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  • Writer's pictureericleerisner


Rhythms Sermon Recap from 4.29.18

"Sweet Aroma"

TEXT: 2 Cor. 5:17



1. The most important aspect of our humanity is revealed in our capability to hear the voice of our Creator. Even though sin has radically altered our desire and ability to discern and hear the voice of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ redeems sinful humanity and restores our fellowship with God. This makes the question of, “What is God saying to me,” a crucial truth to examine and focus on throughout our lives.

2. The children of God are called to take God’s Word seriously. Our view of and obedience to God’s Word shapes our lives (and eternities) in dramatic ways. In other words, to love Jesus is to love His Word. Followers of Christ must set this example for younger generations and an unbelieving world.

3. Water baptism is a holy sacrament that offers a “sweet aroma” up to the nostrils of God. Meaning, water baptism is a powerful and holy act of obedience that every believer has been called to participate in.

4. Jesus modeled water baptism for His Church. Baptized by His cousin John, Jesus humbly sets an example for all His followers. We identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus through water baptism.

5. The New Testament records the water baptism of each new believer it mentions. This reveals that the Word of God expects for us to view the sacrament of water baptism as a normative practice for all new believers.

6. Water baptism connects us to our new identity. It calls us to remember how our sinful nature has been crucified with Christ and that we have risen from that death to new life. Believers who resist obedience to being baptized in water often will struggle with ‘putting off’ their old nature and walking in the power and freedom of their new identity.

7. Baptism announces that we have a new father and new family. The proper response to the gospel--faith and repentance--brings about a shift in the spiritual authority that governs our lives. While still under the guilt and penalty of sin, we are held captive by the powers of spiritual wickedness, but the power of the gospel breaks that authority and places us under the care and protection of our Heavenly Father. Baptism is a seemingly important aspect of recognizing and communicating this change in spiritual authority.

8. The powers of spiritual evil and wickedness want every believer to fall into a state of unforgiveness.

9. God cannot perform evil, act wrongly towards humanity, or sin in any way, shape, or form. God has never—and will never—wrong a human, but our sinful nature (and the accuser of the brethren) often leads us to perceive the circumstances of our lives as if God has wronged us in some way. Dealing with the brokenness of our world is a complex and nuanced issue, and many people tragically make the mistake of blaming God.



1. How does a child of God discern what God is saying to them? Do we automatically assume the ability to hear God's voice upon salvation, or is it more of a process that we must learn and walk through?

2. As a 21st Century American believer, what does it mean to take God's Word seriously? How can someone discern that they are rightly honoring the power and authority of God's Word?

3. What do you remember about your personal baptism in water? How has it proved to be powerful in your spiritual development and journey?

4. Why would the powers of spiritual wickedness be so intent on leading God's children into a state of unforgiveness? What are the implications of harboring unforgiveness and bitterness (towards another person) in your heart?

5. What would you tell a new believer who seems to be struggling with the perception that God has wronged them? What counsel would you offer, what truths would you share, and how would you help them overcome that hurdle?



Pray into the following areas:

  • For those who were baptized to be committed to God's Word and prayer

  • For those struggling with unforgiveness

  • Motivation and desire to hear God's voice

  • In thanks that we have been given a new Father and family


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