My talk today is part 8 of our series for this summer. The series is called Grace Powered Living. The goal is to get God's grace deep down into our souls... so it's more than a concept... it's an actual power and force in our lives.
I'm changing up the schedule a little bit. One reason is because it's a holiday weekend. But the bigger reason is because Pathway is honored to have some really special guests with us today. The incoming freshman class from Simpson University.
We love you, and we are here for you. Welcome to Redding. And once again, on behalf of President Hall, welcome to Simpson University.
And every student to every school in town. We're expecting God to do awesome things in your life. So, that's why my talk today is a little bit out of our normal flow. We'll get back into it next time.
My topic for today is:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
Here's a warning. I want to shock you today.
I have never met a person, a Christian, a church leader, a Bible studies major, or a pastor who gets this thing I'm talking about today right... unless they've had some kind of breakthrough with God... something they can point to and recall and remember.
I want to start by drawing a mental picture of Christianity that almost every single person starts with... whether they're a Christian or not.
God is up here. You are down here.
Christianity is all about stuff you do for God. So the arrow starts with you and goes up to God.
Love God. Serve God. Give to God. Obey God. Surrender to God. Worship God. Give everything to God. Change the world for God. Bring heaven to earth.
Do, give, obey, strive, strain, give it your all, be committed, be dedicated, do your duty...
Basically, Christianity is about stuff we do for God, arrows up.
And if Christianity is about stuff we do for God, then do you know what Christianity is?
Exhausting. Annoying. Frustrating. Just like every other religion.
Don't get me wrong. Those are good things, but that's just the wrong picture.
The most common understanding of Christianity is a performance based message of what we must do for God. (Arrows up)
This is where the breakthrough has to come in. The memorable breakthrough.