4 Aug 2001, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
THEME: THE TRANSFORMATION FOR THE CHRISTIAN
SCRIPTURE READING: Ezek 36:24-27
A few year ago I attended a seminar held at Sydney University, Western campus at Richmond. It was held in July and it was quite chilly at the time. As my custom is, I went walking each morning for an hour commencing at about 5:30 a.m. One particular foggy morning I was making my way across the campus when it came to my attention that the campus had been decorated with scores notices in the form of a yellow flyer. They had been placed at every possible advantageous position where they would catch the attention of passers-by like myself. They were on the noticeboards. They were on every power pole and every other pole. All along the doors and walls of the quadrangled stables. I stopped to read in the dim foggy light. I was intrigued by the notice and how it read. Obviously distributed by a winter School group who wanted everyone to join in their end of term celebrations. It read,
Due to the enormity of the group this flyer is to inform you of the venue for our time this evening.
Acts and Presentations will be held in the Transformation Room located in K7.
Dancing will be held in the Bar area to begin at 9:30pm. This will be a Mobydisc.
Drinks can be bought at the Bar. Food will be provided and set up in the Bar area.
Bring a sense of humour and
As I stood contemplating the flyer I thought to myself, "Wow! Now there is a great Sermon idea. It was then that I became aware that someone had slipped through the fog and mist and was silently standing behind me. I turned and noticed a women about 35 yrs of age. We passed pleasantries and within a few minutes she had churned out her life history, and the reason why she was on campus. She explained how she was one of the folk behind the flyer I had read. The lady was full of her class, their aspirations and their existence on the campus. After telling me all the positive reasons why the group was special she invited me to the Celebration. I declined as I had my own business to attend to the same night.
As I walked I mused. Why the term Social Ecology and Agriculture. Then I thought of the Oxford Dictionary - Ecology: n. the study of organisms in relation to one another and their surroundings.
The flyer was a study in itself of the social interaction of the group at the University. I believe we can learn a lot from their terminolgy and the social interaction that they generated among themselves. We can learn lessons from their terminology that identify Christians as God's group.
A. THE ENORMITY OF THE GROUP
Ephesians 2:12-13, 18-19, 22 We , "are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; ...a habitation of God through the Spirit." We Christians are family of God. That is an awesome thought.
Just think of the ENORMITY of the family group.
Contemplate the enormity of our particular family group. The Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church. We are an enormous group. Appointed by God himself and formed out of the fizzled Protestant Reformation, from numerous denominations.
Isaiah 58:12 A people called to continue the Reformation in the lives of people hungry for God. "...called, The repairer of the
breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."
Daniel 11:32-33; 12: To inform the world of God's prophecies for the last days on earth. "...the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many," and "turn many to righteousness."
Revelation 14:6,12; 12:17 To uphold the creators word, His warning of final judgment and to keep commandments including His Seventh-day Sabbath "... having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell upon the earth."
"keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
1Corinthians 10:31 To promote and actively live the Christian's relationship to health principles. "Whatever you eat, or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1Thessalonians 4:13-18 To broadcast and tirelessly announce the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The resurrection of the dead saints to live eternally with our God.
Revelation 21:1-8 ; 22:1-5 etc To advertise and live the lifestyle of the New world Order to be set up by Christ Himself. The New heaven and the New Earth.
B. THE VENUE OF OUR TIME
PSALM 100 God has given us a venue for our time and it is His house where we can assemble and worship in His presence. "Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord He is God: ... He has made us... we are his people. ...Enter into His gates with , ..."
Hebrews 10:25 We are called to be regular in our gathering at His venue. We ought to be here every Sabbath. "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, ..." The reason and issue given is because we are social beings and need to "exhort", nourish and support each other in His presence regularly. More so as the day of the Lord is approaching.
C. THE TRANSFORMATION ROOM FOR ACTS AND PRESENTATIONS
Psalm 100; 105:1-3 We are to act by presenting ourselves before our God. Call upon His name. Speak of Him to all peoples. Talk of all His wondrous and mighty works. Sing to Him the praises due to Him as God.
Psalm 96:6-10 To "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness ," to come into His courts and "bring an offering" to show our gratitude and thanks for His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and salvation.
Ezekiel 36:26 Our minds and hearts are to be the transformation rooms where God himself will put within us a new transformed spirit and desire to serve Him as he requires us to. As Pastor Paul said in Colossians 1:27, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." This is to be seen in our lifestyle and behaviour. We are to act like His kids - as though we belong to His royal family.
The transformation is to be "his workmanship" Ephesians 2:10. Pastor Paul put it succincly when he said in 1Corinthians 5:17,
"if any man is in Christ", that is a Christian, he is "a new creation:" the old way is passed away and all is become new.
Transformation and transfigure etc come from the Greek word, metamorphow. It indicates the transformation of nature and character from within, bringing change to the mind and the affections with the noticeable change to actions. Example from egg to pupa to caterpillar to butterfly to moth. So with us from carnal nature to Spirit filled Christians.
Romans 12:2, makes it clear that this can only happen by the "renewing of your mind" also see 2 Cor 3:18
D. THE CELEBRATION OF OUR EXISTENCE IN THIS PLACE
The final celebration and Victory feast will really endorse the Enormity of our group. Christ will come for His born again Christians and great celebration will take place in God's dwelling. The victory song is already declared in Revelation 15:2-4. What a victory party. Revelation 19:6-10. Face to face celebration and thanksgiving with our God and Saviour. See Revelation 22:1-5
So in our silent times let us consider the Enormity of our group. Plan to be regularly worshipping our God in the venue of His presence in His house in our time. May we continue to study the Spiritual Ecology of our group and our relation to each other and our surroundings. Pray for the transformation of our entire beings starting in our transformation rooms. That the transformation be seen in our acts and presentations to God and each other. May we celebrate our enormity with joy and with the hunger to attend the final victory party with our Saviour. Above all let us continually remember the enormity of the Family of God, of which we are but a small portion.
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