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.
We live in a culture which promotes freedom from accountability, regulations, rules etc. But in Christianity, the church cannot be sustained without certain organisational structure. The Lord has instituted His church with certain structure, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, guide, correct, rebuke and restore the congregation or an individual towards righteousness. This function is often referred to as Church Discipline. It is one of those essential marks of a healthy church. In this passage, we learn the nature of Church Discipline and why Christians need it.
Christianity’s message about the gospel of hope, forgiveness and eternal life is also effective when Christians maintain their integrity and uprightness. The gospel witness and our testimony is at stake when we are double-minded people who don’t live as per our profession of faith in Christ. In this passage, we learn the ways in which we can maintain our integrity so that the world would see Christ in us and glorify Him.
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 have a lot of poor examples of leaders around us, who make big promises but don’t fulfill them. Hypocrisy is so evident in their lives. Many leaders have fallen into sexual immorality, financial mismanagement, abuse of authority in the church etc. Recognizing a man of character has become a difficult task these days. How do we discern the character qualities of an Elder who is not perfect but acceptable in the eyes of God and people? Listen to the sermon to find out.
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.
Last week we considered the importance of Church Discipline in God’s community to maintain the purity of doctrine and purity of life. The greatest obstacle to maintain purity in our lives is our own sin. In this passage, we continue on the same topic and learn the importance of holiness and the danger of sin.
Church Discipline is disciplinary act from the elders of the church to rebuke, correct and restore a person from a sinful lifestyle in order to prevent the soul from further damage. It is a way of bringing back the prodigal into the fellowship of God and believers. In this passage, we learn why and how we need to practice church discipline.