area, so we were able to attend. Ray preached from Romans 8:31-39. It had to be the most encouraging sermon I heard in 2018. I encourage you to give it a listen.

Here are a few soundbites:
God is not tired of you. He is not wishing he hadn't gotten involved. When he sees you coming, he is not looking out his peripheral vision for an exit strategy. He loves high maintenance sinners.
He promises to love out of you everything resistant to his love, and love into you everything receptive of his love.
He himself, at the cross, already removed every reason why he shouldn't love you.
If God gave us his most sacred gift at the cross, his Son (Romans 8:32), is he going to nickle and dime us now? 

And a couple of encouraging quotes he used:

Martin Luther,
When the devil accuses us and says, ‘You are a sinner and therefore damned,’ we should answer, ‘Because you say I am a sinner, I will be righteous and saved.’ ‘No,’ says the devil, ‘you will be damned.’ And I reply, ‘No, for I fly to Christ, who gave himself for my sins. Satan, you will not prevail against me when you try to terrify me by setting forth the greatness of my sins and try to bring me into heaviness, distrust, despair, hatred, contempt and blasphemy against God. On the contrary, when you say I am a sinner, you give me armor and weapons against yourself, so that with your own sword I may cut your throat and tread you under my feet, for Christ died for sinners. . . . As often as you object that I am a sinner, so often you remind me of the benefit of Christ my Redeemer, on whose shoulders, and not on mine, lie all my sins. So when you say I am a sinner, you do not terrify me but comfort me immeasurably.'
John Owen,
A man may love another as his own soul, yet perhaps that love of his cannot help him. He may thereby pity him in prison, but not relieve him; bemoan him in misery, but not help him; suffer with him in trouble, but not ease him. We cannot love grace into a child, nor mercy into a friend; we cannot love them into heaven, though it may be the greatest desire of our soul. … But now the love of Christ, being the love of God, is effectual and fruitful in producing all the good things which he wills unto his beloved. He loves life, grace, and holiness into us; he loves us also into covenant, loves us into heaven.