To think that God the Father justly should punish me for my sin, but instead, He mercifully pardons me as I am clothed in the righteous robes of the perfect Jesus. To think that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, absorbed the wrath of His Father that was directed at me. Such life-changing truths to meditate on! That was the topic of Stephen’s sermon this past Sunday.
For the first time, I was able to hear Stephen preach. In fact, Sunday was the first time Stephen had preached a full-length sermon to a congregation–another ministry opportunity he probably would not have had if we were not helping a church plant! Pastor Ryan made a trip back east to visit family, to attend a couple’s retreat at the Wilds Christian Camp, and to update his family’s sending church, Morningside Baptist. In his absence, our two deacons brought the Word of God on Sunday. It is a blessing that our church now has two qualified deacons who can fill in for our pastor when he needs to be out of town.
If you’d like to listen to Stephen’s sermon, use the player at the end of this post, but I thought I’d at least post the poem that he used to conclude his sermon.
[audio:http://themoodysideoflife.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/48_Christ-Our-Advocate-9-26-10am-by-Stephen_edited.mp3|titles=Christ, Our Advocate ]
I sinned. And straightway, post-haste, Satan flew
Before the presence of the most high God,
And made a railing accusation there.
He said, “This soul, this thing of clay and sod,
Has sinned. ‘Tis true that he has named Thy name,
But I demand his death, for Thou hast said,
‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die.’
Shall not Thy sentence be fulfilled?
Is justice dead?
Send now this wretched sinner to his doom.
What other thing can righteous ruler do?”
And thus he did accuse me day and night,
And every word he spoke, O God, was true!
Then quickly One rose up from God’s right hand,
Before Whose glory angels veiled their eyes. He spoke,
“Each jot and tittle of the law
Must be fulfilled; the guilty sinner dies!
But wait — suppose his guilt were all transferred
To Me, and that I paid his penalty!
Behold My hands, My side, My feet! One day
I was made sin for him, and died that he
Might be presented, faultless, at Thy throne!”
And Satan flew away. Full well he knew
That he could not prevail against such love,
For every word my dear Lord spoke was true!
–Martha Snell Nicholson