14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Jesus, Himself fulfilled the mission of being the Lords servant to be light for the gentiles, as it was said in...
6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
And also on Luke 2:32, when Jesus was presented at the temple.
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
Jesus expected all of His followers to do exactly the same thing. What good works do people see you and i do, that will give God the glory. Jesus said... “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”. How is our faith different from everyone else? How do we behave, act, speak...how does it give glory to our Father, and reflect the Son who gave us the perfect example? There has to be a difference, a change, proof of being a new creation.
Before we come to realize what it is to be made new, being that light for people to see. We have to look at why we were saved and from what? We all know that we were called for His purpose! Not because we were good, or that we were already living a holy life. We were far from that. Jesus came to save sinners.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Jesus came to be born as a man, not merely to provide us an example of a godly living, but to make it possible for us to enjoy an intimate relationship with God. Jesus did for us what we could never do on our own. Remember from last weeks message... "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day”. We lost our relationship with our God, because of sin, that is why He said...”to save what was lost” we were lost, and Jesus was the payment for sin. Let us look at where we came from, and why we were far off with our relationship from our God. We all know the deception in the garden, the fall of man. After the fall things did not get any better. Adam and Eve/s sons, Abel, and Cain. Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. Abel took care of animals, and Cain a farmer, Both brothers at one point made an offering to the Lord, but only one offering was favored...
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain did, and for that,
Abel was commended righteous in Gods eyes, as it was said in the book of Hebrews 11. Abel offered the right sacrifice. As it was said, it made Cain angry. Why? They both made an offering, so why did God favor one, and not the other? Lets look at the following verses to best explain, Lets hear God speak...
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
Basically God is saying that if you were obedient to my command, your offering would have been accepted. But Cain let his anger lead him into a very terrible sin.
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Cain killed his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field” Cain already planned to kill his brother, it was no accident! This is what the Lord meant when He said, “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Sin desired to have Cain, and it did, Cain could not master it. So God cursed Cain for his disobedience. Just like his father Adam. This is where we all came from, a life of disobedience. Of course,again,things did not get any better. We all know the story of the great flood, that wiped out all of mankind.
5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
Everything about us, “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time”. Our sins pains the Creator who made us because it stands against His very nature. God will always judge sin, He will not ignore it! This is our God from the beginning, A “Just” God. He will not let sin go unpunished!
It is always good to look back at where we came from, just from what we have seen, we have no escape, were done, our sin brought pain to our God. Just by knowing all of these should give us a sense of humility. We should be down on our knees begging for forgiveness.
Don’t thing that just because this are from the Old Testament, it has nothing to do with us? It has everything to do with us, Man never changed, we cannot change, not on our own!
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
We are all under sin, “there is no one righteous, not even one”. “There is no one who understands”, understands what? That our God is a Just God, that He will not let sin go unpunished. Is that what we need to understand? Yes! That is our God from the beginning. “No one seeks God”. Why? Because many people make God the they want God to be. Nobody wants the God of the Bible, they make their own god, which is idolatry. “All have turned away, they have become worthless, there is no one who does good, not even one”. This is a hard reality to accept, but its true! This is all from God, the One who knows all things. It is better to know the truth now while we are still alive and breathing. It may hurt, just as the saying goes..”truth hurts”. Its better to receive mercy and forgiveness while we live and breathe, because if we die and never received forgiveness, guess what? There is no more forgiveness in hell! There is no such thing as receiving mercy. Nothing, but torture and pain forever.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Jesus alone among all that is born in this earth, lived His entire life by the the power of the Holy Spirit, always doing His Fathers will, and never committing a single sin!
Do you remember what God told Cain? “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted”. So what is the right thing to do here, how can i give glory to my God? If God has already drawn you to the Son, that means, that you have been born again. A man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee came to see see Jesus one night asking about the Gods kingdom...
3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
As the conversation goes, Nicodemus replied, i am a grown man, how can i enter my mothers womb again?
5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
“flesh gives birth to flesh”, we some what know how that works right? But even with that, God is still the one in control. “Spirit gives birth to spirit”. That is something only God can do.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
It was not our decision to be born again, we were drawn to the Son. God has already planned that before the creation of the world. Sadly, not for everybody, not everybody will believe in the Son. And here is the proof of that...
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
You can say that its your choice, believe or not believe in Jesus. Because it did say “Whoever believes” but remember from last weeks message, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them”. And from our previous verse, “no one seeks God, all have turned away”. God is the One, and will always be in control, He is the One who decides. Can we make that decision,can we save yourselves? Of course not! Don’t think that we are any better than those people from the Old Testament, believe me we’re worst!
We can learn from their mistakes, they cannot learn from us. We have the Scriptures ( Bible ) and the promised Holy Spirit they did not. That is why we had to be made new, we had to be born again. So that we no longer carry the curse of sin. And to live a life how God wants us to live it, by His will. If the Lord was to ask you the same question He asked Cain...“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? So, what is “the right thing to do”? How can i please God in this life that will give Him the glory? I want to do what is right, my goal now as a new creation is to please my Lord, to glorify my Lord. How?
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God”. When we think of sacrifice, whats the first thing that pops in to our minds? The sacrifice that Jesus made, so that we can live, Jesus took our sins on the cross. When you look at the definition of sacrifice, you will see this...
1. an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure
2. an animal, person, or object offered in a sacrifice
3. an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
Sacrifice has something to do with death or to give up something to a higher more important value. That is why Galatians 2:20 hold a lot of value to a christian.. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”. We are to offer ourselves, when? Daily, to be what? Holy and pleasing in His sight. Let me ask you again, same question asked of “if you do what is right, will you not be accepted”? What is the command? “offer your bodies as living sacrifices,holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship”. Whats after that? “2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will”. That is Gods commands, that is how we can give God the glory. That is how we can let our light shine, so that people may see. That they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. Let our light shine, that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven! That is why we were called, not to continue living the life that we once lived, but to be changed...Our actions, speech all that we do, we have to do it for His glory.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
If you look in your Bible, the heading for this chapter is “Rules for a Holy living”. By abiding to His will, being obedient to His commands, is how we can give God the glory. Because it is no longer us who lives, but Christ. “Whatever we do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”.
That is how we give God the glory...