Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Something happened to all creation the moment sin entered God’s perfect garden. Pain, thorns, weeds, illness, sorrow and regret became part of life—all things absent in God’s original design. The Apostle Paul’s description of the affect sin had on creation is found in Romans 8:18-23. He says that creation has been groaning as if in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time, waiting for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed. When God’s Children are revealed or show up, then even creation will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the Children of God. Hmmm…a renewed, restored creation. Now that sounds like something worth showing up for.
Here’s what I think Paul is talking about—when we, as God’s Children do the good work we were designed to do in Christ , and which has been waiting there for us to get busy with (Ephesians 2:10), in other words, when we show up, the good work we do has an effect on creation (the world around us) so that even creation begins to be set free from the curse brought upon it by human rebellion (sin).
This is what Jesus said he came to do and acknowledged that this work of his was predicted by the prophet Isaiah. He said,
The Spirit of the lord is on me,
Because he has anointed me to preach good new to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
And recovery of sight for the blind,
To release the oppressed,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
The Apostle John understood that Jesus had come to destroy or undo the work of the devil (1 John 3:8). And we can see all through the Gospel accounts of his life and ministry thatthat was exactly what Jesus was up to. The rest of the New Testament is telling us as Followers of Jesus, that that is exactly what we should be up to too.
At FCC we intentionally partner with people and organizations who are also about undoing the devil’s work in our world, so that creation begins to experience liberation from its bondage to decay—to be set free from the curse. Along Side Ministries is one of those organizations. ASM is addressing an area where creation is groaning deeply—the hopelessness of the incarcerated. ASM is doing more than any other prison ministry we know of to set prisoners free from what got them into prison in the first place. We are proud of this partnership and believe that ASM is helping FCC become a church that is showing up as the sons and daughters of God, doing the work which has been waiting for us to do and for which God has designed us.