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If you follow Jesus you must get your thoughts in a different place. The kind of thinking you know is not the kind of thinking that will empower you to practically follow Jesus.
Embrace Real Faith
A Faith Crisis? There are many formal studies that show the decline in church attendance, but I have my doubts. Representing what is really going on in the church is difficult.
However, many Christians have no idea how to Christian. Bible reading, study, memorization are important but they are not Christianity. The Bible is not God. Even though the Bible is God’s Word. Jesus is the Word of God, The Bible LEADS us to Jesus.
Is the Word important? YES! But, as with many people, their Bible study does not produce the fruits of the Spirit. What’s the problem? It’s not the Bible.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (NLT) And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
Today We Go After REAL FAITH. Learning about faith, the Bible, and righteousness doesn’t happen in the same way that we learn about traditional topics like biology, mathematics, and history. It is not to say these ideas are dismissed in Christianity. However, Christians understand and SEE that there is much more going on in the world than can be observed by Science. (Science is a method, not a religion BTW.)
So let’s discuss some new ways to consider our Faith.
It Takes A New Wisdom
1 Corinthians 2:6-7 (NLT) Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory …
There is Something Wrong with the Wisdom of the World. The world’s wisdom crucified the ONLY innocent Man. The wisdom of the world states that there is never enough. You should never be content. Always reach for more and envy anyone who has something you don’t.
The Wisdom of the Kingdom is for OUR Ultimate Glory. God’s plan is FOR you. Verse 7 – “He made it for our ultimate glory“ – He made His plan for US.
This doesn’t fit the narrative of the modern world. This is the real news the World doesn’t want you to know. The narrative is that GOD is the cause of the shame and pain in this life. So when we think about God, or “come near” Him, we feel guilt.
God’s Goodness Toward You. God is scary. God is, in fact, AWESOME. Awesome is a combination of wonder, joy, and TERROR. And all of that is for YOUR own good.
God is not after your SHAME. He desires your freedom from the “wisdom” you were born into and have been taught your whole life. It’s foolishness. It’s bondage. It’s guilt, pain, shame, and fear. It takes a NEW wisdom. A Heavenly Wisdom.
It Takes A New Lens
1 Corinthians 2:10 (NLT) But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
The World does not Have a Lens to See… The things God has prepared for those taken in by His awe, His love, and His care. Until you have the Holy Spirit, you cannot know what it is like to be loved by God. Sure, we could argue for creation and beauty. We could make many rational arguments for the Love of God. But they cannot equal the experience God has prepared for us.
Galatians 3:5 (NLT) I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
In Galatians, Paul tapped into evidence for His argument that was in no way rational. It was an experience. Don’t limit your Faith according to a lack of experience. There is a Holy Spirit experience FOR you. That experience is founded in your belief in Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps you find the things God has hidden for those who seek Him.
God is not Hiding Things from You. He is Hiding Things for You. Why does God “hide” things? Do you hide Easter Eggs because you don’t like your kids? Do you wrap Christmas presents because you can’t stand people? Doesn’t it take MORE effort to surprise people? To wrap, or hide, or surprise? Why would you do that?
You do it because you love to see their JOY. It takes a new lens to find God’s gifts.
It Takes A New Mind:
1 Corinthians 2:14, 16 (NLT) But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” … But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
Learn to Think about Jesus. Practically, believers should spend a lot of time thinking about Jesus. Imagine yourself as one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples. Every day you are listening to Jesus teach. You are watching Jesus interact. Jesus has closed meetings with all of you to help you understand more.
You may be thinking, “I wish.” Well, because of the Bible, the Word (Jesus), and The Holy Spirit you can.
If you wish to learn to think like someone, start spending time with them. To think like Jesus, you just have to spend time with Him and listen to what He says. If you wish to follow Jesus, you must get your thoughts in a different place. The kind of thinking you know is not the kind of thinking that will empower you to practically follow Jesus.
Talk About It…
- Have 3 people in your group read 1 Corinthians 2:4-16 from different translations. Highlight any words or phrases that you find interesting. Discuss your selections with the group.
- Have 3 people share their own paraphrase of the scripture. Share what you learn from the passage.
- Do you believe Rock Springs and Green River are experiencing a Faith Crisis? Why or Why not?
- How do you “Christian”? What are practical things that you do because you believe?
- How does the “wisdom” of the world differ from God’s Wisdom? How do we see the differences?
- How is the Holy Spirit an experience? What does the Holy Spirit in your life “look” like?
- Discuss the idea that “God hides things FOR you not FROM you”?
- How might thinking about Jesus lead to thinking like Jesus? How do you think Jesus came to thinking so much like God the Father?