Nothin’ to Say

My parents said one thing to me growing up more than anything else, “Shut up, Jeff!”  Now that was before shut up was treated as a four-letter word.  I talked a lot!  If I had said anything, maybe they wouldn’t have continued to ask me to be quiet.

Here’s something that I will never get tired of hearing (my parents too, I suppose), the third element of salvation.

We have discussed the first couple of elements that must happen in a person’s life in order for them to receive salvation.  Here’s a quick review”

  1. Believe.  Romans 10:9, “If you believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you can be saved.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God that God raised from the dead.
  2. Repent.  Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” I am sorry for my sin and have determined to live out the change that will happen in my life.

Now, the third element that must happen in your life to receive God’s salvation is to confess.  What do we mean by confess?

I have confessed my sins already, that’s involved in repentance.  Here is the rest of Romans 10:9.  “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Peter’s confession is usually the confession we refer to when someone is about to confess Jesus.  In reply to Jesus’ question, Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

If you believe in Jesus what should your confession be.  What do you have to say?  What do you believe?

Confession and baptism is to be public.  There is commitment, accountability, encouragement, and more as we confess Jesus before others and they share in our immersion.  What do you say?

These will be the most meaningful words you will ever express; “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

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It is saying something of meaning!

Hey Church! Here’s Something for you to think about

http://www.outofur.com/archives/2009/11/one_in_christ_o.html

Before you read the following remarks, please read the article from Christianity Today.  The link is above the picture.  It is worth your consideration.

The Lord’s Supper is unique among all religions.  It is not some sort of ceremony by which we please or appease God.  It is not a ritual that makes the Christian religion.  It is not a lot of things.  But the Lord’s Supper (Communion, the Lord’s Table, the Eucharist, etc) involves many things.  Unity, such as the article notes, is to be a part of the Lord’s Supper.  That was the problem the Corinthian church had in 1 Corinthians 11.  Disunity through disregard and pride (1 Cor. 11:27-28).  It isn’t, “I wasn’t the best Christian this week, I have sinned this week” that called for evaluating oneself to share in the Lord’s Supper, it was, “Am I caring for, concerned about, loving on my Christian brothers and sisters?”

The Lord’s Supper, in another sense, is evangelism, 1 Cor. 11:15; “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” When you share in the Lord’s Supper, you are showing everyone that notices, “I believe in the saving death of Jesus Christ.”  That is one of the many reasons I love that we share in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.

But there is one thing that the Lord’s Supper is above all else, and that is what Jesus said it was.  A memorial.

It is the only memorial the church should ever have.  I disagree with memorials in the church to this person or that one, it is unscriptural.  The only memorial is the Lord’s Supper.  Jesus is the one who died for our sins, not Charlie Christian or Sally Saint or Robbie Righteous.  Jesus is the one who sacrificed his life with the effect that you can have your sins forgiven and be given eternal life, nobody else did nor could they.

The broken unleavened bread and the cup from the vine, are representative of Jesus’s body being broken and his blood spilt to pay for your sins.  If that doesn’t bring the most unlikely group of people together in unity there is nothing that does.

I mean, there are lot of people I fellowship with and love and care for that I would probably never want to have anything to do with, if we weren’t forgiven and brought together to worship and follow Jesus.  We should remember Jesus in this.  He brings forgiveness to all who put their faith in him; he puts us together in unity of heart, mind, and soul if we will submit ourselves to him; he will bring hope and joy to us all as we worship him; and the Lord’s Supper is the symbol of his death, his offering for us, his trust in God so we would trust in Him, and our hope as a body of believers, loving, sharing, and serving our Lord Jesus Christ together.

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Passionate for Christ

I am convinced more than ever, that if a person isn’t passionate for Jesus Christ, they will be virtually ineffective as a witness for Jesus.

Not too many truly passionate Christians will wear a T-shirt that says “Satan Sucks Jesus Rocks.”  Is it true?  Yeah it is.  Is it best?  No, hardly ever.

This morning Solonique Adolphe who is a native Haitian preacher, spoke for our church.  Solonique is a man of faith without any doubt.  The Living Water Christian Church he leads has about 300 people.  A good-sized church.  Many churches in America would love to have that many people won to the Lord and active in their church.  Our congregation is one of Solonique’s supporting churches.  As he spoke this morning from John 15:1-8 & 16-17.  You could sense Solonique’s passion for Christ.

His passion for Christians is that they are connected to Christ and bearing fruit.  His passion for the non-Christian is that they get connected with Christ.

Solonique is passionate for Jesus Christ.  The leaders of the Living Water Christian Church are passionate also.  It’s no wonder that over the past year and a half, they have grown about 100.

Read the book of Acts, the letters of Peter, Paul, and John and you can’t help but feel that the apostles and the early church were passionate about Jesus and it showed.   They turned the world “upside down” scripture says.

Regardless of church growth, the passionate Christian is

  • A faithful and devote Christian
  • A serving Christian
  • A seed-planting, soul-winning Christian (witnessing about Jesus)
  • A loving Christian

If a church grows, the passion of Christ must be there and we must be open to God’s Spirit filling us full of that passion.

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