Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:1-2
Being Joined to Christ
God’s Hope for Us in the Gospel: Identifying and being United to Jesus Christ. …Not Only in His Death but Also in His Resurrection & Ascension
Dead and Alive with Christ
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. – Romans 6:4-14
God’s Eternal Purpose
God has always purposed to fill the earth with His glory by being joined to and indwelling man. Both the Garden and the Great City in the end of Scripture show us an assembled people that are purposed
to bear his image in the earth… Embody and express God’s glory, image and life through God’s community in Christ. To house God.
…you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacri- fices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 2:5
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Eph 2:22
…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. – 1 Cor. 6:19-20
…from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. – Eph 4:16
Rabbit Trail: (We”ll discuss this later also) We realize more and more as we mature that in the kingdom there is no “Me and God” but only “Us and God.” – Story
Entering the Kingdom (Adam & Eve / Christ & the Church)
…being inducted into His family and kingdom through the life that comes from the wound of Christ, the formation of God and our being united or wed to Him becoming one before God.) (Adam & Eve, The Church and Christ, The New Jerusalem) He is the resurrection and the life.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; – John 11:25
Metaphor:The Oyster and Pearl1 The Enemy of God & Empty Religion
Satan attack us as he wants to mar the image of God. Overcoming Empty Religion
Story: My personal journey of realizing the many layers… Being sober, to being good, to realizing Him and repent- ing of my efforts. Work at growing in the knowledge of God which comes from offering (surrendering) and growing in the grace and knowledge of God. Growing in grace. Looking out and leading us into the depths of service.
Becoming Christ not trying to look and behave well.
Rabbit Trail: Moralism or Empty Spiritualism2
Story: Peter in the water, treading cold ocean waters… Matt. 14:22-33 Expressing Christ by identifying with Him and believing the Father has accepted us as sons.
Word: Become sons of God not slaves of religion.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slav- ery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:14-15
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fel- lowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. – Phil. 3:7-11
The metaphor of Regeneration and entrance into the kingdom. Rabbit Trail: both threaten the real work of God of forming us after his own image. Our job is to be formed not to try and be good. Our job is to offer an environment of heart in which the seed can grow. Christ becoming full grown from a seed in us.
Despising Our Sonship
29 When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” 33 And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau de- spised his birthright. – Gen 25:29-34
Chained to the sensual and temporary. Despised the birth right. The occupation of need and want in Esau’s mind led to a inadvertent aggression toward and disrespect of, his sonship.
Being an Obstacle to God
21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s inter- ests, but man’s.”
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. Matt. 16:21-27
Learning to be comfortable with loss. The idea of loss. We really have to come to a place of seeing the true value of things in this life over the eternal. (referenced later also)
Enemies of the Cross
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
I want to grow in spiritual reality and in the substance of God. Let the things of this life I’m in love with become like the shadows… We position ourselves against Christ whether we are aware or not…
20 Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. – Phil. 3:18-21
- What level of reality do heavenly things hold for you? How much of your mind and time do they occupy?
Lovers of Self…
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. – 2 Tim. 3:1-5
– Serve God or Mammon… Ref. also.
– Q. Where are you? (Gen. 3:9) - Q. What do you want? (John 1:38) - Q. Where have you come from and where are you going? (Gen. 16:8)
Note: Works for God do not save you but those that become sons and daughters will know doubt join him in the work that the does. This one we are being joined to is Love.
The Depths of Service
- Where does following Love and expressing perfect divine Love ultimately lead to? Behaviorally? Story: Asking where God is… Ultimately realizing that he is currently washing the feet of his creation.
The Parable of the Sheep and Goats Crazy story revealing a wild truth.
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd sepa- rates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom pre- pared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 “Then He will an-
swer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matt. 25: 31-46
Story: The flood in my home town. Looking for security or rescue or comfort and those looking for others unaware of the comfort they’re missing.
Story: A God somewhere… Working to be small as we grow bigger in Christ. A small part in someone else’s story.
Temporal Obsession Disorder: Haunted by need and want. All of the Scripture referring to support is in refer- ence to those serving in the valley. We have stayed in the place of comfort offering prayers and cries for more se- curity.
Sonship… Sonship cannot be realized and actualized, practically experienced until you truly are convinced of being joined to God and look past hoping God is happy with you. Become Alive to God in Christ. Become sons and daughters.
Relationship with Man and God Point: Our relationship with God and man are inextricably tied to each other. There is no separation of the way
you are toward man and the way you are toward God.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. – James 3:9-10
Bad religion separates relationships from spirituality.
Story: The professor and the dart board. Least of these. Many Layers: Story: The ultimate progression of my relationship with my Father. An example of the layers… Jesus: Loving your enemies, walking the second mile, giving your coat to the man who steals your shirt, turn-
ing the other cheek to him who strikes you… the early church not counting any of their possessions as their own.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. – 1 John 4:20
But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? – 1 John 3:17
Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. – Matt. 5:23-24
1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Matt. 7: 1-5
It’s us and God… and were looking for the valuable. There is no us and them… There is no me and God… Look to love…
Image: The story of heaven and hell. Challenge to be Full and Alive
The Dead Weight of an Empty Soul Story: The Prophet – the vision of the mall. Frank Peretti.
“It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; 29but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. – Luke 17:28
Hope & God’s Light
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was brood- ing over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”… – Genesis 1.2-3
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, accept- able to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:1-2
Extra Scripture Passage (Resurrection Life)
6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”— that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, result- ing in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:6-10
Prayer for the People
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power to- ward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:15-23
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. – Eph. 3:14-21