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Summary: God’s amazing grace changes us so that we can change the world.

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Children’s Time (Lead-in to sermon)

• This Little Light of Mine

• In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

• God is happiest when the lost is found.

• Our light leads people to Jesus.

Sermon

Living in a strange world

• We’re not children anymore.

• Daytime TV

• Politics

• Science

• Our response

– Wouldn’t you just like to run away?

– Ghetto—an environment of isolation

– Sanctuary—a place of safety

– Oasis—life-giving refuge. In the desert of ideas and the wilderness of morals Jesus calls us to be the light of the world.

o If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. (John 7:37)

o …whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

o Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (John 7:37-38)

– We are the light of the world.

o We cannot be a light under a basket.

o A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

o Salt that becomes saltless is worthless.

• Our irrelevance (Cf. man/woman on the street interviews)

– By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)

– Not by our traditions, our instruments, our worship style, our denomination.

– For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)

– So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. (Matthew 25:25) Response: You wicked, lazy servant!

Bearing fruit

• Vast variety

• What fruit does God want us to bear? Of all this fruit which is most important to God? Focused fruit.

• God’s favorite fruit—when people come to him.

– Go and make disciples

– You will be my witnesses

– Fruit is about reproduction.

– What is the state of people without Christ?

o Without forgiveness we are without hope. (Rom. 3:23; 6:23)

o There is no forgiveness without faith in Christ.

o Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

o This is the big deal about Jesus.

o Our family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow students are living in the very real danger of spending forever without God. Think what it would be like with God in your life now.

– I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:7)

– Everything we do as a church should have this as its highest priority.

– Too often we substitute our fruit for God’s fruit.

– This is not about us.

• Five ministry teams: Discipleship, Ministry, Mission, Management and Worship

– We grow primarily to bear fruit.

– We minister to each other primarily to bear fruit.

– We evangelize and serve primarily to bear fruit.

– We worship primarily to bear fruit.

– We manage our personnel and physical plant primarily to bear fruit.


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