Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
December 2, 2017
The building caught fire and burned in 2014. What remained sat abandoned for three years. Finally, the city of Pocatello, Idaho, decided to condemn the building and have it torn down. While city officials were literally sending in the paperwork to have the 108-year-old Monarch Hotel condemned for demolition, two women bought it and are now in the process of restoring the historic structure and bringing it back to life.
“Most people think everything’s ruined inside,” said one of the purchasers. “But once you peel away what’s on the outside, I couldn’t believe what we found.” Hiding beneath years of grimy flooring was a beautiful hardwood floor. The women want to renovate the Monarch to look as much as possible like the original building. They are hoping the community will come together and help them restore one of Pocatello’s oldest “gems.”1
The restoration of the old Monarch Hotel reminds us of the salvation-experience of the apostle Paul, according to this week’s Sabbath school lesson titled, “No Condemnation.” Last week, we heard the apostle honestly share his condition before coming to Christ. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). Like the women who purchased the condemned Pocatello building, God saw something in Paul (and in all of us) and bought us through the blood of Christ.
The ownership of our lives changes hands when we give ourselves to Jesus. Paul begins the next chapter with words that bring us back to life: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (8:1). When we are “in Christ” we are no longer under condemnation. The devil may have marked us for destruction, but Jesus saw in each of us His original and beautiful design. Our lives may appear dilapidated and ready for demolition, yet the Lord knows what we can be if we will allow God to work in our hearts.
The paperwork of the law destined the old Monarch Hotel for destruction. When the purchasers stopped the law from being carried out by purchasing the building, they went to work and began restoring the structure. In the same way, Christ came to do what the law could not do. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (8:3, 4, emphasis added).
Have you put yourself in the hands of a new Owner? Jesus is ready to restore you according to the original design for your life.