Sermon Overview & Prayer: "The Doctrine of Jesus Christ"

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Hebrews 1:1-4 – PRAYER POINTS
"The Doctrine of Jesus Christ" - Mark Prater
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrew 1:1-4

Our Statement of Faith: “...articulates and confesses glorious realities that have shaped our lives and bind us together…the only authentic and enduring unity among the people of God is a unity founded upon the truth of God’s Word...The Statement of Faith also makes explicit what is foundational to our doctrinal commitments—the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the primary passion and the driving influence in our churches’ common life, worship, and outreach.” – Jeff Purswell

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the reminder that the central theme of your Word is the gospel of Jesus Christ! And thank you for strengthening our conviction that mankind can only know you through the gospel of Jesus Christ. May these realities deepen our hunger for your Word and deepen our desire to share your word. We thank you as well for the blessings we enjoy as a family of churches because, by your grace we dwell together, unified in your living and active Word.

Christology is Foundational to Knowing the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the exact imprint of the divine nature of God, and He is the Almighty God who “upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

It’s captured this way in our SoF, “In this union, two whole, perfect and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in the one person of the divine Son without confusion, mixture or change.”

It also explains how Jesus on the one hand can “uphold the universe by the word of his power,” and on the other hand hunger, thirst, be tempted, grow weary and die.

PRAYER: Lord God, the miracle of the incarnation, the condescension of the incarnation, the love displayed in the incarnation – will forever hold our hearts captive with wonder and worship. May your divine holiness compel reverence and awe and faith; and may your humble and abiding nearness compel comfort and peace and trust.

“The person and work of Christ belong together. If he was not who the apostles say he was, then he could not have done what they say he did. The incarnation is indispensable to the atonement.” – John Stott 

We believe that Jesus is fully God and fully man and therefore only He could accomplish what God the Father sent Him to do.

Christology is Foundational to Understand the Work of Jesus Christ.

“In his substitutionary death on behalf of his people, Christ offered himself by the Spirit as a perfect sacrifice, which satisfied the demands of God’s law by paying the full penalty for their sins. On the cross, Christ bore our sins, took our punishment, propitiated God’s wrath against us, vindicated God’s righteousness, and purchased our redemption in order that we might be reconciled to God…”

We believe that there is no good work that we can do that can be added to what Christ accomplished on the cross because His atoning work is entirely efficacious which is a gift of God’s grace that we receive through faith and repentance

PRAYER: Lord, we pause to consider the infinite righteousness, holiness, beauty, perfection, and justice of your divine nature. In so doing we must also consider the depth of our wickedness, depravity, and enmity that would require, and could only be cleansed by a sacrifice bearing such spotless perfection. May the mercy of your sacrifice stir a passionate desire to walk in a manner worthy of your gift and calling.

Christology is Foundational to Live for Christ.

To live for Christ means that we stay centered on Christ because His work continues as our Prophet, Priest and King. Jesus died for you. Jesus rescued you. And Jesus is personally praying for you. From the Father’s right hand, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit on us, empowering us to be victorious over sin and Satan and to do the good works prepared for us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, may we hunger for reminders of your complete provision, and fresh experiences of your presence and prayers. Holy Spirit, may our thoughts, feelings, desires, words, and deeds all be informed and empowered by your guidance and grace.

When we are prone to wander, we are held fast because Christ is the sure and steadfast anchor of our souls. When we are perplexed, not sure what God is doing, we are not driven to despair because we have a King who is governing the affairs of our lives and the nations. When we are sorrowful because of loss and suffering, we are people who are always rejoicing because our Great Hight Priest is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, and He even bears our sorrow with us.

PRAYER: Lord God, as we approach you as Prophet, Priest, King, Shepherd, Counselor, Comforter, Lamb of God, or King of Kings...may each title fill our hearts with its profound significance, and lead us to humility, gratefulness, faith and faithfulness...for your honor and glory!

PRAYER:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, please receive this our desire, our prayer, and our worship, that you might be glorified in and through us and our family of churches: 

We are for seeking the glory of the Lord, not our own fame, in all that we do. By God's grace, we want to pursue an abiding joy in Christ, overflowing gratitude for Christ, growing obedience to Christ, and sacrificial generosity motivated by Christ, which are tangible expressions that we live for Christ.

 

Why do we want to be known for this? Because Jesus paid it all. All to Him we owe.

Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

Oh, praise the One who paid our debt, and raised our lives up from the dead.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
Our primary passion and driving influence as a church and family of churches is Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-4 reveals this reality for us, as it informs our theology of Christ, our Christology. We learn in this passage that the divine eternal Son became inseparably joined with humanity in His incarnation. This means Jesus Christ can personally relate to us as humans. As incarnate God, Jesus bore our punishment, purchased our redemption, and He now continues to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father. In light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, to live for Christ means to be a people that stay centered on Christ who has paid our debt and raised us up to new life in Him.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Verse 3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,” What stories in the New Testament about Jesus Christ teach us about God?
  2. Mark said that, “To live for Christ means we are people that stay centered on Christ.” How do we stay centered on Christ?
  3. How can we tell when we’re not centered on Christ?
  4. Why is our statement of faith important, and how has it helped you?
  5. If you were to share this passage with an unbeliever, what sort of things would you want to point out and explain to them?