Sermon Thirty Four The catholic spirit

john                                                                  audio clip

 

Denominations, no denominations, my denomination, your denomination. Do they matter? Are the differences the things we think of?

Well Wesley says not. Wesley suggests a very simple formula to reach out across the barriers of denomination to make friends. We are all together the melting pot that is the body of Christ.

If we put aside our differences of ritual and worship practice and look into each other’s hearts then we find this catholic spirit that is borne out of our love for each other. That universal love that is a gift from God because first he loved us. That love that allows us to accept we don’t all think alike but we have a unity of spirit. There are small differences but loads of commonality.

  1. Is your heart right with God?
  2. Do you believe in God?
  3. Do you acknowledge his greatness, wisdom and power, his justice, mercy and truth?
  4. Do you accept His authority governing everything for His glory and the good of all who love Him?
  5. Do you live each day trusting in Him, even though you can see Him?
  6. Do you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, crucified for us?
  7. Does he live in your heart by faith?
  8. Have you decided to put your faith in Him, rather than trusting in your own works as the way to salvation?
  9. Do you ask Him for help in living the Christian life of faith which leads to eternal life?
  10. Do you love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength?
  11. Does God give you complete happiness?
  12. Do you continually praise Him and give Him thanks?
  13. With God as the centre of all your desires, are you laying up treasure in heaven and counting your earthly possessions as worthless?
  14. Has the love of God conquered your love for earthly things?
  15. Are you working for God?
  16. Are you concentrating on doing His work?
  17. Is all your conversation and business focused on glorifying God in everything, giving thanks to Him in Jesus’ name?
  18. Does God’s love make you want to serve him with respect?
  19. Which are you more afraid of – going to hell or displeasing God?
  20. Do you hate evil?

Simple innit, like.

Wow, that is one tough line of questions, search my heart O God, make me ever true.

But yes, I can honestly say yes to all except nineteen and that isn’t a yes no answer!

What about you?

I am not asking you to agree with me about hymns or prayers or language or style of preaching. Can you say yes to all these questions?

Then no matter what church you go to, we can shake hands, we have more in common to glorify His name than things of difference in the way we worship.

Giving the hand does not mean I will try and convert you to my way of doing things or vice versa. But there is so much “world” and so little “Christian” we have to work alongside each other, not keeping score but helping each other along.

love you pray for you, love me, pray for me, love together, pray together, Christians together.

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