Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
Adam and Eve sinned even before they ate the forbidden fruit. As soon as they asked themselves why they should obey God, they had sinned in their hearts. Sin is when we remove God as the ultimate authority and enthrone ourselves in his place. By elevating mankind above him, God’s good and ordered world lost its integrity and became broken. Yet, the story of Adam and Eve does not end with despair, but with hope. God, in the midst of his judgment, promises that a day will come when one of Eve’s children will utterly annihilate the power of sin.
Many people today believe that Jesus never claimed to be God. They think Jesus was merely a wise teacher whose followers later deified him. Yet, key passages, such as Philippians 2, demonstrate that from the very beginning of Christianity, Jesus was worshiped as God. In our lives, we can only see Jesus’ love for us once we realize that he is God. Jesus left the perfect love of the Trinity in order to serve us. He then sends His disciples out into the world, following in his footsteps, serving and sacrificially loving others.
We are irreducibly hope-based creatures. If we believe that this world is an accident and that when we die we rot, then that lack of hope will cast a shadow on way we live and see all of life. But if we believe the Christian Gospel, then no matter what happens in our lives, we possess a hope that will always strengthen us. Christians find their hope in the certainty of God’s love for them through Jesus Christ. Christians live in the hope of knowing that the entire physical creation will be renewed into a perfect world without pain and death.
The Bible teaches an extremely nuanced vision of the human spirit. We are physical beings whose spirits can be brought low by physical ailments. We are relational beings who need the love and support of friends. We are moral beings who can be crushed by the weight of our sin. We are existential beings who seek to find meaning in our lives. Lastly, we are faith-based being who will always put our hope in something. Unless we put our faith and hope in God, we will never satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
When the Bible speaks of the new heaven and the new earth, it is not speaking of an alternative to this world; it is speaking of the healing and restoration of this world. This gives Christians a reason to participate in restoring this fallen world. Furthermore, because Christians know that there is a perfect world coming, they don’t put all their hope in the current world. Christians can sacrificially serve others because they value the things of the coming world more than the things of this world.
Genesis tells the why of creation, not the how. It’s a poem, a song about a historical event. The Christian doctrine of creation is that this world is good and the purpose of nature is to be a community. We can take joy in cultivating and enjoying the physical world.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Exodus 14, 15; Judges 4, 5; Revelation 21:2; Isaiah 40:14; John 1:1-3; Psalm 19:1-4.