Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Why Is It Taking so Long? Part 2

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Why Is It Taking So Long? Part 2

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Why Is It Taking so Long? Part 2

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An encouraging look at why the conversion process may be taking a very long time and why is a taking so long for so many of us to grow as Christians. Retaining the status quo is not right. Churches can actually encourage the status quo and discourage growth as a church or for individuals.

Sermon Notes

A review of part 1, the establishment of the beachhead and the completion of that part of the mission.

Our position in Christ vs the conditions on the ground.

1) the breakout

Our beachhead position is in Christ.  As it is strengthened, the need to break out becomes great Matthew 9:16-17 Matthew 9:16-17 16 No man puts a piece of new cloth to an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
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.  New wine in new wineskins - move on.  We need to be prepared for breakout moments.

Retaining the status quo is not right.

Churches can actually encourage the status quo and discourage growth as a church or for individuals.

Philippians 3:10-14 Philippians 3:10-14 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death; 11 If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
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.  Paul didn’t settle.  He acknowledged that even he was not all that he should be.

Why am I now confronted with issues that didn’t confront me previously?

Was the boulder too big back then?

Was I too stubborn and willful to see then?

Our human nature tends to be obscured by us (Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
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)

Mark 7:20 Mark 7:20And he said, That which comes out of the man, that defiles the man.
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God cares about the heart, the inward man.  To move from the beachhead to the interior, the self has to die.  1 Corinthians 15:31 1 Corinthians 15:31I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our LORD, I die daily.
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.  Die daily.

2) taking a stand

Matthew 6:24 Matthew 6:24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
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  Two masters?

Galatians 5:16-18 Galatians 5:16-18 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. 18 But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.
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the battle continues, so you’re not a freak just because you’re still battling.  conversion is not an event, it’s a process.

Romans 6:16-18 Romans 6:16-18 16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.
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  Who will we serve?  We are at war inside ourselves.

3) hunkering down

A long slog of a war ahead.  Doubt can creep in.  1 Timothy 1:15 1 Timothy 1:15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
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.  Christ came to save sinners, namely me.  God is patient, puts up with a lot.  Even though we continue in battle, the victory is won.