Inter-Community Church of God
March 7, 2021 Service
      • Psalm 19GS-NETBIBLE

  • “B” a Becoming Christian

    Two weeks ago I talked about an all-in commitment to being identified with Jesus of Nazareth, no matter what: Will you be an “N”? A Christian who wears the mark of Jesus wherever you go and whatever you do, at whatever cost?
    Then last week I talked about some “B”s we should be as Christians: first is Believing, then to Be Born Again, and B Baptized into Christ.
    We didn’t have time to get to one of the most challenging “B”s : that is Becoming what God sees as our best goal.
    >>>This all starts with a first Becoming, which is a transformation of our basic reality, which is first mentioned in the first chapter to John’s Gospel, which is that we are. . .

    Becoming Children of God

    Now, this is a change in our status that starts when we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who was sent to be our savior. It makes us what we thought we were already, according to the wisdom of the world; but to truly become children of God, we need God to do his work for us, as
    >>>John says, in John 1:12, . . .
    John 1:12 ESV
    12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
    This good news for those of us that may have a lazy spirit or an unguided start to our life in Christ. The verse in John says “to ALL who” received him and beliieved him. We need to be sure that we have come to this point by first putting our hope in Jesus Christ.
    I can never assume that everyone who hears me has gotten here yet. At the church that I served in British Colombia, Canada, one of the very faithful servants of the church, who had been a board member and helped in promoting the church, a man names Helmut, at the end of 5 years of ministry told me that he had now become a believer not just in his head now in his heart. For most of his adult life, he had believed in Jesus but not received the grace of God until the ministry I brought, and the teaching of God’s word. This is not because of what I did as Pastor but because of what God did through his word.
    Every one of us needs to believe with our mind and receive in our hearts the saving power of Jesus Christ, the son of God, who came that we might become Children of God not children of the world or children of the devil because of our selfishness and sin. We need to put all our hope in Jesus, confessing our sins, and receiving his grace for our forgiveness, then accepting his transforming power within.
    When the result of a statement about what God is doing in us and for us because of our believing hearts begins with “ALL”, that’s good news for us.
    Our future and hope is not based in our feeble human efforts, as we have tried by following the laws and rules about living, as did my friend Helmut. No, it is so much more:
    >>>The good news of the Gospel is based in the transforming power of God’s spirit that is transfused into us, that creates eternal life in us instead of the eternal dying of our sinful souls. Paul says to us in Romans 8:15-16, . . .
    Romans 8:15–16 ESV
    15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
    Trying to make ourselves acceptible to God because we know he will get us if we don’t get it right, is living in fear. The trying comes when as humans our life is about pleasing God through followin his law. That is the slavery Paul talks about in this verse.
    The alternative is SO MUCH BETTER: receive adoption, becoming the sons of God, the children of God.
    That is the first important Becoming. It is because of God’s work in us, not because of our work for him. Our work for God needs to be the response of God’s work in us, making us his children because of Jesus Christ.
    >>>The next Becoming for me to mention is . . .

    Becoming Sons of Light

    Sons of light means that we will be torch-bearers of Jesus in the darkness of a sinful world. This happens because of our full identity with Jesus and with what it means to be the children of God. And it can only happen when our becoming is based in our believing, just like become the children of God is based in our believing in Jesus.
    >>>One of the last things Jesus said to the crowd in Jerusalem before he retreated to the Upper Room for his last meal with his Disciples is about becoming Sons of Light. Here’s how John puts it in his Gospel, just a couple verses after John records that God thundered from heaven that he would glorify his name. So Jesus warned people not to continue to walk in the darkness of sin. He said, in John 12:36, . . .
    John 12:36 ESV
    36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.
    Jesus said these things to those who hadn’t quite connected their hearts with God’s heart through Jesus Christ. The crowds were curious, some of those in the crowds were believers in Jesus, but most of the people that heard Jesus’ voice had not allowed his word to penetrate their souls and transform their spirits. Jesus said again to believe in him: Jesus was the light walking with them, and now he says that by believing in him we are on a path that is the “becoming” path still. Becoming believers in his name, we are becoming children of God, and we are becoming sons of light.
    The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out.
    Since we have had so much infection with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people have been buying light wands or light stands that emit ultra-violet light, because that light can disable or kill the virii that end up on our phones, watches and wallets. We can’t see that light very well, it is usually a part of the light of the Sun. It’s a little further out of our sight range than the “black lights” that were so popular in dorm rooms and party places in the early 70s. But that same light that can sunburn our skin can also kill the virus.
    When the light of Christ shines into the darkness of our souls, it cleanses us from our sin way better than ultra-violet light sanitizes our phones or whatever from the viruses that we may gather in the world. Now as followers of Jesus we can become the bearers of that light into our sin-darkened world.
    Where there is injustice, the light of Christ is needed. Where there is strife, the light of Christ is needed. Where there is injury, or where there is exploitation, the light of Christ is needed. Where there is abuse and where there is neglect, we can, as sons of light, bring the light of Christ into those dark places.
    >>>The light of Christ, and becoming sons of that light is of truly practical value in the here and now of our lives, there is a really important becoming for our own future hope. The Paul describes this in the Bible as. . .

    Becoming Heirs of Eternal Life

    To become and heir is to be adopted fully into the family of God, as children of God. If someone is already a son, as Jesus is, they are already an heir, an inheritor of all the Father has. For us as the adopted children of God, we become heirs because of the grace of God,
    >>>and the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, . . . as Paul says in Titus 3:7,
    Titus 3:7 ESV
    7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    And finally, there is the last “B” What You Should:

    Becoming Like Jesus

    1 John 3:2 ESV
    2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
    This verse starts with who we are: God’s children, because we are brought into the family by Jesus Christ.
    2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
    18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
      • John 1:12GS-NETBIBLE

      • Romans 8:15–16GS-NETBIBLE

      • John 12:36GS-NETBIBLE

      • Titus 3:7GS-NETBIBLE

      • 1 John 3:2GS-NETBIBLE

      • 2 Corinthians 3:18GS-NETBIBLE

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