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A Word of Privilege

God's Word to the World (5)


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Serve the LORD with fear; and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son… Psalm 2:11, 12

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Called to proclaim
The Apostle Peter explained that those who believe in Jesus have been constituted as a new nation. We have been translated by God into the Kingdom of His Son, the Kingdom of life and light and glory and beauty and goodness and justice and love. Christians have emerged from the storm-tossed shell of their battered lives and cruel world into the bright new dawn of a day they never imagined they could know. We definitely ain’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Those who have experienced this Kingdom and who live in the very presence of its King know that nothing in this world “under the sun”, as Solomon would say, can compare with the intimate communion, sweet fellowship, and transforming power of Jesus Christ. Peter says that those who inhabit this new realm are called to proclaim the excellencies of God and His King to the whole world (1 Pet. 2:9, 10). We want everyone to know the joy and hope and glory we live in, and to escape the fears, guilt, and folly of their rebellious, raging, and vain lives.

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A Word of Warning

God's Word to the World (4)


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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… Psalm 2:10-1

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The King and His Kingdom
God’s response to the raging and vanity of those who do not wish to have Him rule over them consists of the announcement that a new King is on the throne of the world and a new Kingdom has begun its advance against all kingdoms, worldviews, and rebellious men. Jesus Christ is God’s Anointed One, and to Him has been granted as an inheritance all the nations of the world and every creature in the vast cosmos. Over them all He rules with truth and grace. And He intends to make the nations prove the glories of His righteousness.

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The King and His Inheritance

God's Word to the World (3)


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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

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A deadly corrosive
Augustine described the human desire for autonomy as a “deadly corrosive.” Once established in the human heart, the determination to become a law unto oneself corrupts, corrodes, and eats away every vestige of decency, civility, and neighbor love inherent in being the image-bearer of God. And, as with all corrosion, the desire for autonomy – to be free of all constraints, especially those imposed by God – spreads to every area of human life and interest.

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The Lord’s Response

God's Word to the World (2)


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He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
Psalm 2:4-6

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The nations in tumult
These days the political, intellectual, cultural, economic, academic, and military leaders of the world act as if they have no responsibility toward or even regard for the God of Scripture. In fact, this is not an act at all. It’s simply the way contemporary men and women have come to view the proceedings of history and the world. God may or may not exist; but, even if He does, He doesn’t interfere in the affairs of men and nations, people and things. He’s only about comforting us in our times of trial – if we’re so weak as to require such comforting.

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Rage and Vanity

God's Word to the World (1)


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Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Psalm 2:1-3

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The rage of nations
In 1919, observing the devastation and confusion in the wake of World War I, Irish poet William Butler Yeats reflected on the state of humankind, a situation which must have struck him as a kind of insanity. Things were falling apart everywhere. Spiritual, moral, social, cultural, and relational centers had lost their centripetal power, and civilization seemed to be gyrating uncontrollably away from its former moorings. As he considered the potential for re-establishing some rationality to the world, he was not encouraged. In his poem, The Second Coming, he wrote concerning the world of his day and those who must now try to put it back together,

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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Restore

Dealing with Sin (7)


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Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.
2 Corinthians 2:5-8

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“Do you love Me?”
Three times – three very public and painful times – Jesus confronted Peter with the question of his loyalty: “Do you love Me?” (Jn. 21:15-17). Peter had sinned against the Lord by denying three times that he even knew Him. The other disciples knew about this situation, and they also knew that Jesus had appointed Peter to a leading role in the ongoing work of the Kingdom of God (Matt. 16:18ff). How was this appointment to be realized, now that Peter had betrayed Jesus so egregiously?

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