Summary: A message encouraging the church to be a place for quality Christian instruction.
“…Instruction in Christian Living.”
(August 12, 2001)
Talk to some people about “Christian living” and you’ll have them wondering. To them, Christian living means just the opposite of living. They see living a Christian lifestyle as not really living at all, and they would lump the term “Christian living” in the same group of oxymorons as “jumbo shrimp” or “congressional budget cuts.”
“You can’t live and be tied to living a Biblical lifestyle,” they would claim.
Well, I’m here to tell you that they are clueless as to what it means to live for Christ
I pray that our time today will be a blessing for you as we look at what “Christian living” means.
And, as we have done these last weeks, I want to have us look at the front cover of your bulletin, and read aloud the statement of purpose, which has been the basis of our messages for the last number of weeks.
Please read along:
Our purpose is to bring unchurched people to God, and to offer worship that lifts up God, ministry that heals hurts, a home for fellowship, and instruction in Christian living.
My guess is that when this statement was developed, you folks meant it. And based on that assumption, I purposed to bring a message that would help us move on that.
I want to look at the concept of Christian living, and look at how this church can truly be a home for instruction in Christian living.
Please turn in your Bibles to Deuteronomy 6:1-9, which is found on page 130 of the Bibles in the seats.
These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
My purpose this morning is to give you a new look at what “Christian living” means, and to urge you to a deeper appreciation and excitement for it.
In doing that I want to point out the commandment of instruction, the contexts of instruction, and the continuum of instruction, as we seek to be people who encourage and foster and atmosphere for growth in living for Christ.
You could also call these the proposal of instruction, the places of instruction, and the process of instruction. I would have called them that, but I didn’t think of it until I had printed out the bulletins.
May you leave here encouraged by what God has for you as you live for Him.
First, lets look at…
I. The Commandment of Instruction
God makes no bones about the fact that He desires and expects us to live in ways that please Him. Yet He doesn’t leave us hanging, wondering what we need to do to please Him.
He lays it out pretty clearly in the pages of Scripture.
I want to look at two aspects of the commandment of instruction, and the first is…
A. The Why (vv. 4-5).
You may remember a time in the gospels where a lawyer asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is. Jesus replied by quoting verse 5 – to love the Lord will all your heart, soul, and strength.
Just prior to this verse, Moses gives a glimpse of the heart of God, when He mentions that as we obey, we can expect God’s protection and blessing.
The “why” is that we honor God and receive His blessings. And I don’t know about you, but that’s an awful big motivating factor to me.
I want to honor God and Lord knows I need His blessing and protection.
Let me be quick to say that while He bases some of His blessings on our obedience, He does not base His saving grace on our obedience.