20-08-02| Mark:The Paradox of Joy

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  • 2020-Jul-31


今天是2020年8月2日,是我们英文团契一起“云敬拜”的第二十七个主日, 盼望大家将11:30-12:30的时间预留出来,我们一起敬拜。

读路加福音15:中浪子的比喻后,Nouwen 分享他对上帝的认识,“上帝不是一个呆在家里不动的家长——希望孩子主动来找他,为他们的反常行为道歉,乞求宽恕,并承诺做得更好。 相反,他离开房子,不顾尊严地跑到孩子身边,并没有在意孩子的忏悔和反悔当时所说的话,而是带他们到做了充分准备的桌前。

当我不再认为上帝躲着,使我尽可能难以找到他时,我的属灵生活有了很大的变化,我意识到我才是那个一直躲着的人。当我透过上帝的眼睛看着迷失的自我,发现上帝在我回家时的喜悦时,我的生活变得不那么痛苦和更充满信任。”(Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return Of The Prodigal Son: A story of Homecoming, Image Books Dobleday, New York, 1992, 106)



Dear brothers and sisters,

Today is August, 2nd , 2020, the twenty-seventh “cloud worship” Sunday with the English fellowship. We hope everyone would reserve the time from 11: 30 to 12: 30 to worship our God together.

Nouwen addresses our heavenly Father in this way, “God is not the patriarch who stays home, doesn’t move, and expects his children to come to him, apologize for their aberrant behavior, beg for forgiveness, and promise to do better. To the contrary, he leaves the house, ignoring his dignity by running toward them, pays no heed to apologies and promises of change, and brings them to the table richly prepared for them.

I am beginning now to see how radically the character of my spiritual journey will change when I no longer think of God as hiding out and making it as difficult as possible for me to find him, but, instead, as the one who is looking for me while I am doing the hiding. When I took through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.”

(Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return Of The Prodigal Son: A story of Homecoming, Image Books Dobleday, New York, 1992, 106)

Pastor Rachel He




Worship Songs

Great Things

How Great Is Our God

Way Maker

Who You Say I Am





“The Paradox of Joy”

Romans 5.1-11 NIV                                                           

Romans 5.1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.    8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


The World promises JOY!


Romans chapters 1-4  - APOSTLE Paul – wore 2 hats…

1. God’s PROSECUTING Attorney:  Whole World GUILTY before Mighty God

2. HERALD of Good News: Whole World offered GRACE from Merciful God


SUMMARY of GREAT News in Chapter 3…


the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe… propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith…so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.                        Romans 3.21-26


1.         We have peace with God (verse 1)

2.         We are standing in grace (verse 2a)

3.         We exult in hope of God's glory (verse 2b)

4.         We also exult in our tribulations (verses 3-8)

5.         We shall be saved (verses 9, 10)

6.         We also exult in God (verse 11)


1. Expensive Peace


a. There is No Peace in this World


Romans 5 has 5 Descriptions of what it means to be WRONG with GOD --

"SINNERS" missed the mark of righteousness

"UNGODLY" revolt against God's authority

"POWERLESS" unable to help ourselves

"ENEMIES" because of the hostility between God and us

"GOD'S WRATH" angry condemnation of sinners


b. We have Peace with God


Romans 5.1-11 Song of Celebration > Justified! Rejoice in Peace with God

vs. 1,2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


“Peace with God” (v.1) - not the same as “the peace of God” (Philippians 4.7).


c.         It comes 'through our Lord Jesus Christ'


 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”                                                                                                    Luke 2.14


v. 2 We are Standing in Grace


d. God's Love was Proved on the Cross


vs. 6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.



2. Exclusive Power


a. God's Love been Poured into our Hearts by the Holy Spirit

verse 5: “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”



FORGIVENESS of SINS goes together with FILLING of SPIRIT


“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”                                                                                                                        Romans 8.16



b. We Exult in Hope of God's Glory

verse 2 NIV: And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.


for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3.23

But NOW we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God

 “I command you in the name of God to live, because I still have need of you in the work of reforming the church…The Lord will never hear that you are dead, but will permit you to survive me. I am praying for this. This is my will, and may my will be done, because I seek only to glorify the name of God.” Martin Luther


3. Experienced in Problems


a. Suffering is the Path to Glory


v. 3 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings”

Jesus: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16.33 --- SAME Word ‘tribulation’ in Romans 5


AFFLICTIONS because you Decided to Deny Self, Pick Up Cross, Follow Jesus


“we are…heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”                                Romans 8.17


b. Suffering is the Context in we Grow in God's Love


vs. 3-5 “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”





c. We Shall Be Saved



Negatively, 'we shall be saved from God's wrath' (verse 9)


Positively, 'we shall be saved by his life' (verse 10)

The Judge has pronounced us righteous, and the Father has welcomed us home.                                                                                                                             John Stott


v. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.






Jesus Calling – August 2

Sarah Young

BRING ME THE SACRIFICE of your time: a most precious commodity. In this action-addicted world, few of My children take time to sit quietly in My Presence. But for those who do, blessings flow like streams of living water. I, the One from whom all blessings flow, am also blessed by our time together. This is a deep mystery; do not try to fathom it. Instead, glorify Me by delighting in Me. Enjoy Me now and forever!


Surely you have granted him eternal blessings

and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

PSALM 21 : 6


“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

JOHN 7 : 38


For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his love for those who fear him.

PSALM 103 : 11




Lord's Prayer:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.