Unity of Experience
Today’s sermon at Vero Christian Church was titled “Unity of Experience.” Steve Jones did an excellent job relating how we have a common experience in the church, and how that without that commonality, the church doesn’t function so well.
As I have prepared to lead the worship service with this message in mind, as I have finished reading Brian Jones’ book, “Second Guessing God” (which I highly recommend), and as I have continued my work in Colossians chapter three, there are a couple of thoughts that just won’t leave me alone:
We all have a common experience – we are sinners in need of a Savior.
In writing to the Colossians, Paul said in chapter 3,
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality,impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
We all have “been there, done that.” As Christians, we need to remember that we have the common experience of being outside of Christ, given to sinful desires, and given over to sin in our lives. Because of that the wrath of God is coming. Those who are still caught up in that lifestyle are destined for destruction.
Now, I know that my last sentence doesn’t sound very “loving,” but the truth of the matter is that the most loving thing you can say to someone destined for God’s wrath is that they don’t have to continue on that path. The most loving thing we can do is share with them our experience of once being lost, but now being found. We need to show others lives that have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. We need to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ so that they have the opportunity to accept the Gospel. It doesn’t matter if they are Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, Scythian, slave or free. Black, white, red, brown, purple, male, female, sex addict, sexually abused, alcoholic, drug abuser, liar, whatever. That is what we were in our common experience before Christ. In Christ, put our our new selves free from our former ways of living.
We all have a Savior Who has paid the price for our sin, all we have to do is accept Him.
I pray that it is your desire to share the common experience of your salvation in Christ with those who have not yet shared in it. In so doing,I pray that you would have a shared experience of the Grace of God as expressed through His Son, Jesus.
May God provide opportunities for you to have such a shared experience this week, so you too, can say, “been there, done that” with a new, eternally rewarding meaning.