Summary: Following Christ is more than just warm fuzzys in worship it’s about taking up your cross and being obedient to him as Lord
What does it mean to follow Jesus.
How do you define what it means to be a Christian?
What is possibly the most common definition of what it means to be Christian?
‘I have a relationship with Jesus’
What does that even mean – I get it, he listens to you and you listen to him
He makes you feel warm, fuzzy, loved and cared for.
But I’ve been reading the gospel of John lately and it’s a lot darker than that – very black and white – sometimes its john, but sometimes its jesus words.
Had me wondering how Jesus would define Christian
Of all the facebook categories - …., I’d guess he’d tell people that if they wanna be on his team – they come as his followers.
At the start of the gospel he does a lot of calling people to follow him. Late on its about if you love me you’ll obey.
My beef with r/ship is that it seems like an opt in/out kind of thing – best options game.
Not with JC
Read John 14 – poorly titled
What did Jesus expect of his followers?
1) If we love Jesus, we will obey him
(not feelings, not talking, not appearances – but obedience)
He makes the direct correlation love = obey 3 x
States the reverse, if you don’t obey, you don’t love
And finishes brilliant by living out the principle by example
– I love the Father, so I obey.
What commands – this is around the same time he says love one another as I have loved you – 15:12
His other obvious commands, instructions to his disciples was the sermon on the mount. Can you remember how he finishes it ? seriously brilliant ending – the coolest.
About a wiseman and foolish man – one builds on the sand v stone
Matt 7:26 – if you hear my words and don’t put them into practice you are a fool.
Not smarter for hearing, you’re life is doomed.
a few times jesus shares a hard word and people leave – what does he do, run off and tell them he’ll compromise
no – its my way or the highway
anything less and he’s selling himself short
It been tried throughout history but you can’t bargain with God.
Trouble with all illustrations of God is all limited, eg Dan in communion, gift limited, r/ship limited,
Eg – groom saying ‘I wanna scrap that ‘forsake all others bit’, I’ll have a few affairs but it’ll be ok – I’ll come home to you most nights’
Later – I’ll give the r/ship with God cliché one big winner is that it reminds me of marriage and that I think is a good analogy
its not about emotion or what you get from the other – just a commit, a decision to love and stick with till death do you part – not that you part with JC
marriage is about love in action – as is life with JC
More than r/ship – Paul speaks of a slave to Christ
Given away his rights – why would we do this?
Invited into the life of God.
He invites us into his work – theosis (participation in the nature of God)
Eg water moving from a potato slice into a highly salted water solution, music at my house – los campesinos.
Jesus called people to believe in him – but it wasn’t about head knowledge he was admant that belief in him would result in living his way, love for him = obey his commands.
The fact they are called commands, not ideas or suggestions again reminds us he is Lord God, boss, the one to look to re direction for how to live.
2) The Counsellor is provided to help us obey
– Jesus knows what we are like, that we need help
That is why he starts the change from the inside out, and by his Spirit.
It is through the Spirit that he lives in us – works on our heart
The spirit reminds us of his commands – what Jesus says
I’m not super spiritual – I don’t get words
But I remember scriptures, and the Spirit speaks through my conscience – step up to act or step back from temptation
Vs 31 JC shows that love translates to action
That includes obeying when its tough – saying no to sin
3) Obedience brings peace
If we are disobedient we will be at war within ourselves
- don’t fight with God. Jesus wasn’t joking when he told us to love one another like he loved us – we don’t always succeed, but if you have a grudge against someone, you wont have any peace. Sin, money, attitude uncaring, etc
How would your Christianity look diff if we didn’t have the OT or letters from the NT – but all we did was re-read and read again the gospels – would our Christianity be less theoretical and more about living like Jesus – taking his commands seriously