Listen to the message
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Series: Towards The Kingdom Culture
Sun am – 1 December 2013 – Kobus Swart
(John 19:30); (2 Cor. 5:21); (1 Peter 2:24); (Rom. 12:2); (Rom. 6:8); (Eph. 2:6); (Col. 2:12);
(Eph. 1:5); (Gen. 1:26-28); (Rom. 6:11); (1 Tim. 5:14b); (Luke 9:23); Acts 14:14-17;
In order to be authentic salt, light, and authentic kingdom leaven in society in our times, we need to remove the word “Christian” as an adjective which we often use in our efforts to influence society.
First of all, we need to make sure about our foundations as authentic Christians. We need a revelation of the finished works of Jesus, the once for all sacrifice and what it means. Humanity was guilty of sin by the fall of Adam but we have been reconciled to God through Christ. God dealt with the sin of mankind in Jesus. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God through Him and His death (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus received on the cross what we deserved. He took the full blow of judgment that was destined for humanity. He became the curse, but in so doing dissolved the curse. Repentance – now having embraced this truth – means that you now think differently, it is a renewal of the mind by which we are transformed (Rom. 12:2). When Jesus died on the cross we died with Him (Rom. 6:8). When He was raised from the death we were raised with Him (Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12).
But the Jesus Himself says “Take up your cross daily and follow Me”! (Luke 9:23). This is a different cross. God is not only interested in forgiving our sins; that is only part of the truth. God had more in mind; we have been predestined before the world began to be the adopted as sons (Eph. 1:5). God wants to restore those who respond to the finished works to what they have originally been created to be. We have been created in the image of God and have been given the mandate to rule (Gen. 1:26-28). Taking up your cross daily means reckoning the old nature dead (Rom. 6:11). I have to react “Christian” under all circumstances. How to I respond under pressure? Everybody faces situations on a daily basis that test us. How do I respond? I do not allow the old nature more space. The Bible says “give the enemy no room” (1 Tim. 5:14b). Take up your cross, declare the old responses dead. This has huge implications on how we truly become the salt of the earth and light of the world, a kingdom leaven in society.
The word ‘Christian’ has always been a noun in the Bible. A Christian is a person. Over the years however the word ‘Christian’ has become an adjective. For example: Christian music, Christian books, Christian political party etc. Christian is a person – You be the Christian! If we use it as distant from us, we will not be the salt of the earth and light of the world and it will not bring change. It is time for a change, a time for the Church to be heard and felt. If you are a Christian and you are called and believe that God has put you in your job, it is not a “secular” job but a sacred job. You are in fact in full time ministry wherever God has put you. The very people we want to touch are skeptical of Christian things.
“In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”(Acts. 14:14-17). Let us see God even in nature around us. “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her” (Matt.26:6-13). Sometimes people who are not in the church do strange things and we are quick to judge and criticize. Jesus let her do it and her life was transformed just by what He said.