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Mature Christian Character

Matthew 11:1-15, Joel Lopes, April 22, 2018


Sermon Notes:

Introduction

  • Greetings from the Algarve
  • Matthew chapters 1-9: presents Jesus as the King, Messiah
    • Chapter 10: Jesus sends His apostles to teach and perform miracles
    • Chapter 11: Reactions to this ministry
  • A surprising reaction from John the Baptist

Deal with your own weakness

  • v1-6
  • John doubts about Jesus' identity
    • v3
    • Moments before he had said "Behold the Lamb of God"
  • How did John deal with this doubt?
    • He sent his disciples to ask Jesus
    • Jesus' answer was to look at His works
  • The greatness of someone's character is revealed in how they respond to their weaknesses
    • 2 Cor 7:10
    • We are able to change (in God)
    • 2 Pet 1:3-10 - Peter fell 'deep' after denying Jesus but his character changed
  • There are two ways to deal with our weakness
    • Surrender to them
    • Deal with them
  • We all have weaknesses
    • Examples of weakness
  • Rom 12:2 - We can be transformed

Strong Beliefs

  • John had strong beliefs
    • He may have failed in this moment of doubt
    • He was strong minded
    • He preached to all sorts of people (including Herod) his Biblical conviction and did not have a fear of man
  • A person who does not change with the wind
    • Paul's epistle
    • James epistle
  • Strong beliefs are built in time, through pray, study and communion with God
    • Example of Peter maturing
    • With maturity comes self-control
      • A fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5)
    • We must stand on our strong beliefs

Self-Denial

  • v8
  • John lived in the desert
    • He chose simplicity and not comfort
  • Spiritual maturity is shown in the ability to reject the easy things of life
    • Paul disciplined his body - he was an example to others
    • We must deny ourselves
    • We must be willing to serve others
    • The greater our ego, the less likely we are to deny ourselves

The Cause we live for

  • v9-10
  • John the Baptist had the privilege of preparing the way for and baptising Jesus
    • His cause was for Jesus Christ
    • Examples of those whose cause was for Jesus Christ
  • What is the cause for which we live?
    • Examples
    • God has to be our greatest cause
    • God has to be our motivation
    • To give glory to God and please Him in everything we do
  • What is the cause for which we live?
    • The answer will define the greatness of our character

Conclusion

  • v11-15
  • John was preparing the way for Jesus, but...
    • John the Baptist was under the Old Covenant
    • Those in Christ's time and after would see the fulfillment of prophecy
    • Christians today have such a privilege - we see the clear picture
  • Do you know Jesus Christ?
  • Christians - are you living for the cause, maturing, seeking to grow in character



Sermon Passage:

Matthew 11:1-15

1And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. 2Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 7And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (KJV)


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