1 John 3:18-24
Many who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour struggle with finding assurance of their salvation. Though they sit week in and week out in Churches up and down the length and breadth of the country, there remains a question that will not go away; am I truly saved? In answering this question, this sermon seeks not to crop the branches but to lay the axe at the root by exploring the question, what is true biblical faith? Many have the fanciful idea that faith is static, a mental ascent to a series of facts that they know nothing of in reality in their own lives. My brethren, faith walks!!
The apostle John his first epistle, furnishes us with weighty words which address the struggle that so many have in finding assurance of their salvation. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.” (1 Jn 3:18-19). In other words, assurance and obedience are inextricably linked!! We shall know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before God on account of fruit being evidenced and outworked in our lives by the indwelling Holy Spirit as we walk in obedience!! Could it be, the reason why so many Christians struggle with assurance of their salvation is because so many Christians walk in unbelief which manifests itself in disobedient lives? May the Lord see fit to bring light to the matter at hand!!
For the Christian, their testimony is simple; light has shone into darkness! Yet for many, though they name the name of Christ, they choose wilfully to remain in darkness and plead ignorance is bliss! Whilst happy to rest in religion, they will not come to the light lest their evil deeds should be exposed. For those sitting under the sound of true preaching, no such excuse can be made; the light of God Word has shone into darkness and one must now choose what to do with that light, to embrace it or to suppress it!!
This sermon is an earnest plea for all who have received light, to walk in the knowledge of that light, for to whom much is given, much is required and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. Dear soul, with the light that has already been given to you, to what degree are you walking in that light?
What does the gathering together of God’s people, the Church, mean to you? Is it greeted with joy, faith, expectation, reverence and godly fear; or is such a prospect met with sorrow, unbelief, pessimism, casualness, familiarity and general contempt? For the early Church, coming together was a most precious occurrence and privilege; we read that those early disciples continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42). Yet for many today, doctrine has become irrelevant, fellowship a chore, the breaking of bread a formality and prayer unnecessary!! Everything it seems has to be laced with entertainment in a sad effort to keep people in Church who wouldn’t otherwise be there!!
This sermon considers how this would all change if Jesus was coming to Church!! Oh how things would be different!! The whole Church would be in attendance that morning, no late comers to be seen in sight; worship would ring with note of difference, fellowship would be sweet and there would be no shortage of prayers!! Oh how our attitudes and hearts would be different within us! Yet the reality is, Jesus is in the midst of His people each and every time they meet!! Jesus said “…where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mat. 18:20). By the fruit of our halfheartedness and disrespect week in and week out, the Church of Jesus Christ demonstrates that it does not really believe the words of her Lord. Dear Brethren, it’s time to give our Lord His due honour and worth as King amidst His people!!
2 Corinthians 9
For many Christians, there is much confusion and scepticism surrounding the issue of money; as soon as one hears the word, the backs of God’s people go up and rightly so!! There are it seems more crooks and charlatans inside the professing Church than there are in any institute on planet earth – the majority of which have disguised themselves as pastors whose vocation it is to milk and fleece the sheep for whom Christ died!! This combined with the false prosperity gospel of greed and the Old Testament law of tithing, the topic of money has left an indelible blight on the Church of Jesus Christ!! Yet in the midst of this great confusion speaks a man by the name of Apostle Paul; a breath of fresh air amidst a cloud of pollution!! Paul coveted no man’s silver, freely he had received and freely he gave his life to serve and minster to the Brethren, working with his with own hands night and day to provide for his own needs that he might not be chargeable to the Brethren.
What does the New Testament have to say about tithing? How are we to give as New Testament believers? Is it right for ministers who labour in the gospel to receive support from the Church? All of these questions and more are answered from the Word of God in this teaching sermon. In short, despite the much abuse of money, there is a New Testament giving worthy of God’s blessing, a fruit and grace to which all believers ought to strive!!