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Chair 2: The Believer

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For those of you my age and older, if I said to you “the thrill of victory” what would you say next?
Watch this video from our past.
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What most viewers did not known is that the skier, Victor Bogataj, in that clip chose to fall rather than complete the jump. Why? He shared later that the jump surface had become too fast, and that midway down the ramp re realized if he finished the jump he would land outside the safe landing area and it could have been fatal. By taking the fall He suffered no more than a headache from the tumble.
People in Chair 1 will ultimately find themselves in a similar situation. They come to a moment when a course change in their life, while being dramatic and sometimes painful, is a change that is better than the fatal landing at the end of life.
When a Chair 1 person has made the decision for life change, there is a radical transformation that takes place. It needs to be celebrated and the way we do that is through baptism. In fact, baptism is the first step of obedience for a new believer.
Baptism is a public celebration of the new person inside.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Now when my children were born they were very dependent on Beth and me for their survival. In fact they were completely unable to feed themselves and take care of themselves.
The same holds true for new believers. They need nurture and care to continue to successfully grow in their new life. Many churches wonder why they are not seeing any conversions. It may be that they are not in relationships with seekers, but it could also be that they do not come alongside new believers to help them grow.
The New Testament uses two words to describe new believers:
Hebrews 5:13 ESV
for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
Hebrews 5:13
The word used here is nepios, which means immature and totally dependent on others.
The second word is translated as child and is the word teknion in Greek.
1 John 2:1 ESV
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Teknion is a term of endearment that a grandparent would use for a grandchild.
Teknion is a term of endearment that a grandparent would use for a
Both of these terms refer to young believers who are dependent on others for help and sustenance and need nurture and care. This is where the church should come in and help parent the new believer.
Jesus understood and practiced the process.
Jesus had challenged the disciples to “follow me” and he takes them with Him to a wedding party in Galilee. It is here that He performs His first miracle of turning water into wine ().
But more important than the miracle is the journey to Galilee and the journey afterward to Capernaum. They were together for a few days and no doubt this was a time of teaching, relationship building, answering basic questions,a nd deepening friendship.
Jesus then goes back to Jerusalem and meets with Nicodemus.
The apostle John tells us
John 3:22 ESV
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.
In this first phase of life their spiritual life, Jesus understood that more is caught than taught. It is similar to children learning to walk. They watch us and then begin to attempt to emulate what we do until they can do it on their own. Spiritual children are the same. This is why relationships continue to be extremely important for new believers.

Foundational Principles

Jesus modeled six foundational principles

#1 Full dependence on the Holy Spirit

The Bible is clear that Jesus’s life and ministry was saturated by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was:
Conceived by the Holy Spirit -
Anointed by the Holy Spirit -
Filled with the Spirit - John 3:34
Sealed by the Spirit -
Led by the Spirit -
Rejoiced in the Spirit -
Gave commands by the Spirit -
Performed miracles by the power of the Spirit -
Was resurrected by the Spirit - Hebrew 9:14
Presented Himself fully obedient through the Spirit -

#2 The centrality of prayer in His life and ministry

Jesus ministry begins with prayer
Luke 3:21 ESV
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened,
And He ended His ministry with prayer
Luke 23:46 ESV
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
After He was baptised, Jesus was led into the desert to fast and pray -
As Jesus got busier, the more He slipped away in private to pray -
Whenever a major decision was to be made we see Him coming out of prayer -
There are over 40 Gospel passages where Jesus slips away to pray.

#3 Jesus modeled the importance of obedience to His Father’s will

Jesus’s life was a life of obedience.
At the age of 12 He was obedient to His earthly parents
His entire life was a life of submission to His Heavenly Father.
This was not easy and He suffered for it, but this suffering taught Him so that He understood what we go through.
Hebrews 2:18 ESV
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
In Jesus said
John 5:30 ESV
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
When He commissioned us to go and make disciples He tells us to teach them to obey everything He has commanded.
Jesus knew that obedience was His Father’s love language.

#4 The Word of God was central to the Jesus’s life and ministry

More than 80 times Jesus quotes the Old Testament, quoting form over 70 different chapters.
Matthew 5:17 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Jesus wanted to make sure His disicples and ultimately that we understood the importance of the Word of God.
It grieved Jesus greatly that the religious leaders of His day did not study The Word diligently.
Luke 6:3 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
He rebuked the Sadducees for not studying the Word in

#5 Jesus consistently modeled exalting His Father in every area of life

John 3:21 ESV
But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 17:7 ESV
Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.
John 8:28 ESV
So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
Every moment of Jesus’s life exalted the Father. We are to do the same in all that we do.

#6 - Jesus modeled intentional relationships based on love and integrity

Jesus made it a priority to build relationships with a broad base of people.
From prostitutes and tax collectors, to a Samaritan women who was living in sin, to Nicodemus, a highly respected religious leader in Jerusalem.
From this group of people Jesus later chose 12 men, who were very diverse, and with whom He would go deeper relationally.
The basis for Jesus’s relational life was love and He challenged His disciples to have the same love in their relationships.
John 13:34–35 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
These priorities were foundational to how Jesus lived His early life.
The Apostle John admonishes us to walk as Jesus walked
1 John 2:6 ESV
whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
These principles are what new believers need to see modeled in us as mature believers.
As we are in relationships with Chair 2 people we need to keep in mind:
If we do not immediately nurture new believers they will struggle and in many cases not survive.
New believers need to become a priority
We should always give personalized attention to the basics of the Christian life.
New believers must understand our identity in christ, learn to walk, talk, feed ourselves, and clean ourselves as new believers.
We teach them these basics by modeling them in our own lives. This takes intentionality and vulnerability. And most of all it takes love.
We must not ever forget the importance of our identity in Christ.
I think many times we have forgotten who we are in Christ. We need to go back and make sure we are secure in our identity and walk in confidence with God.
Spiritual children will need a family
To move from chair 1 to chair 2 takes an unparalleled transformation from darkness to light, from life to death, from being the walking dead to walking in the light. And while this is an important move, it is just the beginning. We must work intentionally with new believers to help them move from chair 2 to chair 3. Because too many times we get stuck in chair 2 because it is too comfortable.
Let’s pray
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