The Bible constantly reminds its readers to beware of false prophets and false teachers. But it also reminds of false conversions or people who profess faith in Christ, but from the inside they are not genuine Christians. In this passage, we learn how to identify a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
What will you do when you are persecuted and your life is at stake especially because of your obedience to Jesus Christ? Most of us can try to be diplomatic and save our lives if we’re summoned by the government authorities. In this passage, God describes how a true disciple remains to faithful to Him in the midst of persecution.
What do you do when there ‘seems’ to be no answer from the Lord in your current situation? Would you still remain committed to God? Would you still have a level of trust in the Lord without any bitterness against Him? In this passage, we see three characters from the book of Ruth, who respond very differently to God’s providence in their lives. Their responses teach us what genuine commitment to God looks like.
Nominal Christians are those people whose life is not characterized by repentance, obedience and faith in Christ, but they’re found in the church gatherings just to maintain their religious status. It is necessary to examine our lives and see if our professed love for God stretch into action and showcase Christlike character. In this passage, we learn how we can forsake nominal Christianity and continue to walk faithfully in the path that Christ has called us.
Christianity is not about serving ourselves but it’s about serving others. It’s about putting other people’s needs before us, it also means that we shouldn’t always insist on our rights. We have reached a passage where Paul begins to challenge believers to sacrifice those things that are unnecessarily offensive to other believers and this can even be extended to unbelievers as well. He wants Christians to make every effort to win people to Christ.
In our first sermon on Deacons, we learnt that they take care of material needs or administrative work in the church. There has been sufficient focus on men leaders and their character qualities. In this passage, we learn about female deacons serving in the church, and the kind of character qualities they need to exhibit.
When the Apostle Paul writes down the character qualities of an elder in 1 Timothy, he lists out many virtues that display Christ-like character. And for the leaders in the church, there are some mandatory character qualities that Paul suggests cannot be compromised. In this 2nd part of learning about elder qualities, we learn how ability to teach, being hospitable and not being consumed by alcohol marks out a faithful, stable and a mature leader in the church.
We often define happiness based on how successful we are in our endeavors. If things in life are not as desired, then we will not be happy. But Jesus does not define happiness based on the good things that happen in our lives, he defines happiness even when bad things happen to us. He presents a counter-intuitive perspective on having a happy life. Listen to the sermon to find out.
Making disciples is not a commission given to just Apostles only but to every Christian as well. It implies that every Christian’s greatest calling in life is to work for the extension of God’s kingdom by joining with other believers in this endeavor; discipleship is a community project. In this passage, we learn how to make disciples for Christ by first becoming a disciple of Christ.
God already showed us in scriptures what it means for us to be His children, and what it costs us to follow Him. In many ways, the Cross of Jesus Christ is the way of Christian Life. He humbled Himself to the cross and sacrificed His own life for us, He suffered for our sake, He endured all kinds of rejection from His own people. In this passage, we see how the Cross becomes the model for christian life.