Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. We can experience a sense of delight in God. And it isn't a religious exercise reserved for Sundays.
No. In all circumstances, whether in the comfortable or in the groaning of this temporary life, our delight in His person, in His character, can be an anchor and a balm to the soul. Pastor Rich digs in this message called Delighting in the Trinity Part 1. This is the third and final part of a message preached on August 27, 2017 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. He would use his privilege to remedy brokenness, or you could fill in the blanks there, he would use his privilege to reconcile enemies. Or you could put in the blanks, he would use his privilege to redeem sinners.
All three of those are true. You see, he was the only possible hope for humanity. There is no other candidate for human hope. There are many people today who are very upset about the exclusive claims of Christianity, that Christ is the only way to God.
Two things I'm going to say to that very briefly. Number one, all religious claims are exclusive for all religions, okay? So it's not just Christianity.
But the second one is more important. If you can find someone who paid the debt for your sin so that you can be reconciled to an infinitely good and perfect and holy God, then we can talk. But until you find another person who can do that, I think Jesus is a good candidate. That's how he presents himself.
He is the only possible option for the hope of humanity. I like how Warren Wiersbe illustrates the fact that he uses his privilege to remedy brokenness, and there's good application for us in this as well, so I'm going to read it to you. A job counselor had placed hundreds of workers in their vocations quite happily, and when asked about his success, he replied, if you want to find out what a worker is really like, don't give him responsibilities, give him privileges. Most people can handle responsibilities if you pay them enough, but it takes a real leader to handle privileges. A leader will use his privileges to help others and build the organization. A lesser man will use privileges to promote himself.
That's looking right in the mirror, isn't it? That's why Jesus is the one that we need to look to. Jesus used his heavenly privileges for our sake. The divine attributes of Jesus Christ made him able to remedy the sin of humanity. Remedy the sin of humanity by taking upon himself our sin, taking upon himself the necessary holy wrath, the blow of God's holy and necessary wrath in our place so that we don't have to. And then by placing our trust in him, we get his righteousness so that we can be reconciled to God and enjoy him forever. And then he says, God, I'm going to give you my life.
I'm going to give you my life. So the divine attributes of Jesus Christ made him able to remedy the sin of humanity. He was able to. He's the only one that could. What is also true is that the divine character of Jesus meant that he was willing. He was not forced to do this.
He was willing. So at the cross, you have the cosmic collision of wrath and the love of God. What this also means that Jesus did not consider his equality with God a thing to be grasped, was that God is now accessible to our human senses.
God, who is an infinite being, an infinite spirit, he is now accessible to our human senses. Origen in the third century had a great analogy. He told of a village with a huge statue, a statue so immense you couldn't see exactly what it was supposed to represent.
And finally, someone miniaturized the statues so one could see the person it honored. Origen said that is what God did in his son. Paul tells us Christ is the chief, Christ is the self-miniaturization of God, the visible image of the invisible God. So in Christ, we have God in a comprehensive way. In Christ, we have God in a comprehensive way. Why is this important?
Well, this is the mind of Christ. He used his privilege to remedy brokenness, to help others. He used his privilege so that God could be accessible to our human senses.
That's what he was thinking. And why is this important? Because he understands us.
Let me illustrate that, why this is important. Stan Lee, you may know who Stan Lee is. He created some of the world's most popular superheroes like Black Panther, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk. The Avengers series, if you're aware of that, have gone to see those movies.
They've generated more than $10 billion in box office sales since 2008, $10 billion. What sets Lee apart, his story? What sets his story apart in his field? It's this, that he is tapped into a deeply rooted human instinct. I'm going to let him explain it. He was actually interviewed way back in 1984 because, you know, all those comic books and stuff that kids, you and I, were reading before the movies came out. He says this, the whole formula was to say, let's assume that somebody really could walk on walls like Spider-Man or turn green and become a monster like the Hulk.
That's given. We'll accept that, but accepting that, what would that person be like in the real world if he really existed? Wouldn't he still have to worry about making a living or having acne or dandruff or his girlfriend jilting him?
What are the real problems people would have? I think that's what made the books popular. You see, these are superheroes, right? So, we call them superheroes, but these superheroes are on the order of Greek mythological demigods.
They're like us, just a little stronger or better at something, right? We all know that we need a hero to rescue us from our enemies and our calamities. We simultaneously want this hero to be someone with whom we can identify. So, two instincts are woven into our fallen nature. First, the knowledge that we need someone to save us, and secondly, the deep desire for our struggles to be understood. That's what we have in Jesus Christ.
That's what resonates with the human soul. And we don't need to look to our superheroes of mythology or fantasy. We have our superhero, who is himself, God, who came to us to become like one of us. He understands us. So much so that the writer of Hebrews says that he's called our brother.
Who can do this? Only a holy God. Only a holy God can do this, and only a holy God is worthy to be followed. Here is this call for us to follow Christ. And only a holy God can do this, and only a holy God is worthy to be followed.
And only a holy God is worthy to be followed. Let me quote John Stott as he asks this question to identify what the mind of Christ is. He asks this, is this the mind of Christ that we take what is best, greatest, and most desirable to oneself, and to abandon it freely in the interest of a more cherished purpose? What is that more cherished purpose?
You know what that is? That's where you and I came to the mind of Christ. We came to his thoughts. And we share the Father's love with Jesus Christ.
That's what he was thinking. So, here you're called to follow Jesus this Christmas and make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus. Again, that's what we're talking about. We're talking about Jesus Christ. So, here you're called to follow Jesus this Christmas and make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus. Again, the writer of Hebrews puts it this way, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. This is the one we must follow.
There's no better option. He is the only one who knows the Father and can take you to the Father. He is the only one who knows you intimately in the same experiences and can take you to the Father.
He was in the form of God, did not consider it robbery, did not consider his equality with God something to be grasped. Aren't you glad for that? Let's follow him in that attitude this Christmas. Stand with me, please. Father, you are good and you do good. And the God-man who walked among us, it was said of him, he went around doing good. And you have done the supreme good in accomplishing our redemption and our reconciliation through your sacrifice, through your humility. You are an infinite, sovereign God.
He says your most awesome work was done through the frailty. Thank you for that, Father. May this shape and mold our attitude this day on as your people, as followers. It's in his name we pray. Amen. You've been listening to Delight and Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Visit our church website to see upcoming events or to listen to more messages at www.gbcwinston.com. To discover how to live by grace, tune in on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 12:11:41 / 2022-12-23 12:16:03 / 4