Monday, January 29, 2018

The Character of Mary



LISTEN! to "The Character of Mary" on SOUNDCLOUD!

https://soundcloud.com/archdale-church-of-christ/sunday-morning-012818-luke-1-acoc-the-character-of-mary-russ-mcculloughj

“The Character of Mary”
“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *



Text
Luke 1.26 - 28



Thesis: Mary, though a sinner, has many Godly character qualities we would do well to emulate AND her character was not sufficient for her own salvation.
Introduction:
1.      My Mother once told me to “have character, don’t be one.”
2.    The Oxford Dictionary defines character as those “mental and moral qualities that define an individual.”
3.     Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines character as; “a mark by cutting or engraving, as on stone, metal, or other hard material...”   “A mark or figure made by stamping or impression, as on coins...”   “The peculiar qualities that distinguish (one person) from others.”
4.    Share quotes 1 through 5
5.     Did Mary’s good character make her favorable?
6.    Does my good character make me favorable?



Lawful
              Moral
                           Troubled
                                                Discerning
                                                                     Fearful
(“endued with Grace”) Ephesians 2.5, 8, 14 -18         FAVORABLE
                                                                     Great
                                                Son of God
                           Reign on David’s Throne
              Reign over Jacob forever
Eternal Kingdom

CONCLUSION:  

·       We find the Grace of God the same way Mary did – Concession, surrender, submission, obedience, contrition, and brokenness.

·       All the good character of all the good people of all time is not sufficient to warrant out salvation.

The Meaning of the Text in It’s Theological, Historical & Cultural Context: Favor, Grace, and Obedience CANNOT be separated!

The Challenge of the Text for Christians Today – “The question is not; “Do I know Jesus?”  The question is; “Does JESUS know me?”  

The question right now

The question when you pull out of the parking lot

The question at 5:30 this evening

The question tonight at bedtime

The question when you get up in the morning

The question when you clock in to work in the morning

The question when you clock out tomorrow evening

The question every day and in every circumstance

Write it on your mirror in your bathroom; “Does Jesus know me?”

Finding grace is not the same as surrendering to grace.  The Rich Young Ruler found grace and he walked away from grace.


“The Gospel Call”

Find favor,
be endued with Grace,
obey the Gospel! 

Whatever you do today, DON’T walk away from God’s Favor.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!”

·         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: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston
Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.


Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org 
Date:  28 January 2018


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