LighthouseLIVE

(Highlighting the ministry of Lighthouse Baptist Church and the preaching of Pastor Randy Ralstin)

Welcome!

It is our pleasure to welcome you to LighthouseLIVE, a ministry ‘blog’ of Lighthouse Baptist Church. We are an Independent, Bible believing, New Testament, Baptist church serving the Greater Reno/Sparks Area. We’re glad you found our ministry ‘blog’ and we hope that our site helps you to get to know the passion of our pastor and heartbeat of Lighthouse Baptist Church.

‘CALLED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE—CALLED TO BE DIFFERENT’

FROM SAVIOUR TO LORD

(Phil 2:9-11)

Our churches theme for 2017 is ‘Called to Make a Difference’ taken from Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference.  It is a theme that challenges Christians to accept their responsibility to live for others rather than just living for themselves.   It’s a theme that focuses upon our lives having a spiritual impact upon the lives of others. The call to make a difference though is a call that can only be accomplished by those that have answered the call to be different.  To the extent that I am allowing God to make a difference in my life, is the degree that I will be used of God to make a difference in the lives of others.  God is in the ‘making difference’ business; He is the only one that is able to make a difference in a person’s life.  Any impact that I may have upon others is the direct result of me allowing God to work through me.  As I yield and submit to the Lordship of Christ, He in turn is able to work through me to make a difference in the lives of others.  Jesus as my Saviour, only makes a difference in only my life; Jesus as my Saviour AND Lord, makes a difference in my life as well as making a difference in others.  Until I submit to the Lordship of Christ, I minimize the impact that I can have upon others’ lives.  I must first allow God to make a difference in my life before God can work through me to make a difference in someone else’s life.

In any study of Jesus’ teaching on salvation, what is striking is His constant focus upon Himself as the source of salvation (Mt. 11:28–30; Mk. 8:34–38; Jn. 6:35; Jn. 7:38).  According to Jesus, it is through a personal relationship with Him that one comes into the experience of salvation.  He emphasizes faith in Himself and His atoning work as the sole basis for salvation and complete deliverance from judgment and condemnation (Jn. 3:14-16; 6:35, 47-58, 5:24, 10:27-29); but He also equally emphasizes His authority as Lord, as clearly seen in His call to discipleship.  How does the Lordship teaching of Jesus fit into the overall scheme of the gospel of grace and salvation? 

To properly interpret this, we must understand the purpose of creation. We were not only created by God, but created to fulfill a specific purpose for God (Col 1:16).  We have been created for God; and He alone, is to be the supreme purpose for our existence and the object of our love: (Ex 20:2-3 I am the LORD thy God…Thou shalt have no other gods before me.)  The key to having God’s “abundant life”—His love, peace and joy—is keeping Him in His rightful place in our priorities.   God Himself is to be the center of our lives. He is to have first place in our affections, the pre-eminent place in our hearts. No other person OR thing must be allowed to displace Him from His rightful place in our hearts. And no other purpose should be more important than knowing Him and doing His will.  My own personal will, ambitions or interests, or those of another should never to take precedence over the will of God. Man was created to be under God’s authority, to love Him supremely, and to live in obedience to His will. Man’s fundamental problem, however, is that he does not live this way. He has rebelled against His Creator and does not live to fulfill God’s will but his own. The Bible calls this sin. God no longer holds His rightful place in the heart of man. The pursuit of personal happiness and self-rule dominates one’s life rather than God.  Men do not live under God’s rule but have become authorities unto themselves, living independently of Him.

The next step after you have been saved is to fully surrender your entire life into the hands of God.  You must be willing to surrender to Jesus’ Lordship over your life…not just your Saviour. Scripture never speaks of any human being’s ‘MAKING’ Jesus Lord. It is God, who made Him Lord (Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.) Trusting Christ as Saviour and then surrendering to Him as Lord are two separate and distinct decisions. The two decisions may be close or distant in time…but none the less, they are distinctly different.

Surrendering to the Lordship of Christ means that you are now willing to turn the reigns of your life over to Him, so that He can lead your life into the specific directions He wants it to go in.

‘JESUS IS SAVIOUR’ focuses on a one-time decision…’JESUS IS LORD’ focuses on a lifetime of decisions.

‘JESUS IS SAVIOUR’ demands nothing of us. ’JESUS IS LORD’ demands our everything.

‘JESUS IS SAVIOUR’ impacts only me… ‘JESUS IS LORD’ impacts me AND everyone around me.

‘JESUS IS SAVIOUR’ is personal… ‘JESUS IS LORD’ retains the personal dynamic, BUT spreads out to impact everything and everyone around me.

The Bible gives us one clear message: God is God and we are not, and we must realign ourselves with Him. We must renounce the lordship of self and submit to the Lordship of the one true Lord. This is unambiguously found in both Testaments.  From Genesis to Revelation this is a great theme of Scripture. Either we renounce all the false gods and lords we cling to – including self – and give the rightful place to the only true Lord, OR we continue in our idolatry and face the judgment of God. There is no middle ground here. There cannot be two lords in our life. Jesus made this perfectly clear when he said, “No man can serve two masters” (Matt 6:24).  And the Bible never considers such matters to be mere optional extras, but the very heart of what it means to be God’s people.  At the end of the day there are only two sorts of people: those who now willingly bow the knee and confess Christ as Lord, OR those who will be forced to bow the knee later at the last judgment.

If we are to ever make a difference with our lives, we must first allow God to make a difference in our lives.  God can only work through us to the extent that we submit to His Lordship and allow Him to work through us.  God can only impact lives through me as I allow His Lordship to impact my life.  There are many people that need God to make a difference in their lives but God can only make a difference, as I allow Him to make a difference in their lives through me.  For the sake of others, will you allow God to be both your Saviour AND your Lord?  Others, that are needing God to make a difference in their lives, are trusting that you will.

(Excerpt taken from a message preached by Pastor Ralstin on 1/8/17)
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