Presentation on theme: "What is Your Religion? What is our mission?. Definition of Religion We often want to define it by the way we define God and/or this universe and the."— Presentation transcript:
Definition of Religion We often want to define it by the way we define God and/or this universe and the purpose of mankind. How we think, how we live, work, play, where our hearts are. Where we find purpose in our lives. What defines us, we can say, defines our religion.
Our definition…varies Matthew 24:14 – teach all nations of coming kingdom of God. My interpretation of that… What is it to us? Whole duty of man… But we know there is a process. It’s amazing how we wrangle over what we perceive are the prerequisites. We bury ourselves in debate over doctrine. Law vs. Grace. Schoolmaster? Gal 3:24
Common Denomination God sent his beloved Son, the one he’d had relationship with for all eternity past, into this world in order to have relationship with us. 1 John 4:9 says, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (NIV) He created us for relationship with Him. Not a forced – “you will love me” – relationship, but rather, one established by our own free-will choice to accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior. God created us to love him and to love one another. There is a universal attraction within the human race to build relationships. The human heart is drawn to fall in love--a quality placed within our soul by God. Marriage is the human picture or illustration of the divine relationship we are ultimately destined to experience for all eternity with God once we’ve entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
I believe that too much time is wasted by Christians arguing about religion, doctrine, denominations, and Bible translations. John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV) It doesn’t say, “They will know you are a follower of Christ if you carry the right Bible,” or “if you go to the best church,” or “practice the correct religion.” Our unique distinction should be our love for one another. Titus 3:9 warns us as Christians to avoid arguments: “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.”
What am I wanting to say? I don't want to be known by my religion being that as simply a Sabbath keeper and feast observer. I'd rather be known as one who is trusted and lays their life down for another. We've made religion an aspect of certainty in our lives, rather than a mystery. I'm right, you're wrong...shut up. We can easily pretend nothing is wrong, or at least that everyone else has the problem and is wrong.
What are we doing now? Arguing over definitions of the law? Having absolute truth? Easily offended? Ps. 119:165 Defensive
Examples Last year at the feast Family Neighbor Work
What should we be doing? 1 John 4:1-21 Mt. 5:44, Love our enemies Lay down our lives, 1 John 3:16 Although we have external practices manifested through the Sabbath and Holy Days (and other)-- important as they are, these are meaningless and just form without substance when absent love. To love God and our neighbor is paramount. All the law (Holy days, Sabbath, etc...) and the prophets hang on these. In fact, "The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Tim 1:5). Moreover, "...if we have love for one another, God is in us and his love is made complete in us" (1 John 4:12). Godly love is the product of the Spirit. Therefore, it cannot be manufactured, since it springs from God and flows into and through us to others (Rom 5:5). As a result, if love comes from God, then we must ask for it and actively work to promote rather than squelch it. God's love does not grow through gossip, retaliation, revenge or any other works of the flesh seeking to elevate self or demote others. We are told to "...love one another fervently with a pure heart" (1 Pet. 1:22). One of the characteristics of godly love is that it edifies; it builds up. It does this for the church and for those we come in contact with on a daily basis. Yes, “If someone says, `I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (1 John 4:20). The language is even stronger, “…he who does not love his brother abides in death" (1 John 3:14). Developing a larger strategy for how to maximize God’s Spirit within each member and how to amplify the edification of one another are things we need to be considering and developing in our “religion.” James 1:26-27
A critical aspect of love James 5:16-20 Examples: Appeal vs. Admonishment Brother going through a problem Adoption
The Result Matthew 10:28-42 Fear not Let ourselves be seen. Vulnerability Love with our whole hearts, especially when we sense it's not coming back. No guarantees. Do we believe that our love for God is only as good as our love for each other? God a divider? Mt 10:42 Phil 4:8, Whatsoever is lovely…. I Peter 3:8 Our Mission? Replace our spirit with His. Is it within our power? Nobody can come to God…