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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Paul Tripp Speaks on the Messiness of Community

I listened to a great sermon by Paul Tripp. It’s called “When Love Gets Messy: Hope for Broken Relationships”. It is available for mp3 download here (talk #601):

He also has a book I want to read soon called "Relationships, a Mess Worth Making".

Here are some highlights from the talk:

“Sin in its essence is not about breaking rules. Sin in its essence is about breaking relationship. I was made for relationship with God, and I was made to live in community with people. The essence of sin is I break relationship with God to live my own way. Sin in its essence is anti-social. That’s what sin is about. And if you just think that sin is somehow some technical breaking of laws, you don’t understand why it messes up your relationships so much. Sin messes up your relationship because sin makes you only care about you. And the very nature of that is when I only care about me, I only care about what I want, when I want it, how I want it and where I want it. And by the very fact of that, I do not care about you. And if I don’t care about God, I don’t have a bit of possibility of ever caring about you because you only keep the second great command if you’ve kept the first first.”

“If what I was created for is to live in worshipful community with God and humble community with you, the enemy of my soul will do everything he can to destroy that community.”

“Are you quite content in living in an endless fabric of terminally casual relationships with people that have casual acquaintance with you but don’t actually know you? How many people have you invited to intrude in on your existence, to challenge your assumptions, to confront the scary reality of the you that is you? How many people? Do you have meaningless conversations with people at the back of church and mistakenly name it as ‘fellowship’? Do you live around community of people but do you live largely an isolated life? You see we don’t just wrestle with people. We wrestle with an enemy who’s seductive, who whispers lies in our ears, who wants us to see autonomy as attractive and self-sufficiency as attractive… to paint that in ways that look beautiful to us so that we would live ways that we were never intended to live.”

“God is rescuing you from you. And so God puts in your life things that you are not able to deal with, he puts you in places with things that you can’t solve, he calls you beyond your autonomy and beyond your self-sufficiency to reach out and cry, “God please help me!” and at that moment you have now given yourself to community because you have stepped out of yourself and you say, “God I can’t do this by myself. God I need help, won’t you help me by your grace? And you are get close to what you were designed to be in the first place. God will put you in places where your autonomy won’t work. God will put you in places where your self-sufficiency will present itself as the delusion that it actually is, so that perhaps in that moment you would reach out to him and say, “God, would you please help me? I don’t know what to do.”

“We live smack dab in the middle of “the already” and “the not yet”, and the middle of “the already” and the “not yet” is messy.”

“Here it is: broken world, broken people, a broken angel who became a terrible tempter, but a broken Messiah who entered this world willing to be broken, so that in his brokenness, you could be made whole again. And as you are made whole, your wholeness has to do with being drawn once again into fuller, deeper community with God, living even more fully into interdependent community with other people. Your Messiah entered the broken house. Your Messiah was willing himself to be broken so that you would have hope of being whole again…and in being whole, being part of the restoration of community with Him and community with others. You live in a broken down house. There’s a fallen world mess, there’s a sin mess, there’s a devil mess—but there is a God of awesome grace who is in and over the mess, calling you out of your autonomy, calling you out of your self sufficiency, taking you way beyond yourself so that you would reach out and find Him and know the community for which you were created”

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