Move Forward with Honorable Conduct
With a humble heart we move forward as the church with honorable conduct. We keep our conduct honorable, beautiful, noble for the sake of others and for the glory of God. The summary is given in 1 Peter 2:17. Here it is: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” I believe this is our moment to be the church, this is our moment, Sovereign Grace Church, to shine the way God intends.
That looks like loving the brotherhood. It looks like loving one another in this church no matter what. We have to start here, with our love for one another or it’s over. We have no credible witness of Christ’s love to the world out there, if we’re not loving one another in here. None! They won’t even know who we are because Jesus made it plain in John 13:35: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
My guess is that there are some in this church who have offended others and there are some feeling offended. Don’t let that linger. Don’t let that fester. Don’t let the devil use it to divide you from any member of this church. And don’t argue any more on social media. I plead with you. I’m not saying don’t write blog posts (some of you have written some very good ones). I’m not saying don’t kindly interact with what folks have written. I’m just pleading with you not to let it turn into a heated argument online. Instead, if you know there’s someone here that you really disagree with, take them out to coffee. Look them in the eyes. Remember that Christ loves them and died for them. And you signed a member agreement saying that you would do what it takes to help them get across the finish line and into the arms of Jesus. And talk and enjoy one another. And remember that the blood of Jesus that unites you to one another is greater than anything that might threaten to divide.
And when we open these doors, then the world can see our honorable conduct. They will see that we Christian men honor all woman and believe that they are equal to us in dignity and value and so we will not abuse them and we will protect them and rescue them when they are being abused. And they will see that we are not only pro-unborn-life, we really are pro-all-of-life. And we are not color blind. We see the color and we revel in it and rejoice in it, not merely for diversity’s sake, but because the diversity highlights the glory of our creator God. And they will see that we believe that all disabled people are fearfully and wonderfully made by God and so are to be valued and helped and protected. And they’ll see that we who are sojourners and exiles love those who are sojourners and exiles among us regardless of race or religion. Not merely because they bring more diversity to our neighborhoods, but because we believe God is bringing the nations to us because he intends to advance his gospel. And they’ll see that we are not homophobic, but love our homosexual neighbors--love them enough to speak the truth in love because we want them to find the deepest joy and satisfaction there is, which is only in Jesus.
So we just need to ask ourselves: how do I move toward the world in love and empathy and compassion and kindness? What does that look like for me? Who has God put in my sphere of influence that he wants me to move toward for their sake and for his glory?
*Adapted from Together: Honoring, a sermon originally preached by Rick Gamache on November 13, 2016*
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