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Amazing Grace | Amazing Husband | Church Notes 11/08/14


Gateway Church | Southlake Texas | Saturday 11/08/14

These are my notes from service this weekend. They will not be a point by point synopsis; rather, they will be the things that stuck out to me, as they occurred to me, in no particular order.

Notes:


Law gives strength to sin. When we focus on the rules and do's and don'ts, we actually give power to the force of sin and temptation. Grace shows us that Jesus died for sin... all sin. All the sin I every have done, am doing, will do, is paid for in the blood of Jesus. He is not judging me based on my sin. He is seeking a relationship. He is showing me that I can come to him as I am, without trying to change. That doesn't just apply to the sinner getting saved, that applies to the religious Christian, who's been serving God for decades, and "trying so hard" to be a good Christian. There is no point at which my actions or behaviors or habits, or sins are within my ability to change. I can and must take certain actions toward change, but the action I take to change is not to alter my behavior, it is to surrender that behavior to God. I come to Him, and ask Him to do in me, what I cannot do for myself. The first three steps, of the famous 12 step program "AA" are based on this key of Grace:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over "xxxx(fill in the sin)"—and that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 
    1. (The blood of Jesus)
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him
    1. (I will understand God better today than I did 10 years ago, and better tomorrow than today. It's merely important that I start, not that I start perfectly or with perfect knowledge.)

1 Corinthians 15 Message Version
But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I'll probably never fully understand. We're not all going to die— but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it's over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we'll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true: Death swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who's afraid of you now? It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

As love grows cold more law is necessary, grace has more power to govern than law. Where grace is absent, tolerance and anti discrimination laws increase. As we are motivated by love, we automatically seek to do right by others. As more people reject God and Jesus (Love Himself) they are rejecting love and replacing it with tolerance. Tolerance is the evil twisted version of Love without God. Tolerance is by nature, intolerant of anything and everything. There are laws popping up all over the land that are actually hindering people's free speech and ability to discuss ideas openly and honestly, all in the name of tolerance. That is what happens when a society abandons Love Himself... they become law conscious.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

Law is your old spouse. Try serving your new spouse by serving your old spouse. Doesn't work. Your wife would not be happy if you spent all your time trying to make you old wife happy. Stop trying to serve law, rules, do's, don'ts, etc. Instead, surrender to Love and Grace. 

You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.
 
 Thinking of right and wrong is law, life is relationship. If I said to my wife: "Honey, I will never cheat on you, even though I really want to, because the law says not to..." would that bring comfort to her? NO! You'd be divorced soon after, probably. But if you said: "Honey, I will never cheat on you, because I love you, and I'm committed to loving you through thick and thin no matter what." That is a better response. It is one born out of Love, not Law.

Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don't these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God.

Depending on my own ability is what Law is all about. Whereas, LOVE is about surrendering to Him. The more surrendered I am to him, the more I will be like Him. And my behaviors will change to be like him, without my effort. 

Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

How do we receive?

Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?



Knowledge vs Life | Law vs Grace

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Married to Law or Grace, choose one it cannot be both.

Romans 7:4 ESV Version
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.



The key to living successfully in the Kingdom of God: #BeStillBeLed?


---

And now I leave you with a question:

What do you think about Grace?

To Respond Leave A Comment on This Post

By Darrell Wolfe


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Here are some books I've been reading lately:
  • Hacker: The Outlaw Chronicles (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). The story of a young Hacker girl, who went on a wild adventure into the supernatural realm beyond trying to save her mom, but saved her self too in the process.
  • Saint: A Paradise Novel (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). He's an assassin, or is he? He finds a secret to his past that unlocks supernatural abilities, at a cost.
  • For a full list of all my book suggestions, see my Amazon Store.

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