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Summary: non-linear, neo-interactive, multi-conclusatory, ad-hoc, pre-undetermined ecclesiastical experience

This morning I’m going to do something a little different. What will be different this morning is what I will be expecting from you. I’m a little nervous because it seems to me that what I want to share with you is a little bit over the top. I coined a term, at least I think I did, for what this preaching experience this morning will be called. It is a non-linear, neo-interactive, multi-conclusatory, ad-hoc, pre-undetermined ecclesiastical experience.

NON-LINEAR because that way I have excuse if I go off on a tangent

NEO-INTERACTIVE because in whatever way you can I want you respond and interact with what I say. If you agree with what I share then feel free to shout “amen”, give a thumbs up or run around the sanctuary carrying a flag with my picture on it. Feel free to disagree, feel free to be upset, feel free to get angry if you need to, in fact feel free to stand where you are and recite your favorite haiku.

MULTI-CONCLUSATORY because there is no right conclusion, simply allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. I remember what Pastor Wayne would say, he would pray that God would delete any words that were from the flesh and carry the words that were from God. Listen to what God is saying to you this morning.

AD-HOC because it sounds cool

PRE-UNDETERMINED because I want to be sensitive to the Lord’s new direction. I have a sermon that I have prepared to preach, but still, in the moments we have, I want to be flexible and allow God to start now, from scratch.

And ECCLESIASTICAL because that means church.

So welcome to the first of its kind: The first Non-linear, Neo-interactive, Multi-conclusatory, Ad-hoc, Pre-undetermined Ecclesiastical preaching experience.

ROMANS 8:1-4

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

I grew up in the church Do you know that it wasn’t until I was 19 that I was actually confronted with the fact that I didn’t know what it meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I had an intellectual understanding, but almost everything I had grown up to believe about Christianity, worked against me having an intimate relationship with God. My working knowledge of holiness and righteousness was based on what I did and didn’t do. My walk with God and my Christianity was based on what I did and didn’t do. Christians go to church. Christians memorize and read their bible. Christians are involved in service. Christians do not drink. Christians do not smoke. Christians do not use that kind of language. Christians are, Christians do and Christians do not. The idol of holiness.

We have the terrible habit of measuring our holiness and acceptance to God by our own abilities. Holiness is not our ability to do things for God. Holiness is not our ability to avoid sin. Sin-avoidance is will-power, it is not holiness.

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Instead of basking in God’s glory, instead of just accepting God’s grace, instead of living lives of freedom, we create a new law.

Romans 3:21-24

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

“Yes it is by God’s grace, but it’s also by not drinking”

“Yes, it’s by God’s grace, but it’s also by not swearing”

“Yes, it’s by God’s grace, but it’s also by attending church”

“Yes, it’s by God’s grace, but it’s also by doing good things”

“Yes it’s by God’s grace, but it’s also by loving my neighbor”

If we are going to add something, if we are going to measure our salvation by what we do or do not do, then let me tell you, there are about 100 million people in this world, who have never accepted the grace of God, but by their works deserve heaven more than you do and definitely deserve heaven more than I do.

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