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Rep to Protect

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Author and educator, Howard Hendricks, sat in a plane that was delayed for take off. After a long wait, the passengers became more and more irritated. Hendricks noticed how gracious one of the flight attendants was as she spoke with them. After the plane finally took off, he told the flight attendant how amazed he was at her poise and self-control, and said he wanted to write a letter of commendation for her to the airline. The stewardess replied that she didn't work for the airline company, but for Jesus Christ. She said that just before going to work she and her husband prayed together that she would be a good representative of Christ.
I wonder if this concept is escaping us in our current evangelical culture today. If we profess to be a Christian, we are indeed representatives of Christ. We represent Him. We have got to take this seriously today. It is super important in our culture today that we can tell the difference between sheep and goats. And when we actually run into a sheep that it actually is a sheep and not a goat. Our world needs this. The church needs this. So many need this.
What if we go to someone dressed like a police officer when we needed a police officer and find out that he is dressed like one but actually not one. What if we go to someone dressed like a fireman when we needed a fireman and find out that he is dressed like one, but not actually one.
What’s gonna happen when we go to someone who professes to be a Christian when we need a Christian and find out that he professes to be one, but is not actually one. Not very nice… We are called to be ambassadors of Christ. We are called to bear his name. We are called to be “Christ”ians. And not just some of the time. Not just once a week. Not just on Sundays. Everything we do and everything we say everytime and everywhere we are to be representatives of Christ. Everything we say and do we do it in the name of Jesus. We got a rep to protect. Let’s take a look.
Colossians 3:16–17 NLT
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
The grass withers, the flower fades but the Word of our God stands forever.
The first thing we will look at today is the importance of representing Christ in everything we say and do. Second, we will see how we have much to be thankful for the redemption that was given.
Thesis: Though sin and the pattern of this world cause us to lose sight of our identity in the confusion of post post modernities idealism and the fear of being canceled by our culture, it is the scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit that will cause us to recognize our real identity in Christ and the faith to submit to His authority and depend on His power.
I. Represent
- In the name of the Lord Jesus.
A. We got the Logo ay en Ergo - Word and Deed. Whatever you do in Word and deed. This phrase encompasses all of life. It solidify’s the concept of everything and whatever is is that we are doing.
B. I like the way Dr. Kent Hugues explains it, “There are few exhortations in Scripture that are more comprehensive than this one. “Word or deed” takes in everything in life. “Deeds” can be preaching, teaching, eating, exercising, driving, cleaning house, shopping, visiting, working, playing (basketball, soccer, tennis, fishing, even watching)—everything! Our words are everything that passes our lips, even in unguarded moments. Everything we say or do is to be done “in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
C. Dr. Doug Moo writes, “The combination “word” (logos) and “deed” (ergon) is a common way of referring to the totality of one’s interaction with the world: everything, including what we say and what we do, should be governed by the consideration of what it means to live in the realm of the risen Christ.
D. This is not one of those areas where there is a lot of wiggle room. The point that Paul and Timothy is making is that there are no exceptions to the rule. The point is that there is no wiggle room. Wiggle room for what?
E. There are no exceptions for us at anytime for us to not have to be a representative for Christ. Our entire lives are to be identified as a representative of Christ. Lets take a closer look at this...
F. First things first… the word Kurios meaning Lord is used for Christ. This is the greek word used in the OT for Yaveh and so here is another picture announcing the divinity and Lordship of the God-man Jesus.
G. But watch this… In the name of the Lord does not simply picture the use of the name Jesus in all that we do, but to act in concert and in character of the name of Christ Jesus.
H. The naming of Christ’s name by a group of people in the Mediterranean (Colossae specifically) world was a way of identifying themselves as much as Identifying Christ. In a way… they were confessing their readiness to be known by reference to this Lord Jesus. Their identity was Christ and only Christ. And in the ancient Mediterranean world... this was in no way a light matter of labeling. The “name” was one of the main ways, in the ancient world, by which a person could be known. This is how his or her character could be disclosed. This is how one could “get a handle” on another. How someone could be known who was not known.
I. One of the wonderful things I have found in life that was really reassuring. Anytime I would meet a person who I did not know, it would not matter where I was or what was happening or what the circumstance… if there was a Christian around I was in good shape. When we were on tour with the band, when we would meet other Christians it was amazing how much we had in common. It was amazing how many assumptions were real. Even when there were people who were difficult, who were antagonistic, who were in opposition to what we were doing, we could depend on each other to do the biblical thing. Do we realize that when we claim to be a Christian, we are all depending on you to actually be a Christian and represent Christ for real.
J. But I am ashamed to say that today… not so much. Are we able to depend on Christians to do what we are supposed to do? In the realm of politics, what happened to brotherly kindness? On social media, were is the self control? In the workplace, what happen to considering others as better than ourselves. On the road, what happened to living at peace with everyone? When out in public, what happened to turning the other cheek? Do we realize that we are representatives of Christ. One commentator writes,
“Our actions must say that Jesus is and does exactly what he claims!”
K. Our actions should display who Jesus is. Our actions should display what he does. When we became Christians we became new creations we cannot remain the same. When we became Christians we were filled with the Spirit, we are supposed to have love joy peace patience kindness gentleness faithfulness self control. When we became Christians, we have received the power and potential to really love thy neighbor and even our enemies. When we became Christians we will obey Christ when he told us to love each other just as he loved us. When we became Christians we became those who would display, hope, joy, righteousness and peace.
L. And when people depend on us to be representative of the Living Christ, that we are actually protecting the rep and we are being who we are supposed to be. Other Christians are depending on us to be that.
M. I remember going to lunch with a friend who was telling me about the lunch he had with his pastor. He was confronting him on his lack of kindness he was showing to some of the members. And in the middle of the restaurant the Pastor started yelling at him and grabbed his fork and started stabbing the table. My friend was sooo embarrassed when the manager came to the table to ask if everything was OK. Can we as Christians not display Godly character, especially in public, and hear my friend say that even unbelievers know how to act in a public restaurant? Not protecting the rep. Not being a good representative of Christ.
N. I understand the temptation. I understand how hard it is. I also understand its importance. Phase 2 of our outreach has begun and we are getting some real engagement on the platforms. Now some of you who are following out outreach on social media platforms are seeing the engagement. Some people are saying some mean and disrespectful things to me about what I am saying. They even call me names. Oh yeah… I gotta tell you. It is really hard to hold back the things I really want to say back to some of these people. And yes even if I am threatened with physical violence I am tempted to call it… to test out the 3 years of MMA training. And some will say that they see my character and my patience and because of it they tune in everyday to watch and to learn.
O. We gotta be who we are and what we are at all times anytime and anywhere. This is what we are called to. Our world and our culture needs us to do this. This is key to reforming and evangelizing our culture. We got a rep to protect.
II. Redeemed
- The gospel of Jesus.
A. In our culture we tend to have an identity crisis became we try to compartmentalize our lives in what we do. We have our work self, our professional self, our parental self, our fun self, our party self, and our religious self. But we see here today that it is word and deed all encompassing… the religious self is all there is. We rep Christ at all times no matter what.
B. But Shane, thats hard to do. What about me. What about my rep. What about me. What about what I’m trying to do. All that ended when we became Christians. Oh no?
Matthew 16:24 NLT
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
Jeremiah 10:23 NLT
I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.
C. But it is the reality of original sin. Our identity does not naturally follow the course of what is gospel driven. This is why we struggle. This is the reason for the identity crisis. And this is why we are thankful… we have been redeemed and we have been forgiven. And today we are motivated toward representing Christ because of the beauty of the gospel. The power of the gospel.
D. We have been saved. We have been delivered. We have been redeemed. Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures and he was buried and he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost.
1 Peter 2:24 NLT
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
E. The promises continue. All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Salvation is here.
F. So much to be thankful for. So much reason to rejoice. So much to rep, so much to protect. Just time to be who we are supposed to be .
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