Summary: There are those who talk the talk but do not walk the walk. The others are those genuine believers who demonstrate the reality of their faith in action. They not only believe what is right but they demonstrate the reality by the life they lead.
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible.
DEMONSTRATE THE REALITY
INTRODUCTION: In this passage of Scripture there is a contrast between two classes of professing Christians. There are those who talk the talk but do not walk the walk. The others are those genuine believers who demonstrate the reality of their faith in action. They not only believe what is right but they demonstrate the reality by the life they lead.
I. It is not a question of “Theology” but “Knee”ology – Prayer
A. As Baptists our theology is solid. We believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. We believe and teach that God loved us so much and wanted to have an eternal relationship with us that He sent His Son to die for us. We believe that He has given us His precious Holy Spirit to dwell within us until we are at home with Him. We believe that God wants us to pray. We believe that God hears and answers prayer.
B. I Timothy 2:8 “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
C. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
D. We say we believe in prayer. We say that prayer is our highest priority and privilege. Then why when confronted with pressing circumstances do we seek to find solutions and then pray about the matter? Why do we call the doctor before we pray? Why do we spend more time in complaining and crying to others instead of communicating with God?
E. “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” – John Bunyon
F. If we believe that we can pray anywhere anytime then why when others have needs, burdens, and cares they share us why do we wait for them to ask us to pray? When was the last time that someone shared a burden with you and you stopped right there and prayed for them whether over the phone or in person?
G. If a disagreement or problem rises between two believers why do we compound the matter by talking to others about the squabble rather than going to the Lord with the issue?
H. Two Christian men "fell out." One heard that the other was talking against him and he went to him and said: "Will you be kind enough to tell me my faults to my face that I may profit by your Christian candor and try to get rid of them?" "Yes, sir," replied the other; "I will do it." They went aside, and the former said: "Before you commence telling what you think wrong in me, will you please bow down with me and let us pray over it, that my eyes may be opened to see my faults as you will tell them? You lead in the prayer." It was done, and when the prayer was over the man who had sought the interview said: "Now proceed with what you have to complain of in me." But the other replied, "After praying over it, it looks so little that it is not worth talking about. The truth is, I feel now that in going around talking against you, I have been serving the devil myself and have need that you pray for me and forgive me the wrong I have done you." – Christian Index
I. James 5:16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
J. "...Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons -- but they are helpless against our prayers." – Sidlow Baxter
II. It is not a question of Concepts but Conduct – Purity
A. When it comes to morality, we as Christians and as Baptists doctrinally take the moral high ground.
B. As believers we affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one man, and one woman, for life. Homosexuality is not a "valid alternative lifestyle." The Bible condemns it as sin. It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ. We further Procreation is a gift from God, a precious trust reserved for marriage. At the moment of conception, we believe a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God’s image. This human being deserves our protection, whatever the circumstances of conception. Therefore, we believe that abortion is wrong.
C. We believe that God’s Word teaches that as believers we are to live according to God’s principles and to not conform ourselves to the world.