Summary: Toxic Religion! Series covering 21 areas of Toxic Religion that are ’burning’ the church, both pastors and congregations. You won’t like this series, but you need it, so does your congregation!
Full Printed Booklet, available BEFORE church for every attendee. Word count 4,200. Time to preach. 40 minutes.
Growing in Grace!
Study Number One - Introduction
March 06th 2007
Pastor Roger Spackman
Te Atatu Baptist Church
C:\…Preaching Teaching\Toxic Religion 01.doc
© Full permission to teach and adapt his material obtained from:
·David Riddell – WWW:LivingWisdom.co.nz.
Mentor, Supervisor and Brother in the Lord!
Allow me to ask you a couple of probing questions this morning.
‘What are you doing here at church today?’
Slide # 2 – ‘Dragged to church!’
‘What are your expectations – your reasons for coming to church this morning?’
‘Why have you come here today?’
Scripture makes it clear that ‘God gives us the desires of our hearts’.
That doesn’t always mean that what ever our hearts desire, God will give to us,
…but that God is able to change our hearts and put a desire to love and obey Him – within us!
To want to come into His presence and join with others to worship Him and learn of His ways for our lives.
But sometimes this takes an action or motivation on our own behalf, to desire to seek God and experience His touch upon our lives.
‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!’
One thing I know for sure, is that God will bless and reward you for coming here today!
For listening to the preaching of His holy Word!
You won’t leave here the same as you came in!
You know, it’s a valid question that I just asked you; ‘Why have you come to church today?’
In fact, it’s a question that I ask myself often.
One of the reasons I am here today, is summed up in a poster I have hanging on my office wall.
Slide # 3 – Scripture Rom 10:17
You see, I believe God has the power, and the desire to transform your heart and life today!
I believe without a shadow of a doubt that by listening to the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, your faith will be increased today!
And it is true, that; ‘Without faith, it is impossible to please God!’
But it doesn’t stop there, and unfortunately much of the contemporary church of today – has stopped at the ‘faith’ level and refused to go any deeper.
You see, it’s easy to talk about ‘faith’, because somehow ‘faith’ is separate from the rest of our lives, from our character and personality.
But the reality is, that God does want to work in your heart, in your personality and character today.
The desire of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify your life – that means,
…to change your attitudes and your character more and more into the image of Christ as revealed through the Bible.
Slide # 4 – Photo – bound person
It is not healthy or right, to have been a Christian for ten, twenty or thirty years,
…and still harbour a critical spirit, unforgiveness, anger, lust, addiction or low self worth within our hearts and lives – within our character.
And if you identify with any of those areas this morning, then you need to stop excusing these things or ‘explaining them away’, and you need to get help, godly professional help.
And if the voices that just entered your head said something like;
‘It’s not really that big a problem’, or
‘You can fix this yourself if you really wanted to’, or even;
‘I don’t need others to help me, God will do it for me’.
If any of those statements just raced through your mind or emotions, then you need to understand that they are a lie of the devil to stop you finding true and lasting freedom in Christ.
And if they were true, then how come after so many years, you are still struggling with those areas, and you haven’t been miraculously or instantaneously delivered?
If this describes your situation, then you need help, my friend, and you need to admit it.
Because the purpose of the Cross is two fold, first for salvation, and then for sanctification.
If you have missed out on either of these two purposes, then I know for a certainty – you are living an unhappy and unfulfilled life!
My goal this morning, is to ‘draw you’ into this message – and in doing so, draw you closer to the heart and grace of a loving Heavenly Father who wants His best for all His children.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I want to draw out a desire for God from within your deepest being and longings.
Because one thing I hate with a vengeance, is going to a church service and being bored to tears.
Slide # 5 – Asleep photo