GC Session: Grace Notes #4 – In The Word
The General Conference needs to consider outsourcing the Session to AT&T. If they did this then each thought provoking sermon could be replayed, rewound and paused. This is the biggest and most diverse gathering of Seventh-day Adventist pastors and I would be doing the Session a disservice if I didn’t highlight a message or two but alas I cannot type as fast as they preach and so the following are just snippets from some deep sermons. The questions in red are mine and I hope they challenge you as you continue to grow in Christ.
Dwight K Nelson (Focus on Pastors)
Our growth rate is pathetic, we are not focused on living evangelism, if we were we would have an exponential growth rate that comes from discipleship and not quarterly events.
As a member of this church, how many people have you mentored or discipled? Do you even know what it means to do so?
Dennis Meier (1st Sabbath Vespers)
The gospel is not you instilling the fear of hell into people in order to get them to repent. The gospel instead, is you showing them that they are worthy of His love and have them surrender and accept Him not out of fear but out of gratitude.
When you speak to your non-Christian friends is it to lecture them about their sins and consequences or to remind them that they are wonderfully created in the image of God who loves and wants to save them?
Abraham Jules (Friday night Vespers)
There is a difference between the logos and the rehma. The difference between the written word of God and the revealed word of God for a particular instance. Peter found himself at a crossroads, because there seemed to be a conflict between the Word and the dream he received about unclean animals.
How has the logos (written word of God in its entirety) and the rehma (revealed word of God for a specific situation) played out in your life? Do you even know the difference?
Matt Gamble (GodEncounters Friday night)
The truth is that most Christian men would rather watch porn than read the bible, so why pretend differently? The beauty of grace is the mystery of salvation. All you have to do is surrender to the One and let Him work a change in you. Surrender starts and ends with FAITH. That is your part in the plan of salvation.
Breathe in and out, seriously how can you embrace His grace if you are determined to come before Him spotless and clean without the need of a Savior. So start with honesty and a humble heart.
What is your natural propensity to the things of God or the things of men?
Aha! You see, you really aren’t that perfect – so get off your high horse and embrace His grace.
Methodology and Theology. Let us not confuse the two. When we assume that methodology and theology are the same we run the risk of legislating change by enforcing behavior. Christ was a conservative in His theology but His methodology was liberal. He healed a sick man on the Sabbath in order to remind us to keep it holy and not to follow a bunch of rules.
Try and remember the last argument you had in relationship to your Christian walk. Was it one rooted in theology or was the disagreement in methodology?
Robert Lemon (2nd Sabbath Divine Service Offertory)
Everyone born in an affluent country has won the lottery in this life.
Everything that comes from the manufacturer is on a journey to the trash dump. Each day it takes one step closer. Do you really think that when Christ returns he will care about your car, house or wardrobe? Reacquaint yourself with His mission and rededicate your life because the things you chase after are temporal.
Where does your treasure truly lie?
Ted Wilson (2nd Sabbath Divine Service Sermon)
The church is under attack from liberal ideas that seek to undermine the authority of God by scrutinizing and criticizing the Bible. The entire Bible is the Word of God and if it says that the world was created in 6 literal days who are you to question this? To debate the creation account as stated in Scripture is to bring into question the very foundation of our belief.
The Bible points to roughly 6,000 years on this planet, scientists have forensic data that dates Dinosaurs millions of years old. Can the two co-exist?
Standing at the edge of the Red Sea, the Israelites became afraid. Up until this point, they were being led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night yet still they were afraid. The path where God leads the way may lie through the desert or the sea, but it is still a safe path.
Church members keep your pastors and conference leaders accountable; make sure that they are following the word of God as laid out in Scripture.
Do you do that? Keep your pastor accountable, or does your Bible need dusting because you receive the word pre- chewed instead of gleaned from your own personal study time?
Use the Spirit of Prophecy humbly – not with pride. Continue to go forward with the humility of Jesus. When you are transformed, you will live out grace in your life.
Humility and grace, pride and … where do you stand?
Okay so I’m thinking one more grace note to wrap it all up. Hit on the beauty of the Parade of Nations, but then again I don’t know if it can be put to words ….
Can there be grace amid dissent: I have stayed away from all the issues and snafus that arose from a doctrinal standpoint. With the election of officers and also the murmurings of the members – can their be grace.? I’m thinking of a way to put a positive spin on it all but …….