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Between Two Truths Again

Chris Buttery
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The Bible often presents truths that appear to be moving in the opposite direction of each yet are not. These truths could be called "twin truths" which when held together in healthy tension, like the strings on a guitar, compliment each other and reveal the perfect will of God. The Christian life has three main biblical tensions at play. What are they, and how can embracing the whole truth not only lead to correct theology but also a real Christian experience?

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  • May 16, 2015
    11:30 AM
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The. Isn't that beautiful. That was beautiful. Thank you. Sabra Pina goals. Much appreciated my Jesus be our vision always a man and a happy Sabbath to you. Good to see you and trust everyone is well and everyone is doing OK and that you know in your hearts that God is good and that he's been good to you. We the small and I'm continuing I little series that I started before I'll righteousness by faith symposium entitled. Between two truths and for the next couple of weeks at least next week. Dr Rose will be here and then the week after will be I'll be up at the camp but shortly thereafter will resume a few points and continue one by looking at certain twin truths. In the Bible and help I need to be kept in a healthy tension to each other in order to believe the right thing from the WOULD HAVE GOTTEN have the right experience in our lives. So the message this morning is entitled between two truths again. Do you know as well as I do that life can sometimes be a balancing act between two competing ideals one simple often one simple act such as casting a vote can involve us in a dilemma. Should we vote for the candidate who takes the right moral stand but clearly isn't capable for the position all the candidate who is far more competent yet has some ideas. You can agree with sometimes the decisions can be even more personal. I read where a certain family had been approached by their precinct captain virtually begging for their vote and looked like the party backed candidate was going to lose and if he lost that meant the captain precinct. I'd lose his job. Unless he could show that he delivered the vote in his precinct and could transfer could transfer that loyalty to the other candidate should the family then vote for the candidate they prefer or help a man save his job if they voted as they hoped they might even get the treaties they requested a year earlier by the way the notice that the trees would be planted arrived on Election Day dilemmas limited to only these issues hard choices permeate allies. You only have to open the newspaper or turn on the T.V. to hear competing ideas vying for. Many of our laws and court cases to find balance between for example security and liberty. Both are human basic needs. But they exist in tension with each other for instance the freedom of the press and the interests of national security clash continually curfews and search warrants drug testing and surveillance all practices that promote security but sometimes at the expense of liberty yet unbridled liberty would make his victims of others. Thus destroying our security. The solution to these things is keeping these things and healthy attention to each other will talk about what that means in a moment a similar temps attention tension permeates our faith. Every biblical truth we know is basically balanced by another truth the Seems to be moving in the opposite direction for example the gift of God's grace does not come without requirements. You have grace and you have responsibility. You also have freedom freedom is not given without responsibility and in Christ in Jesus. We deal with more than one reality at a time our faith is often. Lived out but tween two truths neither of which can or should be given up the Christians of often wrestled with this fact that our faith gives us to Him All realities that must be held in tension to each other that the issue has dominated theological thinking throughout church history with firm both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus Christ. We also affirm the sovereignty of God and the free will of man that humans are sinners and yet made in the image of God throughout Christian history heresy has resulted not necessarily from someone wanting to be evil or wanting to be heretical but from someone taking a pace of the truth to an extreme and not doing justice to the other truths as well. In reality the devil is the mastermind behind pop truths but he even gets more bold by promoting pot truth lies. Tim admitted Genesis Chapter three just for way of review. We talked about this when I discussed living between two truths before but I have him over with me there. Genesis Chapter three verses four and five euro Cole in the Garden of Eden that Satan beguiled Eve and he did that by preaching three pot truth lives what were the. Look at Genesis Chapter three verses four and five he said The serpent said to the woman you shall not. Well surely die for God knows that in the day you eat of it. Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil. So what were those three part truth lies. You shall not surely die. You shall be like gods and you shall know a good and and evil devil was preaching the pot truth of God's grace a pot from his justice. God is not going to do what he really says he's too gracious. He's too loving and so he. Separated the truth of God's grace from the truth of God's justice. You see and then after that comes in. Adam as well. The devil just kind of left him in this sin and condemn them with the pot truth of God's absolute justice. Apart from his grace. You know sometimes the devil does that to each one of us doesn't it all. It's OK just a little bit of that it's OK God will understand it's OK just this once and when you just go ahead and succumb What is the devil do you know God's not going to take you back. You've done it again you if you failed God's not going to express and it's an issue Grace to you. The devil is must in promoting pot truth. Truths and part truth lies the enemy of souls always seeks to pit one truth against another as if they were in conflict with each other. He revels in dividing what God has put together one author wrote he said that there are a great number of great number of troops which seem contradictory and which all hold together in a wonderful system which I share with you a couple of examples that I got from a couple of books that I read Take a sphere. For example a sphere to split the diameter of us of a sphere makes two opposite hobs out of I hold the same thing happens when with the sphere of truth is divided it creates two opposite. Yet pot truth hemispheres. Yet both truths are required to make a whole. So if one speaks one half truth they convey a vital part truth but each part truth is isolated from the complement of truth its complement of truth. The Bible often brings two principles together for example the sovereignty of God the free will of man revealing that they are not in opposition to each other but they are in harmony completely forming a complete. Whole not half truth but the whole truth. There was another example I shared with you. The ellipse ellipse of truth the ellipse is a stretched out circle kind of like a football. One a circle has one center of focus. But in the lips actually has two points of focus not pushed too far from each other. And this is the perfect. If pushed far enough from each other the perfect ellipse breaks and it no longer exists. Also if one emphasizes one focus over the other the ellipse simply becomes two circles. It's a simple as that. So I shared with you how we get water from the celebs Prinz water doesn't exist. With unless the circle of hydrogen and the circle of oxygen are brought into the ellipse. If someone us to what would be more important the answer would be equally important especially if you were thirsty. Especially if you wanted a drink of water. Much like asking whether we could live without the hot or without the brain. We can't live without both both are equally important to life and truth is the same way truth must be looked at in the form of an ellipse to oppose or to ignore the emphasize one truth against the other would make two circles and you destroy the ellipse. Now I want to talk to you about biblical tensions keeping two truths twin truths in healthy tension to each other because this is where we're going to launch off. From here. The small I'm going to ask. Demetrius Demetrius Demetrius plays the guitar he plays the guitar very well we could use the same illustration with the how people are going to have Demetrius share with us here. The strings on the guitar and kid at two points are they not not even know what these things are cold that and get here and get up up here in this area. Now if one of those strings were not tightened adequately if there was no tension on that string. Dimitris Would you mind playing a cold for us. Nice. Play that again. Can you hear that. Does that sound harmonious and nice. OK what happens when you add tension to the actual chord with the mike his Thank you Michael. All right. What chord is that. It's and I'm on a so when the chord is not tightened between those two anchor points. You can't make beautiful music but when the chords and good and firmly that tense between those two endpoints then Dimitrius can play beautiful music you see wonderful thank you. Demetrius next one that. And twin truths act the same way twin truths must be held in tension to each other. That's the only wife for them to be completely true both ideas must be held together in tension and thus in balance and harmony. When you think about truths being held together in tension think of these stringed instruments properly attached at the two places the instrument can be played and it creates beautiful music if string. If a string is left. Lucia calm play if the string is stretched too tightly what happens. I was going to have Demetrius IGS give us an example of that one but the string will love pop it will break and you can play music at all. You say so when we talk about biblical tensions twin truths being intention to each other. Think about simply a musical instrument a guitar or a string instrument like the the hop you see where the strings attached and I get into places and it must be tense in order for them to play beautiful music. The point is simply that God wants us to embrace twin truth is not to pit one against the other so that not only is our theology right but that our lives would be ride and they go. Rod can play beautiful music through and in our lives. Don't you want to play beautiful music in your life truly truly So let's talk about the reality of tension biblical tension in the Bible in Ecclesiastes. Chapter seven the unhappy preacher and in chapter seven verses fourteen to eighteen so all the complexity of life and he warned against going to extremes and then in Ecclesiastes I'm just going to give you several verses and you can write them down. Ecclesiastes these three one through eight. He points out that everything in life has its time the things that he lists are generally seen as opposites. For instance a time to weep and a time to love God God is concerned the Bible's reveal a god that is concerned in revealing himself to human beings but at the same time he hides himself humans can't see him and yet and continue to live with one hand God prevents people from approaching him because he's too holy it on the other hand he draws them to himself because of his love. We're just we're just covering some basics here we see these things we've talked about these things before but we just want to cover some basics the New Testament also provides examples. Paul tells us an efficient Chapter two verses eight and nine followed by grace you've been saved through faith. It's a gift of God right. It's not of works lest anyone should bugger sed and yet you go to James Chapter two verse twenty four and James says you see then that a man is justified by his works and not faith alone. Now we're not going to address those points but you see two truths here and they must be held in healthy tension to each other they're not opposed to each other they're not opposed to each other they're one complete truth in Matthew chapter seven first one. Jesus said Judge not that she being the be not judged you go over the verse sixteen and he says by their fruits. You shall not. Them but in the words of John. John Chapter eleven verses twenty five and twenty six. They also appear to be contradictory Jesus says He who believes in me though he may die. He shall live and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. A Pole he seemed to be a pretty mass pretty much a master about writing writing about biblical tensions looks look at me that elations we're going to ask you to reading elation chapter two and will reverse twenty elation chapter two and verse twenty Paul said he said I am crucified. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me to lay sions to verse twenty contains these entries contains those very intriguing words not only does Paul present twin truths in this passage that a rich theologically and must be held in healthy tension to each other we have been crucified with Christ yet Christ lives in me these twin truths but these twin truths also speak to an experience each of God's children to have again so that God can play beautiful music in and on our lives. This means that the twin truths must be held together in tension and thus in harmony in our lives now in some ways in some ways tension is actually increased by belonging to Jesus Christ. It may seem strange to hear the Biblical faith increases tension but there is no question that it does keep in mind that this tension is not harmful this tension is not destructive remember think about the hub think about the the guitar stringed instrument you see these things are not harmful or destructive rather as somebody. Put it they are peaceful and creative more on that in the moment there are three twenty three Twin Tree use that are always at work in the believers life in your laws and my life and they're foundational to others that we'll discuss in the upcoming couple of weeks here they are number one and we're going to go through these quickly and then we'll have them up on the screen one of the time that a gift and response that living in this world and into the patient of the next and then experiencing the death and resurrection of Jesus in our lives number one and it's up there on the screen gift and responsibility new life in Jesus is both and I think you would agree with me both a gift and also a lot of responsibility. There's no doubt about that the Gospel both grants life and also the mind's life. Jesus granted limitless grace to his heroes when he invited the tax collectors and he invited the sinners to receive His free gift of salvation but Jesus also demanded limitless obedience from those who accepted his free offer of salvation he with me this morning. OK So we see this dynamic at work in many passages in the Bible where the right to goes from the fact of the gospel what G.-D. what God has given to the believer to the command of the Gospel the responsibility of you and I the child of God go with me to Colossians you just a few pages pages over from Galatians go to Colossians Colossians chapter three and verse three notice here. Here we have the story. Chapter three verse three we have a command you see from God This is the responsibility all of the response from God's children when they receive His Grace cautions free verse three Paul says For you died and your life is hidden with you in Christ suppose states that we have. Died with Jesus when we gave our hearts our lives to mean we accepted Him by faith and then he commands us to put to death. What belongs in our earthly natures look at those five therefore put to death. Your members which are on the earth. So he says that you have died in Christ but you need to put to death. Your. Members you see put to death. Those things that belong to your earthy earthly nature. So this blended between fact and command between gift and responsibility is common and it's but particularly common in some of the epistles go over to PETA first PETA we're going to just go around the Scriptures here and take a look at this in its totality. Here the Smalling first PETA chapter one vs twenty two and twenty three first PETA chapter one versus twenty two and twenty three notice what PETA says PETA says Since you have purified just souls in a bang. The truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren. What's that is that of us is that a command or a fact. That's a cut. That's a fact right now that you've done these things. Notice what he goes on to say here love one another fervently with a pure How is that A is that gift or responsibility is that fact. Oh come on it's a come on that's right. And then he says love one another fervently with the pure hot having been born. Again that is the supporting fact. So here you see in Peter's writings you have the fact and you have the command you have the gift and you have the responsibility the Holy Spirit working in our hearts to one feign love of the brethren and then the command to therefore love you all your a brother and you say let's go to Romans now Romans Chapter six. Let's take a look at this again. I mean Chapter six in verse twelve Romans Chapter six in verse twelve. To hear Paul gives I come on notice what his command is he says therefore do not sin do not let rather sin reign in your mortal body that you should have by it in its lust What is that a fact or a command a gift or a responsibility. It's a responsibility it's a command is a not surely. Now look at look at me over with me to verse fourteen for sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under the law but on the grace. Why is that a gift or is that a responsibility or is that a fact or a command. It is a fact it is a gift God promises a sin will not rain and rule in your lives that's his gift of grace you see. And yet there is the command to not let scene reign in our mortal bodies more could be shared the Christian life is a lived out between gift and responsibility in the pursuit. Listen carefully of becoming what we God already considers us in Christ. That's that's what we're talking about the Christian life is lived out between the gift between gift and responsibility in the pursuit of becoming what we already are in Jesus Christ the twin truth of gift and responsibility of vitally important as they prevent spiritual disaster from taking place in our lives. The dynamic between Christ's gifts and our responsibility is the reason Christian tension is peaceful. The fact of the Gospel allows us to trust in God's grace and the power of his promises and therefore it leads us to deal creatively with the commands that he gives us you say the tension also prevents us from accepting a do nothing religion. We shouldn't be misled into thinking that God's commands such as consider yourself to be dead you read that in Roman six verse eleven. Paul says consider yourself to be dead. We shouldn't be Millis misled into thinking that that command is a pious example of wishful thinking or an attempt at self-delusion. Instead this this verse is a coal to make the gospel real in each one of our lives these these trues invite us to take seriously what God has done in Christ and to view ourselves as God If you use. US just another example of this before we move on to the next one. Jesus' parable of the unforgiving servant that's found in Matthew chapter twenty eight verses twenty one to thirty five that parable provides a sobering perspective on the nature of tension between gift and responsibility although the servant had been forgiven and enormous debt. He demanded his servant to pay a much smaller amount you remember the story right. He was forgiven a great dead but he came to his servant who had a small dead and was was rude and demanded that he pay that his master then judged him severely and said Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you. So we can in another words we cannot claim the gift of God's forgiveness if we are not willing to own or the responsibility of forgiving others gift and responsibility. That's one area of of Christian tension that must be tension that must be held in healthy tension in our lives these twin truths of gift and responsibility. Another one. The second point that I that we talked about all of that I mention living in this world as Christians in anticipation of the next new life in Jesus means we live in this world and yet we prepare for the next is not right. When Jesus preached the kingdom of God He referred to both the kingdom of God that had come and the Kingdom of God that was to come true justice can only be done to Jesus teachings. Only if we treat faily both the kingdom of the present and the Kingdom of the future it would be safe to say that the Kingdom of God was present in that the promised end time activity of God to defeat evil in the stablish righteousness was physically present in Jesus when he came and walked this earth. That's why Jesus could say after he moved from being in the wilderness. After forty days and you can read this. Mark one fifteen the time is fulfilled the kingdom of God is what at hand. Repent. Therefore and believe the Gospel in effect Jesus was saying that God's end time salvation was here. The future Kingdom had invaded the present in the language of John four twenty three the AL is coming and now is at the same time the Bible teaches that Christ will ultimately establish His kingdom. While we present and live in the kingdom of God's grace the time is coming when Jesus will come and establish His kingdom of glory at the Last Supper. You remember Jesus look forward to the day that he would eat with his disciples with us in his father's kingdom. While New things have come to us in Jesus. We are also aware that the ultimate triumph of God is still yet to come to him with me. The second Timothy Let's take a look at a couple of little examples here. Second Timothy Chapter six rather chapter one second term of the Chapter one Verse ten second Timothy Chapter one and verse ten pole. Writes these words but has now been revealed this is Jesus but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ who has. Done lot of Balazs death and brought life and immortality to life through the gospel so Poll writes here and speaks about death being abolished. But go over with me now the first Corinthians fifteen First Corinthians Chapter fifteen and verse twenty six notice what he says here. So in first second Timothy rather chapter one verse tentpole speaks of death being abolished in First Corinthians five fifteen verse twenty six. He says the last enemy that will be destroyed is is death. So Paul can speak of death both being abolished in Christ but also death. Ultimately being abolished. When Jesus comes back again you see him with the aphasia. We can be made to live in Jesus and seated with him in heaven. Notice what it says over here. If Asians chapter two. We're just looking at several examples of these vigil truths these biblical tensions twin truths. If Asians Chapter two those five and six that must be held in healthy tension to each other to create how momentous truth and a harmonious life if Asians have to two verses five and six. Those were pulses he says even when we were dead in trespasses Christ made us alive together by grace you've been saved and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus are we in heaven with Jesus. Now we are not there. We are not they have a pole writes as though we are there. Our citizenship is in heaven but you go over to Revelation chapter three in verse twenty one notice. Notice what John writes Revelation chapter three and verse twenty one. We know what it says Jesus is speaking he says to him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne as all. I also of the came and sat down with my father on his side. So we can experience sitting with Jesus in heaven in places. Today knowing all to believe we will physically sit with him on his throne. When he establishes the kingdom of his glory. We live in the tension basically of the now of the now and the not yet you see that right. You see that's not confusing. It's just we bring these two thoughts together it creates a beautiful picture the picture of Truth think about for example as an illustration think about a presidential transition team immediately after the election of a president in November the victor appoints a transition team that initiates the transfer of power from one administration to the other although the victor is not present poor president rather until inauguration the effect of that event is already at work in the transition the outgoing president is virtually a lame duck and the center of focus shifts to who to the incoming president you see and his new policies in effect the church is a transition team. Imagine being in a dark room with me for just a moment you've been there for a little while the heavy curtains and down. You've been ushered into this room. You don't know what's on the outside and all of a sudden those curtains are drawn back and you're able to see the beautiful sunlight and the beautiful scenery mountain scenery that surrounds the house. Now you're still inside that particular room but a new reality is being perceived that changes what life in that room actually looks like the room was docked but now the curtains of being drawn and what's coming in the light and that gorgeous scenery you see that's coming into the room. Christians have experience that reality in Jesus. So that their life cannot or ever will be the same as it was before you see our salvation is both present and it is both future notice a couple more verses when they go to Romans Chapter five Romans Chapter five and this one. In Romans Chapter five and verse one poll says therefore having being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So we have the the present promise of being justified by grace as we express faith in Jesus as we come to him with contra. Sorry hearts he freely justifies us freely forgives us freely reinstates us he freely grants us his righteousness but term of medical ations chapter five and verse five. We're talking about salvation being both present and still future relations chest a five and verse five. Paul is writing and he says full we through the Spirit eagerly way it's full of the hope of what righteousness by faith. So Paul says we can experience righteousness now but we're still waiting for the hope of righteousness by faith we we had Christ has given us His righteousness imputed his righteousness to us and imparts his righteousness as that as the Holy Spirit works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. That's why we can both be righteous and God considers a stretch us and continues to work in us his righteousness along the way you see our salvation is both present and future and first John chapter three verse two John said Beloved now we are the world we are the children of God That's ride and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be so you can be a child of God now but it has not yet been revealed what it shall be the the tension that exists between living in this world and intice a patient of the next was mis understood even and taken to extremes in the early church in turn made a second Thessalonians in the church of Thessalonica there were some that were focused so much on the future. Some people neglected the presence of second Thessalonians over there with. Teasin Titus and. Timothy in Thessalonians you actually have Thessalonians and then Timothy and Titus second Thessalonians chapter three in verse ten some claimed that because the day of the Lord was near that they didn't need to work. Now does what it says second facility and Chapter three verses ten and eleven for even when we were with you. We commanded you this if anyone will not work. Neither shall he eat for we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner not working at all but busy bodies. So you had some folk in the church that took the idea of. Of Christ coming in his future glory to an extreme they thought his coming was very near so they ceased operations I ceased working now some in the car church at Corinth had a similar problem now with me. The first Corinthians Chapter fifteen and verse twelve First Corinthians Chapter fifteen and verse twelve notice what it says here some in Corinth the Corinthian church felt that they had already possessed all that they was to have in so much that I didn't see any need for a future. Resurrection. Notice what Paul says here first Corinthians fifteen and verse twelve. He says Now if Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead. How do some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead now from poll sarcastic words in chapter four it appears that these folks felt that they had everything that they needed this over emphasis of course on what they thought they possessed in Christ led them to an ill balanced thinking and in the old balanced lifestyle so we must be careful of extremes the same still exists in the church today some of forgotten that there is a future triumph of God still coming. It will happen and it is coming soon. They are content to merely focus on a social gospel. Fixing Social problems around us without proclaiming and acknowledging the return of Christ others on the other hand others exact attempt to escape this world. They only focus on the future and they all there on the whole in terms of doing anything beneficial for their faith. Listen friends healthy Christianity is a Christianity that knows both what is over what we already have in Jesus and what still awaits completion. That's a healthy Christianity and so these twin truths of living a good solid Christian faith in this world in preparation for the next must be kept in healthy tension the third area. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christian faith is essentially an identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus the result is the apparently paradox injunction to gain how life gain a life while dying all by dying to self identification with the death and resurrection of Christ is virtually the same as saying that Jesus is my lord with a cold to deny self. Jesus said deny yourself take up your cross and follow me giving up a life in order to find it is the dynamic of faith. There are many who are comfortable in identifying with the resurrection of Jesus only so that they can experience joy and God's blessings but they want nothing to do with identifying with the death with death to self in self sacrificing love yet Christianity requires both time with me to Romans Chapter six verse for I missed that chapter six verse four. This is a main theme in Paul's writings. When he talks about discipleship Romans Chapter six and verse four. Paul says. Therefore we bear. Married with him through baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. Even so we also should walk in the newness of life poll brings the two thoughts together death and life there are many other verses that we could look at second Corinthians full of verse ten elations to nineteen and twenty regulations to twenty early cautions two verses twelve and on with up to chapter three we should never view we shouldn't view that Christ's death and resurrection just takes and deals with the problem of sin. Although it doesn't it's very powerful and it must Christ death and resurrection should also however be mirrored in our lives daily. The refusal. For example to vent justifiable anger in order to show you. God's love is one way of mirroring Christ death and resurrection in your life if because of God's work in my life I give up my rights in order to accomplish God's purpose that I'm identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus an attitude and act in which we sacrifice our own will and to make God's will. Supreme is I means of dying to self and rising to walk in unison of life with Jesus. Do you see. That sure death and resurrection. The patent by which we live by Christians are to know him. According to Philip in three ten we have to know him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings and be conformed to His death. We are to know the resurrection of Jesus but yes we are also to be conformed to His the likeness of his death. Jesus action of giving himself to be lived. By his followers and the same spirit the raised him is the spirit in which we live. You see now. Maybe in Congress to identify with death and resurrection at the same time but according to the Bible. We cannot identify with the resurrection without first identifying with the death of Jesus the dynamic at work is a continual saying no saying no to the possibility of a merely human existence in other words one where we live for employees ourselves only one doesn't one that doesn't take into account God and at the same time saying yes to the way of the Cross and the way of the Rex resurrection. That's why that's what it means to say when we say Jesus is my Lord Jesus is my lord. You may know of some for example whom I have left some lucrative Korea to serve God Maybe someone here has but we should just confine Al thinking about dying and rising to Christ to these types of experiences. All of us to live. Christ dying and rising in our lives we die. And rise with Christ when in keeping with God's intentions. We choose for example to enhance a spouse or family member or a colleague rather than ourselves. Any time we give up what we want all want to be to become what Christ wants us to be we experience a dying and a rising with Christ. You see these three tensions these are the three tensions that we've talked about here today the coal to become what we are in Christ already to live in this world in anticipation of the next and finding life through dying to self. These are always at work in the Christian life in yours and in my life that is why our faith is mocked by a peaceful and a creative tension living twin truths is not merely a fact of the Christian lives. It is the joy of living a life for Christ by dealing adequately with twin truths and allies we become in essence the whole person that God desires us to be but why does so many people seek to avoid this tension why we so trying to choose one side or the other as life is not always simple so the Christian walk isn't always simple in fact in order to keep life simple. We tend to suppress those things that hint at complexity. We accept partial truths we accept stereotypes. We accept generalisations if as if they don't square with reality or the facts. For example we say things like poor people are lazy always lazy if only they would work. All I don't have to worry about the hungry or the homeless because I don't live near me someone else can deal with them we simplify things way too much even the Bible is kept simple. We have void reading our favorite Bible. We rather we read our favorite Bible passages and conveniently ignore others that call our lifestyle and Al theology into question. Surely Jesus did not and didn't intend that we should really share our possessions with others. We say any Alytus any attempt to make life simple and our faith simple derives from the need to find some handle by which to control this complexity that surrounds us. The fact remains that we cannot escape the complexity of life. We need both to be alone and to be with people we need independence and yet we need also approval and the sense of belonging. We enjoy both doing nothing at times and also the satisfaction of doing hard work. The failure to deal with tensions only creates mammoth problems in our lives. If it is true that life is complex. Then we ought to. Stop acting as if it were not enjoying the simple life is one thing but being simplistic by ignoring and rationalizing away the complexity of life won't work at all. Now there is an immediate objection that comes to mind that some of the some of the finest Christians we know all of all people with a simple faith who live. It appears uncomplicated lives. That's what we want if simple faith means undivided loyalty to Jesus then yes I would agree with that notion but I cannot agree with such a commitment that removes problems from. Problems from humans that from from what we all face you say if a person wanted to help those living in disease for example riddled with disease here on planet Earth. Here's the here's the quandary should they use all of their time helping the sick and the dying or should they spend their time raising money and awareness to create greater help. What should they do. Life is not always that simple. Should they use their limited resources only for patients who is sure to recover and ignore the dying. What should you do when we think that life is simple. Then we aren't the only show that we are unaware of the problems the promising picture as well that is presented by some evangelists and television broadcasters that a strong faith guarantees a problem free life is a perversion of the gospel. They have you suggest that Christians always recover from illness and always enjoy financial blessing and other words the Christian life is a walk in the POC you say that people like to hear these messages but misunderstanding and heartache usually result the Jesus who chose the way of the cross would feel ill at ease. If someone were to summarize his message is something good is going to happen to you if you accept Jesus and if you so into my me. History some money something good is about to happen that would go down as well as a slab of tofu or in a barbecue contest with Jesus. It wouldn't work. The Gospel does not guarantee trouble free life nor does it promise to make us rich think about the Bible injunction to love yourself or others rather as yourself. It seems simple enough. Doesn't it. But often it's not so simple to know what the loving thing to do really is what should a for example teacher do with a student who's been caught cheating. What should a student a teacher to tell a student who does not have the potential for his or her chosen Korea. What do you do. What's the loving thing to do now. I don't mean to make the Christian life appear difficult but we need to know that we must deal on Asli with all aspects of life. Life is complicated and there is no way of getting around that following Christ is no simple matter. Someone wrote that Christian faith is characterized by a peaceful and creative tension that may not make much sense but they actually accurately describe the Christian faith tension in the Christian life is not a tightrope that we walk fear of falling off on either side there would be no peace in that a more appropriate image all is of a string instrument like we talked about earlier properly attached to the two right places. The instrument can be played. If a string is loose it can't be music company produced if the string is stretched too tightly the string will do all snap and break talking about living between two truths that must be kept in tension to each other doesn't involve anxiety and it doesn't involve tenseness neither does it refer to uncertainty. It doesn't refer to relativity or straddling the fence. It doesn't involve any of those to speak of complexity doesn't imply that the Gospel is confusing either the. Gospel is clear and often reduced to simple basic ideas such as Abba Jesus' unique address to his Father Abba Father all of the word covenant all the word love all the death and resurrection of Jesus but if each of these expressions represent a simple statement of the gospel. None of them is simplistic. None of them is simplistic On the contrary they are all dull ways as one person wrote into a new reality that encompasses all of life. The whole truth as will find in some various lessons issues from the Bible. The fact of living between two truths that have been kept in healthy tension to each other is essentially a discussion about the grace of God That's why tension can be peaceful. It's based on the grace of God that's being revealed in the say Al Savior Jesus Christ our Lord Grace is never just pure gift. It is also a call to responsibility. That's why tension is creative. If Grace tells us that you are a child of God You met the conditions you were a child of God. It also instructs us to watch. Now live like one right now live like one. Many have way too long view faith is something that we've got at some point our relationship with God is a process of living for and with him. Therefore the tension we experience becomes the stage on which our faith is given creative expression the coal to live a life in Christ is a call to a real life Amen. It's a call to a real life nor is life with Christ simplest a simplistic experience those who think that they can master life in Christ. Are in for a surprise. One person wrote and I'm sharing this now in closing Jesus is an inspiring. And disturbing presence there with me. He inspires us and it comforts us but it also humbles us and he disturbs us. Yes God receives us when we first came to him but we are as we allow the Holy Spirit to have access to our hearts and to our minds. God brings change and sometimes that change can be painful as that change is effected though we know once again the grace of God but the process isn't over and happens again and again and again God comforts and disturbs comforts and disturbs life in Jesus Christ isn't always easy for we have called to grow continually by following the Way of the cross. Someone said and this is my prayer for each one of us as I close my God. Keep us from the fanaticism of the extremes. And the mediocrity of the middle road. May our life. Be a life in faith in Jesus Christ may we let him work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. May we know that we are His children. We got to know that here today friends. We've got to know that we are Christ children how we come to him with true hearts and see how it's repentant Hotz how we have been our lives and our minds to him to say Christ I need you and I need you as Savior of my life if we've done that then we can know that we are a child of God forgive. But also know. That is expecting you to act like a child of God. Do you know you need of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit comes into your life and works that change God declares that we are His children but that the power of His Word makes us his children. Do you know that today we must know these things today to live a life. In Christ is not boring to live a life in Christ is exciting challenging yes but it is the real life that life in Christ we were and we accept wholeheartedly. We live between two true friend my prayer is that nothing will come between Lord and. Between us and closing him here. Number three hundred twenty two nothing between us we live between two truths but anything because between you and Jesus Christ are three hundred twenty three. The.

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