Basic Christianity with John Stott (part 3)
Friday, August 5, 2011
He was the chaplain to the Queen of England, but John Stott never thought too highly of himself. "Becoming Like Christ" was the theme of his life and the title of his last sermon. Join Charles Morris on the next HAVEN Today to hear the last publicly spoken words from the late John Stott on part 3 of a program called "Basic Christianity with John Stott."
The markets are spooked, even with approval this week of a higher US Treasury debt ceiling. The Dow Jones Average dropped 513 points yesterday … 4 point 3 percent … the worst single day drop since December 2008.
The New York Stock Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange, European and Asian markets are shuddering from yesterday’s drop. Did you see the pictures of stock exchange traders putting their heads in their hands? As the world markets seem on the verge of falling apart, what are Christians to do? I think we rest in knowing there’s very little we can do. Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you can’t do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” And we rest in knowing what God can and IS doing. He’s always moving history towards that day when Jesus will come again.
Welcome to HAVEN Today, I’m CM sharing the GS that’s all about Jesus as we close our week together with part 3 of a program called Basic Christianity with John Stott. He could have been named a bishop but wished to remain a pastor. He was named chaplain to the Queen of England, but John Stott never thought too highly of himself. He shared much with his good friend Billy Graham. They shared their love for Jesus.
John Stott was born and lived most of his life eight blocks from All Souls Church in London. His father was a knight and a famous Harley Street cardiologist who became quite upset when his son became a Christian and wanted to enter the ministry. But that’s what he did and the church around the corner eventually became the church he pastored, but the in process, John Stott, who died last week at age 90, became a pastor around the world. Why are we emphasizing for a third and final day an English preacher? Well we’re not doing it to honor a man. We’re doing it to honor his savior. What was John Stott about? I’ll give you a hint from what he said to a group of students at Harvard a few years ago … speaking to what’s called the Veritas Foundation.
Stott clip 1
John Stott was always about others knowing Christ and once they knew Christ he wanted them to become more like Christ. What a worthy endeavor. Fernando Ortega sings the words of Jesus from his album we’re premiering this week on HAVEN Today and Basic Christianity with John Stott
OPEN – Just As I Am with Fernando Ortega
HAVEN Today and a new version from a new album by Fernando Ortega of Just As I Am as we remember a good friend of Billy Graham who died last week at age 90. Basic Christianity with John Stott. Yesterday on the program, we aired the final interview John Stott ever gave and it happened to be with HAVEN Today. If you missed it, you can still catch it at haventoday.org. You’ll see the link on our homepage at haventoday.org. So we had the final interview. In a moment I want to share from the final sermon that John Stott preached at the Keswick Convention in England in 2007. But before that, I want us to go back to something John Stott always liked to do and that was meet with students. Listen once again to him speak to students from Harvard and MIT at the Veritas Foundation meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Veritas means Truth in Latin.
Stott Clip #2
John Stott engaging students at Harvard University about the one person he cared the most about – Jesus Christ. On July 17, 2007, John Stott preached his final sermon at the Keswick Convention in England. The are some of his words and not mine. (We will post all of that final message on our website.)
“I remember very vividly, some years ago, that the question which perplexed me as a younger Christian (and some of my friends as well) was this: what is God's purpose for His people? Granted that we have been converted, granted that we have been saved and received new life in Jesus Christ, what comes next? Of course, we knew the famous statement of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: that man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever: we knew that, and we believed it. We also toyed with some briefer statements, like one of only five words - love God, love your neighbour. But somehow neither of these, nor some others that we could mention, seemed wholly satisfactory. So I want to share with you where my mind has come to rest as I approach the end of my pilgrimage on earth and it is - God wants His people to become like Christ. Christlikeness is the will of God for the people of God.
We are to be like Christ in his mission. These are the five main ways in which we are to be Christlike: in His Incarnation, in His service, in His love, in His endurance and in His mission.
Very briefly, I want to give you three practical consequences of Christlikeness.
Firstly, Christlikeness and the mystery of suffering. Suffering is a huge subject in itself and there are many ways in which Christians try to understand it. One way stands out: that suffering is part of God's process of making us like Christ. Whether we suffer from a disappointment, a frustration or some other painful tragedy, we need to try to see this in the light of Romans 8:28-29. According to Romans 8:28, God is always working for the good of his people, and according to Romans 8:29, this good purpose is to make us like Christ.
Secondly, Christlikeness and the challenge of evangelism. Why is it, you must have asked, as I have, that in many situations our evangelistic efforts are often fraught with failure? Several reasons may be given and I do not want to over-simplify but one main reason is that we don't look like the Christ we are proclaiming. John Poulton, who has written about this in a perceptive little book entitled A today sort of evangelism, wrote this:
'The most effective preaching comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message. Christians need to look like what they are talking about. It is people who communicate primarily, not words or ideas. Authenticity gets across. deep down in side people, what communicates now is basically personal authenticity.'
That is Christlikeness. Let me give you another example. There was a Hindu professor in India who once identified one of his students as a Christian and said to him: 'If you Christians lived like Jesus Christ, India would be at your feet tomorrow.' I think India would be at their feet today if we Christians lived like Christ. From the Islamic world, the Reverend Iskandar Jadeed, a former Arab Muslim, has said 'If all Christians were Christians - that is, Christlike - there would be no more Islam today.'
That brings me to my third point - Christlikeness and the indwelling of the Spirit. I have spoken much tonight about Christlikeness but is it attainable? In our own strength it is clearly not attainable but God has given us his Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to change us from within. William Temple, Archbishop in the 1940s, used to illustrate this point from Shakespeare:
'It is no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it - I can't. And it is no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. Jesus could do it - I can't. But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like this. And if the Spirit could come into me, then I could live a life like His.'
So I conclude, as a brief summary of what we have tried to say to one another: God's purpose is to make us like Christ. God's way to make us like Christ is to fill us with his Spirit. In other words, it is a Trinitarian conclusion, concerning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
CLOSE – I Am the Good Shepherd
David Jones if the former president of John Stott Ministries and a good friend of mine. He’s on the line with us now. Thanks for joining me David as we talk the final day about Basic Christianity with John Stott. Your former boss felt a debt of gratitude for everything God had given Him through Christ. And that gratitude led him when he was alive to give away everything he owned. David, you and everyone around him called him “Uncle John”. Can you think of an example to share with us?
David Jones clip
Come Down, O Love Divine
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After 5 years Fernando Ortega teams up again with producer John Andrew Schreiner for his new album Come Down, O Love Divine.This lush album is complete with 14 songs and features a full choir ensemble to accompany Fernando's vocals and arrangements....
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Basic Christianity (Deluxe Edition)
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\"We must commit ourselves, heart and mind, soul and will, personally and unreservedly, to Jesus Christ. We must humble ourselves before him. We must trust him as our Savior and submit to him as our Lord; and then go on to take our place as loyal members of the church...
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