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Summary: Many Christian’s struggle with a proper understanding of God’s grace. God is fully pleased with what Jesus did on the cross and if we receive Him as Lord He is pleased with us as well.

Lk 9:23

There are a number of times- Jesus says believe in me, but there are more times where He says follow me.

True believing always results in following.

Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower of Jesus?

Fan- an enthusiastic admirer.

Jesus-looking for more than bumper sticker Christians.

Jesus came to turn our lives up side down- we want-

tune-up- Jesus- thinking of- complete over-haul,

make-up- Jesus is thinking a make-over,

redecorate- Jesus wants- complete renovation.

Jesus did not come to change me- He came to kill me.

He is waiting for me to die so He can fully live in me.

Introduction

In light of that- I want to take a slightly different look-

Jn3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Why did Jesus die? So that you/I could be saved?

Yes and no- He died because He loved the world.

God did not die for- inanimate objects, or dogs/cats-

He died for man- made in His image and likeness.

It is true that all of creation groans-

Rom 8:19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. NASU

Jesus Christ died for people like you and me.

Pastor’s prayer-two things Christians must understand-

>the grace of God

>the person and work of the HS

Many misunderstand grace- what is God’s grace?

Eph 2:8-9

By grace we are saved through faith.

Salvation- describes all that God has for mankind-

rebirth from death to life,

justification and sanctification,

forgiveness, adoption, acceptance-

it is all a gift, and is therefore by grace.

Faith is the manner through which man receives grace.

It is faith that makes us aware that God has freely given to us this incredible salvation.

Believers struggle with Guilt

Many struggle with- guilt in their relationship w/God.

We often feel that we fall short in our walk with God and that He is therefore unhappy with us.

When we talk about spending time w/God- feel guilty-

if I am not performing- God does not love me.

Guilt can snuff out what little desire we have for God.

Guilt is a lie cultivated by the enemy to separate us from God’s purposes for our lives.

Our acceptance by God- based on faith in Christ alone.

When you neglect the secret place, He is not disappointed IN you, He is disappointed FOR you. Bob Sorge, Secrets of the Secret Place

God is pleased w/what Jesus did on the cross, and if we receive Him, He is pleased with us.

But, He sees the spiritual riches available to us and His heart breaks because we are missing out-

He wants to share all that heaven has with us.

On the other hand- second lie from Satan- you need a break- so we turn to TV/movies- to be refreshed.

Things of this world never bring true refreshment-

again, we miss what God has for us.

God is not disappointed IN us- disappointed FOR us.

We miss the refreshing available to us in His presence.

Uneducated and untrained men

Something I have taken comfort in recently-

Act 4:13

What the Jews took note of is that the disciples were men who had been with Jesus.

What they had came from their relationship w/Jesus.

Jesus invested His life in uneducated/untrained men.

Isa 45:1-3

Jeremiah prophesied about Cyrus hundreds of years before his birth- God knew him before his birth.

Psa 139:13-16

As God knew/called Cyrus by name, He has likewise knows/calls us by name- into- relationship w/Him.

Incredible picture of God’s love/purpose for our lives.

Obey My commandments

Jn 14:15, 23-24

It is not saying if we keep God’s commandments, therefore we love Him.

You can keep God’s commandments and not love God- our relationship is based on faith not works.

It is saying- if you love Him, then you will keep His commandments.- why? Because you love Him.

If you fall short in keeping His commandments, God is not disappointed IN you, but FOR you.

Meat sacrificed to idols

Out of a proper understanding of God’s grace and love for us, then we can truly love others as God love us.

1 Cor 8:1-3

Situation- many had come out of pagan background where they worshipped idols.

Believed- meat they ate was inhabited w/demons and the idol would cleanse the meat so they could eat it.

Some more knowledgeable were saying there is no such thing as an idol- just eat the meat.

They were right, but they wounded the conscience of their weaker brothers.

It is not enough just to have knowledge, we must know what it means to love those around us.

1 Cor 8:3

It does not say if we have information about God, then I am known by God.

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