Listen to this Sermon: 10072012GoodThingsAboutBeingAChristianDonRuhl

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Good Things about Being a Christian

We know the bad things about not being a Christian, but what are the good things about being one?

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 7, In the year of our Lord, 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Jerry Thomas – First John 3.1–3


  1. We know the bad things about not being a Christian, but what are the good things about being one? 


  1. Going to Heaven 
    1. When you learn about heaven and hell, and
      1. how long each one lasts,
      2. it is not a hard decision to make.
    2. Consider three wonderful things in heaven:
      1. God celebrating us with gladness, love, and singing (Zep 3.17).
      2. Jesus serving us (Luke 12.37).
      3. God wiping away our tears (Rev 7.17; 21.4).
  2. Being a Member of the Church 
    1. What it is like to be a member of the church?
    2. Mark 10 pictures it for me,

      28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 39 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10.28–30).

      1. Wherever I go, I have instant family, and get treated as family.
      2. You soon discover connections that you never knew you had.
        1. In Southern California, Kerri and I were friends with Steve and Cheryl Orduno, through whom we met Mark and Sherry Forester.
        2. Kerri had known Sherry’s brother in Longmont, Colorado,
          1. who was here last week, but
          2. Kerri never knew of Sherry and Rob’s connection, because of Sherry’s married name.
        3. We come here and discover that Chris Dato is the Forester’s nephew.
        4. Years later Steve Orduno baptized Nathan House.
    3. The help I received for replacing the lost income of my kidney donor.
  3. Prayer 
    1. Can you name me a greater spiritual blessing?
    2. Psalm 34 will get a nod from those who have been in despair,
      1. not knowing what to do, and
      2. and not having the power to fix the problem.

        4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me,
        And delivered me from all my fears.
        6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him,
        And saved him out of all his troubles.
        (Psa 34.4, 6).
    3. When everything else and everyone else fails,
      1. God never does, and
      2. we can gain peace from Him.
    4. There is great comfort in being able to talk to God.
      1. Abraham Lincoln wrote to Major General Daniel V. Sickles after the battle of Gettysburg, describing what Christians think in regard to prayer,“I went to my room and got down on my knees in prayer. Never before had I prayed with so much earnestness. I wish I could repeat my prayer. I felt that I must put all my trust in Almighty God. He gave our people the best country ever given to men. He alone could save it from destruction.”
      2. Your battle of Gettysburg
        1. may have been a sick relative,
        2. a wayward loved one, or
        3. someone who despises you.
          1. How did you pray?
          2. You know how Lincoln prayed.
    5. Prayer is like those times when you held your crying in,
      1. till suddenly the moment was so strong, and
      2. you burst forth in tears.
        1. We work, strive, and worry,
        2. till finally we drop heads,
          1. fall to our knees, and
          2. the fountain of our souls gushes forth.
  4. Freedom from Sin and Guilt 
    1. Psalm 32 shows the sting of guilt, and blessedness of forgiveness,

      1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
      Whose sin is covered.
      2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
      And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
      3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old
      Through my groaning all the day long.
      4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
      My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
      5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
      And my iniquity I have not hidden.
      I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
      And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
      (Psa 32.1–5)
  5. Being Called a Child of God 
    1. First John 3:1

      1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him (1 Joh. 3:1).
    2. Before we are children of God we are children of the devil.
    3. Yet, God in His love still invited us into His family!
      1. Are there people you despise, because
      2. they are contrary to your family?
        1. Would you invite them into your family?
        2. God did!
  6. You Have Been Salvaged 
    1. The English words “salvation” and “salvage” come from French.
      1. When we salvage something
      2. we save it from destruction and uselessness.
    2. We ruined ourselves by sin and corruption.
      1. Ephesians chapter 2 is an apt picture of what most of us used to be.

        1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others (Eph 2.1–3).
      2. Titus chapter 3 paints a good picture of
        1. that from which we came, and
        2. from which we continue to struggle and to leave.

          3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another (Tts 3.3).
      3. But God salvaged us, saving us from the eternal dump of hell.
    3. Now we are new creatures.

      17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2Co 5.17).
  7. Enjoying God 
    1. When you enjoy God you enjoy everything about Him.
      1. Do you think about just enjoying God?
      2. He is your highest joy and your greatest delight.
    2. Who was ever sad enjoying God?
    3. Let enjoyment of God be the major focus of your life.

      8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good…
      (Psa 34.8)
      7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
      Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
      They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
      And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
      For with You is the fountain of life;
      In Your light we see light.
      (Psa 36.7–9)

      4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
      And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
      5 Commit your way to the LORD,
      Trust also in Him,
      And He shall bring it to pass.
      (Psa 37.4, 5)

    4. Life comes from God, so that when you enjoy God you enjoy your life.


  1. And What More Shall I Say? 
    1. For the time would fail me to tell of
      1. living in grace,
      2. taking in mercy,
      3. enjoying peace,
      4. being adopted by Jesus Christ,
      5. finding God’s wisdom,
      6. walking in the Holy Spirit, because
        1. God has provided
        2. the best things for us.
  2. Are you ready to become a Christian?