Summary: If being a follower of Christ means something, prove it!
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If being a follower of Christ means something, prove it!
Sunday Morning Sermon
Intro: (Start with title and text)
What would happen if you were hired as a doctor – you got dressed for the first day of work, but when it came down to doing the work of a doctor, you didn’t do it? You look like a doctor, you have the clothes that a doctor would wear, you have the respect and the letters behind your name that all come with being doctor – but you don’t do the work. Are you a doctor? Let me suggest that – with all the education, all the right dress, all the respect doesn’t make you a doctor. Doing the work of a doctor makes you a doctor.
What would happen if you were hired to drive a NASCAR – you get all dressed up for the first day of work, you go to the race track, you sign autographs, you have special access to the pits, and you have conversations with the crew chief, the owner of the team and the NASCAR officials. You attend the drivers meeting before the race – but when it comes down to race time you never drive the car – you don’t even get in. Are you a race car driver? Let me suggest that – going to the track, signing autographs, and dressing in your race suit doesn’t make you a NASCAR driver. Doing the work of a driver, makes you a driver.
What happens if you give your life to Christ – you understand your sin, you understand your need for a savior so you accept Jesus as Lord. You rise from the waters of baptism (now I belong to Jesus…). You attend church – Sunday morning, Wednesday nights – every chance you get you are here. You take communion – you give your money. After the sermon is over you rise up, shake the preacher’s hand and smile the whole way. And that’s ALL you do. You never tell anyone about your faith, you never dig into God’s word and grow your faith, you never get beyond filling a comfortable chair for an hour on Sunday morning. Are you a Christian…or are you just wet from baptism?
I believe that you can dress the right way, do all the right things, say all the right things, stay away from all the wrong things – attend church every time the doors are open and yet be far away from the God who passionately loves you. This morning I want us to break away from just doing church. Break away from dressing up and playing the part.
The world we live in is going to hell, happy about sin, and ignorant about their separation from God. When they look into our lives – they must see a difference. When we claim to be Christian – we must do more than just dress right, do right and act right.
James wrote a letter to the church and I think our section this morning cries out BE CHRISTIAN. If being a follower of Christ means something to you, PROVE IT. Do something about your faith.
Turn with me to James 1:19-27 (read) (Advance)
He gives the church – three ways to show proofs of their Christianity.
I. Watch your mouth (19-21)
These are standards that the Christian is to follow – regardless of how the world acts.
a. Be quick – to listen – you were given two ears for a reason
i. Listen to those in authority
1. Teachers – Bosses – Parents – you can gain wisdom
Proverbs 5:1-2 (NIV) – My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, 2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.
ii. Listen to those around us
1. Co-workers – Spouse – Children
Your ability to listen will solve many relationship problems. Listening also requires not being heard – it’s a form of service. Allowing someone else to tell you about their day, or their problems or the joy they have in their lives it helps you grow because it puts your life back into perspective.
iii. Listen to the word of God
1. Translate it obediently into compatible behavior
Joshua 3:9 (NIV) – Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.
There is a risk that by not listening you will change the word of God into something it is not. Or that it will be changed to honor you or justify your sin.
I cut someone off in traffic – give them the finger (show them who’s boss) – I could justify my righteous anger (Cause all the anger a Christian has is righteous) – Jesus turned tables over in the temple. Really? That’s probably not a good use of scripture. Paul tells the church in Corinth – (Advance)