Are You Suffering For Christ
Do you suffer as a Christian believer?Did you know that suffering is part of a life with Christ (I Peter 4:12-17)? When going through this suffering do not be afraid for the Lord is with you. Philippians 1:27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. The church had many opponents and they were being told not to be afraid because these adversaries were a gracious gift from God and serves a purpose.
Imagine a sermon where you are told adversity is a gift of God’s grace. Imagine being told faith in Christ is proven thru suffering brought to you by God. Imagine seeing the suffering is not for your benefit but on behalf and for the glory of Christ.
What does that mean now?
As a believer we have enemies, we have those who hate us and actively go to war against our faith in Christ Jesus and look to move us from living life worthy of our God. Have you ever heard a sermon explaining that opposition and suffering is evidence of your salvation of which both come from God?
This is not sin suffering, this is suffering you share with Christ Jesus. Jesus did not sin yet He suffered, those who are in union with Him will experience His suffering.
In America we are taught to live and think in a way that serves us, and believe we are serving one another in Christ.
Some statements are –
-- I live in America and I thought to be a believer means living a good (man’s definition) life.
-- I’m a good person or he/she is such a good person
-- I do not do this…(law).
-- I thought the purpose of salvation was to benefit me. I am always at the church and giving all my time, how am I not serving the Lord? The list goes on…
The gospel taught in America has completely lost sight of the purpose of Jesus, the cross, His precious blood and resurrection. The gospel of America is that God allowed His Son to be beat beyond human recognition so that I can have a comfortable, easy, earthly peaceful life and God’s job is to help me overcome all my problems or better yet make sure I don’t have any problems.
God’s Word is Alive and does not Move!
God’s promises are still in tack but this viewpoint is so focused on one side of God, there is total blindness to His other sides. The bible also speaks of Holiness, justice, judgment, correction, wrath and all His other attributes, natures, and characteristics that are ignored as if they don’t exist. This viewpoint has perverted God’s word. How do we know this, where is the evidence of suffering? Scripture says pick up your cross daily and deny yourself!
Why don’t they teach on Suffering correctly?
Preaching and teaching of today is on how to escape suffering, and that God does not want you to suffer. Suffering is not part of a Christian’s life, and all you need to do is come on down say a little prayer, fill out a card and talk to someone for five minutes and your life will be better. What this has brought to our country is complacency and neglect of what blesses God, pleases God, and knowing of God. Scripture says in Philippians 1:27 Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
There are those who on the inside know there is more, who want God and nothing else. Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
This verse is for everyone.
Definition – Bond = servant = slave
1. One who gives himself up to another’s will
2. Devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interest
How does this look in our life?
Ask yourself questions. Where is the majority of your time, money, energy and so on given? Who do you talk about the most, what do you know the most about? Do you know what pleases God or is your concern in you being pleased?
Darkness is running free in America and when the time comes will you suffer for Christ’s name sake? Do you see yourself as someone whose relationship with the Lord is worth setting aside yourself?
John 17: 7 Now [at last] they know and understand that all You have given Me belongs to You [is really and truly Yours]. 8 For the [uttered] words that You gave Me I have given them; and they have received and accepted [them] and have come to know positively and in reality [to believe with absolute assurance] that I came forth from Your presence, and they have believed and are convinced that You did send Me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those you have given me, for they belong to you.
Biblegateway.com (we use Bible verses from this site)
Woman At The Well - Next