• Matt Beaney

#165 – CITIZENS SUFFER (7/8/20)

If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we will be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)




‘Without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,  since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.’ (Philippians 1:28-30)

The church often sees itself as citizens of this world and is not prepared to be ‘opposed’ and ‘suffer for Him’.

The Philippians were being opposed because they were out of step with the culture in this Roman colony. For example, they refused to worship Caesar as lord and saviour.

If we are going to embrace our identity as citizens of heaven who live in this world, we will be out of step with many. For example, our views on marriage, the sanctity of human life from conception, the loving leadership of the husband within marriage, that Jesus is the only Saviour, the Bible is God’s word without error…

I’m not saying that we are looking for a fight. But we must not be ashamed of God’s teaching. If we are ashamed, we hide our light or become the salt that has lost its saltiness (Matthew 5:13-16).

Peter writes,

‘ To God’s elect, exiles In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.’ (1 Peter 1:1, 6)

The church are ‘elect’ - they are chosen by God and His precious possession. However, they are also ‘exiles’. We live in this world whilst being away from our homeland which is heaven. As ‘elect exiles’ we will suffer ‘grief of all kinds’. However, we can ‘greatly rejoice’ because we have the hope of returning to our homeland in an eternity of glorious joy with God.


RESPONSE

Are you prepared to be honest about your faith and your views as a citizen of heaven?

Let’s do all we can to avoid unnecessary and unhelpful confrontation. Let’s not be those who engage in unhelpful debates and worthless, time-wasting online altercations.

However, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us to make the most of every true opportunity to help people to hear the gospel and be salt and light where He has put us. In so doing, it’s inevitable, that people will ‘oppose you’ and we will ‘suffer for Him’ in some measure.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY


Some groups are not meeting in August. However, if you do meet, please use one of the daily studies and the questions below as the basis of your study together.


Discussion questions:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?


2. What will you do in response?


3. How can we pray for you?



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