Sunday Snippets – Gospel Centered Friendships

The Gospel changes all our relationships.

  • Relationships are hard—they’re a mess, exhausting, and draining—but they’re also life-giving. So we don’t walk away.
  • The way we do life testifies that Jesus is Who He says He is. This is why we cannot say, “I’m done.”
  • One mark of a Gospel-centered friendship is that we’re willing to give our life away. We’re able to do this once we’re fully convinced of God’s love and acceptance for us. This kind of confidence frees us to love others unconditionally.

Brothers and sisters, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1

  • Who are the spiritual? We are. Every person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells—Christ followers. A Gospel-centered friend neither enjoys confrontation or avoids it.
  • The legalist says to one in sin: “I will never understand how you…” The Gospel-centered friend realizes the same potential for sin exists within him/her and says “I’ll get involved.”
  • We can be available to bear burdens of our friends because we know there is a true and better Friend who bore the ultimate burden of sin and death for us.

Two questions:

Do we have these types of friends?

Am I being that kind of friend?

– Notes taken from today’s sermon at Summit Church Upstate, given by Jason Malone. To listen to the sermon in its entirety, please click here. 

Sunday Snippets – Bringing Fruit to Life

Welcome to Sunday Snippets!

Kyle Estepp led today’s topic in Galatians 5 on the Fruit of the Spirit. He brought a fresh perspective to one of the most studied passages of Scripture. To enjoy the sermon in its entirety, please visit Summit Church’s sermon archive. 

A few favorite quotes from today:

  • It is fruit of the Spirit, not fruits. We can’t have one without the other. Unless we’re growing in all of them (to differing degrees) we are not growing in any of them.  
  • We’re only as mature as our weakest character trait. 
  • Practically speaking, spiritual fruit is grown only through intentional biblical community. 

Kyle also listed specific definitions, but my fingers couldn’t keep up. Below is a similar list from Timothy Keller, along with opposite and counterfeit traits.

Agape – love
Definition – To serve a person for their good and intrinsic value, not for what the person brings you.
Opposite – Fear: self-protection and abusing people.
Counterfeit – Selfish affection.
Rescuing someone but really rescuing self. Attracted not to a person,
but to how this person’s love makes you feel about yourself.
Definition – Delight in God and his salvation for sheer beauty and worth of who he is.
Opposite – Hopelessness, despair.
Counterfeit – Elation that comes with blessings not the Blesser! Mood swings based on circumstances.
Irene – peace
Definition – Confidence and rest in the wisdom and sovereignty of God more than your own.
Opposite – Anxiety and worry
Counterfeit – Indifference, apathy, not caring about something. “I don’t care.”
Makrothumia – patience
Definition – Ability to take trouble (from others or life) without blowing. To suffer joyfully.
Opposite – Resentment toward God and others.
Counterfeit – Cynicism. Self-righteousness. “This is too small to be bothered about.”
Chrestotes – kindness
Definition – Practical kindness with vulnerability out of deep inner security.
Opposite – Envy. Unable to rejoice other’s joy.
Counterfeit – Manipulative good deeds. “Right hand knowing what left hand is doing.” Self-congratulation and self-righteousness.
Agathosune – goodness. (integrity)
Definition – Honesty, transparency. Being the same in one situation as another.
Opposite – Phoniness; hypocrisy.
Counterfeit – Truth without love. “Getting it off the chest” for your sake.
Pistis – faithfulness.
Definition – Loyalty. Courage. To be principle-driven, committed, utterly reliable. True to one’s word.
Opposite – Opportunist. Fair-weather friend.
Counterfeit – Love without truth. Being loyal when you should be willing to confront or challenge.
Prautas – gentleness. (humility)
Definition – Self-forgetfulness.
Opposite – Superiority: self-absorbed self-aggrandizement.
Counterfeit – Inferiority: self-absorbed, self-consciousness.
Egkrateia – self-control
Definition – Ability to choose the important thing over the urgent.
Opposite – A driven, impulsive, uncontrolled person.
Counterfeit – Willpower through pride or through more “functional” idols.

Sunday Snippets – The Why of Obedience

Welcome to Sunday Snippets!
Jason Malone brought a timely message from Galatians 5:1-15 this morning. As with all Snippets, I try to jot down everything
verbatim, but it’s not always possible.To listen to the sermon in its
entirety, I invite you to visit Summit’s site. 
As we know, Galatians was written to Christ followers, reminding them that anything added to the Gospel of Jesus Christ results in slavery.
  • Some confuse the Gospel for spiritual milk, believing it to be a necessity for new Christ followers only, but we never outgrow the Gospel. It’s just as critical for new followers as those who’ve walked with Christ for many years. We never “move on” from the Gospel. 
  • Only one leads to true freedom: Gospel transformation (motivated by love) and moral reformation (behavior modification).
  • The “why” of our obedience is everything, as is seen in Charles Spurgeon’s The Tale of the King, the Carrot, and the Horse:
upon a time there was a gardener who grew an enormous carrot. He took
it to his king and said, “My lord, this is the greatest carrot I’ve ever
grown or ever will grow; therefore, I want to present it to you as a
token of my love and respect for you.” The king was touched and
discerned the man’s heart, so as he turned to go, the king said, “Wait!
You are clearly a good steward of the earth. I own a plot of land right
next to yours. I want to give it to you freely as a gift, so you can
garden it all.” The gardener was amazed and delighted and went home
there was a nobleman at the king’s court who overheard all this, and he
said, “My! If that is what you get for a carrot, what if you gave the
king something better?” The next day the nobleman came before the king,
and he was leading a handsome black stallion. He bowed low and said, “My
lord, I breed horses, and this is the greatest horse I’ve ever bred or
ever will; therefore, I want to present it to you as a token of my love
and respect for you.” But the king discerned his heart and said, “Thank
you,” and took the horse and simply dismissed him. The nobleman was
perplexed, so the king said, “Let me explain. That gardener was giving
me the carrot, but you were giving yourself the horse.
  • If we are clothing the poor, feeding the hungry, attending church, or anything else to gain more love, favor, or blessings from the Lord, then we are doing these things for ourselves, not Christ. 
  • Anytime we catch ourselves doing something good, pause for a moment and ask: Did I do that so Christ will love me or because He loves me? 

Today’s snippets don’t begin to do Jason’s sermon justice. It was superb teaching on true freedom in Christ—so much so that I often found myself listening more and writing less. I encourage you to visit the link above and listen to it in its entirety.

Additional reference: Mere C.S. Lewis

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