It has been generally observed that Christians who tithe regularly have healthier finances. Not just tithing, but Christians involved in generous giving of themselves and sharing their resources with people who are in need often end up being better stewards of money. That is probably because their investments are often directed toward areas in life that matter the most, namely, relationships. In this passage, we learn how giving changes us, and enables us to love God’s kingdom better.
Your love for God is greatly determined by your generosity to give when people around you are in desperate need of something. Giving is not just limited to financial support (although it is essential part of your service), but it also extends to your time and spiritual support. God instituted Church to be the primary avenue in which we exercise generosity not just in terms of money, but also in terms of committing our lives (time & talents) for the growth of the church. Church is a community which reveals our love for God and our understanding of His generosity in the way we conduct ourselves with people.
Christian life is all about turning away from our sins and turning towards God as a way of renewing and strengthening our relationship with Him in faith. This needs to be an integral part of our practical Christian living. Repentance is a way of turning God’s Fatherly displeasure on us into a joyful embrace. This assurance about God’s embrace of us in Jesus Christ is also experienced when we practice godly sorrow by repenting of the sins we have committed against God and His people.
In the Bible, to be Holy means always to be set apart. Children of God are regarded as holy because they were set apart for God to live for His glory and also to become more like Jesus Christ. Christian life in that sense, is all about pursing holiness. In this passage, we learn what it means to pursue holiness so that we become like our Heavenly Father and also like our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian Life consists of various character qualities which are an indication of our genuine faith in Christ. God expects His children to exhibit certain spiritual qualities so that the world might glorify His name. In this passage, we learn about being faithful in our callings, and also to seek God’s approval in everything that we do.
In the Bible, God sets aside His redeemed people primarily to fellowship with Him and to glory Him by reflecting His character through His people in this world. God is glorified when His redeemed people show certain marks that remind the world about God and His kingdom. In this passage, we learn how sincere love for others and constantly fighting sin in our lives through repentance and overcoming temptation, are the ongoing marks of a true Christian.
Church history has a record of martyrdom so prevalent that a person’s genuine faith in Christ was verified by how much they were willing to suffer and be persecuted for Christ sake while witnessing for Him every second of their lives. So, what kind of character traits should a Christian show forth in the church and in the world especially in times of spiritual adversity? Listen to the sermon to learn the marks of a healthy Christian.
What is the solution for two parties to no longer be in enmity with each other? The only possible solution is to reconcile. But reconciliation is often initiated by first person toward another and is more inclined to settle the matter at personal cost. In this passage, we see God taking such posture of reconciliation toward mankind, even to the point of sacrificing His own Son, Jesus Christ. He ordains His Son to die on the cross on behalf of sinners, so that they would be reconciled to Himself. Reconciliation is made possible only through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.
How do you view your relationship with Christ? Do you relate yourself to Him as a sinner or as a saint? If you relate to Him as a sinner then you’re unlikely to experience the joy of forgiveness: justification, adoption (into God’s family), and the certainty of eternal life. However, relating to Christ now as a new creation (saint) also does not negate the fact that you’re a sinner. In this passage, we learn what kind of identity we are given in Christ and the implications of that in our daily lives.
The church as an institution is always dependent on its mature and effective leadership committee, or a group of Elders. If there are no godly Christian men who are equipped to handle the Word of God and the saints with integrity and moral uprightness, the church would collapse immediately. In this passage, Paul not just defends his ministry, but also lays out marks of a true Christian leader called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to lead a life that brings glory to God alone.