Sunday, September 29, 2013

A new Creation

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17

When a person comes to faith in Christ there will be some evidence of this faith in their lives. You won’t see perfection in a Christian, but what you will see is something different in that person. You will see some evidence that a person has a relationship with Christ.

Now it’s very important to we understand that we aren’t talking about being saved by works. You aren’t a Christian because you don’t curse or smoke or cut people off in traffic or because you go to church or give money to charity.

Everyone sins and falls short of God’s glory, but through Christ we are forgiven of those sins. A Christian is someone who calls on Christ to save them from their sins. (Romans 3:23-26)
You’ll see these differences more clearly in some Christians than in others – we’re all a work in progress and we all grow in Christ at different rates. “

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Christian Should not Quit ( Introduction )

The Bible describes Christianity as dynamic and energetic.  There's nothing lazy about it.  The New Testament uses some action-packed verbs to depict our lifestyle.  Words like:  "fight, run, contend, seize, expend, exercise, and labor."  Although Christianity offers an inner repose, it's not a life of leisure.
Fulfilling the Great Commission demands activity.  Jesus commanded Believers to "go" to reap the harvest.

Again emphasizing evangelism, Jesus used the word "compel" to demonstrate the means of tearing some people from Satan's clutches.

Even Luke's title for Acts indicates the activity demanded for Christian living: "The Acts of the Apostles."  The reason the Holy Spirit accomplished so much in the first century is because Believers were available and willing to cooperate with His plan.

If there's anyone Satan fights it's the action-oriented, "doer of the Word" Christian.  He has a full array of weaponry to distract them and He'll fire and detonate every weapon in his arsenal to oppose them.

(Illustration)  (Satan's Sale of Goods . . . hate, pride, greed, murder . . . but it's the weapon of discouragement that is so frequently used.) 

The reason Satan uses discouragement against Christians so frequently is because He knows its repercussions.  Discouragement is the precursor of several disorders:

It creates a distrust of God.
It begets resentment toward others.
It indulges self-pity.
It brings guilt.
It assumes a depressed outlook of life that, in turn, creates doubt, worry, and complaining.

That's why you should carefully discern your motivation for discontinuing any Kingdom work.  Does your motivation redound to discouragement or the Holy Spirit's leading?  Never quit out of frustration or discouragement, because Satan wants to neutralize your Kingdom effectiveness.  Always remember, you are under divine orders to persevere and finish the race and that means it's impossible to quit and yet succeed in the Christian life.

(Illustration)  Golfers have a maxim that's occasionally used on the putting green.  "You can't sink a putt, short."  Meaning, if the ball isn't stroked hard enough to reach the hole it cannot be sunk.  A putt can never be sunk that is stroked too weakly.  That's why great golfers putt to the "pro side" of the hole rather than the short side.

Similarly, let me encourage you, as Christians, to aim for the pro side of the Kingdom.  Make a solid, sure shot and don't allow discouragement or other hindrances cause you to fall short or quit.

(Transition)  This sermon deals with three reasons Christians should not quit.  First, Christians must not quit because only the overcomers are crowned.  Secondly, Christians must not quit because God uses people to accomplish His plans.  And Third, Christians must not quit because, A harvest awaits every faithful worker.