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The Christian Life In A Nutshell

(81)

Sermon shared by Michael Bell

September 1997
Summary: THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A UNIQUE DIVINE-HUMAN ENDEAVOR.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Introductory Paragraph:
One of the major news stories of the year...Princess Diana...news magazines reviewing her life...eulogy Almost unnoticed went the death of Mother Teresa...as I listened to the story of her life, I gained an even greater appreciation for who she was & the work God did through her. Just as one gains a greater appreciation for great people when they hear their accomplishments & sacrifices reviewed, same true of salvation. {Broad perspective}

Textual Paragraph:
Paul = writing a church anticipating persecution... encouraging them to remain faithful to the Lord -& in so doing,-Paul gave the THESSALONIANS a neat summary of the Christian life. {Scripture Reading}

Relational Paragraph:
What is the Christian Life? What exactly does the term mean? 9/10 would say "trusting in Christ." Yet defining the Christian life as having trusted in Christ is like defining love as a personal attraction. The Christian life is much broader than simply the initial conversion experience. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A UNIQUE DIVINE-HUMAN ENDEAVOR.

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE...
1.)BEGINS WITH GOD’S CALL.(vs.13)
Your salvation began in mind of God before there ever was a world...difficult doctrine...we don’t like it because we don’t fully understand it.
Soren Kierkegaard - "It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand."

The average Christian’s concept of God = blasphame
Jesus put it very plainly(JOHN 6:44) If the doctrine of election frightens you, let me assure you this: There is no one who wants to be saved who cannot be saved! Your desire = result of God’s choosing... and...God doesn’t choose us based on foreknowing our reactions!{Isn’t ordaining, that is reacting!}
Now from our prospective we were confronted with gospel and accepted. But from a Biblical perspective your salvation was God’s sovereign work...
How do I know if I’m elect?
Answer =(vs 13) "Faith in the truth"
[TR] Leads to 2nd facet...

2.)IS ACTUATED BY OUR RESPONSE.(vs 15)
Note the vs. begins-"so then" = consequence in other words...The Christian isn’t called to stand still, he or she is called to climb.

Barclay - "The Christian is called not only to the greatest privilege in the world but also the greatest task in the world"

Salvation is much broader than being saved
(PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13)
Profession w/o growth or conviction of sin = misundertood gospel...The human side of that same process is "faith in the truth," says the apostle.
Somewhere along the line a choice of the will must be made. You cannot come to Christ by merely sitting in church.{Don’t become a car by sitting in garage} You must believe that what God has said applies to you; that what He says he will do he is prepared to do. When you believe the truth, you are also invaded by the Spirit.
[TR]This leads to the 3rd facet...

3.)CONTINUES THROUGH DIVINE ENABLEMENT.(vs.13)
God doesn’t save you and then leave you. he gives you continued enablement through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (vs 13) Theologians debate whether this should be translated with a capital S, the Spirit, referring to Holy Spirit, or a small s, referring to human spirit. But it does not make any difference for when you come to Christ your human spirit is invaded by the Holy Spirit. This is the act which the Bible calls "regeneration,
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