March 23, 2014
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Three weeks ago we began a series of lessons about becoming more contagious with our faith.
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- The church needs more contagious people.
- Well, how do we do this? How can we become contagious?
- This is the purpose of these lessons…it take work on our part.
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- Wk #1 - Our Beautiful Feet
- Wk #2 - Creating a Thirst
- Wk #3 - Telling Our Story
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What is your reaction when you see when you see the cross?
- The cross is the central part of “His Story.”
- Sadly, some have become uncomfortable with the cross.
- They have tried to:
- Remove crosses from buildings and such.
- Remove the focus of worship from the cross
- Jesus didn’t mean to be crucified
We cannot ignore that that the cross is central part of Jesus’ story.
- Look at the gospels...they all include the crucifixion.
- They warn of the cross and even build up to it.
- Matt. 16:21
- Matt. 17:22-23
- Matt. 20:17-19
- Matt. 26:1-2
*He was going to die on the cross
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GOAL - How we can be contagious about His story
- To consider how His story is the story that other need to here.
- (Advance Slide #6)
Text38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Matt. 26:38-42The events here take place the night before Jesus was to be crucified.
- From the content of His prayer, it doesn’t sound like Jesus wanted to go through with the cross.
LessonWhy would Jesus die?(Advance Slide #7)
- If He didn’t want to then why did He?
- To understand this question we need to examine some basic concepts of the Bible.
God loves you - think about that!
(Advance Slide #8)
- Out of His love He created you in His image.
It is hard to love some people:
- Because of His love we are the “crown” of His creation...in fact that is the focus of John 3:16
Think about who it was that Jesus spent time with.
- Those that we work with
- Those that we live near
- Those that we are related to
- But God loved them all...even the UNLOVABLE
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- Sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, sick, social outcasts.
- Why would He do this?
- The only answer that works is that He loved them.
Something separated us - even though we are loved by Him
- Our lives are contaminated, tainted, and stained by sin.
- By the things that we have said, done and thought!
- Consider this in contrast:
(Advance Slide #10)
- 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:5-6
- His brightness exposes our sin.
- When we are in the presence of God, because of our sin, we become embarrassed, self-conscious, uncomfortable.
- When the prophet Isaiah was in the presence of God he said, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
**How then can we change this? How can we remove our sins?
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The fact of the matter is that we cannot.
- But he blessing is this...God has already done it!
- God did all the work that we could not do for ourselves.
- The scares of our past sins will remain, unless God removes them.
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- “3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:3-5
What did He do that we couldn’t?
- He brought salvation!
- He paid the price for our sins!
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EX. When the Lord separated the Red Sea.
- It was one thing for Israel to say, “Look God has provided a way.”
- To know that God provided a way.
- But for salvation to take place...Israel had to cross.
Can you be contagious about this story...HIS STORY?
- Contagious people are seeking people.
- When people seek, they begin to ask questions.
- (Advance Slide #14)
- A question that I am asked is this, “How do I become a Christian?”
- I reply with these questions:
- Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
- Do you believe that you are a sinner?
- Are you willing to turn from your past?
- Are you willing to confess Him as your Savior?
- Are you willing to be baptized?