In the conversation for Sunday, March 5, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us a reflection on the simple gospel with three simple "tests" to evaluate whether or not we are living according to this simple gospel.
Emptying Yourself of Religion
“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one was a Pharisee, the other was a tax-collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed like this with himself, ‘O God, I do thank you that I am not like the rest of mankind, greedy, dishonest, impure, or even like that tax-collector over there. I fast twice every week; I give away a tenth-part of all my income.’ But the tax-collector stood in a distant corner, scarcely daring to look up to Heaven, and with a gesture of despair, said, ‘God, have mercy on a sinner like me.’ I assure you that he was the man who went home justified in God’s sight, rather than the other one. For everyone who sets himself up as somebody will become a nobody, and the man who makes himself nobody will become somebody.”
Luke 18:10-14, J.B. Phillips New Testament
The Simple Gospel: It's all about grace.
- Am I judging other people?
- Am I comparing myself?
- Have I lost my peace?
A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Romans 3:20-24, New Living Translation