Every local church is a collection of individual church members. Therefore, fostering a healthy church depends in some measure on fostering healthy church members who understand the centrality of living and working together as one body for the glory of God. Most importantly, it requires members of the church to live out the implications of the gospel within the context of a local community.
We don’t often hear people talking about being content today. When we do, it’s often in terms of what would be ideal rather than characteristic of our lives. In this passage, Paul gives an explanation of how he has labored for contentment in Christ and in the worst of circumstances he can have joy, since his circumstances could never give him the fulfillment he seeks anyway, he seeks to be content in the person of Jesus Christ.
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.
Pleasing God is not an everyday word. It’s an idea that has little value in our self-focused, instant-gratification world. Regardless of trends, culture, or opinion, pleasing God through obedience—remains a vital part of our journey with Christ. In this passage, we learn what motivations we need to have in order to lead a life pleasing to Christ.
Christian life is not devoid of suffering. It is not always filled with happiness. Christian life involves suffering because of the sin we carry with us, and also the sin and evil we see around us. Sometimes, this reality of suffering and hardship can be daunting. But this is where a great comfort lies, because it is God who enables us to persevere, assuring us that our suffering is momentary. In this passage, we learn how to endure suffering with eternity in mind.
Jesus Christ commissioned His Apostles to go around the world to preach the gospel and make disciples. It is not just for the Apostles to do this job (obviously because they’re not here), but every Christian is called to witness for Christ and be a disciple maker in some capacity. In this passage, we learn what kind of attitude and motives we are all called to have, in order to stand for Christ and serve His people.