Broken Week 2
Key text: 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Last week we addressed your problem (that you are essentially broken) and touched base on the solution (Jesus Christ alone).
This week I want us to look at how understanding our brokenness and seeing Christ as the one who brings us wholeness is the key to our togetherness in all aspects of life.
Let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 if you have your Bibles here.
As you are turning there I have to address a reality that you are going through.
We seem to live two lives; one is the one we want to be the one we show the world, and the other is the life that we hide from the world and hope no one will ever find out about.
I want to engage you on both of these this morning and hopefully by being honest with yourself and with Christ and each other we will discover that there is freedom in Christ.
If you want to love each other properly you will need to know grace personally.
in other words; you need to see you need for Christ and understand how He loved you in your brokenness in order to truly love each other.
And this it is this that Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
There are two realities that are being addressed in this passage firstly our own reconciliation and then the reconciliation of others.
And I want to address this to you in two ways.
The first thing that we need to be aware of is that:
My Brokenness affects our Togetherness
The crux of Paul’s address of the new creation of believers is the fact that they are “in Christ.”
Last week we looked at the fact that we are fundamentally broken; we have our issues. As my dad would say people are people. We are all in the same boat here.
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; emphasis on all!
We all have our issues. The key to our healing to becoming new (as Paul puts it)is not being good; it is about being in Christ.
This is why we need to be aware of the way our brokenness affects our togetherness.
I find too often we are trying to be better, to help fit in (to live up to people’s expectations of us etc). So then the hope of our togetherness is me living up to the expectations that I have made of myself and not on Christ in me conforming me into what He desires.
We all fall into that trap. Where the hope of our togetherness actually lies in the fact that we accept our brokenness and are willing to accept that our hope of healing is not personal but rather us being in Christ.
To put this personally I am here to minister to you not because of my cleverness nor my goodness, rather it is because I accept Christ died for me, and therefore in His power I minster to you.
It is not about me it is about Christ and what He is doing in me.As soon as I make this about me I mess it up!
When we think it’s about us it is like boasting to our friends that we learned how to fly and let them think that it’s inherent in us to be able to fly. We then get carried away and actually think that we can fly and start telling people it’s all about how you put your arms and how hard you flap. But the actually story is that all we did was get in an aeroplane.
Christ is our aeroplane; He is the hope of our healing; He is our power and He is where we find the strength to overcome our sin and sinfulness.
Therefore everything we do becomes about magnifying the power of Christ to forgive us and heal us. What we spend less time is trying to convince others that we are better that we are. Because it’s all about Christ and not about us.
I have discovered this in my own life; nothing separates me from others more than the obsession with how I have it all together.
However it is when I am open with that which I struggle with, when I am humble and recognise that it is only because of Christ that I discover I can put up more with others brokenness but more-so I discover true freedom from my own brokenness.
You see that is why God has called us together because we need each other to find our healing. We need to be accountable to each other and dependent upon others.
It is when we start being real with God and with each other; when we stop pretending and are honest with our short comings that we discover that others also have those same shortcomings and we can walk together in the power of Christ (we’re in Christ) and together discover that there is indeed power in the name of Christ.
We would discover that there is indeed freedom from sins in Christ – not that we are perfect in fact the exact opposite (we would discover that we are dependent); but that in Christ and with the help of others who are in Christ that we can overcome our brokenness.
I fundamentally believe that is why God made church! He saves us – justifies us (makes it as if we never sinned; and then puts us together with a bunch of broken people to remind us that it about what He did and not what we did).
Just to justify something; I am not saying that we will be perfect (that would be to miss the point) no Christ is our perfection!
And I am not saying that we simply live in our sins because you know we are broken that is just who we are (that would undermine what Christ did for us).
I am saying we must be honest with who we are and where we are and dependent upon Him who reconciled us to God!
The message is simple; are you in Christ or are you trying to do this on your own?
Start broken know others start there as well and in Christ we will grow in togetherness.
Which leads to the second aspect to be aware of is:
My Reconciliation affects our Ministry
In verse 18 Paul states that all this is from God who reconciled us to Himself in Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
God calls us in our brokenness and teaches us reconciliation; so that we can have the same reconciling heart for others.
It is only as we live our lives in that reconciliation (in other words understand the depth of our need for salvation and reconciliation) that we discover our real love for other and the need for their reconciliation.
You see church we are in this together; this is our church and we need each of us fully dependent upon Christ sharing in the ministry of reconciliation.
If you are in Christ you are committed to a ministry of reconciliation.
It is not up to your pastors to share the gospel; it is not up to the leader to care for each other and it is not up the deacons to make sure our church is working.
It is all of us; all called by Christ and reconciled by His grace; understanding that we are all in desperate need of the gospel; sharing together in the work set before us by him who called us.
Who called us all to this ministry of reconciliation? God Himself!
Who is in need of reconciliation? The whole world!
Who is going to be doing the work? You the church – in your brokenness; because when you are weak He is strong.
Christianity is not about being strong or the best you; in fact that is the very opposite of what Christ calls us to.
It is about being dependant and humble.
When we are working at our religion; we want accolades and honour. When we are living by faith in our reconciliation we know it is not about us; but about God; and therefore long to be less and for Him to be more.
James 4:1-3 states
4 What causes fights and quarrelsamong you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, soyoukill.You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarreland fight.
The big I gets in the way; it’s all about me…
Live in your reconciliation which teaches you that it’s all about Christ.
You see when we don’t live in our reconciliation it does become all about what I am getting out of it; it becomes a pursuit and that compromises the ministry that God is doing here.
The church is a funny thing; it both hides and displays the love of God.
It hides it when we get in the way; and it displays it when we live for Him!
The application for this morning is:
Start the journey
Learn about being honest with yourself and other; many of you here have being trying to play it safe and trying to fake it for so long you have no idea who you really are.
I would suggest find some close people around you who you can trust and be honest with them.
Stop carrying the burdens of your secret life; live humble; live honest.
You are a broken person in need of healing and that is why God gave us church; we are called together to share so that we can journey together to find wholeness in Christ.
You will need to find people who you can trust because realise we are all broken and some people might not be able to handle your brokenness.
But stop being so self-reliant; reach out
It’s about God doing in us what we could never do alone. We are all here to minister to the world; and church I mean all here; we are called to be together to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty with the work of the gospel.
You don’t know what to do; well where are you in the stage of life?
Why not start your ministry there? You a youth; get stuck into making the youth ministry all it can be? You a married person; well ask yourself how can I make the young married feel welcomed and involved in this church; you’re a family? Well get stuck in with the children’s ministry. And family care ministry.
Stop waiting for others to make this the church you want; get stuck in do what you can with what you have and see what we can do together if we simply get stuck in!
It’s all about Jesus!
When it’s all done and dusted; it’s not about you having a good life; it’s not about Wilro becoming a great church; it’s not about me or William or anyone else; it’s all about Jesus; to Him alone goes the glory to Him we give our lives; to Him alone is everything we hope to do.
I believe that if we could get this right we could see Jesus change our communities.
So church let’s be a little more humble; a little more dependent; a little more together and a little more stuck in. and let’s see what Jesus can do with that!