Summary: This is the 13th sermon in the series "Church On The Rocks". This sermon looks at 4 decisions God’s people must make.
Sunday Morning February 16, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: ¡§Church On The Rocks¡¨ [#13]
WALKING THE TALK
1. What is a Christian? What is the difference between a Christian and a Non-Christian? There are many people saying that we all worship the same God. There are many saying that there is more than one way to Heaven. As a Bible believing, blood bought child of God I don¡¦t like that a bit, but what can I do?
2. Notice who this letter is for. (All believers.) I want us to see how urgent Jude was being. He wanted to preach about our salvation, which is the most important thing; but he could not. Why? Because he needed to tell us to contend for the faith. That word ¡§contend¡¨ means ¡§to fight with all you have¡¨. Why did they need to contend for the faith? Because some evil men had slipped in unnoticed. There was a spy loose in the church. Did you know that our churches still have this problem today? Our churches are full of people that claim to be Christians, but some of them don¡¦t look like, act like, or live like Christians. There is no evidence in their life that would point to Jesus and let me show you what happens when God¡¦s people let it go.
„« They change the grace of our God into a license for immorality.
„« They deny Jesus Christ.
3. Do you want to know why people say all religions lead to the same place? Why they deny Jesus Christ as the only Sovereign and Lord? It¡¦s because of God¡¦s people. Do we live what we say? In 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:16 we find 4 decisions that we must make that determine how the world sees God¡¦s children and how they react to our claims of Jesus Christ as being the One and only.
Decision #1: Tradition Or Truth?
1. In 1 Corinthians 8 we have a question being answered. The question: ¡§What kind of foods are we allowed to eat?¡¨ We must understand that these people knew that in the Old Testament, the Israelites were not allowed to eat certain foods such as pork, etc¡K When Jesus died for the world and was resurrected from the dead, things changed. But, it was hard to change because that¡¦s how it had always been.
2. The answer was, ¡§It doesn¡¦t matter what you eat. The food you eat is not going to save you. But now if it really bothers another believer, don¡¦t fight about it. It¡¦s not worth causing problems amongst the church family. You need to be more worried about one another than traditions.¡¨ Now how do we determine what is Tradition and Truth? We go to the Word of God. Why do you believe what you do? Because someone said so or because God said so?
3. Choice #1: Are you going to base your Christian life on what has been passed down from Southern Baptist or from God? There has been a trend over the last several years of Southern Baptist Churches to take the name Baptist off of their signs because many people see the word Baptist and are automatically ¡§turned off¡¨ and won¡¦t come visit. You know what the ¡§turn off¡¨ is? Traditional, legalistic churches more worried about following the By-Laws than the Bible. What¡¦s it going to be? You must choose. Tradition or Truth?
Decision #2: Routine Or Risk?
1. In 1 Corinthians 9 we find Paul scolding the people for not treating him like they did other Apostles. They expected different from him, would not pay him, and criticized him. Do you know why? I believe it was because they were mad at him for preaching God¡¦s Word without apology and fear. A good way to punish him would be to talk about him and not pay him.
2. Now Paul was faced with a choice. He could either play nice and do it their way and get paid well and bragged on or he could do it God¡¦s way and be mistreated. Christians, we are no different. We must choose whether we are going to ¡§play church¡¨ and keep things ¡§status quo¡¨ or take a risk and live exactly like God tells us to. There is a ¡§grand¡¨ purpose for this risk.
3. Christians we need to stop playing games and run the race to win. We need to fight for the sake of Jesus Christ. What was His purpose? To seek and save that which was lost. What should our purpose be? The same.
Decision #3: Forced Or Free?
1. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul gives us an example of the Israelites. As Moses led the Israelites they ate the food they were supposed to. They did what they were supposed to do only because they really had no choice. They ate quail and manna because that¡¦s all they had and all they did was gripe about it. They made God so angry that He killed many of them. Many of them followed God physically by following Moses, but their hearts were hardened and turned to other gods.