Faithlife Sermons

LIVING FOR CHRIST

Spiritual Growth Emphasis  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 10 views

Christianity is more than a mere action...it is an action and a state of being

Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

Christianity is not a noun. It is a verb. It is about what God has done, is doing, and will do. It is about what we were, are, and shall be. It is more than an institution; it is an action, a state of being.
In our text the author explores the three tenses of Christianity. Three times he quotes from :
Psalm 95:7 ESV
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,
This is done in an effort to motivate his readers to live for today in light of the lessons of the past and the promises of the future.

I. Learn from the Past (3:8)

A. These Christians, like all of us, came to Christ out of a “past.”

1. A past is a hard thing to shake. It is something you are always trying to live up to or to live down.
2. Some of us are proud of our pasts, but most of us are prisoners to them.

B. The only proper way to deal with the past is to learn from it.

1. You can try to live in the past or you can try to run from the past; but you can never truly forget the past.
2. Since we cannot leave the past behind, perhaps at least we can learn from it. This is exactly what the author tells us to do. “You are your fathers’ sons,” he says, “but you do not need to repeat your fathers’ sins.”

II. Long for the Promise (4:9)

A. There is a sense in which Christianity is a religion of hope.

1. Nothing is more basic to biblical Christianity than what it hopes for hereafter.
2. The second-coming, heaven, hell, punishment, reward—all are major tenets of a faith that proclaim, “This world is not my home.”

B. Christians live their lives expectantly, awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promises.

1. “Hope” and “trust” are future-tense verbs. By them we anticipate the promises of God.
2. For the Christian the past is forgiven and the present empowered by what is to come.
3. According to our author our labor for the Lord will be consummated by a “Sabbath rest.” The career of faith has an end of finished work, fulfilled hope, and realized destiny.
Titus 2:11–14 ESV
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Titus 2:11–14 ESV
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

III. Live in the Present (3:14)

III. Live in the Present (3:14)

A. Ours is a religion of a present tense relationship.

1. It is about conviction and conduct, believing and behaving in response to God’s call.
2. Christianity is a process. There is a sense in which we are ever “becoming” Christian.

B. God is concerned about our present-day lives

1. “Today,” insists our author, “today, if you will hear his voice do not harden your hearts.”
2. Refusing to let us “rest on our laurels,” God continually confronts us with some moment of truth to which we must respond. In our response we demonstrate our faithfulness to Him.

Conclusion

You could some up living in this present life as a believer with two commands...“Believe” and “obey.” They are present-tense verbs. They are what we do between redemption and final rest.
Illustrations
The challenge...“Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
“History repeats itself.” It has to. Nobody listens.
A wise preacher once responded to a bitter woman’s resentful cry with words that capture the essence of Christianity as a “present-tense” religion. Angry at God over what had happened to her, she defiantly protested, “I wish I had never been made.” To which the preacher replied, “You have not been made, you are still being made.”
Stephen M. Hooks, Sermon Outlines for Growing Christians, ed. Sam E. Stone, Standard Sermon Starters (Cincinnati, OH: Standard, 1996), 27–28.
Related Media
Related Sermons