That Your Joy May Be Complete #05b
1 John 2:18-29
The Spirit of the Anti-Christ part 2
Two Frogs In Cream
Two frogs fell into a can of cream,
Or so I’ve heard it told;
The sides of the can were shiny and steep,
The cream was deep and cold.
“O, what’s the use?” croaked No. 1.
“Tis fate; no help’s around.
Goodbye, my friends! Goodbye, sad world!”
And weeping still, he drowned.
But Number 2, of sterner stuff,
Dog-paddled in surprise,
The while he wiped his creamy face
And dried his creamy eyes.
“I’ll swim awhile, at least,” he said—
Or so I’ve heard he said;
“It really wouldn’t help the world
If one more frog were dead.”
An hour or two he kicked and swam,
Not once he stopped to mutter,
But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked,
Then hopped out, via butter!
—T. C. Hamlet
We began this message last week and we continue today
We live in a country that is certainly NOT a country that is “one nation under God”
We live in a country and a world that is gripped by a world system that is truly anti-Christ.
You can be FOR anything in this world but not FOR Jesus
In recent days a High School Valedictorian was barred from mentioning their relationship with Jesus Christ in their graduation speech
Another student was reprimanded for simply asking a question about God in a classroom
In Houston, at the National Cemetery, ministers were asked to present their remarks BEFORE a graveside service to be sure that there wasn’t any objectionable reference to Jesus Christ
While there are 100s of millions of people who profess love and worship for Jesus Christ, the underlying world system is anti-Christ
How we going to keep on going …
Read with me 1 John 2:20-29
Alright people … how do we live in a world controlled by an antichrist. Antichristian spirit?
How can you make it at school, at work, in the neighborhood, perhaps in your family or extended family?
Do we just sequester ourselves in a hermit like existence?
I don’t think that is what Christ had in mind. He told us to GO and teach all nations. He said we would be WITNESSES … and we can’t go and hide … we can’t witness if we do not interact and live within this world …
What Lies do, what false prophets do is try and separate you from the simple truths
Peter called Satan a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour
How does a Lion hunt? She couches, waits for a moment of vulnerability, scares and runs the herd looking for the young and the weak who are separated and left behind from their herd and they pounce …
But we CAN survive, we CAN remain true, we CAN be IN this world and not OF this world.
How? Four things quickly …
1. Fellowship with Christ
People, it is ALL about Jesus …
You cannot take Jesus out of the equation or change his nature and hold on to the Truth
You cannot fellowship with the Father if you do not fellowship with The Son.
V23 John says “no one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son HAS the Father also”
So then it is impossible to say that someone who rejects Christ still has the ability to relate to the Father it is impossible
John 5:19-24 says So Jesus said to them,“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
John says, who is the LIAR? … John was speaking about a specific person. His name was Cerinthius … he was a Jewish man in Ephesus educated in Alexandria. He did not believe that Jesus was God, born of a virgin. He said that The Christ descended on Jesus as the dove. He said that he talked about the Father, did miracles and at the end of his ministry he left the man Jesus who then died on the cross, because the Christ would have been incapable of suffering because he was just Spirit.
But John says if you separate Jesus from The Christ then you change the equation
Jesus Christ MUST have been both God AND Man …
He is Jesus Christ – He is “Jehovah Saves the Anointed One” …
He was the One Anointed, Set Apart to as a Sacrifice to Save us from the penalty of death and make us right with God
If Jesus the Man is NOT Anointed One … then Jehovah didn’t die for us nor did he save us
Ephesians 2:4-6 says But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
Remember the goal of these people, these liars, verse 26, was “to lead you astray” … from whom?
Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord”
If we are dead and if our only life comes from Jesus …
Without Christ we are DEAD
John 1:4 says “In Him was life”
Not just through him or not just from him … life is IN HIM … we need him and we need him always
Without Christ we are dead
If you have not received Christ you are dead
John 6:40 – “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life …”
And John implores us in verse 28 of 1 John “Continue in him”
The word is meno = abide, remain, stay, dwell, tarry
That is where is starts and that is where it continues
Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers … if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:5-7)
Abide, Dwell, Fellowship with Jesus and you will have LIFE … now and for Eternity … and then in this world we must …
2. Fellowship with The Spirit
Those Gnostics said they had the special anointing … but John said in verse 27
“the anointing you have received from him REMAINS in you … his anointing teaches you about all things as that anointing is real, not counterfeit … just as it has taught you, remain in him”
In Christ you have been given the Gift of the Holy Spirit …
The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift that Jesus Christ has GIVEN to Us …
It is not just a wonderful gift
It is a permanent Gift
It is an ABIDING Gift
Young’s Literal renders verse 27 “the anointing that ye did receive from him, in you it doth remain”
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was a gifting for a time or season, for a task or a circumstance but not an abiding gift
In Psalm 51:11 after his greatest sin, David prayed “take not your Spirit from me”
But now he has CAUSED his Spirit to Dwell in us …
James 4:5 renders it “he has made to dwell in us” … it is a statement of permanence
But it is a gift that though permanent, we can quench, we can ignore, we can block the fullness of his move in our life
Ephesians 5:17-18 says – do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit
Paul there is not so much writing about alcohol but using that as an example of many things that can control us instead of letting ourselves be controlled by the greatest Gift that Christ gave us, and that is the abiding of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit, permanently in our lives
Do not waste the gift
Do not waste the power
We all have known athletes that squandered their opportunity
We have perhaps worked with people of great skill or intelligence that amounted to nothing
We have seen people receive huge sums of money only to be broke a short time
If you have given your life to Jesus Christ, he has placed his Spirit in your life
Ephesians 1:13-14 says “in him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory”
He is IN us for a purpose and we must relate TO him Abide WITH … and when we do
1. He Teaches – John 14:26
2. He Reveals – 1 Cor 2:10
3. He Knows the Thoughts of God – 1 Cor 2:11
4. He Empowers with Spiritual Gifts – 1 Cor 12:11
5. He Convicts of Sin and Defines Righteousness, and Guides into Truth – John 16:7-11
6. He Intercedes with God when we don’t know how to pray – Rom 8:26
In Times like these we need a Savior and we have Jesus Christ
In Times like these we need an Empowering Guide and we have The Holy Spirit
Without Jesus Christ we are Dead
Without the Holy Spirit we are Ignorant
I do NOT mean we are STUPID … I mean we are IGNORANT
Uninformed about or unaware of a specific subject or fact (Oxford Dictionary)
Let me go back to 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God”
There are many intelligent people who have a level of ignorance because they do not know nor have the Spirit of God in their lives
The Spirit searches EVERYTHING … EVEN the depths of God
Amazing, we want to Go to God for Spiritual or Religious things but we don’t want to go to him for our marriage or for our job or for our school, or anything else.
He searches ALL things … REMAIN, TARRY, DWELL, make USE of him …
Be FILLED with the Spirit
We’ve had a lot of rain lately haven’t we.
Has the sun failed to shine ANY day? NO … The Sun has shined EVERY day
What was the problem? Clouds and Rain were IN the Way of the Sky being FILLED with the rain
We didn’t feel the heat, we didn’t see the light we didn’t experience the power, goodness, and blessing of the sun
The same is true in our lives
When you heard the word of truth, and believed him, at that moment you were sealed with the Holy Spirit …
But you are NOT always FILLED with him
He hasn’t GONE anywhere … but sometimes we allow things to get in the way
Sin, Pride, Preconceived Ideas get in the way and we are not FILLED with the Spirit
Sometimes we are controlled by other things … Paul uses the example of Alcohol … when you are drunk the Spirit isn’t in control … and so you are not filled …
But when you are controlled by pride
When you are controlled by ambition
When you are controlled by anything besides the Spirit, you are not FILLED …
If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need him now …
And we HAVE him with us in his Spirit all the time, and God’s will is that we flush out the clouds and be filled with him …
But also … we need to
3. Fellowship with the Word
Back to verse 24 … see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you
Kenneth Wuerst translates this verse “that which you heard from the beginning, in you let it be constantly abiding. If in you there abides that which from the beginning you heard, both in the Son and in the Father you will abide. And this is the promise which he Himself promised us, the life, the eternal.
Now that is a meandering translation and you might be led to think that it says that if you stay in the teachings of God, then you get to keep your salvation and if NOT then you will lose it … but that is not what John is teaching and that thinking wouldn’t match with the overall teaching about Salvation … so what is it saying?
We have been told to REMAIN or abide with Christ, Jesus said to abide with him … but how do we wrap our hands around that?
How can we as flesh and blood people, put our hands on Jesus …
HERE IT IS … <Hold Up the Bible>
Jesus is the Living Word of God
This Bible is the Written of God
When you remain in his Word you remain in Christ
When you hold to the Word you hold to Christ
When you meditate on the Word of God, you are thinking about Jesus Christ
Without Christ we are Dead
Without The Spirit we are Ignorant
Without the Word we are Blind
The Spirit can teach you but The Word of God becomes our LAMP to guide our path Psalm 119:105
In times like these, where do you find the hope and happiness that you seek …
Blessed in the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers
Stop there for a second … walk … stand … sit … those are all words of remaining …
When you remain in the instruction, direction, and dwelling of the wicked and sinful you will NOT have the happiness you seek
But happiness comes from dwelling somewhere else
Continuing in Psalm 1
/2but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night
He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers/
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous ,but the way of the wicked will perish
In Times Like These … we Need God’s Word
Hold On to this word, and you are holding on to Jesus
Sunday or even Sunday and Wednesday is not enough alone …
Daily read his word, throughout the day meditate ON his word, memorize it, live it, abide IN IT …
And when you do, it is a constant reminder of your eternal inheritance that you have Son and Father
And with the Son verse comes Confidence and the Banishment of Shame
We must Know and Abide with Christ
We must Have and Abide with The Spirit
We must Abide in his Word
4. Fellowship with the Body
Without Christ we are Dead
Without The Spirit we are Ignorant
Without the Word we are Blind
Without One another we are Incompetent
“Woah, that’s a STRONG WORD PASTOR”
You might think you are a pretty good, pretty able, pretty competent …
You know, as one who plays the Piano, if my hands could talk they might tell you they are pretty competent … more specifically my fingers might say “it’s just us, We are the competent ones”
But without my brain knowing HOW to play and what the black dots and lines mean I my fingers wouldn’t know what to do, nor be commanded to do so
If my nervous system wasn’t working the signal wouldn’t get to my fingers to move
If my hands weren’t there my fingers wouldn’t be connected to my arms which are connected to my body
Without my legs it would be difficult to GET to the piano …
Without my “seat” it would be hard to SIT at the piano
My fingers are USELESS without the Body
You cannot be a free spiritual agent in this world
I am sick and tired of seeing Christians who wander around, float from church to church, go for weeks and months between church visits, do not fellowship with other believers between services and then wonder why they struggle to make it under the daily attacks of the evil one, wondering why they are discouraged, why they are ineffective, why they get nowhere …
YOU ARE A BODY PART … YOU NEED THE BODY
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us …
Very simply put just like my fingers would lay limp on the piano keys in a gross mess … so each of us no matter what our part, internal or external, seen or unseen, cannot do ANYTHING without one another!
In Times Like These … with the Spirit of the Antichrist rampant among us … how will we make it?
I think our greatest problem in our correct understanding of Grace is that because we rightly believe it is a FOREVER GIFT and an ETERNAL SALVATION … we just expect life to be easy … we have LOST the ART and the COMMAND of Christ to ABIDE In ME
Pastor Chuck Swindoll says that when he was a boy at his Grandfather’s house, a wise African American Gentleman spoke wisdom to him and said “Little Charles, the hardest thing about life is that it’s SO DAILY”
Jesus said ABIDE in me … not when it’s convenient or easy, but especially when it’s hard and inconvenient
In A nutshell
Abide in Christ
Abide with his Spirit
Abide in his Word
Abide with his People
He lives in ME and He Lives in You and when I fellowship with you, I Abide in Christ
He IS the Word so when I read his Word … I Abide in Christ
His Spirit is his Representative and GIFT in ME … when we worship, when we pray, when we respond to his teaching, revelation, and guidance, we Abide in Christ
I know old poems and Old hymns sometimes pass us without meaning … but writer, Henry Francis Lyte was a pastor with poor health serving in a difficult region along the sea in Devonshire, England.
In 1847, his health was giving out and his doctor him to move to the South of France for his health
He preached his final sermon to his church of 24 years, he told them “I stand before you today as one alive from the dead, if I may hope to impress upon you and get you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all. I plead with you to become acquainted with the changeless Christ and his death.”
After his sermon, he served the Lord’s supper, said his goodbyes and went home.
He found strength in John 15:5 and the words of Christ “Abide in Me, and I in you.”
That night as the sun set over the harbor, his gardener saw him write a poem.
The next day he sailed for Nice, France. He went there to get well, but on arrival had a seizure and passed into eternity with two words “Joy! Peace!”
His poem had been left with his daughter and became a famous hymn … The words?
Abide with me – fast falls the eventide!
The Darkness deepens – Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!
As darkness invades
As friends fail
As health goes
Abide with his people
Abide in his Word
Abide with his Spirit
Abide In Christ
Do you know him?
Do you respond to his Spirit?
Do you love his Word?
Do you love his people?
Whatever we may face, BRING IT ON
We Can make through Anything, Anytime, Anywhere