This sermon was recorded during the gathering of the church for the Sunday Worship Experience at First Southern Baptist Church of Wickenburg on April 28, 2013. It is the third part of a series on the Identity of the Church as individual disciples of Christ that united together in Christ.
Growth, in this world’s eyes, is easily measured. We exam this measurement tape through the markings of success, status, & achievement. To have a positive direction establishes a sign of health. To have a direction that lessons your seeming value, is frowned upon.
But as people who carry the identity of Christians (“little Christ”), what does growth and signs of maturity look like. How are we to mark the measurements of someone growing in the faith. Are these also achievements and statuses…or are the markings as unique as the God we claim to serve. To be a disciple or church that follows Jesus Christ is to be unique because the understatement of the day is this…God is Unique. In fact He Himself is so unique that you could almost uses one of the phrases from Winston Churchill…“…a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
God truly is mysterious, but we can know more of God through His revelation to us in the Scriptures. God is holy and yet chooses to dwell among the unholy so that they too may become Holy. God Who creates life, yields his life and dies so that the dead may gain life….The truth of God and Who He is uniquely is a paradox.
As His children…we too must grow into Walking Paradoxes…
By His Grace. Through His Gospel. For His Glory.
Here is the passage of Scripture that this sermon is founded upon…
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles- if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.