Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 14 Logos since 31 July 2017 . Back to the Future in 2018

. Back to the Future in 2018

BACK TO THE FUTURE IN 2018

Introduction

What to preach as a first sermon in a new year is always a challenge. Firstly, it is a challenge as there is so much that one wants to say so early in the year, as it is a time when most people make new commitments or at least renew their commitments. Secondly, it is a challenge as many people are not around for the last Sunday before the schools start. So, to curtail my challenge I have decided that the easiest is to simply re-preach most of the sermons I preached since March the 4th 2012 when we started Logos Community Church. That takes care of what to preach. Then, it is going to take so long to do so, we should still be busy by next Sunday when the rest of the folks return.

On a serious note though, I do want to go back, and remind us why we have no future unless we adhere to what we have learnt. The word ‘remember’ is a key word throughout Scripture, and this morning I want to remind you where we have come from as far as our preaching is concerned. When I was at Seminary we had a lecturer, who would regularly walk into the class and simply ask the following three questions over and over; ‘where have you come from, where are you now and where are you going’. Sometimes we forget where we came from, which affects the present and it affects the future. I believe the same happens in church life when we forget the Word of God that came to us over time. A personal encounter with the Word of God must lead to permanent change, otherwise our preaching is in vain.

I am always at the distinct advantage when it comes to remembering the Word of the Lord to us as a congregation, as I dig into the Word for hours and hours before I present it to you. You simply have my presentation and then of course the privilege of visiting the memorandum on our website, but still that cannot compare with my own time alone with the Lord digging out the golden nuggets from Scripture and then the privilege of presenting it to you in spoken and written form.

So, let’s go back and then apply what we have learnt in the past for the future. Maybe the simple question is simply this ‘where are you at now?’ Where you are now is greatly determined by your obedience to where we have come from. That will greatly impact your future. Now we do not have time to recap every sermon, but I want to highlight our opening day sermon and some of the series that I believe the Lord laid on my heart.  So, let’s get back to some of the old sermons, so that we can compare where we are now so that we can get to the future together in a way that glorifies God. I love the way Jerry Bridges put it. He said that: “Remembrance of past mercies is a great stimulus to present faith.”    - Jerry Bridges

In the same way remembrance of past sermons should stimulate our faith for now and the future.

I believe it is appropriate this morning to firstly reflect on the first sermon on our opening day the 4th of March 2012 entitled “Love or Die!”

 

1. Love or Die!

Remember the church of Ephesus. We looked at a church who had great founder, leaders, a great understanding of Biblical doctrine and a remarkable history. They were a church that could be commended for so much, yet God had one thing to say against then and that is that they had departed from their first love. I know the sermon impacted Alistair greatly as he often prays ‘Lord, help us not to depart from our first love’. The lesson we learnt was simply this. We can have all our ducks in a row, but if we do not love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we fail. There are many churches around the world who are organisationally and financially successful, but God does not look at these things. His first question for us is simply this. How are you doing on the love level? Another way to say it is ‘where does God fit in as far as your list of priorities are concerned?’

This church is not left to their devices but are challenged to repent and to get back to first love.

Jesus has one thing to say to them and us. Love or die! They are called to take serious stock of their lives. It is very simple. Remember – think, think back to your first love and the deeds that were associated with it and get back there. When it comes to your love for God, where have you come from, where are you now and where are you going?

After this sermon, we started a few very critical series’ in the life of Logos, the first one being: “Jesus the Master Builder”.

2. Jesus the Master Builder.

We spent 8 weeks unpacking Matthew 16:18 (ESV) where Jesus says:  18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

We were reminded that Christ will build His church and not even the final enemy which is death will stand against it. So not only is Christ building the church that belongs to Him now, but our eternity is secure in Christ. The only hope Logos has for the future is that Christ will own it and that Christ will build it.

It reminds me of three men who were walking down the road one day and they passed a beautiful house. The first man said that it is his house as he was the architect who designed it. The second man said that it is actually his house as he built it. The third man said that it is actually his house as he bought it. Today Jesus Christ is saying to Logos that we are His house through and through as He designed it, even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs, He built us as He is the builder of the church and He bought us when He paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary. The Church of Jesus Christ cost His blood. What is needed for us today at Logos is a total submission to Christ as Lord of the church. He is not only the one who walks among His golden lamp stands, but the Glory belongs to Him as head of the church both now and evermore, and it is through the church according to Ephesians 3:10 that the manifold wisdom of God is made know to both the fallen and Holy angels. So, it is not my church, neither does the church belong to anybody here this morning, it belongs to Christ, and it will be built according to His Biblical blueprint. Oh, how I have one desire for the church and it is that we will be the church that Jesus Christ intended.

Church family, as a member of the family of God, you belong to the greatest institution that has ever existed. The church will not fail. The question is; ‘do you value the church the same way Christ does?’ Where are you now as far as your involvement in the church of Christ is concerned?

After this sermon I highlighted a major issue in the life of the church that could threaten the unity of the church. As Logos we do not want to be found guilty of that.

3. Who are you to judge?

We again spent 8 sermons on this topic. One of the biggest problems in the church of Christ is that people do not understand what the Word of God teaches about judging. We are quick to say to one another that we have no right to judge each other. However, we saw that there is a right judgment and a wrong judgment. If we are to judge with the wrong judgment we will be judged accordingly. The word of Christ that we will be judged with same judgment we judge with is very much applicable to unbiblical judgment. Paul reminds us clearly in 1 Corinthians 4 that we must not judge those things in darkness, meaning, the things that are done beyond our vision, we must also not judge ahead of time and we must not judge the motives of a man’s heat and we must not go beyond what is written. The things we judge are therefore the things that are clearly judged by God through Scripture, and it is those things that are obvious and before us.

The church is too full of micro managers or control freaks who force their opinions onto Scripture and then judge others according to their standard of what is right or wrong. We can be found guilty of the same. Oh, may we all humble ourselves, and be slow to judge, slow to be teachers, and slow to condemn. May we rather be a congregation that errs on the side of grace and patience and sincere love?

4. The Glory of the Logos

Well, we are Logos Community Church, aren’t we? The next best place was to do 9 sermons on the glory of the Logos from John 1. Christ is the Logos, the revealed Word of God that exegetes God. It is in the face of Christ that we see the Glory of God. The Logos is God who came and dwelt among us. The Logos is the Creator and sustainer of the universe.  The sad reality is that the Logos is the light that was given to man, but man loved darkness rather than light. Even His own, namely the Jews did not except Him, rather they crucified Him.

I believe one of the most important questions ever asked by a man was asked by Pontius Pilate namely “what shall I do with Jesus?” We can claim that we were not among the crowd but remember that even though Jesus put Himself of the cross, and the Jews put Him on the cross, and the Romans put Him on the cross it is also our sins that put Him on the cross.

Have you seen the Glory of God in the face of Jesus? Are you beholding Him in the gospels? What does Christ mean to you? Oh, how I pray that we all will embrace the Logos of Logos Community Church with all we have. Oh, that we like Paul will desire to know Christ in His suffering and His resurrection, and may we like Paul say: “For me to live is Christ…”

While we are talking about Christ, may we not forget the one who came to announce His coming, namely John the Baptist?

 

5. Greater than Giants.

I never thought that we would spend 11 sermons on John the Baptist. According to Christ there was until the time of John no man born of women greater than John. John was not only related to Christ, but He had the privilege to announce the arrival of Christ. He was the one with the privilege of saying “behold the Lamb who came to take away the sins of the World” John was great, and since the time of John the Kingdom was violently advancing itself, but at the same time the Kingdom was violently attacked as men stood against it. We ourselves are those who violently seek to press into the Kingdom.

One of the characteristics of John that stands out for me is his willingness to step aside for Christ to take pre-eminence. John realised that his role was dwindling, and that Christ’s role was growing, and he was okay with that as he simply saw himself as the best man, while Christ is the bridegroom. Even today, God shares His glory with no other in the church.

Christ made another statement around John that rattles our cages. Remember when Christ said that those in the Kingdom are greater than John. Well, what does that mean, as John till the time of Christ was the greatest man ever born of women? The focus is on the four words, ‘those in the Kingdom’. People that is us. We are in the Kingdom. John had the privilege to announce the arrival of Christ, while all the other Old Testament prophets simply announced the coming of the Messiah, but you and I are greater in privilege as we announce that the Messiah has come and that He will come again.

Can I ask you today? Do you take the privilege of being in the Kingdom for granted? Do you realise there is a King over you and that He is the final authority in your life?  Are you pressing into the Kingdom as if your life depends on it? We have such a privilege, don’t abuse it.

6. Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is one of those nagging questions that we touched over four weeks, as we realise that bad things will happen to members of Logos. And surely 2013 dished up its fair share of bad things. However, we learnt from Romans 8 that since the fall God subjected all things to frustration so that we do not put our hope in this fallen world or even in our fallen and decaying bodies. Rather we put our hope in what is to come. If you are spared major trials praise God and if you are going through major trials praise God as He is the one who gives by grace and takes in His wisdom. Who knows what 2018 is going to deliver? We hope it is only going to be good things. However, who would have thought at the beginning of 2013 that Tersia Vickery or Peter Hagen would not be with us anymore. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

Then we did maybe one of the most critical series’ that we could ever do.

7. Experiencing the power of the cross.

For 25 sermons we stood in amazement at just how central the cross of Jesus Christ is to the life of the believer on a daily basis. With Paul we concluded that when one died for all namely Jesus Christ we all died. That is the only reason why we can call ourselves a new creation. So, in the death of Jesus Christ we have a positional death, as in Christ we are dead to sin, Satan, self, the flesh, the world, the law and even things like racism. However, we are commanded throughout the teachings of Paul to make dead the remnants of those things that still haunt us daily. We must make dead sin, we must kill or mortify the desires of the flesh, we need to resist Satan with the full armour of God, and we must turn our backs on the law as we are dead to it, we must humble ourselves and die to ourselves as we know we are dead to self. And then of course we need to deal with practical issues like racism on a daily basis and realise that these things were dealt with on the cross of Calvary.

For 25 sermons we realised that to live is to die. So, we asked the very simple question. Are you dying to live? Well, we are many months down the line now, and I need to ask you that question again. As you start off in 2014, are you dying to live, or are you simply living to die?  For the Christian, there is only one life and that is the life of the cross. But at the cross we came to discover something that is of critical importance to Christian living and that is the supremacy of love, as God demonstrated His love for us in sending His Son to die so that we may live. So, we started asking the question which we will keep on asking for many more weeks.

8. What’s love got to do with it?

After 6 sermons so far, we came to a conclusion that love is not just an important aspect of Christianity but that love is Christianity as God is love. Paul reminded us clearly that Logos can be filled with Super Christians who do all kinds of super stuff, but if we do not have love we are nothing but a noise, we are nothing as humans and we gain nothing. Love is that common denominator that will cause Logos to become a church to be reckoned with in Polokwane. Unless the love of God shines through us, Polokwane will not know that we are Christians. Satan knows the supremacy of love, or as Paul calls it, a more excellent way and he will keep on attacking us with disunity or disharmony. The last thing Satan wants to see is a body that is united to the hilt. As we continue in this series in two weeks’ time I pray that God will keep us excelling in this area and that 2014 will truly become a year of love. Oh, that we will love one another warts and all. Church family, we are different, and we will test one another, but let’s join God in His desire for the unity of the body to be maintained, and let’s commit ourselves to love, to love and to love.

Well, as I already mentioned. Satan will tempt us away from love, and one of the areas he does it with is by creating a judgmental spirit. This spirit is so destructive that we dealt with it early on. Another great sin, and a great factor in disunity is the sin of slander.

9. The sin of slander.

Over the past four Sundays we have come to realise just how dangerous and how destructive the sin of slander is. For those who were not here we will release the booklet on it soon. But in the meantime, you can acquire it on the website. Slander is evil, it is destructive, it destroys churches, it destroys nations, and it destroys people. Slander is not just speaking lies about one another as many pastors claim, but it is the spreading of lies and truths with the purpose of breaking another down.

The absence of slander does not mean that we ignore sin. No, we deal with it Biblically. We restore sinners gently, we deal with them according to Matthew 18 which means it gets dealt with between two individuals. If that does not rectify issues, then two or three are brought into the picture to resolve the offence that was created. If that does not work then there has to be a group of wise judges, maybe simply elders that are called out for the purpose of judging the sin issue. If the offender does not listen to them, well, then we treat the person as a tax collector or gentile and we reach out to them in their sin, we evangelise them, we pursue them, but we never give up on them. But, what we do not do is to slander them, as slander according to God in the Old Testament and New Testament is as big a sin as our biggies which we normally like to expose. It is always there in the lists of sins like adultery, sexual immorality, murder etc. It even made its place in the list of the 7 things that God utterly detests. So, Logos, let’s do away with the sin of slander, and let’s rebuke those who seek to frustrate the harmony of Logos by this evil practice.

I want to highlight one more sermon this morning out of 24 other sermons that were not part of a series.

10. Being an Acts 29 believer.

We all know that Acts 29 is our chapter as there are only 28 chapters in the book of Acts. Acts 29 is your day to day living under the power of the Spirit to the glory of God. Paul says that we are letters written to the world. Some Christians sadly are nothing but comic strips. But how are you doing. How impressed would believers 2000 years from now be if they read your chapter? Are you proud of your chapter? Does your chapter say much about you and much about God? Or does it simply depict a life of mediocrity?

Can I challenge you to go for gold in 2018? We pray that the same will happen for those who download the sermons on the web. I stand amazed to see how God is using the web. We are now standing close to 730 000 article hits. I am humbled and glad that we can have these resources out there and that people are actually using them.

So, can I invite you today? Apply these sermons and learn from the past so that you can get back to the future.

May God be gracious to us and give us a glorious year and future together.

Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 14 January 2018