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Relationship With God

 

Adoption

A new mother stayed with her parents for several days after the birth of her first child. One afternoon she remarked to her mother that it was surprising the baby had dark hair, since both her husband and she were fair. The grandmother said, “Well, your daddy has black hair.” To which the daughter replied, “But, Mama, that doesn’t matter, because I’m adopted.” With an embarrassed smile, that mother said the most wonderful words her daughter had ever heard: “I always forget.”

            All Christians are adopted children of God who are accepted by god with the same unconditional love that this mother had for her daughter. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Blasphemy

            “Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler, but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat,” wrote Julian Huxley. He also wrote, “For my own part, the sense of spiritual relief that comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous.”――Religion Without Revelation

 

Defiance Toward God

Invictus

        Out of the night that covers me,

        Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

        I thank whatever gods may be

        For my unconquerable soul.

        In the fell clutch of circumstance

        I have not winced nor cried aloud.

        Under the bludgeonings of chance

        My head is bloody, but unbowed.

        Beyond this place of wrath and tears

        Looms but the Horror of the shade,

        And yet the menace of the years

        Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

        It matters not how strait the gate,

        How charged with punishment the scroll,

        I am the master of my fate:

        I am the captain of my soul.

── William E. Henley

 

Christ the Lord

An unknown author wrote, "I asked a student what things he desired most.  He said, 'Books.'  I asked a miser; he cried, 'Money.'  I asked a beggar; he faintly said, 'Bread.'  I asked a drunkard; and he called only for alcohol.  I asked the multitude around me; they lifted up a confused cry in which I heard the words, 'Wealth, fame, and pleasure!"

   "Finally I asked a poor man who had long displayed the character of an experienced Christian.  He replied, 'I greatly desire three things:  first, that I be found in Christ; second that I may be like Christ; third, that I may be with Christ.'"  His deepest aspirations centered on Christ alone. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

AN ILLUSTRATION OF GRACE.

MATTHEW  21:1-7.

As the lord needed the colt upon which He rode into Jerusalem, so He needs every sinner. “ Not a very complimentary simile to compare us to an ass!” says one. We often find that man is compared to animals in the Scriptures. He is compared to a sow for uncleanness (2 Peter 2:22), to a sheep for stupidity (Isaiah 53:6), to a dog as an object of contempt (Matt.15:26), and to an ass for his wildness and willfulness (Job 11:12). I am, therefore, warranted in taking the ass as illustrating the condition the sinner is in, and what the Lord is willing to do for him.

. As the ass was “ tied” (verse 2), so the sinner is under the bondage of sin (Gal.3:22).

. As the ass was “ without” (Mark 11:4)—not in a comfortable stable—so the sinner is without the blessings of the covenant (Eph.2:12).

. As the ass was in a place where two ways met (Mark 11:4), so the sinner is where two paths are found in this life—the broad and the narrow way (Matt.7:13).

. As the colt had never been ridden on, therefore, had been of no use (verse 2), so the sinner is useless to God, for they who are in the flesh cannot please Him (Rom.8:8).

. As the colt was known by Christ before it was brought to Him (verse 2), and He directed where and how it would be found; so Christ knew us before we knew Him, and He gives in detail our natural character in Rom.3

. As the colt was loosed by a power outside itself (verse 2), so the grace of God is the only power that can free us from the consequence and control of sin (Eph.2:5)

.  As the colt was brought to Christ ( verse 7), so the Holy Spirit is the Power that leads us to the Lamb of God, who takes away our sin (Acts 26:18).

. As the colt was used by Christ (verse 7), so those who are brought to Christ are used by Him (Col 1:29).

. As the colt was needed by Christ (verse 3), so He needs all His people to carry out His purpose, even as the head needs the members of the body to accomplish its will (1. Cor.12:12).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

BELIEVERS ’  ATTITUDES RELATIONS TO  CHRIST.

. Walking with Him, as the two disciples to Emmaus (Luke 24:15), is revelation.

. Talking with Him, as Moses and Elias did on the mount of transfiguration (Luke 9:30), is fellowship.

. Listening to Him, as Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:39), is instruction.

. Abiding with Him, as the two disciples mentioned in John 1:39, is joy.

. Living with Him, as the disciples of John, is oneness (Jno.1:39).

. Waiting upon Him, as the early Christians, is power (Acts 4:31).

. Watching for Him, as the people were waiting for Christ, is expectancy ( Luke 8:40).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

BELIEVERS HAVE A COMMON INTEREST IN CHRIST.

. Partakers from Him of one common life. “Quickened us together with Christ” (Eph.2:5).

. In Him they have a common interest in His atonement. “ In whom we have redemption ” ( Col.1:14).

. Saved in Him by a common salvation. “ To write unto you of the common salvation” (Jude 3).

. Related through Him to one common Father. “ All the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:26).

. Sheep by Him in one common flock. “ There shall be one flock” (John 10:16,R.V.).

. Stones on Him in one beautiful and common temple. “ Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house” (1.Peter 2:5).

. Branches in Him as partaking of a common life.  “Vine, ye are the branches” (John 15:5).

. Sharers with Him of one common glory.  “Be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory” (John 17:24).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 
Belonging To The Lord
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. In our previous lesson, we began this series...
   a. Asking what is the significance of being a Christian
   b. Starting with the idea that a Christian is "A Person Reborn"
 
2. We noted that a Christian is a person reborn because in Christ...
   a. They are a new creation - 2 Co 5:17
   b. They have been born again - 1 Pe 1:22-23
   c. They now have a new loyalty:  to serve Jesus Christ - Ga 2:20
 
3. We begin this lesson by noting Paul's comments to the Corinthians...
   a. As recorded in 1 Co 6:19-20
   b. In which he challenged their thinking by asking "Do you not 
      know...you are not your own?"
   c. The Christian needs to understand that he or she has been "bought 
      at a price" and consequently is a person "Belonging To The Lord"
 
["Belonging to the Lord" has many connotations attached to it.  One is
that a Christian is...]
 
I. GOD'S SPECIAL PERSON
 
   A. CHRISTIANS ARE NOW GOD'S OWN SPECIAL PEOPLE...
      1. Note how Peter describes them in 1 Pe 2:9-10
         a. "a chosen generation"
         b. "a royal priesthood"
         c. "a holy nation"
         d. "His own special people"
      2. These are terms that were once reserved for the physical 
         nation of Israel
         a. The Lord had chosen them - Deu 10:15
         b. He made them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation - Exo 
            19:5
         c. Thus they  had become a special people above all other 
            nations - Deu 7:6
      -- What had once been limited to physical Israel, is now possible
         to all people who are in Christ, as promised to Abraham - cf.
         Ga 3:8-9,28-29
 
   B. A SPECIAL PEOPLE, WITH SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES...
      1. To proclaim the praises of God - 1 Pe 2:9-10
         a. Because He called us out of darkness into His marvelous 
            light
         b. Because He showed mercy, and made us the people of God
      2. To grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - 2 Pe 1:8-11
         a. To make our calling and election (as God's people) sure
         b. To have an abundance entrance into the everlasting kingdom
      -- From the example of physical Israel, let us beware of becoming
         hardened and not lose faith, or we may not enter the heavenly 
         rest that awaits us! - He 3:12-4:2,11
 
[A Christian is truly "a special person" because he belongs to the 
Lord.  He can rejoice in knowing that he is one of God's "beloved" (Ro 
1:7).  God's love for the Christian is made even more evident when we 
note that he is also...]
 
II. GOD'S BELOVED CHILD
 
   A. CHRISTIANS ARE BLESSED TO BE CHILDREN OF GOD...
      1. In one sense, all people are God's children - Ac 17:26-29
      2. In another sense, many do not have God as their Father 
         - Jn 8:42-44
      3. Yet Christians are the children of God in a very special way
         a. Because of their faith, and having put on Christ in baptism
            - Ga 3:26-27
         b. Redeemed and adopted by God, they have received His Spirit 
            into their hearts 
            - Ga 4:4-6
         c. Because we do the Father's will, Jesus considers us His 
            family - Mt 12:48-50
      -- Christians should be touched by this expression of God's love 
         - 1 Jn 3:1-2
 
   B. AS GOD'S CHILDREN, WE HAVE BLESSINGS AND RESPONSIBILITIES...
      1. We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ - Ga 4:7; Ro
         8:16-17
         a. For we are heirs according to the promise of God - Ga 3:29
         b. It is an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, that
            does not fade, and is reserved for us in heaven - 1 Pe 1:4
      2. As heirs, we have many responsibilities, including:
         a. Being thankful for the inheritance we have - Co 1:12
         b. Abstaining from the works of the flesh - Ga 5:19-21
         c. Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord - 2 Co 6:17-7:1
      -- If we wish to receive the promised blessings, we need to
         patiently carry out our responsibilities with an enduring 
         faith - He 10:35-39
 
[Besides being God's special person and God's child, a Christian who 
"belongs to the Lord" also has a special relationship to the world in 
which he or she lives...]
 
III. GOD'S HEAVENLY PILGRIM
 
   A. CHRISTIANS ARE IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF THE WORLD...
      1. As Jesus mentioned in His prayer for His disciples - Jn 17:
         15-16
      2. Like Abraham, a Christian is a sojourner, a pilgrim - He 
         11:13; 13:14; 1 Pe 1:1
      3. We are fellow citizens with members of God's family - Ep 2:19
      -- As such, our true citizenship lies in heaven, not here on 
         earth - Ph 3:20
 
   B. AS GOD'S PILGRIMS, WE HAVE SEVERAL OBLIGATIONS...
      1. To conduct our sojourn on earth with fear - 1 Pe 1:17
      2. To abstain from worldly lusts - 1 Pe 2:11; 1 Jn 2:15-17
      3. To keep our conduct honorable, filled with good works - 1 Pe 
         2:12
      4. To obey the laws, and respect the leaders, of the countries in
         which we sojourn - 1 Pe 2:13-17
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. We have seen that a Christian is a person who "belongs to the Lord",
   one who is...
   a. God's special person
   b. God's child
   c. God's pilgrim
 
2. The more we understand the significance of such privileges...
   a. We ought to be filled with gratitude and humility
   b. We ought to be moved to be the kind of people God intended
 
3. Are we living and conducting ourselves as those who "belong to the
   Lord"?
   a. Are we acting like a special people?
   b. Do we live like a child of God should?
   c. Is our life truly a sojourn, or are we living like we want to
      make this earth our permanent home?
 
As we saw in our beginning text:
 
   "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy
   Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not
   your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify
   God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
                                                  (1 Co 6:19-20)
 
May the significance of belonging to God prompt us to always glorify
God in our bodies and our spirits!

 

--《Executable Outlines