Sunday Morning Greek Blog

September 15, 2018

Men of Honor: 2018

Filed under: Greek — Scott Stocking @ 6:43 am

When things break, what do we guys do? I would guess many of us would find a way to fix it, right? Now some of us are naturals at that kind of thing. Whether its our cars, our homes, our motorcycles, lawn mowers, we’d like to think we can take a stab at fixing these things. For some of us, the rule is not “necessity is the mother of invention,” but “necessity is the motivation for self-education.” We’re not afraid to find that video on YouTube that shows us how to do a complete brake job, how to fix a broken pipe, change a blown circuit breaker, or install a ceiling fan. We dive right in and give it the old college try. If it goes right and we don’t burn the house down, it’s a success. But when the inevitable problem you never saw coming rears its head, that’s when things can get ugly, and expensive.

Now when things break, we generally need to know what the original looked like, or what a complete, functional version of the thing looks like. In other words, we need a model or a manual from the manufacturer (that is, a source of truth) to show us the right way. If we can fix it ourselves with the model or manual, great! But if we don’t have the right tools, the tools are too expensive, or we just don’t have the resources or skill to fix it, we need to call the experts. They have the experience, the knowledge, and the tools to not only get the job done right, but to anticipate and work through those problems you never saw coming. And when whatever it is gets fixed, it looks right, works right, and is a source of joy or pride instead of frustration to its owner.

Now fixing material things is relatively easy. But how do we fix things that we can’t put our hands on? How do we fix an irreconcilable break in our marriage? How do we overcome PTSD after experiencing military conflict, violence, or a bad accident? How do we repair a relationship with a child who’s taken the wrong path, and how do we help repair that child? These problems are much bigger than ourselves, and we typically need more than a YouTube video to find the answers. When our hearts and our minds are troubled by things larger than ourselves, we can turn to the maker of our hearts and minds, God, to begin the healing process.

On a personal level, this is what salvation is. God created a perfect world with a perfect couple and gave them only one simple warning to heed in order to maintain that perfection, and Adam and Eve blew it. That one act of disobedience forever broke mankind’s relationship with God. Because that relationship was bigger than any human could fathom, God needed a big solution to fix it: one man who was fully human and fully God, so that he understood completely and intimately within himself what our relationship with God should be like. This God-man, this Son of God/Son of Man, of course, is Jesus. He is the only one who can fix our broken lives so that we can live as he intended us to in this world and be a source of joy not only for God, but for those around us.

Personal side of salvation

Ephesians 2:1–10: Break it down:

We were worldly, but God loved us enough to reunite us with Christ

  • Made alive
  • Raised us up
  • Seated us with him

Grace used three times in this passage

Grace through the faithfulness of Jesus (compare Romans 3:23–24 here)

  • Jesus’s life and death
  • Faithfulness to go to the cross
  • One sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:15; 10:12–13)

Created to do good works

Personal response to salvation

Mental Ascent: Belief

Romans 1:16–17: Break it down

God’s righteousness revealed; Jesus lived for God faithfully so we could know the salvation he brings.

Physical Ascent: Baptism & Communion

So if we have a savior who laid down his very life for us on the cross, a physical sacrifice, can we accept such a great act of love without a response? The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, so it makes sense that our response to that should be something that puts us in contact with, figuratively speaking, the blood of Christ. This is where baptism, or more accurately, immersion, and communion come in.

Romans 6:1–14: Break it down (read at least through 7 if time is short)

Word means immerse; derives from the sound of something or someone going into the water: /Bahpt/. Βαπτω = dip, but βαπτίζω = dip completely, immerse. It’s more intense than just dipping.

Connects us not only with the blood of Jesus, but also his resurrection, so can have assurance as well.

Christ is our new master; no longer slaves to sin

Communion: Our weekly reminder of and connection to Christ’s sacrifice.

The Big Picture of Salvation: Saved from our enemies

Luke 1:68–75: Read it and explain briefly that God’s salvation is also deliverance from our enemies

Who are our “enemies”? Not just those who don’t like us personally, but those in the world who reject Christianity, who call us bigots and a host of other pejoratives for taking a stand against things out of whack with God’s created order, who reclassify our fellowship as isolationism. Maybe 30 years ago, we didn’t feel this way; but more and more, it feels like the end is getting nearer as persecution begins to ramp up.


1 John 5:1–15: Break it down

We KNOW we’re God’s children

We overcome the world, our enemies, the hostile attitudes toward us, with God’s love.


Titus 2:11–14 is nice little compact “formula” for what salvation is and isn’t. Let’s close by looking at those verses (read them)

Premise: The saving grace of God has appeared to all people

Reason: Teaching us to live self-controlled, righteous, and godly lives

Condition: While denying ungodliness and worldly passions in this present age.

Hope: Waiting for the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Xenophon, one of Socrates’s students, wrote about the three ways to live in his own polytheistic context, using these same words or synonyms:

Godliness: Right conduct toward God (Socrates: can only be godly if the gods think, or in our case, if God thinks, you are)

Righteous: Right conduct toward others

Self-controlled: Right conduct toward self


Your action items:

  • Talk to someone here about getting immersed if you haven’t been already, then do it!
  • Write out your own testimony about being saved
  • Invite another person to hear your testimony, and have him share his
  • Make a list of any lingering questions you may have about salvation. Talk to one of the leaders or pastors here about them
  • Make a list of areas you need to work on for right conduct toward God, others, and self.

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