Summary: My sermon is about not becoming camplacent about sin in our lives and the process of sanctification.
STAY On track
In the past few months we’ve heard a lot about trains coming off their tracks.
Every time I turned on the radio another train had come off the tracks. The rail network had obviously not been maintained as it should have been and the tracks had gotten into a terrible state.
The Lord spoke to me through all this showing me that it’s very much the same in our spiritual lives. If we don’t take time to maintain our spiritual tracks then we risk coming off the rails.
We’ve seen also over the last few months how these derailments have slowed down the whole rail network all over the country. In the same way if we derail spiritually all the time it’s going to slow our development. It will take us longer to reach maturity.
Not only does it slow us down but it can cause us to lose ground we might have made. A train that has derailed will most probably be taken back to the depot for inspection, it doesn’t arrive at it’s final destination, it has to go backwards. This can happen to us to. If we’re not careful how we live, cracks start to appear and before we know it, we’re off the rails and we don’t progress. The Bible likens this to a child who never grows and is never able to go on to solid food but has to keep on having milk,
12 You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead you have dropped back to the place where you need someone to teach you all over again the very first principles in God’s Word. You are like babies who can drink only milk, not old enough for solid food. And when a person is still living on milk it shows he isn’t very far along in the Christian life, and doesn’t know much about the difference between right and wrong. He is still a baby Christian!
When we are born again, we are born as spritual babies. We can only feed on the milk of the word. We don’t have much strength, we are clumsy and awkward but after a few years we should move on to spritual meat and our walk with God should become more assured and we should be more adept at living the way God wants us to live. It’s impossible for a baby to do the things an adult does and it’s abnormal for an adult to be behaving like a baby when he’s fully grown.
I work with adults who have learning disabilities. I often hear people saying about the clients I work with that they have a mental age of 5 for instance. Perhaps we’ve been born again 10 years, maybe more, for certain it could be 20 or even more than that, but what’s our spiritual age. Are we behaving like spiritual 5 year olds? Are we walking in unforgiveness? Are we still indulging our flesh? Do we react every time someone says something we don’t like? Are we selfish, considering our own needs above everyone elses. These are questions we need to ask ourselves.
There is a well known expression. We often say about someone who’s gone a bit barmy, who’s gone to all the extremes that he or she has "gone off the rails". The dictionary definition of this expression is, "become disorganized or out of control".
When we let ourselves go spiritually we get out of control, but the Bible tells us to be self-controlled,
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23.
A train that’s out of control can have disastrous consequences. It can cost lives as we have experienced not all that long ago in the Hatfield accident.
Similarly, if we go out of control spiritually, that too can spell disaster. When that happens we open the door to Satan.
The Bible says in the gospel of John, chapter 10, verse10,
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..........."
When we open the door to Satan we give him the chance to steal, kill and destroy. He will steal our peace and our joy, he will undermine our faith, he will cause us to be depressed and bring sorrow into our lives.
We can find an example of a brother who had not maintained his spiritual tracks and had gone very seriously off the rails opening the door very wide and Paul had harsh words to say about it, yet it was out of a deep love, a deep concern for the believers in Corinth that he said it,
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?