Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
The gospel of Jesus Christ transcends cultural and socioeconomic differences. Here we have three examples of conversions in Philippi: of the religious, the oppressed, and the secular. The gospel is presented through rational discourse, a power encounter, and through practical embodiment of a gospel-changed life. The message of Christ liberates and transforms lives, and unites people who once had nothing in common into one family.
Many recoil at the thought of being called to reside in a large city. Jonah felt the same way when God asked him to go to Nineveh, and he made every attempt and excuse to avoid the great city. Like Jonah, we may see crime, pollution, greed, and moral decay as deterrents to living in a city; but in God's eyes its peoples are precious, and his grace and mercy are available to all. Once we glimpse the heavenly eternal city, the city of God, we will share God’s view of the lost and will be able reach out in charity and love to a broken world.
Jeremiah told the Jewish exiles in Babylon to seek the peace and prosperity of the city they found themselves in. Like New York, it was an enormous, intimidating city with diverse populations that espoused a variety of values and morals. However, God empowers Christians to relate and respond in love to all people, without either assimilating too much to the culture around us or separating ourselves through tribalism. As citizens of both the city of man and the city of God, we work on the principles of peace and grace for the betterment of all.