Guest Pastor: Philip Pinckney

Colossians Chapter One Reminds Us To Root our Faith In Jesus

Philip Pinckney
May 2, 2021    38m
By studying Colossians chapter one, we are reminded that we need to root our faith firmly in Jesus Christ alone. When we have strong roots of faith in Him and only Him, that is when good fruits are produced. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Philip Pinckney: 00:00 Well, hey, good morning. Oh, hey. Good morning. Hey, here we go, church is a team sport y'all, come on, help me out. I mean, there may be a rumor going around from the first service that we got out a little early last time, let me encourage you from the word. "Don't look to the former thing, so behold, I'm doing a new thing." Amen. And after that worship this morning, we might spend a little time talking about Jesus today.

Philip Pinckney: 00:26 I am grateful and humbled to be before you, it's always a little strange asking a preacher to preach on a Sunday. Because then that preacher has got to find somebody else to preach, and then you're not preaching at your own church, and it's a whole thing. And I don't do it often, because I love being with my people and my family, but Pastor George is a great friend of mine. And I'm getting to know Shandon Baptist, but when he called and asked, man, I just felt a stirring immediately in my spirit that, yes, yes, maybe the Lord has something to say to us all from his word.

Philip Pinckney: 00:55 And so we're going to be in Colossians chapter 1 this morning, and I have kind of a little ambitious plan this morning, the ambitious plan is to work all the way through this chapter. Now the time is what it is, and I see a countdown for me. So we're going to work our way a little bit more quickly than we should, but I want us to see the story that's being told here in Colossians chapter 1. And let me give you just a free Bible reading tip, if you ever are reading the Bible and are a little confused as to what it's saying, you can reference commentaries and sources and type it into Google, but oftentimes the easiest and simplest way to understand is just to read more Bible, just go backwards and go forwards, and just read more Bible.

Philip Pinckney: 01:35 Oftentimes, the Bible will explain itself if you give it time, and so I'm going to give Colossians 1 time today, I'm going to work through the whole chapter to see what it's saying to us. And so if you will stand on your feet as we just read these first two verses. And standing, there's nothing special about it, other than it's a reminder for us, it's the foundation of our lives, as Pastor George says, week in and week out. Verses 1 and 2 of Colossians chapter 1, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. You may be seated.

Philip Pinckney: 02:18 Father, would you use me in an unusual way? Would you speak through my mouth? God, would you decrease me and increase your voice in all of our hearing? And may the words of my mouth, and the meditation in my heart, be pleasing and acceptable to you, oh Lord, my rock, and my Redeemer? In Jesus's name, we pray. Amen and amen.

Philip Pinckney: 02:40 How many people grew up going to church all the time? Raise your hand. Now your definition of all the time might be different than my definition, so let me explain. We're talking about Monday night deacons meetings, Tuesday night Bible study, Wednesday night youth revival, Thursday night prayer meeting, Friday night prayer and fasting meeting, Saturday night clean up, and then Sunday morning, Sunday morning, Sunday morning, and Sunday night. So let me ask again, how many people grew up going to church all the time? There's a few little fewer hands I think. But many of us grew up going to church on a regular basis, we are in the South and so if you're in the South, you probably grew up going to church somewhere, even if you didn't go regularly, and that's a good thing, that's a good thing. Let me give a word of encouragement to young people and parents, drag your kids to church. Let me say it again, drag your kids, kicking and screaming, to church.

Philip Pinckney: 03:34 That was my story, I didn't grow up kind of a good decent kid that just needed Jesus to be sprinkled on top of a relatively moral foundation. No, I was a bad kid doing bad things, and yet my mom made it a rule, if you're going to live here, you got to come to church. And I believe God used that, and the prayers of the saints, to save my soul. And one day God raptured me out of my sin and my death and my darkness and showed me his marvelous light. So they're a good things that come out of coming to church regularly, even dragging the unwilling to church regularly. I'm sorry all the young people, I've given your parents ammunition against you, but there's some good things that come out of that.

Philip Pinckney: 04:16 But there is a deficiency sometimes, that forms over time, when we hear the same things, even the best thing, the gospel over and over and over again, in that sometimes it loses its appeal. You know, as much of a hard time as other generations kind of give Generation Z or Millennials, you know, they're always on their phones, always watching videos, they're overstimulated, and if we just get out and enjoy nature, they would appreciate something. And that's true to a degree, I remember the first time I went to go see the Grand Canyon as a teenager, I remember distinctly feeling underwhelmed because it looked exactly like I looked on every picture that I ever saw and every movie that ever saw it in. And I was like, okay, we're here, now, what else? And so some of that is right, like maybe we've been overstimulated where nothing impresses us anymore, nothing amazes us anymore, because we have the world's information at our fingertips at all times.

Philip Pinckney: 05:09 But that's also true for church folks though, if we're honest. We hear that about Jesus all the time, we hear about the gospel all the time, that it doesn't quite capture us like it once did. We'd be excited on a sermon series on three ways to have a better marriage, on 10 ways to understand the Bible, and four ways to raise better kids. we would be excited about all the applications of the gospel, and the Bible is written with those applications in mind. But Jesus himself seems a little trite. I get it, Jesus is great, we love him, but these bills got to get paid, these kids got to get raised and life marches on, and that's oftentimes where we look to the answers.

Philip Pinckney: 05:51 Colossians chapter 1, the whole book really, but chapter 1 we're going to look at, is going to provide for us a case study to counter narrative. You see, most of us are looking for better fruit, better fruit in our lives, better fruit in the lives of those we love you. You don't have to raise your hand for this one, but how many of us in this room know someone we love that is making bad and destructive choices, maybe it's a child, a friend, a spouse, maybe it's a grandchild. How many of us know someone who is choosing destruction for their life? How many of us, when we look at the state of our country or our church, feel anxious, feel worried? That is fruits, what is seen and what is produced is the fruit, and we want faithful fruit. We want good kids, who marry the right person, and make the right choices. We want a church that is doing the right things. We want to be part of a country that is headed in the right direction. We want good fruit, but where does good fruit come from? Good fruit comes from good roots, and oftentimes we neglect the roots because we want the fruit to be a little bit better and shinier and healthier.

Philip Pinckney: 07:14 I submit to you today, that the beginning of the solution to the problems that you are facing in your life, and the problems that we are facing in our time now in this country, is going to have to begin with looking at the roots. What is the root of faith, not just the fruit of faithfulness? That's the answer that Paul, in Colossians, is answering. You see, Paul didn't start the church in Colossae, it was his brother Epaphras, most likely. But Epaphras and Paul were traveling, and on their journeys Epaphras began to share and unburden himself, as pastors will sometimes do when they get around each other, and just say, man, I'm struggling with this thing. And he began to unburn himself to Paul and say, man, our church that we started just a few years ago, this church was probably planted around 50, the letter was written around 55 to 59 AD, so about 20 to 30 years after Jesus Christ was crucified and rose from the dead, this church was growing.

Philip Pinckney: 08:12 And the city of Colossae was once a major city, one of the few Roman roads that intersected right in Colossae, it had wealth and power and prestige, but then the Romans built more roads, and cities like Laodicea and others begin to rise in prominence, and so the Christians in Colossae began to feel an economic and cultural shift. And whenever the ground underneath our feet begins to shift, we all look for answers, don't we? What am I doing wrong? What can we do different? Why's God not providing for us? Why is he not blessing us like he blessed us before? And they begin to look for answers like we all do, and the problem is where they look for answers, they look for who gave them easy solutions to hard problems.

Philip Pinckney: 08:59 You see, there are some heretics, whether they were Gnostics or Mystics, we're not quite sure what the actual heresy was, but the church in Colossians began to look for answers, and it's heresy about the very nature of God began to arise. Now what's really interesting about this setting, is we don't actually know what the heresy was. Was it Gnosticism? Was it Mysticism? Was it Hedonism? The reason we don't know, is Paul doesn't talk about it in great enough detail. But if you know anything about the Book of Colossians, you know that it talks about Jesus more than any other book, more words per chapter are saturated with the person of Jesus, more than any other Book of the Bible, and we begin to see the answer.

Philip Pinckney: 09:50 See, the old school way you trained bank tellers, how do you spot counterfeit bills? Well, there's two ways to do it. One is you can become a master on every form of counterfeit hundred dollar bill there is, and that requires constantly being updated on the latest deficiency, on the latest variation, but the way that bank tellers are actually trained to spot counterfeits is to know the original. You see, if you know what a hundred dollar bill is supposed to look like, you don't have to be an expert on the counterfeits, you'll be able to notice that something is wrong. And I think sometimes in our lives, and in our church, we become masters of the counterfeit while ignoring the original. We've become detailed in our understanding of all of the counterfeit gospels, and yet we've overlooked, studying, and marveling, and being amazed, at the original Jesus. And so I have a singular goal for us this morning, as I want to increase our capacity to marvel at Jesus.

Philip Pinckney: 10:52 Many of us feel, even now, like I felt at the Grand Canyon, underwhelmed. I thought he would preach on something better than that, something more practical than that, something more timely than that. We need to get back to our roots, family, and I want to do that together using Colossians chapter 1. So Paul is writing to these people who are, like us, facing a choice. We are being surrounded by untruths, and lies, and heresies, and distractions, from the gospel. And Paul is getting us back to it, and the way he does it is instructive for us. How would you start a conversation with a loved one who was making destructive choices? How have you started conversations with loved ones who were making destructive choices?

Philip Pinckney: 11:40 Let's see how Paul starts his conversation in verse 3, "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

Philip Pinckney: 12:21 I've had lots of hard conversations with people, but I can remember very few that started with what I was thankful for in them. Paul begins this corrective letter with a heart of gratitude, looking to acknowledge the light of the gospel that he still sees within them. If my wife was here this morning, she would be amening and m'hmm right now, because that's not how I start corrective conversations. I like to blame it on the military background, but maybe it's just me, maybe I'm just rude. Maybe I just walk up to people and say, here's what you're doing wrong, here's what you need to do different, and I walk away, problem solved, box checked, next task. But he doesn't do that, he starts off by saying, I see that your heart is in the right place, I see that you're trying, I know that you believe that gospel. I'm not here to deny that you are brother and sister, just because you're struggling with belief right now. I'm not going to make you the enemy or the villain, I see a gospel light, even dimly that I want to encourage.

Philip Pinckney: 13:24 And then it goes from thanksgiving to prayer. In verse 9 it says, "And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." That doesn't sound like many of my prayers for those who I love, who are struggling with destructive choices. Most of my prayers doesn't center God's will and the gospel in them, most of my prayers for other people is centering me in their life, if they would just do what I told them to do, if they would just act the way I raised them to act. Paul doesn't do that, he says, I don't want you to just hear and obey the voices of men, I want you to hear and obey the voice of God.

Philip Pinckney: 14:42 I served in youth ministry for many years before I became a lead pastor. And I would contend to you today that most of the discipleship activity in teen and youth ministry should actually be evangelism, not discipleship, and I'm making a distinction there. We're so frustrated with teenagers because they do the wrong thing, we're so frustrated for the young college adults because they're doing the wrong thing, and we're trying to get their behavior to be better, without really questioning if their roots are really in Christ. You see, you'll always be frustrated with bad fruit, unless the roots are in good soil, unless that's the roots are in Jesus, it will never produce the transformed life that we want to see. But so much of church is fruit based, and not root based, we ended up training better sinners. People who are better at sneaking around, people who are better at pretending, people who feel afraid of ever being real and honest.

Philip Pinckney: 15:41 So Paul says in his word, I don't want you to just do what I say, I want you to meet him and obey him. Be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so you can then walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Verses 9 and 10 unlock one of the first secrets for how people change, persistent Christ centered prayer. I don't know Paul personally, I've never met him, but when he says, "And from the day we heard of you, we have not ceased praying for you.", I believe him. What I know about Paul, doesn't lead me to believe that he was a joking man, it doesn't lead like he was prone to exaggeration. So, when he says that I prayed for you without ceasing, I believe that he prayed without ceasing, even for people that he hadn't yet met, because he was burdened by what the stories Epaphras told him.

Philip Pinckney: 16:41 And church folks, y'all, we are so good about, about to pray for people. Like, oh, I was just about to pray for them. Oh, I meant to pray for them the other day. We're so good about telling others the prayers that we want to pray for people. Hey, pray for Susie. What's going on with Susie? Oh, you didn't hear? Now we've spent 45 minutes telling Susie's story and zero minutes praying for Susie. But he's like, no, I'm not just going to gossip about you, I'm actually going to pray for you. I'm going to lift you up regularly because if you don't meet God, you'll never really change. And if you just change when I'm around, you haven't changed at all, you've just doubled your sins. So he prays for them.

Philip Pinckney: 17:33 But the question remains, how do people change? We're praying for maybe some of our loved ones, we're praying for our church, we're praying for our country, we're praying and praying and praying. but what's the answer, Paul? The answer is the root of faith, the root not just getting better fruit, but roots. What is the root of the Christian faith? Is it performance? Is it Sunday school attendance? Is it giving and serving? What is the root of our faith that should produce a transformed life and all the fruit thereof? Paul answers the question in verse 15 through 23, and I want to read it, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister."

Philip Pinckney: 19:38 When was the last time we have been overwhelmed with the person of Jesus? Outside of this phenomenal worship environment, when's the last time you have opened your Bible at your home and read about the beauty and the majesty and the mercies of Jesus and been overwhelmed with emotion? You know, that's one of the questions we ask in our church planting residency, as we seek to plant more churches. One of the qualifying factors for a pastor that we want to plant, is when is the last time you have wept while reading your Bible all by yourself? Now I get it, we're not all emotional people. I used to take myself as a pretty tough guy, until I had kids, and kids will do that to you boy. Not even my girl, I just had my girl recently, it was my sons that did it to me. Like I was a pretty tough, dude, man, I never cried, I was pretty hardcore, you know, all that other stuff. Now I'm like crying at commercials, like the kid hears for the first time, have you ever seen those videos, like on Facebook, like the hearing implant, or the kid who gets a see, I'm like I'm weeping, y'all. Near the end of Finding...have you seen that movie Finding Dory? Y'all, I had to walk out of the room, like when she had the seashells and like the mom and dad were looking for it, like I lost it. I had to leave, I was like, I don't want my sons to see me like this. They said this was a family movie, and I'm crying, thug tears y'all.

Philip Pinckney: 21:06 I know that we are not all relating to the world the same, but there are times where we are just overwhelmed with emotion, overwhelmed with the glory and majesty of Jesus, and we read these words as if we're talking about the stock market or the weather for this week. Do we realize who we're talking about? That Jesus is the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Now hear this, it says that all things were created by him, and through him, and for him. That's insane, that's saying that the trees that are outside right now were created by Jesus, through Jesus, to point back to Jesus. I'm about to kick this podium off the...Y'all, you were created by Jesus, through Jesus, to point back to Jesus. He is the center of all things, the firstborn of creation, the angels bow down and scream, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty, every single minute, of every single day, for all eternity, because Jesus is worth it.

Philip Pinckney: 22:18 I made it through the first service, I don't think I'll make it to the second one, but this is the part that gets me. This Jesus, this preeminent, an unapproachable light Jesus, he came to us and died for us. And I know you have heard that before because your pastor preaches the beauty of the gospel, but give me a moment just right now to unpack for our hearts what this means. I had the privilege of serving in the Marine Corps for just a few years. If you don't know anything about Marines, know that they are the most prideful people in the room when you have other service members there, they think they're better than everyone else. Why? We sing songs about our victories, from the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli. We sing songs about the flags that we've planted on foreign soil, because that's how wars are won, wars are won when one force overwhelms another one.

Philip Pinckney: 23:24 How was the war one between you and God? How did that war between you and God come to an end? It says we were alienated and hostile in mind, we were enemies of God, the word calls us. How does an enemy of God survive? Because war that we are waging wasn't won by him crushing us, it was won by God the Father crushing God the Son. And because he exists outside of time, he was taking the sins that I would commit 2000 years ago, and the sins that you committed just this weekend, and all of those sins were able to be taken out of time, rewound back to 2000 years ago, and poured out on Golgotha Hill. And so Jesus was able to bear the sins of the world, the cease fire that we have between us and God is not because we were crushed by God, it's because God didn't want to crush us. He who could have, and theologically should have, didn't. And the way that he made it right with God, isn't just saying, oh, they're pretty good people, they meant well, and we'll just let it go this time. No, someone had to die, blood had to be shed, and not just any blood.

Philip Pinckney: 24:58 You know, Roman crucifixion was not an uncommon thing, it was a painful thing, it was a humiliating thing, but it wasn't an uncommon thing. Jesus was not the first nor the last person to die on a cross, so why does his death mean more than even the two criminals on the cross right next to him? How did this Middle Eastern man's blood somehow save you and I? Because, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." The nails that were driven through his hands were created by Jesus, through Jesus, for Jesus. The breath that filled the insults of those who accused him was created by Jesus, through Jesus, for Jesus. The hands that nailed him to the tree were created by Jesus, through Jesus, for Jesus. And he willingly laid down his life so that we could be reconciled to him.

Philip Pinckney: 26:14 That is the root of our faith, not your performance, not your faith, but the object of your faith. The root of our faith is Jesus, and many of us in this room have rejected Christianity because we were told a different story. We were told it was about being good enough, it was looking a certain way, it was talking a certain way, it was doing enough good things, and so we rejected him. But here today, clearly, the root of our faith is not you or your performance, it's him.

Philip Pinckney: 26:56 Parents, young people, those in leadership, are we inadvertently teaching a gospel of performance, or a gospel of surrender? I know we're not doing it on purpose, but are we inadvertently telling people to measure up or simply to surrender? When I was at the Citadel, I had just gotten saved and I was a pretty young believer. And I remember my buddy Hillsman was talking to me, and most of the people at the Citadel were alcoholics, and he was no exception. And so he came to me one day and he says, man, I feel like I'm going to stop drinking. I looked him in the face, knowing that he was not a believer, and I said, why? He's like, well, I'm trying to do better, man. I was like, why would you want to do that? If you're going to reject Jesus, why go to hell sober? If you're not going to do anything about Jesus, you're still going to go to hell, you're just going to go to hell sober. Why would you quit drinking? As a matter of fact, you should do all the things that you want to do now, because if you don't do anything with Jesus, it doesn't matter. And so those, especially in the South, we've been trained to believe that there's an accounting system of good behavior and bad behavior, and if I get enough in the right columns, it'll work out all right. That is not the root of faith, the root of faith is Jesus alone, faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone.

Philip Pinckney: 28:46 And I hear your intention, you like, but things need to change, the fruit needs to change. You don't get better fruit by yelling at the bad fruit, you can go out to a rotten apple tree right now and scream all day long, and it's going to continue to produce rotten apples. Why? Because the roots haven't changed. People will never perform good enough, for long enough, unless Jesus changes their hearts. We, who were at war with God, we're brought to peace by Jesus.

Philip Pinckney: 29:27 "Now, verse 24, "I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me."

Philip Pinckney: 30:23 What is Paul saying here in these last few words, what is the mystery of the gospel? You hear it in Galatians, you hear it in Ephesians, and now you hear it again in the Book of Colossians, what is the mystery of the gospel? Well, it at least two parts, but Paul's going to zoom in on one part right here. You see the Jews had a concept of God, they had a concept of a Holy God, a big God, a jealous God, a wrathful God, the Jews understood that God, that wasn't a mystery to them. The mystery was that God, somehow coming down wrapped in flesh, living among sinful people, dying, being buried, being raised to life. And that's not all, he didn't just abscond back to heaven, he didn't just run back away, the mystery of the gospel is Christ in you. You see, we have a God that's not just powerful, but a God who is personal, a God who doesn't just lay down rules and edicts but fills us with the power to obey those rules and edicts. We have a God who wants to be known, and wants to know us, a personal God who dwells with us and in us. Did you know that 'God in you' would be heresy if it wasn't in the Bible? If anyone else said that Christ dwells in you, that would be heresy because it would counter all of our understanding about the perfection and holiness of God. And Paul is introducing this tension because he wants us to know that God is still here with us, for us, in us, that's the mystery.

Philip Pinckney: 32:18 And Paul is saying, that's why I toil. Let me say something about your pastor for just a moment, I know his heart, and I know his heart is to present you, like Paul, mature before Christ when you meet him. The job of the Christian pastor and leader isn't to produce a pleasant Sunday service, it isn't to produce the programs that you would prefer for your family, the job of the pastors present you, mature in Christ. You see when leaders stand up before God, we will not only have to give an account for our soul, we will have to give an account for your soul. Not your happiness, not your comfort, not your leisure, not your retirement, but for your soul. That's why he works as hard as he works, that's why he prays as hard as he prays, that's why he toils, your pastor, that's why sometimes you'll disagree because his goal was to present you mature,

Philip Pinckney: 33:25 But that's not just for pastors and leaders, that's for mom and dad as well. Are you raising good kids, to go to good schools, to get a good job, and to marry the right person? Or are you toiling to present them mature in Christ, so that when they die and meet God, they are not unprepared? Jesus is worth changing how we raise our kids for, Jesus is worth how we do church on Sunday for, Jesus is worth how I live my life and changing that for. Why? Because he's the first born, the preeminent, the visible image of the invisible God, and he is worth living our lives for.

Philip Pinckney: 34:20 Let me give a couple of quick applications, and then I'm going to get out of your way. It's easy to be frustrated at the fruit of unfaithfulness, whether that's in our lives, the lives of those we love, or even in our church and country, it's easy to get frustrated about that. But the fruit won't change until the roots get right, it will change for season, it'll change when you were around, but it always go back because unless we meet Jesus, unless we show Jesus to a dead and dying world, unless Jesus is lifted up, worship will never really happen, the fruit will never really change. And today is an encouragement to center your lives, and your affections, and your hopes on Jesus. I know you hear that week in and week out, but I promise you nothing else will change unless that happens. Your kids won't ever really be happy until they meet Jesus. Your life will never be fulfilled unless you center it around Jesus. This world will never really change into the clear image of who Jesus is as shown by his people. It's Jesus at the roots that produces all the fruits in our lives, in our families, for those we love, and our nation.

Philip Pinckney: 35:47 But it's got to start with a choice to make that so. It's got to start with just not ignoring these things because you heard it in Sunday school, you've heard it all before, you love Jesus and you take it for granted, but really putting yourself in a position to say, God, show me who you are, as verse 9. And 10 said, God reveal yourself to me afresh.

Philip Pinckney: 36:10 Let me give you a closing word for those under the sound of my voice. If you have lived your life defining Christianity by your performance, there is a moment today for you to quit, there is a moment today for you to stop trying to achieve, and surrender to the Lord. The root of faith is not Jesus and anything else, Jesus and your performance, Jesus and your obedience, Jesus, and your anything, it's just Jesus. And many of us have rejected Christianity wholesale because we felt like we could never live up to the standard. Well, here's the standard, trust. Do you trust that Jesus is enough to pay for your sins and to satisfy your soul? If you are willing for that to be true, not if you believe it to be true, if you are willing for that to be true, you've met the qualifications you've met the standards. All you have to do now is live the rest of your life, daily, submitting to that truth, and God will take care of the rest. Would we today be amazed by Jesus?

Philip Pinckney: 37:17 Let's pray. Father God, I often take these things for granted, we preach regularly these things, we sing songs about you, we hear about you, we read books about you, but, God, we are rarely amazed by you. God, I'm rarely stopped in my tracks thinking of you. God, I pray that you would help all of our roots grow down deeper into intimate connection and relationship with you, and that you would produce the fruit in us that you desire. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, we pray. And all of God's people say, amen.

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206