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Summary: When we live into the grace of God the light within us produces what is good, exposes and transforms darkness into light.

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Series: Lenten Grace

1. On the First Sunday of Lent we discovered that God’s grace extends beyond Eden.

2. On the Second Sunday in Lent we were reminded that God’s grace is a better way than our works way.

3. On the Third Sunday in Lent we observed in Jesus’ example that God’s grace knows no barriers.

4, Today…on the Fourth Sunday in Lent we see that God’s graces transforms darkness into light.

Title: Grace for Goodness: Transforming Darkness into Light

Text: Ephesians 5:8-14

Thesis: When we live into the grace of God the light within us produces what is good and exposes and transforms darkness into light.

Introduction: Culture

If you watch any cable television at all you know that there are numerous cultures within our larger culture as a country. Our country is not all Capital Hills and Cherry Creeks. It’s Duck Dynasty. Swamp People. Mountain Men. Diggers. Dickerers. Ice Road Truckers. American Pickers. The Kardasians. It’s NPR. It’s my favorite - Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern.

Bizarre Foods focuses on regional cuisine from around the world which is typically perceived by Americans as being disgusting, exotic, or bizarre. In each episode, Zimmern focuses on the cuisine of a particular country or region. He typically shows how the food is procured, where it is served, and, usually without hesitation, eats it. (Bizarre Foods America, Wikipedia)

Every culture is different or has its own unique culture. Culture is defined as a pattern of human belief and behavior or the customary belief and social norms of a social group. A culture is a group of people living by the same standards.

I read an interesting article that ran in the Washington Post last November citing the existence of 11 separate nation states in the United States where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government. In mapping the 11 nation states within the United States they cited the distribution of linguistic dialects, prevalence of different religious denominations and a county by county breakdown of voting in every hotly contested presidential race in our history. (Reid Wilson, Which of the 11 American nations do you live in?, the Washington Post, November 8, 2013)

Among the 11 nations states are The Left Coast, The Far West, The Midlands, El Norte, New France, Deep South, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, New Netherlands, and Yankeedom. All these regions reflect numerous cultures within the greater culture of our country.

Similarly we have two distinct cultures within the greater culture we may think of as Spiritual Cultures of Darkness and Light…

People living in darkness have beliefs and practice behaviors consistent with those beliefs that are normal and acceptable in the culture of darkness.

People living in light have beliefs and practice behaviors consistent with those beliefs that are normal and acceptable within the culture of light.

The first culture is the culture of spiritual darkness.


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