Summary: “Our Response to the confession is movement toward Christ.”
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“Our Response to the confession is movement toward Christ.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
Intro: (Start with title and text)
Suppose for just a second that you are driving by your neighbor’s house and you see flames – but you don’t see your neighbors – What would you do? The situation requires a response! We’re having a baby – That situation requires a response from us.
Biblically – We are supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice – and mourn with those who mourn. Our response to those around us – is based on their situation – joining with them – helping them through their pain or joining with them in their excitement. We respond to things all the time – ALL of us – responded to an alarm clock, or some sort of wake-up call this morning.
Jesus was with his disciples – and he asked them to respond. Because true doesn’t change if it is embraced or rejected – he wanted to know where they were according to truth – according to his life. We are going to dive right in this morning –
Turn with me if you have your Bibles to Matthew 16:16-20 (Advance) (Read)
Our response to the confession is movement toward Christ – This is on an individual level and a corporate level – church – it demands a response. I see three movements this morning –
I. Heart Movement (16)
a. More than just head knowledge
i. This involves –
When Peter answered that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the Living God – It was more than just repeating a Sunday school answer. He was signing up for a lifestyle and a life time of work. (Advance)
Psalm 40:10 (NIV) — I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.
b. Understood in the heart – spoken from the mouth (Advance)
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) – But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
Did you catch that last sentence?
i. Gentleness –
ii. Respect –
Why not just tell people they will end up in the pits of hell? Why not just demand that people in your life change? Why does Peter say – “Gentleness and Respect”?
If Hailey was running in the yard playing with a ball – and the ball started to roll towards the busy street, and of course she starts after it -- that is NOT a time for Gentleness – She doesn’t see the danger that I know exists. When your co-worker/spouse/parent/friends/classmates – whoever it is asks you about your Christian beliefs – Gentleness and respect are called for because – hope is involved. If your intention is just to prove someone wrong – you might always be right, but you will never win anyone over to Jesus. I know that the church will be accountable for the people who have heard about Jesus.
iii. We should live it
Biblically, there is no dividing wall between the heart and the mouth. Out of the mouth the heart speaks. For the Christian there should be no division between the heart knowledge of Jesus – and a response. It is no longer good enough – just to be Christian. Our knowledge of who Jesus is and what he has done – should make it’s way to our mouth – and we should tell people, who he is and what he has done for them. How will they know – unless you and I get off our blessed assurance and tell them, and live it, and teach it? This heart knowledge of Jesus – this confession of Jesus:
c. It demands a response
You will respond – church – doing nothing is a response. Getting involved and learning more is a response. Getting involved with different service projects is a response. Peter’s response – follow Jesus to the cross. His denials show a very human side of the apostle – But his life and the words he writes – the journeys in Acts with Paul – we know his dedication. He was busy feeding sheep.
This second movement is something our society and college campuses and the media tells you doesn’t work with Christianity – I’m telling you they are wrong. (Advance)
II. Head Movement (17-18)
You can be Christian – and use your brain! This is not a check your brain at the door type of belief. God gave you a brain, hopefully it’s not on drugs, – and I’m encouraging you to use it.