And what about you? The church? “You are God’s field, God’s building.” You too belong to God. You don’t belong to Paul. You don’t belong to Apollos. And what is the breathtaking implication of belonging to God? Let’s conclude our exposition by looking at the answer in 1 Corinthians 3:21–23: “21So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” <!–split–>
“You are God’s field. You are God’s building. God is giving the growth in his own field.” Decisions have much to do with growth in Christ. Growth in Christ has much to do with decisions. Decide to grow in Christ by: 1) Being a good example, 2) Being Forgiving, and 3) Serving faithfully.
Much emphasis is given to the need for one to make the decision to accept Christ as both Savior and Lord. Behind such a decision is the necessity of faith – a loving belief and trust in the Lord. This belief and trust, this faith, includes confessing Christ as Lord and repenting of one’s sin. This faith includes making the decision to be immersed into Christ as taught in the Bible for the forgiveness of sin and the gift of His Holy Spirit. This faith must not be considered a decision one makes one time and then is finished or no longer a vital part of one’s life. Faith is not something that is of importance only in our coming to Christ, our being born again in Christ. Faith is something that permeates our life. We continue to grow in Christ through faith and in faith. Our decisions in life are based upon this faith as we decide to live by faith in Christ. Paul wrote of this faith in the letter to the Romans as he quoted from the Old Testament.
Decide to Be a Good Example to Others
I have taken a bit of liberty with verse one. In that verse Jesus clearly tells followers of Christ what NOT to do. Do not do anything that would cause another follower (whether a young Christian or one new in the faith) to stumble. That is, do not be an instrument that leads another to turn from faith in Christ. What are some ways that can be done? Let’s think about it with those who are young, those still living at home. This is a very serious admonition to parents and to grandparents. Those children look up to these in the family for direction. What kind of direction are they getting from the parents and grandparents? Not only in word, but also and perhaps even more important, in deed. Now, rather than making a list of those things that will have a detrimental effect upon those “little ones,” let us consider some ways to be a good example, a strong example to help those “little ones” grow in faith. Loving actions. Forgiveness. Faithful service in Christ. Faithful worship. Faithful stewardship. Prayer. Study of God’s word. It is doubtful that those “little ones” will come up to such faithful parents and/or grandparents and say, “Your examples of faith are awesome!” But your examples of faith will reap lasting results.
This is not limited to families alone. We all are living examples to others. Each of us are to be examples to others, especially to those who are young in the faith. How serious is this? Jesus said it is VERY SERIOUS – read verse two!
Decide to Be Forgiving
As difficult as it is, we must also be forgiving in Christ. Forgiveness is often very difficult. Remember forgiveness is not equal to approval of sinful choices. Does forgiving others and faith in Christ have anything in common?
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount . . . Matthew 6:14-15: “14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Decide to Serve Faithfully
Following Christ brings many serious responsibilities. We know Christ Jesus not only as our Savior who has made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and brings us salvation. He is also our Lord, which means He is our MASTER. We are His slaves. We are to faithfully serve Him and follow His will. Jesus pointed out very clearly that even when we do what He commands us to do, we are only doing what we should do and therefore deserve no special reward for such actions. Our relationship to Him is not built upon our good deeds. Our good deeds are evidence of our relationship with Him. Read James 2, and you will see that James puts a link between faith and works. While we are not saved by works, James points out quite clearly that true faith is accompanied by good works. Biblical faith is a faith that works.
Ephesians 2:8-10: “ 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
We certainly have not even touched upon all the decisions that come from Christian faith, but we have seen in this passage from Luke that:
- We are to decide to live in such a way that we are GOOD EXAMPLES to others and not a cause for others to stumble in Christ.
- We are to decide to FORGIVE OTHERS even as we have been forgiven in Christ.
- We are to decide to SERVE CHRIST faithfully.