Summary: Seven principles for living a dynamic Christian life.
THESE MEN HAD BEEN WITH JESUS!
A couple of questions. Firstly: Why are so many churches nearly empty?!
Secondly: Why do so few Christians make an impact?(ALLOW RESPONSES)
Someone read 1 Cor 3:1-4
What does this passage say about the questions we have just posed?
We are told one reason we’re not making an impact, one reason the church is not growing, is because we’re too worldly! Our sights are set too low. We don’t live differently to those without Christ. We need to ask ourselves this question, ‘What is the most important thing in my life?’ ‘What is or are my primary goal/s?’ Am I too worldly to make a difference for Christ?
Someone read Matt 26:57-58
What reason does Matthew give for our ineffectiveness for Christ?
He says, ‘You’re half-hearted! You stand back and only associate with Christ when it’s comfortable.’ Do we, like Peter, ‘sit with the guards’ - sit with the enemy to see if it’s going to be safe to stand up and be counted. Ask yourself, ‘Am I full-on when I’m with those of like mind but strangely silent in the presence of those who may not hold to what I believe? Am I willing to be ridiculed, rejected, misrepresented and if need be, am I willing to die for Jesus?’ or ‘Do I only fly my colours when it’s safe?’
Someone read Rev 3:14-17
What is the Lord telling this group of believers? (ALLOW RESPONSE)
They are lukewarm – ‘couldn’t care less’ type believers. ‘Ah, look if I can find the time to build my relationship with God that’s great, but it’s no big deal if it does or doesn’t happen!’ Ask yourself, ‘Am I really concerned about my relationship with Christ, do I long for others to come to know Him? Or am I a ‘take it or leave it’ Christian – if it happens that’s great but if not, well no big deal?!’ Does your enthusiasm or lack thereof show for Christ?
Please turn with me to Acts chapter 4.
Laura will read vss 1-12 and Tim vss 13-22.
Listen very carefully and see if you can discover some principles for living a dynamic, vital and disturbing Christian life. A life that would impact our society, point people to Christ and build our churches.
(PLEASE READ TO US – ACTS 4:1-12 FOLLOWED BY VS. 13-22)
It is quite evident that Peter and John lived by the principles which we want to discover. Their experience of Christ was vital, disturbing and productive, in fact so much so that even their accusers were deeply impressed – see verse 13. 13 ’When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.’
How remarkable! – these ordinary followers of Jesus impressed the rulers and authorities of the day so much that they were ‘astonished’ – flabbergasted, knocked off their feet, speechless, bewildered. And in their minds there was no question that Peter and John had absorbed much from Jesus! ’…they took note that these men had been with Jesus.’
Oh if only people would say the same about you and me!