Believe and Confess (Part 4 of 7)

The Apostle Paul in Romans argues that a Christian cannot rightly call themselves a disciple unless they both believe and confess that ‘Jesus is Lord’.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”                                                                                                    

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”                     (Romans 10:9-13)

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How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering? (Part 6 of 6)

Living now in the face of Suffering.

How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering?

Some practical suggestions:

1. Pray – it is a brave person who prays that they may suffer for the sake of Christ! Prayer is one thing that you can do under any circumstance of suffering – and listening, is our Father in heaven. Don’t pray that persecution may stop (the Bible doesn’t say it will!). Don’t pray that you will be rescued (God may have plans for you in your suffering!). Don’t pray that those who make you suffer will be punished (that is not how Jesus prayed!). Instead, pray that you would be strengthened and obedient through your suffering. Pray also for other Christians who experience different degrees of suffering to you (Eph 6:18-20

2. Reset your expectations – The Apostle Peter suggests that Christian take the same attitude as Christ. Expect that a part of the Christian life (not all of it) will involve some tough stuff and that will be most acute when you stand for your faith. Peter’s strategy in the face of the suffering was to remember the Lord, recognise that standing for Jesus does not put you at fault, and realise there is no reason to be ashamed (1 Peter 4:14-16)

3. Proclaim Jesus – know what you believe so that when put on the spot you are able to stand firm for Jesus (c.f. Eph 6:14-17, 19-20). One of the best ways to defend yourself, is to continue to proclaim Christ (John 15:27).

4. Love those who make you suffer – Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount taught his disciples to ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matt 5:44 c.f. Romans 12:14, 17-21). There is a humility that demonstrates a Christlike attitude which is on display whenever a Christian suffers.

5. Recharge – You have been given a Christian family who can be a wonderful support. Under God, use them to help you recharge and then return to continue standing firm for Jesus (Heb 10:24-25).

Christian suffering when put into a Christ-shaped perspective calls for a resilience that trusts that God will one day put all things right. Christians should live out the good will of God not just at times of comfort and convenience but also in the times of challenge, conflict or persecution.

‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen’.                              (1 Peter 5:10)

 

For more in this Series:

Resilient in Suffering

If you are going to live for Christ, are you willing to make a stand?

Living for Christ will involve Suffering!

Strategies for Resilience in Suffering

Suffering and Judgement

How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering?

 

Suffering and Judgement (Part 5 of 6)

Suffering and Judgement

Personally, I don’t really like the idea of suffering, even for a good cause. It is a brave person who prays – ‘Lord, make me suffer so that you will get the glory!’

I wonder, what the original readers of 1 Peter might have been thinking as they contemplated all the different kinds of suffering that might lie before them. Like us, I am sure they would have been uncertain.

Peter, seems to have understood that uncertainty and offers some perspective by looking at the role judgement plays in suffering.

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Chosen People – 5 AWAY 2017 Talks

5 Away 17 Graphic

Our Weekend Away talk by Phil Colgan.

Talk 1 – The Amazing Blessing of Knowing Jesus (Romans 8:1-39)

Talk Outline – Romans 8.1-39

Audio for listen or download – Talk 1 (Romans 8:1-39)

Talk 2 – The Joy and Pain of the Gospel (Romans 9:1-29)

Talk Outline – Romans 9.1-29

Audio for listen or download – Talk 2 (Romans 9:1-29)

Talk 3 – The Wonderfully Simple Message (Romans 9:30-10:15)

Talk Outline – Romans 9.30-10.15

Audio for listen or download – Talk 3 (Romans 9:30-10:15)

Talk 4 – Bold for Mission (Matthew 28:16-20)

Talk Outline – Matthew 28.16-20

Audio and Video for listen or download – Talk 4 (Matthew 28:16-20)

 

God makes himself known – look around!

If ‘God’ is truly Almighty, the creator, the reason for existence, the first cause of all things – as would be the nature of anyone who would claim to be ‘god’, then how do we know that? How does he make himself known?

One way to ‘see’ God is to look around –  examine what you see.  The world around has to be a source of information about God if he is the source of all life.

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Grounded in the Word

Christians are people of the Word – the written and spoken word. I am not saying that Christians are just bookworms, but I am saying that at ground zero, a Christian is shaped by God’s Word. It informs, it motivates, it comforts, it rebukes, it sharpens, it directs and does so all by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you have just become a Christian you are faced with this big volume of 2 testaments, 66 books, 1189 chapters, 31,103 verses and you may think – is it worth it, how do I read it, where do I start?

And if you have been Christian for a while, then you may recognise the struggle it often is to read the Bible regularly and well – to let the Bible work on your heart and change your mind and apply to your behaviour. In short, to shape your life.

They are good concerns.

Yet, without the Bible, a person will struggle to grasp the fundamental Christian truth that while they were still a sinner, Christ died for them (Romans 5:8). Without the Bible it is impossible to understand what it really means to be Christian.

Don’t run away from the Bible – ground yourself with it!

 

For more in this Series:

Listening to the Word

Grounded in the Word

God makes himself known – look around!

God makes himself known – look at ourselves!

God makes himself known – look his Word!

How can the Bible be from men but also from God?

What does a Christian do with the Bible?

How can I trust that what was written down in the Bible is reliable?

 

What must I do to be saved? (Part 3 of 4)

Why is salvation by grace so hard to accept?

This doctrine is one of the many points where the Bible is totally out of step with our society!

Romans 5 helps us:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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Book Review: 40 Rockets

40 Rockets – Encouragement and tips for turbocharging your evangelism at work by Craig Josling & City Bible Forum (Sydney: Matthias Media, 2017).

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For any worker, so much of any given week is given to a job. For any Christian worker, this is their prime mission field.

Yet, how do you make the most of that opportunity? It is scary at points. There are risks. There are restrictions and workplace guidelines all of which need to be obeyed. No one said that talking about Jesus was a picnic, yet it is still our commission.

This book attempts to help – in a very practical sense.

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