Well, pastor Rod returned from his well-deserved vacation to give an interesting message last Wednesday evening that he titled “I Did Not Know Chico Was a Baptist.” My assistant recorded this so I haven’t yet heard the entire audio, so I am just as curious as you are to know what “Chico” and “Baptist” has to do with this message, but while editing the audio for publishing,
but I think it has something to do with all of us being ministers in the church and not just the pastor. If you are curious about this and the two messages delivered this Sunday, click the “Bulldogs and Piggies” link in the right margin.
In this Sunday-morning message, from Matthew 7:21-27, pastor Rod focused on the problem of false professions, of assent without faith, profession without possession, of “salvation” without lordship. Pastor concentrated on two indicators of this fatal problem:
1. Verses 21-23 clearly reveal that a mere verbal profession of faith accomplishes nothing. There are many who are confident that they are saved, but it is a false confidence. Right doctrine with out a right relationship to God in Christ is of no value. Luther, Whitfield, and Wesley were all examples of men who knew the truth, had right doctrine, long before they were saved. We also see that good deeds aren’t enough either. The issue is relationship. The issue is being rightly
2. Verses 24-27 point out that mere intellectual knowledge falls short of saving faith. The real issue is what is your life built upon? A set of facts you have agreed to? Or have you acted upon those facts by putting saving faith in Jesus Christ. See the analogy of the two houses built on different foundations. Saving faith goes one more step beyond assent to the facts, to acting on those facts.
Are you willing to live the faith you say you believe? No one but God alone can tell whether you are savingly trusting in Christ alone. Salvation is a gracious gift of God, but there is a cost in believing, namely dying to self and living for God. It’s not a perfect life, but a struggling life giving glory to God. What does the future hod for you.
This Sunday evening, pastor Rod is nearing the end our study of the book of Joshua, covering the first 28 verses of the last chapter. I suspect the last message in this series will take place next Sunday evening. This passage probably contains the most famous quotation in the whole book: “And choose this day whom you will serve, . . .But as for me and my house. we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15, ESV).
It is hard to live as light, when everything around us is geared for darkness. It is hard to be faithful, when all we ever see is unfaithfulness. In chapter 24, Joshua, at 110, on the threshold of eternity, challenges the children of Israel to a life of faithfulness to God. In this passage, when Joshua calls the children of Israel to a life of faithfulness, he is also calling us to a life of faithfulness.
1. In verses 2-13 we see that a lifestyle of genuine faithfulness demands a remembering of what God has already done in our lives. The central theme in this passage is what God had done in the past. This is something each of us need to do from time to time. We need to stop and reflect where we would be if God hadn’t stooped
2. In verse 15 is that famous line mentioned above which points out that a lifestyle of genuine faithfulness demands a persistent determined choosing. Showing your reverence to God by serving Him faithfully in sincerity. In this passage Joshua is charging the children of Israel to get off the fence and whole-hartedly choose one or the other, God or the idols. This call to choose is not a point-in-time choosing, but a continual, ongoing choosing; choosing today, tomorrow, and every day that follows. This concept goes hand in hand with this morning’s message, in that salvation involves this same concept. Salvation is not just a point-in-time decision, but an ongoing process, in one sense. It’s not just “Who did you trust in way back then?”, but “Who are you trusting in today, and every day?”
3. In verses 16-28 there is a call to vigilant watchfulness in a lifestyle of genuine faithfulness. Joshua warns the people to put away the idols that were already in their midst, and to incline their hearts toward God.
May we also be found faithful.
Everybody have a good work week. Listen to a sermon or two online this week. I do.