The first followers of Jesus didn't believe in the resurrection as an idea, but as an event they had witnessed. Jesus' resurrection was not only the fulfillment of His promise to rise from the dead, but God's promises about the Messiah who would come to rescue humanity from sin and death and for a life of holiness with Him. How do we respond appropriately to this event? Live out our faith by making every effort we can to walk in God's promises to us, cooperating with what God has already done in and for us.
Knowing our identity in Christ and personal vision from God isn’t enough to see these made manifest in our lives. It also requires our taking steps to live these out. Good intentions will not get us to the positive destinations we want in our life. Following Jesus requires effort on our part to turn our intentions into steps that will lead us in the direction of His Kingdom.
Communion is a ritual Jesus gave to His church to call us to unity in His work and commission. Unfortunately, at times it is something that divides Christians because of our different understandings or theologies surrounding Communion. This sermon looks at Paul’s instructions to the church in Corinth about their awful practice of Communion which was literally dividing the church. Through these instructions perhaps we can hear the Spirit speak to us about how Communion calls us to live in unity in Christ together as brothers and sisters.
This is the second sermon is a series looking at practical ways to help ourselves grow to be more like Jesus. The tagline for Connect to Others is I am helping someone and someone is helping me be a reproducing follower of Jesus. We are not designed to follow or become like Jesus by ourselves. We need at least one other person who knows what is going on in our inner life to help us follow through on what God speaks to us about. Without accountability we will struggle to become more like Jesus.
In our culture it is possible to be a Christian without being a disciple. Disciples are those who seek to discipline themselves to be like Jesus. This requires right information, reflected upon, then put into practice. Only then will we see the Holy Spirit working to transform us to be like Jesus. As followers of Jesus, we are called to train ourselves, not just listen to his teaching.