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Document 1415

Sermon: Gordon Mackintosh - On Being Christ-like

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): Dr Holger Schmitt, SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

M1415 Okay, let's pray. Father we love ye, we appreciate ye, we want to say that we appreciate each other as well, and Father as we gather together today we ask that we would hear from you. I want to pray for every person in this room and everyone who hears the C.D., Father that you will speak to them powerfully, or if they're a visitor here, then le- let them get a message that is especially to them, if they're part of the church here Father, pray that you would speak in a way that blesses them not only as an individual but also that helps them to to to be working together with what you're doing here. Lord we honour you, we thank you for your word to us, we acknowledge that your word is spirit and life.

Okay, Holger would you mind standin here for a moment. In fact would you mind standin on the chair, [?]opposite[/?], on the chair, [inaudible] standin on the chair [?]kinda[/?] church this mornin an we'll have a wee practice. I'm gonna point to somethin and I want you to tell me what you see an I want you to say it like this: "I see a" an then tell me, okay, not too difficult, so let's have, what do you see? [congregation chorus "I see an overhead projector"] Now of course I was testin your grammar there because really it should have been an 'an', but that's okay, I see an overhead projector, that's okay. I see a [congregation chorus response, words unclear] I see a [congregation chorus "chair"] I see a [congregation chorus "a man"] A man, I see a man, thank you.

Noo that's, that's the title that I want to speak under today an really what I suppose we've been speakin under for the last few weeks, we've been talkin about purposeful living so I wanna maybe, let's maybe [?]overarching[/?] title I see a man and when I say I see a man we're really lookin at humanity, male or female, when, when God looks from Heaven, when He sees a man or a woman, what does he see in them? Well, we've said already that when God looks at you He sees someone who is created for His pleasure. He sees someone who is to be part of His family, and today I want to carry on and talk about this. When God looks at an individual on this planet, whether they have met with Jesus or not yet, He sees someone who has to become like His son, Jesus Christ He looks at someone an He, an one of the purposes that they have in life is to become like His son, Jesus Christ. That means that every one of you, if you're on this planet and even if you're from another planet but are visiting today, you're on this planet just now that means that every one of you one of the purposes of God for your life is to become like Jesus Christ.

Ehm the Bible says in one place, talkin of those who have met with Jesus, an it says, "As He was, so are we in this world", so the way that He was in this world we are to be in this world, the Bible also talks about bein changed from glory to glory. An that when someone encounters Jesus, as they follow him, as they obey Him an learn from Him, they become like Him. So I'm gonna cover a few different eh things this mornin, roughly seven ehm different ways that we can become like Christ.

Okay now the first thing I wanna say in becoming like Christ we should have the attitude of a learner. There are some things in life that other people know an we don't know. When I was learnin tae drive the driving instructor that taught me, he knew how to drive which was good, good start, an I didn't have a clue how to drive, hardly, only ever bein in a car as a passenger I had had a go at drivin someone's car once and the only time I'd ever had a go at drivin a car I crashed it, [congregation laugh] so when I sat beside Russell my driving instructor I recognised that I was someone who had to submit to his knowledge in that area an that's wha- you know so can we can be like that in terms of human beings, an we know that different people they carry different messages an different ehm strengths of faith in different areas of life, so for instance we we we go, guys went yesterday some of us, an we went to hear Andrew Owen, we went to hear Peter Anderson, we went to hear Cameron Stout, we went to hear Enoch Sitima, because we recognise that they carry something that that we as individuals may not carry in the same way, so we are strengthened by their strength to put it like that, or we learn from them in another way.

Look at John's Gospel if you've got a Bible, chapter eight, [turning pages] an verse thirty-one, well-known verse, "And Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him", so He wasn't speakin to people that didn't believe Him, but He, in this case he was talkin to people who believed Him. An He said, "If you abide in my word you are my disciples in deed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". In different translations we find this slightly differently, the word "abide" I think in the N.I.V. is "hold", I m- an then ehm in there it says, "If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free". So slightly different translations put a different slant, but this word in the version that I'm usin today, "abide", an s- eh an translated slightly differently in different translations, when you look at the Greek, the suggestion in the Greek is that it ehm it suggests not moving, it suggests physically staying in the same place. It suggests remaining not departing, as though if you were a guard on duty.

Naza would you mind comin here please, if you were a guard on duty, Look like you're on duty, here's Naza he's faithful isn't he, faithful Naza, so here's Naza who's on duty an some people, like Linda, might try an come an push him out of the way. But Naza has tae stand his ground, try an push him Linda, [congregation laugh] hold your, hold your ground Naza, very good, very good. So we see Naza holding his ground there, we see him s- standing in the same place, thank you Naza an Linda. [congregation clap] And so we are called, as disciples of Jesus, as learners, to stand our ground in the word of God, to stand our ground in the word of God. Now that will mean having at certain points different pressures comin against us, that'll ehm pressurise us an make us feel like we should be compromisin in certain areas, maybe givin in to different types of lifestyle that we see in the world that we know do not please God, an a mu- an a, an a slightly different aspect it may mean that on a daily basis we as individuals have to choose maybe a time in our day to connect with God and His word and we then need to decide as an individual what works for us in staying in God's word and thinking about God's word, so I can you know I I can ehm talk about different ways that help me but we're all individuals, we all connect with God in a different way. But I do wanna say to you that whatever way it works for you, you have to hold [stamps foot] your ground, you have to ehm take position an stay in it when it comes to the word of God that's what faith is, it's taking hold of God's words and not moving for circumstance, not moving for pressure, an I'm not talking about emotion, you might feel up you might feel down but you stay true to God's word in the midst of that. So that's the first thing I wanna say in becoming Christ-like that you have an, the attitude of a learner.

Wo- just gonna unpack this for a few moments this one eh point. Theodore Roosevelt said this, "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education". "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education". We spoke last week a little bit about ehm meditating on the word, so we, already, the first thing we've said, well you tell me, what was the the first way that we become Christ-like, we have the attitude of? [someone in congregation says "a learner"] Right, did we hear that over here? We have the a-, let's all shout that out, first way we become Christ-like we have the attitude of [someone in congregation says "a learner"] A learner, okay, a learner because we're a disciple, right try it again everyone together, to become Christ-like we have the attitude of? [congregation calls out "A learner"] Okay.

And the second thing I want to talk about an we'll carry on thinkin about the words throughout this erm next point as well, is become Christ-like by changing your thinking. Become Christ-like by changing your thinking.

Now, let me have a a willing volunteer for a moment please. A willing volunteer. Peter, would you mind? Thank you. There was a a sense of willingness that could be drawn out of Peter there. Do you want tae put those on. Now. I'm gonna do it with you. I don't know if you've ever ehm walked along the street listenin tae music, or if you've watched someone walkin along the street listenin tae music, but depending on the type of music sometimes they're listenin to, it affects the way they walk, doesn't it? So if they're if they're listenin to a kind of, you know, somethin with a definite rhythm you can see them walkin about, if they're listenin to somethin that's maybe a bit slower, a bit jazzier, maybe just stroll along might have a look up at a bird that's flyin, saunter along. Maybe classical music as well, we start off slow an we're just thinkin an we're lookin an it's nice, an then all of a sudden [inaudible] you know what we listen to, just stay there for a moment please, what we listen to kinda just a- affects our mood as well, doesn't it? This kinda sorta type o music we listen to, it can affect our mood a wee bit. I'm sure like me you've probably maybe been at work an the person beside you in the next desk or for me it's a kid in the class, maybe they're hummin a song, an it's a song actually you really don't like, but you just can't get it out of your head, you know that? You cannot get it out of your head for the rest of the day an it- it's really annoyin. Have you ever had that? Is it just me that gets annoyed aboot things like that? It's just me, I'm so carnal, but we have that, don't we? We we know the song and [inaudible] head, an you know I find the only way I can get rid of a song in my head is actually to listen to another song. It's the only way that I can do that, I'll I'll try and get a song that I like an I'll listen to it and hopefully that'll help me to get rid of the first song. Now we'll come back to that in a second. So here's Peter, you know, because I'm talkin about this because I'm talkin about I'm thinking as well you know, we all have things goin through our heads, sometimes it's music but sometimes it's thoughts so let's say this C.D. represents, this C.D. player represents Peter's thought-life. Now in that C.D. player he could have a C.D. that's playing, an it's sayin, "I am useless". He could have a C.D. that's playing an he's listenin to it, just the repetition, "I am shy, can't speak to people". He could have a C.D. that's playing or a thought pattern that's goin round and round his head, "I am ugly", obviously not talkin about Peter at this point, but using Peter as an illustration. Very good though, you're lookin upset. And we can have these things goin round and round our heads because maybe as a child somebody said to u- said that to us, because maybe through a broken relationship an the different things that are goin on in our in our lives there are certain things that we believe about ourselves that go round an go round an go round in our heads. Now we know they're not true because we know what the Bible says, but they go round our heads nevertheless if we're bein honest.

Now the way that we need to deal with that, one of the ways that we need to deal with that is the same way that we need to deal with the song that we don't like, we need to replace those thoughts with other thoughts, an we need to have goin round our head, "I am loved by God". We need to have goin round our head, "I am beautiful in God's sight", or "I am handsome", if you want to put it like that. We need to have goin round in our head, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me". And when we do that look at the difference! The look of joy on his face, when we do that we change our thinkin. Thank you very much. Let's have a round of applause. [clapping]

So in terms of ou-ou- our thinkin I spoke a little bit about meditatin on the word last week, or a couple o weeks ago, in Psalm a hundred and nineteen it says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you", "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you", there is something about taking God's word and putting it down on the inside of us that puts guards, that puts protection in our life, but it also replaces our own negative thinking. Let's look at Joshua Chapter One, very famous verse, [turns pages] Joshua One, I think it's verse eight. [turns pages]

Okay, so this is the Lord's mandate to Joshua, well part of it, an he says, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it, for then you will make your way prosperou- prosperous an then you will have good success".

A number of things to say about this, I'm only gonna touch on a few. First of all it's interestin it says, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth". Now we know obviously at the time they didn't have printin presses, there were not so many copies of things, so a big part of that we can say would be practical, that Joshua was to be speakin out God's word. But I also wanna say, the Bible says, "Words I've spoken", Jesus said, "spirit and life", so there is a good principle in speakin out God's word. There is a good principle an we've talked about it here before in talking about God's word, an an it- it's not ehm in the morning have a quiet time an then go about your day doin whatever. It's day an night. God tells Joshua, "Day an night, all the time you are to be in my word son, you are to be in my word child, you are to be in my word, so that you can fulfill what I put you on Earth to do". An we have to be in the word of God to become like Christ.

You know, how many of you like food? I actually, I don't think I like food until someone makes me a meal, then I realise I actually really like food. But you know we eat, don't we, now if I was today, like I say if I'd set aside time in the day to have six three-course meals, I would be probably quite full, even for me, those of you that've had me round to your house to eat a meal, that'd be too much for me, an if I was to eat like that every day I'd just I'd b- get bigger an bigger an bigger, an I'd be eating more than I needed but equally if I was to have a bowl of cornflakes every day I would be gettin thinner an thinner an thinner, an I'd actually I wouldn't have much energy an I wouldn't really be able to do very much. An you know, the word of God for us is spiritual food, spiritual sustenance. When we meditate on the word, when we enter into God's word, that gives us faith, energy, to put it like that, to do things.

So I'm not just talkin about gettin into God's word and meditatin on it for the sake of it, I'm talkin about it because it helps us to do things. Here we see "Medit- ehm you shall meditate on it day and night that you may observe to do, according to all that is written in it". So knowin the word, puttin it inside us, bein determined to do that we're affecting what we do. An then it says, "For then you will make your way prosperous an then you will have good success". So we put the word inside us, gives us faith it gives us certain values, so that as we act we are successful in terms of fulfilling God's will for our lives. So we're not talkin about a selfish thing here when we talk about ehm meditation. Rick Warren quotes actually Dale Moody who says, "The Bible was not given for our knowledge but to change our lives". You know, there's different ways we can think about this book. We can meditate, we can think about it verse by verse, we can look up a word, the original language, look in different translations, see what the word means. We can eh memorise bits of it. One o the things I used to do an I'm gonna start doin more is ehm recording myself speakin out certain verses, an literally actually havin them on C.D. so that when I'm in my car I'm listenin to certain verses, areas that I recognise God is speakin to me about. We should personalise it, you know in Deutoronomy seventeen, erm verse eighteen an nineteen, it says there that the King of Israel, when he became King, one of the things he had to do, God commanded him to do was to take a copy of the law or to take the law and copy it out himself, physically. Well he had many people who could have done it, he had to do it himself he had to personalise it, you know, we are called to take this word and personalise it, to have it on the inside, where it truly makes a difference to us and then to others, because it affects our actions.

So I've only covered a couple of points so far an I won't be goin over as much detail in the other ones, but we've said becoming Christ-like or rather to become Christ-like we should have the attitude of a learner, to become Christ-like be changing our thinking. Now, wanna say this, to become Christ-like also means that we should accept our humanity, which is maybe a funny way of s-, we don't often think about it like this, Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus ate, he got tired, he rested, he had friends, he accepted his humanity.

Listen to this now: in Buffalo, New York, a pastor stood to minister before a group of people. Before he began his message, he introduced a staff member to those present. These were his words: "This man travels with me everywhere I go, you see, like all men, I too am susceptible to sexual temptation an he is my safeguard". The pastor was speaking not to a church but to a gathering of one thousand other pastors. The name of the pastor was David Yonggi Cho, leader of the world's largest church, with a congregation of roughly over eight hundred thousand people. [someone in congregation sneezes] You know, we could see him and do see him as a successful man of God, don't we? But I believe one o the reasons he's s- successful is he understands his humanity, an he understands that he has certain appetites that are not unhealthy in themselves because they were God-given, but, in the wrong place, or at the wrong time, depending on influences around, the healthy appetite could become something that leads to sin. So we ourselves should simply recognise that we are human, in the way that the Lord was and that we have appetites. You know we talk about Jesus and we say, you know, he spent time with prostitutes, he spent time with tax collectors, an that's all true. He went to parties where there was sin an, he didn't go on his own, sometimes we find Jesus on his own, but most of the time he was with his disciples.

Now if that's Jesus, how much more should we have safeguards in our lives? So to become Christ-like, we actually need to accept our humanity, for the for the good that's in our humanity, and to guard where there can be areas of weakness, you know, we spoke, that's what, a couple of weeks ago about sense and weaknesses and about where in family so that where I'm weak, Naza can be strong and can cover me in my weakness, so that we can work together. Enoch Sitima spent a long time yesterday talkin about the power of partnership. He quoted Ecclesiastes which says that two are better than one. If you want to look at that later it's in Ecclesiastes four, nine, it's a good set of verses on the power of partnership, not just, we're not just talkin about marriage, not just talkin about weddings an romantic relationships, we're talkin about friendships as well, the power of partnership. And that is part of accepting our humanity, so that we can enjoy other people as well.

To become Christ-like another thing I want to say is that we should be a people who give thanks in all circumstances, who give thanks in all circumstances. Wanna read somethin now, this is by a woman called Carol Mayhall. An you know, in some ways this is quite an everyday example, that's why I want to read it out. "One of the biggest disappointments of my life came last summer. Jack", that's her husband, "Jack an I", just in case anyone thought it was Jack here, "Jack an I were in Great Britain for some conferences then we planned to celebrate our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary with a two-week trip in southern England. For several years we had prayed about having our daughter and her husband join us overseas, and this looked like the perfect time. As we prayed, it seemed as though God opened doors providing the money and the time for them to join us. Jack an I spent many hours poring over maps and hotel brochures to plan the perfect trip. We counted the days until they would arrive. Two days before we were to drive to Birmingham, England, to meet their plane, Lynn called. Tim was in the hospital with a stubborn kidney stone that necessitated surgery and resulted in infection and weakness for several weeks. Our plans and dreams were smashed to smithereens. I sat in the huge bathtub in the huge conference centre and cried and cried and cried, but between sobs I said, "I will praise the Lord. I don't understand this: it doesn't seem right or good or kind or anything that I know you are, but I will praise you." And with tears mixing with the bathwater I sang, "Praise to the Father, Praise to the Son", I don't know that one otherwise I would sing it. And becoming more and more convinced that telling people about Christ is not the most important ministry we have in this life", and she goes on and she goes through a few different examples of things, but I want to come back to this she says, "But more and more I am persuaded that what pleases the heart of God most are the choices we make that no one sees but God, those everyday moments when God is the only audience, when we offer to Him the sacrifice of praise, when the sweet aroma of our thanksgiving reaches Him, we are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, but most of the time we can't get all four in tune at the same time. In the bathtub that June evening I wasn't praising God with all my heart. It took several weeks for my emotions to harmonize with my will, yes, but I was praising Him with all my mind an all my soul, an it was taking all my strength to do it". You know the Bible says that we are to give thanks in all circumstances, doesn't it? And there is a protection for our emotions as we develop a lifestyle of giving thanks. I just wanna say that to become Christ-like we should give thanks in all circumstances and that we shouldn't dwell on negatives, we shouldn't dwell on our disappointments.

Okay, now time has pretty much ehm caught up with me. I'll just say a, these very briefly just the headlines really. I also wanna say that we should become Christ-like by speaking life, by speaking life. Psalm one says, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers". We're not called to speak death over anyone, Christian or non-Christian, we're called to speak life, an if we can't do that, then let's just mm not say anythin even when we really want to.

We should also become Christ-like by bein generous hearted, I'm gonna finish on this, and practical, very practical story, of what I believe is a generous heart, talkin to Tim Brown during the week, actually it was part of a meeting, and during the meeting he was saying how it was such a blessing to have people staying in different areas of the city in Glasgow who are connected with the Glasgow church. When they used to stay near Cumbernauld he said every morning for church they used to go out to the Loch Lomond area, pick someone up for church and then bring them back to the city centre where the church was at that time, and that's something in a very practical way as an illustration of someone who's a generous heart. Now we know that Jesus has a generous heart, that His love is expressed in very practical ways, and to become like Him, to become more like Him we are called to live with generosity.

So I ful- flew through a lot this morning, hope you got something out of that. Ehm we're gonna carry on just now, we're gonna worship God but just before we do that let's pray together.

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Information about Document 1415

Sermon: Gordon Mackintosh - On Being Christ-like

Audio

Audio audience

Adults (18+)
Children (under 13s)
Teenagers (13-17)
General public
Informed lay people
For gender Mixed
Audience size 21-100

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2005
Recording person id 865
Size (min) 30
Size (mb) 116

Audio setting

Private/personal

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other N/A

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 631
Year of transcription 2006
Year material recorded 2005
Word count 4835

Audio type

Lecture/talk, sermon, public address/speech
Other Sermon

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 987
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1970
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Teacher
Place of birth Glasgow
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Menstrie
Region of residence Clackmannan
Residence CSD dialect area Clcm
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Security guard
Father's place of birth Inverness
Father's region of birth Inverness
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Inv
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Office worker
Mother's place of birth Glasgow
Mother's region of birth Glasgow
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes

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