Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. I always thought if a Tyrannosaurus Rex started walking down Reynolds Road this morning and you could feel it from in here, you could feel boom. But the whole building was shaking.
And then someone cried out, it's a dinosaur! Now what would you feel? Well, if you're like most, you'd be terrified.
But wouldn't you want to get a peek? The thing that terrifies you fascinates you. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Higher Power as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. To be able to stay with us throughout our entire program today, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
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Here is Alan Wright. We are going to continue in our series called Higher Power as I hope it is beginning to build in you the sense of the life of the Christian in its entirety is to be lived not by our own merit, righteousness, or strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of God at work within us.
And I want to convince you further of that today. And one of the most remarkable, remarkable passages in the New Testament where you see through the Apostle Paul's pen, the stark contrast between the old system of the law and the New Covenant. And by way of comparison to the from the lesser to the greater, the glories of this New Covenant that invite you into power. We're gonna be looking at the story in this very important chapter that God has created us to be the power filled living. So we're in second Corinthians, chapter three verse 12. Since we have such hope we are very bold, not like Moses who would put a veil over his face. We're going to be looking at that story in some detail today, but we're not like Moses.
Better than that's what he's saying verse 15. Yes to this day whenever Moses is read of veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is spirit and we say so many times. where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all with unveiled faces, we all say all with me, all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the spirit.
Wow. I went to a haunted house one time when I was a kid and I was old enough to not be scared and ended up being scared anyway. And I remember being very embarrassed by it because I was like an old enough kid, I can't remember my age, but I was like, I was old and I should be cool and I know it's just a cheap haunted house and I shouldn't be scared, but Frankenstein started following me around. Why this monster picked me out of all the crowd and started following me around the haunted house and every room he would pop out from around a corner and stare me down and put his hands up at me and stuff. And I was trying to laugh it off like this, but eventually I was really scared and it must've been fairly obvious because my big brother, my oldest brother, David, who was the same height as Frankenstein, just looked at Frankenstein about the fourth time Frankenstein had popped out after me and he just looked at Frankenstein in the eye and he said, hey, leave my little brother alone, can't you see he's scared? I love my brother for that to this very day. I'm just, I'm forever indebted to him. And of course I'm acting like, no, you didn't need to do that, man, I wasn't scared.
And I'm like inside, I'm like, man, thank you, thank you. I'm the youngest of three boys and so I always kind of wish I could have been a big brother you know, to somebody to take up for him and God in his providence, let me become a big brother to many people. And in many ways, that's what I am. I'm just, I'm just a big brother to somebody and I get to say to the darkness, leave them alone. I wouldn't have a thing in the world to do with cultic things and witches and horoscopes and all that. The Bible really warns against all of that. That stuff can open up doors to the demonic and we don't have anything to do with that. But boy, there is one good ghost story. It is the story of the coming of God in glory.
And we're going to look today to see this interaction of God's glory and God's goodness to us. You know, why in the world would anybody even want to go to a haunted house? You ever think about that? I mean, it's like ghost stories. You know, they used to tell us around the campfire. I mean, I remember this one particular ghost story still haunts me.
They talk about some escaped convict and he's got a ball and a chain wrapped around one of his ankles and they would tell the story around the campfire and he would say, if you could listen, you can still hear him through the woods, step, drag, step, drag, step, drag. All the kids are like, and then suddenly, boo, you know, and it's like, why does anybody want to hear a ghost story? It's kind of like my wife, she's so funny, she's like, I said, she wants to watch a movie. I said, well, you can watch this. Let's watch something action and suspenseful. And I said, okay, we'll give some action and suspenseful.
And this is what she does. It starts getting a little suspenseful and I look over and she's playing solitaire on her phone. I said, what are you, I'm watching a movie by myself. What are you doing? Well, I can't watch this part.
I'm just playing a little solitaire. And then it gets a little bit more suspenseful and I look over and she's got a blanket pulled up over her eyes. I'm like, well, now you're not even looking at it.
I can't see this part. And then it gets really suspenseful. And I look up and she's left the room.
Ain't that weird? It's like people, you know, they want to get that feeling of suspense and I'm a little scared and yet they don't want it at all. And on the one hand, we're attracted to something like that that seems so much bigger than us and scary. And yet on the other hand, we're completely frightened by it and why would anybody want to go to a haunted house or even hear a ghost story or any of that?
I'll tell you why. We were made, our souls are designed to experience transcendent glory. There is something in the design of a human being as a creature that is meant to be enamored, enthralled, overawed, and wrapped with wonder and delight at glory.
And that's the way God made us. And in our fallen nature, instead, we dread God, we fear God, and so God came in the person of Jesus to change all of that. I was studying in a course in college called Philosophy of Religion, studied all kind of religion in that course, secular course, but we read a book by a German philosopher named Rudolf Otto, a book that I later came to understand among scholars is considered a classic in the philosophy of religion. It's called The Idea of the Holy. I remember being taken by it because Otto, from a secular perspective, studied cultures all around the world and throughout history, asking the question, how do they view, define, and experience the holy? The completely other, the idea of the transcendent. And what he found was that regardless of religion, that when someone was experiencing what they considered to be holy, that it had this in common, what he called in Latin, Mysterium Tremendum. It was a tremendous mystery that carried with it a sense of awe, the kind of thing that makes you tremble. But at the same time, the idea of the holy carried this idea he called in Latin, the Mysterium Fasinans, the fascination of the mystery. And it's sort of like I always thought if a Tyrannosaurus Rex started walking down Reynolds Road this morning and you could feel it from in here, you could feel boom, boom, boom, but the whole building was shaking.
Boom, boom, boom, and then someone cried out, it's a dinosaur! And what would you feel? Well, if you're like most, you'd be terrified. But wouldn't you want to get a peek? The thing that terrifies you fascinates you. Why is that?
That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Would you love a better marriage? You don't need more good advice.
You need more good news. Marriages like people aren't changed by human effort or even by applying principles. Marriages are changed by the gospel of grace. In six video sessions, Pastor Alan and his wife, Ann, lead you and your spouse into a fresh encounter with the God of grace. You'll learn a simple, grace-filled process that makes great communication easy. You'll discover the freedom of forgiveness and the power of celebration. You'll also learn how to pray for your spouse and how to bless one another with a faith-filled vision for the future.
To help you grow, when you order the video series, we'll also send you two copies of the accompanying study guide. Whether your marriage is going through some special challenges or your marriage is in a season of health, you'll find powerful, transformational truth in good news for your marriage. Make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today and fill your marriage with the grace of God. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright.
R.C. Sproul and his classic, The Holiness of God, which I would put in my top 100 must read Christian books. He knows something interesting in the well-known story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee in Mark chapter four. You remember the story that Jesus was asleep and they said, aren't you gonna do something?
You don't care that we're dying here. And the text says in verse 39, he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. And he said to them, why are you so afraid? So this is a story about fear.
He said, have you still no faith? And then this is the interesting thing, verse 41, and they were filled with great fear and said to one another, who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey him? They were really afraid of the storm, but the text says they were only afraid of the storm. But after the storm was calmed, they were really afraid, great fear of the man who calmed the storm. In another instance where Jesus sent the disciples back out to the sea to go fishing, though they toiled all night and caught nothing. And he said, go throw the nets again.
And they did and the nets were full to the point of breaking. Luke 5, eight, when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus's knees, saying, depart from me for I'm a sinful man. The soul that is unredeemed and unassured of forgiveness and not aware of the perfect love of God will say, depart from me. We want the glory, but we push it away.
R.C. Sproul wrote, sinful people are not comfortable in the presence of the holy. The cliche is that misery loves company. Another is that there is fellowship amongst thieves, but thieves do not seek the consoling presence of the fellowship of police officers.
Sinful misery does not love the company of purity. Sigmund Freud essentially espoused, theorized that human beings are afraid of the things they can't control, things like earthquakes and storms and pandemics. And so Freud theorized, they have made up religions and invented gods, gods with whom they could cajole and plead and bargain and pray in order to feel less scared.
You know, the problem with that, as goes for Christianity, is that if Freud is right, why would someone invent a God who is more scary than the storms? And what's God doing throughout all of this, watching our longing of the transcendent and yet how far we get distance from God? Well, you can see it in the Garden of Eden, this lush garden filled with every beautiful tree and every delicious fruit. And this God of ours, who is the creator of the ends of the earth, who spoke, and when words came out of his mouth, so did cosmic energy, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, never to stop.
This God of ours, who is brighter than 10,000 times 10,000 suns, this God who is so glorious that all of the earth would melt in his presence, this God of ours, he just walked with Adam and Eve in the garden in paradise. They just fellowshiped with him, talked with him, interacted with him, the God of glory, perfectly close to his people. That's what the world looked like before sin. And that's what Jesus came to restore.
But as soon as sin came into the world, what did Adam and Eve do? They began to be afraid of God. And they withdrew from God, but it never was God's intention to withdraw from people. And so God began revealing himself and coming closer in ways that the people of God could handle. That's essentially what you see in the formation of the old covenant.
Now I'm gonna show you a number of scriptures and I want you to please stay with me because it's gonna lead to a mind bending truth about the nature, the radical nature of the power of the gospel to you and me. This is the old covenant in Exodus chapter 19. You know, God had brought them out of Egypt.
They were slaves and he'd set them free and now he'd brought them out. And at verse two of Exodus 19, you'll see the forming of the old covenant or the mosaic covenant it's called. They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai and then camped in the wilderness and there Israel encamped before the mountain. Well, Moses went up to God. And the Lord called him out of the mountain saying, thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the people of Israel, you yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, and this is the heart of the old covenant. If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasure possession among all peoples for the earth is mine. And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you shall speak to the people of Israel. If you will, then you shall be, if you will obey, then you shall be blessed. And everything that you need to understand about the inadequacy, insufficiency of the old covenant is right there. Because the way the Bible speaks of the old covenant is not to denigrate the revelation of God, but to speak of how much greater the new is.
And this is the limitation. If you will be obedient, then all these blessings will be yours. And any form of religion today that has any antichrist in it is going to have some dimension of that. If you will, then you'll be blessed. And if you don't, then you won't be. And there's nothing more than that that's needed to make us disqualify ourselves from experiencing the glory and the power of God. If you're gonna experience the glory and power of God, you have to absolutely not have one shred of that in you. And so the people eagerly said, yes, we will obey.
They were sure they could do it. But here's what happened, verse 10. Lord said to Moses, go to the people, consecrate them, let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day. And the third day, the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai on the side of the people. And you shall set limits for the people all around saying, take care not to go up the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. So God has given them a new revelation of himself and he's going to continue to reveal himself through his law. So that's a good thing. God's revealing himself more and more. But the people are unable to be in the presence of his glory because of their sin.
And so he puts limits around it, boundaries around it. And it's like God is saying, I want you to be able to be aware of my glory, but you're not ready yet to be able to encounter all of my glory. Alan Wright, our good news message today. I like this title, The Only Good Ghost Story.
It's from the series we're in, Higher Power. And Pastor Alan is back in the studio sharing his parting good news thought for the day in just a moment. Would you love a better marriage? You don't need more good advice.
You need more good news. Marriages like people aren't changed by human effort or even by applying principles. Marriages are changed by the gospel of grace. In six video sessions, Pastor Alan and his wife Anne lead you and your spouse into a fresh encounter with the God of grace. You'll learn a simple grace-filled process that makes great communication easy. You'll discover the freedom of forgiveness and the power of celebration. You'll also learn how to pray for your spouse and how to bless one another with a faith-filled vision for the future.
To help you grow, when you order the video series, we'll also send you two copies of the accompanying study guide. Whether your marriage is going through some special challenges or your marriage is in a season of health, you'll find powerful, transformational truth in good news for your marriage. Make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today and fill your marriage with the grace of God. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener and financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you wanna fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing. It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Back here with Pastor Alan, and it might be worth noting that this message was preached right around Halloween.
It was, I think the All Hallows' Eve fell on that Sunday. And so, you know, the old language of the Holy Ghost, which is not speaking of a ghost like Casper the Ghost or some goblin, but the spirit, the spirit of God. And he's holy and he's wonderful. He is the expression of the fullness of who Jesus is, but here in the spirit.
And so he's glorious. And we're talking today about that greater glory of the new covenant and what it means to be a people of the spirit. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
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