Jesus-Life Preserver 10-08-05
Jesus, the Life Preserver
2 Kings 6:1-7
Walk through story: (begin into sermon when axe-head hits the water)
INTRO: I am always amazed at how high a bird can fly! …And they aren’t afraid
of heights. And fish can swim without drowning. We have a sinking nature that will drown us to death if we are not connected to Jesus Christ!
Birds have a bird nature; it enables them to be who they are.
Fish have a fish nature; granting them the ability to live as fish.
“Nature” comes by way of birth.
- Humans are unlike any other creature.
- Humans have a sinking nature = called sin
i. All humanity is bound to the sinking law of sin.
- Sin is not an illusion. It an inherent reality of human nature.
- The nature of sin pulls us downward.
- This section of the Jordan River is said to be one of the deepest and fastest moving parts of the river ..and it is very muddy water as well.
- Don’t let your life sink to the bottom
- It will be lost forever! (in the fast moving muddy waters of the Jordon - “descending unto death”)
i. (ILLUSTRATION: Lost is a terrible condition to be in.)
- Life is a gift, but it is a “barrowed” gift; it is NOT your own. #. We will be accountable with what we did with it one day
i. Try to return it is good condition
- (ILLUSTRATION: Falling from building) #. If you lose your life, all hope is lost.
- If you value what you have lost, cry out to the only one who can help you!
- (ILLUSTRATION: Professor Story (philosophy, history, science)) no matter how sharp or dull, you sink!
- Sin is a falling short of God’s standard of “Himself.” (Rom. 3:23)
- God does not generously overlook sin. It is something that cannot exist in His presence.
- Now, a new element enters the picture …the stick, broken off of a tree no doubt. It is a “saving stick,” specially created by God for saving sinking axe-heads.
i. Are you a sinking axe-head? (no, I didn’t say “pinhead”)
- Jesus has a floating nature (it is eternal)
- It is His nature to float (rise); and it is our nature to sink! #. The stick represents the Cross of Christ.
- (ILLUSTRATION: rock tied to stick …takes on the nature of the stick)
- When two things are joined together, the nature changes!
- You (the lesser) assume (take on) the properties of the Greater
- When your life is joined to Christ, you will take on a new nature
- You will become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)!
i. One that does not sink, and one that resembles the nature of Jesus.
ii. You will be a partaker of God’s “divine nature!” (2 Pet. 2:4)
- We are lifted by the power of the Cross. Only JESUS can rescue sinking man. He went down into the muddy waters of death to rescue us.
- Hold on to Jesus and you will never sink again!
- JESUS IS THE LIFE PRESERVER.
- It is the greatest miracle that He raises us while our hearts are still hard ….He saves us! (Rom. 5:8)
- He lifts us and enables us to live our lives for God.
- Romans 6:4-6 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
- Our NATURE changes: the way we act, interact, respond to life, our thoughts …everything will be as if life has been “switched on”
- The New Nature
- How to connect is the world’s greatest mystery (miracle) #. Made available to us through His sacrifice on the cross (tree).
- (ILLUSTRATION: “Precious Blood” 1Pet. 1:7, 19)
- Only God can respond to your cry for help. He is the faith-finder.
- We must live in the strength of the new nature. Jesus has overcome sin.
- You were made to shine! (Your life in Christ is meant to be seen. ….you are a “city set on a hill.”)
- There is power available for the life connected to JESUS!
i. Only Jesus will raise you to NEW LIFE!
- Do you think that I could swim from here to Australia on my own? NO
- Do you think that I could live forever on my own? NO
- (Optional) (ILLUS: Monkey and the Crocodile – use your brain)
Life hinges on the Cross of Jesus Christ – your life hangs in the balance
- (ILLUSTRATION: see-saw) #. The law of gravity cannot be broken by myself (just like the law of sin)
- Jesus came to help you rise above the sinking law of sin
- John 3:7 “Do you marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again?’
i. This is the only way to receive a new nature: you MUST be born into spiritual life if you are to have a spiritual life.
ii. NATURE comes by way of birth.
- (ILLUS: Orphan girl and Rich lady …want to come home with me? Will have your own room, toys and bed. What do I have to do? (Lady cried.) Through her tears she said …only be my little girl.) #. Jesus dying on the cross doesn’t tell you how much He loves you.
i. The cross tells you how much He loves his enemies.
ii. You have to come to Jesus to find out how much He loves you.
1. erase all of your sins.
2. You will NOT sink anymore.