The Inside Column 2/3

Posted in: The Inside Column- Mar 02, 2014 No Comments

Good Morning and a very warm welcome to all.

If you are visiting with us today we pray you will feel at home here at St Barnabas. Please make yourself known and feel welcome to stay for tea or coffee after the service.

I came across this article on the call to be disciples, thought it might be helpful, and a little bit challenging. As Christians we are called to be different from the world around us. The Christian is a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Philippi was a Roman colony and the Philippians were Roman citizens. They spoke the Roman language, wore Roman dress and followed Roman customs; their magistrates had Roman titles and they conducted the same ceremonies as in Rome. They were intensely proud of their privileges which were those of Rome itself. Paul uses this analogy. Our true citizenship is now in heaven. We are a Christian colony on earth.

God’s people have always been ‘aliens and strangers’ in this world. Abraham said, ‘I am an alien and a stranger’ (Genesis 23:4). The writer of Hebrews says about the great men and women of the Old Testament, ‘they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. The apostle Peter writes, ‘live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. … I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. As Paul ends his first letter to the Thessalonians, he calls them to be different from the world around. The world around is living in darkness. ‘You are all children of the light and children of the day.

Jesus has secured our future, ‘For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him’.

Our lifestyle is to be totally different from those around us. We are called to a life of respect, of peace, to ‘warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone’ and to ‘make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else’.

We are citizens of a different world and we have to learn a new language. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances … Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophesies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil’.

The challenge for us today is the same as it was for the first disciples, to live in the world, but to not be corrupted by it; to stand out, to live a very different and radical Christ centred life.

 

God Bless

 

Philip

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