GLORIFY CHRIST IN YOUR LIFE!
By Pastor Paulus Budiono
Lemahputro, Sunday, September 8, 2019
We enjoy it so much when singing song after song that inspires and strengthens our faith, among others there are lyrics that say "I want to be faithful to the end of my life". We express the greatness of our loving Heavenly Father and yearn for Him. However, when we look back at this moment, have we been faithful to Him and applied His Word in every step of our lives?
How did the Apostle Paul glorify Christ in his life? What is written in his letter to the Philippians also to those of us who are currently reading it? Philippians 1: 18-21 write, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything (his past─ Ed), but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
The Apostle Paul was not troubled when people sneered and criticized the gospel he preached; the most important and foremost was that he continued to glorify Christ in his body (throughout his post-repentance life) and by his death. When a preacher usually glorifies God at a large event in a luxurious building, Paul, on the contrary, glorified Christ when he was in an uncomfortable condition, shackled in prison. He was a tentmaker (Acts 18: 3) but despite his limitations, he did not complain. In fact, he glorified Christ. He further said, "For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake." (2 Corinthians 4: 5) He positioned himself as a servant; thus he was willing to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ even to be imprisoned.
What about us who are free and live in comfort? Have we preached the gospel? And will we glorify Christ when we go through a rough patch and when our businesses are slack? Who do we preach? Let’s not idolize any great pastors whoever they are! Only Christ must be preached! Don't act like the Pharisees and the hypocritical Scribes whom Jesus condemned by saying, "This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teahing as doctrines the precepts of men." (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15: 8-9). Ezekiel 33:31 also warns," …hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain.”
We all know the famous international televangelist, Benny Hinn, who has also been a proponent of prosperity gospel theology. Benny Hinn (66) once asked his followers for $ 2.5 million in donations to get out of debt caused by his luxurious lifestyle. However, Benny Hinn has recently "declared" that his teaching in the past had offended the Holy Spirit, and he is correcting his theology. When he sees the Bible now, he doesn’t see the bible in the same eyes he saw 20 years ago. Hinn stated, "I think it’s an offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. The gospel is not for sale, the blessings of God are not for sale, miracle is not for sale and prosperity is not for sale.” Nevertheless, some critics remain skeptical about Hinn’s outright rejection, including his own nephew, Costi Hinn. Costi Hinn also revealed in his new book how his family exploited millions of people around the world with the prosperity gospel and often traded so-called "miracles" for money. Some of the comments came from Evangelist Justin Peters: "Do not be fooled," said Justin Peters. "This is not repentance." "For Benny Hinn to repent," Justin went on to say, "he would need to empty his coffers, give every cent he has to good ministries, shut his ministry down, confess to his lies and false prophecies, join a sound church, and never preach again."
Brandon Kimber, who exposes the false teaching of prosperity theology, on his Facebook pointed out that just today, Benny was still on television asking his viewers to "sow a seed" (that's prosperity preacher speak for "give money") and send it to the address on the screen. He even gave an amount: "I'm asking you to send $120" because "the number 120 is the number of deliverance and liberty." Is this what repentance looks like?
Beware! Everyone, including God's Servant, is not immune to money. And he, too, can be taken in by prosperity gospel. The pulpit is not meant for talking about money with the lure of prosperity and wealth, which are now popular around the world. Remember, there is only one Gospel mentioned in the Bible: the Gospel of the cross of Christ. There are no other gospels.
The Apostle Paul was not affected by his conditions: free or fettered, comfortable or uncomfortable but with full assurance he knew his future. He told young Timothy, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come…There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 6-8) It is evident that God has provided the crown of righteousness not only to the Apostle Paul but to all of us if we glorify Christ with our bodies until the day we close our eyes.
Surprisingly, the imprisoned Apostle Paul did not request prayers to be freed from the wall which restrained his movements but rather he told his followers to pray for him so that Jesus Christ would be exalted through him whether by life or by death. We are to imitate Paul’s unwavering commitment to follow Jesus despite his imperfection because there is only one perfect example, that is Jesus Christ who has called Paul and us.
Jesus has become the perfect example in glorifying His Father. What did He do? John 17: 4 writes, "I (= Jesus - Ed.) glorified You (= Father - Ed.) on the earth, having accomplished the work that You have given Me to do." Jesus glorified the Father through His body by willing to die for sinful man.
The Apostle Paul also said, "For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1: 11-12)
Pastor's sermons should focus on Jesus Christ not on man-made theology, for man is still marked by weaknesses and shortcomings. And because such theology comes out of the heart in which is a source of good and of evil (Matthew 15:19). Example: Who can solve the ongoing upheavals that occur everywhere? Not the church, not the pastor but only the Holy Spirit in our heart.
How do we use parts of our bodies such as our five senses, our knowledge, our gestures and our speech? Are they all kept under control and directed toward God's Word? Have we used them to glorify Him?
Besides the Apostle Paul, who else glorified Jesus? Sadly, those who arrested Jesus mocked Him and beat Him (Luke 22:63), even His disciples left Him. Prior to His death, Jesus said, "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit." (Luke 23:46) Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” (v. 47) And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. (vv. 48)
Don't just go to church to watch pastors and miracles and bring nothing home, but rather seek the glorified Jesus.
The Apostle Paul had an experience relating to the death and the resurrection of Christ. In another letter he wrote, "And He died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2 Corinthians 5:15)
The question is, are we sure that Jesus died to wash away all our sins and and cleanse us from all evil and uncleanness? He died for all aspects of our body, soul and spirit to save us from hell. This way we can be confident that we will come into the New Jerusalem and be with Him forever because our names are written in the Lamb's book of life (Revelation 21:27) that is sealed with His blood.
If Christ died and lived again for us, we should not live for ourselves (be selfish); for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord (Romans 14: 8). Simply put, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Don’t wait until all our needs are met then we think about others’. A crusade will be held in Timika next month (October). If we cannot attend the event there, we can support by giving financial gifts or praying; don’t grumble because you have to make another donation.
It turns out that the Apostle Paul's living testimony both in Rome (before his imprisonment) and in Philippi (during imprisonment) even until his decapitation remained the same; he boldly proclaimed that his life and death are for Christ for to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living (Romans 14: 9). Have we taken this verse on faith? Don’t live this verse only in the church but once you go out of the church you start having doubts due to the many problems encountered. God is able to give us peace even when we deal with the most distressing situations!
The Apostle Paul wanted all people ─ young and old, man and woman, employer and employe and the rest to glorify God. Proof? The old Apostle Paul admonished the young Titus, “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (Titus2: 1-1-5)
Despite our status and position, we must have the boldness to glorify God by practicing kindness and honesty in the truth of God's Word – renouncing wickedness and worldly desires, living wisely and justly, controlling ourselves etc. – though for that we must be treated with ridicule and insults as followers of Christ. We glorify Him through our speech, attitudes and actions wherever we are.
We are to live for the Lord from the start of our repentance to the finish at Jesus Christ’s second coming. He died for us and the Holy Spirit helps and enables us to live for Him, and He guarantees us to meet the Triune God in glory. Don’t be slothful to testify and don’t hold back in serving Him! Hasn't salvation changed our lives?
The Apostle Paul surely did not at random send young Titus to talk to the Cretans who were liars, wild and voracious if he had not had experience with Jesus. He was convinced that the Holy Spirit would help Titus. And this same Holy Spirit will also help us to glorify God with our body and our spirit (glorify God in your body and in your spirit) because we have been bought (with the blood of Jesus) at a price and our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6: 19- 20). Don’t waste the time and the opportunity while we still have breath! Glorify Christ with our body and our spirit, then the crown will be awarded to us. Amen.
Video ibadah ini dapat Anda lihat di sini Ibadah Umum "Kristus Selamanya Dimuliakan" - 08 September 2019 - Pdt.Paulus Budiono