Faithlife Sermons

The Simplicity of the Christian Life

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We are masters at complicating Things

It doesd not matter how simple a thing may be, we will make it more complicated.
look at the poor phone - what happened to it?
Look at the poor tv, from b/w to colour, then 480p
then HD ready, then full HD, now Uhd and 4K - what happened?
And its not just tech.
Look at how nwe complicate the simplicty of a married life. Marriage is simple, it really is - but when we have secret whatsapp accounts, late nights at the office, to many friends, flirting… it gets complicated.
Look at how we complicate our own lives.
The bible is true when t says:
Ecclesiastes 7:29 TEV
29 This is all that I have learnt: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.
Now one of the worst things that we have complicated is our Christian faith. And i dont mean in regards to doctrine - doctrine is not for us to touch, meddle or try and either simplyfy or complicate. Doctrine is made clear in God’s word and should not be touched.
I am refereing to our we complicate the daily living out of our faith. And i know that many people do this based on 2 things:
1: Confusion.
2: Disobedience.

Confusion

1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV
33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
Confusion does not come from God. Confusion comes from man complicating things, as usual.
Confusion comes from having too many masters. This one says that, that one says this.
people who are confused are only confused because they choose to listen to confused people.
Confusion about: the trinity, the priesthood of believers, to whom do we pray. Confusion about homosexuality, fornication.

Disobedience

I will never understand how people can think that they can be disobedient and still call themselves christians.
1 John 3:4–6 ESV
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
there is no ambiguity there.
So today i want to simply things for you.
let us look back at the earliest picture we have of what christians look like, before they have had a change to complicate things.
Acts 2:42–47 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Lets examine the simplicity of the lives of the early church christians.
Now remember, these people faced death, persecution, exile...

1: They were devoted to the Word of God.

Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Acts 17:11 ESV
11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
But it was just the word - it was any and all preaching and teaching of the word as well.
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Jesus told us that man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the Father.
God has blessed the church with the 5 fold ministry to equip every christian with the things they need to live a victorious life.

2: They were devoted to fellowship

Fellowship means “sharing”. It can refer to sharing a meal, sharing a cup of coffee and even to sharing our burdens.
Galatians 6:2 ESV
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
It is no surprise that the stroingest, most fruitful, most devoted, most blessed mebers of ufgc are the ones who have made the most connections with each other.
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 ESV
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
We absolutly neded one another to advance the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 12:15–26 ESV
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
It i very difficult to fellowship, when you arrive at 8:57 and leave at 10:02.
Tell us what we can do - what do you want?
Diner evening...

3: They devoted themselves to Breaking bread.

Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Acts 2:46 ESV
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
Communion is a powerful ordinance for the christian.
It serves to remind us of Christs sacrifice. It serves to cause us to examine ourselves. It serves to make us serve others. It serves to prompt us to forgive when we have been wronged.

4: They were devoted to Prayer

Matthew 7:7 ESV
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
John 16:24 ESV
24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
prayer has 2 ends: one end is the person who prays and the other is the thing or person prayed for.
often the first end (the person praying) needs to undergo transformation before the other end can its be changed by the prayer.
We must pray “oh Lord where do i need to be changed? Is there yet sin that has not been dealt with? Is there selfish desire that needs to be purified?

5: They were generous

They early church was not reckless with their money but they were generous with it.
Luke 6:38 ESV
38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
They say generosity starts at home, and within the church it started with obedience to bringing in your tithes and offerings.

6: They practiced gratitude and contentment

Coveting is the opposite of contentment.
It is not being thankful for the lord has provided. And if coveting gets in you, you will lead a miserable life and a complicated life.
Luke 3:14 ESV
14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Philippians 4:11 ESV
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
1 Timothy 6:6–8 ESV
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
Hebrews 13:5 ESV
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

7: They were devoted to Praising God

Hebrews 13:15 ESV
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Praise is the greatest work God’s children can ever do. The highest manifestation of the holy spirit is seen when we praise God.
Psalm 119:164 ESV
164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
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