May 2, 2023

Welcome to The Follow Up! Where we recap this weeks sermon to help you grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus! 

Carrie: What are some things that you, from this passage, wanna dive in a little bit deeper into? 

Adam: Just to clarify, I know in Bellevue, one of the challenges we had when we got to the last point about the gospel's clarity and Paul going back to Jerusalem and, and talking with the leaders, it could be misinterpreted that Paul was just looking at those guys and thinking like, you know what, it doesn't really matter what they think, because God doesn't show favoritism and we can almost see like a disrespect there that wasn't there. Because ultimately Paul is going there to these guys that he considers pillars in the faith, and he is, is making sure what he has been sharing to the Gentiles is the same message.

So there actually is an approach where he is looking at it with a reverence, with a humility that he is submitting himself. We need to be careful not to tie in where he says, “it doesn't matter to me,” that there's this mindset of being respectful of leadership, and not just do our own thing.

But as it comes to being gospel people, we are to be humble.

Jack: Some lines piggyback off of that. I think, that's the mutual accountability. Even towards the end of our portion this week of the, of the letter that's written, where they go, “Hey, don't forget to include the poor.” He took the feedback and he was like, “Well, I was gonna do that anyway.” So I think there's a win in what you're saying and understanding that accountability. Paul was still accountable. 

The second thing for me though is this, this idea of slavery that Paul constantly, kind of bands with. First we've got slave to sin, but now we've got slave to the law and on either side of the equations, when you lose sight of Jesus. If you get wrapped up in an addiction or a bondage of some type that suck you away from Jesus and you can become a slave to it. 

On the other side is you can go to church every day of your life and it becomes nothing but making sure you go to church. It can become a slavery to the idea of “I have to _________”

Whatever that fill in the blank is not out of love, but out of slavery to that law or to sin, it’s not where true freedom is. 

Adam: Because sometimes we think of it as, you know, if they would only. Get un enslaved To what they're struggling with, then they could see Jesus more clearly. And it's that Jesus sets the slave free. So like in Paul's example, Paul was hardened in his heart towards wiping out the early church to wanting to stop the spread of the proclamation of Jesus.

And so he was totally anti-Jesus. Yet, Jesus met him and totally transformed his life. How powerful the gospel is that no one has ever too far gone. So we continue to stay faithful and praying for them, sharing the gospel with them, and resting in God's leading in their life to bring about good things. 

Carrie: So as people are, are listening or watching this, what do you see as a best next step for somebody to take? 

Adam: In theory we can say, “Hey, keep the gospel central," but what does that look like?

I think end of the day it comes down to what am I putting my, what am I resting in? What am I finding my identity, my security, or my purposes in? Jesus has secured all of that. That I don't have to try to carve out something for myself, because in myself, I am broken. Nothing that this world can offer that's gonna add some kind of significance to that.

But Jesus saves and he transforms.

So whether someone is personally struggling right now, or one is examining the claims of Jesus, whether someone is following hard after Jesus, the answer is the same to keep Jesus the focus. 

Jack: I'd go off of that too with, and whether you've been in church your whole life, or whether you’re still checking this whole Jesus thing out and it's easy to feel like, “man, I gotta start with the rules and then work backward to Jesus. And if I get the rules right, then somehow I'm gonna bump into Jesus along the way.”

And it's just the opposite. Start with Jesus. Go read who Jesus was and is, and then work not toward rules, but toward relationship. Just like you would in a good marriage or a good friendship. As you're gonna do the things toward that person that are a blessing, that are a sign and a show of love.

I think we can fall in love with the rules because they give us a comfortable box and it gives us a framework to function in. But, now you have to function in my box because these are the rules.Start with Jesus. Don't start with the rules and work backwards. I think, I think that's the biggest thing.

If you’re loving this conversation and want to dive deeper into the sermons each week, make sure to check out The Follow Up on Spring Lake Church’s YouTube Channel.