This past Sunday's message on being Christ-centered (Numbers 21 and John 3) had two main points: in order to be truly Christ-centered we must ...
- be aware of our sin, and ...
- look to the cross.
Once again, a message that harps on our sin and sinfulness! On several occasions over the years I've had people tell me (or I've heard through the grapevine) that we focus too much on sin ... that all this talk about sin is just an excuse to not do good works ... that we hide behind all this sin / grace / gospel stuff to avoid having to really love others and do good as we should ... that our message should be more positive.
I'll be the first to admit that the tendency to minimize good works is a real threat to any and everyone who champions the doctrines of grace. And I also "get it" that it can be very discouraging to constantly hear "you're a sinner" if you don't hear more loudly the good news of forgiveness of sin through Christ. But I stand firm in saying that true obedience, good works, authentic worship, and genuine love will not and can not be produced apart from a full and deep awareness of our own personal sin. This is what we will explore this Sunday 17 Nov as we study Luke 7:36-50.
So is all our talk about sin an excuse to avoid doing good works? Absolutely not ... in fact, the very opposite is true. A deeper understanding of sin and forgiveness will lead to greater works of obedience.
I'm also starting a new Inquirer's Class this Sunday after worship and during the Sunday School time. If you would like to be a part of this 6 week "introduction to Community Church" class please let me know so we can have sufficient materials prepared. If you know of someone who would benefit from this class, please invite and come with them. It's a great class for members to repeat on a periodic basis to refresh themselves with the vision and mission of our church.