Summary: Living the real christian life is tough and thus requires the proper motivation to stay true: the cost, consequences, and character of salvation.
WHY I SHOULD LIVE AS A CHRISTIAN
Tonight I want to focus on one question. I used to think it was simple, until could never find an answer. I eventually decided that when I became a wise and all knowing senior pastor, I would discover the answer. Now that I’m a senior pastor, I still haven’t discovered the answer yet. Please don’t tell me its because I’m not wise and all-knowing
Why won’t people live the christian life actually described in scripture? I mean we tell folks that it is wonderful – the abundant life. God spells out clearly for us how to live it. Why won’t actually people live it?
In grappling with this question, I’ve discovered 2 principles of ministry that help. 1) Developing spiritual habits develops spiritual character.
Read Hebrews 12:1 – 2 and see how the bible teaches this principle.
Well, then why not do this? Why don’t people do this in their lives? The second principle: 2) The effort must be motivated by the correct “why.” So many times folks know What to do but don’t do it. This means they are struggling over the why.
Why not set aside sin which entangles into such messes, destroys our families, get us into debt and then financial ruin, etc? Because people think
• well I’m ok right now
• what I’d have to give up is pleasing to me
• what if I fail
• why work that hard, I’m doing better than him/her over there
Tonight I want to give you three solid, Biblical reasons why you should truly live the Christian life. Not just talk about it or fake it, but live it and live it in earnest.
I. THE CROSS
II. THE CONSEQUENCES
III. THE CHARACTER
Read: Hebrews 12: 3 – 11
I. THE CROSS
“Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, …” verse 3.
The Bible is clearly telling us that in evaluating whether we will follow the command to “run the race” that we should consider what it cost Jesus to give us the privilege to “run the race.” If we used Jesus’ sacrifice as a determining factor in our decisions then we would live life much differently. This is why it specifically states “consider Him.”
In “church speak” we have created a cliché which I believe is unfortunate. Preachers often tell folks to “count the cost.” In that we mean, do an evaluation of what it will cost you to give up things you should give up, etc. That is a valid consideration and you do not become a Christian lightly but soberly and knowingly. However, there is a much greater question. It reveals our best Biblical motivation. The real question is not what it will cost me, but what my sin cost Jesus.
When was the last time you actually sat down and considered the cross? Even more important is the question being asked here – When was the last time you were obedient to “consider Him who endured such hostility”? In the midst of a choice, in the midst of struggling with a recurring temptation, in the midst of an invitation time when Pastor has preached and God has spoken to you and told you clearly to commit to join the church or a ministry – Did you think of what it cost Christ on the cross?
The word “consider” is a fascinating word. The root of the word is “to be in correct proportion.” We’d derive the word analogous. In the verb form used here it means to “estimate or consider if it is in correct proportion.” Consider.
What an incredible instruction. We are to evaluate and compare what Jesus went through with what we are or will go through.
TURN TO I PETER 2: 21 – 25
Jesus bore my stripes and yours – see the graphic imagery – so that “we having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed.”
It isn’t an accident God calls us to review the graphic details of the cross. The pain Jesus suffered in our place. Only when we consider in a meditative way do we begin to fathom the truth of “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.”
II. THE CONSEQUENCES
The Bible then says, “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed” “You have not yet been in the condition of striving against sin.” Why is that so for us? “you forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons, …” Again, God is telling us to consider something – consider the consequences of your actions.
YOU WILL RECEIVE DISCIPLINE WHEN YOU SIN. It is an incontrovertible fact of scripture. God disciplines His children.
Question: How does God discipline us?