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If we are going to develop an intimate relationship with God – we need to define what that looks like.
IT IS THE LIFE OF CHRIST, REPRODUCED IN THE BELIEVER, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, THROUGH ABIDING IN THE WORD.
Last time we looked at 4 truths:
1. Intimacy is a process. It’s not a crisis, but a process.
2. Intimacy is based on obedience. It’s not based on head knowledge but on obedience w/ your whole heart.
3. Intimacy is an inside job. It’s not external, it’s internal.
4. Intimacy is cultivated. It’s not automatic.
Story of man who took his son to Charles Spurgeon. He asked how long it would take to get through Spurgeon’s college. Spurgeon told him 4 years. The man thought his son could get through in ½ the time. Spurgeon replied, “It takes 6 months to grow squash and 20 years to grow an Oak, which do you want your son to become?
Growing in Christ - developing a heart for God is cultivated.
☛ No athlete becomes fit overnight - NO PAIN, NO GAIN. They run w/ a goal in mind.
☛ Spirituality is not automatic.
I. INTIMACY IS THE LIFE OF CHRIST. Some have difficulty developing intimacy God because they are in bondage to rules and legalism. They rely on keeping the law to find acceptance before God.
☛ The only thing legalism has ever produced in the believer is pride.
Gal 2:4 the false brethren...sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.
Gal 2:16 a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
☛ GREATEST DANGER TO INTIMACY IS BACKSLIDING INTO RITUALS & TRADITIONS OF MEN.
The natural tendency of man is to go to extremes – either license or legalism. Legalism is the devil’s substitute for intimacy. It is a caricature of Xty.
You don’t get to heaven or holiness by keeping rules. If you did – the Pharisee’s would have the seats at the right hand of God. Xty is based on love, not rules. A love response to the love of God. My heart in tune with his.
The Xn life is summed up in phrases like:
✒ Christ in you, the hope of glory.
✒ ‘because I live, you shall live also...’
✒ ‘you in Me, and I in you...’
✒ For me to live is Christ....
✒ 95X you find the phrase ‘in Christ’ in N.T.
1 Cor 1:30-By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."
Anything worth boasting about is from the Lord.
THE NATURE OF THIS LIFE IS THE LIFE OF CHRIST.
John 15:1-I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "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. 3 " You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 " Abide 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. 5 "I 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.
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