October 15, 2014 – The 10 Things We Must Do, cont.

-by Rev. Jeff Gannon, Senior Pastor

The 10 Things We Must Do to Realize our Redemptive Potential….

  1. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
  2. Chapel Hill has a strong mission of welcoming all people to experience and share the extraordinary grace and love of Jesus Christ!
  3. The values cannot be forgotten.

 

This week….

  1. Chapel Hill must become more “Methodist” and Wesleyan without becoming more denominational. This is really important….

If we really believe the first three, number four is an important means for us to be ourselves – to be the congregation God created us to be! I tell the staff we must become increasingly differentiated or distinct. Because we have a “Kingdom” mindset, we do not compete with any church. We are all on the same team, if you will. We compete with the secularization of our day – sporting events on Sundays, people’s exhaustion from no rest or Sabbath, and how finding one day to focus on God is increasingly challenging, in our day. Simply stated, we must live more fully into who God has created us to be!

I am going to spend two weeks on #4 and begin with what we call….

The ‘Four Alls’ of Methodism

  • All need to be saved
  • All may be saved
  • All may know that they are saved
  • All may be saved to the uttermost”

All need to be saved:

No-one is perfect and without perfection our relationship with God is marred and distorted: so, all need to be saved from the weakness and fault that has traditionally been called sin.

All may be saved

No-one is beyond the reach of God’s redeeming love. Through Christ – his perfect life, death and resurrection – all people have the opportunity to respond to God’s love, finding forgiveness for past errors, peace and strength in the present, and confident hope that reaches through our futures and into eternity.

All may know that they are saved

And because this ‘salvation’ has nothing to do with what we have done for God, but everything to do with what he has done for us in Christ, we can be assured that all is well.

All may be saved to the uttermost

There are no limitations on the work that God can do to reshape and recreate his image in the life of an individual. The potential of God’s Holy Spirit is without bounds. We believe that when an individual places their trust in Jesus Christ as the only way in which the barrier between a person and God can be torn down, God himself makes a home in their lives. God’s Spirit begins a work of transformation, recreation and regeneration in the heart of that person which need never end. The likeness of Jesus grows in a person’s life; the mind of Christ takes hold; and the love of Christ grows stronger and stronger until we begin to see, speak and serve with the heart of God himself. There are no limits to how God can change a person from the inside out. That’s what we mean when we say a person may be ‘saved to the uttermost’. [taken from the Methodist Connexional website]

Methodists have always been clear that no-one is beyond the reach of God’s love. Salvation is there for everyone who turns to God, and not just for a chosen few.

Why do we need salvation?

As human beings we find ourselves part of an unjust, sinful and violent world, which we may feel individually helpless to change.

We may feel driven by urges such as anger, lust or greed that we wish did not control us.

We may have personalities which are difficult to manage, for instance being prone to despair.

We may be enduring poverty and hardship.

The demands of modern life leave many of us stressed and overloaded, or isolated and feeling useless.

Loss, fear, grief or guilt may be weighing us down. We need salvation.

What do Methodist Christians believe?

Jesus preached the Gospel – the good news of the Kingdom of God. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, and his resurrection, Methodist Christians believe that God has broken the power of all that is evil, in the world and in ourselves. If we accept forgiveness and liberation, and are willing to be open to the Holy Spirit, God can enable us to resist evil and to live life to the full.

Next week, I will be talking about Fr. John Wesley’s “Method to his Gladness.”

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