Posts Tagged ‘ Christian ’

Sermon: Signs You're a Christian – 1 John 3:10-24

I preached again! I liked it. Like, wept some, got goosebumps some, enjoyed preaching it … a lot.

Please enjoy listening (click here if it does not work just below), and see my rough notes for all scripture references and basic thoughts. I am reading from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.

Signs You’re a Christian (1 John 3:10-24)

Read 3:10-11

        1:1, 2:7: Nothing new, known from the beginning

Read 3:12

        Genesis 4:3-5: Why did Cain murder Abel? His sacrifice was not accepted.
Why?
2 theories: 1) He could have asked Abel for an animal sacrifice. Could have, yes, but …
          2) He offered “an offering of the fruit” versus Abel’s “firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.” Abel offered the first and best, but Cain went for the bare minimum.
Genesis 4:6-7: Bare minimum can lead, at best, to complacency, and at worst to proof of not being saved.
Genesis 4:8-9: Our selfishness leads us to hatred, as John reminds us …

Read 3:13-15

        Testimony: Know I am saved, because I have loved the Church.
-Jim Harper – Pastor on the Titanic
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Pastor in Nazi Germany

Read 3:16-20

        Two things to remember:

  • Our sinful hearts:
    • Jeremiah 17:9-10
    • How righteous are we really?
      • Illustration with three volunteers (preferably one of the Paul’s, Jadon, and Scott as our prime example):
        • 1 at the left, representing Hitler and anti-christs
        • Student at the right, representing Christ
        • Scott (or someone) being moved for how much righteousness he has, starting out close to student, moving him until he is right next to “Hitler” to demonstrate how much better we are apart from Christ. Then, back over to hug “Christ” who has covered our sins with his own blood.
    • Romans 8:23 – awaiting the redemption of our bodies
  • Christ commanded that we help others, especially the Church (Galatians 6:10, John 13 especially v. 8)

Read 3:21-24

  1. If we believe, we are washed by Christ. Since we are washed by Christ, we should have clean consciences
    1. Sometimes, we struggle to let go of the past, making our consciences feel burdened …
    1. This is one reason Hebrews 10:19-25 (vv. 23-25) tells us to keep meeting together and encouraging each other, but also …
  2. Whatever we ask: See Ephesians 3:14-21 (v. 20)
    1. He meets all of our needs, knowing what we need before we ask (Matthew 6:8, 7:7-11)

What does this all mean for us?

  1. First, realize we can do nothing good apart from God
    1. Romans 3 – None are good nor seek God, all have sinned
    1. Luke 18:18-19 – Only God is good
    1. Philippians 4:13 – Through Christ alone can we do good things
  2. Second, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. (Ephesians 2)
    1. Realize our full need for Christ, repent of sins, and believe in His atoning work on the cross.
    1. As Ephesians 2 continues and reminds us …
  3. Third, we are made one with Christ and each other through Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit.
    1. We love Christ and His Church.
      1. Read your Bible
      1. Pray
      1. Meet regularly with other Christians
        1. Not just go to church on Sundays!
      1. Live out love for God
        1. Do good works as a response to the great love God has given
        1. Especially toward our brothers and sisters in Christ
        1. These reveal the Spirit’s work in us, that we love Christ by obeying His commands (John 15:12-14), all to the glory of the Father (meaning people see our love and good works and come to believe the Gospel!)

So, then, what are the commands we are to obey?

  1. Love God with all that you are (Matthew 22:37-38)
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40)
  3. Love one another as Christ has loved us (Sacrificially and with a servant’s heart) (John 13:34)
  4. Go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)

VerseD: 1 John 4:15

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
1 John 4:15, ESV

You cannot be a Christian and deny the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, that He was sent by the Father to save us.

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 4: Sad Realities

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post two weeks ago, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with. Previous was a look at how he rebuked those in leadership.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 6: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – Modern Comparisons

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how do we see nothing new in our leadership?

Modern comparisons:

  • The Divided leadership (remember that there can be bleed-over from group to group):
    • Pharisees – Got a lot right, but added a lot.
    • Sadducees – The compromised
      • Basically only used the Torah/Five Books of Moses
      • Messiah – Essentially, did not care
        • Maybe it was a real person, maybe it was Israel, maybe it was whoever was in charge.
          • The government could handle everything.
          • As long as they were in charge, more or less, of what the people believed, they were okay.
      • Resurrection?
        • Not a thing. This life is basically it.
        • Essentially, they were Deists
      • See Mark 12:18-27
      • Modern comparisons:
        • Much of this will come back up with Gnosticism
        • Functionally, atheists and agnostics, which leads to …
        • Science-ism – The belief that we can know/learn everything about the physical universe from science. No god needed.
        • Union Theological Seminary (ultra-left in every way)
        • Liberal denominations/churches – Spectrum, may be any to all of the following:
          • Inerrancy – Ideas/thoughts in the Bible are inerrant, if that
          • Lifestyle: Nothing inherently wrong with homosexuality, transgenderism, or most other ways of living (usually in committed, monogamous relationships … usually …)
          • Believe good people go to heaven. (For rebuttal, see Romans 3:23 and John 6:44-66 & 14:6)
          • God, if he or she exists, is all about love and freedom. Sin is at worst done away with, at best not real.
          • Science and the government are in essence more compelling than scripture, because our understanding has evolved over time. (Just like us)
        • New Apostolic Reformation and other ultra-/super-charismatic churches and movements
          • Yes, they are under this list, too. Watch the next two lists for Essenes and Zealots, as well!
          • We know more things from special revelation through modern apostles and prophets, even those who occasionally get it wrong.
            • Yes, even things that contradict Scripture.
          • Redeeming the things of the world and the occult for Christ.
            • Yes, even the things Scripture specifically calls wicked/evil/abominations
        • Many who attend church, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, or whatever. (So-called “Carnal Christians” and “Chreasters”, those who only attend on the holidays)
          • The people who attend church to be good, get that checkmark, or for family/friends, but they are just like anyone else who does not attend church.

VerseD: Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8, ESV

Notice there is nothing that says “Christian” in this list. It is okay to appreciate other things, as well.

We only need focus on the good and positive and honor Christ in our thoughts.

VerseD: Ephesians 4:1

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called
Ephesians 4:1, ESV

It is not enough to say you are a Christian. It takes more than simply going to church. It is a life change, and we should be growing in and showing love, respect, patience, and kindness to people while standing up for truth.

VerseD: Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17, ESV

As said in Hebrews, do not give up meeting together with fellow believers. We keep each other on track, in truth, and in the hope of Christ.

VerseD: Isaiah 6:8

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8, ESV

Jesus said to count the cost of following Him (Luke 14:25-33). Becoming a Christian means accepting the call to go and share God’s Word (Matthew 28:18-20).