North Augusta, South Carolina
From the Pastor’s Desk …..August 2016
It is with great pleasure to pen this documentary for the month of August. In so doing, we are blessed to do so under the theme titled“The Church,” and the subtopic “Walk the Talk.”
In the attempt to examine this sermon series and subtopic, we are led to the 16th chapter and 18th verse of Matthew, and I John chapter 3 verses 2 and 3.
Now! In the 16th chapter of Matthew and 18th verse, we are told who built the church, the frame work, the faith by which the church is built, and that Satan would not prevail against the church.
Before we go any further, we must pause to share that the church is not a building. The church is a company of regenerated persons, baptized by immersion on profession of faith in Jesus, the Christ.
Now, the words coming from I John chapter 3 verses 2 and 3, tells us that if we are to be the church Jesus built, we are to make a difference in the lives of those around us by walking our talk.
Hear me when I say that the early church made a difference and turned the world upside down because they walked the talk. Their life style reflected their message.
The world is not interested in hearing intellectual arguments about Christianity; they want to see Christianity in action. They have no use for religious hypocrites! But, when someone walks the talk, the world pays attention.
Believe it or not, holiness is all about walking the talk. If we would practice walking the talk, that is, measuring up to what we say, people will take the church serious and listen to what the church folks have to say. It is not until what we say is takenseriously, will it have an impact on the lives of others.
We, as the church, cannot talk like Jesus and walk like Satan and expect to win souls for the kingdom of God. We must walk the talk.
We are going to look at three ways we can learn towalk our talk to meet the mandate of the church Jesus built on Peter’s faith in Caesarea Philippi.
First of all
1. Get Serious About Living Up to our Potential
2. Spend Time Alone with Jesus
3. Look for the opportunity to Do Good
1. Get Serious About Living Up to our Potential: Each of us is capable of doing more than we do. In fact, our greatest limitation is our unwillingness to try to do more. We don't lack ability, we lack ambition, as the church.
One evening while a man was driving down a country road, he lost control of his car and wound up in a ditch. He walked to the closest farm house and asked for help pulling the car out. The farmer said, "Sure. Let me hitch up Dusty and you'll be out in no time." A few minutes later the farmer appeared with Dusty—an old, swaybacked, almost blind mule. After Dusty was hitched to the car, the old farmer cracked the whip and said, "Pull, Buck, pull." Nothing happened. The farmer cracked the whip again and said, "Pull, Clyde, pull." Nothing happened. He cracked the whip again and said, "Pull, Dusty, pull." Dusty began to pull until finally the car was out of the ditch. The man thanked the farmer, and then said, "But I'm really curious. If your mule's name is Dusty, why did you say 'Pull, Buck' and 'Pull Clyde'?" The farmer said, "Well, you know Dusty is old and he doesn't see too good, and he doesn't have much confidence. If he thought he had to do all the work himself, he'd never even try."
That's our greatest limitation! Our unwillingness to try. If we are going to be that church Jesus built on Peter’s faith in Caesarea Philippi, we must possess the willingness to try.
Many people are afraid to believe in themselves. They say, "I'm only one person, what can I do?" and "I'm nothing special; "I'm just a sinner; God could never use me."
2. Spend Time Alone with Jesus: When we spend time alone with Jesus, we literally lose the ability to willfully sin. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins of commission are willful sins. You intend to do them!
Providence, we should spend time alone with Jesus in prayer, spend time alone with him in Bible study and spend alone time with him in fellowshipping with other believers.
In so doing, we will gain the strength and power from God to walk our talk.
Thirdly, if we are going to walk the talk, we must not only get serious about living up to our potential and spending time alone with Jesus. We must go down from our Mt. Transfiguration and....
3. Look for the Opportunity to do good.
John Wesley, a well-known Bible Scholar, as you know, once said, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can."
I’m reminded of a young evangelist who approached a certain man and asked, "Sir, are you a Christian?" The certain man said, "Why ask me such a question? I can tell you anything. Why don't you visit my banker, my grocer, my farm hands, my children; Ask them if I am a Christian. If I am or not, they'll certainly be able to tell you."
As the Church, there comes a time when we have to put up or shut up. We must understand that walking our talk as the church means to look for the opportunity to do good. There is more to living the Christian life than just focusing on the sins of others. We must pursue good works.
What kind of works am I talking about? This is where it gets tough church, because it is not a case of simply going to church on Sunday or visiting the sick on Sunday afternoon. The good works I'm talking about happen spontaneously, around the clock on any given day of our lives, whenever the opportunity arises.
Of course, we should be involved in organized ministry. But, if we really want to be that church Jesus built on Peter’s faith, it can only happen day-in and day-out, as it flows out of who we really are.
As I close, I'm reminded of the story Jesus shared that involved the Good Samaritan. Jesus said a man walking down a secluded road was beaten, robbed, and left for dead. As he laid there, three men passed by. The first two were religious. One was a priest and the other a Levite.
Yes, these men, the church passed him by. They were both involved in organized ministry, but they didn't know anything about compassion.
Then, a Samaritan came by. He had compassion and helped the man. He bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn and paid for his stay there, until he fully recovered.
One obvious point of this story is that the Samaritan's kindness was not the result of a scheduled act of charity. It was a spontaneous response of love. The priest and the Levite, the church was religious, but they didn't walk the talk. The Samaritan did. When the opportunity to do good presenteditself, the Samaritan was ready.
Remember: The church is not a building. It’s who you are, based on whose spirit lives inside of you. When the Jesus’ love lives inside of us and works outside of us, we become the church he built on Peter’s faith in Caesarea Philippi. Additionally, we become the church Satan’s forces will not prevail against. To God be the glory!
Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.
Sermon Topic for August 2016
A soft answer turneth away wrath
First Providence Baptist Church
315 Barton Road
North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: (803) 279-8836
Fax: (803) 441-8666