In Luke 5, some Pharisees and scribes criticized Jesus as one who “eats with tax collectors and sinners.” What they meant as a put down, Jesus claimed was his mission statement.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31–32)
Jesus’ incarnation was the ultimate medical missions trip. He came to make all who are sick with sin well; forgiven from sin’s guilt and freed from sin’s power. And while forgiveness is extended in full from the moment a sinner turns from sin to Jesus in faith, we all know the experience of full freedom from sin’s power happens by degrees. There still remains much earthliness within us that we need to put to death (i.e. Col. 3:5).
In that way, every local church is like a hospital. We’re a band of people who once were terminally ill (spiritually speaking) because of sin. But the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit was like a “good cancer” implanted in our hearts that is spreading the health of holiness through us, gaining more ground day by day. I love how Titus describes this.
“The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11–14)
As we’ll see this Sunday, this pursuit is another reason God calls us to gather. Rob Lister will be preaching from Romans 6:1-12 and Ephesians 4:11-16 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And would you take time to use this Titus 2 passage as a guide to pray for your own heart and the hearts of all our Grace family, that God would give us a zeal to grow in the health of holiness?
See you Sunday, Grace. Let’s come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Run to the Father by Matt Maher
I run to the Father, I fall into grace
I’m done with the hiding, no reason to wait
My heart needs a surgeon, my soul needs a friend
So I’ll run to the Father again and again
And again and again