Summary: God wants to have a relationship with us, and we know this: 1. By the Lord's witness to us (vs. 15). 2. By the Lord's work in our lives (vs. 16). 3. By the Lord's willingness for forget our sins (vs. 17).
God's Longings for Your Life #2: Relationship
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 7, 2014
*We are taking a look at some of God's greatest desires for our lives, and last Sunday we started with God's rescue. God wants to rescue us from our sin and eternal death. And His commandments help, because they teach us how much we desperately need to be rescued by God. You see, no matter how hard we try to obey God's laws, we can never keep them all. So vs. 1 tells us that God's "law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect."
*Nobody but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has ever lived a totally perfect life. And the only way He could rescue us was to come into the world as a man. That's why in vs. 5-7, we hear God the Son speak to His Heavenly Father about coming into the world:
5. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
6. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure.
7. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come in the volume of the book it is written of Me to do Your will, O God.'''
*Our rescue never could have happened without Jesus coming into the world, but even that wasn't enough. Our rescue could only be possible through the cross of Jesus Christ. That's why vs. 10-12 tell Christians that by God's will:
10. . . we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices (i.e. the same Old Testament sacrifices), which can never take away sins.
12. But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
*One of God's greatest desires for your life is to rescue you from eternal death, and He will, if you will trust in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for you. God wants to rescue you. But that's just the beginning, because God also wants to have a relationship with us. Think about this great truth as we read vs. 15-17.
*When I explain God's plan of salvation to people, I like to use my hand, because every finger tells part of the story. And my ring finger highlights the fact that the heart of Christianity is a personal relationship with God. The Bible uses human relationships to help us understand God's desire for us to have a personal relationship with Him.
*The Church is called the Bride of Christ, Jesus wants to be our best Friend, and God the Father wants to be our Heavenly Father. This is the heart of Christianity: God the Father wants to have a close, personal relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ.
*Nothing could possibly be more important. Listen to what Jesus said when He was speaking to His Heavenly Father in John 17:3: "This is eternal life, that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
*God wants to have a close, personal relationship with us. How do we know this is true?
1. First in today's Scripture: we know by Holy Spirit's witness to us.
*Verse 15 tells us that the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit "witnesses to us." But who is the Holy Spirit? The Lord wants His followers to know, so in the hours before He died on the cross, Jesus had a lot to say about His Holy Spirit
*Please turn to John 14:16-18. There Jesus said:
16. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever
17. the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18. I will not leave you orphans (or comfortless); I will come to you.
*Then in vs. 22, one of the disciples asked the Lord: "How is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" And in vs. 23, Jesus said: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
*One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that God the Father and God the Son come to live in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is not an "it," though sometimes the Bible uses that pronoun to describe Him. The Holy Spirit is God.