Restoration Covenant Church | Arvada, Colorado

Teachings

Teachings from Sunday Services

A People Who Change - Transformation and Self-Denial [Ryan Ashley]

Blurb: At the center of our apprenticeship to Jesus is a symbol: the cross. We have lost the gravity and power of this image in our modern world. What it requires of us is lost or ignored in our culture. But, as we look at the invitation of Jesus to “deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me,” we have to wrestle with the call to self-denial in an age of self-fulfillment.

Luke 9:18-24, Galatians 5:16-24, Luke 9:57-60, Luke 14:25-33, Matthew 13:44


“Crucifixion was quintessentially a public affair. Naked and affixed to a stake, cross or tree, the victim was subjected to savage ridicule by frequent passersby’s, while the general populace was given a grim reminder of the fate of those who assert themselves against the authority of the state.”

Joel B. Green


“Self-Denial is the overall, settled condition of life in the kingdom of God, better described as ‘death to self.’ In this and this alone lies the key to the soul’s restoration. Christian spiritual formation rests on this indispensable foundation of death to self and cannot proceed except insofar as that foundation is being firmly laid and sustained.”

Dallas Willard


“My secret is that I want to be relevant and popular. I want my desires fulfilled and pain minimalized. I want a manageable relationship with an institution rather than messy relationships with real people. I want to be transformed into the image of Christ by showing up at entertaining events rather than through the hard work of discipline. I want to wear my faith on my sleeve and not look at the darkness in my heart. And above all, I want a controllable god. I want a divine commodity to do my will on earth well as in heaven.”

Skye Jethani – The Divine Commodity


“We subtly imbibe the implicit prosperity gospel through consumerism and advertising, but also through viewing the lives of other Christians who seem to lead amazing, meaningful, pleasure filled lives. We nly have to trawl through our Instagram feeds to find pastors, believing musicians, artists, authors, and activists who seem to live incredible lives. These people seem to have the best of both worlds: They follow Jesus and get to travel, live in cool neighborhoods, hang with really interesting people, have incredible marriages and rock the single life, and connect with the most amazing people.”

 

“We do not recognize the way in which the implicit prosperity gospel affects us until our unspoken expectations are not met. We understand that God would ask people in the Two-Thirds World to give things – to sacrifice – but our heresy hidden under the surface is our belief that God would not ask Western people to deny themselves.”

Mark Sayers – Disappearing Church


“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Jim Elliot


“St. Ignatius of Loyola notes that, ‘Sin is unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness.’ Until I am absolutely convinced of this, I will do everything I can to keep my hands on the controls of mu life because I think I know better than God what I need for fulfillment.”

David Benner

Restoration Covenant Church