June 28, 2014
Last Sunday John spoke on being ‘Salt and Light’, Matthew 5:13-16. This Sunday Danny continued on with this theme.
There are three areas the Leadership of our Church is wanting us to focus on as The Body of Christ at church@paravista.
With this week’s study you have the following to choose from to discuss in your group….
A. ‘An outline of Danny’s message’.
B. ‘The Application section of last week’s study’. (in case you ran out of time to finish as our group did)
C. ‘A combination of both’.
Which you go through keep referring to the three areas mentioned above.
1. Our understanding of who we minister to.
A. Anyone who has chosen to reject Gods offer of forgiveness is going to go to hell because of their sin. Romans 3:23-25
B. Don’t expect an easy ride as an effective Christian or Church.
We have an adversary called the devil, who wants to crush and discourage you. Start making a difference in his kingdom and you will soon know he is alive and well.
C. Not everyone will say ‘Yes I want salvation’!
When Jesus told the parable of the four soils in Matthew 13:3-9 & 16-23, He made it very clear.
Some seed fell on the hard path.
Some seed fell on rocky ground.
Some seed fell on thorny ground.
Some seed fell on good soil which represents the hearts of those who truly accept God’s message and produced a huge harvest.
(See also ‘The Parable of The wedding Dinner’, Matthew 22:1-14.)
The crux of this parable is, not all people will be open to the gospel and we need to be ok with that but we still love them and respect their choice, regardless of how we feel about it.
We do not befriend people to reach them for Jesus, we make friends with people because we love them and if they choose to reject Jesus, we still love them.
2. Our response, that we each have to make, so we can be used by God.
A. Each of us makes a conscious choice of what our response to God will be.
We will either choose to love the unsaved and do something about it or we will choose to ignore them and watch them pass into a Christless eternity.
Will you choose to be the salt and light in this world?
Our human natures are equipped with two responses in the face of fear (which sharing the gospel for many people, represents fear). They are Fight or Flight. You will either choose to stand and fight with God in the power and enabling of His Holy Spirit or you will run away.
B. You need to choose to be generous
Those that knew Jesus, Matthew 25:34-40,
· Fed those that were hungry.
· Gave drink to those that were thirsty.
· Showed hospitality to strangers (opened their homes).
· Clothed those who were naked.
· Helped the sick.
· Visited those in prison.
To be a disciple of Jesus, means not only sharing the Gospel, but sharing our lives and our resources.
We are blessed to bless…..
This is possibly one of the hardest things to do, being a light in a world full of darkness and not letting the world affect who we are as Christians.
We are called to be in the world, but not of the world.
3. Our commitment – to see this happen and to maintain unity within our church.
A. Compel them to come in.
In Luke 15:8-10, Jesus tells the parable of woman that lost a single coin, she lit a lamp and searched and searched, until she found it. She rejoices and tells her neighbours and friends she has found what she had lost.
In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.
Just remember, every last person no matter what you think of them is just as important to God as you are.
And I mean everyone, the worst of sinners in your mind, the prostitutes, the murders, the liars, the gossipers, the rapists, they mean just as much to God as you do.
If you think that you are more important, you are just fooling yourself because this is not how God thinks.
Friends it is your responsibility to do all you can to share the gospel, to bring people into your church, so they can experience more of God and the love of the family of God.
This church will not grow and people will not be saved, if you choose not to invite them.
It is not the Pastors job, or the Elders job, or the Deacons job, or the ministries leaders job to compel people to come, it is your job, will you compel them to come in or not?
B. Grace to all
Grace means getting what we do not deserve from God.
God chose not to give us what we deserved, death, but instead gave us the gift of eternal life.
We as Christians are to extend the same kind of grace to all, in the church and outside of the church.
Think of ways to encourage one another in outbursts of love, grace, compassion and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24.
The last point I would like to touch on is forgiveness.
Friends, brothers and sisters, if we do not get this right, bitterness and resentment will destroy our church and our lives.
1 John 2:9-11 tells us that we cannot claim to be a child of God if we choose not to forgive for then we are still living in the darkness.
Where there is unity, God commands His blessing, where there is not, Satan is alive and well and you are a tool of destruction.
For further reading, could I encourage you to do a personal study on Matthew Chapter 18, how to sort our differences in the church, biblically.
In conclusion my prayer is that,
Read again Matthew 5:13-16 where Jesus said to His disciples…‘You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.’
What did Jesus say is the purpose of light and what are we to do with God’s light in us?
Read also Peter’s words in 1 Peter 2:9.
How do we do this? What are we not to do? Matthew 5:14-16
It has been said we witness by Life and by Lip.
A. We witness by Life. (The way we live) ‘We are the light of the world.’
As unsaved people look on at our lives what do they see?
Read Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 5:7-13, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Philippians 2:14-15 and Peter’s in 1 Peter 3:15-16.
What did Jesus command us to do to that would….
· ‘Prove to the world that we are his disciples’? John 13:34-35.
· Cause the world to believe His Father sent Him? John 17:21.
Is there a fellow Christian whom you are not loving or one with? Share and ask in the confidentiality of your group to pray for you and with God’s guiding and help seek to resolve any issues to bring unity.
B. We witness by Lip. (What we say) ‘We are the salt of the earth.’
What was Jesus message to Paul when he was converted? Acts 26:16-18.
Discuss Paul’s instructions in the following passages,
· 2 Timothy 2:15-16.
· Colossians 4:5-6.
· 1 Peter 3:15-16.
How can we use God’s Word to help us according to the following verses?
Psalm 119:105, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
What urgency should we put on being ‘Salt’ and ‘Light’ to people around us who are blind and lost on their way to eternal destruction? Read John 9:4, 1 Corinthians15: 58.