A few weeks ago I received a call out of the blue. Park Hill Baptist Church‘s pastor of 28 years had retired and was looking for some people to fill in there pulpit while they began the search for an Interim Pastor and eventually a new Senior Pastor. I was overwhelmed by the invite but I quickly obliged. Over the next week I did not feel comfortable with any of the subjects that came to mind for to preach. You see, for me, if I am going into an environment I have never been to before, and possibly will not return to, I try to prayerfully seek a subject that the Spirit leads me to say. This is NOT said in anyway as a swipe to those pastors who use the same or similar messages for different venues, in some ways I envy you. After a rather interesting conversation with a barista at Blackdog Coffee house (aka my place for sermon prep), I found myself framing a few basic world-views that most people fall into.
- Religious world-view: Which says, that there is a god, whoever he or she is, that must be appeased through a series of actions. So there are things that we do and do not do in order to curry favor with that god and to somehow get eternal life when we die.
- Secular world-view: says, that there is no god, there are no forces, there is no energy; there is simply us and what we make of it.
- Spiritual world-view: Which is different from a religious world-view. The spiritual world-view says there’s probably not a god, but there are forces driving things. Maybe that force is karma, maybe the universe itself is driving, but we need to tap into those spiritual realities and be aware of them to milk out of life all that we want.
- Gospel centered world-view: Is really simply living in such a way that this gospel is central. Thus when any kind of a situation arises we can say, “How does the gospel apply to this situation?” When I am dealing with a particular sin or temptation I can ask, “How can I apply the gospel to this sin?” When I am confused about parenting, how I am to raise my children, I can ask, “What does the gospel tell me about my task in parenting?” The primary reality of the Christian life is this one: Christ died for our sins and was raised. Thus everything else flows out of that gospel and every question is answered in reference to it.
I’ll be honest, after the conversation and as I looked back over my life the Gospel centered world-view has not dominated my thinking and movement through my life. This realization was humbling and encouraging and the sermon turned out to be more of a reminder of just how faithful our Father as been throughout my life. My prayer is that as you listen to this message you prayerfully apply what is said and examine yourself.
Below you will find both audio and video versions of the sermon, please enjoy!
How the Gospel saved my life!
Romans 5:1 – 11
Video: Poor audio quality