Monday, July 16, 2012

A New Sermon Series: Gospel Lens

This week we began a new sermon series on looking at life through a gospel lens. This series is intended to help you understand your own life, and speak with others, from a gospel perspective. Here is a quick summary of the differences between a gospel lens and a Christless lens.

If we view life through a gospel lens, we believe God’s story…

  • Creation – God is the Creator and Originator of all things. This means that I exist because of Him and for Him. It also means that my value and identity are defined by Him.
  • Fall – We rebelled against God and His word. This is sin. We die, through our rejection of God, because we are separated from the only life giving source. This rejection of God results in a broken world consisting of shame, suffering, death, inequality, and injustice.
  • Redemption – God brings us into righteous relationship with Him by His work through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We put our faith in Him to accept this salvation by grace.
  • Restoration – God has made us to be a new creation in Christ and continues to work in us through the work of the Holy Spirit. This means that He has prepared and enabled us for a new way to live, a new way to relate to others, and a new way to work. We anticipate that one day He will make all things new, resulting in a perfect relationship with him and an end to sin, shame, suffering, and death.
If we view life through a Christless lens, we believe our story…
  • Creation – I am what I determine myself to be. This means my value and identity are determined by someone else’s or my own opinion of me. I thereby establish myself or someone else as god.
  • Fall – My problem is that I am not what I or someone else would like me to be. This results in my shame. Alternatively, I may believe that I am already perfect and acceptable in my own eyes. In this I deceive myself with pride. Beyond me, the world is broken and needs to be fixed because of suffering, death, inequality, or injustice.
  • Redemption – It is through my work that I am saved, healed, or made acceptable by making up for my problem. Alternatively, I may hope that someone else will change my circumstances so that I will no longer have a problem. In this case I, or someone I determine, is savior.
  • Restoration – I or something else can fix me and this place if I will just work harder and more effectively. My future hope is dependent upon my circumstances, resources, and abilities.
You may notice that the components of these stories relate to one another. The outline for the Gospel Lens series will address each component in turn: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration.

  • Creation addresses our identity. This is how we answer the questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why do I exist?
  • Fall addresses where things are broken. This is how we answer the questions: What is the trouble or pain? Where did it come from? Whose fault is it?
  • Redemption addresses how we hope to fix our brokenness. This is how we answer the questions: What has to be fixed? What is the solution to my problems? Who will be able to fix this?
  • Restoration addresses what our future hope is. This is how we answer the questions: What do I hope will be? How will it become that way? Who will make it so?

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