Summary: When our faith does not spring from our relationship with Jesus, we will have problems.
• RELATIONSHIP VIDEO (NOT A POWERPOINT)
• SLIDE #1
• Should relationships make a difference in your life? Should a relationship with Jesus make a difference in your life?
• Our relationships in many ways define who we are. Think about it, to Rachel’s friends, I am Rachel’s dad. To Robyn’s friends, I am Robyn’s husband. To people at church, I am your Minister.
• I believe the MOST important relationship that defines who we are is our relationship or lack of relationship with Jesus.
• We have been taking a look at 8 ways to be a bad Christian.
• Today we will continue that examination.
• One of the ways we can be a bad Christian is when our faith is not based our a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.
• We will look at three indicators of where our faith is based.
• Let us start with our text in Matthew 23:15
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 23:15 (ESV)15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
• SLIDE #3
You can tell what your faith is based on by:
I. WHAT DRIVES YOU.
• When you try to tell where your faith is based, knowing what drives you can be an indicator of where you are at.
• People are driven by many things. The desire for money, power, prestige, and popularity are but a few.
• What is it that makes you get up in the morning? What makes you want to do what you do?
• In verse 15, Jesus tells us that the Pharisees would literally or figuratively travel across land and sea to make a proselyte.
• These guys were driven.
• What is a proselyte? A proselyte is simply someone who after teaching changes their religion.
• In Old Testament times there were basically two types of proselytes to the Jewish religion.
• One was known as a Proselyte of Righteousness. This is a pagan or gentile who fully embraced the Jewish religion, they followed all of the rites of the Mosaic Law AND they were circumcised!
• The other type was the Proselyte of the Gate. This is one who rejected their pagan life, conformed to some of the Mosaic Law and WAS NOT circumcised.
• You can probably guess which group was larger.
• When Jesus said the Pharisees would cross land or sea to get a proselyte He was more or less saying they would spare no pains, take any means necessary to convert an interested party.
• The Pharisees restricted their zealous missionary efforts to God-fearing pagans.
• “God-fearing” referred to Gentiles who followed the beliefs of Judaism. They didn’t want to mix with the “unclean” Gentiles. But the Pharisees’ zeal was real.
• They would go to Jewish communities in other lands, and in addition to handling legal matters and teaching, they would try to talk the God-fearers into undergoing the final rite of circumcision.
• This sounds like a GREAT doesn’t it?
• It sounds like these men were driven to convert people to God!
• Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?
• Is that what drives you? Why do we want FCC to grow? We want to help build God’s kingdom don’t we?
• As a Minister, am I serving the Lord for His glory or my gain? Serving for His glory should be the thing that drives me. It should be the thing that drives you.
• Remember, Jesus called these guys hypocrites AGAIN. Why?
• Maybe what we want to think drove them to reach people was not what was really driving them?
• You see, getting a proselyte was a big thing for a Pharisee.
• Gentile proselytes were not easy to make, and when one of them converted he was considered something of a prize.
• The Proselyte of Righteousness was the kind of convert in which the scribes and Pharisees delighted. It was considered a great achievement to initiate a Gentile into all their legalistic practices.
• The Pharisees were driven to make proselytes because it made them look good. That is part of the reason Jesus called them hypocrites.
• Back to my earlier question. What is it that drives you to serve the Lord? A couple of weeks ago we touched on this. Is it to receive the praise of man or the praise of God?
• Are we wanting to grow as a church for our glory, do we want to build an empire or do we want to help grow God’s kingdom?
• Do we want to make sure everything is the way we want it because we worship tradition or are we willing to do what we need to do to please the Lord.