PCRT Grand Rapids address 6 and reflections

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Steve Lawson: All in the Family 

For the final address - and the Sunday morning sermon - Steve Lawson expounded from Galatians 6:10, "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."  Lawson tackled this passage with three points: our spiritual obligation, the special objects, and the strategic opportunity.  This is the last verse, and climax of application, in the main body of the epistle.  Given the encompassing nature of this verses' exhortation, we were confronted with the truth that none of us can be spectators in God's family.

Spiritual obligation - Focusing on the words, "let us do good to everyone," Lawson pointed out that this is not our natural inclination.  Left to our own devices, we will do good to ourselves and those who are our friends - something even the pagans do.  Our exercise of this indiscriminate love will prove to be an evangelistic magnet for unbelievers.

Special objects - Focusing on the words, "especially to the household of faith," Lawson encouraged us to lavishly love our spiritual brothers and sisters.  Based on the connection with Galatians 6:6, the people of God are to do good to their pastors and elders.  In many ways, they will be blessed in measure with the blessings they bestow on their shepherds.  Of course, the corollary of this is the truth that shepherds are to guide their people in love.

Strategic opportunity - Focusing on the words, "as we have opportunity," Lawson pointed out that there are moments which are strategic for doing good to others.  These moments, designated by kairos in the Greek - are to be spied and seized by believers.

Lawson grounded the encompassing exhortations of this text in the fruit of the Spirit, in Galatians 5:22-23 and pointed out that Paul uses the same Greek word for goodness in both cases.  It is the Spirit who will work the goodness we offer others into our hearts.


Reflections

This was my fourth PCRT.  Personally, it was the most spiritually profitable one I have attended.  I think that has more to do with changes in myself rather than changes in the conference.  I do not write this because I expect anyone will have a special fascination with my heart, but I write it because you have a responsibility to guard your own heart and I hope these words will help you to that end.

I believe I found this conference more profitable than others because I had a different hope and prayer for it.  Whereas in prior years I was primarily looking for new data to fill my mind, this year I was looking for old truths to fill my heart.  This is not to say that any of the PCRTs have been short on robust truth, but it is a very different disposition to approach this truth with the heart of a disciple rather than with the heart of a disciple.  Rather than seeking to own the truths taught at this conference, I prayed that I would be owned by this truth and that is a prayer God loves to honor.

I was struck by three things at this conference that I hope will build you up in the faith:

First, I was refreshed by the boldness of the speakers.  Rick Phillips gave a clear and convicting presentation of masculinity and femininity as well as a presentation on male leadership in the church.  Phillips handled these hot button issues with frankness, which is refreshing in our age of mealy-mouthed answers.

Second, I was blessed by the warmth of the speakers.  There was no doubt in my mind or heart that any speaker would be an excellent pastor to whom I could gladly submit.  

Third, I was cut by the edges of the truths discussed.  By this I mean that while many are manifestly blessed by God's adoption, there are many within our churches that numb their hearts to this glorious truth.  We need to pray that God would work in these Christians hearts so the hideous mask they have sought to put over their heavenly Father's smile might be removed.  We also need to be firm that not all people are children of God in a redemptive sense.  There are certain privileges that come only in being part of the household of God and in very real, objective sense unbelievers lack these blessings and should - and in many ways do - feel that lack.  This is an opportunity to point them to the Son who died that they might be reconciled to the Father.

I hope you will avail yourself of any and all opportunities to hear God's word and will make it a point to take advantage of the PCRT when it is in your area.
Posted March 22, 2011 @ 11:39 AM by Guest blogger
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