This Sunday we continued our series called Helpless: Where Would We Be Without God.
Hope is a future-oriented thing and we all hope for something. Some of hope for money and then hope that money will change our lives for the better. Some of us hope our spouse will change and then hope that the change in our spouses will change our marriages for the better. Ultimately, change is what we are all hoping for. There is a sense that we are not what we were originally created to be. We know we should be different and so we want to be. That’s part of the story of the Bible as well. The world’s a broken place, we are broken people, can somebody put us back together?
Jesus Christ, the son of God, was crucified on a cross. He died. He was dead. In the tomb. But God. Raised him from the dead. His death and resurrection doesn’t just reconcile us to God, they bring us new life. It is the ultimately the resurrection of Jesus that holds the key to understanding how God says we can expect to change. The Bible presents two realities for mankind – You are either dead in your sins or you are alive in Christ by the power of the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead. And if you have been made alive in Christ then you have received the Holy Spirit who comes in and makes you alive. The spirit of God now lives in us. The old person has passed away and the new person has come. The Bible says that you have been born again. You have been adopted into the family of God. You were a slave to sin but you have been set free and are living a life in which you are being “sanctified” and transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
But sanctification is a process. When the Israelites were set free from Egypt, they found themselves wanting to go back. When someone is adopted into a new family they don’t just forget the ways of their old family right away. It takes time. Personal change can be a long, arduous process. We struggle with our old, ungodly ways. We struggle to change. Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, was not immune to these struggles. In one passage, he bares his soul and talks about how he keeps doing things he doesn’t want to be doing and not doing things he wants to be doing. This is where most of us live. God is calling us to change a certain area of our lives; to surrender to him. But we he is also calling us to see that this is not something we can do by superhuman strength. Only God can change us by the power of the Holy Spirit. And this can be a long process that God uses to bring us to a point of complete dependence on Him.
Paul goes on to conclude that the answer is a life spent ‘setting your mind on the things of the spirit instead of the things of the flesh’. There is hope for change but only through the power of the Holy Spirit; only by surrendering to God and allowing his new life to come into you. And by learning to live in daily dependence on Him.
Band for the week was:
- Katie Pritchett – vox
- Kendal Quinn – djembe
- Jon Pritchett – banjo + mandolin
- Scott Wenger – bass
- Patrick Downing – guitar + vox
Setlist for the week was:
- Open Up Our Eyes – Elevation
- You Never Let Go – Redman
- Nothing but the Blood – Visio Dei
- Christ is Risen – Mahar