We are in week 6 of our sermon series, titled “Jesus’ Church”, discussing faith without condition.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that God is approachable and accessible. In Jesus’ church, there are no conditions, and because of this truth, we must take ownership over our faith as believers. We have to understand and trust our belonging to Jesus. As His church, there is no guilt; we are already forgiven for the things we haven’t even done yet. As His, our prayers are powerful and effective. We are eternally secure in Him, and in Him, we are considered royalty. We sit at His right hand in the Kingdom forever. With these promises, however, come others, that are more difficult to face.
- The Promise of Temptation
- 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
- Temptation is a desire to do something other than God’s best.
- If we run after our feelings, there will be destruction as a result.
- The Promise of Persecution
- 2 Timothy 3:12: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
- Persecution can look like misunderstanding and isolation.
- The Promise of Suffering
- John 16:33: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
All too often, we forget that these three things are guaranteed. We want to follow Jesus whole-heartedly, but on the condition that we won’t face these hard things. Remember: it’s okay when things go wrong. It doesn’t mean that your faith is any less than, because these things are guaranteed for every one of us.
Hebrews 11: 32-28: “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
The Hall of Fame presents two facets of being a believer. Some things are going to be really, really hard, but we can’t trust and love and pursue Jesus conditionally. Let’s be Jesus’ church without conditions.