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Pastor Shane Ham : Reconcilers in an Age of Relativism

Love, Sex, & Culture · 42:51 · Recorded September 19, 2021

Reconcilers in an Age of Relativism

Mark 1:14-15 (NASB) Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Matthew 5:11-20 (NIV) “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Laying the right foundation:

You’ve got to get clear about where to go for moral authority.

You’ve got to understand the distinctiveness of the Christian life.

The Christian life is brighter.

The Christian life is deeper.

Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 43-44 (NIV) "You have heard that it was said …. But I tell you…

Matthew 15:8-9 (NLT2) ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce’.

The Christian life is sweeter.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT2) Oh, the joys of those who … delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

You’ve got to come to terms with “the cost” of following Jesus.

Mark 10:28-30 (NIV) Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Jesus assumes we’ll have to leave things to follow him.

Matthew 16:24-25 (NLT2) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

Jesus assumes one of the more costly things you’ll leave behind is relationships.

Jesus promises you will always gain more from him than you have to leave for him.

Living as a “reconciler”:

Fulfilling Jesus’ “100 times” promise

1. Offer clarity.

2. Act with compassion.

Luke 18:11-14 (NLT2) The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

3. Provide community!

TALK IT OVER
  • When you think of being light in a dark world, is the light of your life shining like a 300-watt bulb? 100-watt? Night light? Why? How can Jesus enable you to “shine brighter”?

  • Think back to how Shane described the distinctiveness of the Christian life. Of the three points, what has been your experience? How have you seen each of them played out in your life?

  • What “cost” have you experienced because you’ve chosen to follow Jesus? What have you gained? Share that part of your Jesus story with your small group or a friend or a person who doesn’t understand why you have a relationship with Jesus.

  • Reread Luke 18:11-14 and consider these questions:

  • What group of people would be the Pharisees today? The tax collectors? What would be the “Pharisees Prayer”?

  • When have you been like the Pharisee? Like the tax collector? What accounts for the difference?

  • Right now, considering your attitude toward others, who are you most like?

  • How are you humble before God? (Micah 6:8)

TALK IT OVER
  • When you think of being light in a dark world, is the light of your life shining like a 300-watt bulb? 100-watt? Night light? Why? How can Jesus enable you to “shine brighter”?

  • Think back to how Shane described the distinctiveness of the Christian life. Of the three points, what has been your experience? How have you seen each of them played out in your life?

  • What “cost” have you experienced because you’ve chosen to follow Jesus? What have you gained? Share that part of your Jesus story with your small group or a friend or a person who doesn’t understand why you have a relationship with Jesus.

  • Reread Luke 18:11-14 and consider these questions:

  • What group of people would be the Pharisees today? The tax collectors? What would be the “Pharisees Prayer”?

  • When have you been like the Pharisee? Like the tax collector? What accounts for the difference?

  • Right now, considering your attitude toward others, who are you most like?

  • How are you humble before God? (Micah 6:8)

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