Summary: Jesus really wants you to have abundant life, but how can we get there?
Advance to the Abundant Life
(Part 4) - All Brand New Again and Again
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - August 26, 2007
*Doug Whitt and his bride Sylvia had an unusual and embarrassing experience on their honeymoon. They got to the fancy hotel in the early hours of the morning. In the room they saw a sofa, chairs, and table, but no bed. Then they discovered the sofa was a sleeper, so they spent a terrible night on a lumpy mattress and sagging springs.
*As soon as they got up, Doug rushed down to the front desk to complain big-time, but the clerk simply asked, “Did you open the door in the room?”
*Doug went back upstairs and opened the door they had thought was a closet -- But on the other side was a luxury bedroom, complete with fruit baskets and chocolates. (1)
*Over the last 4 weeks we have been trying to open the door to the abundant life God wants us to have. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In other words: One of the Lord’s main purposes for coming to earth was so that you could have abundant life. Jesus really wants you to have it -- But how can we get there?
1. First it’s by rebirth.
*You must be born again. As I’ve said all month, you cannot have God’s abundant life until you have His eternal life. Paul told us a lot about this rebirth or regeneration in vs. 3-7, when he said:
3. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
4. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5. not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6. whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7. that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
*Do you know anybody who is a hopeless case? -- Or at least they seem to be right now. Most of us would say, “Yes.” But these verses remind us that we are all hopeless cases without Jesus. As Paul said in vs. 3, “We ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.”
*We are all hopeless cases without Jesus. There is not a person in this room who deserves to go to Heaven. There is not a person in this world who deserves to go to Heaven.
*Every year there is a contest on the coast by Los Angeles. Some of you may know that Catalina Island is about 26 miles off-shore. The contest involves attempting to physically jump from the coast all the way to Catalina. Contestants run down a long ramp, and jump off a cliff in their efforts to reach Catalina. Some jumpers get only a few feet out. Others go as far as 30 feet before hitting the water -- But so far, no one has ever made it from the cliff to the island. (2)
*Of course they never will. And no one will ever make it to Heaven by their own effort. We are all hopeless cases without Jesus. But God loves hopeless cases!