Lesson 4, Accepted in Christ
Lord, for this time you have given us, you’ve allowed us to come together in community study your word. I ask Father that you bless the vision mission for this ministry. I ask that you bless this leader. I ask that you have his family, Lord, at the very top of your blessing list. Keep him ever faithful in serving you, Father. I ask the same for all of those that are joined here on this line today. I ask Lord that you be with us in our studies and give us a commitment, Lord in our hearts, that we will reach out to our brother and sisters. Let them know the good news of salvation. In Jesus’s name, we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.
What is it that human beings crave the most?
Children go to school, and they form clicks. One group is over here; that’s the hip group. Then you have another person who seems to be the outcast.
It saddens their hearts. They want to feel accepted in that group. Sometimes, unfortunately, even in the church, you have these clicks. Why is it? The human heart craves acceptance. The good news for us today is that even before this world was formed, God had decided to accept us in Christ.
Let’s see what the bible has to say about that. When did God accept us in Christ? was it when we were baptized that we were accepted? Was it when we joined God's church? Ephesians 1:4. according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
Before God created the world, we were already chosen in Christ. Way before all this stuff began to occur, God decided to put us in Christ. as a matter of fact, the bible tells us that we were created in Christ. Christ being our Creator.
Why is that important for us? as human beings, we want to do something to make ourselves appear worthy of acceptance. We sometimes try really hard to make ourselves acceptable, even to our peers. Even in the church, in personal relationships, we sometimes find ourselves having to prove ourselves before the other person will accept us. God doesn’t operate like that. He doesn’t accept you on the basis of your performance. He accepts us on the basis of His love for us.
So what do we have as a result of being in Christ? Ephesians 1:3.
Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
Now is that future tense, present tense, or past tense? Past tense. As a result of being put in Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. In other words, God never does anything outside of Christ; everything that God does, he always does it in Christ. um. so that's very important as we continue that's very important for us to understand everything that God does, he does it for us in Christ what was as a result of all of that now we know that in Christ God put us in Christ way before he put us in Adam way before the foundation of the world
We learned that in Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. That blessing stems from having been put in Christ. Notice what Christ was made for us; this is very important first corinthians 1 verse 30.
but of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption
Let me share this illustration with you real quick. A group of young people was debating on Facebook. They were saying that the reason why the young people are leaving the church today is because the church focuses too much on perfection - things like standards and stuff like that. I never chime in on conversations like that. It’s not my practice, but that day I felt impressed to. I needed to say something for Jesus. I said the reason why our young people are leaving the church is not because of perfection.
Perfection is the Bible term. It's a good thing. Young people are leaving because every time we talk about stuff like sanctification, and perfection, we talk about them outside of Christ. We make it seem as if that's something we have to do when the bible says that Christ is your perfection. He is your sanctification. He is your redemption. he is your righteousness. he is your wisdom. Whatever you need, Jesus already is. Christ is your life, and as your life, he is your redemption. He is your sanctification.
Sanctification is not what somebody once told me. They said they were trying to illustrate it. They said that God is like your job where you get a new job now you got to prove to God that you deserve for him to say now you're sanctified no, friends, that's not what it is. Jesus is your sanctification. He is your life.
So the question is not so much can I be sanctified, or do I have that in me you. I don't have that in us the question is do you have Jesus, period if you have Jesus, then you have his sanctification. If you have Jesus, you have his peace. if you have Jesus, then you have his joy for whatever Jesus has you have by faith that is any questions with that by the way before we continue any thoughts or any comments amen. So it's not a matter of can I be holy. We already know - and if you hang out with me long enough, you already know the questions and that answer.
The answer to that question is no. so that's not the issue. Is Jesus whole? Yes. Is Jesus righteous? Yes, yes, he is. So, friends, this is the whole point of this whole thing. We are afraid to trust the life of Christ to do the work because we think that we have to somehow put our sense in there to make what God did for us effective; as if to say that what God did for us in Christ is not enough; that we need to add more to it for it to be enough. No friends, everything that Jesus did when He walked this earth is enough. The father is not looking for anything outside of what Christ did when he was here on this earth. Everything that Christ performed or he did that the father was doing in him, the father has already said it is good. , friends, the very life that God demands of you. He has already performed it in Jesus Christ amen. It’s like somebody that's been praying, “father give me patience.” Friends, I'm going to say this. I hope you don't take it the wrong way. You don't need patience; what you need is Jesus. Jesus is your patience. It’s the same thing with victory, “father give me…” no, that's not what you need. Victory is a person. Patience is a person. Rest is a person. The resurrection is a person.
That person, friends, is Jesus Christ. Sorry. I didn't mean to go off on that tangent. We get so discouraged sometimes when we're sitting in church.
We’re saying to ourselves, did we do enough? have I done enough? Remember this; if you have Jesus, you already have everything. So the question then you know what the real issue is belief. Do I really believe it? Yeah, that is the real thing. You know, I've heard people say sanctification is the work of a lifetime. That’s true. It is. But let me ask you this: is it a work of a lifetime for God? No, the reason why it's a work of a lifetime for us is because, deep down inside, we really don't believe it. Christ is your sanctification. He is your redemption. All that you need him to be he already is - Then some. so yes
That’s the beauty of it now we're going to something else. Oh, please don't crucify me, friends. I love you guys. So much. Let's go to Romans chapter 5 verse 19 real quick because we need to establish something. I want you to know that. I want you to know that what. I am not saying. I want you to understand what I am saying. Obedience is very important. I want to make that clear because sometimes when we talk like that, it can come across as if we're trying to do away with stuff that people have been working all their life hard to do. Romans chapter 5 19 can somebody read that for me for as one man's disobedience many by one man's disobedience many were made sinners. So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. So now. Let me ask you guys whose obedience will shall many be made righteous is it your obedience or someone else's obedience the obedience of Christ the obedience of not. Am I saying that, or is the bible saying obedience is not important? no, obedience is important, but unless we have to understand it in the context of obedience, your obedience
My obedience is always the fruit of the one who has already obeyed perfectly. I think that that is something that um sometimes again we kill ourselves like again no, friends, my obedience yes it's important, but it's the fruit it's not the means of our salvation you know one of my favorite gospel writers says this there is no salvation even in faith salvation is only found in Christ amen is the tool by which God utilizes in order to bridge us together with what the blessing that God has already for us. So the basis, if you will, by which God declares, well, by which God shall make many righteous is on the basis of the obedience of one man. That one is Christ.
Let me say this. If Jesus is living in us we truly allow him to do. So through the holy spirit because sometimes when. I talk this way. I can again like. I said people get the wrong impression that I'm saying that obedience is not important and all this other stuff, but Let me ask you this if Jesus is living in you, will he disobey the father in you? No no, no, no will Jesus keep the law in you yes yes. So then, if that's the case, why are we. so afraid to trust Jesus in his life totally to doing that in us why do we think that if we. Let Christ in there.and if we don't tell Jesus how he should live it or if we don't tell Jesus what he should do that we think that Jesus is going to make a sense it's to have faith in the life of Christ his life is already perfect, friends, that listen listen if the devil wants to come to you. I right now right
if he was to come to you would he find anything in us we cannot lie. We have to say yes, yes he was he would find something in us but. Let me ask you this way if Christ is if we allow Jesus to live in us
we're depending on his life through his righteousness living in us
the devil comes will he find anything in us no no why not because in looking at us who's he looking at Christ
remember what Jesus said that ever has come
he has found nothing in me yes
the only reason right, friends, if you really think about it the only reason oftentimes every time you.I are sinning at that moment. We are sinning. We stop believing because we're not really depending on Christ at that particular moment depending on his life to do that Christ is able my brothers
sisters, he can do it. by his obedience perfect obedience. I can. I can say without even winking that Christ's obedience is my obedience. I can say without even blinking that his perfection is my perfection now. I don't have any perfection of my own to give but in Christ. I can say I'm perfect because I'm standing on the word of God not by your feelings but by the word of God not by how. I feel this day no friend. so we walk by faith, not by sight. all of this, by the way, that God has done for us in Christ, is God's gift to you
I know the kind of persons we were, but yet God did all this for us - when we were enemies. he did all this when we were yet sinners. he did all this, friends, when we were, as the bible says, when we were in sin, he died. When we were steep in our trespasses, God did all that for us; that is his gift. That's why the bible says we are saying the past tense, but we are saying past tense by grace through faith there you go, not of yourself should any man boast. no one can go to heaven and say, well, I'm there because I return a faithful tithe. no one can say, I'm there because I've kept the sabbath all my life. regardless of whether we want to agree with this point right here or not your keeping the sabbath does not make you righteous; it is a person that makes you righteous; but a righteous person in Christ will keep the sabbath because Christ in him will honor the father. One last question that is very important. How should the death of Jesus motivate us to live? Let's go 1 Corinthians 5 verse 14
15 how should the death of Jesus or the love of God or the love of Christ how should that motivate us um to live to live righteous yes yes yes that's true um to let Christ live his righteousness in us and allow us to live holy. okay, to allow Christ to live in us - to live his life of holiness in us.
Let's see what the bible says here, real quick. 2 Corinthians 5:14. for the love of Christ constraineth us. but we thus judge if that if one died for all then we were all dead and that he died for all that they which should live should not henceforth live unto themselves unto him which died for them and rose again good good good. so who is it that died for all [Music] by the way before I even go further, this is even sad that I gotta mention this, I do. so because I need people to understand that this is not universalism. you know our church does not teach that. That’s the idea that because Jesus did all that for us, we can live as we please that that that it we do not teach that we do not advocate that at allit is it is downright heresy it is not the worst that that in itself is not the word of God. so while God did something for all men in Christ while he did while he did while he saved all men in Christ but not all men will be saved unto eternal life okay. I want to make that clear. even though God did this for all of us in Christ, it doesn't mean that everybody's going to be saved, okay. so we need to make that clear
By the way when I say that it should make us weak, do you know why? Because the heart of the father says it's it's his will that all men everywhere be saved right sometimes. I go places sometimes. I go places
it seems like the people are happy that. I said that
I'm like man your heart should be broken the fact that I'm saying that because God wants everyone to be saved although we know not everyone will be saved amen the reason why that verse is important is because people when they hear the gospel.I believe it's because they don't fully understand the gospel but when they do hear the gospel they seem to think that we are saying that because God did everything for us that we can live as we please, it doesn't cause us to take our spiritual life seriously, or we're making it too easy as somebody once said. So now check this out that last the last end of that verse the bible there says that if one died for all then you we will not then we should not live for ourselves but live for the one who died for us. so those who truly believe the gospel message will live for themselves no, no why will they not live for themselves who's living in them Christ Jesus Christ is living in us because we're right
that Jesus lives for himself. so those who truly believe the gospel message will never say never utter that you can do as you please because God did this or God is doing this for us in Christ it does not because, friends, the life of Jesus that lives in us will only live to please the father
that's the enemy amen amen
but the main thing of this lesson is to show you not only of what he already did for us but the fact that you
him are in him he has accepted us in Christ you are accepted
remember when Jesus was coming up out of the water
um he heard the words this is my beloved son there's a book that. I love. so much that says that it's called desire of ages
In that book, it says that when the father made that declaration, he was encircling the entire human race in the beloved. So the declaration was not made to Jesus, but it was al. so made to you when God looks at you, friends, he sees you accepted in the beloved yeah God does not you know again one of my favorite Christian writers says this that through the righteousness of Christ oh. I love this man when you when you accept he says when you receive Christ you st
before God she says you st
before God as if you had never committed a single crime in your life. I have a question. I have a question when does the holy spirit come in does the holy spirit come in when we arebaptized because some I've heard some um preaching preaching that says that we you know we must be born again of the water
of the spirit
you must have the holy spirit in the last days
must not the holy spirit that's a good question. so yes you are born of the spirit listen you can't even say Jesus is Lord without the holy spirit the bible says the only way that we can even say he's Lord is that we have the spirit yeah okay while it is true that we are born of the spirit but there was of instance in the bible. I believe it's acts chapter 8 verse 15 where the bible says the spirit of God fell on them and they weren't even baptized yet. it's God's gift to give, friend.
Listen, friends, you go back to um the new covenant over in ezekiel chapter 36 notice there because sometimes people will say well you know you got to clean yourself first before God will bless listen, friends, the cleaning the the conditions of cleaning oneself is what is God's gift to you through the new covenant because when you go to the book of Ezekiel he says. I will clean you, he says. I will cleanse you from all your idols. I will wash you from all your filthiness. Then he says. I will put my spirit in you. I will cause you to do my judgment when we're talking about things like obedience. When we're talking about things, notice it's the father who is doing all of that in us. The question is will you allow him to do it? Yeah it's not a matter of if our salvation has nothing to do with us holding on to God's hands but it has everything to do with him holding on to your hands our problem is we want to. Let go
God is holding up but you know he's not going to force us to hold on because that would not be unconditional love unconditional love does not force one to serve to serve or to love one it doesn't do that you know. So, sometimes God will honor our request. you want to go. he doesn't want you to go, but often you know, we will kick, and we will kick, but God will still be there. he still loves us, but he will never go against your choice because that is not true love. but the point of the whole thing, friends, as we come to a close, that God has already accepted you in Christ. You didn't do anything to deserve it. You didn't do anything to merit it. You didn't do anything to earn it. it's God's gift entirely to you, by the way, you weren’t even at the board meeting when he decided to do that [Music] the only reason why he did it was simply because God is loved periods amen
One last thing. That same person wrote that I've been making reference to that text that we read in 2 Corinthians 5 where it says, notice it does not say my love for Christ. Notice it says the love of Christ who straineth me.
This is where we must come to terms with this that God's love is the most powerful force in all of the universe. The love that God talks about is not the same love that Beyonce sings about or that we often hear about on tv. Things that mean the love of God is what constraints us oh. I got one more text for you. One more text as far as being accepted in Christ. Somebody read first john 3 verse 9 for me real quick. We are accepted in Christ, right. We have received Christ by the grace of God we have al. so received the life of Christ it is his life in us but.
I want you to see one of the benefits, one of the blessings, in doing this. 1 John 3 9. This will be our last one:
whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remains in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God.
Now notice there are some terms there. Whoever’s born of God does what not sin. Why is that? because who Jesus as Christ I'm. so glad you said that because some people don't interpret it like that because his seed remains in him but check this out um because the seed remaineth in him
What’s after that he Jesus okay there you go that's what. I wanted to get at it because some people are looking at themselves, say, well, that's me no, friends, you. I can see. I can send off the person who the reason you cannot sin is that Jesus did not sin amen that doesn't make sense. I didn't understand that before the question is this do you believe yes who. I believe do you want Christ. Yes, right now, yes, live through the spirit his life in you every temptation every blessing oh man um brother Garette I'm. so sorry another thought came to my head can. I say this one, sure, pastor; the holy spirit gave me this one time. so when the devil causes us to sin or temptation, we look at individual sins
We’re trying to deal with it but do you know that that's not the temptation that the devil really um brings to us when you go to Matthew chapter 4 where Jesus was being tempted notice every time Jesus was tempted, he went to what the word of God the word you want to know what the temptation is? The temptation is for us to depend on ourselves rather than the word of God. so we're being tempted instead of going to the word. The word says the seed is in you. so now here comes the devil
He’s trying to tempt you; you can go to the word. You can say devil no the seed the bible says that Christ his seed is in me.
Jesus cannot sin. I believe what you said.
that's where the issue all lies
Somebody said it earlier. Do we believe it?
That’s the thing. It has nothing to do with whether I cannot. We already know we can. The issue is, do I believe that Christ's life is enough, or do I believe that his life is enough? Do I believe the father loved me? so much that he was willing to put me in Christ, way before he put me in Adam
by the way, that's why when Adam sinned, that's why you know even before Adam Adam two was in Christ
That’s why when Adam sinned. Let me ask you this: who did the father see? Did he see Adam, or did he see Christ? He saw Christ, that's right.
For Christ's sake, that's the only reason why. That’s the only time; I would say when the father said he would do something and didn't do it. He said in the day you eat thereof thou shalt surely die God does not play around. He does not mince words. Adam should have died right there and then. The only reason you want to know why he didn't die is that Christ himself had made a decision and the father agreed that if man messed up that haven't put us in Christ, Christ himself would be our substitute. Wow. that is the beauty, friends, of this entire thing, the reason why. I believe that this is called the most precious message the reason why. I believe that is because this is the only message that makes the devil afraid. One writer says this is why he does not want us to receive it, to believe it. because he knows that if we take it in with all of our hearts, he knows that every single power of the enemy would be broken on us
he does not want his power broken
The reason why his power would be broken, you want to know why, friends, is because that power is Christ. Yes, Jesus has already overcome him. in Christ, you have already overcome him. Still, he doesn't want you to know that he wants you depressed he wants you when every time you make every time you sin and make a mistake, he wants you dwelling on it, making you believe that oh God doesn't, friends, you were accepting in Christ long before you stopped sinning victory. Let's pray that in Christ that we will. Let Christ every time remember the story of this little girl. She was, remember, that little story about the little girl who went to the door and the devil came to the door and when the devil came and saw the little girl she said she said the devil said pardon me. I must have the wrong address because the morning that little girl woke up, that little girl prayed: Jesus. I want you to live in my heart awesome I'm gonna close with this is fine listen, man, I'm a preacher. So I'm gonna close with this. I'm really closed with this. I really am. I'm gonna close with this there was a little lady, an old lady who loved Jesus.
Everybody knew she loved Jesus.
One day the queen of England was coming to her house because they were friends. The king of England was coming to her house everybody was like, you know, everybody was out wanting to see the king. there's such an uproar made about it because the king the queen was coming after the queen left the people came to her house
They said, who is the most honored guest you have ever had come to your house? Now they sent this because they wanted to trap her in her face in Christ. She said, oh, that's easy. The queen is the most honored guest I've ever had come to my house.
They started laughing at her, hahaha. I thought you said Jesus is the most honored guest.
she looked at them with the smile that only a child of God can bring
She said yes. Jesus is not a guest. He lives here. You are in Christ right now. You have victory over every sin right now. If you believe, it never means that you will never sin. That’s not what that means. What it means is, I am resting on the victory that Jesus purchased for me with his life when he was here on this earth. Every time a temptation comes, instead of depending on how long I've been in the church to overcome; instead of depending on how faithful I am as far as my eating habits or my dress reform; I am to go straight to Jesus and say, “Jesus, you deal with this because I can't.” when somebody's messing with me. I say, Jesus, you deal with this because I can't. That is where the power is. The spirit comes from God., friends.
I so much love every one of you, but I have to turn it over now to brother Garrett. Thank you so much for the time. I appreciate it. God bless you
The storms of this life often threatens to overflow and overwhelm us; but in God's Word we find reasons to keep swimming; keep striving; keep pressing and holding on. In this series we explore 21 reasons why we can have hope, even in a world, or personal experience, that feels hopeless.