Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Niko Prajogo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 19 August 2018.
Community Living – You Need Others as Others Need You
God is in a communion – our being will not be complete without communion with others.
In our physical life, we need others and, at certain times, others need us. From a young age till we are in college, our parents will always help us and, at some point in life, we have friends to help us. We are never meant to be alone – we need each other.
In our spiritual life, we are always in need of others, just as others are in need of us.
• We are saved by God’s grace but “how can they believe if no one preaches to them”?
• After being baptized, how can we grow spiritually? Through Bible studies, through fellowship with believers in the Church, and through cell groups.
• When we face tribulations, how can we still be strong on our own? How can we keep on going until the end? By God’s grace which often comes through others.
As we draw strength, help and comfort from others, we should also bless others. The Bible tells us in Acts 20:35, that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
1. We need encouragement from others, as others need encouragement from us.
Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
We are not always strong against the pressures of life. We face financial, health, relationship, work-related issues and many more. Some of us may need more help than others and, as we support each other, we grow in maturity and help others too along the way. The Bible tells us that if Apostle Paul needed encouragement, what more about us? (See Colossians 4:10-13)
Some of us may have gone through tough situations recently (sickness, financial crisis, miscarriage, etc.) and we may use that to encourage and strengthen others with our testimony of breakthrough. Our testimony of God's work in our lives will help others to trust God even more. As we blessed others, we will also be blessed. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 11:25, "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
2. We need to spur others to do good, as we need others to spur us to do good.
Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The word “spur” means to urge, encourage, or goad someone onward in some task or activity.
We need to keep our lives aligned to our faith always. It is easy to keep our faith in Jesus as our Savior, but it is not easy to obey Him as our Lord. We need to move from fulfilling our agenda to fulfilling the agenda of God. In order to do so, we need to learn to deny our flesh and allow God to work through us to spur ourselves and others to do the will of God.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). We have good examples of leaders around us:
· Pastor Djohan with his love for God
· Pastor Steven with his faithfulness
They are ordinary people with an extraordinary God.
3. We need to minister to others, as we need others to minister to us.
Romans 12:4-5 “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Romans 12:6-8 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
We form different parts of the body. All parts are needed to make the body complete and functioning fully. We have different gifts – symbolizing different parts of the body. All of us need to use our gifts to make the body complete and to function fully. Like a body, some of us may be the hands, others may be the legs, and some the mouth, but all work to glorify God. Let us extend our talents to be able to minister to others.
God is working through His Church. If you love God, you will love His Church. If you want to work for God, you should work in and through His Church.