Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
We cannot survive in this world without the presence of God. Yet, the holiness of God creates a chasm between God and man. The Bible vividly depicts this chasm when Uzzah is slain after merely touching the ark of the covenant. In this sermon, Tim Keller shows how Jesus Christ has satisfied the holiness of God in our place, and how through Him we can finally enjoy the presence of God.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Psalm 27:4; 1 Samuel 3; Hebrews 9:3,7, 11-13, Hebrews 10:9-10.
The story of Noah and the flood is about second chances and new beginnings; God is ready to give us another chance. God calls us into three great relationships: with the earth, with all the people on earth, and with the Lord of the earth. God never calls anyone into a covenant relationship unless it is a saving relationship.
A common misconception about religion is that it is seeking approval and acceptance from God through our behavior, but this approach is self-centered and self-righteous, leading only to a rejection of God and Christian community. Real acceptance from God only comes from accepting God's grace and Christ's sacrifice to atone for our sins.
The Easter story tells us of a new beginning after disaster - that after death there is life. If you spiritualize the resurrection of Jesus, you will have comfort but not the truth. The message of Easter is that right now, Jesus has flesh and bones. This changes the way you think, the way you live, and the way you feel.
The cross solves many of our deepest human dilemmas. We wonder how there can be a God when there is so much injustice in the world, yet of all the world’s religions, only Christianity has a God who comes down and suffers injustice alongside us. We wonder how we can ever truly please a perfectly holy God, but on the cross, Jesus satisfies the holiness of God for us. The temple curtain is torn, and we are welcomed inside as God’s children.
In today's society, absolute truth is thought of to be the enemy of freedom. But truth is more important than you think, freedom is a lot more complex than you think, and Jesus is a lot more liberating than you think. Surrendering to God's absolute truth gives you a deeper, richer freedom in every area, without oppression.
The modern critique of religion comes from Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche. Freud claimed that religion is psychological self-justification, that we created God to assuage our guilt and fear. Marx claimed that religion is a sociological self-justification, that we created God to exclude those unlike us. Nietzsche said that religion is nothing but a power trip, an attempt to use God to accrue power over others. However, Jesus himself critiqued religion and turned it on its head.