We are in the middle of our series “Survey Says . . .” As I think I have mentioned earlier, we handed out a list of topics that the church was able to vote on so that they could hear a sermon about it. Last week was The Difference Between Wesleyans and Baptists. That sermon was a very hard topic to preach. I think that it should have been a topic for Sunday school; but not everyone will come to Sunday school. So it seems that the pulpit has had to take on some of the Sunday school responsibilities of teaching. I think that is good in some ways, but I am still a supporter of Sunday school. So here is last Sundays recap.
- The topic was Why don’t I get along with others. The sermon was Harmony with Others.
- The main point in the message was that our relationship with others reflects the health of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Scripture was Ephesians 4:15-32; yet, all of Ephesians 4 and The Sermon on the Mount give direction on this topic.
- The first point was change brings harmony. In other words, we must dies to ourselves so that we can truly repent. Repent means to be sorry enough to make a 180 degree change. Paul said “Put off the old man.” Change from who we were before we met Jesus Christ. That old person was influenced by the way the world sees things. As Christians we know that the world is against Jesus Christ. So we cannot please God by allowing ourselves to be influence by a fallen world. We must die to that way of life. If we allow ourselves to be influenced by the world, then there will always be conflicts between us and others.
- The second point was that we must sacrifice for harmony. In the world, when there is a conflict between us and others, and if we are not able to find peace, someone will suggest that we sacrifice for the sake of peace. Yet, when the world suggests that we sacrifice this means that we compromise. So that type of sacrifice is out of the question. Paul points out in Romans that we are to present our “bodies as living sacrifices to God.” This is not a compromise that says, “Okay God, to have peace with You, I will give You this much of Me.” Instead, sacrifice in Paul’s mind was that we give ALL OF OURSELVES to Christ. This is “putting on the new man.” This is how we allow Christ to change that worldly influence in us so that the Holy Spirit can dwell in us which means that He will guide us in what is right and wrong. This is where most Christians fall short in their relationship with Christ, which reflects poor relationships with others.
- Some commentary that I gave was that there should be a time in our walk with the Lord that we know that we have died to ourselves. After this, there should be an experience that demonstrates that we are full of the Spirit. I don’t mean spiritual gifts, but spiritual fruit. Before our church can, as our mission statement says, “Transform our community and world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” we must be full of the Spirit. Everything that we do flows from this central point. We cannot care for others until we are surrendered to Christ and transformed ourselves by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- The last point was the Paul showed the way to harmony by giving direction about what a Christian life should like after “putting off and putting on.” After being transformed by Christ, on the inside, we will desire not to do sinful things against our neighbor. As a matter of fact, other people can do things that would anger others, but because of the love in our hearts for others, we will not want to do wrong to them when they do us wrong.
- We discussed Holiness, a.k.a Sanctification, in our Sunday night Wesleyan Men’s group. I shared what my experience was as well as failures since my experience.
- The Wesleyan Women went to a lady’s house who has recently become a shut-in, hopefully not for long, and this is what I think it means to be part of a Christian community. I endorse this. We don’t have to always be at our church for a Sunday night service. We should be in each others homes.
- We had 41 in attendance for our AM service.
- 31 for Sunday school.
- 31 for Sunday night.
- Could these numbers indicate our relationship with Christ as a church? We minister to approx. 70 different people. And these people all come on different Sundays but we never get over 55 in attendance. And, it was 74 degrees Sunday, very suspicious looking. I have to say, I was tempted to call in sick :).
The bottom-line is that we are in tough times as a nation. It is imperative that each Christian be sold-out completely to Jesus Christ. This means that He is first all of the time. Every comes after Him. It is time to quit being luke warm. He will spit us out of His mouth if we remain this way.