How did you decide what type of church you wanted to start?

Kyle Davies   -  

This past Sunday, our pastor gave a powerful sermon on Romans 8:12-17 and what it means to live by the Spirit rather than the flesh. His main point was that we must put God’s purposes and priorities first in our lives rather than living for ourselves.

He began by acknowledging that families have all kinds of rules, some helpful and some harmful. He drew a parallel to the church, saying there are some “family rules” we want to embrace as a church community and others we need to break free from. For example, we don’t want to be a church built only on the pastor’s charisma or busy with programs at the expense of true discipleship. But at the same time, we don’t want to be so focused on avoiding extremes that we become the very thing we aimed to avoid.

Our pastor then shared how a question has haunted him for weeks: “How did you decide what type of church you wanted to start?” He went on to explain he doesn’t want the church that he wants. Rather, he wants the Spirit to lead and guide us. This requires humility and depending on God collectively, not just what he as the pastor wants.

He then dove into the core passage from Romans 8 about living by the flesh versus the Spirit. Paul presents two contrasting ways of being spiritually guided. One leads to death while the other leads to life. Trying to guide our own lives often crushes us, whereas following the Spirit’s leading brings freedom and life. We don’t have to learn life’s hardest lessons the hard way. We can learn from the mistakes of others who have gone before us. The path of depending on and following the Spirit is always best.

Our pastor explained that we come to know we are God’s children in two ways – by the Spirit testifying with our spirit. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that assures us we are not alone because God is with us. Our desires to love God and seek truth are evidence of His work in our lives. When this is combined with the Spirit’s testimony, we can cry out confidently to God as our Abba Father.

He then addressed how we can sometimes feel unworthy to come to God. We look at other people and assume they are too good for us to associate with. Or we feel too sinful to come before a holy God. But Jesus welcomes all to come and find rest in him. His invitation demonstrates we are part of God’s family.

Living by the Spirit means daily depending on Jesus instead of ourselves. It’s putting his purposes first and believing what he says about us being loved and adopted. As Romans 12 goes on to say, this plays out through loving each other, honoring one another, weeping and rejoicing together, blessing enemies, and overcoming evil with good. This only happens as God’s love and truth become greater realities than our own desires and perspectives.

In conclusion, our pastor explained the name “Generations” emerged from people asking “Where are you God?” and longing to see God build a family and community that makes him known. Just as Psalm 22 cries out asking where God is in the midst of despair, it concludes with confidence that the coming generations will declare what God has done.

Though a great work has begun, an even greater work remains unfinished. We must keep depending on God and pointing people to him. Our hope cannot be in our own abilities, but only in what Jesus has accomplished. By living each day led by the Spirit, we can put God’s purposes first and see many more declare the name of the Lord for generations to come.

This sermon was a powerful reminder that the Christian life is one of humility, surrender and complete dependence on the Spirit. It’s so easy to default to living for ourselves and our own agendas. But when we put God’s priorities first, we experience freedom from fear and the security of belonging to his family. My prayer is that our church community would continue to seek God’s Spirit over self so that many more would come to know and follow Jesus.