Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "Deepening Our Joy"
Personal humiliation: (three fading glories)
Humiliation is "to reduce to a lower position in one's eyes." That is, the lowering of one's estimation of oneself. Here, the prophet Jeremiah warns against boasting in human wisdom, strength, and riches (9:23). Instead, we are to humble ourselves even in the midst of prosperity, which is itself both an undeserved gift and a test. Prosperity is fundamentally a gift of God's mercy to undeserving sinners, but along with it comes the common temptation to boast in human achievement. Prosperity is the fruit and effect of God's grace, and should cause us to glorify him.
God glorfiying exaltation: (three unfading glories)
The Prophet contrasts the act of boasting in man with the act of boasting in the Lord. He is the only thing worth boasting about because he acts in covenant love, justice, and righteousness in all the earth (9:24). Moreover, these three qualities of God are most pointedly seen in the cross of Christ. God gave his Son to be crucified to show his love for the world (Jn 3:16). At the cross, God demonstrated his righteousness through the propitiatory death of Christ (Rom 3:21-26). And through the death of Christ believers are righteous before God (2 Cor 5:21). The character of God (especially in the person and work of Jesus Christ) should cause us to humble ourselves and boast in him alone.
As we recount our two year anniversary as a church plant, spend some time boasting in the Lord and praising him for the many ways he has shown his faithfulness to us.
C.J. mentioned that seasons of blessing or prosperity are both an undeserved gift from God as well as a test. How have you felt this tension in the midst of certain seasons when you have experienced God's abundant blessing?
In the passage we read of our God who is pleased to act in love, righteousness, and justice. How does this encourage you? Can you think of other places in the Bible where these same attributes are ascribed to God? How do these qualities of God come on full display in the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Savior?
[by Andrew Preston]
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