Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God— this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
OUR PURPOSE FOR THIS SERIES: Point people back to the founders’ intent.
• Equip people to make disciples
• Be aligned as a church
THE CHURCH’S MISSION—an overview of a disciple’s journey:
• Vision: We will reach the world for Jesus one person at a time.
• Mission: We will make biblical disciples in relational environments.
• Obedience to Christ is a part of historic Christianity.
THE ANALOGY OF A JOURNEY
The Journey’s Route (with Jesus as our model: how He made disciples was then reproduced and imitated):
• Share, Connect, Train for Ministry, and Make Disciples
o He shares who He is and Himself—we accept or we don’t.
o He connects with us in relationship, and He connects us with others who will teach us love for God and others. In connection, we learn the way, the truth, and the life.
o We are being trained for ministry, which is service to the Lord and others. This also teaches us humility.
o Then we are released to make disciples. We are sent and able.
Ephesians 2:1-2 (ESV) 1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked,
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
ABIDING IN CHRIST
• Definition (verb): accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).1
• Similar: comply with, to obey, observe, to follow1
• To abide is to “remain” in Christ. (John 15)
John 15: 1-11 (ESV) 1I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
THREE KEY PRINCIPLES TO ABIDING IN CHRIST:
Abiding Principles and Practical Applications:
1. When God invites us to come and join Him in what He is doing, it is an invitation to an intimate personal relationship with Him.
2. When we produce quality spiritual fruit, it depends entirely on the life of Christ being reproduced in us as believers.
3. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” “No one,” thunders the apostle Paul in Romans 8:35-39.
4. If we are abiding in Christ, we will have a rich prayer life that supplies rich fellowship with Him.
5. When we walk like Christ, we will always abide near Christ. The nearness of Christ always invites us to come and enter into unbroken fellowship with Him. That which makes a man “holy” is the perpetual abiding of the Holy Spirit within him. We become like those with whom we associate.
6. To abide in continual dependence upon Christ is to keep yourself in the position of child-like trust and dependence upon Him. He is our power source.
7. Jesus said He could do nothing on His own; therefore, we can do nothing on our own. Everything about abiding means we must remain united with Him just as the Son remains united with the Father.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: Ephesians 1-2:10; John 15:1-8; Romans 12:1-2
Icebreaker: Tell about a time when you or a friend ran out of gas. If you have never run out of gas, share about losing power like electricity or battery life.
• What stood out to you from the sermon this week?
1. Read John 15:1-8 & Romans 12:1-2. What do these passages tell you about a relationship with God? A) Help each other define the word “abiding.”
2. What helps you connect with Jesus? A) What can be a factor in you being disconnected from Jesus?
3. What’s it like when you spiritually run out of gas?
4. What encourages you to be consistent in pressing into your relationship with Jesus? A) What do you do when you have been inconsistent?
5. Key ways to grow in an abiding relationship include: interacting with the word, prayer, worship, and community with other believers. Share how you practice 1-2 of these areas. As you listen to each other, pick out a couple things someone else does that you want to try.
6. What other practices help your heart and mind listen and respond to God?