Week 4 | 3.17.19
Status • March 17, 2019
Status | Week 4 Text: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 There are few things Americans love more than fame, and famous people. We wear their Jerseys, watch their movies, pay to see them pummel each other in rings and octagons. We fetishize and fantasize over their lives. And some even cast their vote in favor of someone, because they believed that fame—and apparent wealth—was qualification enough for one of the most difficult and complex jobs in the world. We are a country supposedly built on egalitarianism—in theory—but we are more status conscious than any nation in the world… and less level. So everyone is encouraged to constantly climb, without regard to how it may impact someone else. Status is everything we think we want. If we can approach this in earnest, we can admit that we believe it to be the key to life. Why? Because we are obsessed with status. We are obsessed with what we believe it means to be high on the ladder. We believe the key to life is to be elevated in this world. You see, our world is full of those who have been designated as either ‘somebodies’ and ‘nobodies.’ Our world—and sadly our churches—is filled with those who themselves and society have deemed either worthy or not, famous or not, desirable or not, high or low, and these classifications injure all involved. But this is not how God intended it to be, no. God intended that every human being bear His image, and display His dignity, whether anyone has ever heard of them or not; whether anyone considers them worthy or not; whether anyone thinks them special or not. And God goes even one step further, as He seeks to show how the world will work when His rule is fully manifest in it—God chooses those low in the world to be elevated in His Kingdom. God makes unlikely choices to show off His unbelievable glory! God is creating His new community out of unimpressive people, precisely to exemplify the power of His unmerited Grace! Thus, no one has anything to boast of in the presence of God, or in the context of His community, because no one has what they have in Jesus, on the basis of their pedigree or status! This is the point… the church is a no flex zone! All self-assertion must dissolve in the presence of the Almighty! All approval-seeking must dissolve in the presence of the Almighty! All competition and clamoring for a position must melt away in the presence of the Almighty! All status-seeking must cease in the presence of the Almighty! Why? Because... Paul writes you all have been given status in the eyes of the Messiah. This very thing you call the church has been brought into being, not by your ability to gather one another, but by God himself, in Jesus! You all are who you are, from God, in Jesus! You revel, Paul writes, in a life that you think you can build on your own, but God is the source of your life, in Christ! You revel in a wisdom that you think you can cultivate on your own, an ability you think you have that allows you to grasp the world and how it works… to understand reality and where history is headed. But if you are in Christ, then He is your wisdom, and His wisdom was most powerfully displayed in His sacrificial crucifiction, not in self-asserting status-seeking! You long to be somebody, but God has already made you somebody in Jesus! From eternal God, Jesus became… He became our Righteousness! He became Sanctification! He became our Redemption! And now everything that is true of Him is true of us! God vindicated Jesus in His resurrection! God set Jesus apart for His own service! God defeated the great enslavers, sin and death, in Jesus! And if you are in Jesus, and a member of His family, then His divine Wisdom, His divine Righteousness, His divine Sanctification, His divine Redemption are yours! You are made wise with the Wisdom of Christ! You are made right with the Righteousness of Christ! You are made Holy with the Holiness of Christ! You are made free with the freedom of Christ! If this is true of you, you need no other status in this world or the next! When you are a part of God’s covenant people, all of these proclamations hang steady over your life! God gives us the only status that matters, so we boast only in the Lord. Discussion: 1: Why are we so obsessed with status? 2: Was Paul wrong for reminding them of their humble beginnings? 3: To what aspect of status-seeking do you most often fall? 4: What would be different in your life if the only status you cared about was your status in Jesus? 5: How different would our church community be if no one was competing for anything? Action: 1: Ask God to make you secure in the status He has given you. 2: Ask your community to hold you accountable to boasting only in the Lord. 3: Confess in community the times in your life when you are led by competition or envy or insecurity. 4: If you have children, ask them what they learned about bragging on God, which they discussed in their RKM classroom. 5: If you are not yet a Christian, pray this prayer: “Jesus, forgive me for living life without you. Forgive me for my sins. Please, make me whole, and teach me how to follow you. Transform my heart, so that I will live my life committed to you as both my Lord and Saviour. Amen.” Please, contact one of our pastors at, NextSteps@RenovationChurch.com, and tell them that you have prayed to become a Christian, they will help you take the best next step.
Week 3 | 3.10.19
Scandal • March 10, 2019
Scandal | Week 3 Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 This may come as a shock to some, but there are those who are both seminary trained, and supposedly Christian, who deny the infallibility of Scripture. For these, the Bible is a tool to provoke human beings toward a better way of living, but in the end, the Scriptures are just not dependable. They must look to other means to understand the way the world worked. Science and philosophy, they believe, is the very best way to understand how the world works, and the Bible should be used as necessary in preaching and teaching. Baffling as it is that someone could preach from a book they do not trust, and as tempting as it is to judge them, we should actually take a step back and evaluate how we truly see the Scriptures and the message we know as the Gospel. We must ask if the Scriptures truly govern every aspect of our lives? We must ask if the Gospel is the lens through which we see all the world? The answer, if we are honest, is no. Though generally not as brazen as questioning the authority of the Scriptures themselves, we are just as prone, in supposedly “lesser” ways, to leveraging the wisdom of this world, and treating it as though it were an equal system for understanding the way the world works, and where history is going. If we can be real, we can admit: we do not run to God first when we need to resolve a problem; we do not run to God first we need to produce a solution; we do not lean into who we are in Jesus first when our character is assaulted, or our motives questioned. No. We lean into earthly wisdom, whether it is something we have learned or someone to whom we look. We think we can hold tight to the wisdom of this world, and the scandal of the Cross. But that is just not possible. In order to truly live a life shaped by the Word’s of God and the good news of the Gospel, everything has to take a backseat. We can only have one primary lens through which we live and evaluate life… through which learn and determine what right and good and true. This if course s is not a campaign against intellectualism or a campaign against a thoughtful approach to faith, it is a call to have God and the Gospel be our plumbline in every way, even as we search the depths of our intellectual capacity. Why? Because, To believe the gospel, to truly believe it, is to have a total transformation of how we see all things. It is a conversion of outlook and imagination, and all of our beliefs, thoughts, views and values must be transformed by the foolish, scandalous, weak death of Jesus on a Roman Cross. This is the point of Paul’s message to in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. The Gospel is the power of God to those whom God is rescuing! The Gospel is the wisdom of God to those seeking to truly understand how the world works and where history is headed! The Gospel is the scandal of God for those who want to see broken power systems overturned! The Gospel is the mercy of God for those who need to know that they are not utterly lost! The Gospel is the apocalyptic intervention of God, inaugurating a new age yet to be fully realised—an age free of mourning, sadness, crying and oppression! The Gospel is the hinge upon which all history turns! The Gospel is our recentering and reorienting event, through which we view all of life! The Gospel is the moment that changes everything! And The Gospel beckons... Let God’s glorious scandal guide you in every aspect of life. Let God’s glorious scandal guide you in every aspect of life! When we do, nothing will ever be the same. Discussion: 1: What is the Gospel? 2: Why does Paul call it either foolishness or the power and wisdom of God? 3: To what do you most often look in order to understand how the world works? 4: What would be different in your life if the Gospel was the primary lens through which you looked at the world? Action: 1: Ask God to help you see the glorious scandal that is the message of the Cross. 2: Ask God to give you a fresh desire to see the world and where history is headed in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection.. 3: Confess in community the times in your life when you are led by worldly wisdom instead of the scandal of the Cross. 4: If you have children, ask them what they learned about the Cross in their RKM classroom. 5: If you are not yet a Christian, pray this prayer: “Jesus, forgive me for living life without you. Forgive me for my sins. Please, make me whole, and teach me how to follow you. Transform my heart, so that I will live my life committed to you as both my Lord and Saviour. Amen.” Please, contact one of our pastors at, NextSteps@RenovationChurch.com, and tell them that you have prayed to become a Christian, they will help you take the best next step.
Community Of Ambassadors
2 Corinthians 5:20 • February 17, 2019 • Pastor Ralph M. Gordon
What type of church would Renovation be, if each one of us lived with a posture of becoming “All Things To All People” so that we might save some? How would our homes and our communities be different? Our text for today keeps us in Corinth, but in Paul’s 2nd address to the Corinthian church, we get a chance to see how they were reminded of their call and the importance of their COMMUNITY.