What it means to be a Christian

06 January 2019


Bradley Mawer

Happy New Year

Last Week Pastor Andrew’s sermon was a wonderful reminder about God being good and how we are saved by God’s grace and mercy.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23

主の恵みは決してなくなることがない、ということです。私たちが滅亡し
なかったのは、主の恵みによります。神の真実は限りなく、その恵みは朝 ごとに新しくなります。

哀歌 3:22-23

As we look to the New Year, I’m sure all of us have goals or resolutions that we want to accomplish this year. Would anyone like to share with us what some of their goals might be for this year. I’d like to lose my six-pack and probably come down to a 12-pack!
As Christians, we know that we have been saved by God’s grace. We know that God is in control of our lives and that nothing happens without his knowledge. We have made the conscious decision to allow Jesus into our hearts and through prayers and worship we try our very best to give Glory to God in all that we do. Well, at least that’s what we should all be trying to do.
The start of the New Year is the perfect time to review what being a Christian means:

  1. You are forgiven

This means that nothing in your past has a hold over you now. Its been wiped clean. The cross is a testament to that.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:13-14

あなたがたは、以前は罪の中で死んでいましたが、神は、そんなあなたが たをキリストと共に生かしてくださいました。それは、すべての罪を赦し、さだめ しるさ れ て しょうしょ ぬ り 神の定めに違反したことが記されているあなたがたに不利な証書を、塗りつぶしてしまわれたからです。この罪の証書は、キリストの十字架と共に くぎづけ釘づけにされて無効となったのです。

コロサイ人への手紙 2:13-14

  1. You are now a Child of God

Many people often struggle with identity. I do. Who am I? What defines me? Is it my nationality? Is it my name? Is it the color of my skin? Is the langauge I speak? All fo these things don’t matter when we understand that God has reconciled us to him and we can now call ourselves children of God. What an honor that is!

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

John 1:12

この方を心から喜び迎えたのは、ほんのわずかな人たちだけでしたが、受け入れた人はみな、この方から神の子どもとなる特権をいただきました。それ すくってにはただ、この方が救ってくださると信じればよかったのです。

ヨハネの福音書 1:12

  1. You have new Life because Christ dwells within you

In my first sermon at this church I spoke about a painting of Jesus standing at the door and knocking. I hope that we have all let him in. The Christian Life is about allowing Jesus into your heart and letting him take control of every aspect of your life. This can be done through prayer and fellowship and listening to the Holy Spirit.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

私はキリストと共に十字架につけられました。もはや、私自身が生きてい るのではありません。キリストが、私のうちに生きておられるのです。私の ためにご自身をささげてくださった神の御子を信じた結果、今、私のうちに はほんとうのいのちが与えられています。

ガラテヤ人への手紙 2:20

  1. You have eternal life

Death no longer has its grip over your life. You needn’t fear death and you needn’t fear this life. God has given you eternal life. Do all you can in this life to enjoy the fruits of eternal life. When you think about the fact that as Christians we have eternal life waiting for us, the fear of disease, the fear of death no longer has control over us. We can live each day to the fullest because we look ahead to eternal life.

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5:11-13

神の言われたこととは、神が私たちに永遠のいのちを与えてくださったこと、そして、永遠のいのちが神の御子のうちにあるということです。 そういうわけで、神の子を信じる人にはいのちがあり、信じない人にはいのちがないのです。
すでに神の御子を信じているあなたがたにこのように書き送るのは、あなたがたが永遠のいのちを持っていることを、よく自覚してもらいたいからで す。

ヨハネの手紙I 5:11-13

  1. We are forgiven
    私たちの罪が赦されている
  2. We are children of God
    私たちは神の子です
  3. We have New Life because Chirst dwells in us
    イエスさまが私たちのうちに生きておられる
  4. We have eternal Life
    私たちは永遠の命を持っている

However even though we know and understand the treasure and joy that leading a Christian life brings, we still struggle with stress, worry and anxiety. That sounds like a contradiction to me. So, why does this happen? Why are we so apt to worry and stress even though we know that God is good and that God is in control.
The answer is simple- it’s because we are human and as a result we tend to rely more on ourselves and those around us and less on God. God says in his word, never will I leave you nor will I forsake you.
So, as you set your goals for the New Year, know that God wants to give you the desires of your heart but in seeking those desires, don’t lose sight of what is truly important.



But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33
神を第一とし、神が望まれるとおりの生活をしなさい。そうすれば、必要な ものは、神が与えてくださいます。
マタイの福音書 6:33

To conclude the message today – Are any of you familair with the Poem titled ‘Footprints’? It’s a wonderful poem and for the benefit of those who are not familiar with it, I’d like to share it with all of you. The words will come up on the screen so you can follow in Japanese as well.


FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND
砂の上の足跡

One night a man had a dream.
ある晩、男が夢をみていた。
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
夢の中で彼は、神と並んで浜辺を歩いているのだった。
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
そして空の向こうには、彼のこれまでの人生が映し出されては消えていった。
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.
どの場面でも、砂の上にはふたりの足跡が残されていた。 ひとつは彼自身のもの、もうひとつは神のものだった。
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
人生のつい先ほどの場面が目の前から消えていくと、彼はふりかえり、砂の上の足跡を眺めた。
He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
すると彼の人生の道程には、ひとりの足跡しか残っていない場所が、いくつもあるのだった。
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.
しかもそれは、彼の人生の中でも、特につらく、悲しいときに起きているの だった。
This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it.
すっかり悩んでしまった彼は、神にそのことをたずねてみた。
“LORD, You said that once I decided to follow you, You would walk with me all the way.
「神よ、私があなたに従って生きると決めたとき、あなたはずっと私とともに歩いてくださるとおっしゃられた。
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there is only one set of footprints.
しかし、私の人生のもっとも困難なときには、いつもひとりの足跡しか残っていないではありませんか。
I don’t understand why when I needed You most You would leave me.”
私が一番にあなたを必要としたときに、なぜあなたは私を見捨てられたのですか」
The LORD replied, “My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you.
神は答えられた。 「わが子よ。 私の大切な子供よ。 私はあなたを愛している。 私はあなたを見捨てはしない。
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
あなたの試練と苦しみのときに、ひとりの足跡しか残されていないのは、その時はわたしがあなたを背負って歩いていたのだ」

Friends, as Christians the greatest strength we can have is from knowing that God is a God of mercy and grace. No matter who we are or where we’ve come from or what we’ve done and why we are here, we are a part of God’s plan. So, once you have given your life to Jesus and have decided to follow him, you can take full confidence from the fact that your wishes and your dreams and your goals can and will be achieved if you seek first his kingdom.