This week’s message by Pastor Phyl is titled Big Mistake, and is taken from the Gospel of Mark 12:13-27. He began his preach by asking us whether we’ve made mistakes. It can be hard to admit to these. It is hard to admit that we have been wrong. The truth is that we all make mistakes. It is human nature to do so. Some of our mistakes are small, insignificant ones that are no big deal and can be forgotten easily, but some are big mistakes that, in turn, bring big consequences, which people then have to live with.
In this passage of scripture, the Pharisees and Herodians are sent to try and catch Jesus out with His own words, but they are amazed by something. His Authority. He is able to answer every one of their questions and they find themselves unable to catch Him out.
Pastor Phyl told us that we have authority, too, but that our authority doesn’t come from us, it comes from God. We are given all authority, in Christ Jesus. We are able to take Christ’s authority and live it. We are just God’s spokesperson, and we have a real, true authority in Christ.
Looking at some influential figures from the past, Phyl spoke of Rosa Parks, a woman of no fame or position, but she had authority because she trusted in God and in His authority. She believed that all people were equal, regardless of their skin colour, and as such, acted on this belief, communicating with authority.
Jesus is communicating to these people, and although they were trying to catch Him out, they were amazed at His authority when He reasoned, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” Here, He is effectively saying that we must honour God with our lives, seeing as He gives us life.
A big mistake is a bad mistake. Many people make mistakes because they don’t know scripture or the power of God. We can do this too. If we are not in the scripture, we can get lost, and this is when mistakes happen. We can get lost in our lives, and struggle to find the way. The answer is to know the scriptures, and to know the power of God, or we will find ourselves in the middle of a big mistake. The truth is that we are nothing, save for the power of Christ.
Pastor Phyl introduced us to the ‘five solae’s of the reformation’. These are principles that we need to have in our lives:
- Sola Scriptura – By Scripture Alone
We are to build our lives on scripture alone. This is our authority on life. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” The truth is that we can either believe it or not. It won’t always be palatable, but it is right. In the world, there are plenty of people who claim to be Christians, but their actions do not follow this claim. It is easy to differentiate between a fake Christian, and a true Christian, because a true Christian lives by the principle of ‘Sola Scriptura’. Without this commitment to the word, people can find themselves drifting away from God.
- Sola Gratia – By Grace Alone
Nothing but Grace can save us. No matter what we do, no matter what we’ve done, He saved us. There is no sin too great that it cannot be covered by the Grace of God. There is nothing that we can do to make Him love us any more or any less.
- Sola Fide – By Faith Alone
We must accept His Grace by faith. We have to make that decision to believe, and this is done by faith. By trusting in Him and His word. Good works are not a requirement for salvation. Faith alone; the belief in Christ is what gives us the opportunity to be saved. It doesn’t matter what we do. Nothing we do will ever be ‘good enough’, because we are not ‘good enough’. The only way to salvation is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in God, who sent Him. Good works and actions are often seen to be done by people who have been saved, but this comes about as a result of drawing closer to God and surrendering to His will, but the fact is, that deeds and actions will not give you salvation. This comes solely as a result of faith.
- Solus Christus – Through Christ Alone
Acts 4:12 says “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. There is NO other name. Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. He is the only one who can act as an intermediary between us and God. No other person can provide salvation, only Jesus. In saying this, it is important that we remember that the Bible is not exclusive. Christ is not exclusive. In John 3:16, it is written: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. The scripture here is quite clear; ‘whoever’. God does not discriminate. Whoever believes may come. Also important to remember, however, is that the Bible, and Salvation is selective, because it is said quite clearly that we must accept Christ’s sacrifice. Without our acceptance and belief of this sacrifice, salvation cannot be ours.
- Soli Deo Gloria – For God’s Glory
God came by His Grace, for His Glory. We are called to reach out in Faith to Christ; to make sure that our actions only serve to bring Him the glory. We are not to seek veneration. The glory is not ours, but His.
In closing, Pastor Phyl prayed that we would be able to take these Five Solae’s and apply them to our lives, so that we can avoid making the big mistakes, that come with big consequences, and that all of our actions would be rooted in Scripture, covered by Grace, acted on in Faith, through Christ alone, for the Glory of God.
Scriptures: Mark 12:13-27, Hebrews 4:12, Acts 4:12, John 3:16