Summary: Jesus tells us what it means to come to God.
“I’m afraid that God gets quoted for many things that He never said.
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. “How do you know what to say?” he asked. “Why, Jesus tells me.” “Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?”
We attribute many things to what we think Jesus is saying to us.
But we don’t have to question whether or not Jesus actually said something. His commands are clearly recorded for us.
Today I begin a sermon series based on the book, "A Biblical Theology of the Commands of Christ" by Tom Blackaby. I was prompted toward this when writing my dissertation on Discipleship. I searched the gospels for everything Jesus said about discipleship.
That let me to Ted Blackaby’s book, “The Commands of Christ.”
Blackaby searched for every command given by Jesus in the NT.
Some are specific to a particular first century situation and do not apply to us:
“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (John 9:7, NIV84)
“Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”” (Luke 22:8, NIV84)
“What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,” (John 13:27, NIV84)
The remaining commands provide us with the instructions Jesus gave to us!
(Matthew 28:20, NIV84) “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
(Luke 6:46, NIV84) “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
(John 8:31, ESV) “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,”
“This book is like a plumb line that can be used to assess how well we are following Christ’s commands and how deeply committed we truly are to the lordship of Christ.”
FIRST SET of COMMANDS deal with COMING to GOD
I. Jesus’ relation with his FATHER was the most important thing in his life. He calls us into a RELATIONSHIP with the Father.
A. (John 17:21–23, NIV84) “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
B. (John 17:26, NIV84) “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.””
C. This is IMPOSSIBLE
1. (2 Corinthians 6:14) “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
2. (1 John 3:1)“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
II. HOW can we Come to God? This question constitutes the first set of Christ’s Commands
1. (Matthew 4:17) “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.””
2. (Mark 1:14–15) “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!
3. (John 3:5, NIV84) “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
4. These are among the FIRST commands Jesus gave.
5. Order of the BEATITUDES show us REPENTANCE comes first
a. Poor in spirit
d. Humble and Thirst for Righteousness.
6. We cannot come to God on OUR TERMS.
B. COME as a CHILD
1. Matthew 18:3 “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
2. Our faith must be SIMPLE
3. Lessons from children:
a. Brittany: “Gabriel, can you name three things you are thankful for?” God, Jesus dying on the Cross, and my monkey trash can.
b. JP: “Ask Jesus!”
c. Michael: teaching about hell..... “What are we going to do?”
C. LOVE GOD WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT
1. Matthew 22:37–40“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
2. You cannot have a relationship with the FATHER if He is One among other Gods.
3. God is a JEALOUS God. “for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,” (Exodus 20:5, ESV)