SERMON TITLE: “Saved By Grace: The Righteousness of Faith”
SERMON TEXT: Genesis 15:1-6 and Romans 4:1-5, 18-25
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: September 10, 2017
(Note there is another Sermon Illustrations file of photos, as numbered..)
Many of you have been asking about my mission trip to Mexico, so I’m going to start my sermon by showing you some pictures. 1Here’s our group. There were 12 of us from the Rocky Mountain Conference plus one person from Michigan who went on a Spanish immersion trip to the city of Cuernavaca, in the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City. 2Here I am with two of our Spanish teachers, Francisco and Mario. 3Besides learning the language, we also heard lectures about important aspects of Mexican history and culture. When we weren’t inside the school, we visited some interesting places. 4Here’s a picture of a mercado (market). 5Here’s a picture from a pre-Aztec site called Xochicalco. 6We also visited some organizations in Cuernavaca that try to improve the life of the people. This program helps raise children and youth up out of poverty by improving their educational and work opportunities.
7While we were sight-seeing, we saw this very ornate Catholic church that had six giant gold-plated altar pieces. The entire church was paid for by one man who made his fortune from mining gold and silver. Over 80% of Mexicans are Roman Catholic. 8Here we visited a group of Catholics who use weekly home Bible studies to imagine solutions and empower themselves to address social problems in their communities and country. 9Of course, not all Mexican people are Catholic. These stained glass window pictures came from the Methodist Church of Mexico where I worshiped last Sunday. 10And, as we were walking along the street one day, we came across this Protestant Reformation sign that indicates that this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany in 1517. The Spanish words on the banner say, “Protestant Reformation” and “only faith, only grace, only Christ, only scripture,” and “only to God be the glory.”
I was really happy to get this picture because it fits perfectly with the sermon series that I’m going to be preaching for the next several weeks. In honor of this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I’m going to focus on the very Protestant theme of how we are saved by grace. Today we begin not only with Luther, but also the Apostle Paul, and the story of Abraham and the righteousness of faith.