Today I gave the sermon at Main Street Moravian Church in Northfield. It was not recorded but here are some notes from my sermon manuscript.
Last week my main point in the message was to reinforce the importance of unity in the church. What I said was that when it comes to maintaining unity, our main challenge is to put the needs of the “WE” before the needs of “ME."
It is only when we look up at the cross and at Jesus who died there, that we find the power to overcome our selfishness and vain conceit.
Many of our problems in life come from focusing our eyes downward on the wrong things.
The heart of the Christian life is the daily choice to lift up and fix our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
And what happens, when the Bible is removed as the principal authority and determining factor of what is true and what isn’t, is that chaos of opinions and feelings reigns. And false teachers thrive in this environment.
After that glorious moment when Jesus saved Paul, everything changed for Paul. All the religious self-assurances that had meant so much to him before now meant nothing.
I think we need to take more encouragement from Paul’s confession here (Philippians 3:12) and admit that perfection in this life is a goal and not an accomplishment.
BUT, BUT, the fact that we don't reach perfection in this life does not mean we should not strive for it or say that is too hard. Paul is not telling us to just settle.
My response to his death on the cross is to passionately pursue him, to press past all of my faults and my sins and my errors and to seek him and his glory.
Closing poem "To Will One Thing" (Soren Kierkegaard)