Sunday Gathering – Jesus Masterclass – Authentic Relational Christianity
This week we continue our Jesus Masterclass series with Roland speaking on Authentic Relational Christianity
The sermon by Roland focuses on the topic of "Authentic Relational Christianity" and emphasizes the transformation of one's identity through encountering Jesus and understanding the good news of salvation. Here is a summary with highlighted Bible verses:
- Transformation of Identity through Encounter with Jesus:
- Roland highlights the importance of encountering Jesus and understanding the good news of salvation.
- He quotes John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
- Becoming Children of God:
- Roland emphasizes that through encountering God through Jesus, we become children of God.
- He references 1 John 3:1: "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
- New Creation in Christ:
- Roland underscores that being in Christ makes us a new creation.
- He cites 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
- Living a Changed Life:
- Roland emphasizes that authentic Christianity is not about following rules but about being changed by Jesus' love, grace, and forgiveness.
- He encourages a focus on Jesus rather than self.
- Community and Church as a Family of Believers:
- Roland emphasizes the importance of the church as a community of believers, a family of God.
- He refers to 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, highlighting that God uses even the seemingly insignificant to shame the wise.
- Loving and Relating to Others:
- Roland emphasizes the importance of showing love and relating to others based on Jesus' model.
- He mentions the story of the Good Samaritan as an example of stepping out of comfort zones to love others.
- Sacrificial Giving and Blessing Others:
- Roland stresses the significance of giving sacrificially and blessing others with what we have, just as the story from India illustrates.
- Commission to Share God's Love and Power:
- Roland concludes by highlighting the commission to share God's love and power with the world.
The sermon emphasizes the transformational power of encountering Jesus, living a changed life, being part of a loving and authentic Christian community, and sharing God's love and blessings with others. It encourages a genuine relationship with Jesus and a life that reflects His love and grace.
Hey, Matt. Oh, man.
Good morning, everyone.
The day has been cast.
And I'm speaking to you this morning on something called
authentic relational Christianity.
It says it all really, doesn't it?
I've been thinking, yeah, we're finished.
I've been thinking about this and I just want to
kind of retitle it. I've got this.
Living life God's way, making Jesus the centre of our lives.
It might become a bit clearer as I start to share with you.
Is it the 17th topic in this Jesus Masterclass series?
And I think the last one is next week.
Yeah, you agree.
Amen, from the frontier.
Authentic relational Christianity.
I think to understand anything,
about this, it needs to start with a transformation
in our own lives.
It starts with a transformation of our identity.
It starts with the encounter that we have with Jesus.
It starts with receiving and understanding the good news
of salvation through Jesus.
Now we'll see if this works.
For God's soul of the world that he gave is one and only son
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Eternal life is something we look forward to,
but eternal life is what we have now.
That's what happens to us when we become Christians.
1 John 3 verse 1.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us
that we should be called children of God.
And that is what we are.
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
And 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
the new creation has come.
The old as God, the new is here.
Our encounter with God through Jesus totally changes
There is a personal relationship with Jesus
that brings us into a personal relationship with God, our Father.
And we can know in a very personal way the relationship
of the Holy Spirit working in our lives on a daily basis.
If there's any doubt, it's not about following a set of rules.
It's not having to do things or be seen to be doing things.
Some things are good for us to pray,
tremendous testimony sheener, thank you very much.
Prayer is important and that's good for us.
Reading the Bible is important.
Meeting together to talk about the things in the Bible
and how it's being applied in our lives.
It's very important and good.
But our motivation, our drive for all these things,
is not that we ought to do these things,
but we want to because we're changed
through the powerful love and grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
We want to do these things because we have encountered Jesus for ourselves.
Our focus has changed.
It's from me, I, to Him, Jesus.
You know, you may be new and you wish to the church here
and it may be a whole new experience for you.
And for some of us, it is the same on a weekly basis.
But there's something very special when we as the family of God,
the people of God come together.
It's not only on Sundays, but it's in the many activities
that we run throughout the week.
It's in the groups and gathering of God's people
that God's love, God's presence, God's power come through
and impacts others.
If you want to know about this good news,
this message of salvation, this message of being saved
and being changed, put your hand up.
If you want to know more about this,
then ask the person you came with or ask someone that you know
and come and speak to one of the leaders.
We're very open, we're very friendly, and we don't bite, honestly.
Encountering God ourselves personally individually
is the start of living your life for Jesus.
There's a song that we sing, yet not I, but through Christ in me.
It's good to know that we don't and we can't do anything
in our own strength or ability.
We can't earn it, we don't deserve it.
Our best, the Bible says, our best is like filthy rags.
That's our best, our very best.
Our very best falls very short of the mark.
But in Jesus, we get more than get over the line.
One of the ways that that life that we live our lives
and the way that we express that is within the church,
the family of God, the church is not bricks and wooden glass.
It's a family of believers, a family of those who follow Jesus.
So much of living our lives for Jesus is worked out in that sense of community.
In that sense of relating to one another.
And the church is a community of believers.
You're allowed to look around.
I give you permission to look around.
Well, we're right, muttly crew, aren't we?
And I see that when I look in a mirror.
One Corinthians 1, 26 to 29.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards.
Not many were influential.
Not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things
and the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.
It doesn't matter about your background.
It doesn't matter about your personal experience and the things that you've had to work through in your life.
It doesn't matter how clever you are.
That's good to know, isn't it?
But we see God working in all of us.
And God wants to continue to do that, even with the people out there.
And we are the ones that God's chosen to use.
There are times when I don't feel like that.
But there is something in me that desires it.
I don't have to schedule it in, I don't have to put it in the diary.
Be friendly, reach out, bit of outreach, witness in.
It flows out of a life that is completely devoted to Jesus.
And some days, I'm not perfect, some days.
He's the one who will lead me.
He's the one that provides the opportunities.
You make yourself available.
God wants to use you.
It's in the setting of community that we relate to one another.
This thing's like accountability.
A bit of a negative word, isn't it?
Acknowledging our weaknesses and failures.
Asking for help.
Support and encouragement.
No one is perfect.
We all need this in our lives.
Don't go by outward appearances.
I've already said I struggle with stuff.
I need encouragement just as much as you do.
I need to hear the truth of Scripture.
I need to challenge my attitudes, my preferences, my reactions, my feelings.
Our communities need to be safe places for all of us to be real with one another.
And I think anything else is fake.
Just think about it.
Anything else is fake.
The purpose of the church is to be at the family of God.
And if we can't do that, if we can't participate,
as it were, make ourselves vulnerable to our brothers and sisters,
what are we going to cover us like out there in the world?
One piece of four verse eight, please.
Above all, we've heard this recently.
Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.
We need to be gracious.
We need to be compassionate.
We need to be loving and forgiving with one another as well.
The church, the family of God, is no place for envy, jealousy, competition,
holding grudges, being angry, bad mouthing others.
We need to remove the plank in our own eyes before we start addressing the speck in other people's eyes.
And we can only do this if we know we have God's forgiveness in our hearts.
And that's available to each and every one of us.
That's the family of God.
What about relationships?
That's family, friends, neighbors, people at work, people at school,
people we come in contact with, people that we know.
Jesus is the model who sets out how to relate to others, how to show the love of God.
In a sense, we can't fake it.
We can't be what we're not.
We can't give what we haven't got.
Acts 3, 3 to 6, please.
Peter and John go on their way to the temple.
And they are stopped by a crippled beggar who's asking for money.
It says this.
When he saw, this is the crippled beggar.
When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
Peter looked straight at him as the John.
Then Peter said, look at us.
So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, silver or gold, I do not have.
But what I do have, I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth's walk.
We can't give what we haven't got.
But we have been given much through Jesus.
We have something to give.
It's not necessarily materialistic.
It's not necessarily money and goods, not necessarily.
Although that can be worked out in different ways.
And some of our activities do cover needs like that.
But above all, we have something that no one else can give.
No kind of organization, no kind of institution, no kind of agency can give what we've got.
And that is Jesus, the love of God through Jesus.
It's interesting that Jesus went out of his way to meet those who were the lowest in society.
The unloved, the unseen, the unwanted.
And the challenge to us, of course.
And it comes across in the, I was thinking of a word, word, mash.
I was thinking of a parable mash.
But anyway, just referring to the parable of the good Samaritan.
Jesus went out of his way to meet those who were the lowest in society.
And you know, the challenge there is that we need to move out of our comfort zones.
It's easy to show the love of God, to people in our family, to people we know.
People like us, similar to us, people who we like.
But Jesus went to those that everybody else ignored.
We, it's also a ministry of inconvenience.
There have been times when I've just wanted to go shopping.
And God causes something to happen.
And I get in a conversation or I might speak to somebody.
But there is that choice.
Am I going to engage with this person?
Am I going to say something?
And in a sense, it doesn't cost much.
But at times, I feel compelled to do that.
It's the leading of the Holy Spirit as well.
The challenge also is to give more than we have.
And it's not just money and possessions.
It was interesting at the family night on Thursday.
A number of times, you know, when people were explaining the different activities that we do,
it was simply time to listen.
Time to talk to people.
People who perhaps haven't spoken to anybody for days.
That's the reality of life for some people.
And just to be able to talk and to listen, listen, first listen.
You may be given the opportunity to pray for people.
And I just say, don't force it.
Don't force it if they're not ready.
If the opportunity is not there, don't try to engineer it.
Ask if the person would like prayer.
And always leave this option open.
It was mentioned that there's a lot of contacts being made through the edge centre,
the library, hub, etc.
Just by simply being there, talking, listening, accepting people.
The other challenge is to give and to share sacrificially.
That is to bless others with what little you have.
Just a small gesture makes a big impact.
When I first went out to India, there was a group of us that went out.
And each evening we went to a member of the church family for a meal.
And the accommodation was very, very basic.
It would be one room, and there would be a kitchen, in one end, a dining table,
and then a curtain across for the bedroom area.
And there could be a large family, a separate toilet shower room.
And we noticed, after the first couple of evenings, that the food was prepared,
it was basic, it was very nice.
The food was prepared, and the team sat down and ate with the husband.
The wife and the children went into the bedroom area.
And it was nice, it was good.
I think the first night, typical, we demolished the lot.
We demolished the lot.
And then one of the people said, when will your, the rest of your family eat?
And they just simply said, well, they will eat after we finished.
That's what he said.
What he actually meant was that that was the food to feed everyone.
So the next night, we just scaled it down.
And we made sure that they had plenty to share.
But their hearts simply, we haven't got a lot, but what we've got will gladly give you.
And that was really humbling, that really got to me.
And it's something that has stayed with me to this day.
It can be costly to give all you've got.
But it can be a great blessing as well.
Just one final story to finish with.
There's a guy at work, a younger guy than me.
And he was one of these athletic types.
He was very good at football.
He was very good at all sports and whatever.
I was going to say he had, he kind of had the structure and figure that I once had.
In my dreams, perhaps.
And it was in the finance department and I knew him along with all the other people.
One day I was asked, I can never understand it.
Why my boss asked me to be responsible for the implementation of a new computer system.
In fact, the first computer system we had in the hospital.
And I just looked at him and laughed.
And I just said, what do I know about computers?
And it just said, well, you know a bit more than I do.
And that was it and got on with it.
And this young guy became my assistant and just worked with him, kind of monitored what he was doing.
And occasionally just shared about what was happening in life.
And after I'd been away to India the first time, I went back.
And I just said, oh, what did you do out there?
We had some meetings and we went and visited some villages and things.
And we saw some amazing things and he said, well, polite.
I said, well, I'm praying we want young lad who'd got an extended stomach through hunger, really.
And he said, and as I was praying with him and he's two friends next to him, they just gasped.
And as I was praying, his extended stomach was went in.
And I'm like, okay, okay, okay.
And he just looked at me and his eyes all opened and wound up.
I said, and we're praying for other people, for other types of healing as well.
And, you know, significant healing's taking place.
He'd say anything.
And the next day came to me and he said, I've been thinking about what you said.
Can you pray for me? I've got a really bad back.
I've been off work with it, as you know.
Can you pray for me? And I said, it was half past nine.
And I said, okay, at lunch time, 1230 come and see me.
And I'll pray for you.
I'll just put it in my diary.
I'll pray with the prayer healing, you know.
But he turned up, you see.
And I just simply said, Lord, I said, I don't know what your experience is.
But I'm just going to pray for you.
It's nothing to do with me.
But it's the power of Jesus.
And I prayed for him.
And he was, he had a big impact on him.
Such a big impact that he didn't come into work the next day,
But when he did come back later on in the week,
he came in and he just simply said this.
He said, no one, no one has ever prayed for me like that.
My family, they're not religious.
They don't go to church or nothing to do with church.
But no one has prayed for me like that.
And he just said, and for that, I will thank you.
It was good that after that his back did improve significantly.
But it was just a simple thing, you know.
Well, let's just pray then.
You want to pray? Let's pray.
We can only be effective in reaching out to others
if we live our lives for Jesus,
allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us,
guide us, prompt us, and do some risky, faith-filled things.
This is our calling.
This is our commission to go into the world
to demonstrate the love and power of God
to those who desperately are looking for it.