The service will include believer’s baptism,
where upon profession of their faith
Rynn & Jackie Kemp will be baptised.
This service will also include a hymn sung by the SBC Church Choir.
Oh how we like things that are brand spanking new! As a matter of fact so did the Apostle Paul; writing here about the Christians new relationship to Christ; new relationship to the old sinful nature; and the area that will concern us today, the new relationship with fellow believers. But before he gets practical, he gets theological, with a reminder of the Christian’s new identity in Christ which is defined by the use of a few Old testament words that applied to God’s ancient people Israel:-
Chosen – There was nothing special about Israel, they were chosen simply because God chose to choose them (Deuteronomy 7 v 7 – 8.) Likewise the Christian is chosen by God and does not merit or earn such selection (1 Peter 2 v 9.)
Holy – Israel had been set apart to be distinct from the surrounding nations, offering a counter cultural alternative society (Joshua 23 v 6 – 8.) Likewise the Christian is to be different, modelling and alternative lifestyle (Romans 12 v 2.)
Dearly loved – Israel were more than loved, they were extravagantly loved (Deuteronomy 7 v 6.) Likewise the Christian is loved to the uttermost by a God who himself is love (Ephesians 3 v 18 – 19.)
Challenge – Is your identity rooted and grounded in Christ?
But with this identity comes ATTIRE in terms of a wardrobe of brand new spiritual clothes – compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience, all wrapped together in love. It also brings with it ATTITUDE, which we will now consider – “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The implications of these words can be dealt with using two headings:-
1 – The Mandate.
If we chose to ignore this mandate to forgive then we will face the inevitable consequences of lack of sleep, high blood pressure and stomach ulcers (physical); of loss of joy and creativity (emotional); of inability to concentrate and possible mental breakdown (mentally); and a lack of God’s presence and forgiveness in our lives (spiritual.) So un-forgiveness is self destructive, hurting the hater more than the hated, and although forgiveness is difficult, it is possible – See (Jacob & Esau – Genesis 27 v 41 & Genesis 33 v 4 & Stephen – Acts 7 v 54 – 60.) But if you remain unconvinced, then allow me to encourage you with:-
2 – The Motivation.
The key to forgiving others is to remember how much God has forgiven you. There was a time when you were totally self-centred and lived your life without reference to God; while your thoughts, words and actions regularly grieved and offended him. But then you somehow heard about God’s love for you in the cross of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7) and you turned from your sin and trusted in Christ. As you reflect on the sufferings of Jesus on that cross for you; the seemingly sizeable grievances that you are called to forgive should pale into insignificance when compared with the cost and the depth of how much you have been forgiven in Christ, giving you the incentive as well as the motivation to chose to forgive.
Challenge – Will you forgive, as you yourself have been forgiven?
Theme: “Grappling with grievances!”
Reading: Colossians 3 v 12 – 14
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes