Friday, October 14, 2005

"The Inevitable Discovery"

A single discovery can change things forever.

Two Australians, doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, won the Nobel Prize in medicine last Monday for a discovery that defied decades of medical belief and revolutionized the treatment of ulcers.

They showed that bacterial infection — not stress — causes ulcers in the stomach and intestine.

The long, classic teaching in medicine was that the stomach was sterile and so nothing was supposed to be able to grow there because of corrosive gastric juices. Everybody believed there were no bacteria in the stomach.

The idea of stress and other things like that, as the cause of ulcers, was just so locked into people’s minds that no one could really believe that it was bacteria.

But Marshall and Warren believed the bacteria came first, causing inflammation, then ulcers. So they began testing their hypothesis.

To make his case, Marshall even deliberately infected himself by swallowing a culture of H. pylori.

He said this...

"I developed a vomiting illness and had severe inflammation in the stomach for about two weeks," he told The Associated Press. "I didn't actually develop an ulcer, but I did prove that a healthy person could be infected by these bacteria, and that was an advance because the skeptics were saying that people with ulcers somehow had a weakened immune system and that the bacteria were infecting them after the event."

Dr. Warren, a retired pathologist, said it still took a decade for others to accept their findings.

But their 1982 discovery eventually transformed peptic ulcer disease from a chronic, frequently disabling condition to one that can be cured by a short regimen of antibiotics and other medicines.

One discovery can change everything forever.

Today, we’re going to talk about a discovery that’s more personal – a discovery that when every follower of Jesus first stumbles upon it.

How we deal with this discovery will free us or enslave us.

Last week, we looked at the most amazing concept the Bible teaches us: grace.

We talked about a new comedy on NBC called “My Name Is Earl”. It’s a show about a guy who’s had bad luck his whole life and discovers the idea of karma. He makes up a list of everything he’s ever done wrong and attempts to make things right. He hopes to fix his karma and tip the scales back so that good things begin to happen in his life.

In our society, karma is a very hip and easily digested concept.

We talked about the difference between karma and grace:

• Karma says we get what we deserve based on what we’ve done.
• Grace says we get what we don’t deserve based on what God’s done!

Like I told you last week, I’ll take grace over karma any day!

The ideas of grace is what makes Christianity different than any other religion.

Most other religions are basically based on what you can do to get to God/heaven, but Christianity is all about what God did to get to us!

Some people think grace just means God overlooks or ignores your sin – that he lets you get away with it. But last week we saw that that’s wrong! God NEVER overlooks sin!

The punishment still had to happen. The payment for sin still had to be made. It’s just that God paid the cost for our sin when he had Jesus died on the cross to make the punishment for our sins. He conquered death for us when Jesus rose again from the dead.

For the next 5 Sundays we'll be looking at the book of Galatians. It's a book that is all about grace and how to receive it. I'm calling this series “Extreme Faith Makeover”.

I’m calling it this because just like on the show Extreme Makeover where they take someone who’s body has been sagging and dragging and make them not just as good as they were before, but even better. (*Show before and after picture)

I want to help adjust our faith and understanding not only back to what it was, but get it to a place where its even better than it was before.

We can’t live in the freedom God has for us unless we understand and believe the right things! That’s the goal of this series: to give our faith an extreme makeover!

Today we’re going to look at the Galatians 2.

Hear the message below:

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