Summary: A sermon for the 6th Sunday of Easter Sharing faith
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Does Anyone Know You Are A Christian?
15* ¶ "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16* And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever,
17* even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.
18* ¶ "I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.
19* Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also.
20* In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21* He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." RSV
One of my favorite cartoon characters is Charlie Brown of the Peanut’s family. He is for me the symbol of all human beings who face all the trails and trying circumstances of life. Charlie Brown is the one who knows what it is like to carry his own cross, to live in a world of brokenness, of failure, of trying and not succeeding and hearing again and again the good news of the gospel from his friend Linus to see him through the rough times. I would like to share one of Charlie Brown’s adventures with Lucy as she pretends to be a psychiatrist and Charlie is coming to her for help.
"Charlie Brown is shown visiting Lucy who is at her psychiatric stand, offering her help for an nickel. Charlie says, "I need help--tell me a great truth. Tell me something about living that will help me."
Lucy asks, "Do you ever wake up at night and want a drink of water?
’ Sure" responds Charlie brown, ’’quite often.
Lucy then says, "When you’re getting a drink of water in the dark, always rinse out the glass because there might be a bug in it. Five cents, please.
Charlie walks away saying, "Great truths are even more simple that I thought they were."
Charlie Brown didn’t find the great truth he was looking for to help him make sense out of the bewildering life he has to live.
In our gospel lesson this morning, Jesus is talking about a great truth of life. In verses 15 and 21, Jesus is talking about if one is a follower of His, that person will keep His commandments. He says in verse 15;If you love me, you will keep my commandments. and in verse 21 he says He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." RSV
Sandwiched in between these two verses are John’s account of Jesus talking about the coming of the Spirit, but we will deal with that on Pentecost.
What we want to look at this morning is our actions as Christians. Can someone tell you are a Christian by your actions?
"I’m a gambler. Oh, not the kind that frequents places behind doors in some secluded spot. Nor, do I play the ponies, or bet on sporting football games.
You see, I gamble with my soul as the stake. I’m betting that I can live a life of indifference, a life of neglect of those thing that are of the Lord and still receive His blessings.
I’m gambling with the souls of my children as the stake. Although I neither live righteously nor influence them toward unrighteousness, I’m betting their souls on the hope that they will have wisdom to guide their own lives unto the Lord.
I’m betting that I can remain indifferent to Christ’s teachings, that I can fail to give as prospered, and that will still bless me eternally; I’m betting I can still have a nonchalant attitude toward the lost, and still please God. Yes, I’m a gambler--the most reckless type: I’m a lukewarm Christian!!!"
Jesus is asking for committed Christians in our text. Ones who show by the action of their lives that they are keeping His commandments. And those commandments can be summed up very easily for Jesus only gave two commandments in the New Testament. One is to love the Lord Your God with all your mind and heart and soul and the other is to love your neighbor as yourself.
So, can people tell if you are a Christian by your example? I don’t mean you have to quit your job and go to some foreign land as a missionary, but can they tell by the way your live your every day life here and now?