Arise and Build
Nehemiah 2:1-12, 17, 20
February 19, 2017
Ernest Hemingway. With a group of authors over lunch, they bet him that he couldn’t come up with a short story only six words long. He took that bet, pulled out a napkin and wrote …..
” For sale, baby shoes, never worn.”
At one level, just a story about a man who loved his people and wanted to secure their future by seeing God’s will accomplished.
Nehemiah’s entrance into Jerusalem’s ruins points us to God’s redeeming work in Jesus.
- Journey from the throne to the ruins
- Faceoff with the Enemies
- Resting for three days and rising to build
This historical snapshot gives us a view of Jesus’ mission from both a global and personal view.
He entered the ruins of our world, took on the spiritual, religious, and political evils, died and rose to save, and since then is building his Church and expanding the loving influence of his gracious kingdom.
From ruins to resurrection for the whole world
This is my Father’s world…
But what’s true for the whole world is true for you and me. He enters our ruins. He faces our enemies. He restores the beauty of our lives
Look at the RUINS! Survey the damage – personally, culturally, ecclesiastically…
But the Gospel is still the same!
I. Justification – He raises us from the death of sin
The ruins were due to Israel’s sin. Now that sin is forgiven.
Pastoral counsel: Don’t doubt his love
The righteousness wherein we must be found, if we will be justified, is not our own… Christ hath merited righteousness for as many as are found in Him….I must take heed what I say: but the apostle saith, “God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God Himself. Let it be counted folly, or frenzy, or fury, or whatsoever. It is our wisdom, and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, that man hath sinned, and God hath suffered; that God hath made Himself the sin of men, and that men are made the righteousness of God. – Richard Hooker
II. Sanctification – He renews the fight for our broken places
With us in the struggle
‘I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
“By grace we are what we are in justification, and work what we work in sanctification.” Richard Sibbes
Pastoral Counsel: Don’t forget his presence
III. Glorification – He resurrects the lost wonder
We are finally conformed to the image of Jesus
Pastoral Counsel: Don’t make peace with your enemies
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