NOVEMBER 29, 2023

Dear Friends,

Do you minimize your sins? John Piper says we all do. He notes that all sin is rooted in some kind of lie.

My sin is not that bad.

There are much worse things than what I’m doing.

Everyone does this. I can’t help it.

God will overlook my sin. He knows I’m frail.

I’m not sure there really is a God anyway.

Think of the vocabulary you use to describe your sin. We use words like an accident, a blunder, an error, a weakness, a peccadillo, a slip up. God uses words like an abomination, lawlessness, corruption, wickedness, evil and enmity.

Truth be told, most of us don’t really believe God is as holy as He is. As a result, most of us don’t believe we are as sinful as we are.

We need to realign our thinking.

A.W. Tozer says “We have learned to live with unholiness and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing.”

And Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle says “I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.”

Author Jerry Bridges writes: “We need to cultivate in our own hearts the same hatred of sin God has. Hatred of sin as sin, not just as something disquieting or defeating to ourselves, but as displeasing to God, lies at the root of all true holiness. We must cultivate the attitude of Joseph, who said when he was tempted, ‘How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?’”

The prophet Isaiah was a man of good reputation. He was God’s man to speak the word of the Lord to the nation of Israel. He was a pillar of righteousness and godliness in his day. But when Isaiah had a vision of God, He described Him as “high and lifted up,” with a robe that filled the temple. The ministering angels around him were crying out “holy, holy, holy.”

What was Isaiah’s response to his vision of God? “Woe is me,” he said. “I am undone.”

“Woe is me” is a delicate way of saying “what I deserve is hell.” When Isaiah saw God in all His holy splendor, he saw his own sinfulness in a new light.

Here’s what R.C. Sproul has to say about Isaiah’s response to God’s holiness. “As long as he could compare himself to other mortals, he was able to sustain a lofty opinion of his own character. The instant he measured himself by the ultimate standard, he was destroyed – morally and spiritually annihilated. He was undone. He came apart. His sense of integrity collapsed.”

In an era where we are concerned about self-esteem, a reminder of how desperately sinful we are would seem like it might leave some people discouraged and condemned.

That’s good! Those who don’t know Christ need to hear what the Bible says about the depravity of their heart. They need to realize they stand condemned before God so that they might turn to Christ for forgiveness and redemption.

And those who have been redeemed need to be reminded of their sin so we can continue to forsake the flesh. The same God who has saved us by His grace also sustains us with His grace in our daily struggle with sin. A fresh awareness of our sin will drive us each day to the cross, where we are reminded that we are forgiven, and where we draw strength to live in victory over sin.

Don’t minimize your sinfulness. Own it. Confess it. Turn from it. That’s the only way to find the freedom from sin and deep joy for which your heart longs.

Have you been receiving your daily email Advent Devotion? If you haven’t seen it yet, check your spam folder or your junk mail.

If you’ve received it and you think it’s worth passing on, hit the “forward” button in your email account and pass it along to folks in your address book who you think might find it helpful. Invite them to sign up to receive it. You might think especially of people you know who are not currently attending a local church.

And here, again, is the cut and paste text you can post on Facebook or Instagram, inviting your friends to join you in receiving the daily devotion:

This month, the church I attend (Redeemer Community Church in Little Rock, AR) has a free Advent Devotional email that they’re sending out each weekday leading up to Christmas. It’s designed to help everyone take a few minutes each day to intentionally focus our hearts on the birth of Jesus during this season. Our pastor, Bob Lepine, has put all of this together this year. I know it’s easy for me to get busy and distracted and lose sight of what Christmas is all about in the midst of all the activity. That’s why I’ve signed up to get the email each day. Go to you’re interested in getting the daily email too. Again, it’s free.

That’s it. Copy and paste that paragraph and put it on social media or send it to your email contacts. And you can click here if you’d like to download the graphic and post it on your social media accounts as well.

Help us spread the word and point people to Jesus during this season! Thanks.

The Roots Game Night this Friday night!

And men, the next First Tuesday men’s meeting next Tuesday – December 5.

Here’s a reminder of all the Christmas fun that’s happening at Redeemer in December.

For families with elementary aged and younger children:

For the women:

Click here to sign up so we can know how many are coming.

For the students:

And finally, Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year. We’ll have our regular Sunday morning worship service that day, and our annual Candlelight and Carols Christmas Eve service at 5:00 pm that night.

If you have students who are part of the Roots Student Ministry, or who are Middle School and High School aged, there’s a big event for our students coming February 2-4.

D-Now is a weekend where students will spend time away from their homes and “unplugged” from their devices. The goal of the weekend is for students to see how God has called them out of their darkness and into His marvelous light.

D-Now 2024 will include worship and teaching, times of fellowship and a service project to help your student cultivate humility and an outward focus. Students can sign up now for what will be a spiritually impactful weekend!

Are there any rules of engagement when it comes to interacting with false teachers as you contend for the faith? After telling us that we should keep ourselves in the love of God, Jude has what may be a surprising answer for how we deal with doubters, deconstructors and those who have been deceived.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

Explore the Library