Summary: Our strength for continued obedience begins in being connected to Christ.
Grow a Disciple Building Church
Part Two: Connect to the Christ of the Church
Jesus is the Christ, the Sovereign Lord of His Church. He reigns among Her with absolute power and control. He is the Chief Shepherd of His flock, the church. (1 Peter 5:4) He is the only Master and Lord of His Church. (Jude 4). These truths are the starting point for a person’s destiny toward eternity. You choose to hold onto Christ as your spiritual Lord and Guide or you cling to the world as your spiritual paradigm. Paul gives the church a clear contrast of this choice which you make every day.
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19, NASB95) We either hold on to Christ or we let Him go. We either are supplied from Christ or we supply ourselves. We either are held together by Christ or we hold ourselves together. Growth comes from Christ or we manufacture fleshly growth.
The real question boils down to this: Are we going to become the Church of the Christ or a fleshly human institution? We become the Church of the Christ by responding to Christ in becoming His disciple, then we plug into Him as our all in all. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23, NASB95) He fills us, all of us, with all we will ever need. We look to Him for everything. He is all that we need in all things.
So, how do we connect to Him? We will discuss three processes today.
1. Participate in His Power
2. Be Enabled by Christ Strength
3. Serve Him Fearlessly
The first process,
Participate in His Power
Some may question whether it is possible to participate in Christ’s power. The Bible is clear. The gospel is the power of God (Rom 1:16) The word of the cross is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18) Christ is the power of God (1 Cor 1:24). We are protected by His power (1 Pet 1:5). His power grants to us everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3)
Can you participate in the gospel, the word of the cross, and Christ Himself? Can you participate in His protection, His life and godliness? Not only you can, but you must! Why? because "God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7, NASB95) How? How do any of us participate in His power?
First, you present yourself to God and your members (mind, heart, eyes, hands, feet, etc) as instruments of righteousness to God. (Rom 6:13) You refuse to let sin reign over your mortal bodies. (Rom 6:12) Question: By what power do you refuse to let sin reign?
Second, you make a paradigm shift concerning power. You recognize two avenues of power: one narrow and the other wide; one easy and the other restricting; one leading to life, the other leading to death; one influenced by evil, the other influenced by God; one the power of the Spirit of God, the other the power of human flesh. This change of mind concerning power leads you to make a choice about how you are to relate to God.
Here are the two options:
a.) you may relate to God through a law system; or,
b.) you may relate to God through a disciple system.
There is no third option for relating to God and these two can not be combined; they exclude each other in much the same way as the New Covenant fulfilled and ended the Old Covenant. The details of these two systems will be covered in our Sunday morning classes.
Third, you recognize by being a disciple of Jesus that there is power in that system to transform you into the image of the Son of God. Your ultimate personal goal is to participate in His power to transform you into His image. (Rom 8:29)
Fourth, you present ourselves to our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, like a slave  for obedience unto righteousness. (Rom 6:16) Through the experience of obedience to Christ as Lord, your inward man is strengthened, renewed, and transformed.
The second process,
Be Enabled By Christ Strength
How many times has it been said, "Oh no, I can’t do that!" When it comes to doing Christ’s will, "I can’t" is changed to "I won’t". This is true because of the enabling strength Christ delivers to His disciples. "I can’t" is the confession of a powerless victim. "I won’t" is an act of a strong will. Under law we are all powerless victims of sin’s reign. Under Christ’s reign we can do all things because He strengthens  us. (Phil 4:13) Circumstances can not defeat us carrying out Christ’s will and mission.