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Summary: If we are to follow Jesus then we must walk as he walked (1 John 2:6)

WHAT MUST I DO? FOLLOW CHRIST – PART 2

JOHN 12:24-26

Big Idea: If we are to follow Jesus then we must walk as he walked (1 John 2:6)

John 12:24-26

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

INTRO:

Following has its privileges

In his book None of These Diseases, the Christian medical doctor S. I. McMillen, tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower."

Sometimes it pays to be a follower. In fact, when it comes to your salvation and spiritual development, being a follower (a Christ-follower) is absolutely essential.

We are asking ourselves “What Must I Do?” and looking at the New Testament for answers. We have discovered that “Whatever God’s Word says I MUST do, God knows I CAN do!” and it is with that confidence that we approach these Biblical charges.

Last week we began looking at John 12:26; “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

We discovered that following and walking have a lot in common and that if we are to follow Jesus we must walk as he walked. In fact, that is another “MUST” from the New Testament. Listen to 1 John 2:6, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

I gave you three elements of walking like Jesus … of following Jesus last week:

Following Jesus means:

1. We’ll Walk in Newness of Life (Romans 6:4)

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4, KJV)

2. We’ll Walk in Holiness (1 John 1:6-7)

“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7)

3. We’ll Walk in Love (Ephesians 5:2)

“{A}nd walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)

Today I would like to offer you a three more characteristics of a Christ-follower … of one who walks as Jesus did.

4. WE’LL WALK BY FAITH

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, KJV)

Some of you have recently taken the Spiritual gift workshop and others (all) of you will be offered the chance in coming days. One of the pleasant discoveries I have made as I review your questionnaires is how many of you have “the gift of faith.” Now faith is something that each believer has but there are some that are given special endowments of it. It expresses itself through a deep abiding conviction that that God is sovereign and in control of your circumstances. It expresses itself in a deep awareness that you are not alone and that gift enriches the body of Christ because your faith becomes contagious and helps those of us who are inclined to look at the circumstances instead of THE SOLUTION (which is nothing less than God’s presence).

I have the gift of administration. One thing about overseeing a church is that you are, in one way or another, always addressing systemic needs and “big picture” problems. That tends to wear on a person; if you are not careful you can lose heart … you can become discouraged and overwhelmed. But, those of you with the gift faith help those like me to walk by faith and not by sight. You help us to walk in confidence that Jesus will build His church and that God is participating in our lives.

You see, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). As we follow Jesus we will learn to trust God to direct life’s journey.

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