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You Have Everything You Need

Fan or Follower  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:54
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Intro

Today we are starting this new fall sermon series, “Fan or Follower”. Let’s begin by talking about a fan. A fan is someone who has interest or admiration for someone or a team. This time of year there are many football fans. People watch the games cheer on their team. The post things about the team on facebook, they go to games occasionally. I suppose I am fan. A bear fan actually. I watch the games on TV occasionally.
Now a follower is someone a little more intense. There life revolves around their. All year round they are following the news, sometimes the tattoo their allegiance, on their skin, never mind it is permanent, their allegiance is permanent. I worked with a guy, who decorated his living in purple in and gold. The carpet was actually artificial grass and made to look a football field. There was a huge viking logo taking up a whole wall. Every time he woke up the first thing he would see in the morning football season or not is the vikings, that is a follower.
Last week we talked about Abram. Abram was Called by God to leave everything, his country his family and his father’s household to go where God said. Abram was a follower. Weeks ago we saw how Jesus called the disciples to leave their fishing business, and their family and follow him. And they did. We said that the call of the gospel is the call to follow Jesus.
The problem is that around churches people think that they are a follower of Jesus, yet they are really a fan. There is a danger of being fan. A fan has heard about Jesus, a fan would never say anything bad about Jesus, but a fan doesn’t really know Jesus. They are always trying to make time for Jesus, if something better isn’t coming. A fan will always say I’m sending prayers, but rarely has the time to pray, and may even feel guilty.
A follower prays, daily. A follower is not perfect, but a follower knows that they are not perfect, a follower KNOWS Jesus in the same way that you know your close friend.
Here is a little test to see how much or a fan you are or if you are a follower. This is called which disturbs you the most. It is from a publication called the Bible friend it has been around a while. It just kind of gives you a gauge for your heart, and it gives you a starting point for today’s message.
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 7524 Which Disturbs You Most?

7524 Which Disturbs You Most?

A soul lost in Hell … or a scratch on your new car?

Your missing the worship service … or missing a day’s work?

A sermon 10 minutes too long … or lunch half hour late?

A church not growing … or your garden not growing?

Your Bible unopened … or your newspaper unread?

The church work being neglected … or housework neglected?

Missing a good Bible study … or your favorite TV program?

The millions who do not know Christ … or your inability to keep up with the neighbors?

The cry of the multitude for bread … or your desire for another piece of German chocolate cake?

Your tithes decreasing … or your income decreasing?

Your children late for Sunday school and Church … or late for public school?

Which really disturbs you most?

—The Bible Friend

Now, perhaps listening to that you are really far from any of those, and you are thinking to yourself that is crazy- Bible study over TV. The bible is boring, and dull. Maybe you are a fan. The point is that there is a difference between a follower and fan. And if you are a fan, I don;t want you to misunderstand and think you are a follower when you are not.
If you are a fan, we welcome fans here, please keep coming back and learn what it is to be a follower. Also, please listen closely and seriously consider becoming a follower of Jesus. Responding to the call of Gospel by believing that Jesus Christ dies on the cross for your sins, means turning from your sins, and turning toward Jesus Christ. It means turning from being just a fan of Jesus to becoming a follower of Jesus.
Followers, are not all in the same place at the same time. Sometimes followers can answer those questions enthusiastically and without regrets. However, truthfully, even followers struggle with those questions, however true followers will recognize they are struggling and seek to do better. Being a follower has ups and downs, It has one step forward and two steps back and that is normal. The corruption of the world has a tendency to pull a follower away from Christ and toward the world. However overall a follower is growing.
A Follower is GROWING.
At least overall. You will see this later- from the Bible text but for now take my word for it, a follower must be growing.
In your handout I have provided a line One end of the line represents the most growing you can possibly imagine Christ having for you. That is by the tree. A lush green tree. On that end under the tree you can’t imagine growing anymore. The middle of the line is completely neutral. In other words last week your relationship with Christ was exactly the same as your relationship with Him right before service. Assuming service causes a least some growth.
The other end-the dead tree-that is about as far from growing as you can imagine. In fact just being here would place you slightly ahead of the dead tree- unless someone forced you to come. Then you are at the dead tree. Place a mark or a stick figure of where you are on the line. I will give you a minute to think that over.
Today, we are going to talk about Growing, and hopefully wherever you are on that chart right now, you will be able to move a little farther forward when we are done. SO take out your Bibles and open to 2 Peter chapter 1. But before I begin let me tell you a story.
When I was a kid and lived in Chicago when my friends and I turned 18 we went to the racetrack. Nw we were just fans. We lost money. We did not know any of the horses. But there men at the race track that were real followers of horse racing. They would hang at the rail even and they had something called a racing forum. In the racing forum it has all the information about the horses that are racing that day. It tells you about the past races, the length, the jockey that rode the horse the weather. They read the racing forum to get to know the horses.
So, you are follower of Jesus you need to have the information about Jesus. When we read from God’s word, you need to have your Bible with you so that you can look at the text, that i am talking about, so that you can understand it better, to gain knowledge about God. Now, if you did not bring a Bible there is one in the pews. But having your own Bible with you allows you to write notes right in the Bible, or to get familiar with the text in the one you always read. Sometimes I go to a different place in the Bible to cross-reference what I am talking about, you don’t have to turn to all the cross references, those will be on the screen, but you can write notes about them in your Bible or on the insert provided to reference later. I believe there are also pencils in the pews. So you should have everything you need.
Before I begin reading God’s word let me pray.
Pray
Read 2 Peter
2 Peter 1:1–11 NIV
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:1 NIV
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Simon Peter identifies himself as a servant and an apostle- He is of course clearly more than just a fan, he is a follower. That is why we are seeing what he has to say. He is a slave or a bond-servant- bought out of slavery to sin, by His new master the Lord Jesus Christ. He is also an Apostle, that is one sent directly from God to deliver a message and that gives him authority and he is writing to those who have recieved a faith as precious as ours.
This faith that they have recieved seems to be something more than just the individual faith necessary for salvation. From the structure of the Greek, and the context of the letter, several commentators agree that most likely Peter is referring to the Christian faith in general. The big picture of the “The Faith” or like the doctrines of the Faith.Peter addresses the letter to those who have received faith as precious as ours. It is precious-precious like pearl of great price in Matthew 13:44-46.
This would be a great point to write a note and go home this afternoon or next week and read the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:44-16, pray and see if you find your faith that precious.
Matthew 13:44–46 NIV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
To a follower faith is PRECIOUS.
2 Peter 1:1 NIV
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
To those who have recieved a faith. That is passive-that means the faith came to them from a source outside of the apostles. The apostles did not devise it. They did not sit a room together and come up with the faith. Seminaries, churches, people don’t invent the true faith, that we are talking about. They try and understand it, and explain it-but it comes to us from an outside source, from our God and Savior Jesus Christ. It comes to us from Him because he is righteous. It is because our God and Savior Jesus is righteous, that he gives us this faith.
2 Peter 1:1 by the way is possibly the strongest place in the New Testament that testifies to the deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ here is called OUR god and Savior Jesus. Detractors have actually said that the early Church did not believe in the Trinity, and that it was an invention of the Church, You may hear that from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but here written possibly around 60 AD, the early Church Clearly calls Jesus God. Our GOD and savior Jesus.
Now in verse 2 I am going to use the NASB translation for a second because it better captures what the Greek is saying.
2 Peter 1:2 NASB95
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. The NIV says in abundance but the NASB better captures the Greek it with multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. Peter is summarizing what he is about to go into detail about in the next couple of verses, and that is this The KNOWLEDGE of God and Jesus that multiplies grace and peace. It is the idea of growing. The key to grace and peace multiplying in your life is in the knowledge of God.
Have you heard that phrase heart knowledge and head knowledge. It is an expression that when you can intellectually know a lot about a subject, you have head knowledge. For instance you as a fan of Micheal Jordan, you can read every article ever written about him, and you can know his stats, and study the games films, you are like a “super fan”. But you are still holding hope that someday you will meet him. You have never actually met the man. You don’t know what he is like in morning or late at night, you don;t know his intimate secrets, his loves. You may not know what he likes and dislikes.
Heart knowledge is when you connect with that thing in a relationship. You have an intimate knowledge of the subject you are in love with it. Although you may know a lot about the a person’s life you don;t know them in the same way their wife and kids know them. They have heart knowledge.
We can gain all intellectual knowledge about God. There are people who study religion in depth and gain all kinds of head knowledge, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have heart knowledge.It doesn’t mean they have grace and peace multiplying in their lives. Faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ is not like history or English, that we simply study, and gain more knowledge. There can be some of that for sure, but Faith is relationship with a person. It is knowing he person of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Now, unlike our Micheal Jordan example, where we can go and wait out in front of Micheal Jordans house and wait for him come out to try and meet Him, Jesus has ascended to heaven, He is a real person, but he is not here on earth right now. We will all meet Him one day, when we die, But for right now we cannot go somewhere and shake hands with Jesus, so we need to rely on something supernatural to encounter Him, and Peter explains that next.
2 Peter 1:3 NIV
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
His divine power- that power that belongs to God alone. His power this is that same power that raised Jesus from the dead, is the same power that raises us to life from being dead in our sins. See if we are still dead in our sins, if we are still spiritually dead, if we don’t actually have a relationship with Jesus we can have all the head knowledge we want about faith, and the grace and peace will not be multiplied to us.
Through our knowledge of Him WHO called us. God’s divine power calls us to life. When we are called by God to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, God by his mighty and divine power the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the same power that raised Lazarus from the dead that same power calls us to life from being DEAD in our sins.
Ephesians 1:19–20 NIV
and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
A follower is CALLED to life.
2 Peter 1:3 NIV
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
His divine power then has given us everything we need for a godly life. God doesn’t just call us to life, and then say see you later-He gives us everything we need for a godly life, through our knowledge of HIm. We often look for new program, a new method, a new video, something to motivate and help us escape the pull of the world toward a godly life, and I am not saying you can’t get benefit for those things. No, those are great for attaining head knowledge but when we are responding to Him who called us, we gain a heart knowledge of who God is through our new relationship with Him. A the key to living a godly life is not found outside of God, but is found in our relationship with God. The more we know the Lord Jesus, the more we love the Lord Jesus, and the more we learn how to live a godly life. But we have to interact with God to use everything we need.
At the beginning of the message I talked about having a Bible, and the insert and a pencil, and I said you have everything you need. That is true but if you do not interact with those things, if you don’t open the Bible or write notes obviously the notes are not going to magically appear. You have to interact with them, before you can move further along the growth chart.
A follower INTERACTS with God.
God’s divine power gives us everything we need. However, we must interact with God in order to multiply grace and peace. We need to pray, we need to talk to God, we need to listen what He has said through his word, and we need to respond to the action of the Holy Spirit on our lives.
Throughout Scripture the action of God’s power is associated with the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit comes and indwells us when we respond to the call and He increases our knowledge of God.
John 14:26 NIV
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit-the divine power that is within us, provides an intimate knowledge of God, that goes far beyond all the head knowledge. It is this heart knowledge, it is a relationship, it is a relationship of love for God. And when you love God, when you love the Lord Jesus Christ the faith that you have it is precious, it is a pearl of great price it is so precious you would give up everything you have just to follow your God and learn more about Him.
If you don’t have that love for God If you don’t have that love for Jesus only you no for sure. You may be only a fan of Jesus. If you find yourself as a fan today, I invite you consider becoming a follower of Jesus. He offers you new life, he offers you forgiveness of sins, he offers you grace and peace in abundance.
If you are a fan only the bible does offer some strict warnings for those who are only fans of Jesus and not followers.
Matthew 7:21–23 NIV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I never knew you, away from me you evildoers. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, your eternal soul is in danger. Today please hear the call of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus calls you to come and follow Him, follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior and
2 Peter 1:2 NIV
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
In Jesus Holy Name
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