Shalem India Pentecostal church, New Jersey.

Sunday Messages: Jan '11

January 02, 2011

 

Scripture: Romans 12:1-8

Subject   : Christ Brings New Life

Theme    :  How to possess this New Life?

 

Introduction:

·   All of us like something new - new dress, new house, new bike, new car, and any other think that is new.

·   The problem with all these is that after sometimes they will become old and we want to change.

·   But there is something that will never become old.

·   Our passage talks about that thing; and do you know what that thing is?

·   That is the NEW LIFE that Christ brings.

·   The life that Jesus brings is newer everyday! You will never feel it becoming old!

·   I thank God for He has called all of us into this new life.

·   In order to possess this new life, there must be a total change in our life.

·   To be something new, there cannot be anything that of old.

·   It is life the old has gone, and the new has come.

·   2 Cor. 5: 17 says, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

·   Only in Christ we can have this new life.

·   It is because Christ is the one who brings this new life.

·   We said there must be a change in our life to become a new creation.

·   What kind of changes must take place in us in order to possess this new life?

·   Paul talks about 5 changes in our lives through this passage.

·   Let’s see them briefly.

 

 

1.      A Change In Our Body is needed to possess this new life (v.1)

·         We read in v.1, “…Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…”

·         This is offering our bodies to God

·         In the new life that Christ brings, we cannot fulfill the desire of the flesh, but only bear the fruit of the Spirit.

·         God accepts only a changed body, that is, pure and pleasing to God.

·         This is a decision not to defile our bodies, but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.

·         Four Hebrew young people, Daniel, Shadrak, Meshach, and Abednego, decided not to defile their bodies with the delicacies of the King.

·         Paul says in 1 Cor 6: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

 

2. A Change In Our Mind is needed to possess this new life. (v.2)

·         V. 2 talks about renewing of our mind.

·         One translation says, “Let God change the way you think.”

·         This is offering our thinking to God.

·         In this new life, we cannot think like the people of this world.

·         We need to think the way God thinks.

·         If we put it in another way, we can say, ‘have the mind of Christ.’

·         When we have the kind of Christ, then we will be able to see and evaluate everything from God’s perspective.

·         When we perceive our present life and future plans from God’s perspective, we will be able to know God’s will in it.

·         We will understand what God wants us to do.

·         Before we accepted Christ, we never wanted to know what God wanted us to do.

·         We always walked according to the ways we thought best.

·         Now we walk according to the will of our God.

·         A change in our thinking is an absolute requirement to possess this new life in Christ.

 

3. A Change In Our Self-understanding is needed to possess this new life (v. 3)

·         V. 3 says, “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…”

·         This is offering our ‘self’/ ‘being’ to God.

·         A change in my understanding about myself - Who am I?

·         Before I accepted Christ, I thought I was somebody – I am better than others.

·         Now I understand that I am not better than my brother/my sister.

·         We consider others better than ourselves.

·         That is the change the Lord wants us to have.

·         We do not think highly of us.

·         Now we do not compare ourselves with others in regards to the amount of faith/number of talents/ use of gifts/ amount of blessings/ anything of that kind.

·         A self-evaluation/ a self-criticism is what we needed to possess this new life in Christ.

 

4. A Change In Our Function is need to possess this new life (vv. 4-5)

·         This is recognizing our role in the body of Christ.

·         This is offering our role to God.

·         Before I become a believer, I use to do things for myself.

·         I was so selfish. I don’t want others to benefit.

·         Now I think of what role can I play for the benefit of the entire community?

·         This is an understanding of my function in the body of Christ?

·         A person who is not transformed to the likeness of Christ will always think of his position highly before others.

·         Such a person thinks his or her role is important and greater than others.

·         But a person who is in Christ will always think all are important and belong to each other.

·         Because I am the teacher, I should not think that I am greater and important than my students.

·         Because I am a pastor, I should not think that I am important than my believers.

·         God has no such difference.

·         We do different functions, but one in Christ.

·         All of us are equally important to God.

·         It is a call for unity.

·         V.5 says, “…We who are many in Christ belong to all the others.

·         Such a unity is required for this new life.

 

5. A Change In our service is needed to possess this new life (vv. 6-8)

·         This is an attitude to serve - cheerfully and joyfully

·         This is offering our service to God.

·         In our old life we wanted others to serve us.

·         But in the new life that is brought by Christ, we want to serve one another.

·         We do it not by compulsion, but faithfully, joyfully, cheerfully, humbly and according to the grace given us.

·         Never think that one service is greater than the other.

·         One may be prophesying …

·         One may be serving at the table…

·         Others may be encouraging their brethren…

·         One may be contributing to the needs of others…

·         Another one may be in leadership positions…

·         Some may be showing mercy to those who are suffering…

·         Whatever it may be…

·         We must do it in proportion to our faith – it simply means that we should not expect everyone to do in the same measure, but differently.

·         We must do it according to our enabling – it simply means that we should do our best.

·         We must do it generously – simply means liberally, without any reservation and partiality.

·         We must do it diligently – with hard working and painstaking, and simply means we should not do with carelessness.

·         And finally, we must do it cheerfully – willingly and joyfully and not with grumbling and murmuring.

·         So we need a change in our attitude in the service of God.

 

Conclusion

God wants us to renew our whole life and service in this New Year.

Let’s offer our body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God

Let’s renew our mind thinking of things from above than the things .

Let’s have new understanding of who we are and what we can do through Jesus Christ.

Let’s serve cheerfully and joyfully in this New Year.

Let others see that you and I are a new creation.

God can use only such a renewed life.

May the Lord help us to live in the newness of life!

Jan 09,2011

 

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:1-14

Subject: Christian Responsibilities

How to be a responsible Christian?

 

Background

·         Apostle Peter wrote this epipsle to the suffering Christians in Asia Minor.

·         The theme that runs throughout this epistle is “Experiencing God’s grace in the midst of suffering.”

·         In the previous sections Peter talks about:

·         Christian hope which is a living hope.

·         Christian life which is a new way of life.

·         Christian growth which is to be nourished by the Word of God.

·         Christian submission to governmental authorities and to families.

·         Christian attitude in the context of suffering.

·         Christian understanding of suffering, bearing the unjust suffering.

·         Then he talked about practical Christian living as to what we must do to lead a practical Christian life.

 

Introduction

·         In today’s text, Peter talks about Christian responsibilities.

·         He talks about how different categories of people must fulfill their responsibilities in the church.

·         He mainly talks about three groups of people

·         The Elders – their responsibility is to take charge! (shepherd the flock).

·         The Younger – Their responsibility is to follow! (be subject)

·         Then All - humble yourselves! (cloth yourselves with humility; Humble yourselves).

 

1. Elders must feed their flocks (vv. 1-4)

·         The existence of elders as spiritual leaders goes back to Israel’s Old Testament times when 70 elders were appointed and divinely empowered to assist Moses in leading the people of God (Numbers 11:16-30).

·         They persisted throughout Israel’s history.

·         In New Testament times, they are mentioned in conjunction with the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees.

·          Elders also played a role in secular rule as well.

·         Elders emerged as the highest human authority in the New Testament church, assisted by deacons ( Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; James 5:14).

I noted seven responsibilities of the elders here:

1.      Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care.

·         This is the principle command which is given as an imperative.

·         Shepherding often includes different functions, such as leading or ruling, feeding, and guarding.

·         In times of persecution, those who are leaders make themselves vulnerable to attack by being visible in leadership.

·         Peter therefore urges them not to shrink back but rather to step forward and carry out their God-given calling in faith.

2.      Willingly serve as overseers- not out of compulsion, but as God wants you to be.

·         Spiritual leadership should not be “under compulsion” but voluntary.

·         It is not that compulsion is always wrong, for Paul acts “by compulsion” in carrying out his calling as an apostle:

·         Paul felt compelled to preach the gospel for this is what he was called to do

·         In our text, Peter does not seem to be referring to the inner compulsion of which Paul spoke but of an external compulsion or pressure applied by others.

·         Peter seems to be urging elders not to reluctantly take up their task and the authority which accompanies it, but to exercise authority willingly, enthusiastically.

·         Who wants a reluctant leader in times of crisis?

·         Who wants a reluctant warrior in time of battle?

3.      Do not be greedy for money.

·         We see one’s motivation for taking leadership.

·         Some may be strongly motivated to lead but for the wrong reasons.

·         The elder is to exercise his God-given authority not so as to pursue sordid gain but rather to sacrificially give himself in serving as a leader for the edification and growth of others.

4.      Be eager to serve

·          They are to lead “with eagerness.”

·         it seems the “readiness” or “eagerness” is a zeal that is sacrificial and without any thought or calculation of self-gain.

·         The eagerness of a godly elder is the readiness to serve others sacrificially and not the eagerness of greed.

5.      Do not lord it over those entrusted to you.

·         The elders are to “rule” the flock, as undershepherds of our Lord.

·         Those who “lord it over” the flock are those who have come to look on the flock as their possession.

·         They also look upon themselves as “lords.”

·         There is only one Lord.

·         They are to be shepherds, not lords.

·         It is His flock, not theirs.

·         It is used to depict the despotic rule of sin over a man.

·         In Acts 19:16, Luke employs this term to describe the subduing of the sons of Sceva by an evil spirit. While the exact words are not employed in these texts, they illustrate the kind of “rule” Peter condemns.

·         When elders shepherd the flock, they are to use their authority in obedience to the Good Shepherd and for the good of the sheep. They are not to use their authority to abuse the sheep.

6.      Be examples to the flock.

·         In contrast to the abusive use of authority to control the sheep, elders are to show themselves to be examples to the flock.

·         True shepherds are not to stand behind the sheep, driving them forward, but to go before the sheep, leading the way.

7.      Serve with the hope that you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

·         Evil shepherds seek to further their own interests and use the sheep to bring about selfish gain.

·         They look for their rewards now and think of them in temporal and material terms.

·         He is the Chief Shepherd, the “Great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20) and the “Shepherd and Guardian of our souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

·         The sheep are His sheep.

·         The shepherds are His sheep. The sheep are not the possession of earthly shepherds but the flock God has placed under their care for a time (1 Peter 5:3).

·         It is He before whom elders must stand and give account (Hebrews 13:17).

·         He will reward them for their faithfulness.

 

2. The younger to follow and obey (v. 5a)

·         The younger ones are to submit to their elders.

·         “Why are only the younger ones addressed?”

·         The youngsters are likely those who are most inclined to second guess the leadership and go their own way.

·         Youth often fails to appreciate the wisdom of those older and wiser in the faith.

·         They are the ones who are to take up the leadership later.

·         So they must submit to the elders and follow their example.

 

3. All must humble themselves (vv. 5b-14)

·         Then Peter exhorts,

·         All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

Five things we must do as responsible people:

1.      We must Submit to God

2.      We must cast all our anxiety on him

3.      We must be self-controlled and alert.

4.      We must resist the devil

5.    W must depend on God’s grace.

  

Conclusion

·         Even We tend to measure our leaders in terms of their success, but the Scriptures measure them in terms of their faithfulness in the midst of suffering.

·         Success is not the test of leadership, but suffering is the test of leadership.

·         Peter has set down three primary commands.

·         Elders are to shepherd the flock by exercising leadership in a way vastly different from the way unbelievers lead.

·         Younger men are not to be characterized by independence and rebellion but by submission to the elders.

·         Saints are not to be self-seeking, self-serving, and self-sufficient but humble in their relationship to God and to men.

 

Mathewphilip ©2011

 

 

Jan 09, 2011

 

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12-19

Subject: Christian Steadfastness

Why we must be steadfast in great times of suffering?

 

Background

·         The author of this epistle is apostle Peter.

·         He is writing to the suffering Christians in Asia Minor.

·         The theme that runs throughout this epistle is “Experiencing God’s grace in the midst of suffering.”

·         In the previous sections Peter talks about:

·         Christian hope which is a living hope.

·         Christian life which is a new way of life.

·         Christian growth which is to be nourished by the Word of God.

·         Christian submission to governmental authorities and to families.

·         Christian attitude in the context of suffering.

·         Christian understanding of suffering, bearing the unjust suffering.

·         Then he talked about practical Christian living as to what must we do to lead a practical Christian life.

 

Introduction

·       In today’s text, Peter talks about Christian steadfastness.

·         He talks about why we must steadfast in our suffering.

·         Why every believer must be steadfast in great times of persecution?

 

1. Suffering is not something strange to believers. (v.12)

·         Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

·         Suffering should not take the Christian by surprise.

·         Old Testament saints such as Job and Joseph suffered, and virtually all the Old Testament prophets suffered.

·         Jesus taught that His followers would suffer and He Himself suffered, setting an example for us to follow.

·         The apostles and many in the early church suffered, and they taught that we too should expect suffering.

·         Still further, we are to consciously choose the path of suffering.

·         Why are some Christians surprised when suffering comes our way?

·         One reason is the wide-spread preaching of a distorted gospel in which Christ is presented as the key to earthly blessing and the solution to all our problems.

·         In Christendom today many attempt to “merchandize” the gospel by professional, secular techniques and gimmicks.

·         False teachers do not just modify the gospel; they proclaim another gospel which appeals to the flesh.

·         People who come to the faith through such gospel quickly abandon their profession of faith when suffering comes.

·         That’s why suffering in the Bible is pictures as a test of our faith.

·         Unfortunately, a number of true believers also fail to grasp the future dimensions of the blessings brought about by the sacrificial work of Christ.

·         They believe that because Christ suffered in their place, they no longer need to suffer.

·         They are told that if they but have the faith, they may live in a constant state of blessing, experiencing many of heaven’s blessings now.

·         The televangelists’ prosperity movement is only one manifestation of this error.

·         Such thinking fails to understand our Lord’s teaching on discipleship and the apostles’ teaching.

·         They do not under- stand that Christ is still rejected by the world and that we share in His suffering and rejection.

·          Discipleship is not about self-actualization or self-indulgence; it is about self-denial.

·         Our present experience is not the “crown” but the “cross.”

 

 2. We will be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (v. 13)

·         When we suffer we actually participate in the sufferings of Christ.

·         Christ suffers with those who suffer.

·         We must rejoice in suffering with Christ.

·         When we suffer for Christ’s sake, we are to consider ourselves blessed.

·         Suffering for Christ’s sake is not a curse but a blessing.

·         The suffering we experience for Christ’s sake is innocent suffering.

·         It is not suffering that results from our sin.

·         Such suffering should be an encouragement to us, an evidence of our victory over sin in Christ.

·         It was the Father’s will for Christ to suffer for our sins.

·         So it is His will that we suffer as we identify with Christ.

·         We are admonished to rejoice that we were able to suffer with Him that we might reign with Him.

 

3. We are blessed when we suffer for the sake of Christ (v.14-18)

·         You are blessed if you are insulted because of the name of Christ.

·         It is because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on us.

·         If we suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, but as a Christian.

·         If we suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that we bear that name.

·         Suffering for Christ’s sake is not only for the glory of God, but for our own good.

·         Suffering for Christ’s sake proves and improves our faith.

·         Suffering now is no picnic, but it is vastly more desirable than entering into the suffering of eternal judgment.

·         Peter’s words in verses 17 and 18 are perplexing:

·         For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"

·         If God is going to judge the believer, what about those who don't even believe?

·         From other biblical texts, we know “judgment” is vastly different for believers than unbelievers.

·         Saints are judged not for salvation, but for rewards (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

·         Sinners are judged according to their works because they have rejected God’s provision for salvation in Christ (John 3:16-19; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-9; Revelation 20:11-15).

·         Suffering now is an encouragement because we know we are not among those whose suffering comes later.

·         Our judgment is from this world, but the judgment that is going to come up on the unbelieving world is from God.

·         Their judgment comes from God for all eternity.

 

4. We must entrust our souls to God and continue to do good.

·         If you suffer persecution because you're a child of God, then just commit your life to God, the keeping of your souls to God.

·         He's a faithful Creator. And you've got to just learn to just commit yourself.

·         That’s what Jesus did, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT .” And having said this, He breathed His last.

·         For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day (2 Timothy 1:12).

·         Suffering is a path we must choose.

·         And when we do so, we determine by God’s grace to live righteously, knowing that in so doing we will bring opposition and persecution.

·         Let’s trust ourselves to the God who made us, for he will never fail us.

Mathewphilip ©2011

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January 16

 

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:1-14

Subject: Christian Responsibilities

How to be a responsible Christian?

 Background

·         Apostle Peter wrote this epipsle to the suffering Christians in Asia Minor.

·         The theme that runs throughout this epistle is “Experiencing God’s grace in the midst of suffering.”

·         In the previous sections Peter talks about:

·         Christian hope which is a living hope.

·         Christian life which is a new way of life.

·         Christian growth which is to be nourished by the Word of God.

·         Christian submission to governmental authorities and to families.

·         Christian attitude in the context of suffering.

·         Christian understanding of suffering, bearing the unjust suffering.

·         Then he talked about practical Christian living as to what we must do to lead a practical Christian life.

 Introduction

·         In today’s text, Peter talks about Christian responsibilities.

·         He talks about how different categories of people must fulfill their responsibilities in the church.

·         He mainly talks about three groups of people

·         The Elders – their responsibility is to take charge! (shepherd the flock).

·         The Younger – Their responsibility is to follow! (be subject)

·         Then All - humble yourselves! (cloth yourselves with humility; Humble yourselves).

 1. Elders must feed their flocks (vv. 1-4)

·         The existence of elders as spiritual leaders goes back to Israel’s Old Testament times when 70 elders were appointed and divinely empowered to assist Moses in leading the people of God (Numbers 11:16-30).

·         They persisted throughout Israel’s history.

·         In New Testament times, they are mentioned in conjunction with the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees.

·          Elders also played a role in secular rule as well.

·         Elders emerged as the highest human authority in the New Testament church, assisted by deacons ( Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; James 5:14).

I noted seven responsibilities of the elders here:

1.      Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care.

·         This is the principle command which is given as an imperative.

·         Shepherding often includes different functions, such as leading or ruling, feeding, and guarding.

·         In times of persecution, those who are leaders make themselves vulnerable to attack by being visible in leadership.

·         Peter therefore urges them not to shrink back but rather to step forward and carry out their God-given calling in faith.

2.      Willingly serve as overseers- not out of compulsion, but as God wants you to be.

·         Spiritual leadership should not be “under compulsion” but voluntary.

·         It is not that compulsion is always wrong, for Paul acts “by compulsion” in carrying out his calling as an apostle:

·         Paul felt compelled to preach the gospel for this is what he was called to do

·         In our text, Peter does not seem to be referring to the inner compulsion of which Paul spoke but of an external compulsion or pressure applied by others.

·         Peter seems to be urging elders not to reluctantly take up their task and the authority which accompanies it, but to exercise authority willingly, enthusiastically.

·         Who wants a reluctant leader in times of crisis?

·         Who wants a reluctant warrior in time of battle?

3.      Do not be greedy for money.

·         We see one’s motivation for taking leadership.

·         Some may be strongly motivated to lead but for the wrong reasons.

·         The elder is to exercise his God-given authority not so as to pursue sordid gain but rather to sacrificially give himself in serving as a leader for the edification and growth of others.

4.      Be eager to serve

·          They are to lead “with eagerness.”

·         it seems the “readiness” or “eagerness” is a zeal that is sacrificial and without any thought or calculation of self-gain.

·         The eagerness of a godly elder is the readiness to serve others sacrificially and not the eagerness of greed.

5.      Do not lord it over those entrusted to you.

·         The elders are to “rule” the flock, as undershepherds of our Lord.

·         Those who “lord it over” the flock are those who have come to look on the flock as their possession.

·         They also look upon themselves as “lords.”

·         There is only one Lord.

·         They are to be shepherds, not lords.

·         It is His flock, not theirs.

·         It is used to depict the despotic rule of sin over a man.

·         In Acts 19:16, Luke employs this term to describe the subduing of the sons of Sceva by an evil spirit. While the exact words are not employed in these texts, they illustrate the kind of “rule” Peter condemns.

·         When elders shepherd the flock, they are to use their authority in obedience to the Good Shepherd and for the good of the sheep. They are not to use their authority to abuse the sheep.

6.      Be examples to the flock.

·         In contrast to the abusive use of authority to control the sheep, elders are to show themselves to be examples to the flock.

·         True shepherds are not to stand behind the sheep, driving them forward, but to go before the sheep, leading the way.

7.      Serve with the hope that you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

·         Evil shepherds seek to further their own interests and use the sheep to bring about selfish gain.

·         They look for their rewards now and think of them in temporal and material terms.

·         He is the Chief Shepherd, the “Great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20) and the “Shepherd and Guardian of our souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

·         The sheep are His sheep.

·         The shepherds are His sheep. The sheep are not the possession of earthly shepherds but the flock God has placed under their care for a time (1 Peter 5:3).

·         It is He before whom elders must stand and give account (Hebrews 13:17).

·         He will reward them for their faithfulness.

 2. The younger to follow and obey (v. 5a)

·         The younger ones are to submit to their elders.

·         “Why are only the younger ones addressed?”

·         The youngsters are likely those who are most inclined to second guess the leadership and go their own way.

·         Youth often fails to appreciate the wisdom of those older and wiser in the faith.

·         They are the ones who are to take up the leadership later.

·         So they must submit to the elders and follow their example.

 3. All must humble themselves (vv. 5b-14)

·         Then Peter exhorts,

·         All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

Five things we must do as responsible people:

1.      We must Submit to God

2.      We must cast all our anxiety on him

3.      We must be self-controlled and alert.

4.      We must resist the devil

5.    W must depend on God’s grace.

 Conclusion

·         Even We tend to measure our leaders in terms of their success, but the Scriptures measure them in terms of their faithfulness in the midst of suffering.

·         Success is not the test of leadership, but suffering is the test of leadership.

·         Peter has set down three primary commands.

·         Elders are to shepherd the flock by exercising leadership in a way vastly different from the way unbelievers lead.

·         Younger men are not to be characterized by independence and rebellion but by submission to the elders.

·         Saints are not to be self-seeking, self-serving, and self-sufficient but humble in their relationship to God and to men.

Mathewphilip©2011

January 23

 

Scripture: 2 Cor. 1:1-2

Subject: Motives of Christian Life and Service

Theme: Ensure Your Call

 Introduction

·         We do live with certain motives.

·         What are the motives behind our life and service?

·         Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 1: 1-2 talks about one of the motives of Christian life.

·         It is to make sure our calling.

·         We must have the confidence that we are called to live and work for the Lord in the world.

 Background:

·         Apostle Paul wrote his letter of 2Corinthians to the Church of God in Corinth together with all the Christians who lived in the region of Achaia.

·         He joins Timothy with himself in writing this epistle.

·         It is not because he needed his assistance, but probably to introduce him with a title called, ‘Our brother’ to the believers.

·         We see a great humility on the part of this great apostle to recommend this young brother Timothy to the esteem of the Corinthians, and give him a reputation and acceptance among the churches.

·         After the introduction the apostle begins with the description of his troubles and God’s goodness, which he had met with in Asia, by way of thanksgiving to God.

·         From the introduction (vv. 1-2) itself we learn three things as far as our life in Christ is concerned:

 1. We are called to do live and serve by the will of God:

·         Paul qualifies himself saying ‘an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.”

·         An Apostle is the one specially commissioned by Christ to do the ministry.

·         Apostle means ‘sent one,’ and not gone out one.

·         If we are the gone out ones, we are going alone.

·         If we are the sent out one, we are not alone, but His authority and presence are with us as we live and work for the Lord.

·         Paul claims that he is sent by Christ by the will of God.

·         Now the question is, "What has God called you to be?"

·         If I were writing to the church, I would have to write, "Mathew, a pastor/teacher by the will of God."

·         I couldn't really write, "Mathew, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God," for that isn't my calling in the body.

·         God has called me as a pastor/teacher.

·         But, there are others who could write, "Johnson, a Chemist by the will of God." "George, an auditor by the will of God." "Elsy, a nurse by the will of God."

·         For God has called men and women into all types of occupations.

·         The important thing is that I am what I am by the will of God, that I am doing what God has willed for me to do.

·         And it's marvelous when we can say concerning our life, "I am walking according to the will and the plan of God for me.”

·         Actually we are called by God, recruited by God and commissioned by God to live and serve in this world.

·         We must have the assurance and confidence that we are called to live and serve the Lord and people around us.

 2. We are called to be holy:

·         When he wrote to the church, he addressed them as saints.

·         This shows our position before God.

·         He sanctified us through Christ Jesus.

·         When people accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, God sanctifies them.

·         We will be no more known as sinners, but saints, which is our standing before God and men.

·         It means that we are set apart as holy to the Lord.

·         But there is another aspect of sanctification that is practical.

·         We need to be holy every day in our lives.

·         So when we start living for God, Satan cannot call us any longer a sinner or he cannot accuse us with the old sins that we have committed.

·         As we live and serve here on earth, we must have the confidence that it is God who sanctifies us through Christ Jesus.

·         You and I are the saints of God.

 3. We are called to experience God’s grace and peace:

·         We live and work in the world and this world is not favorable to us.

·         To live in such a hostile world, we need God’s grace and peace.

·         These are Christian qualities that are available only to God’s children.

·         The eternal source of these qualities is God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

·         When we experience God's grace and peace during a trial, we're better prepared to minister to others.

 Conclusion

·         Peter writes in 1:10: “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall…”

·         Let’s continue to live and serve with the assurance of God’s call, with the practice of God’s holiness, and with the experience of God’s grace and peace.

Mathewphilip©2011

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