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AF-S75-061905 Fathers

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Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ Sermon 75, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day!

Last Week…It all boils down to what, or really who you believe.

Romans 8:14-16 ~ For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

1- If we are led by the Holy Spirit we are adopted as God's children.

        Adoption is where a father elects an individual to carry on their name and is an honor greater than that of a biological child. Julius Caesar adopted his wife's neice's son Gaius Octavius, renamed Julius Augustus Caeser. Marcus Antonius was a great general and Caesar's number one. He was the logical choice, but Caeser had chosen the 18 year old, frail and unaccomplished Octavian even over his own children and his son Caesarian, by Cleopatra.

2- We are not enemies or slaves or servants or even trusted friends we are heirs. We call the King, Pappa God.

        In John 15, Jesus says a servant doesn't know the plans of the master, but now we as Jesus' friends are part of the family so we can learn all about the plans and share in the success.

3- It is the Holy Spirit in us that proves the reality of this Truth.

        Love for each other proves the Holy Spirit dwells in us which in turn proves we are in the family. We accept God through His plan and we love Him through His agapê, so also our love for each other is manifested.

Earlier in Paul's letter….

Romans 1:18-21 ~ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 7:18&19 ~ For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want
24&25 ~ Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Romans 8:1&2 ~ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

4 ~ so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

7 ~ because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

Romans 8:12&13 ~ So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:17 ~ and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Romans 8:23-25 ~ And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

The bottom line is that God has adopted those people, as His very own children, who genuinely believe, which of course means that a person is sold out to a given proposition. When an individual genuinely enters God=s family then they simply act like who they really are. I often say to myself, "Remember who you are."

God in me, tells me, "You are God=s son and if He is for you who can be against you?@ I am reminded to behave like the person I am and I am reminded that nothing can harm me ever! Who are you?

Two main points here:

There are only two paths & how can you be like your Father if you don't know Him?

Many natural sons have been cut out because they either didn't really know their Father or didn't want to be like Him. In short they are not His true heirs.

The Father wants heirs to carry on His program, His name, not make their own program and establish their own name.

The choice is to do it the Father's way or not, period.

The next thing is to know the Father well enough to carry out His agenda.

That's what we as Christians must do. It is what Debbie does and it is what the Elders and Deacons do.

Nothing less than total surrender to the real master will be accepted.

This fellowship is different than most because whatever happens we are completely committed to God's perfect Will.

We're able to do that because we love each other

Love for each other proves we have the Holy Spirit.

Only the Holy Spirit can teach Truth and enable faith.

Faith in Jesus, the Father and the Spirit. Faith in His Word.

1- Let me say it again God loves His children and as a perfect Father He blesses His children not because of the way they perform, but because He loves them unconditionally. That=s what agape love is; it is altruistic unconditional love based on a choice to love because of the character of the one loving not the worthiness of the one being loved! If we are God=s children, then we will receive the blessings God has for us. You can=t earn God=s blessing; if you could God would owe you. You shouldn=t be able to earn your own father=s blessing either if you can it=s not worth having because it doesn=t really exist in Him at all. You have a perfect Father who loves you because you=re his child, period.

2- Because of His love for you He will never punish you in a punitive or destructive way.  God=s goal is our best interest and so He can never punish us for our failures in a punitive way that is vengeful or spiteful. These are selfish motives to see someone abused because we are dissatisfied with their behavior. God as the perfect set of parents allows us to suffer with the results of our poor choices and the sad and terrible things birthed through the selfishness of this world because He is far more concerned about our character than our comfort. But we must suffer as Christ suffered, and then we will have glory as Christ has glory.

3- We must realize relationship is not one of the things, it=s the only thing! Our response is to cling to God, rest in Him, rely on His plan and timing. That=s obedience in a nutshell. Now we must realize that we are already the actual children of the living God, creator of the heavens and the earth, yeah that guy who just says a word and universe begins. If we are really part of the God family then act like it! When God makes someone his child, that person does not go on sinning. The new life God gave that person stays in him. So he is not able to go on sinning, because he has become a child of God. I tell my kids you are part of the Keller family and we do things differently than some other families. It=s not relevant to me how the family down the street does things you don=t live with them.

When I saw His face I realized that there was no condemnation in His eyes, there was not even the slightest hint of disapproval or disappointment, in fact there was complete forgiveness and love. Yes love for me. I was blown away, AHow can you possibly love me after what I=ve done?@

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, period. If you want to live in fear and refuse to accept that God loves you and He has provided the way to relationship with Him then I=m sorry, but that=s your choice. My choice is to realize that if Jesus loved me that much that day when I was one of His worst enemies, trying to invent ways to tick Him off. Then how much more does He love me now that I am His joint heir a child of Father God?

Romans 5:9-10 ~ We have been made right with God by the blood of Christ=s death. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God=s anger. I mean that while we were God=s enemies, God made friends with us through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are God=s friends, God will save us through his Son=s life.

John 14:6-9 Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Philip said* to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said* to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Luke Chapter 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he 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 perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

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