The second teaching of Scot McKnight on the Power of Pentecost was “The Power to Change”.
Last night Scot made the point that the Holy Spirt want’s to transform our abilities and transcend our inabilties. This process involves change.
Tonight we learned about the importance of embracing the cross in the process of change. We are able to overcome our inabilities through the power of the Holy Spirit by embracing the cross.
The cross is a symbol that reminds us that we have crucified ourselves and now we are living for Christ. The implication is that a start to do what I don’t want to do and stop doing what I want to do. Stop gossiping for instance; start being a more giving spouse; a more patient parent; more caring neighbour. By embracing the cross you start doing what God wants you to do.
We go through three faces on our way to embrace the cross:
1. We COMPETE against the cross.
When Jesus talked about the cross, Peter took Him aside saying that He (Jesus) should stop talking like that. (Mark 8) Peter competed against the cross. We compete against the cross by saying “no” to what we know God is expecting from us. The natural response against the challenge to deny myself on behalf of Christ, is resistance. The cross always reminds met that I must say “no” to my natural response, and say “yes” to what God is asking of me.
2. We CONFESS the cross.
On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36) Peter confess the cross to be everything Jesus said it would be. He actually come to point to confess that he was wrong about the cross, and that Jesus was right. When I confess the cross it becomes the pattern I use to make decisions. “This is the way Jesus Christ would wan’t me to do this.”
3. We have the CAPACITY through the Power of Pentecost to embrace the cross.
Acts 2:1-4 descirbes the moment Peter fully embraces the cross. To embrace the cross means that I accept the chalelnge to begin with those little things I would like to be better at: Pray better; Read the Bible better; Be a better neighbour to people I meet; Be a better spouse; Be a better parent; Be a better employee; Be a better employer; Be a better citizen; etc.
This is my summary of what I heard tonight. The challenge I heard was to embrace the croos up to the point that the cross shapes everything I do and everything I am.
The best would be to listen to Scot on: The Power of Pentecost – to change – Embracing the Cross.