Summary: What the church needs to do to be the church
THREE SECRETS TO BEING AN EFFECTIVE CHURCH
• Last Sunday we saw how being an effective Christian demands surrender in our lives and a willingness to stay on God’s altar.
1) Twofold command through Paul:
a) Do not be conformed to this world: not just stop doing what they do(list of don’t’s) but do start doing what they don’t do(love your enemy, forgive others, show kindness, return good for evil, surrender your rights)
b) Do be transformed by the renewing of your mind: rest of chapter 12 is practical issues regarding a transformed mind. A new way of thinking.
c) Difference is that one happens from the outside while the other comes from the inside. JUST DIFFERENT INSIDE NOW
* Verse 3 begins a transition into how believers together can
maximize our effectiveness as the body of Christ.
Three important attitudes that are secrets to a successful fellowship of believers.
SECRET OF HUMILITY (3) For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
a. An accurate measure of myself:
1) Importance of self-examination: 2 Cor 13:5 ‘Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith’
Lord’s Supper is meant to be a time of personal evaluation and
2) Sin produces in us a natural tendency to ‘think more highly of ourselves than we should’(our feelings, other’s comments instead of basing it on the reality of how God sees us)
Jer 17:9-10 The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick, who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind even to give to each man according to his ways.
Know a lot of men who love Jesus until it gets to deer season, or golfing weather, lot of women who love God as long as their favorite awards show is not on. Families who love their church as long as it does not compete with little league or school activities.
3) Paul says we need to sober up: think as to have sound(sober) judgment. Sin intoxicates us so that we don’t gauge an accurate evaluation of ourselves.
Interesting things about a drunk: Can’t walk a straight line – Tend to drive on the wrong side of the road – Totally convinced that they have it all together - Think they can get away with it without any consequences.
Lost world intoxicated by sin can’t live a holy life, are living their lives for the wrong priorities, can’t see the truth about themselves and don’t see the consequences of their actions coming.
a) Sound judgment is to know that there are things about ourselves that we can’t quite trust. Some things may have tendency to get distorted or be wrong. We need to watch for it and test every thought and action by the perfect Word of God.
HERB REAVIS: Heartland Evangelism Conference. Message: Parable of the Brats. Those most religious and Jesus’ words to them. LUKE 7:31-35
Like childen in the marketplace: Played a flute….did not dance…played a dirge…you did not weep…..John the Baptist has come….He has a demon….Son of man has come…a gluttonous man…friend of sinners.
Worship. In two thousand years we haven’t worked out the kinks. We still struggle for the right words in prayer. We still fumble over Scripture. We don’t know when to kneel. We don’t know when to stand. We don’t know how to pray. Worship is a daunting task.
For that reason, God gave us the Psalms—a praise book for God’s people.… This collection of hymns and petitions are strung together by one thread—a heart hungry for God.
Some are defiant. Others are reverent. Some are to be sung. Others are to be prayed. Some are intensely personal. Others are written as if the whole world would use them .…
The very variety should remind us that worship is personal. No secret formula exists. What moves you may stymie another. Each worships differently. But each should worship
BRATS: like children arguing over the music, arguing over the preachers…world is going to hell. Let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow ME.
A TRUE HONEST ACCOUNT OF OURSELVES IS NOT BASED ON WHAT WE SAY OR BELIEVE BUT ON WHAT WE DO.
b) But also that God compensates for our weaknesses by providing His strength.
Paul warns us to be cautious of our weaknesses but also to recognize our strength
b. An accurate measure of my potential: the grace given me…..as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
1) Romans tells me I am no longer in Adam, the Holy Spirit has come and I have power available by God’s grace.