Summary: Part 2 in a series debunking some popular bumper sticker descriptions of the faith
c. 4 Points from this passage
i. God gives us what we need to live a life that pleases Him.
***I heard the story of three guys that were hiking in the woods. They came to a raging river. Not sure what to do next the first guy looked to the heavens and said, “God please make me strong enough to get across this river.” Poof he had big strong arms and legs and he jumped in and began swimming. Two hours later after a fierce struggle he made it to the other shore.
The second guy seeing that looked to the heavens and said, “Dear God give me enough tools to cross this river.” Poof he was given a rowboat. An hour later after nearly capsizing he made it to the other shore.
The third guy said, “Dear God please make me smart enough to cross this river.” Poof God made him a woman…..and then he looked at the map, walked five minutes upstream and crossed the bridge.”
ii. We are not destined to intentionally sin. **Dr. David Wells (Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary) observes, "Worldliness is what makes sin look normal in any age and righteousness seem odd."
iii. We are to make a decision about growing as a Christian.
***A poet caught the sense of this when he penned these words…
To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways, and a Way.
The high soul climbs the High Way,
The Low Soul gropes the Low.
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way and a Low
And every man decideth
The which his soul shall go.
iv. The Christian life is not meant or designed to be static.
What is the hope of this message?
1. You will go away confident in the grace of God for you as a child of God. (He has made you acceptable in His sight.)
2. You will go away confident that you can live a Christian life that is looking more and more like Jesus day by day and that your struggle can see a victory!
Understand this key point:
***There are no short cuts to maturity.
It takes years for us to grow to adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. The development of Christlike character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth, like physical growth, takes time.
When you try to ripen fruit quickly, it loses its flavor. In America, tomatoes are usually picked unripened so they won’t bruise during shipping to the stores. Then, before they are sold, these green tomatoes are sprayed with CO2 gas to turn them red instantly. Gassed tomatoes are edible, but they are no match to the flavor of a vine-ripened tomato that is allowed to mature slowly.
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 217.
And the key to maturing is remaining connected to the vine. (Jn. 15)