4/10/2023 0 Comments
April 10, 2023
This Week's Teaching: "If You Could Kill God In Order to Become God, Would You?"
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It's a provocative question: "If you could kill God in order to become God, would you?"
I think you would have by now. Maybe not. But I'm sure I would have by now. Not in my better moments, of course. But in my worst moments? If it was a legitimate opportunity? If I could get away with it? You bet I would have. I hate saying that, but that's part of the gospel. It's part of the good news, because it's the bad news that Jesus faced head-on, to rescue me from even my worst, most despicable self.
In this week's teaching, I use this question to explain again a three-statement articulation of the gospel that I find helpful to meditate on. The second of the three statements deals with who we are at our worst. And, while we don’t dwell on our sins, it is good to dwell on God’s grace that has saved us from it all.
Take time to meditate on this week's teaching, and make sure that you are continuing to respond well to the gospel. And if you have a friend who needs to consider it, bring them into the conversation as well.
Watch above as you read below.
<TRANSCRIPT OF ABOVE VIDEO>
I dunno, maybe you find the thought objectionable. Most people do. But if you could kill God and become God would you? Like, I believe that if given the legitimate opportunity to kill God and become God, I believe I would've done that by now. And I actually believe you would've done that by now.
For some reason we want to resist that. We want to claim, "I wouldn't do that." But honestly, looking at all the little decisions that I've made in my life, man. Like, even if, sure at my best I wouldn't do it. But looking back at my worst, at my most selfish time, if given the legitimate opportunity to kill God so I could become God, man, I know I would have done it. And I believe you would've done it too.
When Jesus was walking this earth, he did good. Not only didn't do bad, but he did good. He healed people. He taught them. Delivered them. And then when given the opportunity to kill Jesus, to avoid his message, people took it. We took it. I, I hate the thought , I hate the thought that I would have killed Jesus because I relate to Jesus as someone I love, someone I worship, I admire, I revere, I follow. Man, I wouldn't kill Jesus.
But I would kill God. I would have by now.
I said several weeks ago that God is good, loving and powerful, and Jesus is the exact representation of his being. And I said, humanity is idolatrous, adulterous and powerless, and I am the exact representation of its being. And I would say you are the exact representation of its being.
If you look at your life, you will see idolatry, where you have worshiped things other than God. You'll see adultery, spiritual adultery where you have allowed your loyalty to be swayed, where you've been seduced by the things of this world. And if you look at your life, you would see that you've been powerless to say no to temptation over and over and over again.
Humanity is idolatrous, adulterous and powerless, and you are the exact representation of its being. I am the exact representation of its being.
The good news is that Jesus redeems, reconciles, and restores all who turn to him and put their confidence in him.
He redeems us. Where we gave in to the promise of Satan, that we could defy God and live forever, and that became entrapment where we sold ourselves to the enemy, Jesus came in and redeemed us. He purchased us back. He died our death so he could give us his life. He came and he redeemed us. He bought us back.
And where we had alienated ourselves from God by deliberately, continually choosing to defy him, where we had driven a wedge between us and him, where we were alienated because of our evil behavior. Jesus came in and reconciled us to God. He no longer counts our sins against us. We are reconciled to him.
And where we were powerless over the things that held us captive, he came in and restored us to our right mind. He came and restored us to his heart. He came and gave us his Holy Spirit, the spirit not of timidity, but the spirit of love and power and a sound mind. He came and restored us.
And so we can say it: God is good, loving, and powerful, and Jesus is the exact representation of his being; humanity is idolatrous, adulterous, and powerless, and we are the exact representation of its being; but Jesus redeems, reconciles, and restores all who turn to him and put their confidence in him. This is the gospel.
One day he had opportunity to lay down his life for you. And then one day he took it back up. He went into the grave so he could defeat death and bring back life for all who choose.
Now as I explain this, you are in one of four camps.
You're disbelieving. It just doesn't ring true to you, and I can't do anything about that. I would love for you to believe as I do, because it's so freeing. It's such good news. I would love for you to believe, but I can't make you believe and so I won't try. I mean, that's just condescending. And all that's up to God. That's up to you. Some hearts just are closed to this message. Minds are closed to this message. Now, how Jesus would explain it is that, as I've just explained the gospel, the devil comes and snatches it away so that you can't believe. Your heart is hard to the message. Your life is hardened. And so it doesn't come in. Man, I wish I could change that. I can't, so I won't try. So maybe you're disbelieving.
Or you're disillusioned. As I've explained this gospel, you say, yeah, I did that. I tried that. I threw everything into it. But then hardship or something came along and it just wasn't what you thought you had bought into. And so you became disillusioned and discouraged and you just wandered away. And maybe you still sort of believe, but it's just not something you put too much effort into. Disillusioned.
Or it could be that you're distracted. You would say, " Of course I'm a believer." But either you're pursuing the luxuries and the lusts of this world, or you're worrying about not having enough. You're distracted by all the things of this world, whether it's getting more or just getting enough. You're distracted by all the worries and cares of this life. And so you've put your faith in Jesus, but then you've just gone back to living a very earthbound life, a very temporal life, a life oriented around the things of this kingdom. The kingdom of this world. And so your faith is unproductive. It's unfruitful. You're distracted.
I can't affect whether you're disbelieving. If you're disillusioned, I would say come grow roots. Renew your faith in Jesus today. Let him prove again that he is worthy of your confidence. Grow roots. Get connected to a fellowship of believers who love each other, who pray for each other, who open scripture together and just start to grow roots. Grow them deep, so when the struggles of life come, you don't wither away.
And if you're distracted, it's time to repent of those things. Turn back to Jesus and say, "I'm sorry I've worried so much. I'm sorry I have lusted after the things of this life so much. I renew my confidence in you, Jesus. Today is a day that I restore my faith in you and I fan to full flame everything that you've given me. Today is a day that I renounce all the attractions of the things of this world, and I restore my love for you. I turn my attention toward you, Lord. I renew my devotion to you, Lord."
That'd be my invitation. If you do that, then you're in the fourth camp: those who Jesus said hear and accept, and then by persevering, produce great fruit. And I believe that if you will give your attention to this gospel -- if you'll align your life with Jesus, if you'll allow him to redeem you and live as if you are redeemed, and reconcile you and live as if you are reconciled to God, and restore you and live as if you've been restored, if you'll put your faith in Jesus, if you'll turn to him and put all your confidence in him and follow him as far as you can go in everything -- I believe if you do that, you will be fruitful in your faith. And you will find this to be a very rewarding life. Even if you have to lay it down in this life, you know that one day you will receive eternal life. You will be rewarded for your faith. This is our gospel.
This is our gospel. He died your death so he could give you his life. Today would you renew your confidence in that? If you've never prayed to put your faith in Jesus, pray it. "Lord Jesus, I confess my need for you. I confess my sin. And I turn to you, Jesus. Let me see you for who you are."
Renew your faith, put your faith in Jesus, and it will go well with you. This is my prayer.
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Roger Shenk is the pastor of X242, a network of microchurches.