The Sequence of the Christian Faith by Pauline Waller
Thank you for being here and my heartfelt admiration for all the Mother’s today, I know you “make the world go round.” Only God’s love trumps the love of a Mother.
You might expect that I would be talking about women, motherhood, even Proverbs 31 today. However, right after I was asked to speak I was impressed to talk to you about The Sequence of the Christ Faith.
We need to understand that though the process is initially sequential, righteousness is never talked about until one is first redeemed, and worship is never enjoyed until one is redeemed and righteous; to sustain us through our journey, each individual element in the process is active.
o We will continue to ask Jesus to forgive us our “trespasses”
o We will continually try to be and do what Jesus would do
o We will constantly learn more about God and our worship experience will grow and develop
Let me elaborate and step through the 3 sequential parts of entering and developing a relationship with Christ. Let’s explore what they are and get to the bottom line:
#1 Redemption - What is Redemption
· Redemption is the act of buying something back, or paying a price to return something to your possession.
There are 3 different Greek words for Redemption and their meanings explain just what redemption is.
#1 Agorazo (ag-or-ezo) – to purchase in the marketplace
§ In Bible times this word was used to refer to buying a slave
§ In order to be redeemed by Jesus we must recognize we are slaves to sin and we need to be bought and set free.
· Jesus sacrificial death buys our redemption from slavery to sin.
#2 Exagorazo (ex-ag-or-ezo) – means going from something to something else
§ Accepting Jesus Christ as the leader of our lives means that we leave the bondage of the law and enter the freedom of a new life in him.
#3 Lutroo – means to obtain release by the payment of a price
§ The price for our release from the bondage of sin is the precious blood of Jesus.
Ephesians 1:7-8 “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”
· Each of us are standing somewhere on the continuum of our spiritual journey.
· Some are standing at the door of Redemption and Jesus invites you to enter the door today.
· I invite you to enter the door. Freedom awaits you. Life everlasting awaits you.
The Bottom Line
· No matter how good you are, you need the one and only Redeemer
· No matter how bad you are, you need the one and only Redeemer
· No matter how many good things you do for people, you need the one and only Redeemer to set you free
· No matter how many people you have hurt, no matter how many have hurt you and, no matter how hard and difficult your life has been, no matter how many wrong choices and decisions you have made, you need the one and only Redeemer
· David after committing 2 capital sins said to God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
What a joy to know that “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” I Corinthians 6:20
Peter tells us in I Peter 1:18-19 “you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your father, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
In the Sequence of the Christian Faith, the first step is Redemption and the second step is Righteousness
What is Righteousness
· Righteousness is being morally right
o In other words, you are “doing the next right thing”
· In and of ourselves “doing the next right thing” is impossible
o There is a right-ness in God
o All that He is and all that He does is right
o He is righteous in all of His ways, that is one of His attributes
· How can we as mere humans be righteous?
· We receive righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ
o The doctrine of receiving righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ is called imputation
§ Imputation is when Jesus lives vicariously through you
Galatians 2:20 “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
§ Christ’s perfect righteousness is applied to imperfect humans
· How do we with all our faults and failures become perfect and holy?
· In Matthew 5:48, Jesus tells us “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
· Only as we allow Jesus to live through us can we be perfect.
· And in I Peter 1:15-16 Jesus says, but now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
· When we accept Jesus Christ as our Redeemer we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and He enables us to live a righteous life.
· The Holy Spirit gives us the power of God to overcome sin.
· This is an act of God, this thing called righteousness
The Bottom Line
· A Christian has Jesus Christ
· We as Christians owe everything to Christ
· We surrender everything to Christ
· We live and move and breath for Christ
· Because of our relationship with Christ, we become people of deep moral commitment.
We should pray like David prayed…
Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. . . .
Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you. (Psalm 25:4-5, 20-21)
Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds
with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies. (Psalm 141:3-4)
So, in the sequence of the Christian Faith, #1 We are redeemed, #2 We are made righteous, and…
What is Worship
· Worship is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for God
· True worship is both an attitude and an act
· Jesus explains true worshipers this way in John 4:23-24
…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way
· True worship takes place on the inside, in the heart or spirit of the worshiper (our attitude)
· Not only are we to worship in spirit from our heart, but we are to worship in truth
· David understood the importance of worshiping in truth when he wrote in Psalm 86:11, Teach me your ways, OLord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.
· The true worship of God is essentially internal, a matter of the heart and spirit rooted in the knowledge of and obedience to the revealed Word of God.
The Bottom Line
· In order to worship in spirit, we must know the truth about who we worship
· We must be disciples of the characteristics of God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit
· Only as we know Him can we worship in truth
· Here are a few characteristic just to get you to reflect on your present state of Worship
o Wise – all knowing
o Infinite – He knows no boundaries, He is without measure
o Sovereign – He is free to do what is best in every situation
o Holy – He is perfect
o Omniscient – He has perfect knowledge
§ He doesn’t need to learn anything, but He can teach us all things
o Faithful – What He says, He will do. He does not lie.
o Love – He holds our well-being as His primary concern
o Merciful – Through mercy and compassion He relates to us
o Gracious – He heaps generosity on His children
· This is only a short list, but from this list, could you find something to cause your heart to Worship?
Three (3) words to live by day-by-day
Are you in need of Redemption?
Is there something that you need to ask Jesus to forgive you of? Some have never started the journey, some need to ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins, others need to ask again to be forgive.
Are you in need of Righteousness?
Do you need to conform your ways to His ways? Do you need to make choices based on what Jesus teaches us to do rather than what we would do?
Do you need to Worship?
Perhaps all your sins have been forgiven and maybe you are walking in righteousness but you just need to sit at the feet of Jesus. You just need to spend time in His presence. You just need to be still and listen.
Posted on Sun, May 8, 2016
by Erika Catlett