Summary: A message challenging the believer to examine himself to see if theirs is a life of liberation and transformation to the image of Christ.


Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18


There is no doubt today that we are a nation of celebrations. There is everything from national celebrations carved into the fabric of the calendar that governs us to more personal and private reasons to celebrate.

No matter the event, we will find a reason to blow up a balloon, gather together food, assemble some family and friends, meet in a particular place and celebrate. From birthdays to bar mitzvahs; from war victories to wedding veils; we will find a reason to celebrate.

Kool and the Gang back in the day summarized in a song the spirit of the culture with a hit entitled, “Celebrate”. You remember the words:


Celebrate good times come on, It’s a celebration

Celebrate good times come on, It’s a celebration

There’s a party going on right here, a celebration to last throughout the year, so bring your good times and your laughter to, we going to celebrate and party with you.

And the church is not immune to this level of fever and fanfare. In the church traditions they celebrated men’s days and women’s days; usher anniversaries, choir days, youth days, shoe rallies, and building dedications.

And yet I must say that even the Bible provides a plethora of celebrations among the Jewish people as ordained by God such as the feast of tabernacle, Passover, and the Pentecost celebration.

When I speak of celebration in the church. I speak of Spirit-filled living that shows deep gratitude for the richness of God’s love and mercy. A celebration in the church is an awesome opportunity to display visibly the provision of God, the faithfulness of God, and the kindness of God.

But I want the members of Galilee Central Baptist Church to know that a celebration is not only a visible validation of God’s faithfulness in the presence of saints and sinners alike, but it should also be a time of balance and discipline.

Today we are here to celebrate A Book written by Sister Tina Baker, balanced with a celebration of The Book inspired by Sovereign Almighty God.

Sister Tina’s book:

On one hand it is a book of encouragement.

On the other hand it is a book of debasement.

On one hand it is a book of direction.

On the other hand it is a book of caution.

On one hand it is a book containing the knowledge of Christ.

On the other hand it is a book of practical application.

But what I admired most about her book was that it forces the reader to take a look himself or herself. It challenges you to confront your prejudices and decide whether you feel that the author is an angry black woman with a vendetta or axe to grind.

Or a wounded sister speaking from the introspection of a life filled with drama, pain, and pressure from choices made by her and choices made for her.

You will have to decide if it is a book that hits the mark offering a change and hope to those swimming in the same lake of experience or is it way off target reflecting only the life happenings of one lone sista.

“Understanding the Pain” is “A Book” that makes you feel and think, but you will have plenty of time to get a copy and read it. This morning I come to express a message from “The Book”, God’s holy Word.

Our celebration today cannot just be merely an outward expression, but also should be an inward reflection. Thus our sermon title, “Take A Look At Yourself.”

What does the text of the hour have to offer us in terms of the needs of this present moment?

The Scripture selection reads:

2 Corinthians 3:17 – 18 Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The NLT records it this way:

2 Cor. 3:17 –18 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.

Listen, there in those two verses is defined our two points of thought – liberty in verse 17 and change in verse 18.

Notice that there is reference to liberty before change or what I call transformation. There can be no transformation before there is liberation. If you attempt to have transformation before your liberation then you will become disfigured or deformed.

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