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We Were Meant to Live for so Much More

We Were Meant to Live for so Much More

Fumbling his confidence
And wondering why the world has passed him by
Hoping that he’s bent for more than arguments
And failed attempts to fly, fly

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside

I was a high school junior when Switchfoot’s iconic song Meant to Live came out. I remember driving to work and school with this song on repeat. As someone who has always dreamed big dreams fueled by a wild imagination, I never really wanted a “quiet life.” While I didn’t know what living a quiet life actually meant in high school, I made myself a promise to never be stuck in a Secret Life of Walter Mitty existence. I had seen friends, family, and leaders waste away in the acceptance of just going with the flow, and it looked more like death than life. 

It had been years since I’d heard that song, and then in 2023, I heard not Jon Foreman but Jon Bellion singing Meant to Live as if it was a new hit single. Switchfoot, no doubt following in the footsteps of Taylor Swift, had re-released their “own versions” of their hits and even went one step further, inviting well-known artists to remake their hits. Instantly it was as if I was in high school again. Now, to be clear, I wasn’t hit with midlife regret. I’ve persistently said “yes” to what many said was crazy, and I have had an expanded imagination around the goodness of quiet living. But the song’s re-release did raise a question that will be raised until Jesus returns: What more is God rescuing me for today

Throughout history, Christians have spoken at length concerning the dangers of discontentment. The Apostle Paul reminds us that with Jesus, we truly have enough no matter our circumstances (Philippians 4:11). What a gift of the Christian life! But for as long as we are on this side of eternity, I also hold fast to how Paul modeled a holy discontent. 

Why? Deep within the infrastructure of salvation are dual, dynamically concurrent movements. God has magnificently rescued you and me through his Son Jesus through his life, death, burial, and resurrection “from” sin. Hallelujah! But that’s not the only movement. God is not just a “from” God. God is also a “for” God. God came not just to rescue us “from” sin and its consequence: death. God came to rescue us “for” life, although looking at some sectors of Christianity, you’d have no idea. Sometimes Christians can get so focused on the “from” that we no longer embody the “for.” 

This is why the Apostle Paul astounds me. He seemingly had everything this world had to offer before Jesus saved him. He was the best in his class. He had good pedigree, past experiences of God, and top-level leadership as a Pharisee in Jerusalem, the holy city! Then he gets a glimpse of the resurrected Jesus on a work trip, and he is confronted with life. 

The atrocity of Paul’s own sin was revealed to himself, along with the beauty of salvation from sin through Jesus’ sufficient death. Simultaneously, Paul saw life in the resurrected Jesus, and nothing compares to that resurrection life. Paul saw Jesus bringing a whole new way to live.

Not a kind of life where self-destructive habits continue to dominate and shame us while we tell ourselves our hope is just a promise on a piece of paper that when we die, it will be different. Not a kind of life that leaves us lonely without purpose. Not a kind of life that is contained to a few quiet times in Scripture and Sunday mornings. 

No. We were meant to live for so much more, but we’ve lost ourselves, partly because we’ve lost sight of salvation.

God wants us to live with him and thus find ourselves. A life that says “yes” to his healing. A life that grows our capacity to love him, others, and ourselves. A life that knows no end and knows higher bounds. A life that exists on more than the weekends. A life no one can take away. The life we were meant “for.” 

But resurrection life is not always the life we recognize. Paul himself didn’t recognize it at first. This is what Paul is writing about in Romans 6-8. He’s laying out how God has rescued us for real life, a life that looks and dwells with Jesus now

One way Christians have sought to open themselves up to this life they read about in Scripture is through contemplation. Contemplation is rich with spiritual practices and postures that Christians throughout history have engaged with to more fully experience and rest in their union with the Author of Life. Contemplation is sometimes still and sometimes not. It’s as rich as resurrection life when we lean in.

Take time to walk through a passage like Romans 6-8. Spend time in contemplation, considering what God might be saying to you. Join your church family in theFormed.life, which continues our daily journey through Scripture and building habits, such as the discipline of contemplation, as we grow into the life God has for us. 

We were meant for more, and he’s waiting.

Reading Romans with Douglas Moo |  POD 014

Reading Romans with Douglas Moo | POD 014

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HOSTS & GUESTS

Dr. Douglas Moo​ – Guest

Paul Brandes – C0-Host

Bill Gorman – C0-Host

Show Notes

Reading Romans with Douglas Moo

In today’s episode we are diving into an overview of the compelling and complex book of Romans. Our hosts, Paul Brandes and Bill Gorman are joined by special guest Dr. Douglas Moo, who brings his expertise as a renowned scholar and commentator on the book of Romans. Throughout the episode, our speakers reflect on their personal connections with the book of Romans, from their early encounters with commentaries to the challenges and rewards of teaching and preaching from this pivotal New Testament letter. They discuss the significance of Romans in Christian theology, its role in renewing the mind and transforming one’s thinking, and the practical application of its teachings in today’s culture. So grab your Bible and get ready to be inspired and challenged by the power of the gospel in Romans.

 

THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS:

The three key takeaways from this episode of theFormed.life are:

  1. The book of Romans is a crucial and transformative text in Christian theology. It addresses complex theological issues and provides a balanced view of the history of salvation, highlighting both continuity and discontinuity. Christians are encouraged to study Romans rigorously and at length to deepen their understanding of the gospel.
  2. Teaching Romans requires finding a balance in pace and depth. It is important to teach the text as a whole and not get overly fixated on specific words and ideas. However, covering too much of Romans in one teaching session can hinder a deep understanding. Pastors and teachers should aim for a pace that allows the audience to grasp the text’s argument and absorb its overall message.
  3. Renewing the mind and transforming thinking are central themes in Romans. The book challenges Christians to critically examine cultural perspectives and align their thinking with a thoroughly Christian worldview. The gospel is seen as the foundation for renewing one’s mind and living faithfully as a transformed individual.

 

#RomansOverview #TheFormedLifePodcast #DouglasMoo #BiblicalTheology #RenewingTheMind #GospelTransformation #TeachingRomansEffectively #IntegrationOfJewsAndGentiles #UnfoldingBiblicalNarrative #UnderstandingTheOldTestament

 

GUEST BIO:

Dr. Douglas Moo is a prominent biblical scholar who has dedicated his career to studying and teaching the New Testament. With an emphasis on rigorous exegesis and a focus on the Pauline and General Letters, he has written commentaries on James, 2 Peter and Jude, Romans, Galatians, Colossians, and Philemon. Dr. Moo’s commitment to applying the biblical text to both the church and his own life is evident in his active involvement in his local church as an elder, teacher, and preacher. He has also made significant contributions as a member of the Committee on Bible Translation, which revised the text of the NIV. Based at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for over two decades, Dr. Moo has mentored countless graduate students, guiding them in robust Greek exegesis and encouraging them to consider the ultimate significance and application of the biblical text. His ongoing projects include commentaries on 1-2 Thessalonians and Philippians. A lover of travel and photography, Dr. Moo enjoys exploring the world with his wife, Jenny. They have five grown children and thirteen grandchildren.

 

QUOTES:

“One of the things that Romans accomplishes for us is giving us a balanced view of the history of salvation, bringing together the continuity and discontinuity of that history.”
— Dr. Douglas Moo

 

“I don’t think pastors should be afraid to join an application that is not as practical and specific as sometimes is the case. So to leave people at the end of the service: “ Now what’s the application out of this text?” Here’s the application. Here is the truth of what God is teaching us. We need to absorb that. We need to think about it. We need to find ways of impeding that on our brains and hearts and not get too concerned about if this word is relevant or maybe making relevance to narrow in its focus. Something that’s practical and can be done, rather than a relevant something. That affects our thinking and attitudes.”
— Dr. Douglas Moo

 

“The new perspective positively, First of all, has reminded us about this matter of Paul’s own 1st century context. A context again in which the key issue faced in the church was how do we integrate gentiles into the people of God and how do we read the old testament as a genuine Christian book pointing to Chris?. That was the big issue that they faced in those days, and Romans had a great deal to say about that.”
— Dr. Douglas Moo

 
KEYWORDS:

commentary work, providential invitation, largest commentary, preach, Bible College, excited, hotly debated passages, summarize, compel, study, rigor, Graham Coles, significant, 66 books, complement, teach, continuity, discontinuity, Jewish Christians, Torah, gentiles, spiritual status, rooted, mix, pace, church schedules, congregations, specific words, teaching session, understanding, argument, application, practicality, relevance, narrow, practical, thinking, attitudes, new perspective, integrating Gentiles, Old Testament, Christian book, individual question, right relationship with God, narrative, creation, fall, Israel, Jesus, church, transition, renewing the mind, failure, cultural issues, Christian way, political and cultural perspectives, transformed thinking, transformed activity, frustration, theological issues, gospel, opportunity, providential calling from God, enthusiasm, pastors, preachers, impact, mistakes, tips, favorite professor, biblical theology, tracing themes, missing, unfolding story, redemption, new creation.

CHAPTERS:

[00:02:53] Interest in gospels shifted to Paul’s theology. Invited to write commentary on Romans.
[00:05:50] Romans: Gospel, integration of gentiles, unity.
[00:08:24] Romans is a powerful book in Christianity.
[00:11:07] 66 books complement each other, emphasizing continuity.
[00:15:57] Pace and depth matter in teaching Romans.
[00:20:10] New perspective focuses on integrating Gentiles.
[00:23:57] Inclusive biblical scholarship: diverse paths to salvation.
[00:27:20] Translating mindset in NIV; Excited to read commentary.
[00:30:13] Retreating to Wisconsin, capturing serendipitous deer moment.

Romans Series Overview with Bill & Tom |  POD 013

Romans Series Overview with Bill & Tom | POD 013

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RESOURCES

HOSTS & GUESTS

Tom Nelson – Guest

Bill Gorman – Host

Show Notes

Romans Series Overview with Bill & Tom

In today’s episode, we are joined by Tom Nelson, our lead senior pastor, for an enlightening conversation about the significance of this powerful letter to the Romans. Bill and Tom discuss the shifting focus of the church over time and how Romans speaks to essential questions like: who Jesus is, how we’re saved, and what it means to be human.

 

THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS:

The three key takeaways from this episode of theFormed.life are:

1. The significance of the book of Romans: The episode highlights the importance of the book of Romans in understanding key theological concepts and how they relate to our current cultural context. Romans touches on themes like the identity of Jesus, salvation by grace through faith, and what it means to be human.

2. The process of selecting sermon series: Bill and Tom discuss how Christ Community determines the focus of their teachings, taking into account the needs of the congregation and cultural context. They emphasize the importance of teaching the whole counsel of God and the joy of diving into different genres of literature within the Bible.

3. The transformative power of Romans: The episode emphasizes the transformative impact that studying and engaging with the book of Romans can have on individuals. Through understanding God’s incredible love, the rescue mission of Jesus, and aligning with God’s design and moral excellence, Romans has the potential to bring about personal and communal transformation, restoring God’s worldview in a culture that may be eroding foundational beliefs.

#RomansTeachingSeries #BiblicalExposition #GodsLove #GraceThroughFaith #IdentityinChrist #GospelCenteredLiving #CulturalDiscernment #TransformationalJourney #WitnessesForJesus #RestoringGodsWorldview

 

QUOTES:

“Romans not only tells us what we’re saved from — As glorious that is — praise God, but it tells us what we’re saved for… to be on mission with him in the world in his kingdom.'”
– Tom Nelson

 

“I think we’ve been compelled from the very beginning of Christ Community that as Paul says, he did not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God.”
Tom Nelson

 

“So I think we also sometimes can fall into, oh, this is a left brain, logical book, but it speaks to the wholeness of who we are as people.”
– Bill Gorman

 

RESOURCES:

TheFormed.life

KEYWORDS:

teaching series, book of Romans, Christ Community, significance, spiritual journey, childhood story, selecting sermon series, cultural moment, hopes and prayers, faith in Jesus, Holy Spirit, incredible transformation, brilliant book, Kingdom of God, preaching, discernment, precision, core belief, Protestantism, grace, human agency, obedience, different genres of literature, processing information, mind and emotions, transformative power, influential figures, spiritual formation, witnesses and ambassadors

CHAPTERS:

[00:02:49] Romans 8:1 changed life, discussing importance of letter.
[00:05:42] Romans aids understanding of God’s incredible love.
[00:11:38] Teaching scripture through exposition in various genres.
[00:15:12] Seek the Lord, live for Him always.
[00:18:27] Hope: people find faith in Jesus, transformation.

Romans: Real Rescue

Romans: Real Rescue

Where do you turn for rescue? Life can feel like a turbulent storm, tossing us amidst uncertainty and doubt. But deep within our hearts, we yearn for a way out, a glimmer of hope that can rescue us from the challenges we face. 

It is in these moments that the timeless words of the Apostle Paul in the book of Romans come alive, offering us a profound message of rescue, redemption, and restoration. In this book of Scripture, we encounter the truth that God is the ultimate Rescuer. 

We have all fallen short, trapped in a web of sin, and separated from our Creator. Paul’s letter to the Romans reveals God’s incredible rescue plan that has transformed lives and altered the course of history for the last 2,000 years—and it can do the same for you. 

Sunday, August 13 is the beginning of a new sermon series covering the first five chapters of Romans. Lead Senior Pastor Tom Nelson sat down with Bill Gorman on TheFormed.Life Podcast to discuss how the book of Romans has impacted them personally, what they hope this series will provide to the congregation, and even a little peek into how the teaching series are selected at Christ Community.