Here is an excerpt from my sermon entitled “Grace and Godliness.” I hope this helps shape our community life together.
“We need to see the church as a people who have a holy hatred for sin but also a people that foster an atmosphere of safety for sinners.
This church is a safe place for the hurting and weak and wounded. Those who need to recover. To join this church is to join a bunch of sinners who are desperate for redemption. Desperate for a life alteration. Every member of TCC has confessed that they are sinners who cannot save themselves and were it not for the grace of God in their lives they would be condemned to a life without hope. But through His word and its effect on others’ lives, they have seen Christ, and He has changed their lives. So now together we long to cultivate an environment not of deceit and concealment, but openness, confession, repentance, and grace. We are not surprised by sin in others because we realize that we are sinners. We realize we need each other and most of all we need the grace of Jesus. We see our need to work together to fight sin in our hearts. I need you. You need me. We need the church. This is our goal – a healthy community of grace.”
On this day, Good Friday, we remember Jesus’ blood spilled for sinners so that we can fight against sin and enjoy the Savior. Here is a post by a dear brother and fellow church planter Justin Childers that encouraged my soul to love the death of Jesus on our behalf.
John Bunyan meditated on the marks of a person who is coming (has come) to Christ for salvation. I have taken the liberty to update the language where I thought it would help with readability.
Do these things characterize your life?
1. Are you burdened with your sin, recognizing it as an exceedingly bitter thing?
2. Do you run from your sin as you would a deadly serpent?
3. Do you recognize and flee from the insufficiency of your own righteousness in the sight of God.
4. Do you cry to the Lord Jesus to save you?
5. Do you see more worth and merit in one drop of Christ’s blood to save you, than in all the sins of the world to condemn you?
6. Are you tender of sinning against Jesus?
7. Is Jesus’ name, person, and undertakings more precious to you than the glory of the world?
8. Is faith in Christ precious to you (as a means to connect you to Christ)?
9. Do you savor Christ in his Word, and do you leave all the world for his sake?
10. Are you willing (with God’s help) to run in harm’s way for his name?
11. Are his saints precious to you?
Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Works, p. 279.
These are not just three words but three questions that you ask yourself as you seek to apply God’s word (taken in part from Ed Marcelle at Acts 29 Boot Camp in Raleigh, NC, February 2009). Whether you are leaving a sermon, reading a passage of Scripture or working on a book study, we can ask these three questions to apply Scripture.
1) Eternal: What can you learn about God?
2) Internal: What is God teaching you about your heart?
3) External: What (and with whom) can I share with others?
The thread that ties these three together is the gospel of Jesus.
1) External: Where can we see and know God’s glory the clearest? At the cross (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
2) Internal: Where can we get help for our sinful heart? From Jesus, the Savior and substitute for sinners (1 Peter 3:18a).
3) External: What do we need to share with others- either believers or unbelievers? The gospel man – Jesus Christ. The message – Christ perfect yet crucified then raised from dead on the third day, and the gospel’s power and benefits (Romans 1:16).
This week of Easter enjoy growing in God’s gospel for His glory