Faith in Christ
07 May 2013 Leader’s Meeting – Dr A.R Bernard
Success is not an accident, it is the result of an intelligent effort. Hence it must be created. It must be managed and protected.
You must protect what you are building, while you are building! Success has enemies. When you are successful you become challenged by those who want that success.
You have to have a clear vision of reality. What the world is about and how it works.
The world lies in the evil one!
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 Jn 5:19
You are in the world, in the system. Like how the ocean holds the fish. So although we are born of Christ, we are navigating and living in this worlds’ system. That is the reality of the world.
The world system is driven by these 5 principles :
- Greed – when you want more than what is reasonable at the expense of others
BUT! Not everyone shares the same moral values that you have! Other people believe in “Do unto others before they do unto you…”
Although we are ‘sheep’, we must be as wise as ‘serpents’.
The Image of Jesus
Every church has its own unique characteristics and personality, its strength and weaknesses.
Whatever image you have of Jesus will determine the way you live your life in the world. How you live out your christian faith. How you think and act and respond.
The Image of Jesus to the Philippians
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8
The image of Jesus to the Philippians was:
- The image of a humble servant
- He puts aside power
- Christ is subject to the powers of this world! (death of the cross)
The focus is on the growth of the individual person. Are more concerned with saving individuals, not so concerned about the world.
Out of this image comes submission.
The Image of Jesus to the Colossians
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:15-19
The image of Jesus to the Colossians was:
- Cosmic ruler of the universe
- Not a Christ OF power but IN power
- Where all things are subject to him, including all political and social institutions
The focus is not so much on the individual person but speaks of the place Jesus has in the universe. Go into all the world! They are not afraid to go into the system!
Out of this image comes authority.
The reality is it takes both images, not one or the other. He is the Jesus that transforms the person but he’s also the Jesus that transforms the place.
Once you’re clear on the realities and the image of Jesus, you won’t be confused anymore!
Institutions are people. If you can change people you can change institutions.
Culture is man’s attempt to order and organise society and to define the effective and correct ways to live in it. There’s so much argument because everyone doesn’t agree on how to live in it.
The greatest threat to freedom is freedom. If everyone did what they think is right in their own eyes then there would be chaos. So there must be guidelines and rules to protect the freedom.
Who better to ask than the creator of the earth Himself — God! All the guidelines we need are in the Bible!
Eg. God created male and female, that was the original design.
But man did what they thought was right, and created divorce. God and Moses permitted divorce but it was because of the hardness of their hearts!
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. Mt 19:8
In the current world, what the people want, they create their own system.
So then, how should we live?
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Colossians 1:9
His will – the plans and purposes He has
Knowledge – the gathering of accurate information
Understanding – the interpreting of the information. And not just earthly understanding but spiritual understanding
Wisdom – how you apply this understanding
We need knowledge + understanding + wisdom
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; Colossians 1:3-4 – Since we heard of your faith….. They had a reputation for their faith!
What is faith? Trusting God in spite of what you see and hear and feel.
Of all the great people mentioned in the Bible, God did not mention their talents or education or courage or strength, but their faith! Because without faith, you cannot withstand the storms of life!
Your faith is the secret to your success!
No matter what we face in life, it’s always a crisis of faith..
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
What is Satan after? Your faith!
Because your faith is the secret to your success! Don’t ever lose your faith!