Being the Church

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Colossians 1:9–14 ESV
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Christ, his active and passive obedience (R.C. Sproul)
Romans Resurrection

With respect to our condition of guilt before God, the language of the New Testament is often expressed in the category of indebtedness. What is the nature of the debt that we owe God because of our sin? I go back to an illustration I used before to demonstrate a very important distinction in our situation as sinners before a righteous God, as debtors who cannot pay their debt. I make the distinction, as the church fathers did, between a moral debt and a pecuniary debt. A pecuniary debt is a monetary or financial debt, which is not the same thing as a moral debt.

Imagine that you see a young boy come into an ice cream parlor and order an ice cream cone from the waitress. He wants two scoops of ice cream on the cone, so the waitress scoops the two scoops onto the cone, hands it to the little boy, and tells him, “That will be two dollars.” Then you see the lip start to quiver on the face of the little boy, and he says to the woman, “My mommy only gave me a dollar.” He has a problem. He now owes two dollars for the ice cream cone, but he has only one dollar. As you watch this unfold, what do you do? You do the same thing that anyone would do in that situation. You say to the waitress, “Excuse me, ma’am. If it would be all right with you, I would be happy to make up the difference between what the little boy has and what he needs.” Is the waitress under any obligation to accept the dollar that you offer her? Yes, she is, because the debt is a pecuniary debt, and you are offering her legal tender, which means she must accept it in payment of the debt.

Let us change the story just a bit: you are standing in line at the ice cream counter and the young boy runs in, runs behind the counter, scoops up two scoops of ice cream onto a cone, and runs out the door with the waitress in pursuit, calling for the police, “Stop, thief!” The policeman on the corner sees what happens, grabs the urchin by the scruff of his neck, brings him back into the store, and says, “Is this the boy? Did he do something?”

“Yes, he just stole two scoops of ice cream, not to mention the cone.”

You say, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Take it easy, Officer,” and you reach in your pocket and take out two dollars and hand the money to the waitress, saying, “Now the boy’s debt is paid. Can we just all go home and forget about this?”

The policeman says, “Ma’am, you do not have to accept that money. This boy has broken the law. He is guilty of petty larceny, at least. Would you like to press charges?”

The woman has every right under the law to press charges. She is under no obligation whatsoever to accept your vicarious payment of the little boy’s debt. If she is a merciful person she might accept it, but she is not bound by the offer.

When a moral transgression has taken place, the offended person is under no obligation to accept the payment of a substitute on behalf of the guilty. Christ laid down his life for his sheep on the cross. He offered himself in his perfect righteousness and took upon himself the sin of his people. If Jesus had stayed dead, we would have no justification, but when the Father raised the Son from the dead, he said to the world, “I accept this payment for the debtors who cannot pay.” The resurrection of Jesus is not simply for his vindication; it is for our justification, because it is God’s demonstration to his unjust people that he accepts the payment in full for the moral debt they have incurred.

Reformation vs Transformation
Because of the Gospel,

We must submit to the Word

Hiking the Superior Hiking Trail
John 17 Think of a couple getting to know one another
Teens & Families - Reading the Word
Counseling - Sufficiency of Scripture
“Man does not live by bread alone.”
We must know what it means to be saved.

We must offer hope

Endurance and patience with joy
Grace AND Truth
Getting lost
Think of a teacher grading a test. Grace is seen in the encouragement and empathy shown, while truth is reflected in the actual assessment of the student's work. The right balance of both is what brings about growth.
Older vs younger people
Love and Care (Munchkins and Mayhem)
Lighthouse (Nathan/ Andrew)
Wednesday night/ SS for kids
Pat Ribbey

We must believe we are a family

Instead we believe that the way to be safe is to push people away or prove our worth or get rich.
In the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus emphasizes that a good shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep to go after the one that is lost. This compassionate act shows that safety and security are found, not in numbers or possessions, but in the individual care and compassion shown to each person in need.
Think about a time when someone showed you unexpected kindness in a moment of vulnerability. Perhaps it was a stranger who stopped to help when you were lost. That simple act of compassion created a sense of safety and comfort. It's a reminder that our own experiences of safety are often tied to the compassionate actions of others.
Consider the story of the Good Samaritan. He invested time, effort, and resources to show compassion to a stranger in need. In doing so, he not only made a difference in the injured man's life but also set an example for countless generations to follow. Our investments in compassion have the potential to leave a lasting impact that echoes throughout time.
Slow down, pass on wisdom
What I love is what others bring to the table
ABFs, Bible Studies, Impact
Will you grow in being the church honoring Christ? Letting God transform your hearts.
Community Group questions
What are ways we resist submitting to the Word?
What are some truths that motivate you to submit to the Word?
How hopeful are people around you? Why?
What gives you hope on a day to day basis? How can you encourage others with that hope?
What stories can you tell about how we have been family to each other?
What would help us have more compassion for one another?
How could you pass on to younger people the wisdom of Christ that you have gained?
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