Cherishing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Transfer of Kingdoms

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Have you ever left a day on your job and were not very pleased with your job performance?  Well, imagine standing in from of almost 600 people and feeling that way.  That’s how I felt the Sunday we had church at One Champion Field.  I felt as if I was faithful to the text, but something didn’t seem right.  I couldn’t find or think of helpful illustrations or examples, and it was a very technical sermon.  My delivery was a bit too quick, and I couldn’t get myself out of the rut.  Yet, God is always faithful to His word and people.  I am incredibly grateful for God’s promises and power.  He has never failed.  I am also thankful for a very patient and encouraging congregation.  You all have sat through some bad sermons and keep coming back. Thank you!!

So, entering the study this past week, I pleaded with God to help me do my job better.  The Lord was kind, and this past Sunday, I delivered a sermon that was not only faithful to the text but, I sensed, faithful to my calling.  Not sure how to quantify that except that “I know” when something is amiss.  

“You have left the country where sin is sovereign”:

Romans 6 is a breath-taking look at how the power and penalty of sin do not dominate our lives anymore.  It is a text about true freedom.  Freedom to live as God intended and the joy that living in that freedom brings us.  It’s a chapter about how sanctification (being more like Jesus) happens in our lives.  It’s a chapter that shows us the reality and power of Christ’s work for us and how that reality works itself out in our everyday lives.  

One of those realities was the transfer of kingdoms I spoke about on Sunday.  Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Romans 6 was stunning to me:  “In Christ, you have left the country where sin is sovereign.”  We don’t have to live as if sin is sovereign because it isn’t.  We don’t have to give in to our sin anymore.  Just think about that: pride doesn’t have to be your MO; anger doesn’t have to be your default; gossip doesn’t have to grip your attention; lust doesn’t have to dominate your thinking.  You have left the country where sin is sovereign!

“Flee sexual immorality”:

As I studied through Romans 6 and saw the reality of sin’s defeat more, I thought about the particular challenge of sexual sin and Paul’s instruction to “flee sexual immorality” in 1 Corinthians 6:18.  It’s intriguing to me that this sin, along with idolatry (1 Corinthian 10:14) are the only sins that we’re told to “flee.”  It’s like Paul saying, “these are sins you don’t stay in the same room with.”  While all sin is dangerous to the Christian’s soul, these are difficult to escape and ones we should run from.  

And I think the reason for this is two-fold: 1) these sins are remarkably challenging to resist.  You can’t mess around with this stuff.  2) these sins capture the heart quickly, and getting out of them is very challenging.  Sexual sin, in particular, leaves a stain and pain on the heart.  The guilt, shame, and anxiety from it are painful.  Not to mention the mental images that seem to haunt people constantly. 

The other interesting thing about this is that in James 4:7, we’re told to “Resist the devil.”  Interestingly, we’re told to stiff-arm the devil but to flee from sexual immorality.  Just give that some thought.    

Romans:

As we’ve gone through this series, I have been asked, “when are we going to go through Romans as a church?” My reply is, I don’t know because I’m a bit intimidated by Romans.  It’s Mt. Everest in the theological world.  Don’t get me wrong; I love Romans.  It’s one of my favorite books.  But preaching through this giant is another beast altogether.  I’ll put my “big boy pants” on sometime😂.  

Looking Ahead:

This coming Sunday, we will study Romans 7:1-6 as we look at what it means to die to the law.  This is not a simple study, and it’s very challenging to know what the issue with the law is.  The law is good, perfect, and holy.  But it can’t save us or empower us to change.  It only condemns us.  So, this week we’ll see how we have died to the law.  Again, notice that it’s past tense.   

Church Campout:

July 26th-July 31st is our church campout at Joseph Stewart County Park near Lost Creek Lake.  Our campout is always a great time, but after the last two years canceled because of COVID, this one will be special.  Plus, this is a great spot.  With a lake, lots of biking, dirt bike trails, and open fields, it’s a good spot.  Check-in is Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., and check-out is at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.  

On July 30th, we will have a church service at the campground around 6:30 p.m.  And on July 31st, we will have one church service at CLF at 10:30 a.m.  

From the Cheap Seats:

  • Man City is in the US for summer training.  I could watch a game if I wanted to be in Houston this week.  Or, if I wanted to be in Green Bay, I could watch a game.  Instead, I’ll be dreaming that I could watch one of their games.  
  • The Legion AAA State Tournament at One Champion Field this coming weekend and next week.  There will be some good baseball played that week.  
  • The Home Run Derby is always amazing to me.  These guys can just flip the bat-head and launch a ball 400 feet.  But this 527-foot home run in a real game is unreal:  https://www.si.com/mlb/2022/07/17/diamondbacks-leandro-cedeno-527-foot-home-run-amarillo-sod-poodles.  And how about that name:  Sod Poodles??

To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.

In Christ, 

Dave York

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Musings

Solely on Our Union with Christ

This is why we must cling to the truths of Romans 5-8.  In our union with Christ, God no longer determines our relationship with Him based on our sin, our fickle love for Him, or how we feel in the morning.  God relates to us solely on our union with Christ.  

Musings

Freshness and Joy

Throughout this series, “United with Christ, I see things in Romans 5-8 that I’ve studied before, but they have come to me with new freshness and joy.  Focusing on these chapters has given me a new sense of freedom from the power and penalty of sin and Jesus being my righteous advocate before God.  It is simply a stunning display of God’s grace and power that stir me to gratitude and worship.

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