Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
How does a Christian live as a believer in an unbelieving world? God calls His people to be spiritually bi-cultural. God does not want His people to either assimilate or segregate. He wants them to become part of the city, to pray for the city and seek its peace and prosperity. Yet, God also insists that His people retain their distinctiveness and not compromise their allegiance to Him. Christians are called to love the city of man for the sake of the city of God.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Jeremiah 28-29; Daniel 3; Hebrews 11:10.
What did the fall do to humanity? By tracing the descendants of Cain and by studying the city they created, we see the violence and oppression that resulted from turning away from God—including the Bible’s first instance of polygamy. However, we also see that God has not given up on humanity. God has a vision for a different kind of city—a city built on worship and grace instead of self-aggrandizement and power.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Jeremiah 29:7; Jonah 4:11; Revelation 21:2; Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:12; Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 9:58; Mark 15:34.
Isaiah tells a tale of two cities: the strong city and the lofty city. The former is divine, available through salvation, and based on peace and joy. The latter is human, self-created, and based on pride and accomplishment. Christians are called to seek the peace and prosperity of the city, both in prayer and as servants of society, looking forward to the final and eternal heavenly city where the trials of this world will cease.
As Christians in the 21st century, we are called to obey God’s laws, because they are tools for understanding and expose the workings of our heart. Once we realize that we are saved by grace alone and accepted by God, we can respond to God in genuine obedience with transformed hearts. As members of a local Christian community, we become an alternate city within a city, a holy nation, representing Christ and serving the community in which we worship and live.
Jeremiah told the Jewish exiles in Babylon to seek the peace and prosperity of the city they found themselves in. Like New York, it was an enormous, intimidating city with diverse populations that espoused a variety of values and morals. However, God empowers Christians to relate and respond in love to all people, without either assimilating too much to the culture around us or separating ourselves through tribalism. As citizens of both the city of man and the city of God, we work on the principles of peace and grace for the betterment of all.