Summary: Being able to live out your faith cannot be done without God and without being apart of a community of believers that help and fellowship with each other.
Community of Believers
We have for several weeks been looking at the “Acts of the Apostles” The 40 days after Jesus resurrection and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that came at Pentecost which enabled them to live the lives that God intended for them.
“Yet to all who receive him, to those that believe in His name, he gave the right to become the children of God.”
Being able to live out your faith does not come by accident.
To be able to act like a child of God and not the nature you inherited at birth by sin is not by chance, it has to be intentional.
You have to make a choice and that choice will determine your eternity.
I have said before that you cannot live a Godly life without God. That is impossible! Just like standing in a garage does not make you a car. We are by nature sinners that are on a path of destruction without God.
We need God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and that is save us from the wrath of the punishment of our sins and equip us to live lives that are productive of the kingdom of God.
Jesus says “follow me” and we have people in the world and in the church that set out by choice to see how far away from Him they can safely go and still avoid Hell but do their own thing.
God has instituted the church to be a place that we can come and get the help and encouragement that we need.
Some treat the church universal as a punishment instead of a blessing from God.
Some never get past the fact that God did not build the church and create community to take the fun away from people but offer them a place where they can grow and have fun.
A community made up of people who need God and want God in their life.
I said last week;
What would this community look like if 5 people out of this congregation would get serious about God and follow Him and do what He has asked us to do.
We would turn this community upside down for Jesus and we would see people with changed lives.
If this church caught on fire and worked this community showing God’s love, we would turn this whole area on its heels.
God would be glorified and evil would be horrified. All because God’s people would wait when Jesus says wait, go when Jesus says go and do what God says to do.
Romans 12:1 is talking to believers-
“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sister, 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. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Being a living sacrifice- He doesn’t want a dead offering.
Be transformed not conform to this world.
By renewing your mind- you will not think like the world, because you are allowing God to transform you into a person of God.
Too many dead offering being sacrificed to God in the name of being one of his disciples.
No transformation because you are so close to the world, the world cannot tell that you are a disciple of God.
He tells his followers to love God and others wholeheartedly. “Do what is good and be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
We have a hard time loving God.
We have a hard time loving others.
BUT WE LOVE OURSELVES GREATLY AND WANT ONLY THE BEST FOR US!
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Love in action!
Don’t get me started about helping people in need because most have our own holy huddle of influence and we don’t look outside of that realm of people.
We are so afraid that the church would ask for money that we miss the blessing God has for us if we would become a part and invest in something that is bigger and better that what we could ever invent.
We walk into church with the wrong idea of what the church is and what the church people of God should be doing and accomplishing for the kingdom of God.
We believe that the only one who has to go out and reach this community of people is the leaders and paid staff and that the rest of us must just live lives that are better than our neighbors yet not as holy as “those people.”