The Gospel Saves, Sustains and Secures.

Posted May 29, 2018 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 27th May 2018.

GracePoint Church, Kikuyu

Series: 1 Corinthians.

Text: 1 Corinthians 1: 4-9

Theme: The Gospel Saves, Sustains and Secures.

Introduction.

When I was in high school I crafted a name and bestowed it on myself: Victor. A lot of the people who went to school with me still call me Vic and have no idea that it was not my official name. Nowhere in any official documents did the name Victor appear. I made it up when I entered form 1 and it stuck. When I think about it, there are a few reasons which could have led me to want a new name.

  • Teenage/Adolescence Identity Crisis. I wanted people to know me by a more colourful name, one that maybe spoke more positively into my future.
  • Hiding/Concealing the true me: Maybe I did not want the true ‘me’ to come out. Most likely I wanted to hide – after all I was many miles away from home (it was in the same county)
  • I wanted change, to break from my past. I craved a new ‘me’. Inwardly I wanted transformation and thought changing the label would do.

Like me, you probably have multiple identities but who are you primarily? What most defines you? What identity shapes your character most. The question of who we are is deep and speak volumes about us.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul opens with a surprising identity. As we saw last Sunday, He calls them God’s holy people, those sanctified in Christ even though when we read the rest of the letter we wonder whether those terms were really descriptive of them. In the verses we are considering today we see the dynamic that qualifies the use of the terms ‘holy’ and ‘sanctified’ the Gospel.

Teaching points

  1. The Gospel Saves – mliopokea neema katika Kristo. V 4 and 9

In a very interesting way Paul, opens and closes this section by stating the most important thing that the Corinthians needed to know – That they had received grace from God through Jesus Christ and that they had been brought into fellowship with God.

Paul is about to have a hard conversation Corinthians and begins by reminding them of their identity – they had received grace from God in Christ Jesus. The gospel had given them a new identity.  But the Corinthians also had other identities.

They could have taken pride in their Greek nationalism. After all the Greeks were the ‘cultured’ or ‘civilized’ people in Paul’s day. In fact, anyone who was not ‘Hellenized’ (the big word for Greek culture and way of life) was said to be ‘Barbarian’ – a rather unpleasant term that looked down upon others as unrefined in their way of life more or less like ungwana na ubara in the coast.

They could have taken pride in their education. Greeks were at the top of learning in their day. Greek thinking and Philosophy dominated the world at the time so much so that even after the Romans conquered them in battle, Greek education and influence continued. People, including Paul and all New Testament writers spoke Greek.

In Corinth, there could have been another source of pride. Their buildings and advanced architectural forms. To this day the Corinthian column stands as a memorial of Greek influence in building and construction.  People are very proud of buildings.

Corinth was also a port city. A lot of business happened there and certainly there could have been pride in business acumen. When Paul was there he did some work as a tent maker together with his Companions Aquila and Priscilla.

Those in Corinth who were feeling proud in their thinking (Chap 1 v29) are rebuked to remember that they have merely received grace from God and have nothing to boast about. They can only boast in the gospel (31). For there is nothing that they had that were not given to them (Chap 4:7).

What is it then, changes ordinary people, proud of their culture and achievements, lost in sin and self-centeredness, wallowing in rebellion and self-righteousness to be described as ‘holy’ and ‘sanctified’?

The gospel is the game changer.

In verse 4, Paul thanks God that the Corinthians had heard the gospel: ‘given grace in Christ Jesus’

Paul knew that because he had worked among them for 18 months and had seen fruit from that work. Those who had converted and become followers of Jesus now needed to know that their one, true and lasting identity was that they were recipients of Grace and their contribution to their salvation was nothing more than their dirty, sinful, rebellious souls.

Through the good news of Jesus Christ preached to them, they had received God’s unmerited favour and become Children of God. No longer were they primarily of Corinth but their citizenship was now in Heaven. Paul thanks God for the gospel as it had made them a new, holy, sanctified people of God. Now they had ‘fellowship with His son, Jesus Christ our Lord’ What a difference that makes!

Application1: The Gospel changes everything! Delight in it.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

Ephesians 2:1 -10 (NIV)

Surely we were those who were lost. By God’s grace we have been found in Christ and brought to peace with God so that we can serve Him.  May we be challenged to know and delight in the gospel – Christ’s complete work, God’s grace revealed to us. Our only response is worship.

 

  1. The Gospel Sustains. V5 – 7

Paul reminds the church in Corinth that in Christ they have been given every spiritual gift. They are lacking in nothing. What good news to hear for every believer in Christ!

If pride was an issue among some of the Corinthians, no doubt a sense of inadequacy was also a reality. No wonder there were divisions among them as well as lawsuits. Some might have doubted their own spirituality and others about their status in life as single or married people. They sent some people from Chloe’s household (v11) to enquire from the apostle about these and other questions.

One of the greatest sources of discontent among people, even in a church family is low self-esteem. When we have a sense of inadequacy we become insecure and lack confidence. Paul remind Corinthians that in Christ they have everything they need. Nobody should intimidate them by a superior gift, by some new knowledge or wisdom because in Christ they have everything.

Application 2

Today, we need to hear the same message as the Corinthian church – that we are not lacking in anything as we eagerly await the return of our Lord. We don’t need a special prophet, or some special word or experience because we have Christ as fully and sufficiently revealed in Scripture.

That grace is available to us today. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness as we wait for our Lord.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Titus 2: 11 – 14 (ESV)

Illustration – Tim’s prayer in 2006 ‘Thank you Lord that we need nothing because in you we have everything’ I found it odd at the time. The gospel affects how we pray.

  1. The Gospel Secures V 8, 9

Paul reminds the Corinthians that the Lord will keep them firm to the end. V8 and 9a

If they had been saved by grace surely it will take the grace of God to sustain them. He says to them that God is faithful- who called them into fellowship with his son Jesus Christ

How will they stay on as God’s holy and sanctified people?

The question of assurance is big for every believer. No doubt the Corinthians wondered about their faith soon after the apostle had left. They needed clarity about a number of things and perhaps felt the need for the apostle to come back among them.

You know that feeling after a great spiritual experience may be after a challenge weekend in high school or after a conference or ‘revival meeting’. That longing to be with a mentor or a friend who has helped you though in some way. We feel needy and vulnerable. We wonder if we will survive. Will the new church hold or die off?

Confidence in our Christian walk can potentially come from many sources. It can falsely be on built around conversion experience, time (since our conversion/decision) gifts, fame (reputation) or the church we attend. Not so for Paul. Only the gospel will keep us going to the very end. Surely the way in is clearly the way on.

Sometimes we think we can ‘outgrow’ grace. Some have this false idea that we are saved by grace but sustained by good works. That is not the gospel. We will always need grace. Grace to follow, grace to serve, grace to love, grace to obey, grace to bear fruit.  it is grace through and through.

What a reminder that we need to hear in these shaky times! Our God is faithful through the changing times and seasons.

Application 3:

The Christian journey is a walk of faith, not one of morality or religious practice, it is only by grace that the Christian will conquer his or her enemies: the flesh, the world and the devil.

May we know that the Lord will sustain us to the end. The Christian hymn writer John Newton sang of the gospel in these amazing words ;

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

Conclusion

The gospel is sufficient to secure us in Christ and present us blameless on the last day. May we delight in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for it saves us, sustains us and secures us. May our identity be firm in the Lord.

 

Rev. Harrison Mungai Macharia

www.gracepointchurchkikuyu.org/blog

www.mungaimacharia.com

 

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Preaching 1 Cor 1: 1- 3

Posted May 25, 2018 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Theme Sentence: God calls His Church to be his sanctified people in Christ Jesus.

Intro: What is the nature of the church?

There is an article I came across recently that perhaps captures the state of the church in Kenya. The article is written by renowned Daily Nation columnist Josaya Wesonga titled ‘The Devil on the Cross: How the Church in Kenya lost its Religion’ It was published some time last year and it had the following to say about the church:

In Kenya Christian lexicon, “getting into ministry” is one of the most abused terms. “Getting into ministry” can be likened to a get-rich-quick scheme, with many broke and busted types taking this ministry route, not to fish for man, but for mammon…

 

Nowadays, politicians have taken the rule right out of Moi’s handbook; they have made it a habit of attending church services on Sunday, kneeling on the altar and being anointed, even if the previous day they were on a hate-mongering murderous mission.
When a leading minister was asked in 1992 which party he supported, he replied that the Bible instructed him to support AGIP, which was an acronym for “Any Government in Power”. However, supporting AGIP – aka Kanu – was a quid pro quo arrangement. In return for their support, these ministers and their ministries got land, miscellaneous state favours, unchecked access to State House, cash handouts and money during church-building harambees.

Reference: https://www.theelephant.info/features/2017/09/28/devil-on-the-cross-how-the-church-in-kenya-lost-its-religion/
According to Josaya and indeed many observers of the Kenyan church scene, the church has been on the decline. No longer is she the ‘pillar and foundation’ of truth or indeed the custodian of national values or its conscience. The same pursuit for power, wealth and fame that is found outside the church seems all too familiar inside.

 

There is no doubt that the church has been infiltrated by all kinds of imposters, false teaching, fascination with power, miracles and what is falsely known as knowledge or wisdom. In the letter we are starting today, we come across a church that was very much like the Kenyan church today. One that was riddled with false notions of power, divided over leadership, spiritual gifts and immorality among many other issues.

 

What does the Lord to say to such a church? today, we open Paul letter to the Corinthian Christians and see God’s view of the church.

 

  1. The church is called by God, belongs to God and is sustained by God.

 

It is easy to imagine that the church is just another social institution more or less like government, civil society organisation or even business. After all, it has structures that are somewhat similar to those institutions. When Paul says in Verse 2 ‘The church of God’ the idea here is one that ‘belongs to’ meaning that church is established by God to display His grace and power through the Cross. We must call to mind that the church does not exist by the will of man or the goodwill of any government but rather by the will of God. Two reasons are clear from the passage:

 

  • It is His because he owns it: Our Lord Jesus said in Mark’s Gospel that he will build his church. He bought it at a price and it firmly and surely belongs to Him. In Acts 20:28 Paul admonishes the Ephesian elders to: Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

 

  • It is His because He called it to being. God called the church into being. He is the primary and indeed the only actor in the establishment of the Church. Elsewhere in 1 Timothy 3:15 we learn that the church belongs to him and it is to be the pillar and foundation of Truth: if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

 

  • It is His because He feeds it. He calls the apostles to feed the church and in this passage we see Paul is called, by the will of God to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. He is sent to proclaim the message and the Lord uses that as a foundation for the church in Corinth and indeed all over the world. Paul therefore has authority to teach us how the Church should look like, how her communal life should be and how those who belong in the church should live. We will be well advised to listen to him in the coming Chapters.

 

 

On many occasions in history, the church has been under serious threat both from inside and outside. Persecution in the Roman times threatened to extinguish it but the church thrives on. False teaching was a threat even in Paul’s day but the Church of Jesus Christ thrives on. The dark ages nearly extinguished the candle of the church but the Lord preserved the Gospel. Islamic expansion threatened the church with the sword but the church lives on. Western thought during the enlightenment dismissed the church as old myths of darkness but the gospel lives on. Communism threatened the church in China and the Soviet Union but today China has over 100 Million Christians. Brothers and sisters the church of Jesus Christ is no human institution.

 

The church is not ours. We cannot begin to imagine that we can own it or sustain. What a joy then that he uses mortal and feeble people to bring about His glory in the church. Let us not be anxious about the church. God himself is at work in His church and He will sustain it.

 

 

  1. The church is made up of sanctified people, called to be holy and united under the Lordship of Christ.

We find in verse 2 that the church is made up of sanctified people in Christ Jesus. The Church is called holy ‘set apart for the Lord’. There is an expectation for those who belong in the church. We are to be holy as the one who has called us is Holy. Paul addresses Corinthians as those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus. This speaks volumes about who belongs in His church.

 

It is striking how Paul in Verse 2 very specifically addresses his letter to an immediate audience in Corinth and to a wider audience all over the world. The people in Corinth were not random people, they were a real people who gathered in a real place in the Greek city of Corinth. The secondary hearers are you and I and others all over the world who call on the name of the Lord.

 

Two applications from this;

 

  • The church is local. There really is no such thing as a churchless Christian anymore than there can be a bodyless person. One must belong locally somewhere among a body of believers and play an active role in the welfare of the whole body. There is no room for spectators in the Church, we are all players. One cannot belong to some online community and call it church, or subscribe to some TV channel and call it their church. The Bible envisions a real community of sanctified people who gather regularly, in a given place for common worship.

 

  • The church is universal. The Lord is at work all over the world and throughout all generations reconciling people to Himself through Jesus Christ. We are united with others all over the world who call on the name of the Lord.

 

  • All are called and not just a few. There are really no special people in the body. There will be different roles but certainly the same Lord. Our distinguishing mark as Christians is not our denominational labels, style of worship, order of service or gift. The common denominator is this: Those who call on the name of the Lord. We can get the wrong idea about calling as being for a special few: Those who speak in tongues, those who preach, those who have had a very unique spiritual experience etc but that is not the case here: all Christians are called and sanctified in Christ Jesus as their Lord.

 

 

  1. The church is founded and sustained by grace and peace from God.

 

Paul prays for grace and peace for the Corinthian church in verse 3. This is what the church in Corinth so badly needed. When we think of what is to come in the rest of the letter, we cannot help but see how badly the church needed grace and peace from God.

 

We see the outworking of God’s grace in calling and sending the apostle (v1) who then founded the church as we read in Acts 18. Even more importantly we see this grace in Christ Jesus. It is striking that in the 3 verses Jesus Christ is mentioned at least 4 times and that should call us to attention.

There is no church apart from the grace of God which is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Cross Ref: [For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich… ] 2Cor 8:9

 

He himself, Jesus Christ is our peace. He has bridged the gap between us and God and made us into a community of God’s people. The gospel is indeed the foundation of all things Christian.

 

Ephesians 2:14-22 (NIV)

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

 

 

A few points to apply here

  • We are in by the Grace of God. It is purely by God’s goodness that we are His people. If we are not sure whether we are His, we can call upon His name today and be saved.
  • We are sustained by the grace of God. Paul’s prayer for Corinth is His prayer for GracePoint (those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord) – that Grace and Peace from our father and the Lord Jesus Christ may abound to us. Holiness will not be possible without the grace of God present among us and the peace from our God. If you are struggling in your walk with the Lord, you can call upon His name. His Grace is available to you.
  • We are to be a community of grace and peace. As those who have freely received grace and peace (reconciliation) we are to be a community of grace – loving one another, nourishing one another, submitting to godly leadership, united with one another, lovingly disciplining one another and together looking forward to the resurrection of the body.

 

Let us call upon the name of the Lord.

 

 

Amen.

 

Rev. Harrison Mungai Macharia.

www.gracepointkikuyu.org/blog

www.mungaimacharia.com

The sin of halfheartedness

Posted May 9, 2018 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Blogroll, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

One poignant memory of growing up was scripture memorization. Sunday school was little more than learning a Bible story and a memory verse for the day. The following week you needed to remember the lesson and the memory verse or else the teacher may not be too pleased with you. Some were however randomly selected especially from wisdom literature. Recently this one came to mind;

“Uria ukuona wa gwika na guoko gwaku, wike na kio amu kuu tuguthii mbiriraini gutiri undu wikagwo kuo, na gutiri umenyo na gutiri wiciiria”  Kohelethu 9:10

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. Eccl 9:10

A number of lessons emerge from this words of Solomon.

  1. Whatever your hand finds to do: A lot of times we are choosy about what we devote our time and energy fully to and rightly so. The wisdom here is to do what is available and open to us in a particular way. It is not to attempt to do everything, but to do that which is ours to do rightly. There is lots for us to do at any given time from mundane routine tasks to demanding jobs – all of them are important tasks but whatever it is – polishing shoes, working on a business presentation, writing a funding proposal, planting trees, reading for children, cleaning the house or playing a game – we are to do it in a given way.

2. Do it with all your might: The temptation to be half-hearted about things is real hence the call to do whatever we are doing with all our might. I am persuaded that an all or nothing approach is probably the best way to approach life, work or relationships. Dabbling in this and the other not only leads to poor productivity but also misleads others as our intentions are never clear. Kenyans have this social pressure of not wanting to let down anybody and so we try to do everything. Eventually we spread ourselves too thin and our weight is never felt anywhere because we are everywhere. Might we need to heed Jesus’ words: Let your yes be yes and your no be no, anything else comes from the evil one. [Matt 5:37]. Is it any wonder then that Jesus calls us to love the Lord our God wholeheartedly (mind, body and spirit). Anything short of that is idolatry – we are either to have/behold/love all of him or none of him. We are not to be samplers of other ‘options’ out there. We are to be fully sold out to him or we are not His.

3. You will soon be dead: Solomon puts across death as the motivation for wholehearted commitment to work and it is a great reminder. Where you are going – It is clear here that human life tends towards the grave. I like the sharp contrast between life and death – nothing could be clearer or even closer to the human experience. It is a binary system – you are either alive or dead. Because you are alive, do things like you are full of life because you will soon be dead. Sadly we live in denial of the reality of death. But if you knew you will die (say tomorrow), what would you do differently? How might you spend the remaining time? Well, the Bible tells you plainly – you will die. (Think about that for a moment. I know you have promises in Christ and if he tarries, you will physically die). Life is short and therefore everything you can do is both urgent and important. You therefore have to be careful about what you say yes to. When you die you cannot think or blog or love your family. No you cannot share the gospel with that person, you won’t attend Bible studies or fellowships or go for missions. Nothing happens in the world of the dead. Do those things now – in the limited time you have.  It may be culturally inappropriate but we need that reminder before us all the time – that it is appointed for us to die and after that judgement/accounting. If you are struggling to love your spouse or children or being committed to your spiritual family – here’s something to jolt you out of your laxity and half-heartedness: you will soon be dead. Now wake up you sleeper!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

 

The Gospel in all of Life

Posted June 11, 2017 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 21st May 2017. Sermon Series on Ephesians

Text: Ephesians 5:22 – 6: 9

Theme Sentence – Living out the gospel in all of life.

Intro –

Alex is in his mid-thirties – He met His wife Beatrice straight after high schools and they hit it off and got married soon after university. Their marriage was blessed with 3 children who are now going to a local primary school. They also live with his mother who is aging and in need of support. They are both committed members at Gospel Community Church in Ngong. Last year but one, Beatrice was diagnosed with a terminal illness and her employer, though very supportive had to pull Beatrice off the payroll. They have spent all their savings on her medication, especially on that trip to India last year but the cancer is still eating away at Beatrice. She can’t do much for herself and needs round the clock support.  Alex needs to wake up early to prepare the children for schools and also to run the morning chores for the home. He also has to get Betty all cleaned up and administers her daily medicine before hitting the traffic to work. Most friends at church and work have been supportive but lately he is not hearing from a lot of them. His extended family suggested in a recent meeting that he should consider marrying a second wife. He is exhausted and feels the need for help.

Claire is a teacher in a local secondary school and goes to St. Mathews. Her husband Dixon works for an international NGO and makes some good money. They are both in their early forties. They own two cars and they are building their family home in the village. Dixon is part of the men’s fellowship at church and goes along BSF every Tuesday evening. Claire fears however that his power and postion in the office may have gotten into his head. He is a man of ‘to do lists’ and details out what everybody should do at home and expects reports from time to time. He is a loving man, Claire says only that he is a little too demanding and she is struggling to obey him. She is finding herself admiring other women in her Chama whose husbands do not expect much of their wives.  Maybe it was his harsh upbringing or his having been a prefect in high school that makes him such a perfectionist- Claire wonders as she struggles with what her friends call the ‘ancient notion of submission’.

Ernest goes to First Baptist Church. He is in his late 20’s and has a thriving computer business in the city centre. He recently won a government tender to supply IT Equipment to 10 Counties though the Youth Access to Government Procurement Programme. Ernest was raised by a single mom, Felista.  Felista’s life was broken when Ernest’s father left her. She did odd jobs to pay rent for their single roomed house. She could not send him to a good school and she fell into alcohol addiction and was not really ‘there’ for him when he needed his mom most. However, his uncles paid for him through college. His girlfriend Gertude has recently suggested that they consider buying a plot and build a house for her after they get married later this year but he is not too sure.  He has too many dark memories of their earlier days.

Halima is an intern at a Nairobi law firm. She recently finished her studies at Moi University and is looking forward to join the Kenya School of law to enable her to be admitted to the bar as an advocate.. Through a relative, she got this opportunity at Grand Mullah & Associates. Her immediate boss Jabali is a hurried man who does not suffer fools gladly. He pushes all his tasks to her and she ends up putting in long hours drafting court cases for him while he is probably out having drinks with his friends. Sadly, he does not seem to appreciate her efforts and thinks of her as ‘just an intern’. At the very least she wants a thank you from him but nothing gives with Jabali. For him it is all about tasks, more tasks, deadlines and delivery.  She has contemplated leaving but she needs this pupilage before she can go to law school.

 

Context: In the previous section Paul addresses general moral expectations for all believers because of who they are in Christ and hence how they should live it out in the world. In this section, Paul addresses specific people on how the gospel should work out in three important stations in life – Marriage, Parenting and Career.

Main Teaching Points

  1. The Gospel in Marriage : A Picture 5:22 – 33
  2. Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. {Unreservedly}
  3. Headship in the family. [Counter-Cultural then and now]
  4. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church {Sacrificially}
  5. The mutually exclusive requirement[ love/submission/ Respect]/ Leaving and Cleaving V31

 

  1. The Gospel in Family life – 6:1-4
  2. Obeying parents
  3. Honoring parents – commandment with a promise
  4. Admonition to fathers ‘Do not Exasperate your children’

 

  1. The Gospel at Work – 6:5-9

Context of 1st Century Labor [Does the Bible Condone Slavery or Comment on a contemporary Issue] {Compare with modern capitalism}

  1. Obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart – just as you would obey Christ. What a high bar at the workplace!
  2. A motive for obedience – Doing the will of God from your heart – serving wholeheartedly (loyalty) – because you know the ultimate boss.
  3. Masters – held to the same standard, subject to the same Lord [master]. Do not threaten since you know that He who is both their master and yours. [Favoritism]

Application

What does this mean to us in 21st century Kenya?

  1. The words apply to us as it did to Ephesian Christians nearly 2000 years ago. The expectation is the same. Whether you are Lydia in Ephesus in 58 AD or you are Claire in Nairobi in 2017.
  2. The situations may be different but the gospel standard is the same. We are to be loving of our wives, submitting to our husbands, obedient and honoring to our parents, responsible fathers, respectful and sincere workers and considerate bosses.
  3. Culture [and the flesh] militates against gospel and biblical values. It did then, it does so now.
  • Instead of Love and Submission culture pushes for Rights, Equality, Divorce, Pre-nuptials agreements, Open Marriages, swinging, separation etc.
  • Instead of obedience, honour and respect to parents – independence, individualism, separation, hatred. Instead of godly parenting – exasperation.
  • Instead of loyal service in our workplace, we seek our selfish interest. Instead of considerate terms, exploitation of staff.

Conclusion: Our hope in the gospel. [Sanctification] 5:25b – 27

Christ gave himself up for her, to make her holy cleansing her by the washing with water through the word to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain and wrinkle or any other blemish but holy and blameless.

Christ at work in us. May we be daily shaped by His word to be what he wants us to become whether we are Alex, Claire, Ernest or Halima!

Salvation Belongs to our God

Posted May 17, 2015 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 9th November 2014.

ACK St. Mark’s Kidfarmco

Communion Service Sermon.

Mungai Macharia.

Readings: 1st  – Genesis 3: 1 – 24, 2nd – Luke 2: 25 – 40.

Theme: Salvation belongs to God

Introduction

Sermon from last Sunday. Reflections of the week gone by – imperfection. Groaning for a better place.

  1. Perfect Creation
  • God’s People [Adam & Eve]
  • Gods’ Place [Garden of Eden]
  • God’s Presence [Blessing]
  1. Disastrous Fall (Disobedeince)
  • Broken Relationships (with God, each other and nature v. 13)
  • The Curse! [Toil, Suffering and Death v. 17 – 19]
  • Eviction Notice [Grace & Mercy v. 22]
  1. Any Hope?
  • Where are you (v.9)
  • A Sacrifice (v.21)
  • A Promise (v. 15)
  1. The Serpent Crusher is Here
  • Christ the promised saviour. Luke 2,

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:  a light for revelation to the Gentiles,    and the glory of your people Israel.”

Acts 2. 36

Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

  • A new People, A new Place in God’s Presence. 1 Peter 2: 9- 10

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

  • Christ is coming again. Revelation 21: 1- 8, 22: 12 -15.
  1. The Big Question

Where are you?

  • In Adam? Or in the new Adam?

Titus…. A Focus on Grace

Posted April 21, 2015 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 19th April 2015.

ACK St. Marks Church Kidfarmco

Harrison Mungai Macharia

A Call to Godly Living: Paul’s Letter to Titus.

The letter is addressed to Titus, one of Paul’s converts (1:4) and a considerable help to Paul in his ministry. When Paul left Antioch to discuss the gospel with the Jerusalem leaders, he took Titus with him (Gal 2:1-3); acceptance of Titus (a Gentile) as a Christian without circumcision vindicated Paul’s stand there (Gal 2:3-5). Presumably Titus, who is not referred to in Acts (but is mentioned 13 times in the rest of the NT), worked with Paul at Ephesus during his third missionary journey. Titus, accompanied by two Christian brothers, was the bearer of 2 Corinthians (2Co 8:23) and was given the responsibility for making final arrangements for the collection, begun a year earlier, in Corinth (2Co 8:6,16-17).

Following Paul’s release from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), he and Titus worked briefly in Crete (1:5), after which he commissioned Titus to remain there as his representative and complete some needed work (1:5; 2:15; 3:12-13). Paul asked Titus to meet him at Nicopolis when a replacement arrived (3:12). Later, Titus went on a mission to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10), the last word we hear about him in the NT. Considering the assignments given him, he obviously was a capable and resourceful leader.

Crete: The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. In NT times life in Crete had sunk to a deplorable moral level. The dishonesty, gluttony and laziness of its inhabitants were proverbial (1:12).

Occasion and Purpose: Paul introduced Christianity in Crete when he and Titus visited the island, after which he left Titus there to organize the converts. Paul sent the letter with Zenas and Apollos, who were on a journey that took them through Crete (3:13), to give Titus personal authorization and guidance in meeting opposition (1:5; 2:1,7-8,15; 3:9), instructions about faith and conduct, and warnings about false teachers. Paul also informed Titus of his future plans for him (3:12).

Place and Date of Writing: Paul possibly wrote from Macedonia, for he had not yet reached Nicopolis (3:12). The letter was written after he was released from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), probably between a.d. 63 and 65 — or possibly at a later date if he wrote after his assumed trip to Spain.

 

Distinctive Characteristics: Especially significant are the repeated emphases on loving, doing and teaching “what is good” (1:8,16; 2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14) and the classic summaries of Christian doctrine (2:11-14; 3:4-7).

Key Verse: Titus 2: 11 – 14: 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The Teaching Ministry of Grace
I.    Grace Teaches us to Deny v. 12a
          1.   Denying Comforts  -for Prayer
2.   Denying Riches   – for Giving
3.   Denying Pleasures  – for Fellowship

  1. Grace Teaches us Certain Duties v. 12b
    1.   Duty to Self – Self Controlled
    2.   Duty to Others – Upright
    3.   Duty to the Saviour – Godliness.

III.  Grace Teaches Us to Delight v. 13
1.   The Blessed Hope
2.   The Beautiful Appearing
3.   The Beloved Saviour

  1. Grace Teaches Us to Be Devoted to the Saviour v14
    1.   The Payment  “…who gave himself for us…”
    2.   The Purifying  “…that he might purify unto himself…”
    3.   The Peculiarity   “…a peculiar people…”

These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.V15.

Reflection Questions

  1. What surprises emerge from this Lesson?
  2. How do we (as a Christian community) compare to Crete?
  3. How are we (as individuals) challenged by the message to Titus?
  4. How is our view of grace affected by this Study?
  5. How will you apply this message?

Would you like to Interact Further?

The Leadership of the church is keen to set up a mid-week Bible Study Fellowship – would you like to be part of that? The aim is simply to grow in the knowledge of God and of His Word. Please remain behind for some discussion on meeting times.

Other Options

www.stmarkskidfarmco.org/blog

www.mungaimacharia.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mungaimacharia

Sources

  1. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Corporation. 1973, Page 1887.
  2. Cobb, Robert L. Studies in Titus.
  3. BibleStudyTools.com

Hello

Posted February 24, 2015 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Welcome to my revised blog…lots of content coming