Calvary Church

4216 West 204th St, Matteson, IL – 708-481-8300
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  • Early teaching thoughts for 12/27

    For December 27th

    Being new (rejecting the old): redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to us. The transformation that should have occurred.

    Old -> New: Transformational change

    We tend to forget that this transformational change is not about becoming a “better” person at all, but about accepting that out pursuit to be “better” is at the heart of our sinfulness.

    From Eden onward, humanity has sought to be “better” on our own terms via our own abilities. The temptation in Eden was not to eat some fruit, but rather to become better, to seek to become divine in ability and knowledge rather than in character.

    Once this desire was pursued, even seeking God-like character became a futile and undesired goal. We became dead in our trespasses and sins as every transgression declares the quest to be divine; to write one’s own morality, defining good and evil for oneself.

    Until we give up on this “will to power”, this desire to rule over even God himself, transformation from death to life is not possible in the least. We are supposed to desire to be transformed into the likeness of Christ in his love and character, but not at all in his rule and power. Be like Christ, not overrule him.

    The moment that we say to God, or to the wind for that matter, “My will, my desires will be my guide and my truth!”, we have become blasphemers, seeking to negate the rule and offered love of the infinite, almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth. We have become our own idols, our own objects of worship.

    Ephesians 2:1-3
    I Thess 1:9-10
    Colossians 1:21-23
    Philippians 3: 7-11 ~ futility to purpose
    I Corinthians 6:9-11
    I John 2:15-17

    John 1:10-13; 3:16; 5:21; 6:32-40; 14:6;

    Transition: Ephesians 4:17-19; 4:20-24

    becoming ever newer: the process of sanctification that we each should be involved with

    ” I’m not where I need to be but do thankful that I’m not where I used to be!” ~ Dawn

    As we seek to be conformed more and more to Christlikeness, we must understand the following:

    We never “arrive”, but we do get ever farther from our origin.
    self-sin ——————->>——————————————– Like Christ

    Growth comparisons are meaningless in light of the distance to the goal that we seek. (No rankings)

    Philippians 3:12-14
    John 15:1-8
    Romans 12, John 3
    Colossians 3:5-14
    Ephesians 4:1-6; 4:25-5:2

    confession, repentance, restoration as a life way.

    Being made new

    finally new: focusing on the joy set before us.

    I love the glimpses!

    I Corinthians 15:12-58
    Hebrews 12:1-3
    John 14:1-3
    “Well done”
    I Corinthians 13:12
    Heaven does not occur when we retire from work.

    Is Jesus enough?


    Other thoughts:

    II Corinthians 1:8-11
    I have often heard it said that God will not let you go through more than you can handle. I do not believe this to be true.
    Many will quote I Corinthians 10:13 to back up this contention.
    “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
    The context here is generally thought to deal with temptation toward sin and not adversity; cancer, bad marriages. I do not think that it applies to the “bad” things that happen in life.
    I would contend that God does allow (or directly brings) circumstances into our lives that we cannot “handle” or endure. These occurrences force us to face the reality that we are woefully inadequate to deal with what God has for us as he places us, at times, in difficult areas of service. We then must default to the position that we should have never drifted from; total dependence upon God Most High, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
    The very starting point of following Christ requires the admission of total dependence upon his sacrifice for our sins because the debt was/is far beyond our ability to endure. Life after this initiative must continue to admit and embrace this dependency.

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