Who is the architect in your life, and what are you building your life on? In this, the final session in our Counter Culture series, Nick asks what we can take from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Studying the Sermon on the Mount, it’s impossible to not be affected by Jesus’ desires for our lives. As we begin the two-part conclusion to our Counter Culture series, the big question arises – what are you going to do about it?
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa
As followers of Jesus, how do we respond to disagreements with people around us? Do our actions turn people away from God, or towards Him? We should be motivated by grace at all times, and in all situations seek not to judge or condemn, but to help, encourage and love.
“[Giving] makes life with God an adventure in the world, and that is worth living for”
Where’s your treasure? Is it invested in a bank somewhere? Is it invested in people?
Your wallet is like a theological document – that collection of receipts inside says a lot about you. Every transaction you make is an investment in a kingdom somewhere, and where your treasure is shows where your heart is. And where your heart is defines where your life is going.
Will you be ambitious for God’s Kingdom?
If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s Cross.
So writes Paul in Colossians 2:12-14 (Message version), For Paul, baptism was like the people of Israel going from captivity into a new land. Eugene Peterson’s translation of Romans 6 describes Paul’s understanding as this:
“If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace–a new life in a new land!” [Romans 6:1-3, MSG)
Baptism is like a doorway into a new life in a new land.
Baptism is like a bath, washing us clean, through Jesus’ action on the cross.
Baptism is like a coffin; we die to an old way of life and are resurrected into a new life, hidden in Christ.
We baptise because Jesus told us to go and make disciples… baptising them… and teaching them to do what Jesus said and did. In the following talk, Nick explains why we baptise and explains some exciting new developments in the life of Coventry Vineyard…
Life has lots of rules, most of them unwritten. There is one place though where you can find absolutely loads of them – religion. But does God actually favour those who keep more of the rules than others?
Join Vicki as she explores the role of rules in a Christian’s life, and seeks to find why they exist and how exactly we should approach them.
Listen to last Sunday’s talk below:
“Probably the greatest tragedy of the church throughout its long and chequered history has been its constant tendency to conform to the prevailing culture instead of developing a Christian counter-culture.” – John Stott
If you are a follower of Jesus, You are different. You think, act and behave differently. If you are a follower of Jesus, You make a difference. In this talk Nick speaks on how we influence the culture around us and that our sense of purpose in life is found in living out life according to Jesus.
“You are the light of the world” -Jesus
Check out this animated clip from Sigur Ros:
How will you shine the light of the kingdom wherever you are this week?
If someone claims to follow Christ, claims to be a ‘Christian’, if someone says “Yes, I follow Jesus”.Then shouldn’t we expect them to be different? Shouldn’t they become more Christ like? Aren’t we supposed to live better lives as followers of Christ? Aren’t we supposed to live better lives? Aren’t we supposed to be different?
Paul writes: Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. (Romans 12:1-2)
What does our culture celebrate? What does our culture reward? Achievement? Popularity? Arrogance? Pushiness? Greed?
As we look at Jesus’ sermon on the mount, it’s clear that He’s talking about a different kind of culture. If we’re not careful, though, it’s all too easy to start yet another checklist for ‘Christian’ living. When we read the beatitudes, many of us miss the point.
This isn’t a checklist. It’s confirmation that God’s Kingdom is here now, and it’s here for you. If life fills you with despair right now, God is with you. You are blessed.
Listen to the full talk from our new series “Counter Culture”, below: