Christian Should Grow in Knowledge, Life, and Mission
By Yetta Yao, October 27, 2017 05:10 AM
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.(1 Chronicles 4:10)
A local church in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, stated that Christians should enlarge their territories in many fields including knowledge, life, and mission in last Sunday's sermon, according to its official WeChat account.
Anti-intellectualism exists in the church. The pastor pointed out that it results from a partial understanding of 1 Corinthians 8:1: about food sacrificed to idols: We know that "We all possess knowledge." But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
"Knowledge puffs up, but one loses sense without knowledge; having no knowledge, he must be stupid." the pastor said.
He shared that Christians need to learn cultural knowledge that helps understanding of the Bible and legal knowledge. Professionals need expertise and Christians different kinds of knowledge in their ministries.
He cited Moses and Solomon, two knowledgeable characters in the Bible.
Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. (Acts 7:22)
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else... From all nations people came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. (1 Kings 4:29-34)
Solomon's knowledge concerned poetry, agriculture, insects, aquatic products, philosophy, etc. The Bible approves of his wisdom rather than denounces it.
Meanwhile, it was absolutely necessary to grow in Biblical knowledge. The pastor talked about the benefits of the Bible to Christians: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4) The Bible not only shows the history, ethics, and laws of Israel but also gives us the way to salvation; it is an encyclopedia and the teachings are the highest standard of human behavior and a life manual.
The pastor said that a person with Christ's life has Jesus in his heart, lives according to Christ's word, and imitates Jesus. He should produce the fruit of the Spirit; humility, gentleness, patience, mercy, and loving each other.
A Christian's life grows from nothing and matures in a process, the pastor reminded the listeners. A Christian should examine himself whether he gained Christ's life after converting.
Citing 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, he said that the congregation in Corinthians didn't live by the Spirit and actually did not have Christ's life because they still envied others and quarreled, acting like mere humans. The followers of Christ were pathetic. Similar to them, the pastor warned the congregation to reflect whether all the believers had Christ's life and there were other sins inside them, such as a lack of love and patience, arrogance, selfishness, and unholiness. Christians should ask the Spirit to renew them and the Lord to dwell inside them to be more like Christ and live out his life.
Having Christ's life, a Christian should strive for the growth of life. The pastor cited the words of Paul:
" ...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Quoting Hebrews 5:12-14, he warned that it was no good not to mature despite having Christ's life. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Christians should expand their territories in missions. The pastor emphasized the Great Commission from Christ to the disciples about bearing much fruit.
Reviewing the Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
He declared that our mission was to "make disciples of all nations."
Bearing much fruit
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.(Romans 1:13)
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.(John 15:8)
He shared that Christians could evangelize first with their families and relatives. In addition, the Internet and workplaces were also mission fields.
- Translated by Karen Luo
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