Sermon

The Cause of Christ

Michael Beck

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Philanthropists are DEDICATED to a cause.

One’s cause is what’s IMPORTANT to them. It is what they are ZEALOUS toward.

A cause is a MOTIVATOR. It’s WHY we do something.

“Why did you do that?” “BeCAUSE …”

So what was the cause of Christ?
To what end did He come into the world? What did He live and die for?

To understand the cause of Christ we must understand the cause of the Father.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23,24)

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:10)

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12,13)

The godly shall suffer persecution. Why?

There is a CLASH/CONFLICT of CAUSES

Paul was in danger from Jews. Why?

Because they saw him as turning people away from the LAW.

Paul was in danger from the Gentiles. Why?

Because they saw him as turning people away from the WORSHIP of their gods.

Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands (Acts 19:26)

Great is Diana of the Ephesians!!

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9)

The true worship of God displaces idolatry.
What is the danger in these last days?

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves … … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1,2,4,5)

Not the worship of the sun or the stars; cows or creeping things. SELF-WORSHIP.

The THREE IDOLS of our DAY (relative to SELF-WORSHIP)

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

1. The IDOL of DREAMS

My POWER to fulfill my dreams, desires, pleasures.

Unlimited! There is nothing you can’t do.
ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible.

What we DO is determined by what we CAN do; what our RESOURCES, GIFTS, TALENTS, and OPPORTUNITIES enable us to do.

Those who walk in the lust of the flesh have only two questions that establish the legitimacy of any course of action:
“CAN I do it?” “Do I WANT to do it?”

For Jesus it was not a matter of COULD, but a matter of SHOULD.

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19)

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30)

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (John 8:28)

Jesus wore a YOKE. There were LIMITS on what He did.

The FIRST TEMPTATION

Because He had supernatural power didn’t mean He had permission to use it.

We may have the ABILITY to do something, but do we have the AUTHORITY.

The response of Jesus:
“Though I am able to do this, I will only make use of it to do what the Father wants me to do. I live by every word that proceeds from His mouth.”

2. The IDOL of EXPERIENCE

The WORLD not only loves its own, it loves the things of the world.

The SECOND TEMPTATION

Satan gives an OPEN INVITATION – ALL is yours

Nothing off limits – Nothing withheld – ALL is yours

The response of Jesus: ? “What I bow down to and serve and pursue is the WORSHIP of GOD. He sets LIMITS to where I go, what I know, what I see, what I experience. And in EXCHANGE He gives me His FULLNESS.”

3. The IDOL of RESPECT

DEMAND for RESPECT has arisen out of the CULT of SELF-LOVE

Don’t you know WHO I AM? Nebuchadnezzar. Haman. Pilate. The antichrist.

The THIRD TEMPTATION

“Show them who you are!!! Gain the respect you deserve!”

The response of Jesus: “No. I will bear reproach. I will be despised and rejected of me. Before the crown, I will wear a crown. I will not lift myself up. I will not try to make a name for Myself. The Father will exalt Me after I have humbled Myself to the death of the cross, and He will give Me a Name above all names.”

Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.And I seek not mine own glory … (John 8:50)

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. (John 7:18)

The WORLD’S Message: NO LIMITS to who you can BE.

The declaration of the godly:

I will BE who GOD has CREATED me to BE.
I will honor the bounds He has set for me.
I will let the circumstances of my life mold and shape me into the person He wants me to be. And who does He wants me to be: A WORSHIPPER just like His SON

Jesus laid down His GLORY. First in heaven, and then on earth.

Don’t SHINE before men so they see your good works and GLORIFY you.

Be willing to be a DO-NOTHING according to their standards.
Be willing to be a KNOW-NOTHING according to their idea of living the good life.
Be willing to be a NOBODY, a FAILURE, a LOSER in their eyes.

Whose CAUSE are you DEDICATED to?


Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.