The preaching at the church we have been attending in Denver, Red Rocks Fellowship, has been consistently good. Here are two excerpts from today’s sermon preached by Pastor Jack McCullough, which was on the birth of Jesus from Matthew 1:18-25.
Someone has said this: “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a savior.”
But what does it mean that he will save his people from their sins? Well it means first of all that we must become his people by personally trusting Jesus as savior, believing in the Jesus who was crucified on the cross and raised, trusting in his finished work and that alone, receiving the free gift of grace by faith, salvation by grace through faith. In him it means we are judicially forgiven, we are aquitted of guilt. That’s what it means to be justified. In him we are delivered from the wrath of God, the wrath of God to come upon the world for sin. In him his righteousness is imputed to us, the righteousness of God by faith in him. Because of his power in us as believers when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell, we have that power as we trust and obey him, as we put off those garments of the old man, and put on the righteousness of the new. All this and more is bound up in that simple phrase in the future tense, which asserts with all certainty, “he will save his people from their sins.”
Here are a few things I appreciated about this message (and other messages I have heard at Red Rocks):
- It was relevant. Not because the pastor tried to make it hip or modern, but because it was about every human’s predicament and God’s solution for that predicament. Our problem is sin, and God’s solution is Jesus. Relevance is not about having a rock band (we had stringed instruments for accompaniment this morning) or plasma TV screens. The gospel itself is relevant to all.
- It had something for everyone. For the non-Christian it had the message of salvation. For the Christian it had the reminder that it is Jesus, and Jesus alone, who has saved us. For the mature Christian, it had depth. For the new Christian, or one who doesn’t have much Biblical or theological background, the meaty words, such as justification and imputation, were defined.
- It was about Jesus. Some preachers are able to take a passage that is clearly about Jesus and make it into a message that is clearly about us. The Bible is about Jesus, from beginning to end (Luke 24:27), and the preaching at Red Rocks has reflected this so far.
Grace and peace