Mike Gerhardt, 11-04-18, Beginning Well, Colossians 3:15-17, 23-24. Ten things to do with your nose when you’re bored. Don't look for picking your nose, it's not on the list! Look down your nose at somebody (Pride)
Poke it into someone else’s business (Gossip)
Get your nose out of joint (Anger)
Cut your nose off to spite your face (Bitterness)
Pay through your nose (Materialism)
Find something right under your nose (Love)
See past your nose (Hope)
Keep your nose clean (Obedience)
Get your nose stuck in a book (the Bible)
Put your nose to the grindstone (Commitment)
Commitment is the volitional part. Commitment is a state of personal dedication to something or someone, which results in actively promoting and working for their good and their well-being. Commitment to God arises from faith in His promises; it is expressed in worship and adoration and leads to obedience to his commands. Christian Conversion is both a complex and simple experience. It is more than moral reform. It is dedication. It is the quality of living out our lives for Jesus and His Kingdom.
Obedience is true freedom in Jesus. Gordon Smith wrote: The human heart longs for freedom. We were created to be free; we are alive when we are free… We know that oppression is death, and that imprisonment robs us of life… obedience to Christ is central to our freedom. To be a Christian is to be freed from the bondage of sin.
It is an act of the will. Our devotion is a love for Jesus that comes in response to his love for us. For this reason, there is a Joy in serving Jesus.
Romans 6:1-7 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? … For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with… 17-18 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Lesslie Newbigin: There cannot be a separation between conversion and obedience. To be converted in any sense which is true to the Bible is something which involves the whole person.
Jesus asked Simon Peter and Andrew: come follow me and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him Mark 1:16-18. It was a total change of direction for them which included both their reorientation of the heart and mind, and their outward reorientation from fishers of fish to fishers of men.
To love Jesus is to obey him. John14:15 If you love me, keep my commands. 23 Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
It is more than sacrificial service. It is consecration. It is the focus of our energy and mission to Serve His Kingdom.
Robert Moorehead: My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in a maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I'm preached up, prayed up, stayed up, stored up and caught up unto Jesus.
I Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. 7:22-23 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.
You serve a risen Savior to express your love to Him alone.
Raymond Brown: (speaking of David's companions) Their duty at the moment was to obey King David's instructions and to trust his wisdom. It meant that they were going into a life of hardship, insecurity, privation, suffering and possibly death, but they would be with the king and that was enough.
We believe to Know the King and His sacrifice for us is to then Serve His kingdom.
Jim Elliot: Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
You're transformed into a new person. God called us to a life of faithfulness when He called us to be saved.
Vance Havner: God is faithful, and He expects His people to be faithful. God's Word speaks of faithful servants, faithful in a few things, faithful in the least, faithful in the Lord, faithful ministers. And it all points to that day when He will say: Well done my good and faithful servant.
What about baptism. It is an expression of our commitment. It is the inaugural testimony of a committed life.
A grandmother brought two granddaughters to church during a baptism. When they got home they excitedly told their parents: It was neat. Grand mom's church has a small heated pool. The preacher got in the pool and asked others to join him one at a time. Then he grabbed them by the nose and dunk them backward yelling in the Father, in the Son and in the hole you go!
That may be one way to look at baptism. But I know there are at least three other ways to view Christian Baptism.
First: Baptism as a means of saving grace held by most Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches. Second: Baptism as a sign of the covenant held by most churches of the Westminster Confession, Christian Reformed, and Methodist churches. Third: Baptism as a symbol and testimony of our salvation held by most in the Assembly of God, Baptist, Evangelical Free, Pentecostal, and C&MA churches like our church.
We believe a baptism is an act of obedience that is an outward symbol and testimony of an inward reality. We use immersion as the picture of this inward reality of dying to self and being resurrected in the newness of life in Christ. It is also, I believe, the best way to interpret the scriptures as in John 3:23: there was much water there for baptisms, Acts 8:38: they went down into the water and Matthew 3:16: they came up out of the water.
It is not just a symbolic act. It is not just an option. By our understanding, it is not the means of salvation. Baptism is a powerful dynamic, sometimes life-changing symbol and testimony of our salvation. A religious experience like baptism focuses on the transcendent spiritual conversion of the new birth being symbolizes in the concrete world we live in. So, confusion does happen when the symbol is used to refer to the reality; similarly, to taking our communion together, eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ symbolized in the cracker and the juice.
Baptism is a mark of persecution and even death in many cultures and countries around the world.
Commitment and baptism are the inward and the outward testimony of a transformed life.