Monday, May 23, 2011

I couldn't do the transcript thing!

I know there are a lot of excellent preachers who write out their entire sermon as a complete transcript. I have never done this, but decided to try it this past Sunday when I preached at Sovereign Grace Church Toronto. Most of the sermon was in my notes in point form, as I usually do, but the final application I had written in full. Didn't work. I stuck with the transcript for one paragraph and then departed. Well, it was worth a try.

At any rate, I thought I would post up some of what I wrote out.

Here it is:
Four or five years ago God began a fresh work in my life. It was the same work He'd always been doing, but it came with a new vigour and seriousness. I began to 'work out my salvation', knowing that it was God who worked in and through me, with increased motivation. I began to study the Word and, in particular, I began to evaluate my beliefs in light of His Word. I held to many doctrinal positions by default; they were handed down to me and, for the most part, I had accepted them with with little reflection or discernment. But the Holy Spirit was helping me to think and study hard about what I believed and to challenge those things I had blindly incorporated into my Christian framework. interestingly, with the hard thinking, learning, and re-learning came a raising of my affections for Christ. A renewing of biblically-informed emotions that delighted in Christ was a noticeable outworking of thinking and studying. And this led to changes in behaviour that are fruit of the Spirit's work.

In the midst of revolutionary shifts in thinking doctrinally, I read The Cross-Centered Life by C. J. Mahaney. God used this little gem of a book to set my life on what I refer to as a gospel-centered, cross-centered, Christ-centered trajectory. I became enthralled, or re-enthralled, with the doctrines which Paul labels 'of first importance'. Jesus Chris, His incarnation, His perfect life lived, His atoning death, and His consummating resurrection once again were preeminent in my heart and mind. I am so grateful for this grace of God in my life.

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