Did you grow up thinking you had to do all the right things in order for God to love you?
In starting a new sermon series on Sunday, January 6 called “Love Beyond Belief,” Pastor Troy Murphy is debunking the flawed thinking that we must somehow earn God’s favor.
In this series Troy will point out that the Father loves us beyond belief, regardless of our behavior. Some key points from his message on Sunday:
*Christ followers tend to go back to “old covenant” thinking in which we feel compelled to perform for God and forget the love and grace He offers us.
*Just like we have upgraded from a typewriter to a computer, we also have upgraded from the old covenant to the new covenant. Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf means we no longer have to live up to a certain standard for God in order to earn his favor.
*In the Old Testament, God made covenants with his people, sort of like partnerships. God made certain promises and asked his people to make certain commitments in return. The four primary covenants involved Noah, Abraham, Moses and David. What we find is that God’s people have always broken the covenants.
*God provided a solution to this problem of covenant breaking. Since it wasn’t possible for mankind to fulfill every covenant law, God established a new covenant. He sent his son Jesus to fulfill the old covenant obligations on our behalf. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. He died for our sins and rose from the dead to conquer sin and death. In the new covenant, God opened up a way for anyone to be in relationship with Him, through Jesus.
*The Old Testament still has value because it shows us a picture of why we need a savior. We need to be rescued from our sins, and only Jesus can do that.
*Hebrews 8 explains why it’s all about Jesus:
-Jesus is our high priest. We don’t need an earthly priest or pastor to connect us to God. Jesus is the mediator between God and mankind. His life and sacrifice puts us in right standing with God. Jesus alone brings us salvation.
-Buildings don’t house God. Instead, God lives in you when you ask Jesus into your life. You are a temple. The new covenant says God is in us. He lives in you.
-If the first (old) covenant had been able to reconcile everyone to God, there would be no reason for the second (new) covenant. (Hebrews 8:7). Jesus is the new and better covenant.
*The old covenant no longer works. (Philippians 3: 7-9). All of our works are considered garbage compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus. That statement comes from Paul, who before he found Christ was an expert at following the law and living by the old covenant rules and regulations.
*We can’t get religious enough. We can’t be good enough. We cannot do better for God. Jesus did it for us.
*The law exposed our inability to earn favor with God through our behavior. Jesus came to atone for what we couldn’t fulfill. Jesus fulfills the old covenant (Luke 22: 19-20).
*We move from “if” to “because.” The phrase ‘if I do this God will love me more’ isn’t true. Instead, our attitude should be: ‘I want to do this for God because of the love I have for the Father.’
*Our culture is drowning in a sea of old covenant thinking. We try to live up to a certain standard of morality. We try to follow traditions that don’t point to Jesus. God has rescued us from the burden of trying to earn his favor. Jesus already did the work, so there is no more earning on our part.
*We shouldn’t be trying to impress God. Instead, we should embrace the love He has already given us.