Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What is the goal of your faith?| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on the November 29th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here  . To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

In 1 Timothy 1, Paul outlines the key objective of his teaching and preaching. In 1 Timothy 1:5 he says “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Paul had a goal. He was not aiming for a great reputation. He wanted life transformation.

Today many Christians become conference junkies going from one experience to the next. It is good to feed ourselves. Be discerning about what you feed yourself with. But in the end, it must result in a transformed life. Ezekiel 33:32-Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.” It is like when you go to a concert. You love the experience but it doesn’t change your life. Jesus speaks of this about King Herod. He loved listening to John. But his heart did not change. In fact, he beheaded him.

Paul’s goal was to change lives and not move hearts. This needs to be our goal as well.
Paul had a method to reach this goal- through instruction. The Word of God is critical to have our lives transformed. Worship is important. Worship based on the word is very important. 

The Bible is important. Make sure you have some access to the Bible. Early Christians did not have a big black bible. But Paul spent all his time and energy in preaching. He says in Acts 20:31- “So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears”. In Acts 20:20 Paul says, “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house”.

In Acts 5: 28 the High Priest spoke to the Apostles, ““We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Teaching is important. Paul preached so much. Acts 20:9-11 accounts this incident when Paul was preaching all day and night, “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.” 

The word is important. Don’t neglect your quiet time. The method Paul used was so that he could produce a community of people who had certain characteristics. What are these?
It’s love.

1.       Love for God- Paul wanted to show people that God loves them so much. Will you respond in love to him? He reminded people of God’s love.

2.       Love for one another- this is the mark of a Christian. Is that love being produced in our life? 1 Corinthians 13:1-3-If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” Love is important

Q. How do we get people to love God?

As we feed ourselves with the word- where he says he is not going to leave us, that we are loved abundantly and infinitely in our lives, we respond to his love.
Then, we love our brothers. Going a step further, we even love our enemies. Paul is trying to produce a community of people who receive the love of God and show that love to everyone.

Today we live in a throw away world. We throw away everything that doesn’t work. Sadly we are applying this to wives, friends, jobs, church everything. This is not love. Agape love is a choice to love. Jesus demonstrated this. His love is consistent. This means bearing with one another, forgiving one another. There is acceptance. Ephesians 4:3 says make every effort to maintain the unity of the spirit. It takes work!

Where there is sin, someone has to bear the pain of it. Irrespective of whether they let you down or not. Christmas is a wonderful time to express this.

Loving the ones who are enemies- of God and so to you- we love them by making every effort to bring them into the knowledge of God. The love of Christ compels us to share the gospel with others.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” Are you living for your pleasures and comforts? Paul calls us to live for him. We are ministers of reconciliation between man and God. What a privilege it is to be ambassadors of Christ. The God of this world has blinded them but we are called to bring them out of this.

We are not tolerating but accepting one another. We are to deeply love one another.  So let us put this into practice. Ask yourselves and one another: What can you do to grow in your love for one another, for unbelievers and for God? Discuss these things- spur on one another. When people see us, they should marvel at our love because we are disciples of Jesus

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.

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