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Sun, Sep 03, 2017

Part 1 Risk

Duration:32 mins 3 secs

Show clip

Aim of the series: to encourage us to take the plunge and dive headlong into living a life of faith.

What is a life of faith? Faith is about trust. I like to think of faith as F.A.I.T.H. Forsaking All I Trust Him. So, to live a life of faith I must trust Jesus…

For salvation:

  • I need to be saved (unpack).
  • Jesus says He is the only Saviour (unpack).
  • I must forsake trusting in anything or anyone else if I want to be saved.
  • That is saving faith.

To some that faith may seem very risky.

Weren’t we told from young to never put all our eggs in one basket? And faith in Jesus says we should do that.

  • What if there are better baskets?
  • How can there only be one right basket?

But… what if there is only one basket that can keep your eggs safe forever? And other baskets will end up with the destruction of all your eggs?

Well then it would be silly to put any eggs anywhere else and it would be wiser to put all your eggs in the basket that can get the job done.

And from the time Jesus came to earth, proved He was the only Saviour, there have been millions who have found Him worthy of putting all their trust in.

And they, and many of us here this evening, have discovered that the risk of putting your trust in Jesus is nothing compared to the risk of not putting your trust in Him.

And once you put your trust in Him and receive salvation and all the spiritual blessing that come with salvation it seems like no risk at all.

But what about as we live the Christian life?

Is there risk involved in that?

Well, I would like to put to you who are people of faith and trust in Jesus that there is.

That a life of faith is a life of risk. And that is the point of the message this evening. And here I must acknowledge that I have leaned heavily on the best article I have ever read on the subject by John Piper called “A call for Christian risk”.

The life of faith is a life of risk. Not eternal risk… that risk has been removed in salvation.

Romans 8: 1 “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”

Romans 8: 38 – 39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Luke 21: 16 – 18 “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish.”

Luke 11: 25 “‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die’”

Death has become a doorway to paradise… in Christ there is no longer any eternal risk. Which is why Paul could say in Philippians 1: 21 “…to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

And because God has freed us from eternal risk… and has made death a doorway to paradise… He has freed us up to take up His call to take the plunge and take many risks while we are on this earth…

What kind of risks?

All sorts of risks to tell people about the kind of love that eliminates eternal risk and makes death a doorway to paradise.

In radical Islam there are people who are willing to give their lives to take the lives of the infidels… also with the promise of paradise.

But Christian hope inspires us to love not to kill… give life not take life… our crucified Lord’s example is to love our enemies and the infidels and the Muslims (even radical Muslims) and even give our lives for them.

Our risks are for the sake of love, so that Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Followers of Jesus are called to dive in, to take the plunge and be risk takers… to be risk averse is to not understand the calling that Jesus puts on our lives.

Look again at Luke 21: 16 – 18 “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish.”

You might, you might not (risk) but don’t shrink back. God’s got you and anything else you might be concerned about… in the name of love take risks.

Now I know this might sound crazy to you… or even if it doesn’t sound so crazy, it’s not for you in practice…

We have been fed a steady diet of exactly the opposite from the world… look after no 1 no one else will… maximise your comfort and safety.

But that was not what Jesus said. He said to His followers “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” In other words, “Don’t be afraid to take risks, they can only kill you.”

God-lovers have always taken those risks, they have been willing to take the plunge. Go read Hebrews 11… people of faith are risk takers. Hebrews 11: 32 – 40.

And even when the Holy Spirit warned Paul that hardships faced him in taking the gospel risks he was taking he said the following in Acts 20: 24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

And even after Biblical times, in the early church (and it is still true in some countries today), when people became Christians they knew that sooner or later they would have to take the plunge and testify to their faith in Christ to the possible cost of their lives.

And when it came to that, why did they choose to take the plunge? Maybe because of the words of their Saviour in Matthew 16: 25 “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it”

Around the world it is becoming more difficult to be a Christian. It will probably do so here in South Africa too. There are already moves afoot to clamp down on all religions and often that means clamp down the most on Christians.

Those who embrace risky faith as a norm, by choice, will best be able to deal with risky faith when we have no choice. Hebrews 13: 11 – 16.

Will you take the plunge tonight?

Will you dive in?

To be saved?

Put all your eggs in the only basket that can keep them safe for eternity.

To live the life of faith?

To live a life of love and gospel risk-taking for the sake of the many who take a risk every day they live without Christ of slipping out of this life into an eternity of suffering? Unless someone like you takes the risk of sharing the gospel with them and then discipling them in the way of Jesus.

You were never called to a life of looking after no 1, pursuing comfort and security.

You were always called to the risky life of the gospel, love adventure. (Packer illustration)

Your eternal future is safe, so for the sake of those who’s eternal future is not will you take the plunge?

It is the way of risk but the way of the cross… Jesus called us to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. Risky business.

It is the way of risk but the way of becoming more like Jesus.

So “sink or swim” let’s dive in… let’s take the plunge.

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