Grace for a Purpose Driven Life Chapters 15 & 16

February 28, 2004

 “Grace for a Purpose Driven Life” – Week 8

Formed for God’s Family

 

I.  You Were Formed for GOD’S FAMILY.

“The entire Bible is the story of God building a family who will love him, honor him, and reign with him forever. It says, ‘He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will’ (Ephesians 1:5).”

- The idea of a good relationship is not a new concept with God – the Trinity is the best example of a perfect relationship (only example!)

- God didn’t NEED another relationship – He CHOSE to establish another relationship . . .w/man!

  • 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

- That relationship comes as a result of faith in the Person and work of Christ

  • Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus

“Your spiritual family is even more important than your physical family because it will last forever.  Our families on earth are wonderful gifts from God, but they are temporary and fragile, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old, and inevitably, death.  On the other hand, our spiritual family-our relationship to other believers-will continue throughout eternity.  It is a much stronger union, a more permanent bond, than blood relationships.” – p. 118

 

A.  BENEFITS of Being in God’s Family [Input: Can you name some of those?]

- One of those benefits is this:  An inheritance!

  • Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

 

  • 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Point:  Being a part of God’s family means you have an inheritance waiting for you!

ILLUSTRATION:  Laurie and I updated our Last Will & Testament this Friday – what we’ve promised to our kids in the event of our death!

- With God, He promises us something in the event of our death!

Input:   What exactly does that inheritance include?

1.  We will get to be with God forever.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

2.  We will be completely changed to be like Christ.

  • 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

* Implications: No more sinning – fussing – complaining – selfishness!

3.  We will be freed from all pain, death, and suffering.

  • Revelation 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."

4.  We will be rewarded and reassigned positions of service.

  • Mark 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
  • Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.

5.  We will get to share in Christ’s glory.

  • Romans 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
  • Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Note: This is not receiving glory ourselves but able to be a part of glorifying God – to be there and to enjoy it!

 

 

“This eternal inheritance, not retirement, is what you should be looking forward to and working for.” – p. 119

 

B.  Baptism:  IDENTIFYING With God’s Family

Q:  Why is baptism so important? – Matthew 28:19-20

1.  It symbolizes God’s second purpose for your life:  participating in the fellowship of God’s eternal family!

  1. Your baptism is a physical picture of a spiritual truth.  It represents what happened the moment God brought you into his family.

[Explain baptism by immersion – the picture it represents!]

  • You were crucified with Christ – identifying with His death
  • You were buried with Christ – identifying with His burial
  • You were raised with Christ – identifying with His resurrection

“Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family; only faith in Christ does that.  Baptism shows you are part of God’s family.”

Note: Tie this point into the PM service on March 7 @ 6:00 p.m. – Church Family Nite; Baptisms/Testimonies

C.  Life’s Greatest Privilege: Being Part of God’s Family Because of a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ!

      - And multiple levels of relationships – He’s not just our Judge, but our . . .

God / Savior / Friend / Brother / etc.

Illustration: I was talking with Pastor Viars one day, and we came to a point of disagreement; I started to say something that would not have been godly, so I shut my mouth and said, “Never mind.”  He insisted that I tell him, but I said no because if I said it I would have to ask forgiveness – so I chose to keep my mouth closed and not sin with my tongue (I had already sinned in my heart!).  I told him that I had multiple levels of relationships with him [see below] and sometimes the conversation is taking place a different levels, and I needed to be careful.  He asked me, “Which one of those relationships do you want to omit?” – I said, “None, that’s why I’m keeping my mouth shut!”

  1. Pastor
  2. Boss
  3. Co-Worker
  4. Friend
  5. Brother
  6. Church Member

Input:  How can I start treating other believers like members of my own family?  What are some of the ‘one another’ passages that we need to be reminded of this morning?

 

>  Love, serve, forgive, admonish, show hospitality, weep with those who weep, etc.>

- We need to ask the question: What’s really important to God – what matters most in His family?

II.  What Matters Most

- Thankfully, God answers that question for us:

  • Luke 10:27 And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

Input: Why does God insist that we give special love and attention to other believers?  Why do they get priority in loving?

  • John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

[Explain how disunity and divisive behavior in the church hurts the testimony of Christ! – contradicts the message from the “Prince of Peace”]

“Love cannot be learned in isolation”  (p. 114) – yet some want to stay away from people and serving together with them! – they won’t learn to love people if they do!

- The one major resource each of us have is our life time – to be a good steward of the years God has entrusted to us!

A.  The best use of life is LOVE.

      Relationships must have priority in your life above everything else.  Why??

  1. Life without love is really WORTHLESS.
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

“Relationships, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matters most in life.  So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick?  When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming relationally, cutting back on giving the time, energy, and attention that loving relationships require.  What’s most important to God is displaced by what’s urgent. 

Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.  We become preoccupied with making a living, doing our work, paying bills, and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life.  They are not.  The point of life is learning to love-God and people.  Life minus love equals zero.” – p. 125

 

  1. Love will last FOREVER.
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
  3. Matthew 25:40 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.

“Love leaves a legacy.”

Q:  What will you be known for – your organization, your skills, the size of your house, how smart you are?

“God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people – because that’s what life is all about.  I don’t want to waste this day.”

 

 

B.  The best expression of love is TIME.

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it.  You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.  When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.  Your time is your life.  That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”

  • 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

> Love must be demonstrated in ways that can be interpreted!

 

C.  The Best time to love Is NOW

  • James 4:13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

 

  • Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

 

  • Ephesians 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

 

Q:  Honestly, are relationships your first priority?

- You’ll never learn to love people unless you grow in your love for God!