Abiding in Christ Part 2

Context of Jesus’ Message

  • He was nearing the end of His life and was giving the disciples comfort/instructions…see John 13-14
  1. He loved them to the end.”13:1
    1. God’s love is not based off of your love. He loved us first! – John 3:16/1 Jn. 4:19
  2. He showed them how to have humility and serve13:4-17 (washing feet)
    • For us to abide in Christ we have to be broken to ourselves.
    • He must increase, but I must decrease.”John 3:30
  3. He called out the phony (Judas) 13:21-30
    1. Being a member of a local church and doing good things doesn’t mean you are a child of God!
  4. He looked beyond their past or present failures to still use them (Peter) 13:36-38
  5. He promised to return – 14:1-3 – If you are saved, He’s preparing a place for you!
  6. He is the only way – 14:4-6
  7. The Holy Spirit would comfort/abide forever – 14:15-18
  8. Because Jesus’ lives – we can live! – 14:19 and you can have a dynamic union with him – 12:20-21
    1. This is not talking about salvation, but experiencing the fullness and blessing of a relationship w/ Christ!
  9. He said that the disciples (and us) would do greater works than Him!!!? – 14:12
    • What does this mean? ____________________________

The Goal?

Accept Christ, and then spend the rest of your life experiencing the abundant life with Christ.  Know the power and peace of God in your life!

How do you do this?

Abiding in Christ

What does abiding mean?

“Continue to be present”
  • Being present is different than just being “around”.
  • Many marriages are stale because we do just the basics. Church can be stale if we do just the basics!  Being present = Being Engaged
  • “To allow Christ’s life to flow in and through us “

Deeper definition of abiding in Christ:

  1. I trust Him
  2. I persevere because of Him
  3. I obey Him
  4. I talk with Him
  5. I draw my strength from Him

The Reality:

You can’t do anything without Him!

My Commitment to spend time with God: _____________________________________________



Abiding in Christ Part 1

The last 4 messages:

  • Brokenness – being broken of our sin (7/1)
  • Breaking the critical spirit (7/8)
  • Broken because of love (7/15)
  • Focusing on what we have with God (7/29)

An old saying, changed

  • Everyone’s heard the old saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone!” Spiritually speaking I feel that phrase can be said differently in many believers’ lives, “We don’t know what we have right now with a God that says He will never leave us or forsake us!”
  • The truth is that there are extraordinary things to look forward to in the millennial kingdom and then an eternity in heaven after that, but we shouldn’t overlook what is available to us right now!

What we have right now

Actually, the list can be very long of what we have been given now by God, but focusing only on two things:

  1. We have been given access to God’s POWER
  2. We have been given access to God’s PEACE

But…it seems to me that many believers don’t fully utilize what we have been given!  It seems that many live defeated and depressed lives! How do we change that?

 

I am not talking about a “prosperity gospel” theology – I am talking about the benefits from

Abiding in Christ

!

 

John 15:1-17 – Abiding in Christ means to:

  1. Keep ourselves clean through the Word (3)
  2. Obey the commands of God (10)
    1. Jesus gave us the example of obedience when He obeyed the Father in all things
  3. Talk with God through prayer (7)
  4. To allow Christ’s life to flow in and through us

The Benefits of Abiding with Christ

  1. Bear much fruit for God (2-5)
  2. Answered prayers (7)
    1. As we want what God wants, He gives us those things (Psalm 37:4-5)
  3. A greater sense of God’s love (9-10)
  4. Joy (11)

A great truth: Without Christ’s work in our life (as well as the work of the Father and Holy Spirit) we can do nothing!

  • It is God working in us that we have access to His power and peace!

The meaning of verses 2 and 6

  • In light of…
    • John 5:24 – believing in God leads to no condemnation from God (i.e. John 3:15-18)
    • John 6:27-29 – the works of God = believe in Jesus!
    • John 10:22-30 – eternal life by believing
    • John 14:15-18 – Holy Spirit abides with you forever
    • Romans 8:39 – no separation from God
    • Hebrews 13:5 – God never leaves or forsakes us
    • Ephesians 2:4 – GOD’S GRACE/MERCY
    • John 15:16-17 – IT WAS JESUS WHO CHOSE/ORDAINED YOU in the first place
  • …I don’t believe that this means an unfruitful believer will go to hell but I do believe that a believer who lives in sin will be chastened by God (Hebrews 12) so that he will repent and have his fellowship with God restored. If he continues to live in sin, I believe that God will/can destroy the believers body but that his spirit will be saved in the day of judgment (1 Corinthians 5:5)!  THIS IS A FEARFUL THING NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY!!
  • God purges us so that we bear more fruit (15:1). He cleanses us with the Word (15:2).  I believed that we are “shelved by God” when we are not abiding in Christ (following God’s Word) but through our repentance He restores us.

END WITH FOR TODAY…

  • YOU ARE ORDAINED TO BRING FORTH FRUIT!
  • YOU NEED THE POWER OF GOD TO HELP YOU BRING FORTH FRUIT!
  • GOD GIVES YOU ACCESS TO THIS POWER AT SALVATION – Ephesians 1:15-23


Discontentment – An Enemy of Faith and Togetherness

1 John 2:15-17 Versus Mark 12:29-31

  • World’s way: (lust/greed)
    • Lust of flesh, Lust of eyes, and pride of life
  • God’s way: (contentment/satisfaction)
    • Love God with everything
    • Love others as you love yourself

Greed/discontentment

  • Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago: “There is no calamity greater than lavish desires, no greater guilt than discontentment and no greater disaster than greed.'” 
  • “Sociologist Robert Putnam reported in Bowling Alone (2000) that when American adults were asked in 1975 to identify the elements of “the good life,” 38 percent chose “a lot of money,” compared to 63 percent who chose “a lot of money” in 1996. Since then, from my experience, this focus on money has only increased. Both greed and fear make one more money-centric, and in recent years, it has become more socially acceptable to be greedy and increasingly commonplace to be financially insecure” – Bruce E. Levine, Alternet
  • “But in America, it’s never enough. In America, enough is never enough because we still always need more.” – Becca Martin’s article entitled, Living in America makes me greedy and hate myself.

God’s Take on this…

  • Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”Proverbs 27:20
  • “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 5:10

Is God enough?

  • Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10
    • We can’t take anything with us!
  • Read Philippians 4:11-13
    • We need to learn contentment because our natural impulse is dissatisfaction.
  • Read Psalm 17:15
  • Read Hebrews 13:5-6
    • God’s presence in our lives is of much greater value than most understand!
    • His promise of His presence should eliminate fear and give us contentment
    • Covetousness is pride based and deems us more worthy than others to have their “stuff”

Contentment and Togetherness – Hebrews 13:1-6

  • When God is your “all and all” it erases the devastation of self interest and promotes God first and others second – see Romans 12:1-18


Learning to Become a Man of God

Learning to not let fear dictate our lives
  • Saul tried to kill David (1 Samuel 18, 19, 24, 26)
  • Saul repents of this, but David didn’t believe him (1 Samuel 26:21-25) and runs to Gath, where the people hated him for killing Goliath (1 Sam 17)
    • Fear of man:
      • Leads you to make unwise decisions that simply don’t make sense
      • Leads you to become desperate
    • 1 John 4:18-19
      • God’s love is perfect
      • God’s love is the antidote to fear
      • God’s love gives you stability and victory in your life

Learning to resist the temptation to manipulate life

  • David deceives Achish (1 Samuel 27:8-12)
    • He manipulated (lied to) the king to get in his good graces.
    • Achish gave him land and safety, but expected David to be his slave
    • David’s fear and manipulation led to family tragedy (1 Samuel 30:1-5)
      • Read Psalms 128

Learning to hear from God?

  • Maybe the greatest need of every believer is to hear from God and the natural reaction should be to follow His leading!
  • It was because of Saul’s disobedience (1 Samuel 28:6,15-20) that God’s attention and blessing was turned away from Saul.
  • Disobedience can put you in a position where God’s fellowship is absent in your life ( 59:1-2) but through God’s mercy and your repentance (Ephesians 2:4) God can use you again
  • David, who was far from perfect, did hear from God (1 Samuel 30:7-8)
    • God’s children can hear from God, but the unsaved cannot – John 8:44-47
    • Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 – national repentance leads to God’s hearing. Personal repentance is needed as well

Learning to know what to fight for (1 Samuel 30:1-20)

  • David had some extreme pressures:
    • Loss of families (2-5)
    • Much weeping (4)
    • The people turned on David (6)
  • If you have similar pressures, or any pressure, be encouraged in the Lord today (6)
  • If you have family problems – fight for what is right! Fight for your family!  Fight with God’s help (18-19)


“Whose Faith Follow” Part 2

Hebrews 13:7-21 – “Those that have rule over you…”

  • Pastors/teachers should teach sound doctrine!
  • Pastors/teaches get us ready to take the gospel to the world
  • Pastors will give an account to God for what they teach/how they influence 
  • Pastors/teachers help in the process of helping you grow in the Lord!
  • Good pastors/teachers point us continually to God:
    • “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (13:20-21)
    • It is God that works in you what is well pleasing in His sight
    • It is God that completes what was begun in you until Jesus’ return – Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:1-11 – Good…but could be better.  Pastors/teachers/mentors can help

  • The church was already doing good things, but Paul’s desire that they would continue to grow… 
    • That their love would abound
    • That they would live excellent lives
    • That they would be authentic Christians
    • That they would seek forgiveness when they wrong others and that they would forgive those that wrong them
    • That they would confess and repent
    • That the fruits of righteousness would be easily seen
      • If you struggle to see a believer’s fruit – there is a problem!
      • Paul’s goal was to help them grow!

Philippians 1:12-30 – Paul teaches that having the right perspective helps much!

Know this:

  • Things happen for God’s glory and your good 
  • Our heart’s desire should be that God is glorified, and Christ is magnified 
  • Our life’s purpose should be to be used by God for His glory and others good
  • We should be of one mind together and work for the faith of the gospel 
  • Don’t fear man!
  • Believe and suffer for him!

 

Philippians 2:1-11 – Following Christ’s example

  • Having the right mindset promotes joy!
  • Don’t let petty differences separate you (us)!
  • Live in humility – be a servant!


“Whose Faith Follow”

“Whose Faith Follow” (Hebrews 13:7-9)

  • The role of a pastor is important to God because:
    • They are to teach sound doctrine
    • They watch over your souls and give an account to God for you
    • They can be young (1 Timothy 4:12) but has to meet the qualifications from 1 Timothy 3:1-7
    • This role is referred to as being a father in the faith…

1 Corinthians 4:14-17

  • Fathers in the faith (as well as mothers) are needed 
  • Paul to Timothy…”my son in the faith” – 2 Tim 1:2
  • Paul to Titus…”mine own son after the common faith” – Titus 1:4
  • Paul to PhilemonI beseech thee for my son Onesimus” – Philemon 1:10

Titus 2:1-10

  • Sound doctrine should be focused on!
  • Doctrine isn’t the only thing to be taught!
    • Having a proper heart attitude is important as well. The story of Jonah
  • The older in age/faith should teach the younger in all areas of life!
  • By doing life together “showing thyself a pattern of good works
    • What’s your pattern of normal living?
    • What’s your pattern during crisis?
    • Do our kids pick up our patterns?

2 Timothy 3:10-17

  • Timothy “hast fully known Paul’s doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, etc…”
  • Paul to Timothy: do what you have learned 
    • Reference Philippians 4:8-9
    • He learned faith from his mom/grandmother 2 Timothy 1:5

 

1 Timothy 4:1-16

  • REMEMBER what you have been taught (sound doctrine)
  • Don’t let anyone STOP YOU from doing what you have been taught
  • CONTINUE preaching/living the truth! 
  • Pastors/leaders/mentors – STIR UP to memory GOD THINGS to those around you! – 2 Peter 1:12-13

 

Psalm 1:1-6 – Good things to teach 

  • Real happiness comes from following God 
  • Death is the end of the ungodly, Life for the godly
  • Following God leads to real prosperity


Togetherness Part 2

Before Christ and after Christ – Ephesians 2:11-22

  • You had no hope/were far off from God (11-12)
  • Through Christ Jesus’ blood you are brought close to God (13)
  • Christ broke down barriers so that all can be part of the family of God (14-17)
  • Through Jesus we have access to the Father by the Spirit (18)
  • The church:
    • Christ is the chief cornerstone
    • The apostles are the foundation
    • We are with the saints and the household of God to make the habitation of God

The sacrifice of Jesus – Hebrews 10:1-19

  • The OT sacrifices can not take way our sins (4)
  • Jesus offered the 1 sacrifice needed to pay for the penalty of sins (12) = Himself
  • Jesus’ offering perfected forever all those who are sanctified (14), believers are sanctified (10)
  • Since we have been sanctified, we can come boldly before God (19)

“Let us” – Commands for the church

  • Read Hebrews 10:19-25 – “Let us” = the church:
    • Draw near to God and each other so that we can hear from God. Along with forgiveness, hearing from God is most likely our greatest need!
    • Don’t Waiver in your faith
    • Consider one another. “Consider” = to observe fully, or perceive
    • To provoke to love and good works. “Provoke” means to incite for the good
    • Don’t hold out your presence from church
  • So much the more as you see the day approaching!
    • As we get closer and closer to Jesus’ return, we are commanded to come together more often

Read Ephesians 4:1-6

  • With humility and longsuffering we are to forbear one another in love
  • Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and there is oneness in the body

Read Ephesians 4:11-16

  • God established pastors and teachers to teach the church to have unity in the faith, soundness in doctrine so that we are solid in our faith
  • Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 – it is Christ that brings us together!

Read Psalm 133 – Unity

  • “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1

Hindrances to Unity? – Read Ephesians 4:25-32



Togetherness Part 1

God’s people have always been abused!
OT Saints
  • Read Hebrews 11:32-40

The Apostle Paul

  • 2 Corinthians 11:23-33
  • Read 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

The Early Church

  • 1 Peter 4:12-19

 

Yet, the early church had a sense of togetherness

  • Read Acts 2:41-47
  • Persecution doesn’t destroy the church – it increases it!
  • What drew the early church together?
    • A Great Savior
      • The people were gladly baptized (showing their new found life of faith in Jesus Christ)
    • A common devotion
      • A devotion to Christ
      • A devotion to the apostles
      • A devotion to each other
        • There was gladness and unity within the early church

The growing trend of anti-Christian bias today

  • GQ article – 21 books you shouldn’t read
    • The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who haveread it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned”
    • Sententious = judgmental or critical
  • California Assembly Bill 2943
  • Check out antichrist.news for more stories of persecution of Christians

Why the hate for Christ, the Bible and Christians?

  • Read John 15:18-21
    • The world does not know God
    • There is a good reason why we shouldn’t be unequally yoked2 Cor. 6:14-18

What to do?

  • Read Philippians 1:12-30
  • Stand fast TOGETHER
  • TOGETHER have the same mind
    • Worship of Christ and following the Spirit/ Word of God
  • Strive TOGETHER for the faith
    • Not striving against each other
  • Don’t fear what man can do to you

Be ready to suffer for Jesus



Mother’s Day

God’s Forgiveness
  • All sin is forgiven, past, present and future – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:7-9
  • God is ready to forgive – “For thou, O Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” – Psalm 86:5
  • God’s forgiveness is wide – The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: Neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:8-12
  • God is rich in Mercy – “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 2:4

Why do we bring up forgiveness on Mothers Day?

  • Because maybe, you need to give yourself a break if you don’t think that you are or have been the greatest mother! If you have done wrong confess to God and to others.  But, you are most likely a better mom than you think.
  • Your greatest enemy, the devil, wants you to live in regret, worry and guilt
    • Don’t get caught up in the mental snowball of “what if I would have done things differently”
  • Your 2nd greatest enemy, oftentimes is your own self, buys into the lies of the devil

Where to go from here?

  • Don’t stress trying to be perfect! – Mark 7:32-37
    • “Well” means “excellently, nobly, commendably”.
    • Don’t’ stress under the “pressure” of Proverbs 31:10-31
  • Trust God – Proverbs 3:5-6
    • Worry is the opposite of faith – rest in God
  • Wait on God – Psalm 27:14
    • There is great value in patience
  • Honor your parents – Ephesians 6:2


Togetherness Part 2

Before Christ and after Christ – Ephesians 2:11-22
  • You had no hope/were far off from God (11-12)
  • Through Christ Jesus’ blood you are brought close to God (13)
  • Christ broke down barriers so that all can be part of the family of God (14-17)
  • Through Jesus we have access to the Father by the Spirit (18)
  • The church:
    • Christ is the chief cornerstone
    • The apostles are the foundation
    • We are with the saints and the household of God to make the habitation of God

The sacrifice of Jesus – Hebrews 10:1-19

  • The OT sacrifices can not take way our sins (4)
  • Jesus offered the 1 sacrifice needed to pay for the penalty of sins (12) = Himself
  • Jesus’ offering perfected forever all those who are sanctified (14), believers are sanctified (10)
  • Since we have been sanctified, we can come boldly before God (19)

“Let us” – Commands for the church

  • Read Hebrews 10:19-25 – “Let us” = the church:
    • Draw near to God and each other so that we can hear from God. Along with forgiveness, hearing from God is most likely our greatest need!
    • Don’t Waiver in your faith
    • Consider one another. “Consider” = to observe fully, or perceive
    • To provoke to love and good works. “Provoke” means to incite for the good
    • Don’t hold out your presence from church
  • So much the more as you see the day approaching!
    • As we get closer and closer to Jesus’ return, we are commanded to come together more often

Read Ephesians 4:1-6

  • With humility and longsuffering we are to forbear one another in love
  • Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and there is oneness in the body

Read Ephesians 4:11-16

  • God established pastors and teachers to teach the church to have unity in the faith, soundness in doctrine so that we are solid in our faith
  • Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 – it is Christ that brings us together!

Read Psalm 133 – Unity

  • “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1

Hindrances to Unity? – Read Ephesians 4:25-32