One Cure for Every Injustice

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I want to encourage you, if you’ve got a Bible with you to turn to 1 Peter 3. We’re going to be in verse 16 to verse 22 of 1 Peter 3. One of the reasons I really want to see you in this text with me as we go through this together, we’re only looking at seven verses in the Bible, but this section of scripture is considered one of the most difficult in the New Testament.

So when we walk out of here today, we’re going to have an understanding of a passage of scripture that not only is a difficult passage, as some have proclaimed it to be. Martin Luther looked at this passage and just said, “I don’t understand it.” So this is an important passage of scripture. But in addition to that, this passage is very relevant to where we are today.

We’re going to talk about one cure for every injustice. Now I want you to know in giving a statement like that, I’m not giving a statement just because we’re in an emotionally charged time period in our culture here in America. I’m giving you that statement for this text, because that statement is in this text. One cure for every injustice. We’re going to see what this means as a body of believers. You maybe over the last couple of weeks, looked at some of the circumstances around you and part of you have resonated with what’s happened and part of you may have rejected some of the things that you’ve seen. Where do we stand as God’s people?

Well, 1 Peter, not knowing some of the things that were going to transpire over recent events of the last few weeks in our culture. First Peter is a beautiful book that speaks into that. Because Peter is talking to us in a first century context where people are being persecuted and he’s helping them understand how they still have a voice in the midst of the circumstance, how God can work in their lives to see them be faithful and make a difference. And those two things aren’t conflicting.

In fact, because of the gospel, they work together. Peter’s writing to a first century church that’s being persecuted because of their faith. He’s writing this letter to what we would refer to today, to a people in modern day Turkey. In the first century, they went by some different ways of categorizing that area of land. But he’s writing to what we would say is modern day Turkey to a church that’s facing persecution. And we’ve said this together, Peter is not too far himself from becoming a martyr because of his faith.

In fact, history tells us that Peter’s wife was crucified and shortly after that, Peter was crucified upside down. And so, he writes this letter, helping us to find a cure for all the injustice in the world. He doesn’t just categorize it under one topic, but he gives us a message that speaks into every injustice. And so, that’s what we’re going to look at together. Last week, we talked about how to be blessed and to love life even in adversity, how we discover that.

Today we’re going to look in verse 16 and we’re going to talk about chapter three, what we’re striving for, verse 16 and 17. And then verse 18 to 22, is going to tell us why we’re striving for that. I’m a father of three kids. I can tell you that probably the most popular question I answer in my house is, why? Right? If you’re a parent, you know that better than anybody. Why? Why dad? Why? Why? Right? But it helps to understand things, not just what you’re to do, but why you’re to do it. What is the basis for why you’re choosing to live the way that you are?

So we’re going to look at those two ideas in verse 16 and 17. So if you look with me at this passage of scripture, one cure for every injustice, verse 16 and 17, what to strive for, especially as God’s people, despite adversity. What is it we’re striving for? So look at this. And keep a good conscience. That’s it. That’s what it says right here. So that statement, this is the key phrase to latch onto as we read these two verses. Keep a good conscience, that’s what it says. And then he’s going to give the explanation for that here. “So keep a good conscience, so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better if God should will it so that you suffer for doing what is right than for doing what is wrong.”

So what does this passage mean? Right? The key idea, in keep a good conscience. What does this passage mean? Well, I will say this, this passage gets me. If anything else, and if I just think about just little old me today and just forget about you, I would just read these verses and say, this passage gets me. The reason I say that is because it recognizes, it is hard not to react and especially react sinfully, when you feel malign or slandered or attacked. When someone comes against you, then I think there are two ways that we typically respond as people, we become dejected and sort of get depressed about the circumstance or we become angry and react sort of an emotional charge, right?

We go after things. I’m the one that chooses latter. I am not the individual to ever watch a scary movie with because I’m the guy that if I see anything like that, I just start getting this nervous energy and I start talking uncontrollably, and then I just want to do something about it, right? And so, there’s a few ways we react. We either withdraw or we attack. I think this passage, it at least gets me in saying, look, but there’s a different way that God desires for you to respond to circumstance. And that’s just not this emotionally charged reaction to where you’re at.

In fact, sometimes that’s not helpful at all. Oftentimes, it’s most often not helpful at all. Because what we should be after as God’s people, is not just to make an emotional statement as if it does something, but to see a lasting change. And so, what Peter is saying to us here is, keep a good conscience. We oftentimes, we want to fight but when mud is thrown at you, our tendency is to throw mud back and what happens is we end up getting dirty. And so, he uses this phrase, keep a good conscience.

Now, when you think about the word conscience, what does that mean? Well, the word con means with. The word science at the end of it is knowledge. And so what it means is, you’re with knowledge or really it’s talking about your understanding. It’s this internal way within us that either approves or accuses us based on how we react to circumstances. A good conscience, when you step the right way. A good conscience will approve that you have no reason to be ashamed. You’ve walked in the proper way. But without a good conscience, you’ll feel the accusations, right? Maybe it didn’t manifest itself in an outward action, but maybe it was a wrestling within your own heart and you knew where your heart went. Other people may have not have known that, but you knew where it went.

And so, this idea of a conscience is looking for this approval in the steps that we take according to the way that the Lord has called us to walk. And so, what the author is driving for in us here, Peter, he’s saying, look, God’s desire for you, what you’re striving for, is a good conscience. There are plenty of verses that talk about the importance of this. Romans 2:15 says this, “For the work of the law written in our hearts, their conscience bearing witness, their thoughts accusing or else defending them.” Or in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 22. “Let us draw near with a sincere heart. Having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience.” Or Proverbs chapter four, verse 23 tells us, “To guard our hearts with all diligence, for from it flows the wellspring of life.”

Now the Bible talks about in Titus chapter one and first Timothy chapter four, that you can sear your conscience, but God’s desires for your conscience to remain focused on what is good. Now, walking with a clear conscience, it isn’t easy to do. I think of, in Worms, Germany, there is a monument that stands a statue of Martin Luther. This is where he went on trial for believing for injustification by faith. And he was put on trial. Martin Luther knew based on just recent history that such a stand could lead to the end of his life. Martin Luther in the middle of that chose to stand for God and fear the Lord rather than fear of man. And at the bottom of his statue stands that phrase, “Here I stand. I can do no other, God help me. Amen.”

Standing with a good conscience before the Lord isn’t always easy. But why pursue it? Why pursue it? Well, one is, it’s obvious is that it’s pleasing to the Lord. In this life, you’ve got a decision to make every day, what will you worship? What will you honor? You will honor, you will worship something you’re created as a worship being. The thing that you look to, to give you value in worth and meaning, that is what you’ll bow to. Whether it’s the approval of people, the possession of things, or God himself. And so, when we talk about keeping a good conscience that we recognize as God’s people, it’s not just being good for the sake of being good, because anything that’s good comes from God. So it’s about recognizing in our life, his position over us and our purpose in living for his glory in this world. That’s what it’s talking about as a believer and walking in good conscience.

In the beginning, why pursue a good conscience? Well, it’s about honoring God. But in addition to that, it gives you peace in your hearts. When you have peace within, we can face the battles without. An uneasy conscience divides the heart and it drains the soul from living for the purpose for which God calls us. You know what it’s like to walk around with a heavy conscience, because you’ve walked in a mistake before. Right? And you know how that’s weighed on you. It’s drained you. It’s taken your attention off of what God has called you to because you feel guilty or remorse.

So it gives peace in your hearts and too I would say, a good conscience removes from us the fear of what other people may know about us or say against us, or do to us because we’re pure before the Lord. Psalm 118 verse six says this, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” I think more than anyone, Peter was aware of the effects of a guilty conscience before God. I think in Peter’s own life, maybe the reason he’s writing this chapter and he can do so in such a way that compels the church to live for God’s glory or encourages the church to do so, is because Peter himself knows when he faced adversity, he wasn’t always faithful.

I remember what Peter said to Jesus before he was betrayed. Jesus tells his disciples that he’s going to be betrayed and he’s going to die. And Peter says, “Lord, it’s never going to happen. It’s going to be my life before yours.” And at that point, Jesus stands before Peter and rebukes him and says, “Get behind me, Satan.” That’s such an interesting phrase because just before that, Jesus said to Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” And he says, “You’re the Christ.” And he says, “Okay, Peter, upon that confession, I’m going to build my church.” So he praises that confession in the life of Peter. And then the very next thing we find about Peter is that he’s called Satan. Get behind me, Satan. And then it goes on to the story of Jesus’s crucifixion, that Peter does indeed deny Jesus to his face.

Peter, more than anyone knows what it’s like to walk with a guilty conscience. And so, in the midst of this adversity, he wants the church to remain pure and not to just respond in the emotion, but to see lasting change and to be faithful to God and make a difference. Right? And so, when he talks about good conscience for those purpose, because he understands the reason he created the church to storm down the gates of hell, to be those kinds of people, to be a light into this world, to make a difference. And so, when you think about God’s people walking in this world, God doesn’t create the church or call Christians to be the problem. But rather God calls his people to reveal the problem and through Jesus, heal the problem.

So when Christians walk in this world, we don’t want to intentionally be the foreign to anyone’s side. But remember what it told us in first, Peter chapter three, verse nine, we read that last week. “Don’t return evil for evil or insult for insult, but give a blessing instead, for you are called for this very purpose.” What’s your calling in this life? That when people provide evil and insult, that you’re the people that rise above the circumstance and bless those around you. Why? Because that’s what makes a difference. That’s what Jesus does for you. And while you were yet sinners, Christ died for you. And that sort of gracious, loving response of Christ is what changes our life and therefore changes the life of people around us.

You ask as a pastor or really any believer, what’s my job? In evil, I bless. In evil, I’m called to bless. That’s what first Peter, 3:9 says. And so, when he responds to us the purpose of a Christian is to both reveal the darkness and to heal it through the call of Christ. Knowing that Christian life isn’t easy, knowing the Christian life has this sort of servant sacrificial attitude, then we need to ask, why? Right? Why would I do this? Why would I give my life for this purpose? And so, verse 18 then starts the explanation. This is where the difficult passage of scripture comes from, but in verse 18, it’s now he starts to explain it.

For Christ. So he asked the question, why? He says this word for, which is an equivalent of saying because. Right? Because of Christ also died for sins once for all, look at this, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God having been put to death in the flesh being made alive in the spirit. And right there, right there is the reason why we have the title that we’ve got this morning, that we find for every injustice, there is one cure. One cure for every injustice. And you see it with Christ right here. The just for the unjust, who brings not justice, the not just. But who makes us just, what is the cure? It’s Christ. It’s Christ.

When you look at this text, because Jesus died for sins. Once for all, Jesus is sufficient for all. One death, for all sin, for mankind, to bring in his justice, the unjust. This phrase right after that, is so important. “That he might bring us to God.” What does that phrase mean? It’s an idiom, that it aligns with this thought. It comes from the court of law. It’s to gain an audience at court. It’s saying that God listens. God listens to your need not because of you, but because of Jesus. It’s because of Jesus, that Jesus is reconciling everything. Every sin, every need that you have, Jesus reconciles it, in him.

This idea of reconciliation is so important for us as believers. Now, let me just tell you this. I know there’s a danger in saying one cure for every injustice. And let me tell you what it is. I hope I get a grace from you in saying and sharing this. But the danger in this kind of title, is that you might sweep under the rug particular pains of different individuals. Does that make sense? One cure for every injustice isn’t to say that, what individual peoples or individual persons or people groups go through, it doesn’t say that it’s not important. Okay? I think it is important. I think it’s important for God’s people to listen. But if you think about the context of first Peter, what we’ve learned together is Peter hasn’t just left one cause for how the gospel can cure. But Peter has addressed every cause. Every cause, because he knows the solution is the gospel.

Church, I hope in me saying this, this morning, what it helps us begin to recognize, is when we see injustices in this world, we see problems in this world, we don’t lay down the gospel and then go to that problem and try to do our best and then come back to the gospel. What Peter is saying is, the gospel is the cure for every one of those things, which is why in this book, Peter has addressed all sorts of areas in life that needed to address in the first century culture. I mean, we’ve seen it, right?

We’ve talked about the idea of women and the idea of a wife and marriage because women in the first century are viewed as property. We talked about the idea of slave and free. We’ve looked at that together or political oppression, and Peter’s going after all of those things and he’s addressed the cure in all of those things under the gospel. And ,so when you look at different problems in this world, I think it’s important for us to recognize that the answer isn’t apart from the gospel, the answer is the gospel. That’s why he’s saying, look, the just for the unjust, under the idea of every injustice that’s been done in this world.

Let me give you another text of scripture to just think about in light of this. In the book of Galatians chapter three. Book of Galatians, chapter three, let me just read this passage to you. This is a powerful passage where Paul is saying the same thing. Listen, for all of you who were baptized. Verse 27, all of you who were baptized, that were baptized here is important. We’re going to talk about baptism in just a minute and not water baptism, it’s being baptized in the spirit, into the body of Christ. “For all of you who are baptized into Christ, have clothed yourself with Christ.” Now listen to this. “There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ, Jesus.”

What is he saying there? He’s saying to us, there is no value system between ethnic groups. He says Jew and Gentile right here, right? God doesn’t look at us with different value. God looks at us equally. Now, why does he do that? Because of the gospel. Jesus has given his worth to us. But God has already reconciled people of every tribe, tongue, and language. And so, what we do is because of his reconciliation that’s already been declared, we walk in that declaration. That is the gospel. And so, it’s neither Jew nor Gentile or ethnic groups, there are not multiple races in this world. I hope we know that as God’s people. There is only one race. It is the human race. There are multiple ethnicities.

Revelation, five, tells us, of every tribe, tongue language, and people that God calls us all together, that God created us uniquely beautifully, but there is only one race. In addition to that, he says, there is neither slave nor free that God doesn’t care about your class, that we are all equal. I mean, you think about the first century church, how this would look, how beautiful this was, a multi ethical group of every tribe, tongue, language, nation of whatever class, both slave and free, sitting side by side worshiping the Lord together, male and female. Why? It’s because of the gospel. Jesus has declared our worth.

Now, this isn’t a sweep under the rug specific injustices. Because I think it’s important and you know this, especially if you’ve been married. My wife, wonderful woman, sometimes she will go through something and sometimes she doesn’t want me to fix it necessarily right away. And sometimes I shouldn’t fix it right away. Right? Or maybe I don’t need to fix it at all. But sometimes what she needs more than anything, is for me just to listen. I’m not going to get into the particulars of racial injustice. But let me tell you this. If you are interested in learning a little bit about that, I’m going to tell you two resources to look up this week if you want to see how it relates to the gospel.

If you look up The Gospel Coalition and you read an article called George Floyd And Me is written by Shai Linne, who is an artist and an author. It’s probably one of the most beautiful articles I’ve read from an African American in how he has viewed himself in this world in trying to walk in a Godly way. A beautiful story to look at. He talks about it from a personal perspective. So Shai Linne, George Floyd And Me under the Gospel Coalition. The other one I will tell you to listen to is a Voddie Baucham, on Ephesians chapter two, verse 10 and 11. So if you look that up, Voddie Baucham on Ephesians chapter two verse 10, 11. Voddie is, V-O-D-D-I-E. Baucham, B-A-U-C-H-A-M, I think it is.

Voddie, he’s an African American as well, and has worked with social injustice causes, in the early nineties. And so, he shared that message that I just shared with you a few years ago. So it’s even predated where this is, but I love it because it’s not necessarily an emotionally charged message. It’s just God’s scripture as it relates to that. Good passages, good things to read for resources, if you’re interested in knowing a little bit more about that. But I don’t want to end those causes sweep under the significance of those things. But I do want us to see guys, the importance of standing for the gospel in all of these things, because that is what heals.

It declares for us where we find our value. You talk about racial problems in our country, I used to do ministry in Inner City, Baltimore and racial problems exist in all sorts of ways. I remember in 2004, driving through Inner City, Baltimore doing ministry, I got pulled over right outside of the place where were doing ministry in the heart of Baltimore. And this is 2004 when we weren’t as careful as we are today. But 2004, I get pulled over by an African American cop and a white cop. The white cop’s the one that comes to the window and talks to me. And there’s no joke, the reason he pulled me over, he tells me, a cop pulls you over to tell you the reason to pull you over, “Officer, why did you pulled me over?” “I pulled you over because you’re a white guy.” That’s what he said. I’m a white guy in the wrong neighborhood. That’s the only reason I got pulled over. It’s like, where am I?

There’s things that we need to learn in our environment in which the gospel can speak into that. That is healing rather than hurtful, right? I think any issue we have faced, it’s important to listen and it’s also important not to respond emotionally, but to respond with the truth of the gospel. In verse 19, this is where this passage starts to pick up on this complication, listen to this. “In which also Jesus went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison.” What in the world does that mean Jesus, went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison.

Well, in order to understand that, let me read a little bit further in verse 20. “Who once were disobedient when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the Ark, in which a few that is eight persons were brought safely through the water.” Now, what does this have to do with Jesus going to preaching to these spirits in prison? And now he talks about disobedience during the times of Noah. How does this all correlate?

Well, let me just say this. The confusing part. I think for people when they read this passage starts to happen with that word spirits and where Jesus is going to preach in prison. Spirits generally in the New Testament by enlarge means angels. Only a couple of times, once in Hebrews, once in Revelation, is it in reference to people. Almost always it’s in reference to angels. And so, it looks like Jesus is going somewhere after his crucifixion to make a proclamation. I’ll tell you this. I do not believe Jesus, when he was crucified, he tells us three days after his resurrection, I don’t think Jesus went to hell for three days. I don’t even think that’s biblical. If you think that, I think you’re wrong, but I’ll give you grace. Okay? But let me tell you why I don’t think that.

Jesus didn’t Oh, hell your sin debt. Jesus didn’t Oh, Satan, your sin debt. Jesus paid for your sin debt on the cross. John 19:30, is this, to tell us that, it is finished, paid in full. Meaning, when Jesus paid for your sins, he accomplished it on the cross. There’s no need to go to hell for three days to pay for that. But I think when it’s talking about Jesus going to the prisons here, I think Jesus goes to what scripture calls Haiti’s or the underworld and Jesus preaches his message of victory. And it could be spirits. It could be the angels. Jude six talks about angels that are being held there. It could be to people that rejected his message, but either way Jesus preaches his message of victory. People that stood against or angels that stood against that. And then he uses this illustration of Noah.

Now, when the Bible uses illustrations, here’s what’s important to know. I don’t think the Bible is just arbitrarily pulling illustrations that somewhat loosely relate to what we’re talking about. I think when the Bible is using illustrations, it’s doing so very intentionally. And so, when you think about the days of Noah, you ask the question, why in the world would he use this illustration? Well, out of the entire world, how many people were rescued in the days of Noah? Now, it tells us, right? Only eight.

And so, the reason I think Peter is using this illustration for the first century church is the first century church is looking around at their circumstance. They’re being persecuted, they’re facing hardship and they’re looking around thinking the world has just gone bat crazy, man. What in the world are we going to do? Peter, in relation to where they are is like, I can think about a time, another time in history when the world also went crazy. In fact, it went so crazy, there were only eight people rescued during that time. The world went crazy and not only did the world go crazy, even God’s people looked a little bit batty because they built a boat on the middle of dry land for about a hundred years.

You can imagine, you can either go with the world or join those crazy people in the middle of dry land building this boat for some future flood. And so, Peter is just identifying, I think this portion to relate to us. Do you know what God brought in the middle of that insanity? Salvation. He brought a way of escape. That’s what it’s saying, right? They were brought safely through the water.

Now you think about that for a minute. You ever been part of a time where you felt like the world might be going a little bit of crazy? Perhaps 2020. Kobe Bryant dies and the world goes to part, right? What has happened? I think this illustration is really for us to relate to when we feel like things around us, just seem nuts. And then, Noah. God went and proclaimed his message during the days of Noah and people missed it. There’s something I want you to latch on to in verse 20, look at this, the very beginning of verse 20. These people who were once disobedient, but look at God’s response, right? When the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, what did God do? He was patient. God was patient.

That’s important. Guys, that’s important for us right now to think about because that thought is what carries into the next verse. Look at this. Corresponding to that, now that you think about Noah’s day and people not listening, but God being patient. Corresponding to that, look at this. Baptism now saves you. And we’re not talking about water baptism here. When the Bible uses the word baptism, you got to ask what kind of baptism, because it means immersion. And you can be immersed in baptism, physically, in water. Or you can be immersed into God’s family through the power of his spirit, right?

When you belong to Jesus, the Bible tells us the spirit of God, indwells us. We’re baptized into his family. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you. Look at this, not the removal of dirt from the flesh, physical baptism isn’t what saves you. I mean, Paul said in first Corinthians 1:18, “I came not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” He makes a difference between the idea of physical baptism in water and the gospel. Physical baptism doesn’t save you, Paul says, but I came to preach the gospel because that’s what saves you.

When we get baptized in water as Christians, it’s a declaration on the outside what Jesus has done to us on the inside, by the baptism of the spirit. And so, he’s saying in verse 21, “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you. Not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” What saves us? Not your works, not your works. It was the just who is Jesus for the unjust that he might bring us to God, it’s Christ who brings us to him.

It’s not based on what you do. It’s based on what he’s done for you. That’s why I said, when we think about injustices in this world, it’s not about putting down the gospel and then picking up the injustice and then come back to the gospel. It’s about walking the gospel of reconciliation that’s already been delivered to us in Jesus. Because it was the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Now in this passage of scripture, this is what he’s saying. That baptism now saves you, not the removal of dirt, but an appeal to God for good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus. It’s about walking in this.

But if you walk with a guilty conscience right now, if you don’t know where you stand before God, it’s about looking at what Jesus has done for you on the cross and recognizing the love of God has already been demonstrated and the power of God’s been made, known through his resurrection. And now he calls you to walk in this. Have you surrendered your heart to that? To say, God, my heart does need that reconciliation before you. I need to live in this. I don’t want to just respond emotionally to the things around me. I want to see a lasting change. I want to make a difference. I want to be faithful. Because I want the goodness of who you are to be made known in this world as I find healing everywhere, not just in one issue, but in all things. All things. To not forget the power of what we possess as God’s people.

What does this mean? Well, this means for us that we can make this declaration right now, that racism is wrong. It’s ungodly. It is not welcome among God’s people. We can make the declaration that being disrespectful to any one being made in the image of God is wrong. Even cops, it’s wrong. That treating women poorly as Peter talked about a couple of weeks ago, is ungodly. It’s wrong. That maligning anyone for any reason over what they’re doing, if you don’t like it, to diminish the image of God on any human being for any reason is wrong. It doesn’t mean you agree with what they’re doing, but it’s wrong.

What do we do in light of that? Well, we live in the gospel, the cure for it all. The one cause that gives purpose to all those things. The thing that rescues your soul from the flood, that’s what he’s saying in this argument. There is another flood that’s coming and God will carry you through. And what carries us through is Jesus. It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus who teaches us the dignity of every human being, regardless of ethnicity. It’s Jesus who shows the value of women in this world. It’s Jesus who cures the broken hearted and forgives sin and shows us our worth. It’s Jesus who rescues our soul and gives us new life and sets us free in him. And this is what Peter’s thing.

Church, don’t let go of your message. Let me just look at this last verse together, verse 22. “Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven after angels and authorities and powers have been subjected to him.” A beautiful ending. Why is this important? This ending. Why is this so beautiful? The end of this chapter. Well, I think when we hear a message like today, or this passage of scripture, when we start to underestimate God’s power, when most likely we’ll abandon Jesus in adversity. And that’s what Peter did. Right? At the crucifixion of Christ. He heard all of the messages of God’s power and adversity comes up, and what does he do? He abandons the message that sets him free.

When you let those last phrases of Peter in chapter three, resonate in your soul, what it’s saying to you guys is, no matter where you walk, no matter how crazy things would be. I mean, you can think of the times of Noah, how tempting it might’ve been for Noah being one of only eight people to just say, you know what? Forget it, forget it. But what helps us sustain in faithfulness in the midst of that adversity? It’s the power of the one that we rest our faith in. He’s more than able. He is more than able. J.D. Greer says this, “His presence and approval are what you need for ever lasting joy.”

The encouragement for us this morning, what do we strive for? It’s a good conscience before our King and before others. And why do we strive for it? Because it’s the power of the gospel that has reconciled. And it’s when his people walk through the gospel, that we continue to see the healing power of that reconciliation made known in this world. I’m going to pray for us and then invite the band up guys. As we get ready to sing this last song in just a moment, we’re going to partake a communion. If you don’t have communion cups, you can grab them at the resource tent back here. But the beauty of partaking of communion this morning is we get to live in the tangible reminder of the power of the gospel for all people having value, worth and dignity in him. May we be a people that live that way. Let me pray for us.