Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This week's sermon: Discipleship or Sin Management?

Ephesians 2:1-10.
We all started out dead in our sins. It should come as no surprise that those without Christ in their lives act like non-Christians. It should be our concern to introduce them to Christ so that he can change their hearts and live His life through them.

A discipleship focus in our hearts and minds emphasizes a relationship with Christ that He uses to bring us into alignment with Himself. This is contrary to the religion of sin management that is busy categorizing sin and coming up with ways to keep the sins we like, while balancing out those same sins with good works. Sin management leaves us slaves to sin, consumed by trying to find our own solutions. Discipleship frees us to follow the person of Jesus, confident that we can trust him with our own lives, as well as the lives of those around us.

Matthew 23:13.
Jesus told the religious people of his time, "woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor do you let those enter who are trying to." Are we barring the doors of heaven to those who desperately need a savior?

Matthew 9:12.
Jesus said, "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." Are we expecting people to shape up before they come to Christ? They are unable to "fix" their lives, just like we are unable to "fix" ours. We must direct people to Jesus to receive from Him eternal life not just for after they die, but starting now.

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