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Honiton Evangelical Congregational Church January

Dear Friends,  


A CHALLENGING VERSE FOR THE NEW YEAR



Our text for the New Year, which I will preach on Sunday 6th January is
1 Peter 2: 9:


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 marvellous light.



This should both inspire and challenge each one of us.



Inspiration I won’t anticipate the details of my sermon on Sunday 6th but it is pretty obvious that we are talking about a degree of privilege which is wonderful, indeed awe-inspiring. Old Testament terms and ideas are used but they are of course transformed by being united to Christ. This race and nation is now by definition multi-racial for from the beginning the church was sent into all the world to proclaim the gospel. Its priesthood is transformed because Christ’s once for all death is sufficient to deal with our sins. And our being his own possession is something purchased (1 Peter 1: 18), ‘not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.



Challenge We are to ‘proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.’ The wonder of the privilege of salvation is not just what we are saved into but what we are saved out of.



However our proclamation of his excellencies is firstly in terms of praising and blessing him. I have a quote from Derek Kidner which wonderfully contrasts what it means for God to bless us and us to bless him. We begin by thinking on God’s sufficiency but he by considering our inadequacy:


To bless God is to acknowledge gratefully what he is; but to bless man God must make of him what he is not , and give to him what he has not.


The second aspect of proclaiming his excellencies is the sharing of the gospel with others. John Piper has a book called: ‘God is the Gospel – Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself’. The point he is making is the Good News of the Gospel is not what we get from God but that we get to know God himself in a saving relationship of love. So proclaiming his gracious excellencies is precisely what we should be doing in talking to others and as a church in our services.



Yours in the Lord,



Mike

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