Summary: This series will assist you in developing and deepening your relationship with God.
THE BASIC CONCEPTS OF SPIRITUAL INTIMACY
If we are going to develop an intimate relationship with Christ - we need to define what it looks like.
¡°IT IS THE LIFE OF CHRIST, REPRODUCED IN THE BELIEVER, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH ABIDING IN THE WORD.¡±
Much of what is called Christianity is not ¨C it¡¯s a caricature of it - it¡¯s a distorted image. So distorted we have to use adjectives to describe a Christian. ¡®Spirit filled¡¯ ¡®carnal¡¯ backslidden¡¯ ¡®committed¡¯ ¨C Why not just be Christians?
➜ THE ENEMY OF INTIMACY IS NOT OUTSIDE - IT¡¯S INSIDE. It¡¯s a heart issue.
➜ OUR GREATEST HINDRANCE TO REVIVAL IS NOT THE DEVIL - IT¡¯S OUR EXCUSES.
Vance Havner ¡°How many times have I heard, upon arriving at a church, ¡®This will be a poor week for revival. On Monday night the circus is coming to town; on Tuesday the Sons and Daughters of ¡®I will Arise¡¯ are having a convention; on Thursday night the Garden Club will meet to discuss African violets; the ball game is Friday night. And there is always television.¡¯
Was there ever a good week for a revival? Must the church always take a back seat in favor of every sideshow that blows into town? Must we take the leftovers? Why shouldn¡¯t the other crowd do the worrying? Why shouldn¡¯t the church of Jesus Christ - with the answer to all the world¡¯s problems - make such an impact that the world, the flesh, and the devil would huddle in conversation, saying, ¡®This will be a poor week for us ¨C there¡¯s a revival in town!¡¯
I. INTIMACY IS A PROCESS.
Some people are looking for a magic formula - someone to wave a wand and make them instantly intimate with God.
Your Christian life BEGAN w/ an event - the moment of salvation - but it doesn¡¯t end there. Distinguish between cause & effect. We are born again ¨C but growing is a process.
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
3 X in 2 Peter - he talks about diligence. Diligence & discipline both imply a process. He is writing to people he cares about. He wants the church - not only to grow, but the Xns to be healthy.
4 BELOVED STATEMENTS IN 2 PT. 3:
✔ "Beloved . . . be mindful" (3:1-2)
✔ "Beloved . . . be not ignorant" (3:8)
✔ "Beloved . . . be diligent" (3:14)
✔ "Beloved . . . beware" (3:17)
IF WE CARE ABOUT OUR WALK - WE¡¯LL FOLLOW HIS EXHORTATIONS.
Getting in shape physically is a process - the same is true in the Christian life.
¡ï Theme of 1 Peter is grace
¡ï Theme of 2 Peter is knowledge.
Peter is not just talking about knowledge of the Bible - he is talking about knowing Christ who is revealed in the Bible.
It is possible to have Bible knowledge - know facts -- and never grow in grace - never show truth in our daily lives. It is knowing and doing.
One of the great errors of many evangelistic strategies is to ¡®get ¡®em saved¡¯ but fail to feed and disciple the new believer, so they grow in the Lord.
Apostates and false teachers target young believers according to 2 Peter 2:18. If we are committed to evangelism, we must be equally committed to follow up. Failure to do so results in people who have ¡®made a decision¡¯ but not developed an intimate relationship. They¡¯ve taken a step, but they don¡¯t know how to walk.
LITERALLY IT READS, "But be constantly growing"
GROWTH IS NOT AN ELECTIVE ¨C discipleship is not an option.
☛ We were saved by grace (Eph 2:8-9)
☛ We are to be strengthened by grace (2 Tim 2:1-4)
☛ Grace enables us to endure suffering (2 Cor 12:7-10)
☛ Grace is the motivation for giving ourselves to God (2 Cor 8:1 ff)
☛ Grace is the motivation to praise. (Col 3:16).
some folks know more than they are living up to. Too many Xns who talk it but don¡¯t walk it.
Know the language - know how to sound spiritual - but walk doesn¡¯t match the talk.
KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT GRACE CAN BE MEAN.
GRACE WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE IS SHALLOW.
¡®of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ¡¯
There is an intimacy here - a relationship built over time. This is discipleship ¨C it¡¯s not in the fine print. Every page of the N.T. deals with what it means to be a disciple of our Lord.
WILL BE SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS - BENCHMARKS - TIMES WHEN GOD BREAKS THROUGH ¨C BUT CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOT A SOUND BITE
Our flesh longs for a ¡®once-for-all-experience - but that¡¯s not the way it works.