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Take Me Out to the Ballgame - Sunday, May 13th, 2007

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

In last night’s evening worship service, Bill Glass expressed the Christian life as a baseball diamond. I know, some of you are thinking, “Cheesy, and hokey.” But after hearing the whole analogy, it provided a great visual to remember. He started off by saying all of us can get to FIRST BASE by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. By faith alone we can get on base. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Like it says in this passage, good works won’t get us to first base. Just simply believing in Jesus Christ will grant us into heaven.

And then to get to SECOND BASE, we must be a part of a local congregation. I know, some of you are now saying, “But you just said that good works won’t get you heaven. Why do we need to go to church?” Because as Bill Glass expressed, “Please tell me the last time you saw a mature Christian not going to church?” You won’t find them. Why? Because as Christians we are to disciple one another, we are to encourage one another, we are to love one another, we are to have fellowship with one another. And you can’t experience and know these scenarios required of us in the Christian life, if we function alone. Look at the life of the First Century Church. Acts 2:42 it says, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Being part of a local body of Christ allows each one of us to further develop our walk with the Lord. We must surround ourselves with other believers. But a major problem overlooked is many people skip FIRST BASE and go directly go SECOND BASE. Some of you might be saying, “That is strange. Why would a person go to church, if they don’t believe in Jesus?” Well, I agree, why would someone go to church if they don’t believe in Jesus? Because for many people, going to church is a culture thing. It is the proper thing to do. But that doesn’t mean that people have a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t mean that they understand and live out having a relationship with Jesus.

The reality is, if we truly believed in Jesus Christ, then our lives would show it. That is what will get us to THIRD BASE. We will want to serve others. We will want to help those in need. We won’t just be focused on ourselves and our wants. Rather, we will be sacrificially giving our lives for the sake of Christ. This might mean overcoming the fear of what others think, and sharing Jesus to others. Honestly, when is the last time you attempted to share the Gospel to someone else? When is the last time you went out of your way to help another person? The Christian life is not meant for us to live comfortably behind the walls of our house or apartment. On the contrary, our faith in Christ must be exemplified through our actions. This isn’t the reason or means we get to heaven. Oh no, but it does show we are living out our faith in Jesus. The author James wrote, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Finally, HOME PLATE is the end result. HOME PLATE is our ultimate destination. When we reach this plate, the temporal journey is complete, and the eternal state begins. So how do we get to this point? Remember the classic verse that is plastered all over stadiums and televisions? Remember FIRST PLATE? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Therefore, if you and I believe in Jesus Christ, and that He died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, then we too shall reach HOME PLATE.
- klm

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan