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The World and the Word
Many Christians have given up on the idea of living a truly victorious, holy Christian life. They have a besetting sin which has them in a headlock. Maybe more than one. They have tried to get the victory, but feel they have failed...probably numerous times.
At least on a subconscious level, they have resigned themselves to the belief that it is impossible for them to walk in complete victory. The key to victory is found in this prayer of Jesus.
Let's read our text. As we do...
...Notice how many times Jesus says 'world' and 'word'. They are almost the same spelling, but are diametrically opposed. The Word is the only hope of the world. And the Word will keep you from the world. But the world often keeps us from the Word!
The key to victory is found in this real Lord's prayer.
vv. 1-5 Jesus prays for Himself.
vv. 6-19 Jesus prays for His present disciples.
vv. 20-26 Jesus prays for His future disciples.
During this prayer, Jesus touches on the 3 great parts of the Christian life.
Past-Justification. [positionally right with God]
Present-Sanctification. [conformed more like Him]
Future-Glorification. [finally in His likeness]
Most of us like talking about the past...when we got saved, and all God HAS DONE. And we like talking about the future in heaven, and leaving this world behind in the rapture, and getting a glorified body.
But when the preacher mentions present sanctification, many of the people break out in hives! It scares us to talk about this subject. Why?
Because there are 2 Common Misconceptions about Sanctification:
1. We mistakenly think it means 'sinless.'
We've given up on that idea. "I'll never be perfect so why even try?"
But sanctified doesn't mean sinless. We won't attain to that until we are in heaven, and God removes our sin nature entirely. Real sanctification isn't being sinless, but learning to sin less ... by God's power.
2. We mistakenly think it means the end of the good life.
"I'll never have any fun anymore." "God's will is dull."
But read the instructions, and you'll hear of joy, love and peace ... and I want you to know they are real joy, true love, actual peace. God made us and knows what is best for us and WANTS what is best for us, and He's not trying to ruin our fun ... He wants to enhance it!
I've been saved for over 37 years and I want you to know that God's will is not always easy, but it's a blast of an adventure, with no regretful hangover. It's a great time being a Christian. I wouldn't want riches, fame, and worldly pleasures if it meant I couldn't have Jesus!
It's a truly satisfying drink of living water with no funny aftertaste. It is living the good life God intended for us, and that doesn't mean it won't have problems or stress. It means it will be worth living. It will still have battles but they will be battles worth fighting. There will still be heartaches but they will be worth enduring. There will still be a load to carry but it won't break your back, because you do not walk alone ... underneath are the everlasting arms!