Settle For Nothing Less Than the Hope of Glory!

Sermon preached by Christopher Adams, September 7, 2008:

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Will you settle for a B, in your discipleship?!

When one surveys the accomplishments and failures of mankind on this planet, it seems that the sheer pace and magnitude of both have increased exponentially over the past century and even in the past generation. However, with all the technological, biological and sociological advancements that have been chalked up, there is still a huge spiritual void that holds us back from fulfilling our amazing potential to love one another and care for one another. One of the greatest hindrances to more men and women growing in these spiritual endeavors is the utter acceptance of mediocrity as the standard for their lives. Mediocrity protects and anesthetizes our lives against pain and suffering that accompany any worthy undertaking! Sadly, it is the norm to find in most, an almost total lack of desire to strive, to struggle and to overcome any and every obstacle to do and be our very best for God.

Mediocrity is the modern-day drug that is stealing life and joy away from a whole generation! I dare you to show me just one truly joyful person, motivated internally and who loves deeply even when it hurts and who exhibits a deep satisfaction as to where their life is taking them. Show me where there is a whole group of them, and we’ll be looking at a band of people who will change the world. Disciples of Jesus are supposed to be this exact same group, working together to help as many people in the world find their way out of this self-imposed but demonically induced trap. Romans 7:14-25 reads:

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Who can rescue us from this trap of powerless mediocrity? Thank you, Jesus! Paul says Jesus is the hope of glory in each one of us (Colossians 1:24-29) who claim to live in Christ. Mediocrity and hopelessness must be driven out by the power of the cross. Even when Jesus was praying for all those who might respond to his message through the first disciples’ testimony in John 17, he refused to succumb to hopelessness, just because it was going to be hard to achieve the kind of unity that would save the world. This unity is based on disciples faithfully calling every person to die to themselves and live for Jesus every day of their lives!

Let us not short-sightedly accept a humanistic version of unity bereft of the real pain of holding to Jesus’ standard of discipleship. Let us settle for nothing less than the hope of glory: Jesus’ glory on the cross . . . this love is the only power, which will bring many to an eternity with God.

Romans 7:14-25
• People settle for anything less than the hope of His glory.
• Mediocrity is the modern day drug that is stealing joy from this generation.
• Everything you do is meant to glorify God.
• Repentance ? anything else less than a wholehearted hatred toward your sin is mediocrity because it is lukewarmness.
• The only way out of this slavery is through Jesus Christ.
Question: Do you look at your life as a wretched one?
• Paul saw his own life clearly.
1: Become like Jesus in His obedience.
John 17:1?26
• God wanted Him to go to preach in all of the villages in Judea.
• Jesus defined unity. The unity is God and Jesus.
Question: How unified are you?
John 14:28?31
• Jesus did exactly what His Father commanded Him. Anything less than exact obedience to God is mediocrity.
• If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you must walk as Jesus did.
Question: Are you walking as Jesus walked??
Colossians 1:24?29
Question: Is Christ in you?
Question: What confidence do you have?
• It takes labor to help you to grow to become like Jesus.
Ephesians 4:3
• Deny yourself and help other disciples of Jesus Christ with all of His energy.
Question: What is the standard of unity?
• Struggle with His energy.
Question: Is the person ahead of you following Jesus?
• You better be careful about who you are following.
1 Corinthians 1:4?17
Question: What did Paul call them to?
• Paul expected them to live by the standard of Jesus. Paul was calling them to this unity.
Question: How does God expect you to be unified with Him?
• Jesus only used the word “unity” six times in the New Testament.
• The Kingdom is where God is going to save you.
Question: What areas of your life do you need to work on to obey Jesus??
2: Becom