Monday, August 10, 2015

The Call To Renewal

This is the second part of Jude that we studied this week at Sojourn, with the continued theme of renewal that we are called to as Christians. Pastor Mike reminded us today that every true Christian is a convert, that is we are renewed and changed as an individual. Yesterday we looked at Jude 14-25:

14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with [p]many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16 These aregrumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; [q]they speakarrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, [r]worldly-minded, [s]devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of Godwaiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and [t]forever. Amen.

The Dangers of Not Renewing
It is evident in verses 14-16 that there is a final judgement coming where God will separate the Righteous from the unrighteous. We cannot take sin lightly. This can be a hard word in our anything goes culture, but you cannot take hell out of the Bible. If you pluck out hell and judgement, the whole Gospel Truth unravels and Jesus died for nothing. It cost God everything to send His Son to earth to die for us and make us righteous. The more we understand judgement, the weightier the cost of the cross is.

The Call to Renew
We are commanded to keep ourselves in God's love by building up our faith and praying. We are wired to build things as we are made in God's image, so instead of focusing on building our house/garden/car etc, let's build our faith. Our souls are the most important things we can build up. How do we do this? By reading the Truth of God's Word and praying in the Spirit empowered by Him.

Pastor Mike encouraged us to start a Bible project. What is a Bible project?
Pick a book of the Bible and study it. Make a plan on what you want to read, memorize and study more in depth, then implement. He gave a 15 minute a day basic plan to help you start.

1. Read a chapter/passage
2. Meditate on what the chapter/passage says. (Meditate means to chew on, mull over, think about, contemplate) This is where our hearts are effected
3. Pray about what you read

Take 5 minutes for each to begin building your faith and see what God does with it.

Renewal is also a community project. We are to go after the lost, those who are doubting, those who are wavering. We also need to be willing to share our struggles, sin, and doubts with those around us. Do be on your guard so that you do not get sucked into sin yourself. Be wise in pulling others out of the fire. Renewal happens when you reach out.

The End of Renewal (The Purpose of Renewal)
Renewal begins with God's grace and ends with God's grace. The purpose is sanctification as God grows us in the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. All of our effort is underwritten by God's grace. There is often contention between it being all God or all us in renewal, but it is clear throughout Scripture that it is both. It's 100% God's grace (v 2,24) and 100% our effort (v 3, 21). It all works together for our sanctification. We persevere in doing our work by God's grace.

Our chief end and purpose is to live a life that brings glory to God.

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