Don’t think Jesus has saved you until there is evidence that he has modified your heart. Becoming a Christian involves a great shift. Where once you were self-centred, now you are God-centred. The proof of this is how you respond to God’s children living around you – not photos of your baptism in a pool or a copy of your church membership. We need to check ourselves – is our love for the saints, our brothers and sisters in Christ, genuine?
Becoming a Christian involves a great shift. Where once you were self-centred, now you are God-centred.
Serving Our Heavenly Father
Conrad Mbewe continues his series in 2 Peter 1 Christian, Grow Up! The focus is on a string of imperatives for spiritual growth that Peter delivers to all Christians. Of course the first step is to have faith. But on this foundation we must build with quality materials in order to mature as Christians. Peter commands us to add virtue to faith. Then to add knowledge to our virtue and temper our knowledge with self control. Peter calls us to add steadfastness and resolve as we journey with Christ. Next we were told to add godliness to all these qualities and to add love for the saints (or brotherly affection) to all of this.
At each stage we are growing and developing – all the better to serve our heavenly Father and persevere in our walk with Christ. In this sermon Pastor Conrad gives us guidance on how to test our ‘love for the saints’ – is it really authentic?
Testing for Authentic Love
Your genuine love for the saints can be measured. Look at the quantity and intensity of your servant heartedness. How sincere and pure are your motives as you give your time and possessions to those around you in need? Do you pray for people you have not met? Do you care when there’s nothing in it for you?
To those whom Jesus has saved, he gives them his heart, a heart of love – God’s love. You can’t miss it. You bump into them wherever you go in the world. While you are ministering to the saints, you trip over them. They’re spending time with the brethren because they are affected by the needs of others. There is a palpable sympathy. And they give what the Lord has blessed them with sacrificially, in order that others may rejoice and smile.
Salvation, Not Church Membership
Search yourself! The most dangerous place to be on earth is on a membership list of a church. Why? Because it stops you from examining yourself; you start taking too much for granted. “I was processed” you say, “therefore I must be okay.” Rather, take a moment to consider this question. Does the desire for connectivity well up inside you? Does it drive you to really love the saints?
Listen to Conrad Mbewe as he digs deeper into what it looks like to add love for the saints to your godliness – and test if it is truly authentic.
Text: 2 Peter 1:7
Date preached: 19 January 2020
Location: Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia