RESPONDING TO MATERIALISM

RESPONDING TO MATERIALISM

INTRODUCTION 

A. We live in a very materialistic society

1. As evidenced in our popular culture (music, TV, etc.) 

2. As expressed in the desire for an affluent lifestyle 

B. Materialism is dangerous foe to the Christian

1. The deceitfulness of riches can render the Christian fruitless… Matthew 13:22

2. The desire for riches can ensnare the Christian, leading him astray… 1 Timothy 6:9-10

C. What can we do as Christians, and as the church? Consider God’s use of Isaiah… 

1. Sent to a corrupt and materialistic society… Isaiah 1:21-23

2. Offering that which truly satisfies… Isaiah 55:1-3

D. Today, Jesus has a similar response, which we can offer to a world that is starving for what truly satisfies…

DISCUSSION

A. JESUS’ RESPONSE TO MATERIALISM

1. Exposes the Deficiency of Riches…

a. Many think of “the good life” in terms of material prosperity 

b. Jesus taught there is more to life than material possessions 

1) Man’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions… Luke 12:15 

2) As illustrated in the parable of the rich foo… Luke 12:16-21 

c. Jesus taught the insecurity of riches…Matthew 6:19-20 

1) They are susceptible to corruption 

2) They are open to theft 

d. Jesus taught the danger of riches… Matthew 6:21-24 

1) They can dominate our affections

2) They can blind us to the true light 

3) They can prevent us from being able to serve God 

e. Thus the message of Jesus is one of correcting our misconceptions; riches do not make one happy! 

2. Extends the Truly Abundant Life…

a. Jesus offers a life filled with peace… John 14:27 

1) Peace with God through justification… Romans 5:1-2 

2) Peace with man through reconciliation… Ephesians 2:14-16 

3) Peace with self through supplication… Philippians 4:6-7 

4) The peace Jesus offers “surpasses all understanding” … Philippians 4:7 

b. Jesus offers a life filled with love… John 15:9 

1) Love patterned after the Father’s love for the Son… John 15:9 

2) Love that can be fervent, yet pure between brethren… 1 Peter 1:22 

3) Love that can be extended even toward enemies… Matthew 5:43-45 

4) The love Jesus offers “passes knowledge” … Ephesians 3:9 

c. Jesus offers a life filled with joy… John 15:11

1) His commandments, His promises, all are designed to impart joy… John 15:11 

2) A joy that can abound in any circumstance… Philippians 2:17-18; 4:4; 1 Peter 1:6 

3) The joy Jesus offers is “inexpressible” … 1 Peter 1:8 

3. By offering such peace, love, and joy, perhaps we can appreciate why Jesus said He offers an “abundant” life… John 10:10 

4. To communicate this response to a materialistic society, Jesus calls upon His church. While it certainly entails proclaiming the gospel, let me suggest some additional thoughts about… 

B. OUR RESPONSE TO MATERIALISM 

1. Exemplify Jesus’ Response as Individuals…

a. As individuals we must possess the peace, love, and joy Jesus offers 

1) Which comes through heeding His words… John 15:10-11 

2) Which comes through spending time in prayer… Philippians 4:6-7 

3) If we fail to spend the time necessary in such activities, how convincing can we be that we have a more “abundant” life to offer?

b. As individuals we must not depend on material things for true happiness 

1) If poor, learn the secret of contentment… 1 Timothy 6:6-8; Philippians 4:11-13 

2) If rich, trust not in riches but be quick to help those in need… 1 Timothy 6:17-19 

3) Being content and willing to share goes a long way toward demonstrating that Jesus’ response to materialism really means something! 

2. Exemplify Jesus’ Response as A Congregation… 

a. The value of a congregational demonstration cannot be taken lightly 

1) Jesus stressed the value of brotherly love and unity – Jn 13:35; 17:20-21 

2) His church illustrated the value of congregational love and joy… Acts 2:46-47; 6:7 (in light of 6:1-6) 

b. We should make sure that our fellowship and worship demonstrates… 

1) The love we have found in Christ (e.g., by the way we greet one another) 

2) The joy of being Christians (e.g., by the way we praise God) 

3) The peace Jesus made possible (e.g., by the way we work together) 

c. We should be careful as a congregation not to fall into a materialistic trap 

1) By placing too much concern over such things as: 

a) The physical facilities in which we meet 

b) The physical appearances of the members or visitors 

2) Not that is wrong to have comfortable facilities or to look nice 

a) But that should not be our primary concern 

b) But not to the neglect of truly important matters (like saving souls)! 

3) Otherwise we could be guilty of being like the Laodiceans… Revelation 3:17 

a) Who thought they were “rich, wealthy, and have need of nothing” 

b) Who were unaware they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” 

CONCLUSION 

A. The rampant materialism in our society provides us with an opportunity…

1. For materialism leaves one in a state of spiritual malnutrition 

2. Therefore often ripe for the true feast Jesus has to offer 

B. What does Jesus offer?

1. Rest for a weary soul… Matthew 11:28-30 

2. Rivers of living water for a thirsty soul… John 7:37-39 

3. Which He provides through His cleansing blood and life-quickening Spirit… Acts 2:38-39 

C. But if those trapped in materialism are going to believe such is possible…

1. We need to make sure that we are offering the “abundant life” as a viable alternative 

2. Both individually and as a congregation of God’s people! 

D. Are we experiencing the peace that “surpasses all understanding,” the love which “passes knowledge,” and the joy that is “inexpressible”?

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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