We are delighted that you decided to join us for this week's ToGather.church. (Find out more.) We invite you to use our home worship guide on your own or to share with your friends, family, home group, or house church.
Today we are focusing on our righteousness coming through our faith in Jesus; we do not need to rely on our ability to live up to any law to acquire or sustain our righteousness. Our goal is Jesus. We believe as we pursue him, the Holy Spirit transforms us to become like Christ Jesus, our Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
As we gather together, the Holy Spirit builds us into a temple of living stones that become the place where God dwells (Ephesians 2:20-22). We are in our Father's house! The following verses are Peter's promise to us as we come together from all over the world to worship:
You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God's temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God (1 Peter 2:4-5 NLT).
As we join together to honor Jesus as our Christ and Lord, we can lay every burden down and rejoice in the grace God has lavished upon us. Let's rejoice and sing with Cory Asbury, "The Father's House":
Opening the Scriptures:
The coming of Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, meant the end of the law as our way of trying to become righteous. We cannot live the law of God perfectly. When we break any law, we are guilty of all of the law (James 2:10), and we have become law-breakers. Like a mirror, the law is wonderful for helping us notice our flaws, but it cannot regain our righteousness, nor can it empower us to live a righteous life. We need a sacrifice for our sins that cleanses us completely, and we need the power of the Spirit to help us become what God wants us to be.
Our text for today is Romans 10:4 from the 1984 NIV translation since it captures the essential meaning of what Paul said:
Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Phil digs down into this passage and helps us understand God's plan to make us fully righteous:
Let's rejoice that because of our faith in Christ Jesus we become the righteousness of God. Acapella leads us in the powerful song declaring this truth, "His Righteousness":
Sharing The Supper:
Paul uses a phrase rich in human emotion and spiritual hope in his letter to the Colossian believers: "...Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). When Paul uses the word "hope" in this context, he is not talking about a wish that might happen. Instead, "hope" in this context means assurance! Because of Jesus, God has hidden our lives with Christ and we "will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4). Let's rejoice and declare this truth with CityAlight, as we sing, "Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me:"
Did you notice the words of faith that we just sang? Our only hope, our full assurance, is Christ in us who gave himself to make us righteous. Christ is the greatest gift we have ever received! The apostle Paul describes the gift of Jesus in these convicting words, words we have already sung:
God made [Christ] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
As we share in the Lord's Supper this week, Byron and Lisa want us to remember this gift of Jesus, and through Jesus, the gift of righteousness:
O Lord, we thank you for your rescue from sin, death, and hell. We continue to thank you for your continual rescue when we stumble and fall. Let's rejoice with Acapella in their song, "Rescue":
Closing with a Blessing:
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Our last song for today's ToGather.church is "The Blessing," sung by Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe. The words to this song came together as members of the Bethel Music worship team gathered for a time of devotion. At one point, they decided to sing nothing but words from Scripture to bless each other. Out of that session came this beautiful song. Be blessed! (You might need to use full-screen view to see the words to the song.)
The heart of this song comes from the blessing that God gave through the priests in the Old Testament. The priests used these words to place the LORD's blessing, along with his name, on his people. We who are believers today are now God's priests in the world (1 Peter 2:9). As present-day priests, we can join together with the martyrs around the throne of heaven who are "a Kingdom of priests for our God" (Revelation 5:10 NLT), and place God's blessing on each other:
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons [the Levitical priests] to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:'May the LORD bless you
and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor
and give you his peace.'
Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them" (Numbers 6:22-27 NLT).
So, we close by saying to each other,"May the LORD bless you and protect you!"
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