Remember when your parents tucked you in and told you those bedtime Bible stories?  Maybe they read them or just told you those stories.  But let me ask you this, “Were they just bedtime stories or were they actually bedtime truths; bedtime stories that were truths from God’s word that forever and profoundly changed our lives?

 10-02-16-bedtime-truths-_david-goliath_blog-pic

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m for our new series, “Bedtime Truths.”

We will begin with one of the most popular stories read to our children. The story of a sheppard boy named David, who defeats a giant, Goliath, and wins a decisive battle for the nation of Israel. 

See you Sunday for our first in the series, “Bedtime Truths, David and Goliath!”

zero-gravity

#DEATHTOSELFIE           Life To Self(ie)    Sermon Notes Believers Statesboro       9-18-16

09-18-16_dts_life-to-selfie_wk5-pp

I’ve heard it said that you aren’t really ready to live, until you are first ready to die.  In other words,

when you are secure in Christ Jesus, eternally secure, you don’t fear death and life is full, lived with

joy and expectation!

In this series we have learned that we need to come to God with our true self(ie), not who we pretend to be or want others to think we are.  Then, when we die to our selfie, we will begin to experience new life in Christ Jesus.

We also need to get a clear understanding that when we experience a #DeathToSelf(ie) we are also experiencing death to sin and its control in our lives.  We are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ.

Romans 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The Selfie Stick

The selfie sticks we are talking about today is not the one you extend to get a better picture of yourself.  This selfie stick is a measuring stick that helps you get a better picture of yourself.

This measuring stick is God’s Law, His truth revealed to you and me through the Bible.

Romans 5:20a The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.

  • The law was given, “So that trespasses might increase”- So you would realize your sins.
  • The law showed us just how far we were from God’s holiness.
  • The law gave us something to measure ourselves by- A Selfie Stick!
  • The law shows me that I can never make it on my own.  “Wow, I’m worse than I thought I was.

 

Grace to Selfie

Romans 5:20b-21 But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (NIV)

Grace increased all the more.  It overflowed, it flooded the room.  Greek – Grace SUPER ABOUNDED.

Dead to Sin

Rom 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

We conclude, “That’s great news!  Now I can continue in sin so that grace will increase!  Grace is a good thing!” We would never think that, would we?     The early church did.

Paul’s teaching that increased sin brings increased grace is liable to cause some to claim that if by sinning they were providing God an opportunity to display the greatness of His grace then they should just keep on sinning.  But Paul explains…

Romans 6:2 By no means!  We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Can Grace be abused?      Is there such a thing as “Sloppy Grace”?

  • Christians who profess Jesus as Lord, yet live for themselves.
  • Believers who walk according to the flesh, not according to the Spirit.
  • Free people who willfully choose to walk again in the bondage of sin.
  • The attitude that “I can do anything I want because Jesus will forgive me anyway.”
  • Sin now – pray later. Do penitence for your sins ahead of time, so that you can sin freely later.

NEXT STEP:  Does my lifestyle indicate that I am Dead to Sin or Alive to Sin?

Baptized into His Death

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We are going to have a water baptism next Sunday, September 25th, which is a symbol of the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Romans 6:4-6 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-

Our old selfie or old man is our pre-conversion life, what we were before becoming Christians under the unrestrained dominion of the flesh (sin nature).

The body of sin refers to the sinful nature within us, not to the human body.  The Greek verb translated done away with implies that sin is not totally extinct, but sin is defeated or deprived of power.

 Life to Self(ie)

Romans 6:7-11 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus

Dead to sin: Not controlled by the love of sin or its ruling power in our lives, dead to its enslaving power (but not dead to all of its influence: see v. 12, 13, 15, 16).[1]

Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Therefore: Understanding verses 2—11 is understanding that we are dead to the ruling power of sin, and its destructive effects in our lives, so we should not let it reign in our bodies.

Romans 6:13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

We have a continual choice day after day whether to yield ourselves to sin or to God.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

  • To be under law is to be under a system of trying to earn salvation in our own strength by obeying the law.
  • To be under grace is to be justified and to live by the indwelling resurrection power of Christ.

We can never say in this life that we are sinless.  We also should never say, “This one sin has defeated me—I give up.”  Sin shall not be our Master!

Uncover Selfies Secret Sins

I John 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 

Proverb 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

The power of Christ’s resurrection at work within us (vv. 4, 5, 11) is greater than the power of any sin, no matter how long established in our lives.

We can die to sin through all the resources that grace provides.

NEXT STEP:  I will confess my sins according to 1 John 1:9 and allow Jesus to purify me from all unrighteousness.

Slaves to Sin or Righteousness?

Romans 6:15 What then?  Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Back to the original question asked in verses 1-2.  To answer, Paul uses the analogy of slavery to combat a casual attitude toward sin.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey— whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

 

If you obey the commands of sin, then sin is your master and you are moving in the direction of death.

If you obey the commands of righteousness, then righteousness is your master, and you will experience true life.  Dying to sin, alive in Christ Jesus!

Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

You have been set from sin if you are a believer in Christ Jesus and have received His gift of grace, the

gift of righteousness.

If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus you are not free from sin, but you can be.

NEXT STEP:  I will memorize Romans 6:11.

Today, we can all walk out of here dead to sin, and alive in Christ.  It’s your choice.  You can die to live.

Die to your sins and come alive in Christ Jesus.

Buried and Raised in Baptism

Colossians 2:12-14 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

The idea is that of a monetary obligation acknowledged by a debtor.  It means a signed confession of indebtedness, (a legal document or) bond, or self-confessed indictment.[2]                            

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Jesus makes a public spectacle out of the powers and authorities by triumphing over them on the cross (Col. 2:15), but how did Jesus disarm the powers and authorities?

  • He disarmed them by taking away their ammunition against us.
  • Jesus canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us.
  • Our signed confession of indebtedness
  • Our self-confessed indictment
  • How did He do that?
    • By nailing the accusations, our legal indebtedness, the self-confessed indictment to the cross! Vs 24 “…he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”

Satan is the accuser of the brethren… (Rev. 12:10)

  • Now we can say, “Yes, you are absolutely right. Yes, I agree, that’s exactly what I did.  I was a slave to sin.  I was dead in sin.  Yes, I did all of the things you are accusing me of.  Yes, I confess that I am guilty.”

But… Jesus nailed my self-confessed indictment to the cross with Him, and according to Col 1:13-14, he has rescued us (My selfie and your selfie) from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 Suddenly, your accuser is disarmed.

If you have confessed your sins, you are alive to God in Christ Jesus and dead to your sins.

Everything from this point on is only a false accusation of Satan, the accuser of the brethren.

It is a powerless charge against you.

You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

You are complete in Him.

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Life is not meant to be lived by your Self(ie). Who have you invited to church in this series?  How did it go?
  2. What did Pastor Scott mean as he compared the Law and scriptural truths to a measuring stick or scale?
  3. Does your lifestyle indicate that you are Dead to Sin or Alive to Sin? (Romans 6:11)
  4. Read Colossians 2:12-15. How did Jesus make a public spectacle out of the powers and authorities?
  5. How did Jesus disarm the powers and authorities? (vs 13-14).  What do we mean when we say, “Jesus canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness?

 

[1] Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D., Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJ (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), p. 1696

[2] Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D., Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJ (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), p. 1816

We all have a tendency to want the world to revolve around us. We want be the ‘Center of the Universe’. We all tend to be obsessed with ourselves, but all of these natural tendencies must come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, Jesus is the one who said we must “die to ourselves.”  #DeathtoSelfie.

  • When we come to grips with who we really are and come clean before Jesus, He transforms us into the selfie He wants us to be!
  • But first we have to experience a Death to the Selfie, death to who we think we are or want to be, so that we can come alive to our true selfie in Christ Jesus!

“…Among those born of women there is no one greater than John…”

This is a statement that Jesus made about John the Baptist in Luke 7:26-28 But what did you go out to see?  A prophet?  Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Now why would Jesus say this about John the Baptist?  I believe it was because John was a man who understood and lived out the reality of what Death to Selfie is all about.

He knew his true identity and the purpose that God had for him and he was willing to die to himself and his ways and fully surrender to God’s way, even to the point of death.  As John made very clear, “He (Jesus) must become greater; I (John) must become less (John 3:30).

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

John 3:26-29 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28  You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29  The bride belongs to the bridegroom.  The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.  That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

John 3:30                He must become greater; I must become less.”

                                He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. (NLT)

                                He must become more important, but I must become less important. (ISV)

                                He must increase, but I must decrease. (NKJV)

John realized that Jesus must go on growing in His ministry, while John needed to keep on decreasing.

These are the last words that we have from John.  At his request, many would leave his ministry and go to follow Jesus.  John would be sent to prison and eventually martyred, while Jesus’ popularity would continue to grow.

Decrease to Increase

  • John understood the beauty and reality that as he decreased, Jesus would increase.
  • But John would increase as he decreased too. John would increase in his purpose, by decreasing to himself, allow his life to be fully given to the will of God.

John Understood His True Selfie

  • Not the Light

John 1:8-9 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

  • Not the Messiah, Elijah, or Isaiah

John 1:19-23; 26-27 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?”           He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you?  Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23          John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”                                  

26              “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27         He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 

John Understood the Role His Selfie Was to Play

  • To Be a Testifying Witness

        John 1:6-7 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.

  • The Bridegrooms Attendant

John 3:28-30 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom.  The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.  That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”

  • I’m just the friend or the “Best Man” at this wedding, I not the Bridegroom.
  • My job is to attend and wait for the bridegroom’s instructions; I am to listen to him.
  • My joy is full when I hear the bridegroom’s voice! (Now that joy is mine and it is now complete.)
  • A Preacher of Repentance

Matthew 3:1-6 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea  2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3  This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” 4  John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

 John Didn’t Have to Survive!

John’s Decrease to Increase mentality allowed him to speak the truth in love without worrying about the results of that truth being told.  That’s what got John thrown into prison in the first place.

Mark 6:17-20 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison.  He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18  For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19    So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him.  But she was not able to, 20  because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.

John didn’t have to survive.  He had died to himself already, so he could speak the truth in love, without fear!  Even if speaking the truth landed him in prison.

Are you willing to die to yourself, so that Christ can live through you and use your life to produce fruit?

John 12:24-25 Very truly I tell you, 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. 25  Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life

You must die to yourself in order to produce fruit.

We want to live the Resurrection Life, but not the Crucified Life. We have to experience both.                                                  

Galatians 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The desire to survive (fleshly desire) keeps us at a mediocre level of living.

Let me share with you some observations from John Maxwell about the desire to survive.

Our desire to survive…

  1. Causes us to be lukewarm; we lose our convictions.
  2. Keeps us from the best decisions; choosing what others want rather than doing what is right.
  3. Encourages us to excuse our lack of effectiveness; faithfulness but no fruitfulness.
  4. Saps us of our joy and freedom; burns us out rather than moves us out.
  5. Hinders us from completely obeying God; non-survivors walk in whole-hearted obedience.
  6. Blocks the power and blessings of God; seek man’s approval rather than God’s.

Characteristics of Non-Survivors:

  1. They have faith in God, not in themselves.
  2. They change people, nations, and generations.
  3. They are willing to stand alone. A person who doesn’t have to survive chooses to make the right decision even if it’s not a popular one.
  4. They possess unusual power. God gives selfless people spiritual power.

NEXT STEP:  Do I have a Survivor or Non-Survivor mentality?

John’s Decrease Allowed Him to Increase in the Fullness of the Holy Spirit

John was filled with the Holy Spirit from Birth.  Dying to Selfie allowed John to maintain that fullness of the Holy Spirit, and he even experienced the Holy Spirit in an increasing measure as he decreased to self. 

Luke 1:13-15 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15  for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.

Let’s die to ourselves and be filled daily with the Holy Spirit in increasing measures!

Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

NEXT STEP: This week I will wake up and pray, “Lord I die to myself, fill me with your Holy Spirit, I must decrease and you must increase.

Even the Best Question

John the Baptist just didn’t say, “He must increase and I must decrease”, he lived it out, and he did it well.  Even the best has their moments, though.

  • As John sat in a prison, he may have seen “the hand writing on the wall” and he probably began to explore the possibility that he may not get out alive, that this must be the end.
  • And if he was going to die, if he was going to lay down his life for the messiah, he probably thought to himself, I hope I got it right, I hope this cousin of mine, Jesus, really is the Messiah!
  • Some would say John may have even doubted at this point. I think that he just wanted to make sure that Jesus was who He said He was and that John was dying for the right reasons.

Matthew 11:2-6 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see:5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Is Jesus saying, “Don’t let the miracles I’m doing offend you?  No.  Why would miracles offend John?

What Jesus is saying to John is, “Don’t let My plans that I have for your life jeopardize your faith.”  Because My plans for you may not be the same as My plans for someone else’s life.

Remember you are decreasing and I am increasing.

“Jesus was saying to him, “John, I’m not coming through for you.  I’m not getting you out of prison.  I’m not sparing your life.  Yes, I have done all this and more for others, but the path I choose for you is different from theirs.  You’ll be blessed, John, if this does not cause you to fall away.”    Erwin McManus “The Barbarian Way” page 31

The Truth About Your Kingdom Selfie

Luke 7:28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Why?  Because, as we die to ourselves, as we decrease so that Jesus can increase in us, we become the least. God honors the least and makes them great in His Kingdom!

Salvation Call:

John 3:35-36 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Read John 3:20 and explain how the application of this verse would play out in our daily lives.
  2. According to your actions, do you feel that you live with a Survivor or Non-Survivor mentality?
  3. Discuss the six things that “Our Desire to Survive” does to us and the four “Characteristics of Non-Survivors”.

 

09-04-16_DTS_Decrease To Increase_Wk3 PPWe all have a tendency to want the world to revolve around us. We want to be the ‘Center of the Universe’. We all tend to be obsessed with ourselves, but all of these natural tendencies must come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, Jesus is the one who said we must “die to ourselves,” by coming to grips with who we really are and coming clean before Jesus, He transforms us into the selfie He wants us to be. In order to do this, we must first experience a DEATHTOSELFIE, death to who we think we are or want to be, so that we can come alive to our true selfie in Christ Jesus! 

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we learn how to “Decrease to Increase”. We will learn how dying to our “self(ie)” allows us to decrease to our own plans and desires and allow Jesus to Increase in us.

Also, this Sunday you will see something you have never seen in Church before!