Let your worship be your witness

Let Your Worship Be Your Witness

In a sermon I preached a few weeks ago, one of our application points was:

let your worship be your witness.

We didn’t have time to unpack this so in the next few paragraphs we’ll make an attempt at scratching a little deeper. If you want to catch the entire message for context we were studying was Acts 3:1-10. Throughout the morning, we asked ourselves the question: “do you see the lame beggar“? You can catch the recorded podcast on iTunes, or stream it from the CCCTO website, where the PowerPoint is also available for download.

Nowadays it seems that the Christian faith has been reduced to “right living”. We spend so much time talking about what you should do so that people will see God through you. After all, that is what it means to be “kingdom minded” right? Live according to the Bible, and other people will see Jesus. May I propose that that statement is not incorrect, but rather that it is incomplete. If we are to be kingdom minded, we must see Jesus first.

How does this relate to the story of the lame beggar in Acts? Starting in Acts 3:2 we see the beginning of the incredible transformation of a man who was lame from birth. This man had never walked a day in his life. However after the miracle performed through the hands of Peter, the man regained strength in his feet and ankles. He is transformed from being lame from birth to having the strength to stand for the very first time. But did this man only stand? In Acts 3:8 we see that he leaps up, begins to walk, and then enters the temple with Peter and John, “walking and leaping and praising God.” Realizing the incredible gift he has received, not only does he stand, but he walks and leaps to the praise and glory of God, the giver of the gift.

If you have placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have received a gift that is incomparable to anything else. Remember that you were just like the lame beggar, lame from birth. It is only through Jesus’ death and resurrection for your sins that you could be reconciled to God.

The encouragement is simple.

Christian, if you have been saved, live like it.

Live like it in community with the local church, just as the lame beggar entered the temple gates with Peter and John (Acts 3:8). Live like it individually, just as the lame beggar leapt and danced.

And what is the result? As we continue on into verses 9 and 10 we see that, “all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” The lame beggar understood the depth of what had happened, and his joy was apparent to those around him. His worship was his witness. He did not just stand there.

Where every person is along that progression is different. Some may still be like the lame beggar sitting at the gate. Others may have received the gift at one time, but are simply standing. And others may be leaping and dancing.

We all were crippled by sin from birth, helpless to save ourselves from the penalty of sin, but God has shown us grace and mercy by sending His son to die on the cross as a substitutionary atonement. When we understand this and respond in faith, we will worship (we will leap and jump) and the world will see and come to know Jesus Christ is Lord.

The Plead for Community

Community

There is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian. The Christian faith is a faith that expresses itself through community. We can see this on display through the Trinity. We know that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have eternal fellowship with each other: John 1:32, 15:26, 16:7, John 1:18, 3:11, 32, 5:19, 29, 37; 6:46; 8:38, John 10:15, 7:29, 17:25; 1 Cor 2:11-13, Eph 2:18. These passages portray an intimate relationship that the Godhead enjoy with each other. The Trinity is the model for our personal fellowship with each other. Fellowship and community only exist with a plurality of persons. Our God is Three in One. That is why we have in Genesis 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone…”

Adam was created in the image of God and being created in the image of God Adam has to be relational in order to reflect the Trinitarian God that created him.  Adam reflected the image of God in his stewardship, in his obedience, but he could not reflect the image of God in the relational realm until Eve was created. The application is this: To reflect a Trinitarian God in fellowship we need each other.  A theologian once said, “God did not create you to have a private relationship with Him. He created you to have a relationship with Him lived out, enjoyed, endured with other human beings.” Again, there is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian.  If you are then you are living in sin and going against the design God has created you for.

Think with me for a moment, if Adam had a perfect relationship with God but he was not “happy” until Eve was created, how much more do we need relationships? A professor at Dallas Theological Seminary said, “Man is fully man when in relationship with God and the human community.” We are meant to be relational.  We are to exist in a community. The call to live is a call to live in community. Sadly, however, we Americans are becoming more isolated and individualistic in nature. In doing so, we are becoming less and less human. We are very individualistic, yet the call from the Trinitarian God is if you want to fully live out your humanity you need to be involved in a relationship with the Creator and other human beings. It is only when the Christian life is lived out in a community that we will experience the maximum joy because we are living according to our design.

Oh my Christian brothers and sisters seek community and live in the community. Be involved in the church, in your community, in the lives of those who don’t know Christ. If you want to find fulfillment, start practicing community living.