The sixth in a series of 9 sermons
In POWER Christ laid down His life and by His power He took it up again.
At His ascension He promised the disciples they would receive the Holy Spirit and with the Spirit’s coming, the power to fulfill the mission He was giving them. As the Father had sent Him, now He was sending them into the world.
As the Church reflects on these truths at the time of Lent and onwards to Pentecost, especially in times of trial and growing resistance, it is important for us not to become timid as to Christ’s mission. We need to remember that while individual expressions of the Church might dissolve in a given locality, the Church of Christ as His body, cannot be overcome by the world… not even the gates of Hell can prevail against Christ’s Church.
This series helps us to look up and remember the mission we have is from Christ and in all situations He will provide, according to His plans and purposes. With hands and knees strengthened in faith, we press on in our time to be Christ’s light and salt in our world, so in need of the Gospel.
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
1 Peter 4:1–11 (NIV84)
1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.
5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
John 15:1–17 (NIV84)
1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14You are my friends if you do what I command.
15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17This is my command: Love each other.