Summary: The fourth of five messages on the reliability of Christianity
A Ready Defense – The Amazing LIFE
March 27, 2005
Trans: Today we celebrate the most amazing event in the history mankind remembering the most amazing man ever to live – who in His amazing love offered His life to give each of us life that we might live an amazing life both here and in eternity. – AMAZING? Are you amazed? Ar you living an amazing life in Him?
Trans: We’ve been in a series entitled a Ready Defense. It’s a series about how to defend our faith as God gives us opportunity. Yet for all of the things we can say about why we believe what we believe, the single greatest proof that Jesus was who He said He was is if we live what we say we believe about him.
Note: If we say we’re followers of Christ then our actions should speak as loud as our words. Genuine faith always reflects the character and actions of Christ.
Verse: Jesus said, not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, and will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father. Mt. 7:21
Note: It’s not enough to be amazed by Jesus, we must possess His amazing love w/in us sharing it w/ others. We can’t just STAND amazed, we must LIVE amazed.
Insert: So how’s LIFE? The Bible says the reason Jesus stepped into humanity was to bring us abundant and eternal life! He came to give us life in Him. He came to give our lives purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.
Trans: As we continue our study, let’s investigate the testimony of a changed life.
Verse: If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old is gone, behold all things have become new. 2 Cr. 5:17
He commands us – Be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain. 1 Cr. 15:58
Note: The greatest proof of the risen Savior is that He is risen in you! Christ IN you living THROUGH you!
Note: Statistics prove that the vast majority of Americans believe in God, yet the moral climate of our society says otherwise. Believing requires more than tipping your hat to acknowledge, it means committing your life to it. The devil believes yet he doesn’t bow. Genuine faith is evidenced by Christ-likeness.
Point: Thus, if your attitudes, actions, and appetites are not centered upon God seeking to honor Him, then your life bears witness to something other than Christ.
Note: How can I say that? B/c Christ in you shines through you! When a person opens their life to the reality of Christ – He transforms them. He gives them a new heart, a new life, and a heavenly purpose. He deposits His spirit w/in you.
Trans: As I was reading the passion this week, a particular part of the story jumped off the page that has led to our study today. It involved “doubting” Thomas.
Story: Jesus has resurrected and has been seen by Mary, Martha, and all of the disciples except Thomas. When Thomas hears the news, like many people today, he questioned its validity. I want to see and touch Him for myself.
Text: John 20:24-31
Note: Thomas wasn’t about to believe based upon hear-say, he wanted hard evidence.
Truth: I believe people today are looking for hard evidence for the validity of Christ. Only they’re not looking for it in apologetic books – they are looking for it in the lives of those who call themselves Christians (little Christ’s).
Insert: Sad to say, on more than one occasion I’ve heard it said, I might consider being a Christian if people who called themselves Christians lived like Christ? What a sad indictment upon Christians and the church? Jesus said that you should be able to tell the difference b/w a Christian and non-Christian, but I’m not so sure we can do that today. There are countless people who claim Christ, yet their lives say otherwise.
Point: That’s what I want to focus on this AM – not on has Christ risen, but is He risen and alive in you – in your actions, appetites, and attitudes. Does your life reflect His life? Do you and I have the real thing!
Verse: I’ve been crucified w/ Christ yet I no longer live, Jesus Christ now lives in me. And the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave His life for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the Law, then Christ died for nothing. Gal. 2:20-21
Insert: How’s LIFE – How is your Christian LIFE? Is it like Jesus? The Bible says that God has given us everything we need to live a God-honoring life. This Easter, if you were required to describe your life by a punctuation mark – which mark would best describe your spiritual life? Period. Exclamation! Question?