A sermon by Ps. Ronald Politton on August 20, 2017
Hope is different from wish. Wish doesn’t make you do anything. Hope, on the other hand, is proactive which is in itself means acting on anticipation of future problems.
True hope can only be found in Jesus. The problem is, who would go tell the people about Jesus? Romans 10:13-15. For someone to be saved, they need to call upon Jesus. For them to call Jesus, they need to believe in Jesus. For them to believe in Jesus, they need to hear about Jesus. For them to hear about Jesus, someone needs to tell them about Him. As the church of God, we are sent to others to tell them about Jesus. People can be saved when the church of God goes out and shares the Gospel of the Lord.
We will learn from Philemon 1:8-15 – Paul’s plea for Onesimus. Onesimus was Philemon’s slave who stole and ran away from Philemon. Onesimus met Paul and became Paul’s spiritual son. Paul cared deeply for Onesimus but he sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter. His letter is written in the book of Philemon. As in the book of Philemon, we learn that we need to operate in the following 3 spirits as we share the Good News:
- The Spirit of Forgiveness – Matthew 6:12
Each of us was destined to die because of our sin. God, however, proactively did something so we can be saved. Jesus had forgiven us and even accepted us from slaves to become His children. When we forgive, we need to forgive and accept. We need to operate in the spirit of forgiveness and not judgment. By walking in love, people will see God’s love and it will make them come to God.
- The Spirit of Reconciliation – 2 Corinthians 4:17-19
Sin separates us from God and it makes us the enemy of God. Jesus reconciles us to God. We still need to live holy but our good deeds alone cannot bring us to God. Because of God’s love for us, He sent His only Son to die for us. When we accept His Son Jesus as our Savior, we become reconciled with God.
There are boundaries nowadays in our culture that try to divide and compartmentalize or even block our reconciliation with God or with one another. Slave and free, rich and poor, local and immigrants, and many other things. God trusted us with the ministry of reconciliation spirit. Colossians 3:11 says that all believers are equal before God. Jesus died for every one regardless of any kinds of differences. In Philemon, Paul urged Philemon to accept Onesimus as Philemon had accepted Paul (verse 7). Onesimus was Philemon’s slave; they had different social status, and even more, Onesimus had stolen from him. It was not easy for Philemon to forgive and accept Onesimus as he accepted Paul. Yet, when the church of God operates in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, we can bring people to God.
- The Spirit of Adoption – Philemon 1:10, 15-16
The church of God cannot minister or serve others without working in the spirit of adoption. To Paul, Onesimus was a son. When we accept Jesus, God makes us not only forgiven sinners, but He elevates us to become His children. Romans 8:15. We have been adopted by God. As we minister to others, not only we see those to whom we minister as friends, we need to see them as a family. Instead, the church often operates in the spirit of Cain where we do not care of what happens to our brothers or sisters in Christ. I urge you to adopt spiritual sons and daughters. When Paul made Onesimus his son, he said that he’s responsible for his life. The duty of a father is to fulfill the needs and give a vision to his child. Start to operate in the spirit of adoption in your ministry. As you are being discipled, disciple other people. Nurture them, care for them in their daily lives, encourage them, and carry your burdens together.