Sermons

Summary: Only through Christ is our destiny changed from "death" to "life."

Destined for Life! in Christ

I don’t know if you’ve given much thought to your future, if you have ever tried to influence and guide what your life will look like

Ben is visiting Princeton this week. . . to discover where he will get a higher education and compete in swimming contests

Homeschool Mom’s and Dad’s are doing their best to give their children a leg up in the world through thorough, creative, God-honoring, and committed teaching—

Many of us are busy trying to wade through political issues to be a more informed voter—and possibly affect the daily aspects of our lives through policy

We choose

• friends

• careers

• recreation

• hobbies

all in an effort to shape our life in the way we want it lived out.

Do we really have control of our lives? Some people think we can/are: look at self help books, Tom Cruise and the Scientology philosophy

refer to SONG: “we’re on a road to nowhere”—The Talking Heads

no ez answer: yes and no

In reality, there are things we can do, but things we don’t want can be done to us.

And yet, the Bible speaks each person having one of two destinies

DESTINY

2 : a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency (online dictionary reference. accidentally deleted reference)

I like to be in charge of where I am going—But do I have a choice?

TEXT: Ephesians 2:1-3

The Destiny of the world family, left to our own devices, is bleak: DEATH

a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency

What are the characteristics of this destiny?

• DONE DEAL—beyond our control—where all humanity is headed

“you were dead” and v. 3 “All of us lived” (Idea for graphics: night of living dead, Before/After shots—to be humorous, Frankenstein: “He’s Alive!!” (but is he really? that may be what others think “i am alive, but are they really)

• TRAPPED in SIN

v. 1

How do you feel about the devil or “sin?” The Bible accepts these as true. You may or may not agree, and yet most can “see sin” somewhere in the world

We put ourselves in categories: Unmentionable/horrific, really bad, bade dude,

Often don’t identify with the "more bad" categories.

Am offended in the least, shocked and angry/turned off, defensive if someone suggests the "I am bad enough to deserve hell." I am not that bad

At what level do we become ’really bad?’ do deserve it

how do we know the cut off point. is it different for different cultures. Is this something we should just "wing" or should we see what God has to say about it?

Some people we put in the good category are turning out not so good:

• Republican Congressmen Mark Foley (disgraced for porn sex with underage page).

• Pastor—sometimes our pastor or one we respect disappoints us.

• Dad/Mom. even they disappoint us at times.

Admit: Many of us in our quieter moments know our sin, despite our protestations and masks. we like to think of evil as large scale and "out there" (war, poverty, crime, serial killers, pedophiles) AND IT IS, but when we look close to home, in our homes, in ourselves, we see that we, too are contributors to the world of sin. We are willing and unwilling participants.

• We say harsh words.

• we spend our money on ourselves instead of helping the poor

• we divorce

• we commit sexual sins

• we over indulge in alchohol and lose control of who we are and what we do

We might try to justify our sins, or say we are really trying to do a good thing. In WW2 many Germans supported the Nazi party, in the name of just trying to achieve security respect and economic prosperity after depression and defeat. But the means to that was horrific.

Maybe one’s “before God” life just needs to be put in the perspective that we are trying to do it alone, ignoring God. We fancy ourselves as “good people” (but are we really all the time), and we seem to downplay the wickedness of a “good person” who still refuses to acknowledge his/her creator and Father.

I can’t speak to where each and every one of you are, but I am going to speak from how I understand God’s word and what He has to say about us. [Further references on sin, see CS Lewis, pp 91-93 of Mere Christianity]

• YOU LIVED (walked—conversation)

This text presents people walking in two different spheres of influence and action: In one, (our former lives), we are walking in our sins and trespasses (though we are dead!! interesting image) and in the new life (made alive!!) we are walking in the good works that God prepared in advance for us to do.

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