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Refrigerator Art
08/28/2011
Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:1-13; 2 Corin...
Track 1 of 6 in the A Freedom Journey series
Refrigerator art is something that is important in the life of a child and the relationship he has with his parents. Now why am I talking about refrigerator art Because in the end, the best I can offer God is nothing more than refrigerator art. My perspective of the realities of God is so childish and undeveloped in comparison to the real understanding of God. Even though I believe I made a masterpiece, in Gods reality, my masterpiece is really distorted and elementary but God loves the piece we give him and cherishes it anyways because of who we are to him.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Refrigerator Art

Have you ever been lost before? I’m not talking about finding yourself in an area that is unfamiliar territory like a new city or new neighborhood; I’m talking about being lost in an area you lived all your life? Now I know that sounds really weird but it can happen. One day you wake up and you find what should be normal surroundings to be unrecognizable. You begin to panic because you can’t find your way around and things no longer make sense.

I’m not talking about suffering from a mental disorder or physical ailment; I’m talking about actually looking at situations around you and not recognizing where you are or where you are going. For many Christians, we have been taught all their lives what to believe and in many cases, we were taught why we believe what we believe to wake up one day and realize that we never had taken the time to learn how to believe.

One of the first places this gets tested is when a child grows up, has a great church life and then goes off to college. For the first time, without mom and dad around, they are exposed to opposite points of view or beliefs that rival their own and quickly they begin to fade away because they can’t defend themselves. They know what they have been taught but they never were taught how to believe so they could make day to day decisions on their own and stay in step with God.

This doesn’t just happen to young college students; many adult Christians struggle with the same reality. What happens when we are faced with a situation that really isn’t discussed in the scriptures? These are the issues that we don’t talk about in class or hear sermons preached in church. Issues like entertainment choices, operating in the cyber world, humanitarian efforts, social drinking, language, tattoos and the list goes on. There are literally hundreds of gray areas a Christian has to make decisions on. What would God have us believe about all the moral and ethical issues we face?

True or False: Christ has set us free to live a free life.

The reality of this statement is true but how many Christians know what that is and how many know how to live it out every day? We spent a lot of time this year dealing with the topic of freedom. We spent time talking about getting our lives to a place where we are free to chase the wild goose and we spent time studying about what a better freedom was, slaves to Christ.

From what we learned about freedom in Christ, someone describe exactly what it is and what it looks like every day as the church lives it out to a lost world? How does it look within the church? How does it look outside the church?

What is fascination to me about freedom, God introduced it to man right at the beginning of his creation. When God created man, he gave man a life to live and it was a free life. Freedom is what God intended from the beginning but man messed it up when he disobeyed. There are terrible consequences when man refuses to live a life that is free.

Genesis 2:15-17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Before we try to go out and live a free life, it is really important to understand a working definition of freedom. In Genesis God described what Adam’s freedom was all about. This is important to know because what God sees as freedom is different than man’s understanding of freedom. Too often the church fears the concept of freedom because we view it from our perspective, not God’s

There are 3 distinguishing components in the way God defined Adams’s freedom:

• Respect: Adams was to respect God’s words: And the LORD God commanded the man.
• A Responsibility: Man was to stay within the boundaries outlined by God.
• Consequences: There are consequences for crossing over the boundaries set by God.

Of course, when boundaries are set, what is the first temptation that follows? What are some of the thoughts that go through our minds when we entertain the notion of crossing boundaries that we are not to cross?

Satan was very quick to go to Adams and Eve and test them on what they knew of the boundaries set by God. God already painted the picture of what it meant to live a happy and free life. Adam and Eve’s response paints a picture of freedom mishandled and eventually lost. Genesis 3:1-13 then provides the unfolding events of a downward slide into sin.

Genesis 3:1-13 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

• Doubt and denial of God’s words (1-4)
• Replacement of the truth (4-5)
• A sense of entitlement (5)
• A desire to have equality with God (5-6)
• Man’s first experience with shame (7-10)
• A victim’s mentality (11-13)

Now we all might think the story or Adam and Eve is a little grim in the end but if we think about it, all of us share this to some degree in our lives. But what is so fascinating about this story is God was not satisfied with the choice man made and he set into motion a plan to restore the freedom man was created to enjoy. Jesus came to set the captives free. We were captive to our own sin and God wants us to be free from all that pain and agony. But the questions always arises, free to do what?

Describe for me what is pasted or magnetized to the front and sides of your refrigerator? Why do you use the refrigerator? How many great works of art can be found there? What do they look like and do they resemble any sense of reality?

Refrigerator art is something that is important in the life of a child and the relationship he has with his parents. Now why am I talking about refrigerator art? Because in the end, the best I can offer God is nothing more than refrigerator art. My perspective of the realities of God is so childish and undeveloped in comparison to the real understanding of God. Even though I believe I made a masterpiece, in God’s reality, my masterpiece is really distorted and elementary but God loves the piece we give him and cherishes it anyways because of who we are to him.

So what are the realities of a life made free by Jesus? When Jesus set us free, what was it that he did and what is it that he wants us to freely do? What are the limitations and how much freedom do we have within those limitations?

Our entire identity can be summed up in this one simple phrase, “In Christ”. And if this is true, then what are the realities that surround us? Paul wrote about these realities when he wrote to the Corinthian church. They were struggling a lot with the realities of freedom. That church existed of former Jews who saw life as one that followed the rules of God without fault. Also within that church were Gentiles who didn’t know those rules and lived by a different perspective on what freedom meant. Paul wrote about the realities a Christian lived in and what those realities meant.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Next week when we get together, we will look at the three realities that a Christians experiences when we live a life that is free given to us by Jesus.