This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 4th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
We saw how we should stand firm in the Lord. We saw why relationships are important. We saw how we should rejoice in the Lord.
Before we go into this let's look at standing firm. It's not standing still but persevering in the purposes of God. Phil 1:27 says stand firm in one spirit.
2 Thess 2:15- “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” Standing firm is conducting yourself in a certain way.
Phil 3:14 is far removed from doing nothing. There is effort involved. The effort is in the Lord. We do it with the strength that God gives us.
1. John 15:4 speaks about remaining in the Lord and in the Word. We need to be a people of his word. The practice of having a quiet time goes a long way in standing firm.
John 8:31-32 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is holding on by obeying the Word.
2. The second is we want the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jude 1:20- “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit”. We should be a people led by the Spirit.
Phil 4: 5- “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near”
Q. Can you say you are gentle?
This is a command. That word is translated differently in different translations-
Q. What is the model for this? Jesus
Matt 11:29- “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” He was gentle and humble.
Q. What was Paul like?
2 Cor 10:1- “By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!”
Let's look at some examples
1. In John 8: 1-11 a woman was caught in adultery. How does Jesus deal with the situation? Jesus says I don't condemn you, sin no more.
Q. What do we do when people sin against us? How gentle are we?
We need to be gracious enough to forgive
2. In John 13: 1-7, Jesus before he goes to the cross, washes the feet of the disciples, even Judas. Gentleness is to love even those who are against us.
Q. How can we be gracious?
Prov 15:1 “A harsh word stirs up anger but a soft answer turns away wrath”. We need to do this even when there is no response.
1 Pet 3:15- “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. He says, share your faith with gentleness and respect. You can't argue anyone into believing.
Titus 3:2 says, always be gentle with everyone
1 Peter 3:3-4 says talking to wives, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” A quiet and gentle spirit, this will win their husbands over.
Standing firm includes being gracious and gentle. This is great quality.
Q. What is the reason for this?
A. In Phil 4: 5 it says the Lord is near. The early Christians lived with the hope that Jesus would return soon. 1 Thes 4:8- do we live with that expectation? The fact is that He is coming again. If you have not put your faith in Jesus I urge you to do so. One he comes is there is no second Chance.
B. The second reason is God is at my side. Ps 139:8 Jesus is with us every moment of the day. We can encourage ourselves that no matter what we go through know that God is with us. Sometimes we come to God with a wrong mentality that he will judge us. No. He is there for my success and well being.
So we stand firm by moving toward the things of God. It's takes effort to move the direction that God wants. It’s being gentle and gracious like Jesus. When we look to Jesus we can change.
The Lord is near. That is our encouragement.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking 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 into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.