To finish up this week, the theme we’ve been discussing is that due to sin entering the human race, everyone, deep down inside, wants to be his or her own god. Meanwhile, sin is a perpetual trap and the lost don’t realize they are really serving it and its king, Satan. Likewise, the redeemed of the Lord are no longer bound to sin, though it is still fighting inside. Both cases require the inworking of the Holy Spirit.
Remember Dr. David Mackereth’s story Sunday, and how he was fired from his hospital because he wouldn’t recognize a 6’ tall bearded man as a woman? Remember how the judge ruled that what the Bible says about people, about gender, is “incompatible with human dignity”? Essentially that man is god, and God is not?
You see this same attitude in most of atheistic evolution which seeks to eliminate even the concept of God since no atheistic scientist wants any moral agent to restrict human beings, to limit them, and to hold them accountable for sin. No atheist wants God since that would disrupt their self-deification and power (sounds like The Lord of the Ringswhich accurately described “the race of men, who above all else desire power”).
All false religions, philosophies, races of people, and versions of Christianity are in this same vein, worshipping oneself, seeking to exalt oneself, or even trying to earn salvation—always apart from God, always to benefit oneself and build up one’s internal pride.
Christian, you and I are in a daily struggle to submit ourselves to God and let Him be on the throne of our lives. Oh, He is on the throne in Heaven, but we are to volitionally bow to Him and not try to compete for His authority or rule. For our church to function holistically, and be blessed by God, one of the great foundational truths that it must follow is that of true humility.
- Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
- Philippians 2:10-11 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- I. Timothy 6:14-15 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
- We all have our areas of pride and self-exaltation. I don’t think any of us realize how anti-Christian pride is. For us to be a church focused on the Primacy of Jesus, it will require us to be a church that stops worshipping ourselves. It’s not just the other guy, but it’s you, it’s me. Each of us must confront our inner fleshly desire to share and even usurp God’s glory.
- John 15:1-17 1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17This I command you, that you love one another.”
- Abiding in Christ alludes most all of us because it requires intentional commitment:
- To reading His Word.
- To reading His Word without bringing any prior biases or points of view to the text (often called “eisegesis”).
- To praying in the Spirit.
- To being filled by the Spirit.
- To saying, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
- To desiring to be in perfect unity with Jesus.
- To slaying our sin at the cross and giving up any claim to our own importance, “rights”, and self-appointed significance.
- According to this passage, what should the result of our lives be when we are abiding in Christ? ___________________________________________________
- What other evidence of our truly loving Christ will be evident in our lives? ___________________________________________________
- Verse 7 discusses how when our will is submitted to Christ, we will desire those things that will honor Him and He will give us those things.
- What are some things you desire from God? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Would you say that these are things in His will? Why or why not? ______________________________________________________________________________________________
- Discuss what Jesus says about the resulting joy in our lives: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Reviewing verses 12-17, the unity of the body of Christ is discussed. Reflect on this: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Lastly, notice how much Jesus loved us in verses 12-17, and think about how this interrelates with His command to love one another: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dear church family, we are in the battle together, and we must love each other and support each other as we fight the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life which are being influenced by the world, the flesh, and the Devil. All of these things are pulling at you trying to get you to quit, to think about yourself and your “needs”, and to dethrone Christ. Let us encourage each other, pray for each other, and be unified with each other as we submit to Christ and abide in Him.