Sermon for the service of August 6, 2017 by Rev. Steve Hopkins
Links to prior sermons in the series:
We Conform; God Transforms.
“I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!” (Galatians 4:12–20, NIV)
- Where then is your blessing of me now? (v. 15)
- “Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.” (Galatians 4:14, NIV)
- “You have rejected me, says the Lord, you are going backward; so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you— I am weary of relenting.” (Jeremiah 15:6, NRSV)
- “But I have this against you: you have let go of the love you had at first. So remember the high point from which you have fallen. Change your hearts and lives and do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I’m coming to you. I will move your lampstand from its place if you don’t change your hearts and lives.” (Revelation 2:4–5, CEB)
- “Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts” (C.S. Lewis)
- Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? (v. 16)
- “There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.” (Amos 5:10, NIV)
- “I beg you…” “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” (1 Corinthians 4:16, NKJV)
- “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Hebrews 6:12, NIV)
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1–2, NIV)
- The difference between Paul and the Judaizers
- “Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.” (Galatians 4:17, NIV)
- “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,” (Galatians 4:19, NIV)
- “Brothers and sisters, become imitators of me and watch those who live this way—you can use us as models. As I have told you many times and now say with deep sadness, many people live as enemies of the cross. Their lives end with destruction. Their god is their stomach, and they take pride in their disgrace because their thoughts focus on earthly things. Our citizenship is in heaven. We look forward to a savior that comes from there—the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:17–20, CEB)
- Live a transformed life!
- “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV)
Δ? 1) Who am I imitating in my daily life and what is the result? 2) Am I being conformed to the world or transformed in Christ? 3) What am I seeking as my ultimate end – what’s my goal in life? 4) As a community, how can we look out for each other?