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Faithlife

EMBRACED TO EMBRACE

EMBRACED  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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INTRODUCTION

OPENING STORY: THE MILLENNIUM TOWER IN DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO. LUXURY APARTMENTS/SKYSCRAPER, OPENED TO GREAT ACCLAIM. BUT THERE’S ONE PROBLEM: THE BUILDING IS LEANING AS IT IS SINKING IN WHAT WAS LANDFIL. TALKED TO A FRIEND OF MINE AND ASKED HIM THE PROBLEM…HE’S A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER WHOSE BUILT MANY BUILDINGS IN SFO…DIDN’T GO DOWN DEEP ENOUGH INTO THE BEDROCK. AND BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T GO DOWN DEEP ENOUGH THE BUILDING IS OFF, IT’S LEANING.
POINT: SUCH IS THE PROBLEM WITH SO MANY PEOPLE. TOO MANY PEOPLE BUILD THEIR IDENTITIES ON THE SHIFTING LANDFIL OF LESSER IDENTITIES OF THIS LIFE. EXAMPLES. AND BECAUSE OF THAT THEIR LIVES ARE OUT OF ALIGNMENT. BUT GOD IS CALLING ALL OF US TO BE ANCHORED DEEPLY INTO THE BEDROCK OF HIS TRUTH, AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. AND FOR CHRIST-FOLLOWERS WE MUST ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE REMINDED OF THIS TRUTH EVERYDAY- THAT OUR IDENTITY IS NOT IN OUR CHOICES, ETHNICITY, EXPERIENCES, WHAT I DID, OR WHAT SOMEONE ELSE DID TO ME. WE ARE TO BE ANCHORED DEEPLY IN THE REALITY THAT WE ARE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF A GOD WHO LOVED US UNCONDITIONALLY.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT: GALATIANS RELAPSE. PAUL REMINDING THEM OF THEIR IDENTITY.
DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION- 2:15-16…SPURGEON’S QUOTE ABOUT TWO WAYS TO GET TO GOD…JUSTIFICATION. DEFINE IT. MACARTHUR QUOTE. AS THE BIBLICAL STORY. SEEMS HARSH, BUT HE REJECTED THE CLOTHES, AND WANTED TO COME IN ON HIS OWN TERMS...
HAPPENS BY GRACE. ILLUSTRATION OF THE VOICE. THIS NOW BECOMES MY IDENTITY. I’M A CHILD OF GOD SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH. THIS IS MY IDENTITY, AND IT NOW IS TO HAVE A RADICAL IMPACT IN MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS. I AM EMBRACED BY GOD TO EMBRACE OTHERS. BUT HOW SO? WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS?

GOSPEL IDENITY CRUSHES TRIBALISM- 2:15-16

EXPLANATION: GIVE SOME CONTEXT HERE. PAUL AND PETER THE TWO LEADING FIGURES OF THE EARLY CHURCH. ACTS IS ARRANGED AROUND THEM (1-12 IS PETER, 13-28 IS PAUL). PAUL DESCRIBES A MAJOR CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE TWO…PPV EVENT. WHY? PETER’S HYPOCRISY- EXPLAIN…RACISM WITHIN THE CHURCH. IT WAS A MULTIETHNIC CHURCH THAT WAS DEEPLY DIVIDED, AND NO REALY SHARING OF LIFE. JEWS OVER THERE, GENTILES OVER THERE.
ILLUSTRATION: ALL STAR GAME.
POINT: THEY WERE LIVING IN THEIR LESSER IDENTITIES OF RACE, AND NOT IN THEIR GREATER IDENTITY OF THE GOSPEL. WHEN WE ALLOW OUR LESSER IDENTITIES TO BECOME GREATER THAN THE GOSPEL THEN THAT’S AN ISSUE.
POINT: RACISM IS A GOSPEL ISSUE- VERSE 14. IS THE GOSPEL SOCIAL? YOU BET IT IS! HE TETHERS RACE TO THE GOSPEL. HOW SO? EXPLAIN. WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD. NOT JUST BLACK PEOPLE. IT IS INCLUSIVE. AND PAUL’S ECLECTIC RELATIONSHIPS…I DO IT ALL FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL.
SEE YANCEY STORY ON RACE...
APPLICATION: IF YOU ARE A RACIAL MAJORITY YOU CAN SEE YOUR RACE AS A BADGE OF PRIVELEGE CAUSING YOU TO LOOK DOWN ON OTHERS. IF YOU ARE A RACIAL MINORITY YOU CAN ASSUME THE WORST AND BE JUDGMENTAL AND CONDEMNING NEVER GIVING PEOPLE A SHOT. PAUL SAYS WE REGARD NO ONE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH. IT DOES A NUMBER ON PEOPLE. BLACK IS ONLY BEAUTIFUL WHEN IT’S BIBLICAL AND WHITE IS ONLY RIGHT WHEN IT AGREES WITH HOLY WRIT. TONY EVANS. BLACKNESS, WHITENESS, INDIANESS, HISPANICNESS IS TO BE SUBJUGATED TO JESUS-NESS.
OTHER EXAMPLES: POLITICAL; SEXUALITY #METOO…EXPOUND

GOSPEL IDENTITY CONFRONTS- 2:11

EXPLANATION: PAUL’S POINT IS CLEAR: GOSPEL IDENTITY LEADS TO GOSPEL UNITY. BUT UNITY IS NOT UNIFORMITY. WE ARE DIFFERENT AND WE GIVE EACH OTHER FREEDOM, YET WHEN WE GET OUTSIDE OF THE PLUMBLINE OF THE GOSPEL WE CONFRONT. CONFRONTATION IS KEY TO UNITY. BEATITUDE- NOT BLESSED ARE THE CONFLICT AVOIDERS, BUT BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS. SOMETIMES TO MAKE PEACE YOU MUST CONFRONT. PAUL DOES THIS HERE WITH PETER. WHY? HE RECORDS IT TO SHOW THE AUTHENTICITY OF HIS APOSTLESHIP…THOUGHT ONLY APOSTLES COULD CONFRONT ANOTHER.
CANCER ILLUSTRATION: CELL GOING IT’S ON WAY. SPLITS AND SPLITS AND DIVIDES UNTIL A TUMOR IS FORMED…IN MANY CASES BODY ALERTS YOU…THEN DOCTOR CONFRONTS- SURGERY? CHEMO? THINGS YOU WON’T LIKE, BUT IT’S GOT TO BE CONFRONTED IF THE BODY IS GOING TO BE MADE WELL. NO DOCTOR SAYS OOH…THEY’RE NOT GOING TO LIKE HEARING THIS, AND MAY NOT LIKE ME SO LET ME NOT TELL THEM.. THAT WOULD BE MALPRACTICE. A LOT OF MALPRACTICE IN THE CHURCH.
APPLICATION- THE ONE BEING CONFRONTED. THE BIBLE HAS A LOT TO SAY. FOOLS HATE CORRECTION, WISE PEOPLE RECEIVE IT…MESSAGE OF PROVERBS. SENSITIVIY CAN HIGH JACK THIS. CUT OFF THE RELATIONSHIP. DON’T RESPOND, JUST LISTEN AND RECEIVE. TURN YOUR CRITICS INTO COACHES, NORMALLY A KERNEL OF TRUTH. EXAMPLE OF ME.
APPLICATION- THE ONE CONFRONTING. TAKE A PAGE OUT OF PAUL. HE DOES IT BECAUSE HE LOVES GOD, LOVES THE BODY OF BELIEVERS AND LOVES PETER. BUT NOTICE WHAT HE CONFRONTS OVER…NOT A PETTY DIFFERENCE, IT’S A GOSPEL ISSUE. YOU HAVE SIX BULLETS IN YOUR GUN YOU CAN’T SHOOT AT EVERYTHING. IS THIS A SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE. THINK AND PRAY ABOUT IT. DON’T FIRE OFF AN EMAIL. OPPOSED HIM TO HIS FACE.
ILLUSTRATION OF KIRK. GOT ON A PLANE TO SIT DOWN WITH HIM AND ANOTHER FRIEND. CONFRONTED HIM. THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND.
WHEN MY IDENITY IS IN THE GOSPEL I’M FREED TO CONFRONT BECAUSE IF GOD EMBRACES ME...

GOSPEL IDENTITY IS CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST- 2:17-21

EXPLANATION: IN ORDER FOR EVERY RELATIONSHIP TO WORK THERE MUST BE A COMMON DENOMINATOR…COSELL AND ALI IT WAS THEIR LOVE OF SPORTS. BELIEVERS IT’S CHRIST. KORIE BEING HALF MEXICAN AND HALF IRISH AND ME A BLACK MAN…CHRIST. WE VACATION WITH A SWEDE AND A WHITE GIRL FROM IOWA…CHRIST. MULTIETHNIC CHURCH WITH JAPANESE AND HISPANICS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS…CHRIST. DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS…CHRIST. THIS ROOM EXISTS BECAUSE OF THE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF CHRIST.
THE IRONY OF BEING ALIVE BUT DEAD. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN. CRUCIFIED. YOUR DEATH WARRANT WAS NAILED THE MOMENT YOU WERE NAILED. YOU WERE LIVING BUT COUNTED AS DEAD.
OLEAC ACID.
OUR LOUDEST CONVICTIONS ARE TIED TO OUR DEEPEST IDENTITIES.
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