"For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable toward men". --Titus 3:3-8
The Biblical Gospel is an incredible reality! It teaches us that we were once alienated from God by our sin and our wicked desires and yet now we are saved! We're not saved by any amount of effort on our part or any amount of "goodness" that we can muster up. Instead, according to the riches of God's mercy He saved us & renewed us by giving us Himself, God the Holy Spirit. That means we are literally transformed from the inside out. At best, the world offers behavior modification, but God alone can offer & deliver inward spiritual transformation.
Yet, the biblical Gospel also requires repentance in order to be saved from our sin. It means to change your mind. Biblical repentance means that your mind is changed to the point that your behavior follows. This is why John the Baptist tells the pharisees to bear fruits worthy of repentance. AnneMarie shared with me recently that God's grace is against earning, not against effort. Biblical Grace stands against earning salvation, yet it invites & even expects a response of effort in loving & serving God & others!
To dismiss or detract from either of these Gospel truths is harmful at best and at worst can lead to false converts...people who believe themselves to be right with God based on a false or partial teaching about biblical salvation. It is good to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith Paul says. Let's make sure that we're not trying to earn something that God has given so freely & let's make sure that we're not cheapening a grace that was so costly!
The kiddos are full swing in school. We're doing a hybrid set up as we've said before. Once a week at a charter school & the rest of the time homeschooling. Alana is doing soccer and the boys are doing swim team once a week. Church is going well! There was a women's conference recently that was a great blessing! Sorry for the late letter this month. We're visiting New Mexico so things have been out of routine. AnneMarie and I went on our first overnight date in quite a long time. Thankful for the opportunity! We're best friends but we need that time to work on our friendship. It's been great to see family & friends!
AnneMarie has been able to really engage with our neighbor about the Lord & specifically about the biblical Gospel. I've had some opportunities at work to engage with others & to share the Gospel as well. We're also working to train our kiddos to engage others with truth & the Biblical Gospel as well. That's a process for sure. May God move by His Spirit in their lives.
Last week we did the ENGAGE Evangelism & Apologetics Conference. It was a HUGE blessing! God really worked and we even had a person walk in off the streets & make a confession for Christ in one of our small group sessions. There were people from at least 6 different churches there as well so it is building God's kingdom, not just a single church. If you're interested in seeing some of what God did, you're welcome to check out some of it at this link... Sunshine Church - YouTube
Anway, may God continue to bless you all & we're so thankful for the love & support from you all!
In Light of Eternity,
Corry, AnneMarie, Brendan, Patrick, Daniel, Alana, Emmie, Micah & new baby girl coming in December :)