The title of this sermon was going to be "Number Two". But, I thought that might create some confusion as to the topic. :-) So, here goes my second sermon to you, Nick, Ali and Greg...
When that beautiful divine act of God choosing you and you believing in Him happens, what is it? What's it called? What actually happens? As a kid, I thought it was about loving Jesus (which I did), trying hard to make Him happy, and being good (which I wasn't). I think that I thought of Jesus as a really good leader, and I was taught to try to be like Him, to imitate Him.
Then, it's such a good thing to get a better understanding, a more accurate understanding of what takes place when we believe. Yes, it is about loving God!
"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'"~Matthew 22:37
And believing in Jesus Christ!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."~John 3:16 (Ever heard that one before?)
And, then...we are "IN CHRIST" and He is in us!
"...Christ in you, the hope of glory."~Colossians 1:27b
We are new creatures!
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."~II Corinthians 5:17
Yes, out with the old and in with the new!
"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."~Colossians 3:4
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."~Galatians 2:20
"For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."~II Corinthians 4:11
We are now a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit of God!
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."~John 14:16,17
"For we are the temple of the living God"~II Corinthians 6:16
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"~I Corinthians 3:16
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"~I Corinthians 6:19
"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God."~I John 4:13-15
"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."~Romans 8:9-11
Enough said. Closing hymn.
One final thought:
"The Christian life is one continuous impartation of Life from above, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, made possible by the continuous dethronement of the self life."~From the book "The New Life"
ps~I thank God that you three have an understanding of our position IN Christ! Really, I'm just preaching to the choir here and getting to jot down some of my favorite verses!