Wednesday night review

Wednesday night review

I began sharing Sunday morning our mission purpose statement for our church. Can anyone remember it?

Our Mission Purpose is:

 Presenting Jesus, the revelation of grace and truth that transforms lives.

Why do you think it is important for a church to have a mission purpose statement? It keep us focused. It keeps us from trying to do a million other good things.

Ask others?

What animal did I like us to in order to fulfill this MPS?

Do you think we are doing a good job fulfilling this MPS? What can we do better? Are we presenting the real Jesus or a religious version of Him?

Why do we have a cross in our sanctuary? A sign of the new covenant.

Why do we have communion? Signs of the new covenant.

When we say ‘Keep the main thing the main thing’ = what is the Main thing?

If you were to ask a Hindu – what is the main thing? He would say to keep the gods happy.

What would a Muslim say is the main thing – to love Allah and serve him.

If you asked a JW or Mormon? To love and serve God and obey Him.

If you were to ask the average Xn ?

If you were to ask Mary and her sister Martha in the bible?

If you asked Apostle Peter before he denied X – he would have said to love God with all heart and serve Him.

If you were to ask him again after he denied X and after he met Jesus on the beach after resurrection and Jesus asking him if he loved him – how would he have answered different?

He would say the main thing is not my love for Him but focusing on and realizing His great love for me and for all people.

What difference does this make?

 Ill. All the religions of the world focus on searching for the god and try to gain his favor by trying to do what pleases him. But Xnty is different. Instead of us searching for God – He is searching for us. Instead of us reaching up for God, He is reaching down for us. This is what Jesus is all about.

“We love Him because He first loved us.” I John 4:19

Our love for God can fluctuate but His cannot.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE OF GOD which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Are you persuaded that as a child of God that nothing, not even your sins, or failings can ever separate you from the love of God? Yet this is the new covenant – grace are we saved not of ourselves!

People are afraid if we preach this grace that believers will consider it a license to sin! News flash – Believers already sin as much as they want to.

Paul addressed this in Romans 6

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase? God forbid!  .  .  . for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.  Romans 6:1-2

What is the motivation for the Christian not to sin now in the new covenant?

God’s great love for us.

The Law never changed one human heart. Love is the only thing that never fails.

What restored Peter after he failed? Love – perfect love.

This is the Main thing! Not our love for God but His love for us. Our part is to Keep the Main thing the Main thing.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God while you are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to eternal life.” Jude 24

Ill. A woman who most believed was a prostitute came to Jesus. As she came near she broke down and wept bitterly and started wiping His feet with her tears and hair. She anointed His feet with expensive ointment that would have cost and entire years’ salary. Without hesitation she lavished it as worship on Him.

          Jesus said those who are forgiven much will end up loving God much. This is why the emphasis is not on how much we love God, it’s about His love for us. What restored this woman – God’s love for her.

Ill. Another woman caught in adultery. Her accusers were religious leaders who knew the law and demanded she be stoned to death. The threat of law did not stop this woman from committing adultery. Even though she deserved to be stoned to death He did not condemn her. He said to her accusers – He w/o sin may cast the first stone. One by one they left. Note that Jesus did not ask her why she sinned instead He asked, “where are your accusers?” “has anyone condemned you?”

 It seems like He is more concerned with the condemnation than the sin itself. He made sure she walked away without feeling condemned and shamed. WE must not reverse the order and note with God what comes first. No condemnation comes first then you can “go and sin no more.”

          Religion does the opposite. Religion says go and sin no more then we won’t condemn you. But when there is no condemnation then people are empowered to go and sin no more.

 Grace empowers through the revelation of no condemnation! Grace is unmerited, undeserved, but it still is a gift Jesus paid for at the cross.

          The only person without sin and who could have judged this woman and stoned her to death was Jesus and He did not do it. Jesus was representing the heart of God in the flesh – it was mercy and it wasn’t judgment. She received mercy and THEN SHE found grace through no condemnation.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

The main thing for Jesus should be the main thing for us. What is it? The main thing is God’s love for us.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God while you are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to eternal life.” Jude 24

          If you start to feel condemnation and guilt and shame then get back to the Main thing and find grace to be empowered to go and sin no more.