Questions #10 – This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 17, 2010.
Sermon Notes »
We began this series awhile back with me saying that God is at work in every Christian. That is the reason for the hope we have. That is the basis of our assurance. Because the One who began a good work in us will complete, we are assured of future glory. It is not left up to us. We do not save ourselves – God saves. The same grace that brought life to us brings sanctification or holiness. Every Christian will bear fruit. Jesus said if you abide in me, and I in you, you will bear fruit. I am the vine you are the branches. Life is in the vine. Thus He said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
So all of that to say, when God saves us He begins a work in us. Salvation, or better conversion, is only the beginning. We are to press on toward holiness. Being conformed to the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus. The promise of Scripture is that we will grow in holiness. That our appetite for the things of God will increase. Because God works in us “both to will and to do” (Phil. 2:13). He gives us both the desire and the ability. We cannot fail. We will ultimately be presented to the Father pure and spotless because of Christ and because of God’s gracious work in us.
Now here is the question. If that is true. If God is at work in every Christian and if every Christian grows in holiness and righteousness does that mean all Christians are alike? Are we all the same? It is the same God, with the same power, moving toward the same goal – are we the same? It seems like a logical question. I heard about a young lady who thought everyone would be the same in heaven. After all the Bible says when we see Jesus we will be like Him. She took that to mean we would have the same appearance and we would know the same things. I’ve heard others speculate that in heaven everyone is 33 years old because that’s how old Jesus was when He died. What does the Bible mean when it says, “We will be like Him?”
A God of Endless Variety
Then what does it mean when it says we will be like Him?
So what difference does the differences make?
What does it all mean?
While we have a responsibility to love and encourage one another and while it is good, right and necessary for us to rebuke and instruct one another – growth and rewards are God’s business not ours!
You have no right to judge another man.
You have enough to worry about considering your own life and growth.
At the same time don’t be discourage if your fruit doesn’t match another’s. Don’t worry if you lack the understanding that another has. Continue to strive with the understanding that God is at work in you and therefore you cannot fail. You will not be judged according to another’s works but according to yours. You will not give an account for why someone achieved something that you did not. Were you faithful to what God called you to? That’s all that matters. Leave it in His hands and rejoice because He is at work in you.