Bryon Scott's Blog

A blog about faith, leadership, and church planting

Pastor Bryon Scott

Listening to Christ. Leading Christians. Loving the world.

Pastor

Bryon has been pastoring churches since 2005, and in ministry for over 20 years. He currently is the planting-pastor of Engage Community Church in Lemon Grove, Ca.

Coach

Bryon is a certified coach with the Wesleyan Church. He helps people like you narrow their focus and increase effectiveness.

Wedding Officiant

Bryon also loves officiating weddings. He is certified in the Prepare-Enrich marriage preparation system and crafts personal wedding ceremonies that reflect the unique personalities of the bride and groom.

Latest Posts

Better Together

“…you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:19–22 (NIV)

There is, today, a growing belief that the essence of Christianity is simply and only a confession of faith in Jesus as savior. There is no real need for life-changing, life-challenging, life-chiseling growth in the context of community. As a matter of fact, many Christians now argue that Christian community is actually an impediment to healthy Christian growth. This is an understandable sentiment, as nothing is more helpful in reminding you that humans are not perfect than trying to do faith-filled life with imperfect Christians.

There is one big problem with the mindset that we can be healthy Christians outside Christian community: It is entirely unbiblical. Paul, the “salvation by grace alone” trumpet-blower was also ruthlessly committed to Christian community. He was convinced that there was no way a Christian could mature in Christ by him/herself. This is why he states that we are “joined together” and “built together.” And, while it is true that every believer has the Holy Spirit, when Paul says you are “a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit,” that “you” is the collective, plural “you.” His meaning is clear, the Holy Spirit dwells in community.

Why is this important? From the beginning, our need for God’s grace has always been demonstrated by two things: selfishness and division. Selfishness is all about your needs being more important than other. Division is all about removing the impediment to your needs. Every sin can be traced to self, and every sinful action leads to division. It is through the redemption of Christ that selfishness is replaced with selflessness and division with unity.

We need each other precisely because we cannot become what God designed us to be outside of each other. We cannot overcome selfishness in isolation. Selflessness is only experienced, learned, and practiced in community. We are better together precisely because being together is what makes us better.

Our Once and Future Salvation

“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” – ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:23-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When you think about your salvation, what do you think about?

Do you thank God for that moment on the Cross when Jesus died for your sin? Do you conjure up the moment of decision when you finally received God’s free gift of forgiveness? Or perhaps you think about the prayer you prayed to ask Jesus into your heart and remove your sin?

All of these are appropriate reflections on the salvation that Christ brings us. They all have one thing in common: The focus is on what Christ saved us from. But salvation is so much greater than what may have happened in an instant. God’s grace carries so much more power and promise than to rescue us from the punishment of our sin.

In today’s verse, Paul urges you to see your salvation not only through the lens of what you have been saved from, but also what you have been saved for. You have been saved to be a host of the Holy Spirit. When you received forgiveness, you also received the person of God in the Holy Spirit into your being. In that moment, you became new. You are not merely an improved you, you are an entirely remade you.

God remade you so that you could do what you were never before able to do: think God’s thoughts and adopt God’s attitudes.

Do you know what happens when we think God’s thoughts and adopt His attitudes? We end up doing what God would do; not out of obligation or compulsion, but out of our very nature. When we think like God thinks we do what God wants. It’s as simple as that.

So, the Cross of Christ saves you, not only from the punishment of sin, but also from the power of sin over your life. It is when you start to experience this greater understanding of salvation that you begin to comprehend (and believe!) that, all along, you were created to be like God. For the believer that allows the Spirit to renew his thoughts and attitudes, righteousness and holiness are not things to be attained, but destinies to be fulfilled.

Nature and Grace

Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters
fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD.
– Isaiah 11:9 (NLT)

There are places in scripture when God gives us a glimpse of what is to come. Believers find life in the God’s assurance that a day is coming when there is no hurt or destruction; when everyone knows God, and everyone lives godly lives. In these words, God gives us a great and powerful promise: things are not always going to be as they have been, and we will not always be what we have been. A day is coming when we will love, think, act, and worship like Jesus.

What makes these brief glimpses so powerful is that they stand in stark contrast to our current reality. The world we live in is harsh, cruel, heavy, and unforgiving. The bright colors of hope that flow from Isaiah’s prophecy are intensified by our experience of present suffering.

This contrast is not only of our own experience. In scripture, hope and restoration is almost always in response to the experience of desperation. Isaiah’s vision of a world in which the wolf lives with the lamb and children joyfully play with vipers (Isaiah 11:6, 8) comes immediately after his prediction that God is releasing retribution upon His people for their sin. It comes after God has declared that “only a remnant will be left.” Theirs is a world of chaos and pain—and here’s the rub—God’s people are the authors.

The contrast between the pain of our current world and the world we hope to see mirrors the contrast between the people of God as they are and the people of God as He will make them. Isaiah’s people—the Jews—were God’s people, just as the church is today. Just like them, we have been born with a nature that is opposed to God in every way. Our desire is to live in a world of peace, comfort, and joy, but our nature is to strive for our own interests, regardless of how selfish they may be. As Paul puts it, “I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate (Romans 7:15).”

Chaos.
Pain.
Destruction.
This is the natural fallout of the nature of mankind.

The good news is that our destiny is in no way linked to our nature. It is, instead, bound to the nature of God, which is grace. How is it that we can look forward to a restored humanity? Out of the remnant, Isaiah claims, will come a branch—a branch full of the Spirit: “the Spirit of Wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).” We know this branch to be Jesus, the Christ. Through Him, everything that we were designed to be will be. Through His grace, the world will be filled with “people who know the Lord,” and they will know Him in such a way that they will be like Him. Instead of chaos, character. Instead of pain, praise.

That’s grace.