090705 Centered on Christ 05 For Christ

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Sermon 5 of 7 in a series "Centered on Christ" presented July 5, 2009, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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090705 Centered on Christ 05 For Christ

  1. 1. “Centered on Christ - The Theology of Prepositions” • Looking at • Through various • In facets of the • Under Christian's • With relationship • For to Christ • To • Like Christ
  2. 2. “For Christ” is a common expression in the English Bible • Three Gk. prepositions - dia, eis, huper - often used in the same way: “for the sake of” • Some close prayers “for Jesus’ sake” • Christians do not just pray that way • Christians also live for Jesus’ sake
  3. 3. Motivation is important • What we do as Christians matters • Why we do it is equally important • We recognize the significance of motivation: – Employers offer incentives to motivate employees – Detectives look for motives behind crimes – Psychiatrists probe for drives that motivate conduct
  4. 4. Most common human motivation is self-centeredness • We are driven by a demon called “self” • Ambition is often selfish ambition • However, not all are motivated by selfish drives – Some children work best for their parents – Some athletes perform best for their coach – Some teens do their best for their heart-throb
  5. 5. Best motivation is to live for Christ • Christians live for Christ • Our motivation is to please Christ & to bring honor & glory to his name • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
  6. 6. Christ’s love compels us
  7. 7. Look at the words • “Compels” (Gk. synechei) means “grips” – Implies pressure that confines, restricts and controls • “Christ’s love” is literally “the love of Christ” – Impossible to tell whether Paul means • “Christ’s love for us” • “Our love for Christ”
  8. 8. Maybe he means some of both • Christ's love for us compelled him to die for us – All who are united with Christ have died with him • Christ rose again – Those united with Christ have risen with him • He died & rose so that we should no longer live for ourselves, but for him • We need to read, re-read & meditate on our text until we realize the depth of Christ's love
  9. 9. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV • For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. • We owe our new life entirely to the love of Christ – It is inconceivable that we should live for self – We must live for Christ because he gave this life to us
  10. 10. Our obedience is for Christ
  11. 11. Consider Simon Peter • Luke 5:1-11 NIV One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2 he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
  12. 12. Consider Simon Peter • 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
  13. 13. Consider Simon Peter • 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
  14. 14. Simon & companions had fished all night without any success • Tired & repairing equipment when Jesus interrupted them to take him out a little way • After teaching the crowd from the borrowed boat, Jesus told Simon to put his nets out again • Experience & expertise told him it was ridiculous – If Andrew, James or John had suggested it, he would have ridiculed them – But because it was Jesus, Simon did what he would have done for no one else & he had a huge catch
  15. 15. Christian obedience is for Christ • John 14:15 NIV "If you love me, you will obey what I command. • We're tempted to disobey when – We don't like what he asks – We don't understand why he asks it – We think we know better than Jesus – Obedience is unfashionable • 1 John 5:2 NIV This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.
  16. 16. Our outreach is for Christ
  17. 17. Principle established in our text: • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
  18. 18. Point made more powerfully later: • 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 NIV We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
  19. 19. Christ acted for us: • 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. • In order that we might act for him: • 2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
  20. 20. Outreach is for Christ: • Romans 1:5 NIV Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
  21. 21. Supporting missionaries for Christ: • 3 John 1:5-8 NIV Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.
  22. 22. Henry Martyn, 19th Century missionary to Islam • Cleric claimed they had killed so many Christians that Christ had begged Mohammed to stop • “I was cut to the soul at this blasphemy. I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified. It would be hell to me if he were always thus dishonored.”
  23. 23. Do we feel the same zeal for Christ? • When relatives, friends, people we work with, do not know or honor Christ, how do we feel? • When they profane and trample his name & will, do we really care? • Zeal for the honor of the name of Jesus is the strongest motivation for outreach
  24. 24. Our suffering is for Christ
  25. 25. Consider the eighth beatitude: • Matthew 5:11-12 NIV "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
  26. 26. Consider the apostles’ suffering • Acts 5:41 NIV The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. • Consider Paul's experience: • Acts 9:15-16 NIV But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
  27. 27. Acts 21:11-14 NIV • Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'" 12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."
  28. 28. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV • To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
  29. 29. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV • 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. • If today’s church compromised less, it would suffer more • If we dared confront the world in its sins & talk plainly & clearly about sin, death & hell, we would meet opposition, ridicule & contempt
  30. 30. What have you done for Christ?
  31. 31. 17th Century artist, Dominico Feti – Ecce Homo – “Behold the Man” • Depicts Jesus clad in scarlet, wrists bound, with a crown of thorns, about to be handed over by Pilate to the mob • His eyes appear to search the soul and say “I did this for you”
  32. 32. Our song says it well: • “I gave, I gave my life for thee. What hast thou given for me?” • What can possibly motivate you to obey Christ & to serve Christ? • You can only do it when you live your life for Christ

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