I think we hit the sweet spot

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7b (CSB)
Our thought for today: “I think we hit the sweet spot”
I have mentioned in previous devotionals that one of the most helpful and enjoyable group Bible studies I’ve ever participated in and led was “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” by Philip Yancey. I love the emphasis on grace, kindness, and compassion. It’s so like Jesus. However, it’s not cheap grace. It’s not the kind of grace that provides weak Christians with a license to sin. It’s grace that is securely tethered to Biblical truth and then lived out in a kind and gracious manner.
The subject of grace is especially important to Yancey because he was raised in, and traumatized by, a stern fundamentalist religious culture that was heavy on wrath and threats and light on grace. I detest that kind of religion. It sets my teeth on edge. Personally, I have little tolerance for modern-day Pharisees.
Which brings me to the subject of our current sermon series at Oak Hill Baptist Church. We are studying Paul’s letter to the Romans. Paul had been the worst of all the New Testament Pharisees. Granted, at the time of writing Romans he had been a Christian for decades but still, here was this former Pharisee now writing the most important and concise letter on Christian doctrine in the New Testament. The potential for that doctrine to be communicated in a heavy, legalistic, and fundamentalist manner was high.
But Paul hit the sweet spot. He managed to balance doctrine and grace in a beautiful way that clearly communicates non-negotiable truth, but applied in a kind and compassionate manner.
When I consider our church life at Oak Hill Baptist, I think we have managed to hit that same sweet spot. Our church life is firmly grounded in sound doctrine based upon Biblical truth, and Oak Hill is also the most kind, compassionate, and gracious church family I have ever known. (Let me also be quick to note that the other churches I have had the privilege to serve as Pastor were fine congregations as well.)
I want to invite you to join us in our study of Romans. This week we will be in Romans 1:7-15 and the entire sermon will be an illustration of how Paul managed to achieve that sweet spot – that beautiful balance between non-negotiable truth, lived out in a gracious and kind way. The service begins at 10:00. If you are nearby, then please join us in-person. If you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, then join us online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville.
Paul hit that sweet spot. I believe we have too. And I think you can as well.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
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