The Recipe for Spiritual Disaster

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Sermon from Feb. 9, 2014.

Sermon from Feb. 9, 2014.

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  • 1. Before? Relationship with God is first and foremost a gift, and not something earned—an act of grace and not a reward for merit. After?
  • 2. “The Pharisees weren’t selfrighteous.” “Saul wasn’t legalistic.” PKen.
  • 3. “You and your fellow Jews think I only love you. I also love baconloving, uncircumcised Gentiles just the way they are.” “You’re not too legalistic. You’re too restrictive.” Saul.
  • 4. Philippians 3 4-6 If it were right to have such confidence, I could certainly have it, and if any of these men thinks he has grounds for such confidence I can assure him I have more. I was born a true Jew, I was circumcised on the eighth day, I was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, I was in fact a full-blooded Jew. As far as keeping the Law is concerned I was a Pharisee, and you can judge my enthusiasm for the Jewish faith by my active persecution of the Church. As far as the Law’s righteousness is concerned, I don’t think anyone could have found fault with me. CHOSEN
  • 5. Philippians 3 7-11 Yet every advantage that I had gained I considered lost for Christ’s sake. Yes, and I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. For his sake I did in actual fact suffer the loss of everything, but I considered it useless rubbish compared with being able to win Christ.
  • 6. Moralism Let’s all straighten up and fly right! Recipe for a spiritual disasteR
  • 7. “The theological temptation of moralism is one many Christians and churches find difficult to resist. The danger is that the church will communicate by both direct and indirect means that what God expects of fallen humanity is moral improvement. In so doing, the church subverts the Gospel and communicates a false gospel to a fallen world.” –Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • 8. “God will love and bless us most if we behave and pursue moral improvement.” “If we try hard enough, we can overcome any sin or temptation. Perfection is always possible.” “Hey, none of us are without sin. We’re just without scandal.” Christians. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Galatians 1:6-7
  • 9. “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” John 5:39-40 (MSG)
  • 10. Philippians 3 For now my place is in him, and I am not dependent upon any of the self-achieved righteousness of the Law. God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. How changed are my ambitions! Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his sufferings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead.
  • 11. Grace is something none of us deserve, but all of us are worth. Imperfect and Wired for Struggle but always worth loving and belonging “God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ.”
  • 12. Philippians 3 12-14 Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honor of being called by God in Christ.
  • 13. Philippians 3 Faith in Christ’s Work, Not Our Works, Is What Saves 15-16 All of us who are spiritually adult should set ourselves this sort of ambition, and if at present you cannot see this, yet you will find that this is the attitude which God is leading you to adopt. It is important that we go forward in the light of such truth as we have ourselves attained to.
  • 14. Always Relationship with God is first and foremost a gift, and not something earned—an act of grace and not a reward for merit. Forever