This morning’s sermon is on confession of sin and the true freedom and joy of forgiveness. One way to frame what we believe as Christians about the cross and sin and forgiveness is that Christians are and must be firm believers in miracles. Sometimes Reformed types have thrown around the word “cessation” to describe how certain miracles may have been peculiar to the first century Apostles. While all orthodox Christians believe that the New Testament canon was a unique first century event (there are no new Scriptures being written), the word “cessation” certainly carries with it a ton of extra freight that does not do justice to the New Testament apostles themselves or with the testimony of the vast majority of the history of the Church. But even more importantly than that is the central proclamation and insistence of the New Testament that in the life of the Church, through the powerful working of the Spirit in the lives of men and women and children, through the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen, and the love and fellowship and gifts of the Spirit in the saints, God changes lives. God turns bitter wives into thankful, joyful wives. God turns disobedient and rebellious children into obedient and respectful children. God turns angry and unfaithful husbands into loving, faithful husbands. God raises up the lowly, God gives grace to the failures, God raises the dead. And we gather here every Lord’s Day to testify that this is true. Jesus died so that this might be true, and He was raised to accomplish it. So here at the beginning of our gathering, put away your unbelief. Put away your doubts, your fear, whatever impossibility you are nurturing in your heart. The original impossibility was creation itself, but light burst out of the darkness. So put to death your unbelief.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 Jn. 1:5)