8 Истинска духовност (бележки)
- There is a lot of confusion in the local church today. Because of this confusion many churches are weak and are not growing.
- Part of the confusion has to do with the core of Christianity. What makes a person spiritual, or how does one pursue a spiritual life?
- Matthew 28:19. The Great Commission. Not about going, but about making disciples. How are disciples made? Through the church. Why are our churches so weak? We make converts and not disciples.
- Walk through several chapters in Acts. Answer the question: How did 12 Jewish men change centuries of paganism and in a few hundred years change the face of western civilization?
- How did ordinary men and women change the face of ancient civilization? To answer this we will look at one man; Peter. It is important for us to understand what transformed this fisherman, Peter, into one of the principle leaders of the early church.
- What we know about Peter.
- What transformed Peter from an impetuous and unreliable individual into the fiery man of faith? Do we find Peter in ourselves?
The God of the Gap
- Peter’s situation is pretty typical; for his day and ours. The spiritual challenges of the early church are very similar to the spiritual challenges we face today.
- I want a New Testament church (!)
- The difficulty in the church is THE GAP [ пропастта ]. What am I talking about? THE GAP between who we are and who God desires us to be.
- Two Bible words:
- Justification: we are made right
- Sanctification: we are being made right (Colossians)
- The Bible acknowledges this gap. All of us as leaders and all of the people in your congregations live in this GAP.
- The gap is found in several areas:
- Relational [ Взаимоотношения ](Dating Life, Wife, Kids, Boss)
- Functional [ Житейски области ](Work, Health, Financial)
- Spiritual [ Духовност ](Fear, Anxiety, Depression, etc.)
- This GAP is common to all. In Peter’s day and in ours. The question for us is how Peter was able to bridge this GAP. Need to look a little close at some aspects of Peter’s life.
False Hope – Peter’s Plan
· In our head we recognize the GAP, but in our hearts and actions we often deny it. Peter was one who at first would not admit to the GAP.
· Often we give in to a perverted understanding of the Gospel and we deny that the GAP exists.
o God wants you healthy, wealthy and content say some TV preachers.
· This is false hope. What I call “Peter’s Plan.”
· Look at Mark 8:27- 38
Mark 8:27- 30
- Jesus asked the question, “Who do people say that I am?
- Peter makes the crowning declaration. “You are the Messiah.” Now this is where we often stop. Someone makes a profession of faith. Praise God. Have a nice day.
- Yet, what does Peter mean? Jesus will kick out the Romans and establish the new Kingdom of Israel.
- Peter correctly understood who Jesus is. He knew that God was going to restore the world to the way it should be, but he did not understand the GAP.
- Read Mark 8:31-38
- Peter was trying to tell Jesus what it meant to follow him. Peter knew the goal, but did not understand the process. Many of our people are in similar positions and it is our responsibility to properly educate them. They love Jesus, understand the rewards of heaven, but are unprepared for the GAP. How do we live life in the here and now?
- Peter’s false hope was Easy Street [ ]. Microwave Christianity. Jesus will sort everything out and we will all have our problems gone by morning.
- Many of us have bought into Peter’s Plan and some teach it regularly from the pulpit.
The Real Thing with the Real God
- Jesus points out here that we must die in order to be His followers. But die to what?
- Looking at the GAP there are several areas that must die in our life if we are going to be real with the Real God.
- Religion [ религията ]
- What do I mean die to religion? Who did Jesus have the most conflict with in the New Testament writings? The religious leaders. Why? Religion puts man at the center and not God. When we become religious we focus on what we need to do to be accepted by others and not to be accepted by God. Religion must die so that God can take first place. Religion demands order – everything in its place. But when we die to religion our concern is not so much order as it is broken hearts. Lydia and the tissue at Discovery. Religious leaders and Jesus had conflict because he was destroying the accepted order of things. We must die to religion.
- Independence [ независимостта си ]
- We must also die to independence. We must die to the thought that we are the center of the universe. If it’s all about us, other people loose out. As pastors and future pastors one of the greatest paradoxes of ministry is that we are leaders who cannot and should not rule through power. If you think you are leading and no one is behind you… you are just on a long walk. Jesus said that people will know that we are his disciples…. We cannot do it alone. We must die to our independence.
- Perfection [идеята си за съвършенство на тази земя ]
- We must also die to perfection. This is one of the greatest challenges to the modern church. Much too often as leaders we pretend that we have it all together. This is a lie. Lies lead to deception. Deception leads to a lack of integrity. It is a core danger of Bible college life. We think everyone has it together. It is similar in the church. We assume that people are doing okay, but the truth is that we don’t really know because too often people are afraid of being real. We must show the way be being vulnerable. Struggle with quiet time. We must die to perfection.
- Avoidance of Pain [ да бягаме от трудностите в живота ]
- Die to the avoidance of pain. We know that there is also pain in the Christian walk. We must not avoid it. If we die to perfection and our honest with ourselves and others there will be pain. Keep short accounts. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. If someone has something against you… leave the church and go make it right.
- Easy Street [ идеята за лесен християнски живот ]
- I thought that Jesus will take away all my problems and life will be perfect. Peter thought that Jesus as the Messiah would make life easy street. Many so called preachers still serve up this lie every Sunday morning on the television. Peter and us must die to easy street. As many of you know it will cost us time, money, friends, our own dreams, but will also give us our hearts desire. But we must die to the thought of Easy Street.
The Three Conversions of Jesus [ ]
- The Abundant Life [ изобилният живот, който ни предлага Исус (Йоан 10:10) ] (John 10:10) A rich and satisfying life, an abundant life.
- To Suffering [ страданието като част от духовното израстване (Марк 8:34) ] (Mark 8:34)
- To Community [ необходимостта да сме част от Христовото тяло (Йоан 13:35 ] (John 13:35)
If we are to be the leaders that the church of today needs, then we must recognize the GAP. We must be transformed as was Peter. Why? Because there are significant challenges to the church today. We must be leaders who can lead lives of honesty and integrity because people are dying and going to a Devil’s hell and they need the church.