Summary: God encourages His children to rejoice in their salvation through Jesus, even if they are experiencing suffering. Holy living is not a product of ‘smooth sailing’. It is a choice, regardless of life-events or life-circumstances.
Scripture Text: 1 Peter 1.17-23
Someone asked-a-question: “What’s a WAC2BL?” ~
For starters, …it’s the theme for the next-several-weeks. But, more-than-that, …WAC2BL is a question… …It’s a question that-arises out-of-a sense-of-confusion. And the confusion - or uncertainty - it stems from a clash ~ …a clash of ideas, …a clash between tradition and innovation, …clashes between wealth and poverty, …clashes between generations, …and clashes between likes and dis-likes. And there’s not a single-one-of-us that’s immune to these clashes, …and the consternation that settles-in, as-a-result.
WAC2BL is a question. And the question is this: What’s a Church to Be Like?
When you look at the landscape, …there is so-much variety when-it-comes-to churches! In any-given-community, …the variety is almost-staggering: …some are Main Street, …while others are backwoods; …some are known for their programs and productions, …while others are known for pot-lucks; …some are kid-friendly …and others appeal to the older-crowd; …some congregations are liturgical, …while others are “free”; …some are highly-involved in their community, …while others keep to themselves; …some have stained-glass-windows and towering-steeples, …while others meet in school-cafeterias.
I’m not sayin’ anything new, here ~ …you’ve noticed all-this before! But it begs-the-question: …with all this incredible variety, …and all the differences that exist between churches, …is there anything that we share; …anything that holds us together; …such-that we can truly look at one-another as brothers and sisters?
But, more-to-the-point of this series-of-sermons: …in-terms-of-our-congregation, what are we supposed to be like? ~ Is there something that binds us together?
Far-too-often, we’ve focused on things that divide: For decades the church has argued over the style of music, …some battle over pews-vs-chairs, …and some throw-out-tradition, in favor of what-ever-the-new-trend is.
We-Christians get bent-outta-shape about all kinds-of-stuff ~ …stuff that-really-isn’t that-big-o-deal, in the grand-scheme of things. In fact, a lot of divisions and arguments that congregations-go-through would-dissolve if they would-celebrate those-things that hold us together, …instead of getting ourselves all-tied-up-in-knots over trivial-matters!
I. Who We Be
Which brings-us right back to where we began… What’s a church to be like? ~ It all begins with knowing who we are. We are the redeemed children-of-God. Peter says:
“it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life… but with the precious blood of Christ”. (1 Pe 1.18-19)