Which God Do you believe in?

This was a sermon that I preached two weeks ago at Saint Michael’s Anglican Church in New Haven, where I happen to be the Vicar. The parishioners expressed their affinity for this sermon and I felt I should share it with you. I pray God’s blessing on you as you read.

Text:Luke 6:36-42 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” 39 And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

Subject: Why did Jesus tell His audience to be like He has described in Luke Chapter 6?

Compliment: Because it is how God their Father is like.

Exegetical Idea: Jesus told his audience to be like He has described in Luke chapter 6 because that is how God their Father is.

Homiletical Idea: Which God do you believe in?

Purpose: As a result of preaching this sermon, I want my audience to understand that our duty as Christians is to reflect God. I want my audience to know that how they live their lives will determine if people around them will embrace their God or not.

I want them to know that living the Christian life is living a counter cultural conventional life style. It is living a life of the kingdom. It is living a new and refreshing life.

Introduction: I have spent a good part of my adult life in schools and training of some sort to the chagrin of my close friends, who cannot hang out and do fun things with me because I am always either studying or commuting over two hours to attend classes. However, at school, we have professors that we like and the ones we don’t care much about except to complete our course work and submit them on time. But there is also this rivalry among professors. In fact some of them will give you a low grade if they find out that you are associated with a professor that they don’t think much of. It could be because these professors that are not liked much are faithful to their biblical conviction or because they disagree on social issues of our day. But there was this professor, who happens to be a Jewish scholar that wasn’t liked by many professors. A former student of his went to study in a different school and happened to take a course taught by a professor who does not like this Jewish professor. This professor gave the former student of the Jewish professor a low grade because of this student’s association with the Jewish professor. But one day, one of the former students of this other professor came to study under the Jewish professor. Although this student’s grades were not that great, but the Jewish professor gave him an “A” grade on that course. The Jewish professor’s teaching assistant protested, and even reminded the Jewish professor how his former student was given a low grade by this student’s former professor, but he insisted on giving him “A”. This Jewish professor said I gave him “A” because that is what Jesus will do. Which God do you believe in?

Transition: Be merciful Because God your Father is merciful

I. Your Mental Model of God will result in how you live your Christian life

1. God is not a stingy penny pinching gloomy God, who likes making us suffer.

2. God is a liberal God, who gives us everything even when we don’t deserve it

3. God is God who gives us a refreshing and abundant life even in the face of adversity.

4. God is not a God who wants to make our salvation impossible by prescribing the things that we should or not do.

5. God is a God of love, who loves both the sinner and the saint alike.

Transition: What image of God have you created?

II: The type of God you believe in will determine the way of life that will follow

1. Is your God merciful?

2. Is your God concerned with the injustice and poverty in our world?

3. Is your God loving and forgiving?

4. Do people around you see the type of God you worship in your behavior

5. Does your neighbor see the God you worship reflect in how you raise your children treat your spouse, cater to the need of the poor?

Transition: You will reflect whom you worship for ruin or for restoration

III: Only when people discover the type of God you worship will they make Him their

1. Jesus was speaking about the extravagant exuberant life that His father gives.

2. The crowd were following Jesus because of the power that was flowing from Jesus.

3. His disciples won many souls for the kingdom because of what they saw in them

4. People were amazed at the type of life that Jesus lived.

5. It was counter cultural lifestyle

Transition: It is only when people discover your God that they can embrace Him

Conclusion: How do we respond to this sermon? What should our response be?

There are two things about Jesus’ instructions in this passage.

1. This instruction is simple, clear, memorable, and direct

2. What Jesus was telling them to do was very scarce, and almost impossible. It was not their cultural convention. But so is the Christian life.

-How many communities have you seen or heard that live the way Jesus has instructed his audience?

-Think about what would happen if Christians in New Haven live like this.

-Think about what will happen if Christians all over the world use these guidelines that Jesus has given.

-What has gone wrong in our Christian faith?

-Has God changed?

-Have we forgotten who He really is?

Which God do you believe in? What image of God have you created? It is only when people discover your God that they can embrace Him. Be merciful because you Father is merciful. Whom you worship, you reflect for ruin or for restoration.

May God help us as we ponder on these words: in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!

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