Today Pastor Ed Allen preached a sermon kicking off a new theme for our next year together at Gateway: Deeper Wider.
Beginning October 1st, we've begun reading through the New Testament together, with one passage from the gospels each day and one from the epistles. Pastor Ed chose a passage from one of those readings to go over today.
Spiritually, we're designed to go deeper and wider each year.
We want to approach this year with a renewed sense of expectation.
May God make some new stories in our lives this year.
The daily devotional time and reading the New Testament over the year is not a quick fix -- but consistent habits do make a difference. This is one of our linchpins for going deeper and wider.
In order to go deeper and wider:
We need to entrust all that we know of ourselves to all that we know of God.
We need to commit.
When you're more invested, you do more. We'll reap what we sow. Let's sow generously this year to our spirit.
Looking at Romans 1:16-17 --
This might be the most important passage in the New Testament.
God's power is in the story of Jesus and in the aftermath of this story and in the effects of this story.
Paul is also saying that it's for everyone, not just for observant Jews.
The historical significance of this passage is how important they were to Martin Luther, who began the whole Protestant movement.
We looked at what Luther said about this passage.
The "righteousness of God" is about faith -- righteousness given by a merciful God.
You don't inherit faith.
The righteousness of God through faith is about what God has done, not what we do.
This is a gift.
Are you in?
Expect God to do something new this year.
Expect some brand-new stories this year.