Listen expectantly to his voice in Scripture, enjoy his attentive ear in prayer, and cherish the gift of fellow believers. (1 John 5:1–3).

Let’s go to Romans 3. And a woman from our church came up to me afterwards and she said a woman next to her had whispered, “You don’t really believe that, do you?”. In fact, 1 Corinthians 11–14 assumes their presence in our gatherings. With that in mind, what do we mean when we say man is totally depraved? I realize I’ve spent over 2500 words now to make a simple point: because total depravity is real, the attractional—some might call it “seeker-sensitive” or “pragmatic”—model of church simply doesn’t work. We die because we are fallen. But like a thumbprint on a thousand-dollar mattress, you’ll see it and then it’s gone. But—if I may, for just a moment—I realized upon reflection that what made me cry could have made anybody cry, whether Jew or Greek, male or female, Democrat or Republican, God-hater or God-lover, Christian or Sikh or secular humanist. I didn’t hear that this Creator who owns my life and to whom I am accountable is also a Father, one who has in love and before the foundation of the world predestined a people for adoption as sons through his Son, Jesus Christ. As each family crossed the stage, it was as if the preacher said, See! But there is only one place we’ll find the satisfaction we seek. Philip Larkin, ‘Church Going’. To keep his theme alive in the poem, the poet in the first stanza adopts “time” particularly evening for imagery in the poem. It was in redemptive history for some and in natural revelation for all.

They exchange the glory of God.

So, translated literally: “All have sinned and lack the glory of God.” Well, what does that mean? The church was silent everyone was quiet and reserved. Well, what would make them not burdensome?

My passion is that my body, my life would magnify him, make much of him, glorify him.

In the poem, the speaker of the poem visits a church on one of his bicycle rides and stops to have a look inside – though he isn’t sure why he stopped. Why am I going there? The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

of the doctrine may be obscured for someone without a firm grasp of what it actually His goal is to display his glory as infinitely valuable for the maximum everlasting enjoyment of his people. On our head was dressed up as is the Ethiopian traditional attire for church, women were supposed to cover themselves from hair to toe so as not to be distraction for men. See! And when I was thinking about that this afternoon, it reminded me of this testimony from Joseph D’Agostino, who is a conservative, unbelieving writer for Human Events magazine in Dallas. Why is that so serious? The chief end of man, I argued this morning, was the chief end of God — to glorify himself and to enjoy himself in the enjoyment of his people. “Poetry is indeed something divine,” wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the finest English Romantic poets, in 1821. But I want to try it on you to see if you agree.

Story after story after story, this string of saints retold triumphs of God’s grace. It’s a fruit. That is the theme or the question for tonight. Echo All.


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