Living Between the Edens

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments
Many of us have believed the lies of the Enemy for way too long.  As we do that we begin to embrace those lies and live them out.  This is why some believers eventually embrace a gay identity rather than their true identity in Christ. 
One of the main purposes we exist as a ministry is to provide a safe place for gay people and their loved ones to work through this process and to embrace their true destiny and their true identity in Christ.  This is also an important role for the Church to embrace regardless of what the issues may be.  We are called to encourage one another, to stir up one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).  Paul calls us to “be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds” (Romans 12:2).  This is a major part of spiritual warfare that all believers battle.  However, if we believe the Enemy’s lies long enough we will walk in negativity and defeatism.  But as we grow in our belief of who GOD says we are in Christ we walk in liberty, joy and peace.
My pastor (Aarron Schwartz, pastor of Restoration Church Nashville) is preaching through a series he calls “Living between the Edens.”  The basic premise is to remind us that we are living in a fallen and broken world and to walk in redemption does not mean we are suddenly exempt from temptation or suffering.  Men and women who experience attractions to the same sex and who come to JESUS are not necessarily instantly “cured” from those attractions. 
Paul declares: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).  To embrace a gay identity is to embrace a “yoke of slavery.”  In Romans 8:1 Paul makes another incredible declaration:  “Therefore (see Romans 7:24 & 25 for why the “therefore” is there) there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
However, it is not that we have been delivered from temptation, struggles, and suffering in this world, but that in the midst of them we have been set free from the Law because JESUS condemned sin in the flesh through His death on the cross; something the Law could never accomplish.  Hear what Paul is saying:  Our redemption is a work GOD accomplished by condemning sin (not us) in the flesh and, therefore, the requirement of the Law is fulfilled in us because we are now in the Spirit (Romans 8:2-4; 9).
Because we have divorced salvation from sanctification, and have preached a gospel of “cheap grace” and “easy believism,” (works-based salvation) we have lost the beauty of holiness that is so essential to walking in freedom while living in this fallen world.
It is critically important that we as believers recognize the biblical truth that redemption has three levels:  (1) Justification (we have been redeemed) – the instantaneous born again experience where the old man has been crucified with Christ & the new man is risen (Romans 5:18; Romans 6); (2) Sanctification (we are being redeemed) – the journey of “living between the Edens” in this world and growing in holiness and Christ-likeness (Romans 7:15-25; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 and much of the New Testament); (3) Glorification (we will be redeemed) – embracing our true destiny through shedding the body of flesh and receiving a glorified body for eternity (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 2 Corinthians 4:14-18).

The mission of Sight Ministry is to share the redemptive process of the GOSPEL OF JESUS with individuals for whom homosexuality is a reality.  We attempt to fulfill our mission basically in three ways:  (1) Through Mentoring and Discipleship:  One-On-One and Small Groups; (2) Through Assimilation into the local church; (3) Through Outreach to the gay community.

It is important that those of us who choose to follow JESUS rather than our sexuality find a safe place to live and walk “between the Edens” so we can embrace all that GOD has created us for and all that He has redeemed us for.  This is the call of the Church.

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