Our Sermon

October 22, 2008 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

We often hear individuals say that they had rather see a sermon than hear one.  The statement lays emphasis upon the value of conduct and performance in the life of one professing to follow Christ.  The statement has merit, but we must not overlook the fact that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17).  There is need for verbal declarations as well as godly practice in influencing people to obey the gospel of Christ.  Whether we realize it or not, all of us are preaching sermons by the life we are living.  When one says I had rather see a sermon than to hear one, he is seeing a sermon every time he beholds himself in the mirror.  He sees the image of one, who by his behavior, is preaching a sermon to others.  It may be a sermon for good or it may be for evil, but we are preaching a sermon to those who view our lives.  Paul probably had this in mind when he wrote to the Corinthians: “ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:” (II Corinthians 4:2). Didn’t Jesus refer to this consideration in His Sermon on the Mount?  “Ye are the salt of the earth:  but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16).  The use of the words, “salt” and “light” in these verses, emphasizes that by our lives we are preaching sermons.  What sermon are we preaching?  By our lives, we may be preaching that:

Christ Died In Vain.  Christ died for us, but we must obey Him to have the benefits of His death.  When one refuses to obey the gospel and follow Christ, he is saying that he doesn’t need Christ and there was no need for Him to have died for us.  Those who truly reverence the death of the Lord are those who obey Him.  “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).  “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:40).  Refusing to come to Jesus, may be the sermon which some preach who profess to be good moral citizens.  Morals have their values, but morals without the atoning death of Jesus, can never save anyone.  “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” (Luke 7:30).  Weren’t they preaching their sermon of rejecting the counsel of God by not being baptized?  What about our lives, are we living a sermon that pleases the Lord and exalts him before others?  

It Doesn’t Pay To Be A Christian.  Unfortunately, there are numbers who have obeyed the gospel and then become unfaithful in living the life of a Christian.  They turn from faithfulness to again resume a sinful life.  They are living a sermon and it vividly says it doesn’t pay to be a Christian!   The words of Paul are to the contrary. “But bodily exercise profiteth little:  but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (I Timothy 4:8). Unfaithfulness preaches the sermon that being a Christian is not worthwhile, or else we would have been true to our calling.  Some unfaithful children of God have been known to be vehement in declaring that they had rather see a sermon than to hear one.  Do you suppose they ever think about the sermon which they are preaching and the influence they might have on others in becoming unfaithful?  When anyone cries that it doesn’t pay to be a Christian, they need to consider the price for not being.  “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment, delivered unto them.”  (II Peter 2:21).

Christ Lives In Them.  There are those who are genuine and sincere in serving Christ.  People see Christ in their lives and they live a sermon of joy and determination in doing His will. Paul wrote:  “I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).  Christ has not died in vain for them, and they definitely believe that it pays to be a Christian.  Many fail the Lord, but there are still those who love Him and are ready to sacrifice for Him as in New Testament days.  Their sermon is beautiful and conveys by their lives that following Christ is the most important thing imaginable to human beings.  Their lives preach that “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21).  Think about it!  What sermon are we preaching in the lives we live?

Author: Bobby K. Thompson

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