Summary: Christians can strengthen their walk with God by adopting these habits.
Six Habits For Highly Effective Christians
(Based upon concepts from John Calvin’s Institutes)
September 5, 2004 Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson
A school teacher who was bypassed for a promotion went to her administrator and complained, "I have twenty years of experience, and you promoted someone who had only been teaching five years." The administrator replied, "No, you don’t have twenty years of experience. You have one year of experience twenty times. You’re still teaching the same things and in the same way you did your first year. You haven’t grown in your profession." Christ wants us to grow, to develop, to become effective representatives of Himself.
We can expect growth but should never expect perfection.
During the reign of Oliver Cromwell, there was a shortage of currency in the British Empire. Representatives carefully searched the nation in hopes of finding silver to meet the emergency. After one month, the committee returned with its report. "We have searched the empire in vain seeking to find silver. To our dismay, we found none anywhere except in the cathedrals where the statures of the saints are made of choice silver.’
To this, Oliver Cromwell eloquently answered, "Let’s melt down the saints and put them into circulation."
That reply carries a deeper meaning than Cromwell ever intended. It contains the secret of effective witnessing.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for being ‘silver saints’, church. Give us a new appreciation of your love for us and for a lost world. Melt us down, Lord, and keep us in circulation with the warmth of your constraining love.
I Habit One: Depend on the Holy Spirit
The secret of holiness in the inner working of the effective Christian is the Holy Spirit.
A Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come to comfort and guide His disciples.
11 Whenever they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you should defend yourselves or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said." Luke 12:11-12 (HCSB)
a 38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
*When conversion occurred, the Holy Spirt came.
b The Holy Spirit brought people/ drew people into a union with Jesus Christ. (The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring you and I to a faith/closeness/union with Jesus!!!)
B The Holy Spirit causes two internal actions.
a Mortification (Killing off of the old life)
b Vivification (Creating new life)
These are the major components of REPENTANCE
The Holy Spirit does to the sin our lives what Jesus did to sin on the cross - - - removes the curse.
C Our sin is forgiven in an instant, but sanctification takes a lifetime.
a We’ll fight with/ struggle with/ occasionally lose to sin our whole lives.
b When we depend on the Holy Spirit, He takes us to Jesus and union occurs. (No longer "got" religion, we’ve got a relationship with Jesus!)