Archive for February, 2008

Visiting Mars Hill Church in Seattle yet again

February 11, 2008

You know that a city is not a very interesting place to live when the most interesting thing to do during a Sunday afternoon is to travel to another city for a church service (especially after having already attended one church service in said uninteresting city during said Sunday morning). Bremerton is such an uninteresting city and I talked to someone yesterday who told me that after she arrived in Bremerton, but before she began attending Seaside Church, she cried over the dullness of Bremerton. That is why I was standing around talking to Brian and Crystal and we all decided to travel to Mars Hill Church yet again yesterday afternoon. We decided to ride the bus to cut costs. The bus took a very long time to take us where we wanted to go, so we missed the 4:30 service and had to settle for the 6:30 service.

The sermon was about regeneration which I have not studied very much aside from learning Titus 3:5 in AWANA. The sermon reminded me of a book that I read in December of 2007 as I began to benefit from a confrontation regarding my sin which was pushed upon me (the confrontation was pushed upon me, not the sin). The book is called The Distinguishing Traits of the Christian Character (1819) by Gardiner Spring. The book is almost like a lab manual that enables its reader to do science in his or her own mind so that he or she can determine whether or not the uncommon graces of God are at work inside of him or her.

I think that these sorts of things are important to look over so that you can make sure that you are not deceiving yourself and confusing the grace of God with your own wishful thinking (so listen to the sermon and or or read the book).

Pastor Mark talked about three works that Jesus does (in the following particular order):

  1. The work that Jesus does for someone (justification)
  2. The work that Jesus does in someone (regeneration (I think that this drives sanctification))
  3. The work that Jesus does through someone (good works)

A whole list of observations that a person can make about himself or herself to determine whether or not they have been regenerated was pointed out based on scripture. I seem to remember that most of them had something to do with newness (newness of heart, newness of mind, newness of desires, etc.).

So I left Seattle with some ideas that I had not thought of before:

  1. Christianity really doesn’t have to be very complicated. All that I really have to do is respond to Jesus appropriately
  2. I have been regenerated, my deepest desires are to worship Jesus and not myself
  3. Seems like there was something else. Perhaps I will be reminded of it and replace this line with it later