Today I am thankful for Hope Community Church. That even from miles and miles away I can be encouraged by the biblical teaching, laugh along with the jokes, and be reminded of the reason for it all. I guess sometimes you just need someone to read the Bible to you, explain it to you, and be super passionate about it! A passage you have seen or read or even memorized before, can come to life in a new way; this is one of the beautiful things about the Church, about a community of believers coming together. I listened to a sermon today and immediately wanted to email everyone I know with the truths I was reminded of, but I thought eh maybe I should just post a little something-something about it to get my thoughts down on ‘paper’ and then call my mom later and share it with her. So here I am.
Galatians 2:20-21 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”
Steve spoke passionately and enthusiastically as he read and explained this verse. Why? Because it communicates so clearly what Jesus did for us. Many other religions focus on our works to please the deity. As Christians, we don’t have to try with our own efforts to appease God, because Jesus already did. He did everything for us on the cross. One day when we meet God the Father, we will not stand alone before Him. As Christians who have put our faith in Jesus, we will stand there in a new covenant, we will stand there with Jesus. God will look at us and say guilty but then He will look at our partner, at Christ, and say oh just kidding paid in full, righteous, perfect, clean, pure. Since we have been “crucified with Christ” then we have already died for our sins, because Christ died for our sins. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. Now we live a new life “by faith in the Son of God, who LOVED ME and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME” (verse 20, emphasis mine). Steve also used Romans 6 to make his point here crystal clear.
Romans 6:1-14 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
We died with Christ, our old ways were crucified with Him, and now we live freely, under His new covenant, under His immeasurable power, love, and grace.
To all who support me financially, love me, pray for me, encourage me – THIS is the reason for it all. I am here because this truth is absolutely crazy and mind blowing and hard to understand, but most of all because the Gospel is beautiful and Uruguayans deserve a chance to hear it too. So thank you thank you thank you! Thank you for making my time here possible, thank you for bringing light to a dark place, for being part of what God is doing here in Montevideo to draw his people back to himself.
(Also to hear it better from someone else, here’s a link to the sermon: The Heart of the Gospel )