Jul 20, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

I have decided to start a new feature to my blog called "In Case You Missed It" for those who would like a recap of what I preached this past Sunday.  I have received some good feedback from some of you that read my blog.  I have more members of Sixth Street than I realized.  I thought it would be good to post the basics of my sermon in case you didn't make it to church or would like a recap of my notes.  It would also serve some of you who don't attend my church but would like to know what I am preaching on.  You can also listen to my sermons online at www.sixthstreetbaptistchurch.com and click on the worship and sermon series tab.  You can podcast them by doing a search on Itunes for "Sixth Street".  I am extremely thankful to Angela Mullins and her team for recording them and getting them up each week.

With that said, we are currently in a series through the book of James called "According to Jim".  We've been looking at how to have a working faith in a broken world.  We've been looking at God's purposes in our trials, how to be a doer of the word and not just a hearer, the sin of partiality, avoiding faith without works, and the power of our tongue.  Here are some notes from this week's sermon:

The Gospel According to James 
James 3:13-4:6

Everything begins with our understanding and application of the gospel.  
If we don't have an accurate understanding of the power of the gospel and the grace of God then we revert back to a form of behavior management where we try to "do the best we can."  However, the essence of the gospel is that the best you can do is only enough to secure eternal damnation.

Why Do We Desperately Need the Gospel Everyday?
1. We tend to prefer the wrong path. (James 3:14-17)
  • James' teaching parallels Christ's teaching about the broad and narrow road.  
  • While James tells us of the wisdom from above, the truth is that it is impossible for us to consistently choose the right path and follow it every time.  This is due to our radical depravity.
2.  We are plagued by our sinful passions. (James 4:1-3)
  • James says that our unbridled passions cause war both inside us and with the relationships around us.
  • Passion when properly focused can make us capable of great deeds.  However, left unchecked by the control of the Holy Spirit, it can become incredibly selfish.
  • "You do not have because you do not ask" does not mean that God gives us what we ask for.  It is rather that without the wisdom of God, we tend to rely too much in ourselves and never ask God to begin with.  When we do ask, it's not God will, but our selfishness that is the primary motivator.
3.  We tend to pick the wrong partner. (James 4:4)
  • James is saying we need to be very careful of our allegiances and alliances.  Without the power of the gospel, we tend to slide back to friendship with the world.
  • James equates our friendship with the world with a spiritual adultery.
  • It is inconsistent for someone to give verbal assent to Jesus Christ and derive their pleasure and entertainment from the world's system and values.
4.  We are prone to walk in pride. (James 4:6)
  • James says that God opposes the proud.  The picture of this opposition is someone who is dressed in full battle gear ready to do battle.  God hates our pride.  It's an assault to his character.
  • The essence of all sin all the way back to the garden is pride and idolatry.  Everything we fail comes down to a prideful inflation of our worth and an idolatrous choice to worship something other than God, even ourselves.