Happy Easter from our happy, little family. He is Risen!
As many of you know, I have been a part of the writing team at my church for several months. Some of the things I write for the church are articles for our quarterly magazine and content for our weekly home group discussions. This past Sunday was a pivotal one in the life of our church. During the message our pastor challenged all of us to GO. The method of inviting people to church isn’t as effective in our culture today because we are living in a post-Christian society. The number of people with no religious affiliation is growing. Our pastor nicknamed these people the Nones. They are called nones because these are the people that when asked about their religious beliefs would say “none”.
Aside from the call to GO our pastor provided a tangible opportunity for our church. He is getting ready to launch a nine month program to train a team of leaders to plant a church on the north side of our city. Any and every member of our church is fair game for this launch. The hope is that thirty individuals would train and GO with the new pastor of the church plant. As a pastor, he admitted that is a scary task to hand over some of the congregation. He knows that through this process he will lose volunteers and tithers, but it is far more important to him that he act in obedience to God’s Word. My church is so blessed to have a pastor who is so convicted and obedient to God’s Word and calling on his life and the life of our church.
Today, I want to share with you the small group (cLife) discussion that I wrote to accompany the message this past Sunday. It’s exciting to share with you the conversations that were happening all week in about twenty homes across Columbus. Our church is all about these weekly conversations. It’s in these small groups that we really see growth as a church. Sunday is just the start.
7-10-2016 : We Can’t Stay Here
- God’s command that the church SEND and GO!
- How God uses our mission to build the church and His kingdom.
Start the night by going around and getting to know people in your group. Spend some time hanging out, and find out what everyone has been up to.
If you could plan your dream vacation where would you go and why?
Pray before discussion
If you can, describe a time when you shared your faith with someone outside of your family.
Word: Mark 16:15-16
- In these verses, what does Jesus tell the disciples to do?
- Why do you think Christians oftentimes neglect this command?
- According to Pastor Travis, who are the nones and how are they most likely to be reached by the church?
- As a group come up with some creative ways to reach the nones of Grove City/Columbus.
**1. Jesus tells his disciples to ‘go into the world and preach the gospel to all of creation.’
**2. Oftentimes Christians neglect the command to GO because they feel inadequate. They are afraid they won’t be able to answer questions about their faith or that they don’t know enough themselves to lead someone else to a relationship with Christ. Some also mistake that command for a calling to pastors or leaders only.
**3. Nones are the people of no religious affiliation. They will likely never step into a church of their own accord. These people will be reached by meeting them where they are not by an invitation to church.
**4. Examples: serving at places like Stowe Mission, talking to parents as your children play at a park, etc.
Read: 2 Timothy 2:2; John 20:19-21; John 16:7; John 14:12
- What themes do you see in these four passages?
- What does it mean when we say that our God is a Sending God?
- Reread John 14:12. What does God promise for a church who steps out of its four walls to reach the nones on the outside?
**1. God has called and sent each of us to discipleship for the building of God’s Kingdom. We’ve also all been equipped by the Holy Spirit to give us the power to fulfill that calling.
**2. Nearly every time God speaks to men and women in the Bible He is sending them on a mission.
**3. God promises greatness when we GO!
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Miss. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
Another school year is coming to a close. Today I’m embracing the blessing in my school district of a May Day which means that for the next three weeks I am out of school on Fridays. It’s only four day weeks from this point forward. Although I’m looking forward to a long summer vacation and a break from work I am realizing that there are many things that I will miss after the termination of the school year.
First of all, my classes.
This has been such a fun group to teach. For the first year I had the opportunity to teach an honors history course and that has been a blast. I’ve really enjoyed the students and our adventures through major historical moments. I will have a hard time passing them on to the tenth grade teachers because they are all so special to me.
Second of all, the seniors.
Every year it is hard to say goodbye as we release the seniors into the world of adulthood. However, I’ve cultivated a lasting mentorship with several of the seniors from this class. A lot of those relationships have been a product of advising the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I’m really excited for all of the directions those seniors are going as they venture out on their own, but I will miss seeing them in the capacity in which I have grown accustomed to. They will be missed.
A few weeks ago we made it official. My husband and I have stepped down as the advisers to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the school. This decision was made after months of prayer and seeking wisdom from those around us. It wasn’t a decision based on feelings or a situation, but one focused solely on the direction our family is headed. As much as I’ve loved working with the group it was the most time consuming portion of school year and so in lifting this off my plate I’ve been freed to spend more time partnering with my church, traveling with my husband’s basketball ministry, writing more books, and most importantly focusing on my daughter’s interests.
So as May 25th approaches a wealth of emotions are brought to the surface. Many things about upcoming school years will be different for me. This is the last time I will teach these people in this way and advise the club I’ve worked with for the past five years. However, I’m a firm believer that when God closes one door it is so another can be opened so I cling to the promise that greater things are yet to come! It will be hard not to miss the way things are right now, but God is preparing a great future for me!
The Ameri Brit Mom
A new month means a new sermon series at Covenant Church. This month Pastor Travis Davenport will be teaching on the Core Five-the five major principles that set our church apart from others. This sermon series is geared at helping the church to realign its focus with the mission. I’m really excited to jump back into studying the fundamentals of our body and I look forward to sharing those with you today.
Before I jump into the study I wanted to introduce the Covenant Life Magazine which was released today. I’ve been anticipating this day for a few weeks as I contributed toward the magazine for the first time ever. I had the privilege of writing the life change cover story about one of my FCA leaders and other students. That project was a lot of fun and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the church writing team on future publications.
We Worship In Spirit and In Truth
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)
Prior to the resurrection of Christ, worship was a requirement. In order to get to God you had to keep the law and in order to be obedient to the law you had to worship God. It wasn’t until the law was annulled (through the death of Jesus) that worship was viewed as a privilege. Part of the free will that was granted to us by a loving God gave us the choice to worship God and in whatever way we chose to do so. During his time on Earth, however, Jesus gave clear instructions about how we were to worship once we were given the freedom to do so in more ways than one.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman whom he met at the well that true worshipers are those who worship in Spirit and in Truth. Where at one point it was only possible to worship in truth Jesus was foreshadowing what was to come when he mentioned the worship in spirit part of the equation. The Spirit would not enter the scene, however, until the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2.
There Has to Be a Balance-
The problem with only worshiping in truth is that truth without spirit will always produce religion. Our faith should be based on our relationship with Christ and not on religion. Religion always requires something of us and says, “Go and do…,” while Jesus requires only his own blood and says, “It is already done.” Religion keeps us from a relationship with Christ. The Spirit is imperative to balance the equation of worship.
The problem with only worshiping in spirit is that it requires an exclusively emotional response which is the root of chaos. We see this illustrated in 1 Kings 18:26-30 when the prophet Elijah speaks to the Israelites on Mt. Carmel. Elijah has the knowledge about God that allows him to see that the Israelites are worshiping a false god. The Israelites call on their God by shouting, slashing themselves, and pouring out their own blood. And Baal never comes to their aid. This is the epitome of chaos.
Following Christ is about a balance between worshiping in Spirit and Truth.
There should be value placed in the knowledge of God’s Word. We should study it in order to know Him and to grow in our own faith. Worshiping in truth is a more intellect-driven worship which seeks to know God by learning from His Word.
We should also recognize that knowledge alone of God will not build that relationship. We must interact with God on a regular basis on a personal level. Worship in Spirit is an emotion-driven worship which seeks to acknowledge what God has done or is doing and responding to Him appropriately.
We are called to find that balance…
To build that relationship…
And to Grow in our knowledge of God.
The Ameri Brit Mom
This morning at Covenant Church our Pastor was visiting elsewhere and our message was brought by a former intern, Jonathan Allotey. It was such a neat experience to be inspired by a new voice. Jonathan is a great young pastor who is from Ghana in west Africa. Passion drenched every word spoken today and my prayer is that it affected everyone in a huge way as it did me.
Our church is currently reading through Romans 6 in a series entitled No Longer Slaves. Today’s main passage came from Romans 6:4-8.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
Three obvious questions come from having read this passage:
- What does it mean to be dead to sin?
- How do we die to sin?
- Is dying to sin the end?
The answers to these questions can be found in multiple letters written by Paul to churches in Rome, Corinth, and Colosse.
In Romans 6:3 Paul uses an illustration to describe the change that takes place when we die to sin and accept salvation.
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
When we received Christ we identified with his death in that we died to ourselves. The old life we lived was done and we were no longer ruled by sin. Christ became our master. And a man can only serve Christ or sin. Therefore, sin lost its hold on us and we became dead to sin by accepting Christ’s salvation.
Jesus paid the full price for our sins to make us free much like the indentured servants of the 18th century who traveled from England and worked in America for a certain number of years in order to pay for their freedom. The only difference with this illustration is that Jesus did the work for our freedom. We didn’t have to pay a thing. And now, as a Christian who has accepted the salvation we are made dead to sin, but alive in Christ.
In Ezekiel 36:25-28, the prophet tells of how God would make his people new.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.
In this passage in Ezekiel God reveals his plan for salvation. Once we become children of God he cleanses us from our sin. He separates the sin from us and frees us from the grip of sin. God also gives us a new heart. He replaces our hearts of stone with a heart of flesh which is sensitive to the Word and promptings of God. The Spirit is also given to us to guide us through a life of obedience. The Spirit gives us the power to be slaves to Christ.
In his letter to the church in Corinth Paul explains that we are new creations the moment we accept Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
This passage states that once we accept Christ we are brand new. We are no longer ruled by sin! This is a not a future promise, rather it is a present reality. In a culture where feelings reign supreme it’s hard to feel like being new is truth. Some days we don’t feel new. We struggle with sin and at times feel bound to it. But whether or not we feel it is true or not God’s Word is always true. When God says we are no longer slaves that is true. It’s our reality. Now.
So now that we know the truth how do we apply it to our lives? Colossians 3:1-2 explains exactly how to apply our freedom from sin.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
The things we should set our hearts and minds on are things like God’s truth (found in scripture) and loving others. We are free from sin so that we may live the way God designed us to:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-13)
If you have accepted Christ stop living in a state of promise and realize God’s truth is reality. Stop waiting around for feelings, but claim God’s Word in your life today. Whether or not you feel it or not you are a new creation. Sin has no power in your life that you don’t allow it to have. The Spirit has all the power of God and it lives within you. You are equipped to break the bondage of sin. You are a new creation!
The Ameri Brit Mom
Today was a very special one for my little family. Arianna was dedicated this morning at church. An agreement was made between us (her parents) and the church family with which we belong. Together we solidified an understanding to raise Arianna in a way that points her to Christ. Since before she was born this has been my prayer as her mother, but to know that we belong to such a supportive group of people who have vowed to assist us in that hope means a lot.
This week we finished up a sermon series in Romans 5 about Friends with Benefits at Covenant Church. Seth Simmons brought the Word today and was on fire! This was a fantastic service for many reasons. Mostly because we all need reminders about our assurance in Christ.
The passage for today’s sermon comes from Romans 5:6-11:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Assurance is confidence in a promise. Our assurance is God’s love. This assurance is not based on works or anything we can do to earn his love. There are two ways we can know this assurance of God:
I. Subjected Evidence:
-The scripture above says that we have assurance because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
-This type of evidence is internal and not easily explained. It is that still small voice. It is a feeling that others cannot explain or deny.
-This evidence means that we can know God and have a personal relationship with him.
II. Objective Evidence:
-Romans 5:6-8 says that we can also know God’s love because of Jesus’ death.
-Romans 5:8 also says that Christ died while we were still sinning. He did not wait for us to get things all together nor did he give up when we messed everything up. God loves us now and always has.
-There should be no question about if God loves you. You have his assurance!!
In Romans 5:9-11, Paul goes on to say that Christ’s work gives us hope for past, present, and future assurance. That means that you’re going to make it. You can’t do anything to make him give up on you. In fact, Paul offers more promise on this ground later in Romans:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
Rest in your assurance this week. God loves you!
The Ameri Brit Mom
This week Pastor Travis Davenport of Covenant Church in Grove City continued leading us through Romans 5. Today’s message was part of the sermon series Friends With Benefits. This portion of scripture is rough especially for those currently going through a tough circumstance, but that makes it even more important to be aware of the benefits of a friendship with Jesus. It’s when those tough times strike that we need him most in our lives.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Suffering is a part of every journey with Christ. Sometimes suffering marks the beginning of our journey. Sometimes suffering occurs frequently on our road maps. But one thing is for sure: we will all face suffering of some kind in our lives. It’s easiest for us to thank God for His many blessings than to be grateful for the tough places he makes us wade through, however this passage highlights the necessity of those troubling moments in our faith. We love it when God chooses to listen to the prayers and answer them according to our will, but we need to remember that God is more concerned about our eternal state than our benefits here on Earth. Sometimes his answers don’t align with what we think they should, but that usually means that he’s allowing this testing to happen for a greater purpose. And those greater purposes are outlined here in the passage above.
In the pit of suffering the last thing we want to do is throw any type of party (except maybe a pity party.) So there is a struggle in comprehending verse four when Paul says to, “(rejoice or) glory in our sufferings.” The one practical piece this verse gives to us is a look at the importance of perspective when it comes to suffering. When we can stand up to the testing of our faith in the face of struggles we set off a chain reaction which reaps eternal benefits. (Oftentimes this is the purpose of the suffering we face.)
The Chain Reaction-
- Suffering leads to endurance
- the Greek term for endurance means single-mindedness/focus
- the act of suffering eliminates distractions in our lives
- our time and money accumulate distractions, but the circumstance of suffering takes value away from things which formerly distracted us from God.
2. Endurance leads to character
- character is proven through testing
- once character has been tested the result is proven and genuine
- you can take control of your suffering by controlling how you allow it to affect you
3. Character leads to hope
- Hope is a conviction or confidence in an end result
- our hope is rest and peace with God
- our suffering removes any competition for our hope
- suffering shows us that the only thing that will truly fix our situation is Jesus and proves that our hope is in eternal life with Jesus not in anything of this world.
- there is no rest in any other outlet
So know that if you find yourself in a dark place struggling to keep your head above water that God has in mind your eternal benefits over your Earthly ones. It is not an easy message to digest especially in the midst of a large struggle, but if you endure, prove your character and place your hope in God then the benefits of those choices will far outweigh any other option.
The Ameri Brit Mom
One thing I love about my home church is that each month Pastor Travis focuses on a new idea. The monthly move from one concept to another keeps things fresh and allows us to really focus on an idea over a short period of time. Today was the first Sunday of March so he began his sermon series, Friends With Benefits. It was so nice to be united with my church family as the past several weeks we have been traveling with Sam’s basketball ministry. February and March are his busy season as a majority of his bookings come from Upward and other basketball awards nights. Anyway, here are some notes from today’s service.
Romans 5:1-2: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Throughout the entirety of today’s message we unpacked the verses above. In the beginning of the dissection of this passage we looked at justification. Verse one of Romans 5 explains that we have been justified by our faith. That is a theme in Romans as a whole. The entire book discusses the fact that we are saved by our faith and not by our actions. In fact, I even wrote about that in my blog post, Sola Fide.
So what is justification? Justification is the action of God declaring us righteous in His eyes. It’s the point where God no longer sees our sin and our mistakes, but rather the blood of Christ when He looks at us. Justification is an action which results from a decision to follow Christ.
And once we are justified we obtain benefits from that justification which are outlined in the remainder of the passage above.
Benefits of Justification:
- Peace with God-(Romans 5:1)
- Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- The peace of God mentioned in Philippians 4:7 is a subjective peace. It’s a peace tied to emotions and the way that you feel. Although this is a promise of God it is not the kind of peace that Paul is talking about in Romans.
- Peace with God is an objective peace.
- Peace with God is the end of all hostility between God and yourself. It is not attached to emotion, but rather it becomes truth once you are justified.
- A benefit to being justified is that in that moment, the war between us and God ends and we are made righteous. God wipes the slate and you are new.
2. There is access to grace in which we now stand- (Romans 5:2)
- The access discussed here in this verse is referring to our favorable position with God because of Christ.
- We are no longer separated by God once we are justified.
- In many religions they believe that we do not have access to God on our own. Those religions preach the idea of a man (or image) who must come between us and God.
- But scripture says here that there is no need for a man to approach God on our behalf. We have 24/7 access to God through prayer once we are justified.
- This is made possible because Jesus became our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). When he died the veil separating us from God was torn (Matthew 27:51).
3. The hope of the glory of God- (Romans 5:2)
- The Greek word for hope used here in this passage does not have a strong equivalent in the English language. We use the word hope as a conditional term when this verse is conveying a conviction or certainty.
- Our hope-filled certainty is heaven.
- In our moment of justification we are granted the promise of heaven and an eternity with God.
In closing, these three benefits of justification are available to all who have accepted Christ. And poetically, these three benefits illustrate our walk with Christ:
If you aren’t quite to the point of justification in your own life know that your story isn’t over yet. The simple act of accepting a God who loves you and gifts you with peace, grace, and hope is the beginning to a wonderful journey.
The Ameri Brit Mom
Today the sermon at Covenant Church in Grove City was the the first in The Anatomy of Faith series. During the month of February Pastor Travis will be focusing on Romans 4. Today the sermon was more of a fly-by of Romans 4 as we learned about hearing God’s voice. Throughout the rest of the month we will take a more in depth approach to the chapter.
The Anatomy of Faith: Hearing God’s Voice
Focus Scripture: Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Faith is the linchpin of our relationship with God. A linchpin is an essential part of a wheel which not only holds the pieces together, but also allows the wheel to perform its function without falling apart. Although our faith is important in our relationship with God it does not define who God is. Our faith (or lack of faith) will never change God’s position. God is God regardless of our faith. However, our faith defines our personal relationship with God.
Here’s a personal question: When was the last time you heard God’s voice?
Faith begins when we hear God’s voice so how can we hear His mostly inaudible voice? As stated in the focus scripture above we hear God’s voice through the Word about Christ. That Word is scripture. Likewise, we cannot have faith if we don’t hear from God’s Word. Faith is not based on us coming to God with a list of demands. A relationship with God requires two-way communication. Of course we can bring our lives before God in prayer, but we must also wait on his response and seek it through reading scriptures.
Faith grows as we become more obedient to God’s voice. Not only should we be in communication with God through scriptures, but we should live those scriptures out in our lives. We begin our faith by hearing from God through scripture, but that faith will not grow if we don’t put the scriptures into action. Our faith is only ever a reaction to God’s faithfulness in our lives.
A great illustration of faith comes from the story of Abraham and Isaac. In this story found in Genesis 22, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. In a great act of faith Abraham proved his loyalty to God by preparing to sacrifice the son he had prayed for and whom he loved so much. In Genesis 22:1-2, as God calls Abraham to make this great sacrifice he speaks to him and asks him to, “take your only son, Isaac, whom you love.” With this statement God shows that he knew exactly what he was asking Abraham to do. He knew that Abraham loved his son very much and yet he called him to bring his son to the altar. Just before he was to put his son to death God sent a scapegoat in the form of a ram and spared Isaac. This testing of faith proved that Abraham was willing to be obedient even in something as huge as sacrificing his son.
In closing, we should remember to keep faith as the linchpin of our relationship with God. We know that God loves us, is faithful, and is good. Let our faith be the piece that brings all of these truths to light for each of us. May our faith increase through our obedience to scripture, and may the truths that we find in the Word of God illuminate his character.
Today was one of the best services I’ve experienced in a long time. Pastor Travis changed up the order of service, which is a great way to rock people’s routines and gear them up for really listening to the message. It’s funny how habitual we can become as people. When the worship band unplugged after the second song you could actually see people looking around for songs three and four. Everyone wore a bit of confusion on their face as the Pastor approached the stage long before his anticipated cue. There was such a strong desire for an explanation that not a mind wandered as Pastor Travis began to move ahead with his sermon. To be honest, I liked the shake-up. It’s nice to get knocked out of routine sometimes. We lived on the edge today at Covenant Church. The worship band still did four songs today, but they held off and did two after the pastor’s message which was brilliant. What a great way to prepare to depart and face a new week than with more worship!?! Things were different today, because the pastor’s message was heavy. Today was the fourth week in the Five Solas series at Covenant Church by Pastor Travis Davenport.
Solus Christus: (Christ Alone)
John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…”
So far in the series we have learned that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, plus Christ alone, plus nothing. Christ lacks nothing and does not need adding to in order for us to achieve salvation. Much like we discussed last week, we are saved by faith in Christ alone not faith plus morality. We cannot add to our salvation because Christ has already done what we could never do.
Jesus+anything (works, morality, service, etc.)=nothing
In the first week of this series we focused on the authority of scripture in our lives as we dove into the term, Sola Scriptura. The scriptures were written to point us toward Jesus, the giver of salvation. The scriptures without Jesus are worthless. Much like the Harry Potter series is worthless is Harry Potter’s character. (Had to AMEN that parallel drawn by the Pastor during service being the Potter nerd I am.)
But all nerdy parallels aside, if Martin Luther, leader of the Reformation, was correct in saying that, “Jesus is the center and circumference of the Bible,” then why are so many churches shying away from Solus Christus? So many have replaced the idea of salvation with morality.
Numbers have become a priority to modern churches and let’s be honest the story of Jesus isn’t always going to bring in numbers. The story of Jesus is messy. It’s offensive. It steps on toes and makes people uncomfortable. It causes radical change. So instead of preaching the gospel so many churches are turning to a morality-centered message. Sermons on how to organize, build your marriage, and stock your savings accounts are all good things, but should never take priority over the message of Jesus. We, as the western church, should be careful not to ever confuse salvation with morality. When you stand before God at the gates of heaven your organizational skills, marriage, and savings accounts will not be your ticket to move forward. Christ alone saves us. (Solus Christus)
When you remove Christus from “Solus Christus” your church is left solus. (I really liked that play on words.)