Summary: we’re going to look at 3 stages of Christianity to help you see where you are.
INTRO: What type of Christian are you today? If I were to ask your children or your spouse, what would they say? I don’t want anyone to fall under condemnation but it’s important to know where you are to get a starting point.
This morning we’re going to look at 3 stages of Christianity to help you see where you are. TITLE: Following Jesus 3 Ways
TEXT: John 1:35-42
When people gather together for church, they usually represent at least three levels of faith and Christian commitment. We can see these levels in the life of Peter.
TS: The first level can be seen in the text this morning.
I. Level one – those who are curious.
A. The 2 disciples who followed Jesus were John the writer of this gospel, and his friend Andrew.
1. When these 2 began to follow - Jesus asked them, what do you want, the Lord was forcing them to focus on what they wanted. The Lord was forcing them to define their purpose.
: If they were looking for a revolutionary leader they should maybe join the zealots.
2. John and Andrew decided to stay. They were so impressed with Jesus that they went out and found their brothers and brought them to Jesus.
-Andrew found Simon and John brought James.
B. Andrew in the gospels was always bringing someone to the Lord.
1. You might ask who he brought. He brought his brother Simon (Peter). -He brought a lad with loaves and fish (John 6:8)
-The Greeks who wanted to see Jesus (John 12:20-21).
2. We have no recorded sermon from Andrew, but he preached great sermons by his actions as a personal soul winner.
Side note: How many want an exciting Christian walk? Those I find who consistently share their faith with others are excited about what God’s doing. They are all around healthier happier people. What I mean by healthier is not necessarily physical. (Remember Shirley Eastling’s tremendous physical ailments but she was always sharing the Lord with others.) I’m speaking about an emotional healthiness, youR view on life.
3. The text tells us the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon. We have found the Messiah. So Andrew brought him to Jesus.
C. Peter (Simon) came to see Jesus because he was curious.
I. Andrew his brother was so excited about his encounter with Jesus that he made it his first priority to tell his brother, which brought about a level of curiosity.
2. Our witness should attract those that are seeking.
-In other words does our lifestyle or our witness attract people to Christ to repel them? Do we strive to live such a life that draws people to Christ?
-Understand the Lord has left us here to be his representatives.
3. Look what happened to Simon in his encounter with Jesus. Jesus called him Peter which means rock.
-His life was changed.
TS: This brings us to the second level of faith and commitment.
II. Level two – those who are convinced. Matthew 16:13-17 [Read]
A. This is Peter’s confession of Christ. The Pharisees and Sadducees were demanding a sign from Jesus.
1. The Lord warns his disciples about their false teaching.
-It is in this backdrop we see Jesus ask his disciples, who do people say the Son of Man is.
2. Peter pipes up: You are the Christ the Son of the living God. Peter understood that Jesus was the one.
a. How did he come to realize this? It was revealed to him by God.
-Peter moved from listening to what others said about Jesus, to what does Father say?
B. In the church we see those who are curious. They come in and see what it’s like, they sing and listen to the sermon. They are sitting and watching what others are saying about Jesus. And what eventually happens they encounter God. They move from hearing about God to listening to God.
1. It’s one of those divine moments - God’s real, I mean he is really real.
-Moms and dads this is what we strive for. This is a critical step to pass on to your children to hear from God, that they serve more than the God of mom and dad but they serve a God that they have encountered.
2. In Christianity - realize something if someone can talk you into Christianity then someone can talk you out of it. That’s why people have to have divine encounters with God. Because when that happens (divine encounter) it does not matter what anyone else says.
-Because you know he is real, because you have met the God of the Bible.
Question: Today have you experienced the God of the Bible or are you just serving the God of your parents or your friends? Is God real to you today?