Receiving more of Christ
— Psalm 16
- Andrew Fountain — Sept 25th, 2011
Three Frameworks of Understanding
- Legal Transaction
- Covenant Relationship
- New Creation
1. Legal Transaction
- Justified. Price paid for my sin. Forgiven
- But I am still a “sinner”
- Now I go through a long process of “Sanctification” where I sin less and less
- But ultimately I am forgiven
- Enact payment with Tom
- What do you think?
- Is it true? (mostly)
- Does it capture everything about the Christian experience?
2. Covenant Relationship
- God has brought me into his family
- He has adopted me
- I am no longer under law, but under grace
- although now I won’t want to sin because I love God
- I can have victory through the Spirit
- Hug Tom
- Is this better?
- It is only part of the picture
3. New Creation
- United with Christ in his death and resurrection
- In his death, we died to all that we get from Adam:
- law, sin, guilt, mortality
- In his resurrection we are a new creation
- Spirit, faith, new commandment
- This does not contradict the others,
- but it is bigger, and encompasses them
- Give Tom the metal man
- this is the inner reality
- Now I will tell you the problem
- Why, if we are new creations, do we so often live like the old?
- Put Tom astride a line on the floor
- One side is New Creation living
- The other is Old
- So why do we so often live in the old
- Who can ski?
- I spent ages trying to turn when I was skiing
- Finally I realized it was all about which leg you put your weight on
- Get Tom to lean either way
Living in the Old Creation
- Trying to please God by keeping the law
- Our own strength
- Constant guilt & failure
- What is different about the New?
- grace, love of God, acceptance?
- For we know that the law is spiritual — but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin.
- For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want — instead, I do what I hate.
- But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good.
- But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me.
- For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it.
- For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want!
- Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
- So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me.
- For I delight in the law of God in my inner being.
- But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members.
- Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
- There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death...
- For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.
- For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace,
- because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so.
- Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
- You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him.
- What is it that enables us to live in the New and not in the Old?
- The answer is the Holy Spirit. God’s presence in us.
- So here is the $64,000 question:
- How do we get more of the Holy Spirit? ??
- Jesus answered that the very first time he spoke about the Spirit
- And you might find the answer somewhat surprising!
- First of all, before we read this passage, I want you to know that
- Jesus says “I will come to you” and then tell them it is by the Spirit
- The experience of the presence of Jesus is identical to the presence of the Holy Spirit
- We can only experience Jesus through the Spirit
- Similarly, it is the Spirit who reveals the love of the Father
- That is the job of the Spirit—to be the channel of experience for all of God
- “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.
- Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever—
- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.
- I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.
- So what do they do to cause the Father to send the Spirit?
- obey my commandments
John 14:15-25 cont’d
- In a little while the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too.
- You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.
- The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
- So what if we want the presence of Jesus in us?
John 14:15-25 cont’d
- Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “Lord, what has happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
- Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. 24The person who does not love me does not obey my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.
- “I have spoken these things while staying with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you...
- So is God’s love conditional on us obeying the word?
- It depends on how we define the commands?
- Jesus has actually just explained what he means
John 13 — The New Commandment
- “I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
- Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
- So this is my message this afternoon
- It is very simple!
- If we want more of the presence of God, more of the Spirit, more of the New Creation...
- We love
- We give ourselves to love
- Then we will experience more of his presence
- Love is the air of the New Creation
- We have to breath it to live in it more
- Freddy the frog was trying to go from the tadpole to the frog stage
- Not making any progress
- Only spent a few seconds at a time out of the water
- Holding his breath (as you can see)
- His mummy finally told him—you have to breath the air!
- Then you will live in the new environment!
- The air of the New Creation is “faith working through love”
- “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love.
- If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
- I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.
- My commandment is this — to love one another just as I have loved you.
- No one has greater love than this — that one lays down his life for his friends.
- You are my friends if you do what I command you.
John 15 cont’d
- I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father.
- You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
- This I command you — to love one another.
- So how do we do this?
- Step out in trust
- like the man with the withered hand
- Trust and love are inseparably combined in the New Creation
- So then they said to him, “What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?”
- Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires — to trust (believe) in the one whom he sent.”
- For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight — the only thing that matters is faith working through love.
- I have confined myself mostly to John here, but the N.T. is thick with this idea
Updated on 2011-10-25 by Andrew Fountain