Frosh 01: The Irreligious Religion

– Whoa. (clapping) Just another typical
Sunday morning in Kidmax. (laughing) Don’t worry parents we take
good care of your kids. We’re showing them that clip
right now actually, just (laughing) but it’s okay we have them strapped down. So everything’s all right. So have you seen this movie? You haven’t, what’s wrong with you? Do you know what movie it is? – [Audience] The girl with all the gifts. – The girl with all the
gifts, thank you, my hero. Good, bonding moment right
there, the people of my tribe. So it came out last year,
the girl with all the gifts, and if you like zombie movies
it’s the movie for you. And if you don’t you should still watch it as a spiritual discipline. (laughing) This movie raises fantastic
theological questions in the form of a fun zombie ride. But it asks the question what happens if kids get infected with the zombie virus so that they just want to eat you. Some of you are saying well
I got four of those at home. I don’t need to see this movie, thank you. What happens if they get
infected with the virus, but it doesn’t fully corrode
their sense of identity and their personhood. They’re still the kids they always were except for this horrible tendency. And it raises the question
who are they really. Are they children with
some monstrous tendencies or are they little monsters who know how to act like children? And in the course of figuring this out at some point it should,
as a Christian dawn on you this is the question of
our religious pursuits throughout all of history. Are we monsters trying to keep it together and pretend we’re
something better than that or are we glorious image bearers of God who sometimes act like monsters, but you can’t just say
we’re pure one or pure other without creating some kind of a conundrum because there’s so much good and grace and help that people
extend to other people and good things that we
see happening around us. And there’s so much monstrous behavior. There’s so much horror. It is a question worth asking. Which are we? And we’re gonna pursue this question and we’re gonna stare
into the eye of the storm as it were, into this controversy and we’re going to let the apostle Paul guide us through Romans
chapter four as we do this. When we ask this question though we have to admit that
there’s something wrong. Now is this our identity
completely or not? You could ask your friends too, do you think people are
basically good or basically bad. And people have different answers depending on their worldview. Some people say oh definitely we are good, we are light, we are
love and we are rainbows and this is our human identity. Then they have a huge problem to explain, why do we do such monstrous evil to each other all the time. And if you say we’re basically bad. We are evil and we are pure sin. Then you have something to explain. Why do we do such good and have such beauty in
our creativity, et cetera. I think the answer to the question are we basically good
or are we basically bad is kind of both, and
so I would use the word well are Christians good or– sorry are human beings
basically good or basically bad, I would say we are basically broken. We are basically broken would suggest that there’s something
good and beautiful there in the first place, but
that it isn’t being itself. It is fractured in some way. Which is actually the root
meaning of the word sin. As we talked about before coming from the Greek word hamartia, the root for the meaning of hamartia is ha as a negation word and
meros meaning together, harmartia to be infected
with the sin virus as it were means to not be together, to be separated. Sin is a virus that we are born with and that we also contribute
to in our own attitudes and actions that is a
separating substance. It pushes us away from other people in the way we treat them,
in the way we doubt them, in the way we judge them. It pushes us away from
our relationship with God in the way we blame and we point and it pushes us away from ourselves. It separates, we are not
together with who we should be. And we’ve been infected by this and so the bible tells us though that this is not our primary identity. That’s why I say broken and not just evil. It’s not our primary identity. Remember the bible didn’t just start in Genesis chapter three, you are sinners. God didn’t stumble upon a
planet filled with evil people and say I’d love to try and
make these evil people good. It starts with the
story of him creating us in his image and in his likeness and that’s why it’s so tragic that we are fallen or broken. When a worm acts like a worm
we do not think it is tragic. A worm acting like a worm is doing what a worm is supposed to do. You don’t see a worm and
say you poor decrepit little worm of a thing. Or we don’t say how
dare you waste your life just oozing around in the dirt. We don’t give it a lecture, it’s a worm. It’s supposed to do what it does. And if that’s all it is is nature then human beings do what human beings do which is some good things
and some horrible things. It’s not really, really
great or really terrible. It just is human beings
being what they are, but there’s something more
than just pure nature. There is also a divine implant within us that says there’s right, there’s wrong and there’s a higher calling to our lives. That’s what makes it
tragic when human beings don’t act like the image of God in us that is really there. So there’s a solution to this and the religions of the planet are trying to offer a solution. Jesus comes and I think gives us what is true, what is right and what is the best perspective on
understanding our humanity. He offers us the
righteousness of God as a gift to change our hearts and invites us to live the human lives
we were called to live as his image bearers. There are two ways that
this righteousness of God is gifted us in the gospel. Two ways, theologians have fancy words for simple concepts, that’s
what they’re paid to do. Here are the fancy words for this, imputed righteousness and
imparted righteousness. Imputed righteousness
means that God credits us with unearned righteousness
and declares us justified which means just as if I’d never sinned. And this image is a legal pardon of the judge saying I’ll
declare you’re not guilty or I’ll throw your case out. It’s over, don’t worry about it. And that is a beautiful, freeing thing for those of us who
are aware of our guilt, aware of the things that we do wrong. Imputed is declared righteousness. But if we just left it there, if we just left it at that, it would do nothing to actually change us. And it would, it would leave us well off the hook for
the payment for our sins, but still the same people with the horrible tendencies
that we’ve always been. In fact during the Protestant reformation imputed righteousness became
the focus of theology. Justification by faith alone became kind of the core doctrine. We talked about this we did our series on Anabaptist roots, on
the radical reformation. Martin Luther is rumored to have said that a justified Christian
is like snow covered dung. In other words you’re
no better on the inside, but God has covered you with something that looks good on the outside so that he doesn’t have to look upon your smelly sin and he doesn’t
have to smell it either. You’re like snow covered dung. But Anabaptists pushed back
against the Protestant reformers to say wait a second you’re
not going far enough. Because it’s not just about
imputed righteousness, it’s about imparted righteousness. And that’s not just a slow
process of sanctification, that’s also a gift that’s
given us when we are saved. This is God giving us
righteousness and a new heart. He gives us his righteousness,
he doesn’t just declare it over us he gives it to us and he creates a new heart in us. This is regeneration, being born again. And this happens at our new birth when we are converted
to the way of Christ. The old testament prophesied
this new heartness that was part of the new covenant. The image here is not a court room, it’s really the hospital where there is healing for who we are. The sin virus can be healed. And if we do not accept this healing and this declaration of righteousness, both imputed and imparted righteousness, what are we left with but religion that just kind of manages the symptoms. And this is why I love
the imagery in this movie because if you don’t
actually cure the virus then you have a beautiful
image of religion, which is just designed to strap you down and hold you back from
doing any more damage. It’s just designed through its rules, regulations and routines
to minimize the damage, to lock you up, to keep
you separated enough from what might tempt you to
let the monster within come out and so we will find ways to
keep you kind of imprisoned in a system of rules,
regulations, rituals and routines for your own good so you don’t damage yourself or damage others. And the new covenant comes along and says there’s a better way to live than that. It is the way of grace that will actually change your hearts and call
you into a community of people who are healed and are healing and are happy to partner
with you to heal others. That’s what church is all about. And I love this time of year as we head into kind of this new freshness
and we start new things. And I’m glad you’re here
and you’re part of this across all of our sites,
we’re going to dive into our text then
today to talk about this and that is in the book of Romans. Romans chapter four which
already we’ve read through, but we’re going to walk
through a few verses together. Romans chapter four, take your bible out. Hopefully you bring your own bible and if you don’t share with someone nearby and if you don’t have that
we have visitor bibles across our sites, you
can get up and grab one or flag down and usher if
they’re handing one out so that you have a bible. Also, we have the scripture
text on our Meeting House app. Some of you use our Meeting House app. We want to make sure the
rest of you know about it. It’s a fantastic, well designed app and in the Meeting House app for Sundays, I mean you’ll get announcements about things that are
happening during the week and other things like that, but you’ll also, for
Sundays, get the sermon notes plus the scripture text there in the app. So you might want to
download that as well. And some of you who use the app notice we haven’t had the NIV
translation as part of the app and now we do and I tend to, every translation’s a great translation. The gospel’s gonna shine through no matter what bible translation you use, but I do tend to read from the NIV, New International Version
on Sunday mornings so that is also part of
our Meeting House app now. So we’re going to take a few weeks to celebrate this amazing
faith that we have through this series called frosh as we kick off the new year. I’m going to partner with local teaching. Our local pastors are going
to teach in the weeks ahead. So I’m very much looking forward to that. Then after that, just to give you a sense of where we’re going, we’re doing a series on spiritual gifts and how
God has equipped us all to be this community of faith that helps that we’re healed healers,
helping to heal one another together and partnering
with the holy spirit. We’ll talk about how we do that. We’ve got a couple of guest
speakers coming this fall I’m looking forward to. We have Brian Zahnd who’s going
to be here in a few weeks. If you don’t know him
I think you’ll love him if you get a chance to hear him. Also, and he’s coming up from the states and we’re working on having
Andy Bannister come and speak who speaks with RZIM, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He’s going to be here,
he lives in Scotland, he’s going to be coming over to speak. He’s going to be coming
over for something else and then we, by the way that’s
how we get speakers here. Do you know that? We never pay for anyone’s
flight because we’re too cheap. This is what we do. (laughing) We keep our eyes open and when a speaker we connect with, when we hear that some other organization
has invited them to the Toronto area for some other thing then we contact them and
say would you like to stay over the weekend and
speak at The Meeting House and someone else has paid for their flight because Anabaptists we’re
just a frugal bunch. We’re looking forward to having these guest speakers in the weeks ahead. All right you got your
bibles open to Romans four. We will start with verse one, but first let me just give you a context for this. The apostle Paul has said in Romans three something that is quite stunning. Irreligiously offensive in its content and we can read a few verses, but let me summarize
it with just verse 28. Romans 3:28, he kind of states
his thesis in a clear way. For we maintain that a
person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. He’s not making it an easy pill to swallow for the religious person. He is saying you don’t need the law, simply trust in God directly
and you’ll be justified he said, justified, just
as if I’d never sinned. It comes from the Greek
word for righteous, it’s the verb form of righteous. We just don’t have an
equivalent for that in English. Literally we would say a
person is righteous-ified by faith but that doesn’t exist in English so we switch over and we say
justified from the word just. You’ll be made just or righteous, which is both declarative, but Anabaptists would also want to add it is also, to righteous-ify someone
may also be referring not only to declaring them righteous but actually infusing them with righteous, with righteousness as other scriptures will go on to make more clear. So he says here’s my thesis, you’re justified by faith apart
from the works of the law. This is stunning for people
because within his context as you understand the
religious context of his day, they believed that you were made righteous by observing the torah,
by observing the laws and the rules and the regulations. And in fact they saw Abraham
as an example of that. Abraham was someone who was justified by observing the torah and you might say wait a second he didn’t know the torah. The torah was given by Moses
hundreds of years later, Abraham would not have known that. How did he obey the torah? Well theologians within that day said that Abraham had had the
torah revealed to him by God personally, either
implanted or reveled and so he actually did know the torah ahead of schedule and he obeyed it. So when they saw Abraham being righteous they said this is an example of not even being declared righteous, an example of him obeying
the torah like we all should. So the torah is your
source of righteousness. Paul is not just saying
well let me balance the example of Abraham with someone else. He actually goes straight for the bullseye and says all right I want to take on your understanding of Abraham. Let’s talk about his faith
and I want to help you see why it’s the opposite of what you think. Abraham’s righteousness is simply because of his faith apart from the law. He will build on that thought throughout Romans chapter four. We’re just going to look
at the first five verses over the next few minutes. But I’ll tell you this, Paul
talks about his technique when there are any ideas
that hold people back from understanding God and
the grace of the gospel he dives straight, he
goes straight for them. He says I don’t want
to beat around the bush when it’s something this important. So he says in Second
Corinthians chapter ten, he says this, we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. We just go for them and we tear them down. These arguments, these ideas. Bad ideas, and see it’s not just bad ideas about sin and selfishness, there are bad religious ideas that keep you strapped down, chained up, locked behind doors when
really you were designed to be set free and healed
to live the better life. And he will tear down those ideas as well. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against
the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. This idea of salvation through law keeping that you can be, you
can earn your salvation by being a good enough person, that needs to be torn down says Paul and he’s going to explain why that is. So he says what shall we say, verse one, that Abraham our forefather
according to the flesh discovered in this matter. He’s going straight for Abraham here. If in fact Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about, but not before God. What does scripture say? Here’s where it gets very interesting. Verse three, what does scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness. He simply trusted God and God credited, this idea of crediting
him with righteousness is both a legal metaphor
and now he’s introducing a financial metaphor. To be credited or reckoned
with righteousness is actually to have something
deposited in your account. So if you have a debt, if
you’re in debt with the bank and someone else comes along
and they pay off your debt, they have credited your
account with the payment and now you’re out of debt. And if we are in debt to
God because of our sin or in debt to the judge
because of our guilt and we have to pay that
off by going to prison. He’s combining the metaphors to say you’re declared not guilty,
someone has declared, is paying off your account. It’s all being taken care of. And Abraham’s faith was
enough for God to say I credit your account
with my righteousness. And then he explains it a little more, makes it, gives us an
analogy of going to work and earning a paycheck, verse four. Now to the one who works wages are not credited as a
gift, but as an obligation. Right, okay so if you go to work and you get a paycheck
at the end of the week, that is not considered a gift. Sensible enough? Because you have worked for it, you have earned it and earning something is different than being given something. When you get your paycheck
at the end of the week and you have worked hard for the money and you get the money and it
says this is what you’ve earned you do not go ohhhh, for me? (laughing) You shouldn’t have. Well, no you get, you
say yep I worked hard. In fact you might even say
did I work that many hours or maybe I didn’t, no I
thought I worked more, no I see they’ve taken out taxes, right. But it’s not the surprising gift and he says that way of living, first of all it diminishes your attitude. You don’t live with constant gratitude, you live with a sense of I’m working hard for what, for your salvation. It confuses things in a couple ways. One is it makes God your debtor. You see when you work for pay, there is lag time between
when you have worked and when you are paid where technically your employer is in your debt. You have invested a certain
amount of money’s worth of effort and now you’re
waiting for your employer, not to give you more than you deserve, but just to catch up with
what you have earned. Your employers in your
debt until you are paid. And Paul says God’s never in your debt. You have never worked
so much that God says wow that’s how much I owe you, okay I’ll get heaven out of
my pocket and give it to you because you’ve obviously earned it. God’s not in your debt, secondly it erodes your sense of gratitude because
you miss the gift in it. Religion takes away your joy. Religious people are often
just not very joyful. This is a lot of work. When it’s up to you to be
good enough to go to heaven, when you got to earn that and on top of this it says it just it creates the myth that
you actually could ever be good enough to earn it. Isn’t that a lot of pressure. In fact that’s what most people cling to without really thinking it through. You say do you believe in heaven, sure. Do you think you’re going to go to heaven when you die, sure. How come, because I’m
basically a good person. They don’t understand even the pressure even subconsciously they’re
putting on themselves saying I need to live up to a standard that is high enough that of course God would say you’ve
earned, you’ve deserved it. Can I just give you a piece of advice? When you die and you
get to the pearly gates, whatever you do don’t say I
want whatever’s coming to me. I demand it now. Because I earned it, I
want whatever I’ve earned. Give me what I deserve, don’t
say any of those things. Say in fact instead
thank you for the gift. I know I could never earn
anything this amazing. Thank you for the gift. It changes our attitude
and in here and now it makes us more joyful and grateful. We live ever day grateful for something that we couldn’t earn
but we receive as a gift. So then Paul goes on to say in verse five, this is the last verse we’ll look at. However to the one who does
not work, but trusts God. Who does not work but trusts God. God who, look at that line,
God who justifies the ungodly. The one who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the ungodly their faith will be credited as righteousness. You simply trust, like Abraham, you’ll receive God’s righteousness. This is the God who justifies the ungodly, makes
righteous the unrighteous. Now if you say well that’s good news because I’m aware of my ungodliness. I’m aware of how I mess up. Now if you go overboard
and say that’s all I am. I am just pure evil and pure filth. Why would God ever love a sinner than me, then you’re believing the
opposite lie, the far lie, that you’re just not worth any of this. But God’s not trying to
turn worms into humans. He’s putting together the pieces, the broken pieces of people
who are precious to him. Who are made in his image. So that’s the other end of the lie. But if you believe the lie that says I’m good enough to earn it. Well the gospel will
not resonate with you. I admit that. If you say I’m a good enough
person to go to heaven, the gospel doesn’t really connect. It’s like one sided Velcro,
it just doesn’t stick. It’s like well God can
justify ungodly people, yeah but I’m godly. Okay well then it’s not really good news. But if you’re aware of your own sin. This is very, very good news indeed. In fact this is the
core of truth right here of what Jesus has offered us. Remember what John says in
John chapter one verse 17, he says that through
Moses the law was given, grace and truth came through Jesus. Grace and truth. And truth. What we got through the law of Moses was not completely true, it
was a temporary holding pattern of strapping us in without
any solution to the problem, just holding us back
from killing each other. But grace and truth came through Jesus that actually changes us. You remember the graph
that we’ve used before in our series on the faith of Abraham to say that the big picture
is seen in scripture as we zoom out and we see the connection between the faith of Abraham and the faith of the new covenant in Christ. And the law of Moses, it may
seem like it’s a big part of the old testament
and often when we talk about the old testament, the old covenant, we’re talking about the law of Moses, but there’s a covenant that precedes that that goes back before that,
the covenant of faith. And the law of Moses was given for a temporary period of time
to a limited group of people simply to help steward the problem without providing the solution. So if you or someone you know, you talk to them about this they say I’m basically a good
person, I don’t need this. You don’t have to try and
convince them otherwise. Sometimes Christians do that. They feel it’s their job to
convict the person of sin. Jesus says in John 16 that
it’s the holy spirit’s job to convict people of sin. And if someone says well I’m not a sinner or I’m just a good person and I’ll take my chances on judgment day, you do not have to
convince them otherwise. That then puts you in the position of arguing with them
about how bad they are. And that’s what turns good news people into bad news people. And you’re having the wrong conversation. Even Jesus doesn’t try
that with people who say oh I’m righteous, he
doesn’t say no you’re not and I’m going to tell you why. He, when someone has no awareness of it, aside from him rebuking
the religious leaders who should know better
and are hurting people through their damaging
system, he doesn’t even try. Look at what he says
in Luke five, 31 to 32. He says it’s not the
healthy who need a doctor but the sick, as though
there is anybody healthy. He says I have not come
to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. Now this may be a theoretical category, the righteousness, but
if you think you’re in it Jesus says well I’m not talking to you. I haven’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. You say well I’m not a sinner, Jesus says oh okay, sorry,
I wasn’t talking to you. Sorry, I, we can just,
I’ll just go talk to and we get stuck on that, but you are a sinner,
but you’re not righteous. Jesus said no, no, no. They don’t have ears to
hear what the holy spirit is doing they’re not going
to listen to our arguments. This is very good news for those of us who have that awareness that we are called to a greater purpose in life, but we are also infected with something that is self sabotaging
in the greatest of ways. We’re going to close
today in a few minutes, but first we’re going to have Q and Eh. We’re going to close
by listening to a song that we don’t usually do
but it will give us a chance just to think about
this in practical terms. Before we get there I
want to throw it open a Q and Eh, Oakville that’s on you. Either you’ve been texting in a question or maybe you’ve got a questions you can just raise your hand. We’ve got a runner with
a microphone, okay. There’s a waving hand over here so I think you should head
in that direction first. I don’t know if we have a text question that’s been sent in. Great, Emily says if God has given us a new heart in imparted
righteousness, good. How come our monstrous tendencies still come out so often? Emily, thank you for this. This is a fascinating thing. Here’s what the new testament writers, they wrestled with the same question and this is their understanding. That here’s what’s happened. Apart from the new covenant
we have a darkened self but we might be encased
in some do-goodism. Under the new covenant God
actually replaces our heart. Takes out our heart of stone,
gives us a heart of flesh. Injects his holy spirit
which continually leads us on the right path, but now we are encased. We’re not snow covered dung,
we’re dung covered snow. Which makes no sense whatsoever visually so let’s move on from that analogy. But now we are encased, we are encased. We’re still stuck in the flesh and the flesh includes a brain. Our mind thinks through a brain, an actual physical organ
that sometimes misfires, sometimes falls back to old patterns, that will tempt us, so being in the flesh still includes all kinds of temptations, but the difference is now
sin is more like the parasite that is latched on and is leeching from us rather than our true identity, our true identity now is reborn, remade, adopted into the family, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters with one another. This is who we actually are. So I’m no longer the neutral person even with the devil on one shoulder
and an angel on the other saying which person am
I, who do I listen to. I am a righteous-ified
son and daughter of God and now out of that I have the power to make more consistent choices. Knowing who I truly am is half the battle of knowing how I’m going to live. Thanks for that question Emily. Okay and then one more over here. – [Audience Member] Hey Bruxy
thanks for teaching today. – Hey, good morning, thanks. – [Audience Member] Um, okay
I’m going to try and verbalize what I’m processing here. So Abraham’s faith was credited to him, he was justified through faith. – Yes. – [Audience Member] God
worked with Israel through law to give some structure and
to point ultimately to Christ as the source of justification. We are justified through Christ, but I’m wondering we are
justified after the fact when Christ has been
the ultimate sacrifice. – Yes. – [Audience Member] What
is the cosmic timeline of when the justification
through Christ applies? Was Abraham saved through Christ? – That’s good, yeah thank you. – [Audience Member] Before
that historically happened, what’s the effect then? – That’s good, it’s a wonderful question. And yes, you’re asking the, the beautiful thing about this question, it shows that you’re tracking
with the thought pattern of the apostle Paul
here because just before he’s gotten into this in Romans four, he addresses that issue in Romans three and in Romans three he says that God was crediting the future
righteousness of Christ to people. He was forgiving the
saints of the old covenant in light of the coming of Christ. That he might be the hilasterion, the atoning sacrifice for all sins. So the sacrifice of Christ that heals and makes whole all people radiates out in both directions in history. We’re 2,000 years in the future. Abraham was 2,000 years in the past, roughly This is, this is a long, this is a long stretch in both directions that the atonement of
Christ actually applies. And that’s the apostle Paul’s
approach in Romans three. Yeah, that’s good. Great questions you guys, I love it. Let’s move toward a conclusion. Sometimes concepts like
this are a little easier to accept when we look
at specific examples or maybe they’re harder to accept, but that’s a good challenge for us. So I want us to look at a specific example just to push this idea all the way. Do you think it’s possible then if we are saved by grace through faith as opposed to us earning it or
working hard enough to get it do you think it’s possible
for God to save a sociopath? It’s not a trick question,
the answer’s yes. It’s possible for God to save, if they repent and place faith in Christ. I understand they may still
be broken emotionally, but they can still trust in Christ. Okay, how about this, do
you think it’s possible for God to save a sociopath
who’s a serial killer who repents and places faith in Christ? It’s not a trick question,
once again what’s the answer? Yes, come on gospel people. You see it’s harder when you think about it in real life, right? In fact sometimes there’s
just people who we, it would be very disappointing
to us if they were saved. (laughing) Right, and it could be some
horrible person in history or it could be just that person
who cut us off in traffic. Either way, we’re like how dare you. Well at least you’re not going
to go to heaven when you die. (laughing) There is a weird smugness
that a religious attitude can puff us up with pride. Well how bout this, is it possible for a sociopathic serial killer who’s also a cannibal to go to heaven when he dies if he repents. – [Audience Member] Yeah. – Yes, yes, in fact we’re
talking about a real person. Who are we talking about? His name is Jeffrey Dahmer. He and Ted Bundy also, these are famous serial killers
who as far as we know and again we’re just basing this on what they have said. We can’t judge their heart, God will. As far as we know, repented later when they were in
prison, heard the gospel, fully owned up to their crimes and asked God for forgiveness. Jeffrey Dahmer was the
one who ate his victims. And he heard the gospel in
prison and fully repented. He was baptized by a pastor and there’s a famous television interview where he talks about this and he’s just processing
the horrors that he’d done. And again just going on,
based on what we can know, we can’t know the heart,
based on what we can know it puts it forward for us well is Jeffrey Dahmer in heaven right now? And if you see that as bad news because some people see that as bad news. So wait you’re saying that a cannibalistic sociopathic serial killer
is in heaven right now? That’s bad news. They just want to say
okay how good do you think you have to be to get to
heaven, apparently you’re on the track that says people who live a good enough
life to go to heaven and that’s where I say
you’re on dangerous ground. So when we stare into this extreme example it should cause us to
reflect on ourselves. Say well on what grounds
did Jeffrey Dahmer get into heaven, well
it’s the same grounds that God’s going to let
Bruxy Cavey into heaven. It’s not based on how good I am it’s that I trust, I know that I’m not, and so I trust in Christ
to receive his gift. There was a band, I said we
were going to listen to a song, there was a band in the nineties
who did a song about this called Jeffrey Dahmer Went to Heaven and it just forces us to stare into it and I thought it would be good for us just to listen to this
and just let it sink in. You may not like the music. (laughing) It’s the best of nineties grunge rock. (cheering) But having said that, whether
you like the music or not. Whether you say this music
is for me or it’s not for me it doesn’t matter because
the message is for you. And I want to close by
giving us a few minutes just to listen to a part of this and then we’ll fade it out. But just sit with the message and say God what are you saying to me about my situation in life, let’s listen. Let’s pray, (applauding) well let’s applaud first,
yeah thank you Jesus for speaking through artists
as well as through scripture. That was one of those
weird church applauds where we don’t know really
what the right response is. (laughing) Let’s just admit the
awkwardness of the moment. It’s like they’re applauding,
I just want to pray, no I want to applaud,
why are you applauding let’s stand up and I don’t
know what to do, all right. (laughing) (applauding) For those of you who are new at church these are the awkward
moments we gather together to have regularly. Let us pray and just thank God for speaking truth to our hearts. It’s began through scripture, it’s began through the community of faith. And ask God to help us
recover the joy of salvation by grace through faith and then desire to share that with others, let’s pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for the clarity of the message of Jesus. I thank you for ambassadors
for that message like the apostle Paul, like
grunge bands from the nineties, like our fellow brothers and sisters today who want to celebrate this message. I thank you that we can be ambassadors for this message with
others and carry it forward. And I pray that you’d
give us the fresh delight and joy in sharing this message with as many people as possible that Jesus came to save
us not only from our sin, but also from our religion. Father I thank you that you
save us from those extremes of feeling like we are simply dirt, we are worms, we are nothing, we are dung. You save us from that
sense of self deprecation, but you also save us from
our self righteousness, from our sense the you owe us something. I pray that in humility
we might be a people who receive your message by simple faith and delight in the
righteousness that you give us as a gift in Jesus’ name I pray and all God’s people said – [Audience] Amen. – Amen.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *