Summary: A message about impacting the world like Jesus did.
Being The Hands of Christ
* There is a story told about this picture on the screen. During World War II when the Nazis were bombing London, there was an Anglican Church that had a statue of Jesus on their lawn with his arms outstretched. The caption below the statue read, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden.” As the bombs fell, the Anglican Church was destroyed and the statue was blown up. When the members started to rebuild the church and replace the statue, they discovered the arms and hands were so pulverized from the bombing they could not be salvaged. They could have chosen to manufacture new hands and arms for the statue, but they chose not to.
* Today, the statue of Jesus Christ stands outside the London church with no arms, and the caption has been changed to read, “Christ has no hands but your hands. And Christ has no arms but our arms.” We are the body of Christ, and if the body of Christ is going to move, it is going to be by our feet. If the body of Christ is going to hug, it is going to be by our arms. If the body of Christ is going to speak, it is going to be through our mouth. We are the body of Christ.
* A few weeks ago, Bro. Johnny (unknowingly) began our service with one of my favorite songs. The song says “You’re the Only Jesus some will ever see. You’re the only words of life, some will ever read. So let them see in you, the one in who is all they’ll ever need. You’re the only Jesus, some will ever see.” Would you think about this statement this morning and, along with me, ask yourself this question, “If I am the only Jesus some will ever see, are the getting a clear picture? Will they know what Jesus looks like? Would they desire to have Jesus in their lives because of what they see in me?” Considering the eternal implications, these are weighty questions which literally beg for our attention. The question is, “how can we do this?” Most believers truly want their lives to reflect and display Christ to the world, but somehow in the day to day grind, we either forget or don’t have our hands around a set of truths which help us do this.
* We have already read our Bible text in the last part of Chapter 12. This chapter began with Paul urging us to present our bodies as a sacrifice noting this is our Spiritual Act of Worship. He piggy-backed that message with reminding us as to what it means to be HIS. Being His means we have been extended both grace and gifts for service. Today passage is seemingly a rapid fire sets of “bullet points” which tell us HOW to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this needy world. Verse 13 sets the stage for what follows.
* The message for us today centers around the fruits of the spirit. Can you name with me the first 3 or the 9 fruits listed in Galatians? They are “love, Joy, & Peace.” To to be His hands, our lives must display some things.
1. To be Jesus’ hands, we must possess SINCERE LOVE.
* Our text says, love must be without hypocrisy (I.E. dissimulation, deceit, genuine) The NIV gives us the word sincere. That word “sine cere” means “no wax.” Perhaps many of you have heard of this, but back in the time Latin was used, potter would take wax to fill the cracks and flaws in their work. Then they would paint over it and sell it. All was well until it went into the stress of use. Then the wax melted and the pot might even disintegrate. This made the potters who were selling their wares to advertize “No Wax.” The easy way to apply this is that a superficial, skin deep, put on type of love doesn’t cut it for the family of God. His love is complete and as HIS child, our love is to be without wax.
* At the same time, the word hypocrite conveys the thought of wearing a mask. In other words, trying to be something you aren’t or give something you don’t have. Please listen there is little hope of giving sincere love, you have haven’t received sincere love.
* This speaks of our personal decision to follow Christ. When a person trusts Christ for their forgiveness of sin and place their faith in His by turning from sin and to Christ, they are embraced with a Love which has no explanation except that God is love and shows us His sincere love. Do you know why this is so exciting? Because of the result.