Sermon: “Staying True”
Rev. Glenn G. Grant
Kirkridge Presbyterian Church
Transcription from August 7, 2022
Sermon transcription is automatically generated. Please forgive any grammatical errors.
I wanted to talk a little bit about this passage from Hebrews this morning with faith and especially for our younger folks to listen in on this because faith is something that we hear a lot about in the news recently. And yet what most people are talking about in the news is not faith but is religion.
And there's a difference. You know, religion is a list of rules and regulations and dogma, and this is what we believe, and if you don't believe it, you're wrong. Faith is the belief that you are part of God's creation, and you live as a result of that. And you live in a way that brings thanksgiving for that.
The writer of Hebrews goes through this whole litany about Abraham and how he lived by faith and how God attributed that to him as justification for the promise that he was to receive. And he goes through all the different things Abram did. He lived in tents, in a land that had been promised to him like a foreigner. And he was waiting for this heavenly city to be built by God as the architect. And we go through this whole passage, but none of these people, Abraham, or any of his descendants saw that come to fruition, but they lived waiting for it and looking forward to it.
And that's pretty much the way we are as Christians today. We don't know what the heavenly realm is going to look like. Anybody here that's visited it? No hands. I know a few of us have probably done our best to get close, but, uh, we don't get to talk to anybody that's been there, but we still look forward to it. And sometimes we can really truthfully interpret this heavenly reality that we're talking about as something that we are supposed to be working towards here on earth, not something that's, you know, after we die, but bringing about God's creation. God's heavenly realm. Now today where we live in our realm of influence, and it doesn't matter whether we're six or 66 or…I won't go any further.
It doesn't matter what age we are. We can be doing what we can to help bring about God's kingdom on this earth. And that doesn't matter whether it's coloring a picture to make somebody smile. Or if it's putting a box of crayons on the bench in the hall, or pushing a cart around a circle on the blacktop, loading it up with food to put in somebody else's trunk. You know, there are all these things we can be doing to help bring about the heavenly kingdom on earth.
And one of the things we do in the church to do that is we try to make disciples of the next generation. Now, you know, making disciples what that means, right? That means we're making somebody else to do exactly what we're doing, or what we should be doing. And those disciples really, you have to remember that the original idea of a disciple was someone who would eat, drink, sleep, and do everything else that their master was doing when their master did it.
You know, Plato had his disciples, they would go everywhere Plato went, they would sit there and listen when Plato is speaking and eventually then they started to teach others. Jesus had disciples we know, you know, we named 12 of them if you can remember the song, but there were many more than that. And there were disciples that would follow Jesus around and they would eat when Jesus ate and they would go where Jesus went and they would listen when Jesus was teaching and they would turn around and teach the same thing to others.
And that's how we are here today because they turned around and taught others what Jesus taught them and the church is supposed to be about making disciples, you know, Matthew 28 says go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, son, the holy spirit.
Go and make disciple disciples of all nations, all peoples. And so that's what we are supposed to be doing as a church. And so, it is a great deal when we come into a sanctuary, and you see the baptismal font and the water. Because that means we are doing what we're supposed to be doing, but that is only an acknowledgment of what we hope is reality, because just pouring a little water on somebody's head or taking the thing and making the sign of the cross doesn't make someone a disciple.
What makes them a disciple is that they are being trained up and supported as they continue on their own to than where they're training others. And so, part of our baptismal service is that we say, as a congregation, that we're going to do everything we can to support these people and to help them to grow in their faith, not religion, we're going to help them grow in their faith.
And so, we need to be staying true to what the faith really is. You know, there is a lot of stuff out there about what Christians believe, and when it comes right down to it, sometimes we need to strip away all of that stuff and take it back to where we say, what truly is our faith? Not what somebody tells us we're supposed to believe, what truly is our faith? What did Jesus teach us? What do we believe from that? What do we believe of God's promises?
And those are the things that really make us a church. And by church, I'm not talking about Kirkridge I'm talking about Church. Not just Kirkridge, not just Presbyterians, but Church, gods people who are living in faith. And we need to stay true to that in our everyday lives. And again, it doesn't matter how old we are. It doesn't matter how old we are. Anybody that's ever listened to the children's message up here knows that they can teach us a whole lot more than we think.
And if you don't believe that, come up and do the children's message, please. Anybody that doesn't believe that, teach Sunday school, you'll find it all or even better yet, next time, there are some young people that want to go through confirmation, be a mentor. I would bet you that there are three people that are here today. That would definitely agree with the fact that you learn a lot being a mentor to a confirmand.
So, we have to really think about how we are staying true to our faith. And you know, it's more than just when we're here with our young people too. You know, we have to stay true to our faith when we're driving down the road and somebody cuts you off. Or when the person in front of you in the 20 items are less line has about 50.
And especially when the person in line in front of you in the grocery store is sitting there counting out their dollars carefully, as things are rung up. Stay true to your faith. What did Jesus teach you to do at that time? What have we learned? How can we stage true to our faith when our friends start calling somebody else names? How do we stay true to our faith when a classmate says, what'd you get on that answer? How'd you answer that test? Hmm. How do we stay true to our faith on that? What did we learn from Jesus?
And then as we try to live more and more living out our faith, we really believe we have to remember what the writer of Hebrews said at the end of our passage today, for people who speak in this way to make it clear that they are seeking a Homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have the opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country a heavenly one and therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God. So, the real question is, are we staying true to our faith or is what we're doing something that would make God ashamed to be called our God?