I was surprised to hear a similar message from many people on Sunday, and even this morning. The message was something like: “Sunday’s sermon was clearly for me.” Praise the Lord.

Nothing inspires me more than to hear from the flock that the Holy Spirit spoke to them through the sermon. This is why we should always consider the sermon another form of worship; in the same way we view singing and praying. God uses all of those forms of worship to speak to us.

While leaving church on Sunday one saint stated that the point of the sermon reminded him of the biblical idea of throwing pearls to pigs. God is not going to “ornament” those living with iniquity with Good Works any more than we would put ornaments on last year’s brown and dead Christmas tree.

The two are incompatible. Pigs and wild dogs do not know how to properly care for pearls, and those who are knowingly living in sinful behaviors are no less prepared to rightfully handle opportunities to glorify God with Good Works.

Another saint likened the main point of the message to math teachers who constantly require their students to “show their work.” I like that. It’s one thing to have the right answer; but it’s quite another to be able to show how you got the right answer.

A person choosing to live in sin can shovel their neighbor’s sidewalk after a heavy snow, but their kindness will not be considered a “Good Work” that glorifies God. While it is a good deed, God is not glorified.

The one who is walking with God and shovels that same sidewalk produces a good work because they are, as Paul says, “prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21) by virtue of their effort to flee sinful behavior.

This can get a little tricky, and I realize that. But I think that only those who are following Jesus can produce genuine good works that glorify God because, according to the logic of Ephesians 2:8-10, only those who have faith will be those for whom God has prepared good works for them to fulfill. You might read that passage again.

Thus, as followers of Jesus, we cannot rest on our laurels thanking God for our salvation and then choosing to live however we like. May it never be!

Instead, we need to pursue sanctification in our lives, which, according to 2 Timothy 2:22 can be simplified into three key verbs: Flee (from sin); Pursue (righteousness, faith, love and peace by fixing our eyes on Jesus) and Partner (with likeminded disciples of Jesus who will link arms with us in the effort.

Fleeing, Pursuing and Partnering together with you all for the glory of God!

Rescued by Christ,
Pastor Tim


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