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Simply A Christian

The Sum of all things: Jesus   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Simply a Christian is being unified in Christ

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I’m confused?

Stumbling blocks. There are stumbling blocks that cause many not to obey the Gospel. There are multitude of people trying to tell you you do this, don’t do that, they are a cult, they are not the true church and much the like. There are conflicting doctrines (teachings) conflicting practices.
Jesus is the way out of religious confusion. When we stay to the Word of God there is no division. When we follow the ways of Christ there is no conflicting doctrine we are simply Christians who study God’s Word together.
Jesus wanted unity, Paul wanted unity and we know that God is not the author of confusion but of peace.
1 Corinthians 14:33 NASB95
33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Jesus wanted unity that the whole world may believe in the Father and that the Father had sent Him.
John 17:21 NASB95
21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Jesus wanted the world to believe the apostles doctrine
Acts 2:42 NASB95
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
The early church did, and like the Israelites added to what God said people today have added to what God says, hence making doctrine that is not biblical. There is no doubt that all of these different groups of people love Jesus but are they acceptable to Jesus and the Father? I’m not the judge, but we have Gods Word to share with others the Truth, and the Truth is the Jesus of the Bible, and the doctrine of the Apostles.
Oh we are no alone in the division, we may even cause it at times by trying to share the Word without love.
We are not alone, the 1st century had issues too as Paul pointe out.
1 Corinthians 1:10–11 NASB95
10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
1 Corinthians 1:12–13 NASB95
12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Christ’s desire was
they all may be one (Jn17:21)
Paul’s desire
That there be no divisions
Be perfectly joined together
In the same mind
In the same judgment
Same mind, makes me think of this.
Philippians 2:2 NASB95
2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
then a few verses later
Philippians 2:5 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Since we are to be unified, no division, and God is not the author of confusion what is? What is the source of confusion?
Paul wrote this
1 Corinthians 3:3–4 NIV
3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
Worldly, other versions say carnal or fleshly. divisions are caused by things of this world and not of the Spirit. These things, the works of the world, ofthe flesh, of carnality can keep you out of the kingdom of God as mentioned in a list Paul has:
Galatians 5:19–20 NASB95
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Galatians 5:21 NASB95
21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Divisions; go hand in hand with
Sedition (N) - conduct or speech inciting people to rebel . . .
Or how about
Heresies (N) - belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious doctrine (Especially Christianity)
We don’t have to look far to see this do we?
It is possible to be simply a Christian today in spite of the religious divisions we see around us at times. For Jesus is the way out of religious confusion

I. Jesus showed the way

In Jesus time, the time of His coming was the time of the Jewish people being God’s chosen people, but there were divisions among the Jews. They were known as religious sects, or parties
Pharisee’s- zeal for traditions; considered themselves better more religious than rest
Sadducees - the aristocrats, worldly minded; thought of themselves as superior to the rest
Herodians - Jewish political sect in line with Rome - thought they were right and were more aggressive than the rest
This is the culture that Jesus came into the world, you would think that the seriously religious minded people would belong to one of these sects, but Jesus did not.
Jesus was simply an Israelite who came into this world under the Law of Moses not to do away with it, but to fulfill it.
Matthew 5:17–18 NASB95
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Matthew 5:19–20 NASB95
19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
He encouraged people to keep it and exceed the religious zeal (righteousness) of the Pharisees or you will not enter kingdom of heaven.
So this simply an Israelite that set a path and example for man to be reconsiled to God because we could not surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees, what would Jesus be today? - Simply a Christian, not a part of any sect or denomination, but true to what a Christian is today as laid out in the scripture. That is what the disciples were called: Christians
Acts 11:26 NASB95
26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Barnabus had set out to find Paul and came to him and brought him back to Antioch and that is where Christians were first called Christians.
1 Corinthians 9:21 NASB95
21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.
Paul wanted to reach people no matter place or position so he could win to the law of Christ, to come to Christ, Christ’s way. - we too should be satisfied with the name “Christian” and be happy with just being simply a Christian in the Lord’s Church.

II. The Lord’s Church

Jesus clearly tells us how the church was to be built and how many churches
Matthew 16:16–17 NASB95
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18 NASB95
18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Built upon the truth that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God He would build His Church!
The church is the Ekklesia, the called out, the assembled, so how were we called?
We were called through the gospel; those who were of obedient faith
2 Thessalonians 2:14 NASB95
14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We were called through the gospel; those who were of obedient faith
Acts 2:38–39 NASB95
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
Acts 2:40–41 NASB95
40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
Called out by the Gospel, called to act by faith and be added to the numbers those bveing saved
Acts 2:47 NASB95
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The Christians, the church started and existed in Jerusalem just as Jesus said. The Gospel spread out and the 3000 grew
Acts 14:21–23 NASB95
21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
It was not easy, there were lots of tribulations; and you will face them too, but remember Christ already overcame the tribulations of this world
John 16:33 NASB95
33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
So at the preaching, came the faith, from the faith came the obedience and from the obedience the church was born and by the church there is no division when we are unified in Christ. The words we use, the things we teach are the things of the Bible. The things that were taught to us, just as Paul taught to his disciples like a youngman named Timothy
1 Corinthians 4:17 NASB95
17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
The word does not change, we don’t add to it, we don’t take from it, it is the whole counsel of God
Acts 20:27 NKJV
27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
The whole counsel is Jesus as the way of forgiveness, the way to the Father, the way the truth and the life. Everything we need to take us to heaven and to lead others to the kingdom of God.
We hold the teachings, the doctrine of God, the authority and we share the written word with others, and in doing so we know how we ought to act in the house of God (we are the house of God.
1 Timothy 3:14–15 NASB95
14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
Remember the called, called by the gospel, not by the ways of man, but by the ways of God through the blood of Christ, and we need to hol fast to it.
2 Thessalonians 2:14–15 NASB95
14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
Remember we started today talking about being “simply a Christian” and the religious confusion that is out there we need to be about avoiding divisions and leading people to follow the truth as laid out in the scripture. - follow the same instructions that they followed on Pentecost when the church (Ekklesia) was born
Acts 2:38 NASB95
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Repenting and being baptized, why? Because you heard the message, the gospel
Acts 2:37 NASB95
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
They believed the message
Mark 1:15 NASB95
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
and the results I already mentioned (ref. Act2:47) the Lord adds to the numbers; and then we keep, follow the apostles doctrine, the teaching, pattern as laid out in Act2:42
Acts 2:42 NASB95
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
When we accept christ and are buried and raised up with Christ to walk in the newness of life (Ref: Rom6:3-4) then we are united, which means we are in unity with others all over the world like us that have obeyed the same teaching (doctrine) as laid out in the Bible.
We are
Churches of Christ (Rom16:16)
Church of God (1Cor1:2)
Body of Christ (1Cor12:27)
You are simply a Christian!
Conclusion: It is not hard to be simply a Christian, when we follow the teaching of Jesus as revealed by Jesus and the Apostles we have no religious confusion; no division we simply have simple Christians studying God’s Word to share the love of God with others.
Are you simply a Christian, have you obeyed the calling by the gospel? Are you bringing unity through the Word and judgment and division? May we follow the ways of Christ and do things His way and get His results.
(input an invitation slide here)
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