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.
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 our culture, Christianity is often presented as a religion of supernatural healing (from diseases, chronic illnesses) and miracles (prosperity, prevention of death, dreams and visions, tongues). It is also seen as religion of prophecy about the end times. All of these gifts are seen as the necessary manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. In this passage, we learn how the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not mainly about tongues, prophecy and supernatural healings, but of Spiritual transformation in our lives through the ordinary means which God appointed.
In our first part under this topic, we learnt that the Lord has instituted His church with certain organizational structure which includes ‘Church Discipline’, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, rebuke, correct and guide us towards righteousness. In this passage, we learn how church discipline shouldn’t be practiced, and also what kind of response should we display when the elders, pastors and deacons work to restore our joy in the Lord.
As we enter into the new year of 2020, we often come with a sober reminder of things happened in past and things we hope would happen in the future. Our new year resolutions are filled with ideas and principles relating to prosperity either in terms of wealth, health or spiritual life; we want a rewarding life. In this passage, the Psalmist Moses reminds us of the author of our lives, which is God himself, who need to be acknowledged because our very existence depends on Him. Not only that, but our very destiny depends on Him. For Christians, God is their rewarding life!
Lord’s Supper is a sacred practice in the church. It demonstrates the remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ’s suffering and death on the cross. We also remember how that made our Heavenly Father forgive sinners. But how is it suppose to reflect in our relationships in the church? How does it help us to have the right attitude? This passage teaches us the manner in which we should participate Lord’s supper.
Christianity doesn’t demand us to perform many rituals and sacrifice to Idols or become a monk, but it demands us to forsake our selfishness and pride; only then are we able to believe that Christ is the only Savior of our lives because we couldn’t save ourselves from God’s righteous judgment. In this passage we learn how God chooses unintelligent people, people with low social status, people who are not very influential, demonstrating His grace to those who are helpless and crushing the pride of those who believe they are self-sufficient, wise and powerful enough.
Repentance is turning away from sin and turning towards God. In today’s passage, we learn how God’s message of Judgement to the people of Nineveh enabled them to see His mercy toward them and produced repentance in their hearts. In the sermon, we also learn how God is not just the main author of our salvation, but also the main author of our repentance.
As the speaker says, “Salvation is not a joint venture between God and man.” It’s a complete work of the Triune God. In this sermon we learn how God’s plans supersede man’s plans. We see how God exposes Jonah’s heart and causes him to repent of his disobedience. We also learn how Jonah points us to Christ as he suffers in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.