7/2 Elements of Discipleship - Citizenship

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  • THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS    June 26 - July 2,  John 11:1-37; Col. 1, 
  • NEXT WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS  July 3 - 9, John 11:38-57;  – Col. 2, 

SERMON IN A NUTSHELL: 

As Americans we find authorities, kingdoms and laws in conflict.  As Christians we must clarify our identity and prioritize our citizenships.  In nationalism there is a tendency to tie our identity to whatever our national leaders say will secure our nation. When hearts and heads of national leaders don’t find their identity in Jesus’ Kingdom there will be confusion and conflict for Christians.  When patriotism (love of country and virtues that secure our nation) are identified with the higher authority of Christ’s Kingdom there will be peace and confidence even amidst the confusion and conflict in our world.  A key building block of discipleship is to keep our identity as citizens in proper order.  Christ’s Kingdom before our national identity is a must and very subtly misconstrued.

TEXTS: John 18:28-40; Phil 3:20; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 13:1-7

Nationalism = the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations. (The love for a nation and it’s success is the ultimate good)

Patriotism = Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one's compatriots; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one's country. (The love for the virtues and patriots with like passions that unite a nation comprise the ultimate good.)

Questions to Reflect Upon

6 Questions for Reflection (Included in the bulletin)

  1. Isn’t it interesting that the Jewish leaders didn’t want to be contaminated from celebrating the Passover (Sacrifice of the Lamb) and thus wouldn’t go into the Roman courtyard. Meanwhile they are trying to manipulate the Roman law to “sacrifice THE LAMB”.

  2. How do we tend “work” our nation’s laws for our benefit while ignoring the will and work (the Kingdom) of God?

  3. Taking into consideration that Pilate saw the Jewish leaders not wanting to be “defiled” by his courtyard but wanted to force Him to convict and crucify Jesus, can you see why he would say/ask “What is truth?”

  4. When you watch the national news what makes you feel cynical about “the truth?”

  5. How might our political problems be addressed if everyone would focus first on their identity in Christ?

  6. How can we as Christians live amidst nationalistic conflicts by keeping our identity in Christ?

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