These three words ring sweetly in the ears of those who have experienced this indescribable gift. But how are we saved? And what motivated God to save us? Meditating on the answers to these questions will make all the difference in how we work out what God has called us to do in response to His amazing grace.
Christians are often prone to see the unbelieving world as an oppressive adversary rather than a mission field. But when we remember that God saved us, not by any goodness of our own, but by His sovereign grace, we are motivated to be what He has called us to be in relation to them as we seek to win them to Christ.
God's grace transforms us into the likeness of Christ, and we are to work that transformation out in practical ways not only in the community of the church, but in the larger community of the world around us. Despite the authorities over us or the way we may be treated, we are to apply ourselves to showing all people the character of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Salvation is a work of God's grace from start to finish. The gospel of God's grace-the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose again-not only saves us from the penalty of sin, but removes the power of sin and trains us to be transformed into the likeness of Christ as we wait for the fullness of our transformation at His second coming when we will be finally freed from the presence of sin.
Each and every one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none good, not even one. Even if we won't admit that there is a God to whom we are accountable, we can't escape His law that is written on our hearts and the conscience He placed within us that burdens us with the weight of the real guilt we carry. We are helpless to do anything about it, but the wonderful news of the gospel is that God has done what we could not. This is what Christians celebrate and commemorate on Good Friday.
Many who have reached the latter stage of life feel entitled to spiritual retirement, thinking that along with retirement from their occupation, their work for the Lord is done as well. Others feel the sting of a culture that increasingly prefers to discard the elderly, as if they have timed out in their usefulness. But God says older Christian men and women are treasure troves of truth and wisdom who are not only to continue their pursuit of godliness, but to intentionally invest themselves in the young.
[fusion_button link="https://firmfoundationpv.org/wp-content/uploads/sermons/2022/02/SG-2022.2.27-The-Power-of-a-Transformed-Church-Titus-2.1-15.pdf" target="_blank" link_attributes="" alignment_medium="" alignment_small="" alignment="" modal="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" sticky_display="normal,sticky" class="" id="" color="default" button_gradient_top_color="" hue="" saturation="" lightness="" alpha="" button_gradient_bottom_color="" button_gradient_top_color_hover="" button_gradient_bottom_color_hover="" gradient_start_position="" gradient_end_position="" gradient_type="" radial_direction="" linear_angle="180" accent_color="" accent_hover_color="" type="" bevel_color="" bevel_color_hover="" border_top="" border_right="" border_bottom="" border_left="" border_radius_top_left="" border_radius_top_right="" border_radius_bottom_right="" border_radius_bottom_left="" border_color="" border_hover_color="" size="medium" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" fusion_font_family_button_font="" fusion_font_variant_button_font="" font_size="" line_height="" letter_spacing="" text_transform="" stretch="default" margin_top="" margin_right="" margin_bottom="40px" margin_left="" icon="fa-file-pdf far" icon_position="left" icon_divider="no" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]Download Sermon Study Guide[/fusion_button] How Shall We Then Live? In the midst of a culture that is in rapid moral decline, Christians are tempted to embrace false ideologies under the guise of gospel terminology or to follow those who seek to rally believers in the pursuit of saving the culture through social and political activism. But the Apostle Paul, who served in a culture that was just as godless-even worse-instead called Christians to be zealous in helping one another to grow in Christlikeness in whatever stage or station of life they found themselves, and through this to shine the life-transforming light of the gospel into a dark and lost world.
[fusion_button link="https://firmfoundationpv.org/wp-content/uploads/sermons/2022/02/SG-2022.2.20-Silencing-the-Wolves.-Taking-False-Teachers-to-Task.pdf" target="_blank" link_attributes="" alignment_medium="" alignment_small="" alignment="" modal="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" sticky_display="normal,sticky" class="" id="" color="default" button_gradient_top_color="" hue="" saturation="" lightness="" alpha="" button_gradient_bottom_color="" button_gradient_top_color_hover="" button_gradient_bottom_color_hover="" gradient_start_position="" gradient_end_position="" gradient_type="" radial_direction="" linear_angle="180" accent_color="" accent_hover_color="" type="" bevel_color="" bevel_color_hover="" border_top="" border_right="" border_bottom="" border_left="" border_radius_top_left="" border_radius_top_right="" border_radius_bottom_right="" border_radius_bottom_left="" border_color="" border_hover_color="" size="medium" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" fusion_font_family_button_font="" fusion_font_variant_button_font="" font_size="" line_height="" letter_spacing="" text_transform="" stretch="default" margin_top="" margin_right="" margin_bottom="40px" margin_left="" icon="fa-file-pdf far" icon_position="left" icon_divider="no" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]Download Sermon Study Guide[/fusion_button] The Character of False Teachers False teachers are sometimes difficult to spot because they are subtle and deceptive. This is why our Lord Jesus called them wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15). But elders and all believers alike must develop the discernment to identify them because their teaching is so destructive. The Apostle Paul describes some common characteristics of those who must be silenced.
[fusion_button link="https://firmfoundationpv.org/wp-content/uploads/sermons/2022/02/SG-2022.2.20-Silencing-the-Wolves.-Taking-False-Teachers-to-Task.pdf" target="_blank" link_attributes="" alignment_medium="" alignment_small="" alignment="" modal="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" sticky_display="normal,sticky" class="" id="" color="default" button_gradient_top_color="" hue="" saturation="" lightness="" alpha="" button_gradient_bottom_color="" button_gradient_top_color_hover="" button_gradient_bottom_color_hover="" gradient_start_position="" gradient_end_position="" gradient_type="" radial_direction="" linear_angle="180" accent_color="" accent_hover_color="" type="" bevel_color="" bevel_color_hover="" border_top="" border_right="" border_bottom="" border_left="" border_radius_top_left="" border_radius_top_right="" border_radius_bottom_right="" border_radius_bottom_left="" border_color="" border_hover_color="" size="medium" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" fusion_font_family_button_font="" fusion_font_variant_button_font="" font_size="" line_height="" letter_spacing="" text_transform="" stretch="default" margin_top="" margin_right="" margin_bottom="40px" margin_left="" icon="fa-file-pdf far" icon_position="left" icon_divider="no" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]Download Sermon Study Guide[/fusion_button] The Character of False Teachers False teachers are sometimes difficult to spot because they are subtle and deceptive. This is why our Lord Jesus called them wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15). But elders and all believers alike must develop the discernment to identify them because their teaching is so destructive. The Apostle Paul describes some common characteristics of those who must be silenced.
Are the qualifications for deacons less than those for elders? Are deacons required to teach? Can women serve as deacons? We find the answers to these questions here as the Apostle Paul wrote this letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that we might know how we "ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
Are you feeling spiritually sluggish and seemingly unable to break out of it? Are you frustrated at the fact that you're not growing? Perhaps you are misunderstanding God's clearly defined plan for your sanctification, or the process of spiritual growth.
Jesus said, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matt. 23:12). He demonstrated that principle when, having emptied Himself of significance in coming to take upon humanity, and humbling Himself to the point of death in the place of sinners, the Father highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name.
As if the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ was not enough, not only did He empty Himself of significance in coming to take upon humanity, but in His humanity He humbled Himself in obedience all the way to death on the cross. The attitude He had when He willingly walked down these steps of condescension is the same mindset His followers are to have in relation to one another. Nothing less than this is the true spirit of Christmas.
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