Summary: This message deals with aligning our actions with what we claim to believe. You can see it and hear it at www.glenvillenewlife.com
Let’s Be Honest, What Do We Really Believe
Let me introduce you to Rakay. Rakay believes a man is responsible for his actions. He believes a man should do all that he can for his community and his church in order to build it up. He believes that a man should have the respect of others and show others respect. He believes a man ought to be an example for others to follow. He has encouraged other men to adopt his beliefs.
How many of you think Rakay is allright? Suppose I told you that Rakay has had five kids, by five women in the last three years and quits jobs rather than pay child support. That three times he has been arrested for domestic violence. That he smokes marijuana to help him control his nerves. How many of you think Rakay is still alright.
Let me ask you this, is there anything wrong with what Rakay says he believes? What’s wrong with Rakay? We recognize that there is a disconnect between what he says he believes, and what his actions are. Do you know one of the scariest things we can do as believers, is to be honest about what we really believe.
Now because we are going to have communion today, we are going to say the Apostle’s Creed so as to affirm what we believe. There are three different ways in which we believe. There is what I say believe. There is what I think I believe, and there is what I reveal I believe.
Have you ever said something that you gave others the impression you believed something that really was just part of your public image. If someone asked you with a big smile on their face “what do you think of this dress I’m wearing, and you think the dress is absolutely horrible” what do you say. “Well that dress is interesting.” We say things, not because we believe them, but we want to keep a certain public image.
A good example of this is Judas who betrayed Christ. When the woman poured the expensive perfume on Jesus, Judas says “what a waste. This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.” Judas wanted to give others the impression that he believed in helping the poor. He was building on his public image. But the Bible tells us, that he did not care for the poor, but he was a thief and was stealing from the money that the disciples collected. There are times when we all try to build our public image.
In our Old Testament reading when Eve told the serpent, “God told us not to even touch the fruit or we might die.” She was building their public image of two people so committed to God, they would not even touch something which God had forbidden. There is a temptation among us as Christians to pretend we are walking closer with God than we really are. We are saying the right words to get others to think more highly of us than they should. We will say, our church is having a week of prayer, but we know we have no intention of showing up at any of the meetings to pray. But saying it does boost our public opinion.
The second form of believing is we actually believe something is true, but later circumstances reveal that belief is not what we thought it was. Is there anyone here who ever had a crush on someone? You sincerely believed that person was the bomb. That person was the one. You could see yourself in love with the person forever. Now you believed that this was the one. But later circumstances revealed that this person was not the kind of a person you thought he or she was. Not only did you not want to spend the rest of your life with this person, if the person had left and moved to Brazil, it would not have phased you one bit.
Adam and Eve sincerely believed that if they ate from that fruit, they were going to become just like God. At that moment, nobody could have told them anything differently. We have made up our minds, this is what I’m going to do, and no one can stop me, we can be sincere in what we believe, and genuinely believe that we are taking the right step. But later on with a change in circumstances, we may come to believe that decision was a bad one. We start to wish we had listened to the advice of others.
The third form of believing, is what we base our daily lives on. By someone looking at me for a long enough period of time, they can tell you what I have accepted as fact, and how I line up my life according to what I believe. One of the things that most of us believe in even more than we believe in Jesus even though we have never technically seen it is gravity. Because we believe in gravity, we simply do not even attempt to do certain things.