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Where do you stand?

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Adapted from 2014 sermon series: I Stand_pt4

Where do you stand?

We’ve wrapped up our series Possessing the Land.
We learned we are to enter - and live - in God’s rest, always holding onto His promises...
[NOW] - between series - How do we see ourselves in this land.
In the midst of a very unique time in our government - news in Senate Committee - you must have chosen a side… right?
In fact, you must have chosen a side in any situation we find ourselves facing, in this world today… right?
So, where do you stand?
() “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
Romans 5:1–2 NIV
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
First of all, I stand on grace.
() “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
[SELAH] - That’s where your disposition begins.
Every opinion should come after grace.
Second, we have to know what purpose he’s given us...
() “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Ambassador - an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country.
(Romans 5:1-2) “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
(2 Corinthians 5:20) “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
o Ambassador - an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country.
o We stand, in this life, as Christ’s ambassadors!
o How?...
We stand for Christ!
ü As a light.
o Jesus told a group at the Festival of Tabernacles:
(John 8:12) “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
o Festival of Tabernacles had agricultural significance (new harvest year)… and also historical significance (wandering in desert for 40 years).
Ambassadors go!
§ Interesting that at this festival which signifies the wandering, He tells them who they can “follow.”
o In Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples…
(Matthew 5:14) “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
o Jesus also mentions here that a “town” on a hill cannot be hidden…
§ Christ is referring to His church/people as a city/town.
§ In Number, God told Moses to, once in Canaan, establish cities of refuge.
§ These would be places that those who are fleeing the avenger, can find refuge…
§ Later, as Joshua entered, God reminded Joshua to establish these cities.
ü As a refuge.
(Joshua 20:1-3) “Then the Lord said to Joshua: 2 “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.
We stand, in this life, as Christ’s ambassadors!
o It is this same refuge, we can seek when we are fleeing our enemy!... The one after our blood.
§ Christ spilled His blood for His church, so we have permanent refuge!
o Now, we as His church, are that city of refuge for others who flee.
§ We stand for Christ As a refuge.
o Even more intimately, Jesus told His Disciples that they will stand for Him as…
ü As His witnesses.
(Acts 1:8) “…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
o As witnesses, we live as those who have “seen” Christ, those who “know” and have “touched” Him…
§ We have seen Him in action and now testify of those actions.
o In each of our own walks of life (our on purposes) we live to represent Jesus…
We represent Jesus
o Paul often reminded the church that it’s not our good deeds that save us, but that we have been saved so that we can do good deeds…
(Ephesians 2:10) “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
o We were created for these works…
§ [BUT] what is the work of representing Jesus?
o Well, He called us a light, so we need to Shine on!
ü Shine on!
(Matthew 5:15-16) “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
o How do we shine as a church? How does Connect Church light the house (our community)?
o We’re also His city of refuge for those on the run…
So, are YOU an ambassador? Who are you, in this world?
§ [SO] what should we do for those seeking refuge?...
ü Open up!
(Joshua 20:4-5) “When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. 5 If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive…”
o Witnesses, you and I. Witnesses to grace and mercy and power of Christ.
§ We know Him. We feel Him. We hear Him.
§ [Now] we must Reflect Him!
ü Reflect Him!
(Acts 4:13) “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Take Away
What is a Christian, in this world?
o [STORY] – David had committed adultery and got a married woman pregnant. Then, he had the woman’s husband killed so that he could take her in and cover up His mistake.
o Like any of us, we are lost without God…
(Psalm 51:10-13) “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
o Like we see here with David, our restoration should spark a new purpose in life.
o Paul, a murderer of Christians, once He met Christ, took on this purpose as well…
(Colossians 1:28) “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”
ü Our mission: reach, connect, grow, go!
o He goes on to say that this is all he lives for…
(Colossians 1:29) “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
o As a church, when we identify with the work Christ has done in us, we then take on the mission to see it done through us!

Who are you?

A light

[BACK STORY] - Jesus told a group at the Festival of Tabernacles...
Today, actually happens to be the final day of the Festival of Tabernacles.
On this very day, around 2K years ago, Jesus spoke these words...
John 8:12 NIV
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
() “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
() “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Festival of Tabernacles had agricultural significance (new harvest year)… and also historical significance (wandering in desert for 40 years).
[IMPORTANT] - Interesting that at this festival which signifies the wandering, He tells them who they can “follow.”
In Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples…
() “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14 NIV
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
o Jesus also mentions here that a “town” on a hill cannot be hidden…
Jesus also mentions here that a “town” on a hill cannot be hidden…
Christ is referring to His church/people as a city/town.
In Number, God told Moses to, once in Canaan, establish cities of refuge.
These would be places that those who are fleeing the avenger, can find refuge…
Later, as Joshua entered, God reminded Joshua to establish these cities.

A refuge

John 20:1–3 NIV
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
Joshua 20:1–3 NIV
Then the Lord said to Joshua: “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.
It is this same refuge, we can seek when we are fleeing our enemy!... The one after our blood.
() “Then the Lord said to “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.
o It is this same refuge, we can seek when we are fleeing our enemy!... The one after our blood.
Christ spilled His blood for His church, so we have permanent refuge!
Now, we as His church, are that city of refuge for others who flee.
We stand for Christ As a refuge.
Even more intimately, Jesus told His Disciples that they will stand for Him as…

A witnesses

() “…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 NIV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
As witnesses, we live as those who have “seen” Christ, those who “know” and have “touched” Him…
We have seen Him in action and now testify of those actions.
In each of our own walks of life (our on purposes) we live to represent Jesus…

We are like Him

Paul often reminded the church that it’s not our good deeds that save us, but that we have been saved so that we can do good deeds…
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
() “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
() “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We were created for these works…
[BUT] what is the work of representing Jesus?
Well, He called us a light, so we need to Shine on!

Shine on!

() “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:15–16 NIV
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
How do we shine as a church? How does Connect Church light the house (our community)?
We’re also His city of refuge for those on the run…
[SO] what should we do for those seeking refuge?...

Open up!

() “When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. 5 If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive…”
Joshua 20:4–5 NIV
When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought.
Witnesses, you and I. Witnesses to grace and mercy and power of Christ.
We know Him. We feel Him. We hear Him.
[Now] we must Reflect Him!

Reflect Him!

Acts 4:13 NIV
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
() “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
() “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Take Away

[STORY] – David had committed adultery and got a married woman pregnant. Then, he had the woman’s husband killed so that he could take her in and cover up His mistake. You know… “make things right.”
Like any of us, we are lost without God…
But in David’s failure, he cried out to God...
Psalm 51:10–13 NIV
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
Psalm 51:10-13
() “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Like we see here with David, our restoration should spark a new purpose in life.
Paul, a murderer of Christians, once He met Christ, took on this purpose as well…
Colossians 1:28 NIV
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
() “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”
[PAYOFF] - Our own transformation, should spark a passion in us, to see others transformed...

Our mission: reach, connect, grow, go!

ü Our mission: reach, connect, grow, go!
He goes on to say that this is all he lives for…
Colossians 1:29 NIV
To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
() “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
[PAYOFF] - As a church, when we identify with the work Christ has done in us, we then take on the mission to see it done through us!
Where do I stand? = So far from the troubles of this world!
Where do I stand? = On the other-side, but reaching in!
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