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Sermons

Why Do We Believe in God? #3

April 3, 2015 Pastor: Don Green

Topic: Midweek Sermons

70-028

I'm delighted to welcome so many visitors that are with us here this evening as we celebrate the Lord's table together. For our meditation tonight, for our communion meditation, I'm going to use this opportunity to complete a series that we've done over our last two studies together which we've titled "Why Do We Believe in God?" And that might seem like a slightly unusual way to remember Christ's death here on a Good Friday, but I think that as we go along you'll see how perfectly it fits in with the theme of the evening; it providentially fits very well with remembering the sacrifice that Christ made for our sins. Just know that we're glad that you're with us and that we're very happy to have you as we are privileged tonight to bring the Lord Jesus Christ particularly into the center of our thoughts, the center of our affections, and the center of our remembrances here. When we sang just a few moments ago that we gladly bear the shame and reproach of the cross, it's important for us to know, and I need to teach on this here at Truth Community, it's important for us to know that crucifixion was an element of severe shame and there was a severe reproach to being crucified. Men who were crucified in the first century were common criminals and they were traitors to the government and they were outlaws and they were defeated victims at the hands of the mighty Roman Empire. That's what happened to the Lord Jesus Christ and it reminds us that as he hung on that cross of shame 2,000 years ago, he was bearing the shame and reproach that was rightly ours before a holy God because of our sin. He took shame and reproach upon himself, he took our sins into his body and was punished there in our place so that we might be able to approach a holy God without fear having been clothed in his righteousness which he gives us by faith.

So as we remember this tonight, it's a sacred time, it's a holy time for us to remember. Jesus said, "Don't take this meal lightly. Don't treat the Lord's table lightly." And so we focus on the Lord's word and try to bring it to mind as we come to the table so that we can take it in a worthy manner, having reflected on his substitutionary death on our behalf; that he was one who bore the wrath of God against us so that our sins could be forgiven and that we might have the promise of eternal life. Let me say just another word about that. I'm already on a tangent here and I haven't even started my message yet. How do you go on a tangent before you've even started? As we were driving in, I noticed that one of the local churches along the freeway had a flashing sign saying to all of the world that drives by their lighted sign, "God is not mad at you." You know, beloved, that's a very wicked thing to say to the world. God is angry at the sin of the world. In John 3:36 it says that, "He who does not obey the Son, the wrath of God abides upon him." The Bible says in Romans 1:18 that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." So to tell people, to neuter their mind and their conscience against the wrath of God is a wicked denial of the truth that they say that they uphold. Well, we're not going to play that game here. The cross is a reminder of the wrath of God. What we tell people is that God is a wrathful God against their sins but he has also provided a Savior that our sins could be forgiven. He has provided a propitiation in the Lord Jesus Christ by which the wrath of God can be turned away from you and if you're not a Christian here, you need to come to the cross and cling to the cross as we said and come to God and cry out for mercy that his wrath would be turned away from you. Don't think for a moment that God is not an angry God. For heaven 's sake, Scripture says plainly in the Psalms that he is a God who suffers indignation every day. So if you happen to see that sign on your way up here also, I'm privileged to be able to clarify that and to cleanse our minds from such untruth as we come to the Lord's table here this evening.

Well, what we've said is that over our past two studies together, we wanted to answer the question, "Why do we believe in God?" We felt like it was important for us to be able to understand why it is that we believe in the God of the Bible, why it is that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, because we realize that the world is hostile and more openly hostile against Christian belief than it has ever been before. Even the news of this week has given us illustration of that, and so we want to be able as we come apart from the world, as we come together as the body of Christ, we want to have a very clear understanding of why it is that we believe in God and we've been very eager to say multiple times that it is not a matter of subjective belief; that we believe in God not simply because of what we feel in our hearts, that really has very little to do with it, that's a secondary consequence of it. We believe in God because God has revealed himself. We believe in God because God has made himself known. He has disclosed himself in multiple ways. He has made himself known in ways that are available to all men. He has made himself known in ways that are available only to those who turn to his word. And what we said is that we believe in God, we have given foir reason so far and we're only going to touch on these tonight and then we'll focus a little bit on the fifth one, the final reason, but we said that we believe in God because God has made himself known in creation. The Scriptures say that the heavens are telling the glory of God and so God has imprinted the reality of his power in creation in a way that is available and undeniable for all men to see. He has made himself known in creation and all you have to do is look up at the sky or look at the earth around you and see in the ordered orbit of the stars and in the ordered seasons that the earth goes through cycling through reliably time after time, there is evidently a powerful God who established that in his wisdom and has made himself known there. There is not a moment in anyone's existence where God is not continually giving evidence to his existence in the creation that is all around us. Men are completely without excuse to deny this God, to claim to be an atheist; it's why the Bible says that they are fools to deny that which is so evident all around them.

So we believe in God because he has made himself known in creation. Secondly, we said that God has made himself known in the principle of human conscience. God has imprinted his law on the hearts of men. There is a broadly defined and broadly known sense of right and wrong that is present on the human heart. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 2 that the law is written on the hearts even of Gentiles who have never heard the word of God, and that that law that is written upon their heart will be the basis upon which God judges them in the end because men don't even obey the dictates of their own conscience, let alone the full revelation of God's word. So where does that principle of right and wrong come from? It comes from the testimony that God has imprinted on the human heart and so all men have within them the imprint of the testimony of God on their heart in the sense of this inbred sense of righteousness, this sense of right and wrong that humanity carries about inside them and outside of them. There is nowhere that they can go where God is not loudly testifying to his own existence. So why do we believe in God? Well, we believe in response to the fact that he has made himself known in everything that is around us and inside in the testimony of our own conscience. That's available generally to all men.

Now, as you go further, you realize that God has revealed himself in what we call the Canon, in the 66 books of the English Bible. God has made himself known in written revelation and so from Genesis to Revelation, I think it's about 1,280 pages in my Bible that I hold here in my hand that I preach from, God has given an extensive written record revealed through 40 men over the course of 1,500 years. God has testified to humanity in a book that is available almost everywhere, certainly in our region, for anyone to pick up and read. God has made himself known there with particularity and has revealed more about his character and his law and what he requires and what the way of salvation is for those who would believe in Christ. So as you start to pile these things up, you realize that God has so super-abundantly testified to his own existence, he has revealed himself and made himself known.

One other thing that we reviewed last time, is that God has made himself known in Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 14:9, he said, "He who has seen Me, has seen the Father." So as we read in the Gospels about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, as we read in the apostolic letters that follow the Gospels, the interpretation of the life and work of Christ, we see God making himself known particularly and in a final climactic way in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not just in inanimate creation, it's not just inside us, it's not just in a written form, God made a personal revelation in the Lord Jesus Christ as well where he perfectly made himself known and walked on this planet and then had his apostles and other apostolic representatives record under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit a perfect interpretation of the life of Christ.

Now, why is that so important? Why is it important for us in an increasingly hostile age to understand this? We need to know the basis upon which we believe. We need to understand why we believe and what it is and the grounds of our belief, and when you understand the fullness of God's revelation, you realize that this is something that is totally independent of your opinion or mine. A hundred years ago, these things were all perfectly true before any of you were even born. A hundred years from now, when we are all gone if the Lord tarries and doesn't come back before then, all of these things will still be completely true. These grounds of God's testimony are completely independent of what we think about them. God has self-disclosed, he has testified to his own existence and all men everywhere are without excuse for unbelief. So this is a very powerful, you think through these things and you realize that these reasons that we believe, the ways that God has made himself known, are broad and deep and they cover millennia and they speak inside each human heart. God has so graciously disclosed himself and for us here tonight, what we have to realize is that we give honor to God, we give glory to God, we believe in response to his self-disclosure, and we are not intimidated into silence by those who have gladly pulled blinders over their own eyes, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, and refuse to consider the ways that God has made himself known. They are not competent witnesses to the existence or to deny the existence of God when they don't even consider these abundant ways that he has made himself known. When they make up big bang theories to explain creation, when they worship at the altar of self-esteem rather than accepting the condemning voice of their conscience, when they have a Bible closed and never open it, when they never acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ, they are utterly without excuse and the fact that from that position of denial and suppression of the truth, they bark against the things that we hold dear and that we believe, we realize that they are not competent witnesses to the truth of anything. God has made himself known and like humble children, we believe in response to what he has made known to us and we thank him for it and we rejoice in it.

Now, that was all by way of review. Let's come inside the body of Christ now, as it were, and look at these things from a final perspective as believers. Whenever we talk this way and whenever we make clear the inadequacy of an atheistic worldview and just what a self-imposed darkness that they live in and they gladly choose as also we looked at last time, there is a danger for us as believers; there is a spiritual precipice that we are right on the verge of falling into if we're not careful when we consider these things with this kind of clarity. As we consider these things, as we think through these things, we are standing right on the very brink of falling into the sin of human pride and thinking that somehow we are better than they because we believe and that they don't and we see their culpability and here we are, we are forgiven of our sins and it's possible from that position to get a little bit smug, to get a little bit puffed up, and as we come to the table of communion here tonight, we have the blessed privilege of humbling all of our pride and divesting ourselves of any sense of self-congratulation as we consider the final reason that we believe in God. Beloved, if you're a Christian here tonight, and I speak to most of you knowing that most of you are. I don't assume that about everyone but I speak to you as the family of God. We need to remember here this evening before we partake of these elements, we remember that we all were once like those unbelievers are today. We once were like them. Oh, the manifestation of it might have been a little bit different, some of you might have openly denied God and mocked him and cursed him with your lips, others of you may have professed him with your lips and claimed to be a Christian and yet you denied him with your life. How many times have we heard the testimony in the waters of baptism, "I thought that I was a Christian but then God opened my eyes and I saw that I was completely separated from him." We need to remember that.

If you would, turn to the book of Titus 3. I haven't gotten to the fifth and final reason that we believe in God, final in the sense that it's the last of my points, not because it exhausts all the ways that God has made himself known. But Titus 3, I want you to see a key verse that we studied a couple of years ago in our Sunday mornings when we were still meeting in northern Kentucky. Titus 3:3, and actually we'll start even earlier, we'll start even further back than I had planned. In Titus 2:14, Paul speaking of Christ Jesus said that in Titus 2:14, he said, "He gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." That's what we're remembering here tonight, that Christ Jesus on the cross voluntarily sacrificed his own life, his own human blood. He offered it as a blood sacrifice to appease the wrath of God, to turn it away and to purchase us to be a people that belongs to him, a people for his own possession, Paul says, zealous for good deeds; that there would be an inward change in us whereas before we were spiritually dead, now we are zealous for the love of Christ, the honor of God, and to do that which he has commanded us to do and to proclaim the Gospel of Christ as wide and far as he gives us opportunity to do. Well, then Paul goes on and says in Titus 2:15, "These things," about Christ, "you speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you." And he goes on in chapter 3, verse 1, "Remind them," speaking to believers now, "Remind them to be subject to rulers, authorities, to be obedient, ready for every good deed." Notice the spirit that should now mark that as opposed to that smug, proud spirit that we're on the brink of falling into, Paul says, "Remind them to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men."

Now, here's what I want you to see in verse 3 in terms of thinking about the fact that there are unbelievers today and here we are gathered together as the people of God. Well, look at what Paul says in Titus 3:3, "For," for this reason, here's why they should act this way, "For we also once were foolish ourselves." If I was going to write a biography of any of your lives, I would have to come here and we would speak about ourselves in the first person and describe ourselves and say, "This is what my life once was." And if you're a Christian here today, you should gladly own this self-condemnation that is reflected in this verse because this is true of everyone, Paul says. "We also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another." Paul says, "We were once like this. They are like that now but we have to remember that we once had our own baggage of sin that we were carrying around that marked us and made us equally subject to condemnation." So as we speak about the clarity of God's self-disclosure, the clarity of his self-revelation, we claim no intrinsic moral superiority tonight in our own merit and in our own goodness. We deny all of that. All we are doing tonight is that we are unapologetically giving voice to God's self-testimony and the work that he has done and the way that he has made himself known. We are ambassadors for Christ, Paul said. We are simply giving voice to that which the Lord himself has previously said and we stand in his stead and as ambassadors of Christ, we plead for men to be reconciled to him, and what a great night to do that with the communion table just ahead of us.

Now, with all of that background, there is a fifth reason that we believe in God that is unique to us as Christians that we can particularly lay claim of and we're going to call this conversion. Conversion. And so what you should walk away with tonight is you should be able to recite in your mind, "Why do we believe in God?" Let me give you five reasons and just be able to tick them off: creation, conscience, Canon, Christ, and now conversion. It's easy to walk through these things and those of you with young children or grandchildren, I encourage you to inculcate this in them repeatedly so that their minds are trained to respect the revelation of God.

Tonight, what do we mean by we say the fact that God has made himself known in conversion? Well, in a technical sense, in a technical theological sense, the word "conversion" means "to turn to God in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." Here tonight, I'm using it in a slightly broader sense to refer to God's work in securing our salvation. God has spoken in these four areas that we've been rehearsing here tonight, now the Christian can say in a unique way only claimed and owned truly by Christians, is the fact that God has made himself known personally to me in my salvation. God worked and secured our personal salvation and that's the ultimate greatest reason why we believe in God as the body of Christ.

Look at Titus 3:4 now and this will flow right into our final point here. Paul had said we once were all foolish ourselves, we were all dead in our trespasses and sins and look at what he says in verse 4, "But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit." In other words, to use language from elsewhere in the Scriptures, God caused us to be born again. God did a work by the Holy Spirit in our hearts and circumcised and took away that heart of stony unbelief and put in a heart of flesh that was tender and responsive to the things of his word and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Look at it in verse 6 there, "whom," renewing by the Holy Spirit, "whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." That passage is describing a work of God in the human heart; a work of God that explains why we as believers in Christ can be here today. We are here today because God did a work in our hearts by his Holy Spirit. He took the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and convicted us of sin and brought the glory of Christ and an understanding of the Gospel to our minds and powerfully worked on our hearts so that we would turn to God in repentance and in faith in Christ, and this is why we believe, we believe in God because, watch this, we believe in God because he worked in our hearts and made us spiritually alive while we were dead in sin. The Holy Spirit, to say it another way, opened our blind eyes so that we would believe the Gospel and truly know God. He opened our deaf ears. He loosened our mute tongue. He poured life into our dead heart. And in response to that final climactic personal work of God, calling us out by name, bringing us to Christ, in conversion we find the final reason why we believe and others do not. It's not because of an intrinsic moral superiority of our own or that we had more intellectual insight to weigh the evidence in ways that other people less intelligent than ourselves could do. No, that's not it at all. The Spirit of God did a work in our hearts and we say, "The Spirit of God worked in my heart and that's why I believe."

God exercised grace toward you in your conversion. Oh, the glory of this is just astounding. It sweeps you up and carries you, as it were, into heaven to realize the magnitude of what we are saying. The God who created the planets and sustains them in their orbit, the God, the same God who imprinted his law on the human heart, the God who worked through 40 writers to record his word inerrant and without flaw to be a testimony to mankind, the God who became a man in the Lord Jesus Christ and went to the cross, that God, that God went still further with you as a Christian and did a work in your heart in order to bring you to saving faith in Christ. He applied those objective realities directly to us, directly to you. He did a personal work in your heart by name so that you would most certainly be saved. Beloved, you could not, you would not have done that on your own. You had no spiritual capacity to respond and so God, by the Spirit, did that in you which you could not do on your own and opened your eyes so that you would be able to respond to Christ in repentance and faith. That's why you believe. We believe because of God's work in our hearts.

Let me take you to three passages to help reinforce this. Go back to 1 Corinthians 2 and because it is a work of God, because it is based on the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ, that's why the Bible says that no man can boast. That's why none of us boast about the fact that we are Christians. We don't boast in ourselves, we boast in the cross of Christ but not in a way that distinguishes us morally from those who do not believe.

1 Corinthians 2:10, "For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." Now watch this in verse 12, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God." To turn it into the active voice, God gave these things to us freely in Christ. We believe because the Spirit of God has done a work and in the work that he did in our hearts, he has made known to us the full rich abundance of the Gospel of Christ as a free gift initiated first by the love of God toward us even though we were in our sins. We love, 1 John 4:19 says, we love because he first loved us. We believe in God because we have been on the receiving end of an unspeakably great merciful act of God to us as individuals. That's why we believe in addition to all of these other things.

Look at 2 Corinthians 4:6. We should start at 2 Corinthians 1:1, but I won't do that. Chapter 4, verse 4 says, "the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving," and you were in that group. You were included in that dark spiritual calculus. Your mind was blinded by Satan in unbelief and you had no spiritual power to overcome the power of the wicked one and the hold that he had on your heart and on your understanding. How is it then that now you believe in Christ? Well, someone somewhere, blessed be the name of God, someone under the influence of the Holy Spirit came to you by spoken word or in written testimony and in verse 5, "they do not preach ourselves to you but they preached Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake." Someone, somewhere, some time told you about Christ and God used that, the Spirit of God used that to open your mind and verse 6 describes it. The work of God in disclosing himself to you personally, 2 Corinthians 4:6, "For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

How do we know with absolute certainty that our God is real, that we believe the truth and that we know Christ and that our faith is not misplaced and that we are not deceived? How do we know all of that? Well, God has made himself known in creation, conscience, the Canon, and Christ, but ultimately in a personal way, God shone the light of the knowledge of Christ into our hearts and the darkness that previously dominated our spirit fled in light of the powerful initiative from God to make Christ known to us in the proclamation of the Gospel. God took the general call of the Gospel and placed an effective call on our hearts and made himself known to us and he shined light where darkness previously existed and imparted to us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

We believe because somewhere in time in the deadness of our spiritual existence, God had mercy on us and made himself known to us. It's overwhelming. It's completely humbling. It causes our heart to rise up in praise to this God to realize that he distinguished us and called us out in a way that not everybody receives and not because we deserved it, because he simply chose to have mercy on us and we love him and we praise him for that and we recognize him for that and we proclaim the certainty of his existence against the accusations and the misrepresentations of a hostile world. We stand in the face of all of that and if we stand alone, we'll still stand and say, "Our God is real. Our God has made himself known. He has made himself known to me. And if the world is against me as Athanasius said, then I'm against the world." That's how great and strong and powerful the way God has made himself known. We would sooner deny our own existence than we would deny the existence of this great God who has disclosed himself.

One last passage in Ephesians 2. We studied this passage a while back also, didn't we? Ephesians 2:1. Just let the word of God speak for itself. Let the clarity of the word of God speak and cut through the mental fog. Chapter 2, verse 1, "you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." Oh, verse 3, you know, it's going to take everything I can to drive by that church tonight and not nail something on their door in light of what's here in verse 3, "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." So how do we know God then? What happened? Verse 4, "God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions," while you're in that state of spiritual death, unable to do anything, God, verse 5, "made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." You were spiritually dead and God by the Spirit, worked in your heart, caused you to be born again so that you could turn to Christ in saving faith. That's why you believe because a living God came to you in your spiritual death and imparted spiritual life to you in an act that theologians call his work of regeneration. Why do we believe in God? The true Christian can rightly say, in addition to creation, conscience, the Canon and Christ, I believe because God did a work in my heart. He opened my heart to believe and shined light in my heart and that's why I believe.

Now, understand this: in saying that, we are not denying the objective reality. No, God opened our hearts to believe his revelation that was there all along. It was there all along. If you walked about with your eyes tightly closed and covered your eyes up so that the light of creation couldn't get in, I can do this and stand before you and I can't see you but you're there. The fact that my eyes are closed and covered up doesn't mean that you're not there. When I pull my hands away and I open my eyelids, I see what was there all along. In the same way, when God opens a heart, he opens a heart to see what was there all along.

So if you're a Christian here tonight, there should just be waves of gratitude and glory to God and humbling of self going on in your heart right now just like wave after wave of an active ocean moving in your heart and moving in your affections and bringing you to a point where, "Of course, I'm certain of what I believe. I can't deny, I don't have the prerogative to deny what God has said is true." We don't have the privilege or the prerogative, it wouldn't even be a privilege, no one has the privilege to pull this down and say, "Well, it's more likely true than not." We're not making a probability argument. Scripture says these things are so absolutely certain that men will be judged by them. For us today we say, "God went further with me and had mercy on me, made it known at the cross, did a work in my heart," and you and I, fellow believer in Christ, you and I can confidently say with full assurance without any twinge of doubt in the back of your mind, "My faith is real. My faith is rightly founded. My faith and confidence in Christ is not in vain because of all of this great work that God has done all around me, inside me, and in his word." That's a reason to celebrate communion, isn't it? That the Lord Jesus Christ did the one work that only he could do that would make it possible for this door to be opened to us.

If you're not a Christian here tonight, take these things to heart. Ask God, cry out to Christ for mercy because you're in a darkness that you need to be delivered from and the Lord Jesus Christ is a most willing Savior and he extends himself and he offers himself to you, even in this hour, even in this moment right now, and calls you to himself and says, "Come to me for eternal life. Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." Won't you come to Christ tonight and ask him to open your eyes? God is a gracious God who forgives sinners. We remember tonight a sacrifice on the cross that shows that God is favorably disposed to receive those who will come to him. Yes, God will forgive all of your sins if you repent and come to Christ. If you would have your sins forgiven, come to Christ because he will forgive you. He will receive you. It's the whole purpose of which he came and God calls us, God shines this light through people who earnestly tell us these things are true and you need to believe them too. If you're not a Christian tonight, God is speaking and appealing to you and calling you. Come to Christ tonight and be saved. In the words of Acts 16:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved."

Well, for those of us who know Christ, tonight is a night where we celebrate communion. We remember Christ in this way because it is the way that he has established for his people to remember his death. When the body of Christ, when a local church, when believers come together around communion, we can have absolute certain confidence that we are doing something that pleases the Lord because he said, "Do this," speaking about the communion table, "Do this in remembrance of me." Christ poured out his blood to purchase salvation for us and tonight in the way that he has appointed we gratefully remember that on the day designated as Good Friday on the calendar. It's a good Friday because it was the one event in which our sins were taken away. That's a good thing to remember. So if you're a Christian here today, again, we invite you to this testimony.

Let's bow for a word of prayer as Nancy comes to the piano. We will sing in a moment.

Lord Jesus, you are indeed precious to us. You own the center of our affections. We reserve the inner sanctum of our heart for our love for you and for you alone. You are that Lamb upon whom we laid our hands, as it were, and identified with you so that you might take our sins away. We thank you that you shed your innocent blood as a sacrifice more than sufficient to pay for our sins, to grant us forgiveness and by the merit of your perfect life and your perfect blood, we are now perfectly suited to be in the presence of a holy God. We acknowledge that we could never have done that on our own but that you did it for us. We stake our entire eternity on what you did, on something outside of us. We trust in one who loves us and gave himself up for us. Thank you. We honor you. We worship you, O Lamb of glory, and gladly extol your name in our hearts as we now go. Take us, watch over us, bring us back together on Sunday morning that we might continue in this sweet spirit of worship of a holy God come to earth, gone to a cross, raised from the dead, ascended into glory, one day coming again and you have condescended to put us at the center of those purposes. We are a people greatly blessed, O God, and for that we thank you with all of our hearts and we humbly give you all of the glory. Bless us now as we go as we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

God bless you. Go in peace. You are dismissed.