An equipping ministry to Disciple the Church.
A mission base to Send the Church.
As we talked about last week, there is a “groan" in this age.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.
4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
But it is important that we understand that there is a “groan” that is very common in believers. That groan is not to be bore but rather removed:
1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage!
2 Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me.
3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins.
4 My guilt overwhelms me—it is a burden too heavy to bear.
The “groan" produced from unfulfilled, or partially fulfilled God-given longings, is a normal part of a Spirit filled life.
But the “groan" produced by sin and its ensuing condemnation is not our inheritance on this side of salvation.
Grace is the key to the stewardship of the first and the removal of the second!
Grace is the active, unmerited favor and provision of God for us.
Paul’s answer after asking for the thorn in the flesh to be removed was:
2 Corinthians 12:7-9
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness
Sufficient grace is the provision for stewarding the groan of unfulfilled longings on this side of the resurrection.
Paul’s answer for removing the groan of sin and condemnation is also grace, specifically the radical Gospel of Grace!
24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Most believers are regularly plagued with the fog of condemnation, sin consciousness, guilt, falling short, etc.
This heart, mind, and speaking culture causes the disciple to miss the glorious freedom from and power over sin as well as deep experiences of the love of God.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?
9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
It is only the radical Gospel of Grace that can remove the groan of guilt and condemnation.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Law puts the demand on you.
Grace puts the demand upon Christ.
Law calls on you to perform the righteous standard.
Grace calls on you to receive the righteousness of Christ who met the standard.
Law says, “not yet”.
Grace says, “finished”.
Law exposes your lack.
Grace exposes His abundant supply.
Law makes you pay.
Grace shows it has already been paid.
Law reveals that we are unable to fulfill.
Grace reveals that Jesus has already fulfilled
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
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.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
The radical Gospel of Grace received by faith removes the groan of condemnation from our hearts.