Sermons

Summary: As Christians we should mirror the image of our lord and savior Jesus the Christ.

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Scripture:

1 John 4:17

17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Romans 8:29

29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

2 Corinthians 3:18

18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Philippians 3:10

10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

I hold in my hand two objects that are completely identical in every way except size. I mean they are both white, they are both round, When you examine them up close they even have the same lettering on them. The only difference is in their size. Everything that hold true with these two CDs should hold true with Christians. We should have the same description as Christ by whose name we are called.

Alexander the Great conquered most of the then-known world by the age of 33. One of the reasons for that was that the iron discipline that he insisted on among his troops. That’s why a young soldier was terrified as he was hauled into Alexander’s tent to answer for charges of cowardice and desertion in battle. The general was seated at a table, and the accused soldier stood before him. Alexander said, “Soldier, you’ve been accused of deserting during a battle- guilty or not?” “Guilty,” he replied almost audibly. The general followed up then by asking, “What’s your name, soldier?” The answer came back- “My name is Alexander, sir.” It was at the point that Alexander the Great leaped to his feet, reached across the table, grabbed the soldier by the collar and shouted, “Either you change your life or you change your name!”

I wonder if Jesus doesn’t feel the same about us. We’re carrying his name around- a Christian… a Christ one or “little Christ.” And we’re reflecting on His name by the way we’re living, the way we are treating people, the way we are doing business, and the way we’re reacting. Does the life live up to that holy name we carry?

In Biblical times a name reflected the circumstances of the person’s birth, the feelings of their parents, their gratitude to God, their hopes and prayers for their child, and their commitment of the child to God. Today a name is just a label or designation that sets one person apart from another. In the Bible anytime someone had a significant encounter with God, what would God do? He would change their names. Let’s look at Abram God changed his name to Abraham in connection with his new calling to be “a father of many nations.” God gave Jacob the new name Israel “God Strives” because “he struggled with God and with men, and prevailed”

The connection between a name and the reality it signified is nowhere more important than in the names referring to God. Suddenly, we’re looking at one of the Ten commandments in a different light than we usually do. In Exodus 20:7, He says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.” Now, that commandment is usually used in the context of not using the Lord’s name as a swear word or using it lightly or irreverently. And that is sure included in what God meant. We are supposed to always use the name of our Lord with great respect.

But swearing or irreverence are not the only ways to “misuse the name of the Lord your God” or, as the KJV says, “take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” When you claim to be a “Christ-One” and you live or talk in a way that is the opposite of what Christ is like- you are discrediting the name of the One you claim to serve. In Romans 2:24 Paul says to his fellow Jews, “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

And we all know that the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of a believer give unbelievers a reason not to come o Jesus. Probably the most common reason for rejecting Jesus is another Christian. And probably the most common reason people come to Christ is because of another Christian. Before most people start believing in Christ, they believe in a Christian they know. They believe in you.

You are not an island. You’re being watched – especially if you claim to be a Christian. And someone is sizing up Jesus based on what they see in you. They can’t see Him – they can see you. What a horrible thought – that you or I might be a reason for someone we care about to miss Jesus – and heaven forever.

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