For You Have Died – Communion Meditation

It’s a great mistake to believe that Jesus Christ died so that we wouldn’t die. In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul says:

2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Notice, Christ didn’t die so that you wouldn’t die. If you have put your faith in him, then when he died, you died. This means that when he was being put to death so was your sin, your guilt, your shame. We are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God through Christ.

So, the only sin that can truly keep you from coming to this table is the sin of hardheartedness—this is the sin of rejecting grace, the refusal to reckon oneself dead to sin, of willfully remaining in unbelief.

Listen carefully to what I’m about to say: Are you bitter at your spouse? You can come to this table. Are you a thief? Come and eat. Are you angry at your parents? Come and eat. Have you used pornography? This table is for you. Do you love self-pity? Are you addicted to a substance? Have you lied and cheated? Here, at this table, you will find full pardon and complete forgiveness. There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

But there is one question you must answer: are you repentant? Have you reckoned yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ? God will bring his grace even to you. Do you want it?

If you do, then come, and welcome to Jesus Christ.

(Pieces of this meditation were borrowed from a similar meditation written by Pastor Doug Wilson)

Political, Not Partisan – Matthew 5:14


The text for the sermon today is Matthew 5:14. These are the Words of God:

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.


During the Colonial era of American history, it was customary for pastors to preach sermons just prior to public elections instructing the church in their civic responsibilities. They were called artillery sermons because the custom began with pastors preaching to groups of artillery soldiers who were preparing to elect new officers. The sermon today stands in the same line.

Two days from now, our nation, our states, and even our local municipalities will hold various elections and we all need to go into this election day Biblically, intentionally, and prayerfully. But first, the text.


In Matthew’s gospel account, Jesus is presented as the new Moses; the God-sent deliverer who rescues his people from the bondage of sin. Just as Moses delivered a people who were governed by the law of God, Christ is delivering a people, the church, who are governed by the ethical commands of his kingdom.

In Matthew 4:17 Jesus preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And in chapters 5-7 Jesus teaches us what his kingdom is like, who is permitted to enter, and how life in the kingdom operates. We call this the Sermon on the Mount.

As Jesus, the new Moses, delivers his people, they now live in obedience to his commands which draws the attention of the world. They’re like a city on a hill. You can’t miss it.

When Jesus says, “You are the light of the world,” it’s important to know who he’s referring to: his disciples, the church. Not a nation like Israel or America. Not Calvin’s Geneva or Winthrop’s Massachusetts Bay Colony. The church is the light of the World.

What does it mean to be light? Throughout the Old Testament, “light” refers to both righteousness (Psalm 37:6; Isaiah 5:20) as well as revelation (Psalm 43:3; Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 9:2)

Light as Righteousness

Psalm 37:6 – He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.

Light as Revelation

Psalm 43:3 – Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Isaiah 9:2 – The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

We should also note that throughout the Scriptures, “light” has both attractive (Isaiah 6:1-30) as well as repulsive power (John 1:5).

Attractive Power

60 Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
3And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
(Isaiah 60:1-3)

Repulsive Power

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5)

Notice where the church is the light: the light of the world. Christ said that as long as he was in the world he was the light of the world (John 9:5), and because the church is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ, we are the light of the world.

Finally, notice that the light of the world, which reveals and shows God’s righteousness, which attracts and repels cannot be hidden. He does not say it “must not” but that it “cannot” be hidden.


As we apply the text specifically to our civic duties, we see that the church can’t not be political. Every week we gather and proclaim that “Jesus Christ is Lord.” That statement has political ramifications. If Christ is Lord, the President cannot be Lord. City Councils cannot be Lord. Christians need to stop saying that churches aren’t political. Of course, they are.

We are to preach Christ to every creature, we are to baptize people of all nations, and we are to teach them to obey all that Christ has commanded. That is the charter of our church—so how can that not involve political candidates, laws, and local referendums?

A city set on a hill, calling people out of the kingdoms of this world and into the kingdom of Christ, under the Lordship of Christ—that political reality cannot be hidden.

There is a reason that the Christian church is not allowed to worship freely in totalitarian states. It’s because Christians will not bow to “Dear Leader.” Totalitarian leaders know better than anyone that the church is political.

It’s important to note here that coming under the authority of Christ and his kingdom does not mean we’re working for the dissolution of nations here and now. Augustine taught us that we live with dual citizenship in the city of man and the city of God. Christ has called us to give Caesar submission—it just can’t be ultimate submission.


It’s not the job of the church, as the church, to stump for candidates. We don’t have an American flag on our stage. We don’t put red, white, and blue bunting on the pulpit on July 4th. That’s because the church speaks for and represents a King and Kingdom which transcends all others. We are the light of Christ’s kingdom.

We love our nation because this is where the Lord has providentially placed us. But we never want to conflate the church and our nation. The church calls every tribe tongue and nation to bow the knee to Christ. And we must be careful to protect our ability to speak prophetically to every politician and platform. We are not the errand boy for any political party.


If you don’t like the way the town is being run, or the nation is being led, or the laws being enacted, the taxes being levied, or the wars being started, you can’t sit this out.

This Summer, the Supreme Court struck down Roe. V. Wade. We celebrated that decision at the time as all Christians ought to celebrate it. But this now means that the protection of the unborn has been sent back to congress and duly elected officials.

So, if elected officials write laws that protect the unborn, and you choose not to vote simply because it would take a lot of time out of your Tuesday, you’re going to have a hard time praying with us for the lives of the unborn. You can’t be the answer to a prayer, choose not to answer it, and then pray that God would answer it.


When you wake up Tuesday morning, you need to prepare your heart to vote for a candidate without worshiping that candidate. The line between supporting a candidate and staking your hope on a candidate is thin. Do not put your trust in princes. (Psalm 146:3)

Your vote needs to be made on strategic, rather than emotional terms. If the candidate you vote for wins, count it as a strategic victory, not as synonymous with bringing in the kingdom of Christ.

Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly rest in Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

(The ideas and teachings of this sermon have been shaped from sources as wide as Albert Mohler, Doug Wilson, Francis Schaeffer, St. Augustine, Chesterton, and even John Locke.)

Election Day Confession


As we approach the midterm elections on Tuesday many are asking themselves, “How did our nation get here? How did we get to the point of denying what a human is or installing a Supreme Court Justice who says she can’t define the word “woman?” Abraham Kuyper tells us how we got here when he said:

In any successful attack on freedom, the state can only be an accomplice. The chief culprit is the citizen who forgets his duty, wastes away his strength in the sleep of sin and sensual pleasure, and so loses the power of his own initiative.

Kuyper reminds us that while it is true that the nation voted itself into our current situation and fixing it will require voting ourselves out of this situation, the chief culprit is not the leaders we have elected. We are not a good nation with wicked leaders. We are not a righteousness people who’ve had a string of bad luck.

No. We, the nation, are in this situation because we, the nation, have sinned our way into this situation. We have not recognized Christ as King and Lord. We have forgotten him, dismissed him, and silenced him. We have not lived according to his commands but instead have become a law unto ourselves.

And this means that while electing good leaders is necessary to get us out of this situation, it is not sufficient. The only sufficient way out is through the cross of Christ. The only way out is to repent of our sin, repent of our worship of man, and receive God’s pardon for sin which can only come through faith in the crucified and risen Christ.

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14)

This promise was made to the nation of Israel, but the principle it contains is applicable to us in the church. The only hope for any person or any nation is humility, turning from sin, and turning to the Living God and his Christ.


Almighty God and Father,
Your Word calls us to humble ourselves, to turn from our wicked ways, and to turn to you trusting in your salvation. (2 Chron. 7:14) So, we come agreeing with your Word: we are sinners. We have all turned aside. All we like sheep have gone astray, and each of us has turned to his own way. (Isa. 53:6) You are the fountain of living water, but we have forsaken you and dug out for ourselves broken wells which can hold no water. (Jer. 2:13)

As a nation, we have neglected confession and repentance for so long. In our prosperity, we have said, “We shall never be moved.” (Ps. 30:6) We have encouraged our souls to relax, to eat and drink and be merry as if we had goods laid up for many years when perhaps this night our souls will be required of us. (Luke 12:19-20)

As a nation, we’ve trusted in our vast wealth, our military might, and our own reason and wisdom. We have forgotten that all of these are on loan from you, and you require us to serve you with these gifts. (Deut. 6:12) We confess that we have been given much, and much has been required of us, yet we have forsaken you. (Luke 12:48)

Father, we know that we are accountable to you, and therefore you might justly be angry with us until you consume us. (Rom. 3:19; Ezra 9:14) If you kept a record of sins, we know that we could not stand. But we also know that with you there is forgiveness. (Psalm 130:3, 4)

Father, forgive the sins of our nation, that your kindness might lead us to repentance. (Rom. 2:4) Wash us from all the filth of sin and cleanse us from every stain of evil. Be merciful by convicting us of our sin and showing us our need for forgiveness. Open our eyes that we might see Christ crucified for sinners, full redemption made available to us. Father, blot out our transgressions like a cloud and our sins like a mist. Though our sins have been like scarlet, let them be as white as snow.

We know that if we in the church say “Amen” to this prayer, while still holding onto our sin, this prayer will have no effect, so hear us as we confess our individual sins to you now in silence.

Hear our prayers.

In the strong and mighty name of Jesus, we pray, Amen!


17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself (2 Cor 5:17-18)