Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Epistle to Diognetus–The Great Exchange

Epistle to Diognetus 9:2-6 (ca. AD 150):

And when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how the one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred,
nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us,
but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us,
He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities,
He gave His own Son as a ransom for us,
the holy One for transgressors,
the blameless One for the wicked,
the righteous One for the unrighteous,
the incorruptible One for the corruptible,
the immortal One for them that are mortal.
For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness?
By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God?
O sweet exchange!
O unsearchable operation!
O benefits surpassing all expectation!
that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One,
and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!

Good Friday Service at Redeemer

Dear Friends of Redeemer,

We would like to invite you and your friends and family, to join us for our first Good Friday service at Baptist Church of the Redeemer, on Friday, April 22nd at 6:30pm. We hope to gather and reflect on the Cross of Jesus Christ through Scripture reading, song and teaching. It is such a paradox to reflect on the Cross of Christ. We come with sorrow, at the greatest tragedy in the history of the world. But the exact same event purchased eternal life for all those who would repent and believe.

John Stott captures our purpose for this evening well in the opening sentences of his book, The Cross of Christ:

“Our sins put Him there. So far from offering us flattery, the cross undermines our self-righteousness. We can stand before it only with a bowed head and a broken spirit. And there we remain until the Lord Jesus speaks to our hearts his word of pardon and acceptance, and we, gripped by his love and brimful of thanksgiving, go out into the world to live our lives in his service.”

It is our prayer that this will be the case for each of us as we gather on Good Friday. We will come together at 6:30pm for our service which will be followed by a short time of fellowship in the gym. Please do plan to join us and to invite your friends and neighbors to hear the most important story ever told!

We sing the praise of him who died,

Of Him who died upon the cross;

The sinner’s hope let men deride,

For this we count the world but loss.

Good Friday Details:

Location: Baptist Church of the Redeemer, 2106 Fifth Street, Missouri City, TX 77489 (MAP)
We meet on the campus of First Baptist Church, Missouri City, in the Family Life Center.

When: 6:30–7:30pm, fellowship and snacks to follow.

Childcare: We plan to provide a nursery for children 2 years and under.

RSVP: Please RSVP here.

Helplessness as Your Greatest Strength

How helpless are you? I bet the last time you worked up a resume, you didn’t list helplessness under the category of “strengths of the applicant.” I mean, how can helplessness be a strength? Isn’t it by definition a weakness? We pride ourselves on virtues like independence, resilience, inner strength, confidence and dependability. What about helplessness is attractive or useful? If you’ve noticed through our study of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus likes to turn things upside down. So, could it be that our greatest strength or asset on the journey of following Jesus is helplessness? Often the Kingdom turns our world around so that the first shall be last and losing your life actually saves it. Our text this week is no different. True strength, Jesus says is found in helplessness.

Jesus had just revealed His true glory on the Mount of Transfiguration to the inner three. They were however still very confused about his impending suffering and resurrection. Like Moses, coming down from Sinai, Jesus is met with a people plagued by unbelief. A crowd had formed, including the Scribes who were arguing with them. A man relayed the story of his son who was possessed with a spirit which made him mute and caused violent spasms. He brought the boy to the disciples but they could not cast the demon out. Jesus’ response was to categorize the entire generation as unbelieving! The boy is brought before Jesus and the father admits that he has doubts as to whether or not Jesus can heal him. Jesus declares that “all things are possible to him who believes.” The man begged for more faith–“help my unbelief!” Jesus commanded the demon to leave and the boy was rescued. When the disciples inquired about their inability to cast out the demon Jesus’ response was that “this kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” In other words, you weren’t helpless enough. You did not depend on the Father, but on yourselves.

This week, we will be considering this text with a message entitled, Mission Strategy: Prayer, from Mark 9:14-29. Have you ever run into a situation in your life that was so debilitating that no matter what you tried to do, it would not go away or get better? Imagine this man’s plight as a parent who’s son was tormented day and night by a demon who would throw him into violent convulsions and even into the fire? How helpless would you feel? How do you respond to situations like these? I think Jesus’ response to the disciples is one of the keys to prayer. We cannot make any progress in this life until we realize that WE cannot make any progress in this life. It must be God–his power, working through His Spirit, for His glory. If that is our understanding we simultaneously become helpless and incredibly strong. We become dependent upon God and lose our confidence in our own abilities. Is it possible that the thing that you are dealing with in your life is a mechanism that God is using to teach you to depend on Him? Are you helpless? Join us this Sunday as we seek to lay down our strengths and confidences and lean fully into Him.