Dear New Life in Christ Church,


In ancient times, the word "gospel" (in Greek: euangellion) was often used in reference to the ascent of a new king to the throne of the nation or empire. In speaking about the "good news" or the "gospel" of Jesus Christ, we likewise recognize that Jesus Christ was shown to be the rightful ruler of a spiritual kingdom (John 18:36-37). He is the King who conquered this hostile world, the flesh, and the devil in His death and resurrection (Romans 1:4). He is the King who secured the forgiveness of sin for all His people in the kingdom of God (Colossians 2:14). The only reason we can even be part of God's kingdom is because Jesus Christ secured forgiveness to enter that kingdom through His atonement for sin. In His grace, He has forgiven our sin and has brought us into His kingdom, that we may live under His gracious rule, be part of this kingdom of love, and show the qualities of God's gracious love to the world. While we do not see the perfections of His rule right now, we will see them in glory when we go to heaven. At that point, we shall see every perfection of His kingdom.


“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

(Philippians 2:9-11, ESV)


This is a significant reminder for us in our work in this world. As we go through our ordinary lives, doing our jobs and raising our children, we do so under the Lordship of Christ. The world makes so many rules and promises that have no basis in God’s economy, but are built on sin and worldly wisdom. But we know that the promises and precepts of the Word of God come directly from the King, and they bring life, purpose, and hope. Graciously, our King Jesus rules through the power of His Holy Spirit, so all the ability we need to follow these precepts and enjoy God's commands comes from God Himself. We are not left alone.


As we share the gospel, we remember what we are sharing with others (Matthew 28:19-20). There is a call to come from under the dying kingdom of this world into the kingdom of Christ. In sharing the gospel, we are calling others to turn from their own self-rule and rebellion to surrender to the grace of God in Christ and come into His kingdom. For many, this can be a reality shift as we realize we should not be trying to make God attractive to unbelievers as much as we are attempting to show sinners the way they can be acceptable to God.


As we consider missions, we are reminded that the nations are called to submit to Jesus Christ (Psalm 2). God builds His kingdom throughout the world by regenerating hearts and giving faith, and He calls people everywhere to submit and become part of this gracious kingdom.


“I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” (Psalm 2:7-9, ESV)


As we consider politics, we remember that the Lord Jesus Christ rules over the world and everything in it. There is a lot to this as we consider our own politics, and I will mention two. First, it is the reminder that Jesus Christ rules and reigns His kingdom, which is greater than the kingdom we live in. As a result, even as things do not go the way we want here, we know that Jesus still reigns, and we trust He will make all things right. Second, it is the reminder that our earthly rulers owe allegiance to the great God and King. They are to keep Christ's will in mind as they consider the way they rule. Sadly, many do not seem to consider this and fail in their leadership of our nation.


“Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:10-12, ESV)


As we worship, we declare the worthiness of our King Jesus, the grace and mercy He has shown, and ourselves as servants who know the greatest privilege of being saved from the dominion of sin, the flesh, and evil and brought into the dominion of His love.


I look forward to continuing to worship, love, and serve our God together this month. Grace to you.


Faithfully Yours,

Pastor Sean