Summary: This sermon shows that we are not pleasing to God by being ordinary... He calls us to be EXTRAORDINARY!
The Sin of Being Ordinary
Intro: Perhaps many of you have already rebelled against this title.
You think, there is nothing wrong with being ordinary.
In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "God must love the common people, he made so many of them." You may say that it is the common, everyday, ordinary man that makes the world go around.
Well I am thinking of ordinary in the sense that Paul used it when he wrote to the church in Corinth ... "With jealousy and quarrels in your midst, are you not behaving LIKE ORDINARY MEN?”
He is condemning them of acting just exactly like the commonplace, ordinary, run of the mill men or women about them.
Paul is reminding them that they are to be DIFFERENT... EXTRAORDINARY.
That is the hardest part of being a Christian ... Being DIFFERENT, sticking out like a sore thumb.
We want to be alike, to conform and to blend in. We don’t want to be thought of as QUEER.
We are more comfortable when we CONFORM.
Life trims us down to average.
We can have water in two containers and one higher than the other. But then if we connect them with a tube, what happens?
THEY LEVEL OUT.
Yes, it is true that the lowest levels are raised but the HIGHEST LEVELS ARE BROUGHT DOWN.
It is true in nature… true in people.
Jesus always taught that those who wished to follow him must be DIFFERENT… EXTRAORDINARY
"You have heard that it used to be said...BUT I SAY TO YOU"
The way of life he modeled and taught was different, higher, better than the world.
A Christian way of life MUST be different, morally superior ... "Except your goodness excels that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the Realm of Heaven."
Pharisees = religious standard of the day.
You are to be the SALT of the earth... Extraordinary
You are the Light of the world Extraordinary
"Let you light (=life) so shine (= stick out, before man) that they may see it (= because it is different) and glorify your Father."
Was Jesus counseling a SHOW OF RELIGION? NO
He was counseling them to live a certain type of life, a way that by its very nature is so different that it would STAND OUT ... like the sun.
That was precisely the power of the early church-... the Christian way of life stood out against the pagan background like a spotlight against a dark screen.
It was OBVIOUSLY DIFFERENT, EXTRAORDINARY.
The bible tells us that early society said in amazement..."Behold, how they love one another."
That was different.
Is it any wonder that they attracted attention?
that they had power?
that lives were saved?
that the church grew?
Paul wrote to those early Christians in Corinth because he was distressed to hear of the rivalries, jealousies, and contentions among them
They were losing the very thing that marked them as Christians, as DIFFERENT…That gave them POWER.
Think of the crowds that followed Jesus. WHY did they?
Was it because his words were different?
They were different, but that was not the reason.
We would never have heard his words had it not been for his life., his way of living, or relating ...to man and to God was EXTRAORDINARY, NEW, DIFFERENT.
"Never a man spake like this one"
because he spoke with power.
The POWER of His words came from his life.
THE EXTRAORDINARY CHRIST CALLS FOR EXTRAORDINARY CHRISTIANS
Does the church lose power when it descends to the level of life about it?
Why does the church not have the power that it did in 1st century?
Why does the church not have power it had just twenty five years ago?
Why do religion and faith have so little to do with society today?
Why is your neighbor not here today?
Why are there so many lost persons?
Is it because the church is not hearty enough? Not large enough?
"IT IS BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING SUFFICIENTLY DISTINCTIVE ABOUT CHRISTIANS, NOTHING TO DISTINGUISH A CHRISTIAN OR CHURCHMAN
FROM ONE WHO IS NEITHER." (Unknown)
There is every opportunity today to stand out just as distinctly as did those early Christians.
Our society is at least a GODLESS, SINFUL, IMMORAL, and flagrantly indecent.
It has so infested our society that it has touched every level.
The background against which we live is just as black if not blacker.
We should stand out just as starkly, the light in the darkness.
DO WE? DO YOU?
Do you wonder why your children reject your teachings, the church?
Do you wonder why your neighbor will not come to church?
Do you wonder why?
PERHAPS Your children do not see a relation between your words and actions. Your neighbor doesn’t see anything you have that he doesn’t.