Responsible Christian Living
Contributed by William Baeta on Oct 4, 2011 (message contributor)
Summary: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” Phil. 4:8.
Theme: Responsible Christian living
Text: Ex. 32:1-14; Phil. 4:1-9; Matt. 22:1-14
Our priorities in life dictate our choices and our choices determine the outcome of our lives. Whether we arrive at the right destination or not depends on our choices that are often between alternatives that appear equally attractive but lead to entirely different results. Adam and Eve made the choice to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the fruit of the tree of life. They made a choice that separated them and their descendants from God. But because God is love He did something about the situation and made it possible for man to find the way home. However we cannot find the way without Jesus Christ for the Scriptures declare “He is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him” John 14:6. For those who might believe otherwise the same Scriptures declare “there is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death” Pr. 14:12. Joshua simply puts it this way “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” Deut. 30:19. Choosing life is to choose Christ, believe in Him, and become His disciple. Responsible Christian living is to choose life.
God does not want any one of us to “perish but that all should come to repentance” 2 Pet. 3:9. God is love and went to great lengths to make this possible. It demanded the death of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. His death paid the penalty for our sin, reconciled us to God and granted us access to His presence. God created us for fellowship and this fellowship was restored when Jesus died in our place and made His righteousness available to all who believe. Christ has given us access to eternal life, joy, peace, abundance and fullness. God has not withheld anything from us and His invitation is to give us the opportunity to make the right choice and enjoy His presence and abundant provisions. God’s invitation is to bless and restore. Why would anyone refuse such an invitation? All that is required is our acceptance as we cannot do anything to deserve or earn it. Our invitation is only possible because Jesus Christ, by His death, burial and resurrection, met every condition for our salvation. All that we need to do is to make the right choice, accept God’s invitation, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
We cannot afford to reject this invitation and miss the marriage celebration of Jesus Christ to His bride, the Church. If the first miracle that Jesus performed, when He became flesh and dwelt among us, was at a wedding feast where He turned water into wine how could there be anything lacking at His own wedding? Why would anyone refuse an undeserved invitation to partake of the abundance that Christ has made available by His atoning work on the cross? What possible reasons could they have? Could it be because of unbelief? Do they reject the truth of Scripture that Christ died on our behalf to pay the penalty for our sin? Or could it be that they have a false view of who God is? Throughout the ages we have always tried to mould and shape God to fit our idea of who we want Him to be. We want him to meet our expectations so that we can dictate to him and chose when to obey or ignore him. Are we today behaving any differently from the Israelites in Moses’ day? Do we remember how they experienced God’s awesome presence in their deliverance from bondage in Egypt? Do we remember how God humbled and defeated the gods of Egypt through the ten plagues before their eyes and how they witnessed the parting of the red sea. In spite of these miracles they still wanted a god that would fit their mould, their liking and expectations and were quick to make and worship a golden calf. Although unbelievable we are no better than the Israelites of that time. Every time we change the message of God we are changing the God who gave the message and every time we make God out to be who He is not we are also committing idolatry and idolatry leads to unbelief and rejection of the true God. Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our sin and all that is now required from us is to acknowledge our sin, repent, and believe in Him as our Saviour and Lord. It is only by accepting Christ’s invitation that we can enjoy the blessings of His kingdom now and throughout eternity.