Summary: God is not glorified when we are not fully committed to Christ. This text teaches us that only a full commitment to Jesus Christ is acceptable to God. Almost, as they say, is only good enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. You either love Christ with a
Purpose: To highlight the difference between real and false professions of faith in Christ.
Aim: I want the listener to fear the possibility of ever insulting Christ’s work on the Cross.
INTRODUCTION: God is not glorified when we are not fully committed to Christ.
Dr. V. Raymond Edman’s booklet, "How They Were Won," tells how John Wesley left England in 1735 to be a missionary to the Indians of Georgia. Wesley later wrote, "I sought to convert the Indians, although I had not been so converted, although an Anglican Preacher."
During a raging storm while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, he noticed a small group of Moravians calmly singing and praying, while others, including the ship’s crew, were in a panic. That experience convinced him those Christians had something completely foreign to him.
When John Wesley returned to England, he became a close friend of Peter Bohler, also a Moravian. Peter Bohler began to tell John Wesley about the grace of God he started Bible studies with both John and his brother Charles Wesley. Up until then they only had an intellectual knowledge of Christ. Through the influence of Bohler’s life and the teaching of the Word, both of them developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Little did Peter Bohler know how far his committed life and faithfulness to God would reach!
The passage before us is teaching us that only a full commitment to Jesus Christ is acceptable to God. Almost, as they say, is only good enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. You either love Christ with all of your heart, or you don’t love Him at all.
5:10-6:8 I. A Warning to Those Who Claim to Know Christ
Vs.10-14 A. Beware of acting like an unbeliever
6:1-3 B. Beware of religion without Christ [Shadows over substance]
Vs.4-5 C. Beware of missing the message about Christ [Words over reality]
Vs.6 D. Beware of belittling the Cross
1. Turning away from Christ is possible “then have fallen away”
All the religious benefits we have studied are not enough to guarantee that we are real believers. We can know if we are real believers and verses 7-8 will show us how. But, first we must understand that it is possible to begin to follow Christ and then turn away.
The Jews who escaped slavery in Egypt are an example. They saw the Red Sea open up so that they could pass on dry ground. They saw the Red Sea close and drown Pharaoh’s army. They saw the glory of God descend on Mt. Sinai. But, when things got hard they doubted God and wanted to return to their familiar slavery.
Numbers 11:4-6 4 The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”(NAU)
1 Corinthians 10:1-14 [Paul begins by listing their awesome privileges] 1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
[Then Paul reminds them that most of them were rejected by God] 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
[Now Paul explains why God judged them] 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
[Then Paul points out that we can be guilty of the same sins] 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.(NAU)