Summary: The Life of a Christian
Are You All In?
The Ingredients of a Christian|
A Believer is surrendered.
A believer is separated.
A believer is sober.
A believer is serving.
A believer is responding.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.”
The believer lives a crucified life.
1] Crucify the Self.
Are you a zombie for Jesus?
2] Crucify the Flesh.
Are you engaged in internal civil war?
3] Crucify the World.
Are you reflecting Christ or Culture?
Some people think that when they become a Christian, life gets easier. You know, you face, victory after victory and they attribute everything to God. Life is amazing and eveytrhing changes for them. Some other people find being a Christian very difficult because life gets harder for them. And sometimes, some people don’t see any change at all. That is a question I will tackle at the end of this series but for this series, I want to ask and answer the question, what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
This series is really born from what my youth pastor told me, many years ago. Pastor Kevin McCullough once told me that you could line up a group of 100 people and go down the line and ask them, one by one, if they were a Christian. Each of them can say “YES.” But if you go back down that line and ask them “are you a disciple?” then only about 10 of them would say “YES” That statement left a mark upon my heart and I have carried it with me over the years. In this series, we are going to look at what it really means to be a Christian and what God wants us to be. To be a Christen, to be a disciple is to follow after Jesus and to love him.
R12, Are You All In?
What would you do with a million dollars? (Survey). The thing about this question is that your answer to this really reflects your priorities. Most people think about paying off their bills and then helping out others, either immediate family members bills, friends maybe, and then maybe donations to notable charities and then, back to self. Get yourself a better place to live, maybe go from a 2 story house to a mansion. Maybe trade in the ford focus for a Lamborghini maybe?
It’s an interesting and thought provoking question because it deals with our hearts. We tend to focus on ourselves and what we need to get rid of, like our bills, our student loans and our mortgages. We tend to think that eliminating these issues will make life easier for us and then we will experience true and real freedom. After we receive this so called freedom, then we can take what’s left over and begin to share our money. We can actually use our financial blessings to allow others to experience the same freedom we have just tasted. Am I right?
So, being a Christian, we bring in the same thought process. We think that we just need something that will set us free to experience true spirituality. Just like monetary gain, we tend to think this “blessing” or whatever it is that will set us free are something that we can gain, that we can get our hands on and control it to some measure. First, we will use this thing to bless ourselves and then we will bless others.
God’s idea for being a Christian paints a completely different picture altogether though. God wants us to look less like ourselves and more like Jesus Christ. What is it that God is after? Let’s look at Romans 12:1 (NIV)
When you see the word Therefore, find out what it’s there for. Romans 11 are all about God’s kindness to the nation of Israel. He’s kindness is shown, again and again, even in the midst of their disobedience. Verse 11 says, “Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not. So God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people (Israel) to become jealous and claim it for themselves.”
Here’s the thing: God wanted his people, Israel, to get with it and find freedom in Christ but they rejected him. In their rejection and rebellion of accepting Christ, God made provision for the Gentiles to accept and receive Christ. The Gentiles were considered to be cut off branches but God, in his kindness, grafted us into the tree of life. Grafting us in is contrary to nature but God is able to do that because he loves us and his desire is not just for Gentiles to accept him but also Israel. The picture Paul is painting here is God is merciful to us. His love and his mercy should remain at the very front of our minds at all times. It is the kindness of God which brought us to a place of repentance.