J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Dollar Store Clay Pots

clay potsJesus.

Say his name with emphasis, and it becomes a curse word.  Say it contemplatively, and His name becomes an act of worship.  Say it in some arenas it will offend, while not saying it in others is offensive.  As the old hymn sings, “Jesus, there is something about that name.”  All of scripture, and especially the book of Romans, make it abundantly clear:  there is no peace with God the Father without the work Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Not only does faith in the work of Jesus bring about peace with God the Father, His work also declares you justified or legally innocent of sin.  These truths, also known as the Gospel, should cause each and every believer to rejoice because they have a true and honest hope of seeing the glory of God.

The irony of the life of following Jesus is that you are simultaneously free and dependent at the same time.  You are no longer a slave to sin which makes you free, but you are also completely dependent upon Jesus for life, salvation, forgiveness, and obedience.  So, instead of living a life of futility, you can live a life of true, honest God-glorifying obedience.   A life of joy, happiness, and hope is possible but only as it is done in the name of Jesus Christ.  Do it for yourself, and you works will be futile.  Do it for Jesus’ glory and in His name, and you will find yourself.

No here is something else that is amazing:  God entrusts these wonderful truths to you.  2 Corinthians 4 describes this as a treasure in a clay pot.  It is like using a weak dollar store flower pot to hold a million dollars in gold.  If you are a believer in Jesus, that’s you.  God has entrusted the message of the Gospel, the wonderful work of Jesus Christ, to you.  He has ordained that the means by which people will hear the Gospel is you proclaiming the truths of scripture to those that need to hear it.

You would think that the church, who Jesus affectionately calls His bride, would eagerly and tirelessly proclaim to a lost and hurting world the freedom and peace with God that comes through Jesus.  Yet, outside the walls of most church buildings, Jesus’ name remains unsaid.  The simplest barometer to determine how the church is doing in proclaiming Jesus is for you personally to ask yourself how you are doing in that task.  If you remain silent in hearing that question because you know that you haven’t proclaimed Jesus to yourself much less world lately, then you know how the church doing…poorly.

You may say that you are inadequate, uneducated, or ill-equipped to proclaim Jesus and gladly leave that job to me or some other pastor.  But I would offer that if the treasure of the message of Jesus is in held clay pots, then God is looking for those who aren’t too confident in themselves but rather those who are confident in the treasure in which they hold.  Oswald Chambers called the paradox that God entrusts us with His message, “The Brave Comradeship of God.”

To understand this in greater depth we need to understand just how we are to live this life of freedom and dependence.  To help us we are going to do a brief overview of the first half of the book of Romans.  With that in mind, let’s make that our Big Picture Question.

Big Picture Question:  How are freedom and dependence the keys to understanding our relationship with God?

If you would like to join Sovereign King for worship, we meet each Sunday at 10:30am.  You can find directions at here.

September 4, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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