02-21-16

02-21-2016
Sermon by Dr. E. Dale Locke
Series: Fixer Upper (Making the Changes that Matter Most), Week 8 – “The Reveal!”

Review

  • FOUNDATION: In week 1, we considered the foundation you are building your life upon.
  • CLARITY: In week 2, we suggested that you first become clear about what needs to change in your life and what it may cost you to change it.
  • PLANS: In week 3, we considered the balance between God’s sovereignty and our own plans.  We noticed that, in order to see change happen, we need to take initiative and make plans, but we should also include God in those plans.
  • DEMO DAY: In week 4, we examined the need to tear some things down in order to build new things up.
  • GET TO WORK: In week 5, Pastor Trevor helped us understand how to work out our salvation as God works in us (Philippians 2:12-13).
  • SETBACKS: In week 6, Pastor Dale talked about how the Apostle Paul handled the setbacks in his life and persevered through them.  We learned that, when you are facing a setback, it’s important to remember:  God has not left you, God is not judging you, and God loves you.
  • COMPLETE THE WORK: In week 7, Pastor Dale taught that God will redeem all our setbacks and complete the work in us, but in order for Him to do that, we have to get up after a setback and get back to work.

This week is THE REVEAL!

  1. Read 2 Cor. 5:16-21:  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

     20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  1. What thoughts or questions come to your mind as you read this passage?
  1. Renovation is hard, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad time. It can be a wonderful, exciting experience.  Discuss how this is similar to God renovating our lives.
  1. Read 2 Cor. 5:17-18 again: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation….

Note the fact that the verbs here are in present tense.  What does that communicate to you?  What has Christ done for you?  How does that compare with your life experience?

  1. Verse 16 describes the Pre-transformation Work: Read verse 16 again.  In order for transformation to happen, we must be intentional about no longer regarding anyone from a worldly point of view.  This includes:
  • Yourself: Don’t regard yourself from a worldly point of view. Nothing in your past disqualifies you.  Even if you’re a hard case, you qualify!  Why is it possible for us to say with 100% certainty that we qualify, regardless of what we have done in our past?
  • Others: Don’t regard others from a worldly point of view.  Don’t treat others as if anything in their life disqualifies them.

What are some sins that Christians tend to put in the category of “disqualifying sins”?

  1. Have you ever been to a church that viewed some people as if they didn’t qualify? If so, describe the kind of atmosphere that creates.

7.  Verse 18 describes the Post-transformation Work: Read verse 18 again and describe what our post-transformation work is.  What does Paul mean when he says that God gave us the ministry of reconciliation?

8. Pastor Dale said, “Jesus doesn’t reconcile you just for you. He reconciles you for someone else.”  What did he mean by that?

  1. We live in a self-centered culture that says our life is just about us, but a self-focused life is actually idolatry, because we end up worshiping ourselves. What are some reasons that Christians shy away from doing “the ministry of reconciliation”?
  2. Pastor Dale explained the difference between “Bounded Set Faith” and “Centered Set Faith.”
  • “Bounded Set Faith” is when people focus on the boundaries.  It’s all about doing all the right things and making sure others do them too.  According to Jesus, why is this view of faith is wrong?
  • “Centered Set Faith” is where we put Jesus in the center of our lives and, instead of focusing on the rules and the boundaries, we focus on Him – seeking to know Him and be like Him. Why is this kind of faith more attractive to outsiders than “Bounded Set Faith”?11. Why were irreligious people so drawn to Jesus, even though He was the holiest man who ever lived?12. Why are irreligious people seldom drawn to church people? What’s the difference between Jesus’ holiness and attractiveness compared with ours?

    13. Another Reveal:  This sermon series actually went through the 8 steps of our Celebrate Recovery ministry on Monday nights. If you found these steps helpful, join us on Monday nights at 7:00 to continue cooperating with God to do the renovating work that God has planned for your life!

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