Today was my first opportunity to preach as pastor of Pioneer Bible Church. I believed the Lord would have me give an introduction to our future ministry together as a church family. The following is an edited transcript of that introduction.
By way of introduction for our time as a church family, I want to read 2 Corinthians 3:18 to you. Please turn there, so you can see this verse with me.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
This verse has been a place of deep conviction for me in the past few months. Doug Hodges, a pastor friend of mine, pointed me to this verse and principle. Spiritual transformation in the life of the believer does not come through our own self-effort; it comes as we behold Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is everything. He is the central focus of all the Bible according to Luke 24:44-48 and John 5:39. He is the Messiah, God’s anointed and chosen Savior and Ruler. He is our great God and Savior, who died in our place for our sins to redeem us for Himself (Titus 2:13-14). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He is our sanctification and wisdom and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is our peace and cornerstone. He is the Head of the Body, the firstborn from the dead that in everything He may have the preeminence – the first place! (Colossians 1:18). May He have the first place in Pioneer Bible Church as a whole and in each of our hearts.
It is as we behold Him that we are transformed. So, brothers and sisters, in your personal Bible reading time, don’t just read the Bible but read to see and know Jesus. In every sermon you come to and every lesson you are involved with, no matter who is teaching, demand and expect to see Jesus.
As we come to the Gospel of Matthew, let’s not make this a lesson in the context of the Christmas account, although we will keep things in context. Let’s come to see Jesus. As we behold His glory, we will be transformed from one degree of glory to another.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.