Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Non-series Sermons by Year 2022 Sermons . No man is an Island

. No man is an Island

 

NO MAN IS AN ISLAND


Introduction.


The most dangerous thing for any church to become is a cult or a club. I have often shared the story of the Sea Rescuers at a lighthouse down at the cost who lost their way and purpose and only cared for their own and in so doing became a club.

On our website you would have seen a little graphic I designed that says, at Logos we care because God cares. Now over the last while I have stood amazed at the extent to which this group has cared. It has been WOW!

 

But are we going to keep on doing that? Or are we going to lose that vision as time marches on? I am reminded of the Psalmist who says in Psalm 67: “Lord bless us so that we may bless..” I pray for every person in our midst including myself, that God will bless us so that we may be a blessing.

There are two angles to enduring in our vision and care for one another and others.

 

The first we see in Hebrews 3:12-14 (NIV) “12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” Now this has to do with our personal endurance.

 

But then we see another angle. Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I want to share with you a few principles that we will unpack in time to come.

 

Firstly: Mutual Care

 

“Mutual Care: Corporate commitment to pursue a life together in sacrificial faith-sustaining care for each other in loving relationships at every level of youth and age, joy and sorrow, comfort and crisis, health and brokenness, in sin and righteousness.”

 

This summary statement addresses the aim, means, context, and extent of mutual care. The aim is “faith-sustaining”—we aim to help each other persevere and grow in faith. The means is “sacrificial . . . care for each other” not just preaching and worship and classes and private devotions, but involvement in each other’s lives. The context is “in loving relationships.” And the extent of the care is “at every level of youth and age, joy and sorrow, comfort and crisis, health and brokenness, sin and righteousness.”

 

The primary means over time is going to be system of small groups with trained leaders overseen by the elders of the church.

 

Secondly: The Biblical Foundation of Faith-Sustaining Care for Each Other

 

The foundation of faith-sustaining care for each other is the biblical truth that God cares for us and has put in place human means for care to be given and received.

 

First, God cares for us. 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

The church of Jesus Christ is the blood-bought bride of his Son, and he loves us with a minute-by-minute omnipotent care: Don’t be anxious about food and clothes; your heavenly Father knows that you need them all (Matthew 6:32). Trust him. He cares for you.

 

Second, God sent his Son to be our Saviour and our divine-human Care-giver. That’s what shepherd means in John 10. Verse 11, 13: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . [The hireling] flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” Jesus cares for his sheep. He promised before he went back to heaven, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus, by his present Spirit in our lives, cares for us very personally. Trust him.

 

Third, God has put elders in place to care for his church. 1 Timothy 3:5 describes one of the qualifications of elders as care for his own household because that’s his church job: “If someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” Elders are the under-shepherds of God’s family and give their care to the sheep.

 

Fourth, God has put families in place to provide care for his people. 1 Timothy 5:16 shows how church and family work together. It’s speaking about the care of widows: “If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are really widows”

 

Fifth, God ordains that all Christians be in a church fellowship where they give care for each other. In other words, God means that the care that flows from him through his Son should come to the church not only through elders and families, but also through the members of the church to each other. This is where I want to spend most of our time.

 

Thirdly: Ways That the New Testament Tells Us to Care for Each Other

 

Instead of one or two texts to demonstrate this, I want you to get a feel for the biblical sweep of this truth. So listen to about twenty ways that the New Testament tells us to care for each other. As I read and comment on these passages, be praying that God would speak to you about the place of mutual care in your life.

Are you giving it as you should? Are you receiving it as you should? Is the focus on small-group ministry this weekend a call from God for you to take fresh steps in this ministry of care-giving and care-receiving?

1 John 4 :11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” This is the great overarching, all inclusive command to care for each other with love.

Romans 15:7, Welcome one another (or accept one another) as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Our lives and our groups should be welcoming places.

1 Corinthians 12:25, “. . . that the members may have the same care for one another.”

1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” He who would be great becomes the servant of all.

Ephesians 5:21, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:15, “Always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”

Ephesians 4:32, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted.”

Hebrews 10:25, “. . . not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Being in each other’s lives with encouragement is going to be especially needed in the last days. Form the habit now lest you be taken off guard.

Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Who of us cannot trace much of our own passions for radical Christian living to other Christians who have stirred us up?

Hebrews 3:13, Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” God has ordained that his word not just come to us directly from the Bible but indirectly from the Bible through people. This is why the Bible says that the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life (Proverbs 10:11).

Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” “Admonish” has a bit of an edge to it, and that is sometimes necessary among people who love each other.

Ephesians 5:19, Address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.” Many hymns and worship songs are sung directly to the Lord. But even when they are, we are doing it together and we hear each other and that is God’s will for us—that we minister to each other in song. This happens in large gatherings and in small groups and families.

Romans 15:5, “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in . . . harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.”

2 Corinthians 13:11, Comfort one another.” Oh, the preciousness of a small group in times of loss and grief. How many personal and practical ways we have seen them comfort each other.

Romans 15:14, “You yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” As you are filled with more and more knowledge about God and his ways, you begin to instruct one another. Who of us is ever beyond the need for others to instruct us? God does not mean for us to merely be alone without Bibles, but to share what we learn.

Romans 12:10, “Outdo one another in showing honour.”

Colossians 3:13, Bear with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other.” Love involves being patient with each others flaws. It covers a multitude of sins.

Colossians 3:13, Forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Not just bear with flaws, but actually let real offenses go, and don’t store them up and brood over them.

James 5:16, Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” Few things are more humbling and more healing than when you confess your sin to others. That is the level of trust we want in our small groups.

1 Peter 4:9, Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

I put that last in the list because it points to one important part of small groups. Most of them happen in homes. What a good thing it is to be in each other’s homes. Barriers come down and bonds are created when we go to each other’s homes. Let none be ashamed of a simple apartment. And let none be proud of a nice house. But may they be filled with love. That’s what matters.

 

 

Fourthly: The Aim of One-Another Ministry


I draw to a close by simply underling, from the texts in Hebrews the aim of being together and loving each other in these ways. Under the overarching goal of glorifying God, the aim of one-another ministry in the church is sustaining and strengthening faith in Christ. And through that faith the aim is negatively to avoid sin, and positively to love people. Hebrews 3:12-13 puts the emphasis on the negative, and Hebrews 10:24-25 puts the emphasis on the positive.

Hebrews 3:13, “Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Sin threatens to blind and harden us all. God has appointed you to help a few others persevere in faith and fight the hardness and blindness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” We all tend to drift into selfishness. God has appointed you to help a few others persevere in love and good works.

So, I appeal to you as one of your under-shepherds, don’t be a loner in the Christian life. God did not make you to be that way. Join a small group or create one. I mean this for the teenagers and older people, for singles and married, for men and women, for babes in Christ and the most mature. In the words of Hebrews 10:25, “Do not neglect to meet together . . . but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church 8 May 2022