Summary: This is the fourth in a series of sermons looking at developing a deeper walk with Christ. It addresses the issue of control of life. If we are to be followers of Christ: He must lead.
Pt 4 - Found In Him
We have been talking together about going deeper - developing a deeper relationship with Christ. Last week we began to count the cost. The first cost we talked about was rubbish (skubalon). How many of you have been dealing with the rubbish of your lives this week? Let me take a moment to share with you my fear. My fear is that we start this series all excited about going deeper but each week as the costs become clear a few more people are left behind. If you want to go deeper - you have to want it - you have to go there - no one else can do it for you.
As we continue to look at the costs of this deeper walk with Christ, Paul declares his desire to be found in Christ - the meaning is to be found united with Christ. So what does it take to find a life united with Christ? Let’s look at what Jesus says.
1) Cost you control. You have to understand that from the beginning we are rebels. We are born rebels. The sin that started in Adam has been transferred to us. In such subtle ways that we often don’t even recognize it, “Self” rules our lives. It’s found in the words we use most often; I, me, mine. It’s found in the way life is directed. Without thinking about it our lives are steered by how I feel and the constant desire for what I want, what I need, and what I deserve. One pastor writes “Sin has many manifestations but its essence is one. A moral being, created to worship before the throne of God, sits on the throne of his own selfhood and from that elevated position declares, “I am”. This is the thing that has kept man from God from the very beginning, the desire to be God. Satan tempted Eve “in the day that you eat of it you shall become like God.” It was Satan’s sin. Isaiah 14:12 tells us that he declares “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.. I will be like the Most High.” Christ declares “If you want to follow me - I have to lead.” Paul declares in Galatians 2:20 that in finding himself in Christ that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”. If we want to move to a deeper relationship with Christ it will be done as we set aside “Self” and take up Christ. When we relinquish control of life and let Him lead.
2) Cost you your pride. Paul had to come to grips with who he really was. All his credentials, all his brains, all his attempts to obey the rules and be a good person - led him to nothing. He finally understood the hardest thing for a Pharisee to understand. Isaiah writes “How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Friend you are not good enough, can’t be good enough to deserve God. Somehow we come to the conclusion that God is lucky to have us. The truth is that without God we are nothing - dust - all of our best attempts are failures. All of our righteousness just filthy rags. To be found in Him is to deny our own worthiness and find in Christ the only good thing we are. Self-superiority, self-righteousness these things keep us from falling at the feet of Christ and weeping in brokenness before Him.
Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I Kings 18
• Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”
• When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”
How long will you hesitate between two opinions. How long will you suffer the rubbish in your life? How long will you deny the authority of God in you? How long will you remain proud and arrogant in the face of a Holy God?
The answer to these questions will determine how long you go before you reach a deeper relationship with Christ.