Thursday, July 8, 2010

Matt Chandler: Colossians (Part 12) Grace Driven Effort

I am using my blog to take notes of this sermon because I'm getting so much out of it.

1. Colossians 3: 5-8

These verses begin by telling us to put off things like fornication and covetousness. It is easy for us to say we do not do these things. We see ourselves as "safe" because these sins are not on our list; but we ignore verse 8 which says, "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth."

It's easy for me to judge those involved in what I consider "grievous" sins, but I do not judge my own heart for the anger, the malicious thoughts, and the evil speaking. Shame on me.

2. Chandler spoke of pitting "sin versus sin." I was unsure of where he was going with it until he gave an exampe. He generalized a situation for both men and women.

Men: The sin is lust. He takes it on with gladiator strength and claims his own victory, thus reveling in a new sin: self righteousness.

Women: The sin is worry and anxiety. She begins to control and manipulate to fight against these sins, only to be faced with these new sins.

This was very powerful to me because I am in a constant cycle of fighting one sin with another sin, even in this specific area of control and manipulation along with worry and anxiety.

3. Many of us tend to think if we perform things on a checklist, we have "clout." We have spiritually arrived.

I know I struggle with this mindset as well because I was raised to do do do, but never really taught how to apply grace in my life. I never learned how to cultivate a relationship, whether with God or with people.

God doesn't love me because I obey the law. He loves me because of the blood of Christ.

These are your grace-given weapons against the residual affects of sin in our lives:
  • We fight sin with the blood of Christ.
  • We fight sin with the Word of God.
  • We fight sin with the promises of the new covenant. Hebrews 9:15
I don't run from God, I run to God when I stumble and fall.
Grace driven effort uses these weapons.
The legalist uses his own vows and resolutions. He uses the law to try to conform himself to perfection: this has never worked for anyone.
Analogy: When a baby is learning to walk, he will usually first slide along some piece of furniture helping himself balance. When he takes those first few steps and falls, no parent says, "What an idiot!" No, instead, there is joy and celebration, not over the fall, but over the few steps that took place before the fall.
These things are shadows of a deeper reality. God rejoices over those steps in our lives. The focus isn't on the fall. We show our immaturity when we fall, and then hang our head in shame, feeling God now wants nothing to do with us. No! This is when we should run to Him!
4. Grace driven effort attacks the roots and not just the branches. Pay attention to what's happening in the heart. The external action is a result of an internal idolatry.
5. Grace driven effort fights against sin that has grieved the God of the universe, NOT "I have sinned so I feel bad about myself."
This is something I need to put focus on in my life. I put the focus on myself rather than on God.
Paul says there is a different between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow leads to death, godly sorrow leads to repentance.
6. Grace driven effort is violent! Our new holy nature hates the residual effects of sin. Grace driven effort wants to MURDER sin. Mortify the flesh: wicked thoughts and ambitions both seen and unseen.
Just because it's not on the outside, doesn't mean it's not there.
We often don't want to put sin to death. We want to control it. We train it and keep it hidden. Then we can run to it when we are upset, rather than running to the God of the universe.

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