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March 30, 2009

The Goat Has Left the Building

   Heard a fantastic teaching today while I was working.  It's pretty nice to be able to listen to sermons again, because it's a little tough to do when you're at home and kids are playing and yelling.  Anyway, this was a teaching by Rob Bell entitled, "The Goat Has Left the Building."  I'd recommend you get it and listen to it. You can download it HERE.

   The teaching starts out in Leviticus 16 talking about the ceremony that the priests took Israel through in order to remove their sins, and then talks about Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice (scapegoat) for our sins and that we are no longer bound by them.  One of the parts I especially love is when he focused his teaching on Hebrews 10:14.  It says, "because by one sacrifice he has made perfect those who are being made holy."  That idea is so fascinating!  God sees us as perfect, and in Him we are perfect, and it is in that perfection that He is helping us learn to become holy.  It's such a crazy idea that I still don't fully have my mind wrapped around - and may never.  I'd highly recommend listening to the teaching.

   You see, Christianity in the United States feels so much like a list of things we aren't supposed to do, rather than a life-changing relationship.  The church has worked so hard to make sure people know what we don't approve of.  I mean, someone who is not a Christ follower could easily point out all the things the church says is wrong with society, but would probably have never heard a story about how Christ changes lives.  Rob quotes a man named Stuart Briscoe who says, "If we taught people who they are in Christ we probably wouldn't have to spend as much time telling them what to do."  

   That is an idea I'd like to focus on as a church...not just Emmaus but in all churches.  We seem to have forgotten the art of telling a story.  We don't know how to find our identity in Christ and shine that as an example to those around us.  I want to be known for loving  God, and I want my life to constantly show the redeeming power of Jesus - not just a list of things to avoid to be considered godly.  I want to live a passion in my life like I find in Philippians 3:10, and I want it to be contagious.

1 comments:

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