Faithlife Sermons

Examining Your Walk

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of First John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  24:15
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All Christians should take a look at how they are doing in their walk with God. One way to do this is to see how you are doing at loving your fellow Christians. Another is to look at what you confess publicly about Jesus Christ.

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1 HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED NASA LAUNCH A ROCKET? • BEFORE THEY LAUNCH • THEY ARE ALL SITTING IN MISSION CONTROL • AND THE MISSION DIRECTOR CALLS OUT EACH DEPARTMENT • THE FELLAS IN THE DEPARTMENT LOOK AT THEIR PANEL OF INDICATOR LIGHTS • AND IF ALL THE INDICATOR LIGHTS ARE GREEN • THEY WILL ANNOUNCE THEIR DEPARTMENT IS A GO FOR LAUNCH • YOU SEE THEY DON’T GO OUT AND ACTUALLY INSPECT THE ROCKET • THEY CAN’T SEE THE ROCKET FROM MISSION CONTROL • BUT THEY CAN SEE THE INDICATOR LIGHTS • INDICATING THE SYSTEMS ARE READY FOR LAUNCH • THEY GO THROUGH THIS CHECKLIST BECAUSE • THE LAUNCH OF A ROCKET IS A CRITICAL THING • THERE’S A LOT THAT CAN GO WRONG…. • SOMETIMES I THINK THERE’S SOME SIMILARITY • BETWEEN THE LAUNCH OF A ROCKET AND OUR CHRISTIAN WALK • OUR CHRISTIAN WALK IS A CRITICAL THING • THERE ARE THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG IN IT • MANY OF THE THINGS HAPPENING IN OUR CHRISTIAN WALK • ARE THINGS WE CAN’T LOOK AT AND EXAMINE • WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT IF THERE WERE SOME • INDICATOR LIGHTS WE COULD LOOK AT • THAT WOULD TELL US THE STATUS OF OUR WALK WITH CHRIST (PAUSE) • IN THIS CHRISTIAN LIFE IT IS VITAL THAT WE KEEP TRACK OF HOW WE’RE DOING • ARE WE WALKING WITH CHRIST? ARE WE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD? • WE NEED TO KNOW HOW WE’RE DOING. • PERIODICALLY I NEED TO GO THROUGH THE CHECKLIST • AND SEE WHAT THE INDICATOR LIGHTS SAYS • HOW AM I DOING AT WALKING WITH GOD • WE NEED TO SEE IF WE HAVE DRIFTED FROM ABIDING IN GOD • MAYBE YOU HAVE SOME INDICATORS YOU NEED TO CHECK (PAUSE) • TODAY WE’RE GOING TO LOOK AT A LIST FROM JOHN IN THE BOOK OF FIRST JOHN • THAT PROVIDES SOME OF THESE INDICATORS WE CAN LOOK AT • TO SEE HOW WE’RE DOING IN OUR WALK WITH GOD • TURN TO 1 JOHN 4:12 • JOHN HAD REQUESTED THAT THEY LOVE ONE ANOTHER • HE HAD TOLD THEM LOVING ONE ANOTHER • WAS AN INDICATION OF THEIR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • HE HAD TOLD THEM HOW LOVE HAD BEEN REVEALED TO THE WORLD • BY GOD SENDING CHRIST DO DIE FOR OUR SINS • HE TOLD THEM SINCE GOD LOVED THEM IN THIS WAY • THEY OUGHT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER • HE IS NOW GOING TO EXPAND ON THIS IDEA OF LOVING ONE ANOTHER 1 JOHN 4:12 NO ONE HAS SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME; IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, GOD ABIDES IN US, AND HIS LOVE IS PERFECTED IN US. INDICATING THE UNSEEN • JOHN IS STILL TALKING ABOUT FELLOWSHIP • HE KEEPS USING THE WORD ABIDE WHICH IS ALL ABOUT FELLOWSHIP • BUT IN THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT FELLOWSHIP HE SAYS • NO ONE HAS SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME; • NOW, THE FIRST TIME I READ THIS I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT • WHAT ABOUT MOSES AND THE BURNING BUSH • OR ANY OF THE OTHER ACCOUNTS WHERE MEN “SEE” GOD • BUT THE KEY IS THE WORD JOHN USES FOR “SEEN” • IT MEANS TO EXAMINE CLOSELY TO SEE ENTIRELY • AND CERTAINLY NO ONE AS SEEN GOD ENTIRELY • BUT, WHAT HAS SEEING GOD GOT TO DO WITH FELLOWSHIP (PAUSE) • WELL, IF WE COULD SEE GOD IT WOULD BE EASY • TO KNOW IF WE WERE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM • YOU COULD JUST LOOK AND SEE THAT YOU ARE WALKING WITH HIM • BUT WE CAN’T DO THAT • JUST LIKE MISSION CONTROL CAN’T LOOK DIRECTLY THE ROCKET • WE CAN’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT GOD • SO, JOHN IS GONNA TELL US ABOUT SOME INDICATOR LIGHTS WE CAN LOOK AT INDICATING BY LOVE • THE FIRST INDICATOR LIGHT JOHN IS GOING TO TELL US ABOUT • IS LOVING ONE ANOTHER, THAT IS CHRISTIANS LOVING EACH OTHER • JOHN TALKS A LOT ABOUT LOVING ONE ANOTHER • HE INSTRUCTS US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER • HE SAYS ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE IS WALKING IN DARKNESS • HE SAY THE ONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE ABIDES IN DEATH • HE SAYS TO LOVE IN DEEDS AND NOT JUST IN WORDS • HE PLEADS FOR US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER • HE SAYS IF WE DO NOT LOVE WE DO NOT KNOW GOD • AND NOW HE SAYS • IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, GOD ABIDES IN US, • THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE EARN GOD ABIDING IN US BY LOVING OTHERS • IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT LOVING ONE ANOTHER • IS AN INDICATION OF GOD ABIDING IN US • AND WHEN THIS HAPPENS, JOHN SAYS • HIS (GOD’S) LOVE IS PERFECTED IN US. • WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL WITH THIS WORD PERFECTED • IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US BEING PERFECT • THE WORD TRANSLATED PERFECTED • CAN MEAN COMPLETE OR MATURE • BUT IT CAN ALSO MEAN ACHIEVING THE GOAL • DOING WHAT IT SET OUT TO DO (PAUSE) • SEE IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER WE ARE ABIDING, WALKING WITH GOD • AND GOD IS WALKING WITH US • WHEN THIS HAPPENS THE GOAL OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US IS COMPLETED • THAT WOULD MEAN THE GOAL OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US • IS FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM, AND WHEN WE LOVE OTHERS • THAT GOAL IS ACHIEVED • THE MOTHER WHO SACRIFICIALLY LOVES HER CHILDREN • WHO PUTS THEIR NEEDS FIRST • IS IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • AND THE GOAL OF GOD’S LOVE IS COMPLETED • ONE INDICATOR OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • IS WHEN WE UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY, LOVE ONE ANOTHER • BUT WE CANNOT LOVE THIS WAY ON OUR OWN 1 JOHN 4:13 BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE ABIDE IN HIM AND HE IN US, BECAUSE HE HAS GIVEN US OF HIS SPIRIT. INDICATING BY INDWELLING • I THINK JOHN PUT THIS RIGHT WHERE HE DID • BECAUSE WITHOUT THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT • WE REALLY ARE NOT ABLE TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER ROMANS 5:5b BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT WITHIN OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO WAS GIVEN TO US. • AND THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FUNCTIONS AS AN INDICATOR • OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • WHEN HE PROMPTS US TO LOVE • IT IS AN INDICATOR • WHEN HE CONVICTS US OF OUR SIN, IT IS AN INDICATOR • WHEN WE YIELD TO HIM AND THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS PRODUCED IN OUR LIVES • LOVE, JOY, PEACH, PATIENCE, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, AND SELFCONTROL • IT IS AN INDICATION OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • THE MAN LAYING AWAKE AT NIGHT UNABLE TO SLEEP • DOUBTING IF HE IS WALKING WITH CHRIST • CAN LOOK AT THESE THINGS AND KNOW HE IS IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD (PAUSE) • WE CANNOT SEE GOD, NO ONE HAS AT ANY TIME • BUT WE CAN KNOW WE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM • BY THE LOVE WE HAVE FOR ONE ANOTHER • THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO INDWELLS US • WE CAN SEE THE EFFECT GOD HAS ON US (HOLD UP AN ITEM) • NOW WHEN I LET GO OF THIS ITEM AND IT FALLS • YOU KNOW THAT GRAVITY IS WORKING • BUT DID ANY OF YOU ACTUALLY SEE GRAVITY • I CAN’T SEE GRAVITY; CAN YOU SEE GRAVITY? • SEE WE DON’T NEED TO BE ABLE TO SEE THE GRAVITY • WE CAN SEE THE EFFECT OF THE GRAVITY ON THE THING THAT FALLS • AND KNOW THAT THE GRAVITY IS THERE AND IS WORKING • IN THE SAME WAY WE DON’T NEED TO BE ABLE TO SEE GOD • TO KNOW THAT HE IS THERE AND TO KNOW THAT HE IS WORKING • IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS CHRISTIANS THAT’S AN INDICATOR • THAT GOD IS PRESENT THAT WE ARE ABIDING IN HIM AND HE IN US • AND THE REASON THIS IS AN INDICATOR THAT GOD IS PRESENT • IS BECAUSE WITHOUT HIS PRESENCE AND FORM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN US • WE WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO LOVE EACH OTHER THIS WAY • SACRIFICIALLY CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER, TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER • TO FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER THE WAY GOD HAS FORGIVEN US. • LOVING ONE ANOTHER IS AN INDICATION OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • BUT IT IS NOT THE ONLY INDICATOR 1 JOHN 4:14–15 WE HAVE SEEN AND TESTIFY THAT THE FATHER HAS SENT THE SON TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. WHOEVER CONFESSES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, GOD ABIDES IN HIM, AND HE IN GOD. • JOHN IS STILL TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT INDICATE OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • HE BEGINS BY TALKING ABOUT WHAT HE AND THE APOSTLES • SAW AND TESTIFIED TOO • THAT THE FATHER HAS SENT THE SON TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. • WE MIGHT WONDER WHAT HOW THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FELLOWSHIP • BUT I WANT US TO THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MINUTE • JOHN AND THE APOSTLES WERE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS • FOR 3 YEARS AS HE WALKED THIS EARTH • THIS IS WHAT THEY TESTIFIED ABOUT…… • WHEN WE TESTIFY ABOUT THE SAME THINGS THEY TESTIFIED ABOUT • WE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH THEM AND WITH CHRIST 1 JOHN 1:3 WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WE PROCLAIM TO YOU ALSO, SO THAT YOU TOO MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH US; AND INDEED OUR FELLOWSHIP IS WITH THE FATHER, AND WITH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. • WHEN WE FOLLOW AFTER THE APOSTLES AND • TESTIFY THAT CHRIST IS THE SAVIOR IT IS A DISPLAY • AN INDICATOR THAT WE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH THEM • AND WITH GOD AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST INDICATING BY CONFESSION • JOHN STATES THIS VERY CLEARLY WHEN HE WRITES • WHOEVER CONFESSES THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, GOD ABIDES IN HIM, AND HE IN GOD. • AGAIN, IT IS NOT THAT WE EARN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD BY CONFESSING • OUR CONFESSION IS AN INDICATION OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND • SOMETHING ABOUT THIS WORD CONFESSION • THIS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING WE SAY IN PRIVATE • THIS IS TALKING ABOUT AN OPEN, PUBLIC EXPRESSION • OF OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD • WHEN WE ARE WILLING TO OPENLY AND PUBLICLY • PROCLAIM THE TRUTH THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD • THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD • THEN WE CAN LOOK AT THIS AS INDICATOR OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • WHEN THE YOUNG PERSON IN COLLEGE IS CHALLENGED • BY THEIR PROFESSOR ABOUT THEIR FAITH • AND THEY STAND UP BEFORE AN ENTIRE LECTURE HALL • AND STATE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD • THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD • THEY CAN KNOW THAT IN THAT MOMENT • RIGHT THERE IN THAT CLASS ROOM THEY ARE WALKING WITH CHRIST • THEY ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD…. • WHEN WE ARE AT A FAMILY GATHERING • AND THAT ONE ATHEIST IN THE FAMILY • THAT HAS TO BASH OUR BELIEFS EVERY TIME WE GET TOGETHER • STARTS IN ON CHURCH AND HOW IT IS FILLED WITH HYPOCRITES • AND WE PROCLAIM THAT EVEN IF CHURCH IS FULL OF HYPOCRITES • JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD • WE CAN KNOW WE ARE, AT THAT MOMENT • WALKING WITH GOD, IN FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST….. • WE CAN PROCLAIM CHRIST AS SAVIOR VERBALLY • WE CAN PROCLAIM CHRIST AS SAVIOR BY OUR ACTIONS • WHEN WE LOVE, SERVE, FORGIVE, HELP OTHERS • WE ARE PROCLAIMING CHRIST • THE TRUTH IS HOWEVER WE LIVE • WE ARE PROCLAIMING SOMETHING MANY EMPLOYERS TODAY • LOOK AT THE SOCIAL MEDIA OF PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES • THAT’S RIGHT, WHEN YOU GO APPLY FOR A JOB • THEY’RE GOING TO LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE POSTED ON FACEBOOK • THE REASON THEY DO THIS IS SIMPLE… WHATEVER WE CONFESS PUBLICLY • THAT IS AN INDICATION OF WHERE WE ABIDE • HOW WE LIVE WHO WE HANG OUT WITH • WHEN A YOUNG MAN’S FACEBOOK IS FILLED • WITH PICTURES OF DRINKING AND PARTYING • THAT TELLS YOU A LOT ABOUT WHO HE IS • WHO HE HANGS OUT WITH WHO HE’S ABIDING WITH • YOU SEE, OUR PUBLIC CONFESSION OF JESUS CHRIST IS A LITTLE LIKE A FACEBOOK PAGE • IT ANNOUNCES TO THE WORLD WHO WE HANG OUT WITH WHO WE ABIDE WITH. • IT IS AN INDICATOR OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • ONE OF THE WAYS WE EXPRESS THIS FELLOWSHIP • IS FOUND IN HOW WE TREAT OTHERS 1 JOHN 4:16 WE HAVE COME TO KNOW AND HAVE BELIEVED THE LOVE WHICH GOD HAS FOR US. GOD IS LOVE, AND THE ONE WHO ABIDES IN LOVE ABIDES IN GOD, AND GOD ABIDES IN HIM. • JOHN JUST TOLD US SOMETHING AMAZING • I DON’T WANT US TO MISS THIS • IT IS A DESCRIPTION OF HOW SALVATION WORKS • HE SAYS • WE HAVE COME TO KNOW AND HAVE BELIEVED THE LOVE WHICH GOD HAS FOR US. • TO ENTER INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, TO BE SAVED • WE FIRST HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, KNOW, THE LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR US • THAT HE LOVED US SO MUCH HE CAME IN THE FORM OF A MAN JESUS CHRIST • WHO LIVED A SINLESS LIFE AND DIED ON THE CROSS TO PAY FOR OUR SINS • ROSE AGAIN AFTER THREE DAYS, ASCENDED TO HEAVEN AND IS COMING BACK • NEXT WE HAVE TO BELIEVE, TRUST, HAVE FAITH • IN THE LOVE WHICH GOD HAS FOR US • THIS IS HOW WE ENTER INTO AN ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD • BUT THIS IS NOT THE END, THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING • THEN WE HAVE TO LIVE OUT THIS RELATIONSHIP IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD INDICATING FELLOWSHIP BY OUR ACTIONS • ONCE SOMEONE IS SAVED AND HEADED TO HEAVEN • THEY SHOULD START WALKING WITH GOD • AND ONE INDICATOR OF IF THEY ARE WALKING WITH GOD • IS HOW THEY TREAT OTHER PEOPLE • JOHN SAYS • GOD IS LOVE, AND THE ONE WHO ABIDES IN LOVE ABIDES IN GOD, AND GOD ABIDES IN HIM. • THIS IS THE SECOND TIME IN THIS LETTER THAT JOHN HAS SAID GOD IS LOVE • THAT MAKES THIS A PRETTY IMPORTANT CONCEPT • WE NEED TO KNOW THAT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT • GOD IS ONLY LOVE, GOD IS LOVE BUT HE IS ALSO • RIGHTEOUS, HOLY, JUST, • ALSO, GOD IS LOVE DOES NOT MEAN LOVE IS GOD • WE SHOULD NOT WORSHIP LOVE • GOD IS LOVE MEANS THAT • GOD IS ALL THAT LOVE CAN EVER BE • HE IS THE TOTALITY OF THE CONCEPT OF • UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY, CARING FOR SOMEONE ELSE • BECAUSE GOD IS ALL THAT LOVE CAN EVER BE • WHEN WE UNCONDITIONALLY, SACRIFICIALLY, CARE FOR OTHERS • WE ARE IN FACT ABIDING IN, WALKING WITH, GOD • THIS IS ALL ABOUT HOW WE ARE LIVING LIFE • IF WE ARE LIVING LIFE, LOVING, CARING FOR OTHERS, SERVING • IT IS AN INDICATION THAT WE ARE ABIDING IN, WALKING WITH GOD • HOW SOME ONE WALKS THROUGH LIFE CAN TELL YOU A LOT ABOUT THEM I CAN LOOK AT SOMEONE PUSHING ON A SKATEBOARD • AND TELL YOU IF THEY WERE REAL SKATEBOARDER OR NOT • JUST BY THE WAY THEY PUSH • I CAN TELL YOU IF THEY HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIFE TO SKATEBOARDING • MY GUESS IS MANY OF YOU COULD LOOK AT A SOMEONE RIDING A HORSE • THE WAY THEY SIT IN THE SADDLE THE WAY THEY HOLDS THEMSELVES • THE WAY THEY HOLD THE REINS • AND TELL IF THEY ARE A REAL COWBOY • TELL IF THEY HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIFE TO BEING A COWBOY • THE WAY WE DO THINGS, HOW WE WALK • SAYS AN AWFUL LOT ABOUT WHO WE ARE ABOUT WHAT WE’VE GIVEN OUR LIFE TO • IF WE GO AROUND LOVING PEOPLE, CARING FOR THEM • SERVING THEM UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING THEM SACRIFICIALLY • THEN THAT IS AN INDICATOR OF OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD (PAUSE) • FROM HOW WE TREAT PEOPLE THE WORLD SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE • THAT WE ABIDE IN GOD AND GOD ABIDES IN US IF YOU WERE SITTING IN A ROCKET • ON THE LAUNCH PAD STRAPPED • TO MILLIONS OF TONS OF MACHINERY • MADE BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS FOR THE LOWEST BID • YOU WOULD REALLY WANT MISSION CONTROL TO GO THROUGH • THAT CHECK LIST, YOU WOULD WANT THEM TO LOOK • AT ALL THOSE INDICATOR LIGHTS, MAKE SURE ALL THE SYSTEMS ARE GO • AS CRITICAL AS THAT LAUNCH WOULD BE • IT IS NOTHING COMPARED TO OUR WALK WITH GOD (PAUSE) • JOHN HAS PROVIDED US A LIST • A LIST OF THINGS WE CAN LOOK AT, INDICATORS • SO THAT WE CAN KNOW WE ARE IN ABIDING IN, WALKING WITH GOD • 1. IF WE ARE CARING FOR, SERVING OUR FELLOW CHRISTIANS • WE CAN KNOW THAT WE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST • 2. IF WE ARE YIELDING TO, BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT • WHO INDWELLS EVERY BELIEVER • WE CAN KNOW THAT WE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD • 3. IF WE CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD • THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD • WE CAN KNOW THAT WE ARE WALKING WITH, ABIDING IN GOD • 4. IF WALKING IN LOVE, UNCONDITIONALLY CARING FOR OTHERS • IN OUR DAILY LIVES • WE CAN KNOW THAT WE ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST • THIS LIST IS FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY • THIS LIST IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE USED TO INSPECT OTHERS • WE ARE TO USE IT AS A CHECK LIST FOR OUR SELVES • HOW AM I DOING, AM I READY FOR LAUNCH? • WE NEED TO DO THIS, INSPECT OURSELVES EVERY NOW AND THEN • BECAUSE WE ARE IN AN ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD • WHO HAS CALLED US TO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS WORD • WE ENTERED INTO THIS RELATIONSHIP WHEN WE TRUSTED IN JESUS CHRIST • THAT HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS PAID FOR OUR SINS • IF THERE IS ANYONE HERE TODAY… 92
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