PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
Jesus, I belong to you.
I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you.
Jesus, We belong to you.
Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.
Romans 5:18–21 (NIV)
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Have you learned the soundtrack of the gospel? Paul wrote it down in his letter to the church at Philippi. I’m almost sure the Romans would have seen that letter too and probably sang the song. If Romans 5 is a sermon, then Philippians 2:5–11 is the closing hymn. It is the gospel’s soundtrack. If Romans 5 is our story then Philippians 2 is our song. It was kind of like Paul’s “And Can It Be” (which we have been singing like rock stars all week on the podcast for those of you who aren’t listening yet).
This song is the perfect setup for Romans 6 which we will dive into next week. Here it is.
HAVE THE SAME MIND IN YOU THAT WAS IN CHRIST JESUS,
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:5–11)
The hymn is actually a response to the broken story of Adam. If you will trace the story of the hymn you will see it unfolds in the form of a \/, tracing the journey of Jesus from heaven to earth, all the way down to the cross and the grave and then all the way back up through the resurrection to the ascension and to the final coming of the kingdom.
Now notice something about the story of Adam. It unfolds the opposite journey. It is an /\ form. The glory of the gospel, who is Jesus Christ, is the way he reverses our course and leads us from the broken story of Adam, depicted in the /\ form, and into the grand story of grace, depicted in the \/ form. Prepare now for your mind to be blown by how this tracks out:
/\ Adam (Eve) is created in the very image of God and yet considers equality with God something to be grasped. “If you eat of the fruit of the tree you will become like God.”
\/ Jesus is the very image of God himself yet he “does not consider equality with God something to be grasped.”
/\ Adam being a human being bearing God’s image tries to make himself something higher.
\/ Jesus, the image of God in the form of a human being, makes himself nothing and takes on the nature of a slave.
/\ Adam, becomes disobedient to the word of God, covered his shame, and then hid in pride from God and thereby introduced sin and death into the created order.
\/ Jesus, humbled himself and became obedient to death, bearing our shame, exposed in nakedness, not in hiding but in public view of all.
/\ Adam’s rebellion at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil brought a curse upon the entire human race.
\/ Jesus, by his death on the cross, reversed Adam’s rebellion by taking on the curse of Adam. “Cursed is everyone that is hanged on a tree.” Galatians 3:13
/\ Adam and Eve and all their progeny to the present day have fallen to the lowest place.
\/ Jesus was exalted by the Father to the highest place in his resurrection and ascension.
/\ The curse of Adam continued forward through Cain murdering his brother Abel in the quest for a better name and forward until the entire human community was building a tower to reach the heavens in order to make a great name for themselves.
\/ Jesus climbed all the way down from the heights of heaven to be crucified on the towering, contemptible cross and he was given the name that is above every name.
/\ Because of the disobedience of Adam, the entire human race is born into a state of rebellion against God.
\/ Because of the obedience of Jesus’s faith, the entire human race (the living and the dead) will ultimately kneel (willingly or otherwise) before the risen and returning Lamb of God and be judged according to the obedience of faith and the righteousness of grace.
/\ Because of the disobedience of Adam and his progeny, the language of the human race was confused and all the people scattered in enmity.
\/ Because of the obedience of Jesus’s faith, every tongue will confess, in an agreement of diverse unity—in all of the many distinctive and varied languages of the whole world, the very same confession: Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Indeed, the heavenly throngs are already gathering in the midst of angels and archangels, in the presence of the elders and the living beings and the white-robed witnesses from every nation, tribe, and tongue all circling the throne of God where sits the risen Lord of heaven and earth, the Lamb Slain from before the foundation of the world, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Messiah. And he shall reign forever and ever. Amen.
Now, if you have not sung with us yet, today is the day to join in as we will sing all five verses of our fight song, “And Can it Be!”
Today for our prayer, let’s remember the words of Hebrews 12:18–29,
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.
My gosh! Some days there are no more questions—only awestruck glory. Today is one of those days.
Today we will finish our “And Can it Be” hymn festival by singing all five verses. Come on church! It is hymn 569 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. Let’s sing it with all we’ve got and then some.
For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt
P. S. Join Us for the Summer Book Club!
Okay, friends, our very own Dan Wilt wrote the book for the Summer Book Club this year. It is called Receive the Holy Spirit. He walks through the whole Bible, exploring the presence and power of the Holy Spirit right up through the day of Pentecost and beyond. It will be a veritable feast of Word and Spirit. Jump in my friends. You can learn more and register here.
P. P. S. Day of Ascension
Here’s the link from last night’s Ascension Day Zoom session about the Asbury Spiritual Outpouring. Watch it here.
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The sound track of the Gospel is the voice of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” continually prompting you to follow Him and His humility, not Adam and his pride.
The Great Reversal, The Great Exchange: Our guilt for His obedience, Our condemnation for His righteousness. Praise be to God the Father and to the Lamb who takes away the Sin of the World!
Wow!!! Just Wow!!!