SHARP: Once upon a time ...
\\ *A. John & Jane … dancing ... bar … not looking to marry … both with baggage
1. Never say never … married again ... or kids
2. Not Christian … low opinion of superstition
B. Got married … fought like cats and dogs
1. Didn’t mesh … not mature …
2. Him – kids called controlling …
3. Her – kids called intruder …
4. one question remained: suicide or homicide (joke)
C. Outsiders … separate …
1. Tremendous pressure … attack integrity …
2. If you know pressure ... bathysphere … tin can
3. Survival … dead relationship … cast adrift
D. Amazing … encountered God … Road to Damascus …
1. Personal ... powerful ... penetrating … God initiated
2. Not on their way ... Self help at Borders …
3. Just trying to survive
E. Changed everything … not a light switch … not super Christian … tried to pretend it away …
1. Slowly from the inside
2. Not easy ... not tea and lilies ...
F. Re-mature … old J & J fell away like dead skin …
1. Began to calm … learned grace and truth …
2. People noticed … smiled sometimes … stopped complaining …
3. Started telling people what happened
POV: You can’t change without Jesus … without him - pretend
Benefit: Share Him … God’s work John 6:29
Action: Invite people to a new life in Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
V. BE LIKE HIM v 21
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
A. He is clean … We were not
B. SHARP: Jesus went fishing one day … not for trout in the mountains … not off the Florida coast .. for dead fish in the sewer … need some clean water ... don’t even know they’re dead
POV: If you know Christ then it is your responsibility to share Him with other people
Action: Find some way to love people who don’t know they’re dead and drowning
Ask: How will I line up my life with the word?
Ask: What can I do specifically to make this part of my life?
Ask: In what relationships will I apply this?
Ask: Is there a challenge to face? And will I face it?
Benefit: Remember … give a position of honor … ambassador … child of God … you will be pleasing to the Lord … improved relationships.
SHARP: Jesus was out fishing one day ...
1. Caught a Lou-fish in the net ... would he throw him back? ... would He say that it’s just not worth the effort? Would He say he’s not a keeper?
BE THE NET
I. BE NEW v 17
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
A. Can’t do it on your own … you’re old … dead … corpse … sin is death
1. To die to death is to be alive
2. God is life
3. Outside of Christ … Apart from Him there is no life …
John 11:21 … John 12:24
B. In Christ … you’re a child of the king … made new
1. The new is here … the vanguard of the King … live in resurrection power
2. Old stuff is gone … die to death
3. The NT casts a great vision of who we are … even a casual read
a. Saints … conformed to His image
b. Paul says … seated with Jesus
c. 1 John 3 … will be like him
d. Salt and light must have shocked people … who us? … their potential not their performance
II. BEFRIEND v 18-19a
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,
A. To reconcile … Harmony and friendship
B. If you knew everything I’ve done … If I knew everything you’ve done…
C. Befriended by God … initiated by God … He loves me even though He knows me
D. Trespasses … Isn’t keeping count … got passed it ... put it behind Him ... Hebrews 8:12
E. We shouldn’t count trespasses … need to get passed it ... Illustrate: intense fellowship and forgiveness
F. Here’s the point … she has never brought them up … that night she was “Jesus with skin on”
G. You might ask … why should I … isn’t this about Jesus forgiving us? … Yes but … there’s more…
III. BE RESPONSIBLE v 19b
and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
A. He gave us a job to do … can you see it here? … model His love … all the time
B. Responsible to God … and responsible to yourself … and responsible to people
C. God - Don’t trespass ... don’t go where you shouldn’t
1. There are fences and signs ... pay attention to them ... it’s the enemy’s property
2. Don’t go where you know you’re not supposed to ...
D. Yourself – don’t trespass … don’t go where you shouldn’t
E. People – forgive them … be their friend … stay true
F. In the world but not of the world
IV. BE INVITING v 20
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
A. Ambassador … God appeals through you
1. Speak for the King
2. Zechariah 10:9 “When I scatter them among the peoples, they will remember Me in far countries…”
3. Entrusted with the King’s message ... you are His voice to the world
4. John 6:29 – this is the work of God
5. Martin Luther Life Together 17-18
B. Be URGENT: Beg if you have to ... beg them to listen ... beg God to forgive ...
1. There must be as sense of urgency … what are you willing to ignore?
2. Romans 14:7 - Not one of us lives for himself and not one dies for himself
3. Illustrate: People still drowning ... throw them the life preserver
4. Illustrate: Infinite ball of string ... they don’t even know they’re lost ... one golden thread