Summary: 1- Life in Christ excludes hypocrisy 2- Life in Christ excludes salvation by observance of the law 3- Life in Christ includes death to self
INTRO.- Life. What is life all about? Obviously, that depends on who you are talking to. Here are some examples.
ILL.- It was said that Jimmy Johnson, when coaching football on the college level, had a wife and the appearance of a marriage because it was expected of college football coaches.
The wife and family was needed for social occasions. The day he was named head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he set about to rid himself of this excess baggage. He threw her away like yesterday’s newspaper. He didn’t need her any more and he didn’t lose any time in losing her. He confessed that he never bought his boys birthday or Christmas presents. He just didn’t have the time, and they weren’t a priority.
So he single-mindedly threw himself into his football team, and in January, 1993 he made it to the top, #1, they won the Superbowl. The writer said: "So what’s he going to do next year, and the year after that, and ..." Well, that was a long time ago and I do know that he married again in 1999. He divorced his first wife in 1990. NOW FOR THE OPPOSITE OF THIS.
ILL.- Someone once asked Tom Landry why he had been so successful as a football coach. He said, "In 1958, I did something everyone who has been successful must do, I determined my priorities for my life — God, family, and then football."
I would say that Tom Landry was right or had the right idea. It matters not what we choose to do in life as long as the Lord is our top priority.
What did Jesus say we were to seek first in life? Matthew 6:33
And what did He say would happen if we gained the whole world and lost something very valuable? Matthew 16:26
ILL.- Forbes’ list of richest people in the world just came out again. And guess who is number one? It’s still Bill Gates, head of Microsoft at $50 billion dollars. Warren Buffet is number two at $40. And Oprah Winfrey lags far behind at a mere $2.3 billion.
It matters not, however, because wealth can’t buy anyone a home in heaven. The price was paid at Calvary and it’s a matter of accepting that sacrifice and that Savior. And the sad thing is most wealthy people don’t see their need for a Savior. They think they’ve got it all! Or they’ve got it made. But death is coming.
What is life for us? What is important to you as a Christian? Do you give the Lord any time? When? How much? Hopefully, it’s not just an hour or two on Sunday morning and nothing more.
ILL.- Carl Sandburg said: Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Eph. 5:15-17 "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."
PROP.- In our text, we can grasp a greater understanding of what it means to be in Christ or what life in Christ is all about.
1- Life in Christ excludes hypocrisy
2- Life in Christ excludes salvation by observance of the law
3- Life in Christ includes death to self
I. LIFE IN CHRIST EXCLUDES HYPOCRISY
11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
ILL.- Preacher: “How come I never see you in church anymore, Morris?” Morris: “There are too many hypocrites there, Reverend.” Preacher: “Don’t worry, Morris; there’s always room for one more.”
Yes, there is always room for one more. And any way you cut it, we all play the role of the hypocrite at some time or other in our lives. We say one thing and do something else. We claim to have faith in Jesus but sometimes, our lives say something entirely different.
ILL.- Someone says, "I believe in Jesus with all my heart, but I can’t give back to God. I need all my money for myself." Or "I believe but I can’t go to church this Sunday because I have something else to do...." Or "I believe in Jesus as God’s Son but I can’t serve in the church. I don’t have time..."