What does it mean to know Jesus as “Mighty God,” the nickname given by the prophet Isaiah to the coming Messiah? It’s the third Sunday of Advent (“coming”), the season historically devoted to remembering the first coming of Jesus Christ in his birth (Christmas) and anticipating His second coming one day. Each of the four Sundays of Advent, we are looking at the different names given to the promised Child in Isaiah 9: “Prince of Peace,” “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father.” Each of these names reveal a different aspect of the character and the mission of the coming Messiah, whom we now identify by another name: Jesus.
It’s the first Sunday of Advent (“coming”), the season historically devoted to remembering the first coming of Jesus Christ in his birth (Christmas) and anticipating His second coming one day. Each of the four Sundays of Advent, we’ll be looking at the different names given to the promised Child in Isaiah 9: “Price of Peace,” “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father.” Each of these names reveal a different aspect of the character and the mission of the coming Messiah, whom we now identify by another name: Jesus. Today Rev. Mike Park (Grace Downtown) teaches on the wider historical and biblical context of Isaiah 9 and explains what it means to know Jesus as our “Prince of Peace.”
This is the “paradox” of the Cross of Jesus Christ: Jesus triumphs through defeat, achieves power through weakness, offers eternal life through suffering and death, wins our salvation through “losing.” When this reality told hold of our lives—when we begin to live a cross-centered life—we begin to embrace things and people that might on the surface appear weak and foolish, starting with yourself.
For those who want a changed life, what’s the greatest news in the world? “You died.” In Christ. With Christ, when He was crucified. The Cross is the end of our old identity and destiny. The Cross is the end of our old slavery.
Jesus died to make “satisfaction” for our sins. Satisfaction? What does that mean? It means that Jesus fully, truly, completely, and perfectly did everything necessary for our salvation. Christ our Substitute died; God’s wrath and righteousness was fully satisfied. Understanding this is a critical part of living a cross-centered life.
Each of our lives is centered on something. What’s at the center of yours? The Bible invites us into what can be described as a “cross-centered life” — a life for which the death of Jesus Christ is the defining event, the identity-shaping reality. In this 4-week sermon series — called, “A Cross-Centered Life” — we’ll be looking at the meaning of the cross of Jesus Christ and its implications for our daily life. First up: the concept of Substitution. Jesus died not for himself, but for us — in the place of sinners. What happens when that story rests at the center of your life?
You can learn a lot about an organization—it’s priorities and values—by the leadership roles it creates and the kind of people that fill them. So, what do we learn about the Church—about Jesus, its founder, and the salvation he brings—as we examine the roles of elders, deacons, and deaconesses? When seeking to discern whether God is calling us or others into such roles of leadership in the church, it’s important to understand from Scripture what God calls them to do, whom God calls, and how He calls them.
When Jesus teaches about leadership, he says, “You want to be a leader? You want to know what kind of leader to follow? Leadership in my kingdom looks like this”—and just when you expect him to point to a successful business woman or visionary non-profit leader or charismatic elected official, he points to a waiter. Here he comes, bringing you your third refill of Diet Coke. This is servant-leadership.
Right now, wherever you’re reading this sentence, answer this question: Where are you? Sounds like a trick question. Actually it’s a profoundly theological one. After all, you are … somewhere. You are located in a place—it’s how God made us—and called to be present in a place, rooted in a place, committed to a place. Because places matter to God. Most would agree that God cares about people. Do you know that God also cares about places? As a “neighborhood church,” we are committed to living in light of this reality.
Joshua 14:1; 15:1–12 »