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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:
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