Sunday, August 14, 2016

Faith in Conflict

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 / - Date: 14 August 2016

Text: Mark 9.14 - 29
Thesis: Faith is in conflict until surrender to the One who has all power.

1           Introduction

A. Profound weakness illustrated after the profound power of the Transfiguration
B. Profound weakness illustrated after counting the cost of discipleship
C. Profound power in Christ is coming!
D. It is NOT within man to direct his own steps! – Jeremiah 19.23
             1. No such thing as self-determination
             2. No such thing as self-improvement
             3. No such thing as self-development
             4. Man is not evolving towards perfection, he is devolving
 into death and destruction.

2          The “Who’s Right” / “Who’s Wrong” Argument – 9.14 - 18

A. The scribes assert that the disciples are a fraud
B. The disciples assert that the scribes are a fraud
C. Christ asserts that we are all frauds without Him

3          The Conflict of Faith is Confessed – 9.19 - 24

A. Not great faith, not little faith but FAITHLESS is who we are at the core.
B. Jesus inquires before Jesus takes action.  It’s not about “who’s right” but WHAT’S right.
C. “IF” not a faithless word but a faithful word
D. ALL things are possible for one who believes!
             1. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
 Philippians 4.13

4         Profound Weakness is Victorious in Christ – 9.25 - 29

A. “Immediately”
B. He didn’t simply ask, he CRIED out, he shouted with passion
C. A private expression of faith becomes a public blessing
D. Despite all this, doubt and disbelief remains
E. Despite all this, the disciples still wanted to know; “What’s wrong with us?”
F. It’s not “us,” it’s “ME”

5          The Meaning of the Text

A. Arguing about “who’s right” is pointless and futile
B. Any “faith” preceded with the word “self” is less than worthless
C. All power to do anything is in Christ Jesus alone!

6         The Challenge of the Text

A. We must admit that, at best, our faith is in conflict
B. We must admit that “self” has absolutely no power whatsoever at all
C. We must admit that all power, all authority and all results lie in Christ and in Him alone

7          “The Gospel Call”

·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here:
Ruins photo courtesy of:

·         On Friday night, August 19, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.

  NOTE: I bungled a statement regarding Ephesians 2.  In truth, we are saved "by grace and not works lest any man boast."  We work, not to get saved but because we are saved.  Though we are not saved by works of man, we ARE saved by the work of God, a work applied to us in baptism per Colossians 2.11 - 12.

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