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Accountable

(46)

Sermon shared by Charles Mallory

July 2001
Summary: Through accountability we can know the difference between sowing from the flesh and sowing from the Spirit.
Denomination: Free Methodist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
GOOD WORKS DO NOT SAVE US. RATHER, GOOD WORKS COME AS A RESULT OF BEING SAVED. GOOD WORKS ARE THE FRUIT BORN OUT OF A LIFE THAT IS PLANTED FIRMLY IN A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.

IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT WE DO IN THE NAME OF CHRIST MUST BE DONE ALONG WITH CHRIST. WITHOUT CHRIST WE ARE ONLY DOING RELIGIOUS THINGS FOR OUR OWN BENEFIT. BUT WITH CHRIST PRESENT IN US, WE ARE BEING CHRIST-LIKE PEOPLE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.

WE CAN’T AFFORD TO LET THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER BECOME INTERPRETED TO MEAN THAT WE SERVE ONLY THOSE ALREADY IN OUR CHURCH. THE ISSUE WAS NEVER ABOUT "MAINTAINING" BUT ONE OF "GROWING" AS WE FIND OTHERS TO JOIN US IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!

IF CHURCH EVER BECOMES NOTHING MORE THAN WORK THEN WE ARE NO LONGER A CHURCH AT WORK. WE MUST NEVER BECOME CONTENT WITH STATUS QUO OR BECOME SLAVES TO INTERNAL MAINTENANCE.

IN OTHER WORDS, IF WE HAVE BECOME COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH JUST A SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE OR HAVE GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE WE ARE SPENDING ALL OUR TIME AND ENERGY IN MEETING THE BARE-ESSENTIAL BUDGET THEN WE HAVE CEASED TO BE A CHURCH.

THE SAME IS TRUE FOR US AS INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS. AS AN INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN WE MUST KEEP OURSELVES FROM BECOMING ONE! WE MUST ENSURE THAT WE DON’T DRIFT AWAY AND BECOME A SPIRITUAL LONE-RANGER.

TOO MANY ARE GETTING AWAY WITH DRIFTING AWAY! IN OTHER WORDS, WE’RE NOT DOING A VERY GOOD JOB OF KEEPING EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE!

THE CHURCH HAS GONE SOFT AND HAS ALLOWED HER PEOPLE TO BECOME SOFT ON PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. FOR EXAMPLE: COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO ARE CONTINUALLY ABSENT FROM MEETINGS, TEACHERS NOT SHOWING UP FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL, PROGRAMS THAT FALL APART DUE TO LACK OF SUPPORT, AND PEOPLE CONSISTENTLY LATE FOR CHURCH.

YES, WE ARE INDIVIDUALS, BUT WE ARE NOT SOLITARY INDIVIDUALS. WE ARE NOT FREE DO TO WHATEVER WE WANT BUT FREE TO DO ONLY THAT WHICH IS RIGHT IN GOD’S SIGHT.

WE ARE CALLED TO BE A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE IN NEED OF OTHERS AND IN NEED OF FELLOWSHIP. TO BE HUMAN IS TO RELATE TO GOD AND TO OTHERS. WE ARE PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD, TO EACH OTHER AND TO THE CHURCH.

DECIDING WHETHER TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL OR TO UNITE AND BECOME A COMMUNITY IS UP TO US. REGARDLESS OF WHAT WE DECIDE WE MUST BEWARE BECAUSE, AS PAUL STATES, "GOD IS NOT MOCKED."

WHAT THAT MEANS IS, IF WE CHOOSE TO CONTINUE TO FUNCTION AS UNACCOUNTABLE INDIVIDUALS WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TRICK OR FOOL GOD INTO THINKING OR BELIEVING THAT WHAT WE’RE DOING IS FOR HIM.

THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE IS THAT WE WILL EVENTUALLY REAP WHAT WE SOW. IF WE SOW FOR OURSELVES THEN WE BECOME A CHURCH FOR "MEMBERS ONLY" RUN BY THE SELECT FEW.

THIS IS A CHURCH THAT ADOPTS THE "WE’RE BIG ENOUGH" AND THE "WE’RE DOING ENOUGH" THEORY OF SELECTIVE MINISTRY. THESE ARE CHURCHES THAT NO LONGER MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO BUSY CATERING TO THEIR OWN.

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT THE BUDGET GETS CUT, PROGRAMS ARE DISCONTINUED OR NEVER STARTED, WORSHIP IS FORCED INTO A ONE-HOUR
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