The Restoration of Your Image

Let me begin straight-away by telling you that I used to be a very fearful, introverted an angry person. I used to have all kinds of negative, thoughts, negative feelings and negative emotions. I used to let those things define me, define who I was, and define my future as well. However while I was too blind to see it back then all those years ago; none of that was true, that was not truly who I was, and my destiny in Christ was far greater than those petty things.

Since then, I have learned that my experiences are not all that unique. There are a lot of people still living by their thoughts, feelings and emotions, and allowing those things to direct and define their existence. However, I want to share with you today that just as myself, your destiny is far greater than those things. Your destiny is to have your image restored to the way that God intended. To be lifted out of whatever pit you may find yourself in and to be dusted off and cleaned-up – not through your own works or self-efforts, or painful suffering and endurance as all of the man-made religions of the world tend to portray… but by the glory of Christ and the power of His Spirit. This is what we will be studying today.

Let God’s Word Determine Your Future, Not Your Experiences

Many times when trying to determine the outcome of a situation, we look to our past experiences. I find that this is true in many places, but especially in Christian circles, and often in prayer as well. I have been in prayer groups, where we would pray for someone who had a debilitating condition, and we would pray, but then someone would say, “you know, there was a great Christian who had this condition, and they died”… and the moment that was said, it was as if it sucked all of the belief out of the room. People’s thoughts were moved from, “Yes God is a great Healer”, to, “Well if that great Christian died, I guess God doesn’t heal”.

We tend to allow our experiences to determine our future, even without being consciously aware that we are doing it. And we also are influenced by all of the negativity floating around from all of the other people who do the same. So today we will be looking at what God Himself says about your future, about His outlook and forecast for your life… unlike the weather, His forecast is always one-hundred percent reliable and trustworthy.

The Message of Jeremiah for Today

If you have read the book of Jeremiah before, or heard a sermon preached from it, the book probably seemed very legalistic. Such was the situation of the Old Covenant prophets – after all, they were still under the Old Covenant, and the Law of Moses was their life. Jeremiah’s message to the nation was to stop thinking that you are safe when you are committing so many terrible sins; he was warning the people of the coming judgment for not holding to their covenant obligations. A very serious and important message, and to be fair, he was actually doing the nation a favor, because that was their covenant, and by warning them to change he was giving them an opportunity to avoid punishment.

Sadly though, many believers today when they read the book of Jeremiah (or any Old Covenant prophet) and when such things are preached from pulpits, they are usually expounded upon as if the Old Covenant were still in-effect, striking the people with judgment and warnings to avoid committing sinful acts to avoid punishment, as if Jesus did not suffer punishment and finish His work on the cross. Jeremiah still carries a message for today, though it is a message that can only be seen in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ; and this is what we will be studying today.

Jesus Finished the Old Covenant

Last week we studied how Jesus Christ has ushered us into a new covenant with better promises. However even though this is absolutely true and a wonderful reality for us in Christ, there are still many believers who have an inward unrest within themselves – a doubt and a seed of confusion regarding whether they should still keep the Law of Moses. They know the scriptures, they know what we studied last week about not mixing the two covenants, but they still have some questions.

In the past when I have taught on the covenants, I always had questions arise about the Law, and indeed the same questions still come up today. So we will be addressing these same questions today in this study. Questions such as: Jesus said He didn’t abolish the Law, so does it still apply to believers? And also: Even in the New Covenant God says that He will put His laws in our minds and write them on our hearts, is this the Ten Commandments?

These questions have stumbled many believers over the years and kept alive this uncertainty and fear regarding the Old Covenant, and therefore they have not been able to fully embrace grace. So if this describes you, then the truth of Jesus in this study will set you free today.

The Love of Jesus in Matthew 18

You may have heard it before “If your eye offends you, pluck it out! If your hand offends you, cut it off!” These words spoken by Jesus are absolutely true and necessary – however when these verses are quoted, they are unfortunately extolled in a very negative and condemning way which fails to demonstrate the love of Jesus and reveal His heart.

That’s why today we are going to examine these famous words of Jesus, and see the details in what He said which will allow us to see that He was not speaking out of harshness or hardness but that He said these words out of His Perfect Love and care for us.