Summary: Reaching out to the community means we have to change.
Changing Church in a Changing Culture
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4How can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
In today’s world, people are very suspicious of the church and Christians.
They want to see our lives showing truth, not just speaking it.
Any inconsistency will label us a hypocrite.
I read that years ago in England when they still used the balanced scales that a baker sued a farmer over the pound of butter that he was buying. And he said that when he first started buying butter from the farmer, it was a full pound. But gradually the farmer was selling him less and less, until now he was only giving him about three quarters of a pound of butter and still charging him for the full pound. And so he sued him in court. The farmer in his own defense said to the judge, "Sir, I only have a balanced scale to measure the butter." And he said, "I always put the baker’s pound loaf of bread on the other side of the scale and that’s how I know when he has his pound of butter."
We all have a spiritual battle with the flesh
Every one of us daily fights temptation and struggle with sin.
We are weak creatures; this is why the Father sent Jesus and then the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul acknowledged his own battles in:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
We may not have biblical answers for people, but we have our life and testimony to his saving grace.
Paul testified to being saved by grace.
It is only by this grace we are who we are.
You and I are no better than the prostitute or the drug addict; the difference is Christ.
It is Him we must measure our lives by. It is Him that they must measure their lives by too.
We have planks in our eye if we point the finger.
The church as turned many away by their actions and words.
Refer back to my youth group.
So how do we communicate the gospel?
· A deep respect for the person (worth/value as a human)
· Assume God is already at work in them.
All have a deep hunger for:
We cannot deny change is happening, things will not go back to the way they were, yet the message remains the same.
We have communities in crisis.
Violence with knife/gun crime
How can we guide them without judging them?
Does the church understand its mission and calling?
Matt 4:19 Jesus said ‘come’, but in 28:19 he says ‘go’.