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  • Writer's pictureericleerisner

4.16.23


Rhythms Sermon Recap from 4.29.18
 

"Creation Creates Understanding"


TEXT: Malachi 2:10-16

 

TRUTHS:


1. We can observe the reality of good and evil—and the most common human responses to the gospel—by examining the ‘scene’ of Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus takes His last breath as He is executed between two common thieves. Their responses to the person and work of Jesus are an important detail that we should take note of. One thief responds in a manner that unleashes the grace of God into his heart, and the other thief shows us a response that leads to destruction and damnation.


2. The Word of God teaches us that we should be anxious about pleasing our spouses. Meaning, God expects His people to honor the institution of marriage and take intentional steps to 'build up' and encourage your spouse (in both word and deed).


3. The idolatry that is mentioned throughout the Old Testament tragically reveals just how far the human heart is willing to go in order to obtain what they want (which is typically centered around material wealth and possessions). Every pagan god that is worshiped in the OT was believed to be responsible for distributing specific blessings to humanity.


4. Every child of God should have the assurance that the Lord will bring justice and healing to our hearts and world. In other words, when we suffer as believers, and walk through difficult seasons of life, we can be assured that the Lord is using those circumstances in a way that will benefit us forever. We may not experience those benefits until heaven, but we can be assured that they are coming and that it will be worth it!


5. Malachi 2 is not so much about human divorce as it is about God declaring to His people that He is separating Himself from them. God’s people had received and were practicing a wide variety of unbiblical instructions. It resulted in a version of faith that cannot be passed on to future generations.


6. There is strong sense of urgency in the New Testament concerning the return of Christ. The early Christian church spoke of Jesus’ return often and seemed to understand that Christ’s second coming is meant to shape our present-day conduct and attitudes. The New Testament seemingly directs us to live as if Christ is returning tonight. This view of Jesus’ return helps us persevere through temptations that are meant to distract us and shipwreck our faith.


7. There is a false doctrine commonly taught in charismatic churches that many refer to as “little god” theology. Meaning, since we are made in the image of God, we can do all the things that God does. This false teaching has many problems, but it is easy to see how problematic it is to teach people that they can control the world around them in Jesus’ name. It essentially reduces God into a cosmic butler whose main objective is to keep our lives free from pain and suffering.


8. Jesus is the only way to salvation. This a critically important aspect of the gospel and a reality that causes many to be offended. But there is only one tree of life, and only one path to forgiveness and redemption—Jesus Christ. We must resist teaching that declares all expressions of faith are equal and that they all lead to God’s good plan.

 

TALK TO EACH OTHER:


1. Can you identify any modern day 'versions' of Christianity that serve as examples of faith that cannot be passed on to future generations (Truth 5)?


2. How should we be speaking concerning the return of Jesus? How often should it be focused on and proclaimed in churches?


3. If you have the assurance that God uses human suffering to produce eternal good (Truth 4), try to identify when that truth was deposited in your heart. Can you walk through how the Lord taught this truth to you and gave you assurance that justice will be perfectly administered? How would you instruct/encourage a believer who says they don't have this assurance in their hearts?


4. Why is Truth 8 so important to grasp and adhere to? What are the implications associated with such a truth claim?

 

TALK TO GOD:


Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:


- Discernment

- For the right motivations to be within our hearts


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