Summary: We are NOW Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to OTHERS. We urge THEM, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!
THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF LENT,
THE MESSAGE FOR SUNDAY THE 25th OF MARCH, 2001
THE TEXT ARE:
The LESSON:.....2 CORINTHIAN 5: 16-21
PRAYER...MAY THE WORDS OF GOD AND HIS MESSAGE SPOKEN THIS HOUR BE BOTH A WORD OF COMFORT AND CHALLENGE
WE PRAY THAT IT WILL CHALLENGE THOSE WHO ARE COMFORTABLE
AND COMFORT ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING CHALLENGED THIS DAY.
In the 5th chapter of II Corinthians, Paul supplied us with all the information WE NEED TO OFFER anyone, in order to bring them to saving faith.
He talks about the death of Christ,
His resurrection, AND HE TALKS ABOUT the assurance of newness of life for the one who believes in Christ,
HE TALKS ABOUT the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our inheritance in Him,
HE TALKS ABOUT the new man’s relationship of acceptance with God, the fact that our new life in Him is one of faith and not sight, and the eventual glorification of our bodies and eternal life in the presence of God.
SO the primary aim of Paul in this chapter is to define A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST TO ALL of those who traveled with him, and call his readers to believe IN THE AUTHORITY OF THE WORD OF GOD.
BUT WE ARE ALSO CALLED to believe that Paul’s claims are for every believer in Christ; EVEN IN OUR AGE while we are still here on this earth and until the Lord comes,,
SO AS WE EXAMINE PAULS 2nd EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH AT CORINTH WE LISTEN AS PAUL SPEAKS...
HE SPEAKS This morning about a very important subject for us who profess and desire to be followers of Jesus Christ.
AND what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
There are MANY ideas, concerning our relationship to Jesus that are HINDERING AND impeding the cause of Christ around the world and in our own community.
A......There is the idea that being a follower of Jesus is nothing more than a self-improvement program.
If you want to lose weight, gain deeper insights, quit smoking, repair your relationships, or win the lottery then you should get connected to Jesus.
A NAME IT AND CLAIM IT MENTALITY..but WE DON’T ALWAYS GET EVERYTHING WE WANT..
B......There are others in our society who understand being a follower of Jesus as nothing more than attending church.
Attending worship is a good thing, but Jesus is too big to be boxed in to a one-hour activity to be endured once a week.
C...... There are many OTHER ideas of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
AND EVEN THOUGH Most of them are based on some element of truth found in God’s Word, .......but the vast majority fall far short of what the Bible describes as being a follower of Jesus.
SO ...Let’s take a look at Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth as he describes for them what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
After we gain a good understanding, then we will work to see how this understanding can change and shape each of our lives.
FIRSTLY LETS REFLECT UPON THE BASIC BELEIF OF OUR FAITH..
1......GOD LOVES US..
2......AND BECAUSE HE LOVED US HE SENT JESUS Christ’s TO US.
3......AND WHEN JESUS CAME TO US ,,,HE DIED FOR US .
4.......JESUS died for everyone so that those who receive HIS DEATH WILL RECEIVE A new life IN CHRIST...
5...AND THIS NEW LIFE IS DESIGNED TO NO longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for US.
6....Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we ALL HAVE GOT TO die ....NOT IN THE SAME DEATH AS CHRIST BIT WE HAVE TO DIE to the old life we used to live.
7........What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
8........All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. TELLING THEM ABOUT HIM
9... This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.
SO PAUL SAYS,, THAT We are NOW Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to OTHERS.
We urge THEM, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!"
BUT OFTEN TIMES WE HAVE TO REVISIT BELEIF OS OUR FAITH SO FIRSTLY...I NEED TO RISE A particular question that there is a fundamental difference between being religious and being a "real Christian."
Many people have trouble with that concept because they think that if you are religious, then you must be a "real Christian." If you asked such people,