Sunday morning, May 3, sermon preached by Pastor Brian McLaughlin.
In the film, A Beautiful Mind, the main character suffers from a condition called schizophrenia that results in delusions of various kinds. All of these hallucinations and elusions seem very real to the main character on an experiential level. His thoughts and emotions tell him no different. Eventually, he comes to grips with the reality that he is suffering from these delusions. For the rest of the movie, you watch him trying to move on with everyday life, all the while trying to ignore some very strong pulls back towards fantasy and delusion. People appear to him, thoughts are presented to him, and the one and only solution is to ignore them all. As he turns a deaf ear to them and sets his mind on what is really true, he experiences peace. But the temptation to revert to the old ways of delusion is still very strong and stays with him for the remainder of his life.
It's not much different for us as Christians. We are all prone to suffering from a sort of spiritual schizophrenia. For us, what we experience mentally and emotionally in our souls from day to day can be very different from what we're called to set our minds on concerning the reality of what has actually occurred in our spirit.
How can I be a "new creation" as God describes me to be and yet still feel and act so old?
The answer is found in recognizing and responding to the truth of the Gospel and its work in our lives.
Why do I feel and act like the "old" when God says that I'm new?
- We don't recognize how we were _____.
- We don't realize what happened when we were _____.
- We don't fully understand who we now are because of the _____.
- We don't actually ____ what God has declared to be true about us.
- We don't _____ with behaviors that are based out of right beliefs.
The Gospel presents us with spiritual truths from heaven. One of these fundamental truths is that we have been dramatically changed in our human spirit (Col. 1:13). We must now allow the fluctuating feelings of the soul to determine our theology and beliefs. If we do, then we will constantly find ourselves on the schizophrenic roller coaster of life wondering about how we can be so new and yet feel and act so old. But God doesn't want us looking to our fickle souls to determine truth. He desires for us to worship and live in spirit and truth. There's no question that when we choose to sin, we are not expressing Christ. But this changes nothing of the fact of His eternal, ever-abiding presence in our spirit. Yes, we can grieve His spirit by walking after the flesh, but we will never lose His Spirit because we have been sealed forever!