Often, in order to build something new, we must tear down the old first. Real estate developers do this all the time, when they tear down old buildings or clear out trees to create the space for a new structure to rise. The military does this with new recruits at boot camp where they tear them down to build them up into battle-ready soldiers. Last week, Tom L talked about “roof off, walls down” as the way to have honest (and vulnerable) dialogue. The Bible has a lot to say about getting rid of the old to make way for the new. I call this “Raze to Raise”.
John 12:24-25 - “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
Things to think about:
· “Raze” is a funny word because it sounds just like a more common word that means its opposite. It comes from the same origin where we get our word razor.
· Our verse tells us that sometimes we must go backwards to go forward:
o The kernel of wheat dying before it becomes a plentiful harvest
o Losing your sinful life to gain eternal life
· Even Jesus wasn’t exempt from this principle.
o John 2:19-20 – “Jesus answered, ‘Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.’ They were indignant: ‘It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?’ But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple.”
· Where else do you see this truth played out in the world at large or in your personal life?
· In our relationship with God, the first razing is to self
o Proverbs 15:25 - God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant; He stands with those who have no standing.
o Matthew 16:24-25 - Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
o Psalm 32: 5 - Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
o Hebrews 12:1 - …let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…
§ The razor of daily confession
· In order to maintain healthy relationships with one another, we must also raze our pride sometimes
o James 5:16 - Therefore confess your sins to each other…
o Matthew 5:23-24 - “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
· When we do this, we allow for the raising up of one another
o Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
o Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
o Hebrews 3:13 - But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
When we raze our fears, flaws, and failures we allow God to raise us up in sonship with Him and fellowship with one another. And all of this results in His P-raise!