Living the Christian Life
2 Corinthians 5:7
DATE: 11 July, 2004 AM PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
A. How many of you have looked at this thing called the Christian Life and quickly determined, “Can’t live it!” or “Too high for me”?
B. Every one of us have had those thoughts – no one, unless they are just plain stupid, just believes that they can easily live “the Christian Life”
C. I’m not talking about just calling yourself “Christian” simply because you were born in a Christianized country
D. I’m talking about someone who does the following:
1. Saved by faith (Eph 2:8,9)
2. Walks by faith (2Cor 5:7)
3. Wars, battles, wrestles by faith (2Cor 10:3,4)
4. Lives by faith (Rom 1:17)
5. Conquers by faith (1John 5:4)
E. There are three kinds of faith
1. Blind faith – stabs in the dark
2. Bullied faith – pushed by society
3. Believer’s Faith - Obedient Faith
F. Each has its own source
1. One is self-generated
2. One is man generated
3. One is simply obeying the instructions of Someone who can see the steps you need to make
G. It is the last one that works folks, and IT is what we need to see is the source for living the new life that Christ died to obtain for all
H. To learn this we need to see the following truths:
1. The Christian’s Life is a Walk
2. The Christian’s Life is a Contradiction
3. The Christian’s Life is an Impossibility
4. The Christian’s Life Attainable
A. The Christian’s Life is a Walk (2Cor 5:7)
1. Not just a belief system, but it is a day to day way of living
2. That’s not to say that it doesn’t matter what you believe -
3. What you believe DOES affect how you live
a. If you believe that Jesus is not coming back to earth, you will end up fighting and killing in order to make this world a better place
b. If you don’t believe God will judge every idle word you speak, then you will curse and swear and say things that wouldn’t come out of a sewer
c. If you don’t believe the Bible, you will end up believing we all evolved from dirt, and will fight two world wars to prove the survival of the fittest!
4. Therefore, the Christian life is not just what I believe, but HOW I LIVE what I believe!
a. To be a Christian is to live different than the world – not by the old habits, the old ways you used to live by – the old ways of thinking
b. Love different than the world
c. Look different than the world
d. Lean different than the world – instead of on self, and friends, and Mom – rather on the Lord (Pr 3:5,6)
5. So, the Christian’s life is compared to a Walk – a day to day, moment by moment way of living
a. With steps (Ps 37:23,24; 40:1-2) – some small, some big!
b. With a clear starting point – the new birth
c. With an end – clear destination (2Cor 5:6-8) - heaven
6. This is not an aimless walk that constantly gets you lost – thank God
a. Remember how much trouble you got in before getting saved?
b. Now that a person is saved, they have a clear direction to go!
7. It is not something just for Sundays, or on special occasions: i.e., Christmas, weddings, funerals, Easter
8. It is a LIFE
9. And thank God, Jesus said, it is more abundant than can be imagined (Jn 10:10)
B. The Christian’s Life is a Contradiction (Gal 5:17)
1. My sight says, my feelings say, my intuition says, my senses say…
a. All of that is what my old man lives by – my old nature – old habits die hard
b. With all that pressing upon my heart, it is no wonder that my heart finds it hard to walk by my faith (confidence in God enough to obey Him)!
2. Then, I get saved, and I get a new sense – a new voice in my heart
3. And the two of them compete – and boy do they fight
4. Both are just as determined to win as each other
5. So, now I know why I find it hard to do the things I know I should do
a. The Christian’s life is not natural
b. It is natural to sin – to be selfish, to break God’s laws
6. What happens is, people are trying to do right, but do it naturally – and that is impossible
C. The Christian’s Life is an Impossibility (Rom 8:5-8)
1. The Christian life is not something you can just live naturally
a. That is a contradiction
b. It wouldn’t be a Christian life then – it would only be a human life
c. Otherwise, EVERYONE would be easily living how Christ lived
d. THAT certainly is not the case
2. ONLY Christ lived the Christian Life
3. And ONLY Christ can live it through you (Gal 2:20)
4. And you can only live it by means of the new birth – ye MUST be born again (Jn 3:3) – can’t just pray for the Christian life – got to be converted, born again, saved
a. All the efforts of people to mimic the Christian life (imitate it, copy it) without Jesus Christ dwelling in their hearts BY FAITH are wasting their time (Eph 3:17; Col 1:27)
b. All religion, and religious efforts are wasted efforts, and damming efforts if don’t without Jesus in you and through you
6. Let me take it one step further
a. Even as a Christian, the Christian Life that we know that we want to live is still impossible for us to live by accident
b. So many Christians struggle and fall-out simply because they are still trying to live the Christian life by means of the old habits that they have always lived by – they never completely started over (Mt 18:1-4)
D. The Christian’s Life is Attainable.
1. Wait a minute pastor – I thought you just said and proved it was impossible to live the Christian life?
2. No! Just that for Craig Ledbetter to live the Christian life, it is impossible
3. I said nothing about Jesus Christ not being able to live it out perfectly IN and THROUGH me!
4. It is Successfully Lived ONLY by Faith – remember all those verses at the beginning (Eph 2:8,9; 2Cor 5:7; 2Cor 10:3,4; 1Jn 5:4)? I’m talking about having Believing Faith, Obedient Faith
5. Remember that WE HAVE the VICTORY (1Cor 15:57)
6. Let me describe:
a. You and a friend find yourselves fallen into a cave – pitch black
b. You both struggle around but are blind as a bat flying backwards
c. Everywhere around you there are real footpaths, real walls, real drop-offs and ravines, etc. You can feel them, and hear the echo
d. But you have no idea how to get through to the exit
e. Then someone else speaks up – they are there also
f. But the difference is, they have sonargraphic vision – they can see perfectly with sound all the pitfalls, all the wrong turns, all the dangers that are ahead
g. Now, you can either decide to:
1) Just go it alone
2) Follow your friend’s advice – remember, he is just as blind as you are
3) Or, you can allow the third person to guide and direct you
h. THAT is living by Faith – obeying the directions of the One who can see perfectly the way that you should take (Job 23:8-12)
7. Faith is obtained only by believing the words of this Book (Rom 10:17)
8. What is blocking people then?
a. False religious experiences – not being born again
b. No humility, brokenness – any other attitude that you have is of the flesh, the old nature, and it will get you into trouble?
c. Unaware of the present love of God (Gal 2:20b) – so few really know the love of God for them (John 3:16 doesn’t have the meaning like it should)
d. Love FOR God – feeding the spiritual part of you instead of the flesh
1) That’s why the kind of music you listen to either quenches the Holy Spirit in your life, or yields to His power for your life
2) That’s why the time you spend in prayer needs to be more than a Dail session where you just give your list of wishes wants and demands, and instead focuses on just worshipping the Great I AM!
A. The Christian’s Life is a Walk
B. The Christian’s Life is a Contradiction
C. The Christian’s Life is an Impossibility
D. The Christian’s Life Attainable