Last night Pastor Andy touched on the notion of how — as citizens of a place, and also as citizens of a church — we each belong, knowing or unknowingly, to a particular culture.
“You are light for the world. A city cannot be hidden when it is located on a hill. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then it’s light shines on everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 GWT)
We are supposed to be a city within the city. Each city has a culture. As a church, we also have a culture.
He further spoke about how amidst these cultures, the notion of being ‘good’ generally prevails over Paul’s notion of how our own attempts at goodness will never be as ‘good’ as grace. Therefore we cannot good our way into righteousness.. This is an underlying principle of following Christ, yet it contradicts the demands and expectations of society..
“When I tried to obey the law’s standards, those laws killed me. As a result, I live in a relationship with God. I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins. I don’t reject God’s kindness. If we receive God’s approval by obeying laws, then Christ’s death was pointless” (Galatians 2:19-21 GWT)
What is it to be crucified with Christ?
-When we submit ourselves to being crucified with Christ all of the sudden our life is not generated by anything but the resurrection power of Christ.
I no longer live, I have been crucified with Christ.
What rights does a dead man have?
The law called people to goodness but his love calls people to grace
We tend to hold unto things within ourselves that we do not even like instead of letting them also die on the cross, yet we have every ability to let go of these through being crucified with Christ.
Let go of YOUR goodness and embrace Christ’s goodness!
-There is no hope in me for glory! All hope is in Christ.
-Your goodness is simply not good enough; let us try to understand His grace:
Grace is a teacher, Grace teaches you to say no, Grace teaches you to live in liberty!
If we are going to be a city on a hill..we must receive grace.
We cannot mingle the law and grace..the two do not mingle. It is not about your goodness! It is because you stepped into the grace of Christ. Grace teaches you to be free from the world! Your goodness does not.
Your goodness or His grace?
Some characteristics of people who accept Christ’s grace instead of relying on their own goodness:
-Radical lovers of people
-Lovers of those who show no love in return
-Friends to all
-Crazy. (because of the things that you do, and the things that you do not do..A crucified life gives you strength to do things you would never have done and also allows you the ability to stop doing things you never would have stopped doing).
-Humble.**Stop trying to gain followers, move out of the way, and start thinking about how I can make Jesus famous**
-They are givers, and they are servants.
-They realize that others matter as much as they do.
-They are unguarded. **They do not mask their sin but they get real with God**
-Rooted. **Seeking a moment by moment intimacy with God**
-Dedicated. **They care about character more than comfort**
-They embrace sacrifice. **Be willing to sacrifice and also accept the sacrifice of Christ**
-You can never, and will never be good enough to deserve God’s grace..but you get it regardless…
That is Grace
I don’t live, Christ lives in me! I have no rights.
This is a process, friends!
I invite you to listen to this sermon via the Adore.TV site
For further meat — please listen to NT Wright’s wisdom on the very same topic. (Andy had included this brief video segment in his sermon). View here! It’s a gooder.