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Sunday, July 5, 2015 am                                            Perfection Index

 

GOING ON TO PERFECTION (23)
God Working In Us

 

Last year, as we examined basic doctrines, we began with a month of lessons about who is God.  In that study we examined who God is and why we should believe in the God of the Bible.  We noted that God is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.  He is holy, gracious and loving.  This month, we are going to address God again, but our approach will be to understand how God works in our lives as Christians.  This month we will address, God dwelling in us, trusting God, loving God and how God works today through providence.   These lessons are intended to increase our faith and dedication to Him.  Today we will begin by discussing how God works in us. 

 I.                    God dwells in Us

a.        He does – 1 John 4:4 - He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world
1 John 4:15-16, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
Romans 8:9-11, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” IN this text, we find that not only does God dwell within us, but also His (Holy Spirit) and Jesus dwells within us.

In all these texts, it becomes clear that He is not in everyone, but in His followers – disciples, believers, the saved, etc.  It is within us that He works today.

b.       It is not a miraculous indwelling, or some mystical experience or taking us over and removing our free will in any way.  All such thinking is contrary to other principles of scripture. 

c.        So we need to determine How we works within us

 II.                  How God Works In Us Today

a.        As with His dwelling, many passages emphasize the working of God
Ephesians 3:20-21 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20–21, NKJV) NOTE: God is able

Phil. 2:12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” As Paul calls for these brethren to work out their salvation (do what they can), he gives them assurance that they are not alone.  God has provided for them what they need and He is there for them.

Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  God’s will is accomplished through us as we do what we are commanded to do. 

b.       Influence – as with God being with us is not a mystical experience, miraculously or through a direct indwelling, so His working in us is not.  Perhaps the best way to describe how God works in us is through His influence.  He has provided a number of things that gives our lives direction.  Let us notice a few of these!

c.        Through His grace – Grace in broad terms is God’s part in our salvation.  It is also the prime factor.  Without the grace of God, all else is moot.  As we consider all that He has done for us, it humbles us and moves us to respond favorably for Him. 
1 Cor. 15:10 is an example of this “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:9–10)
Consider 1 John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.”

d.       Through His word – the word of God is the source through which we get direction today. 
2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us that he has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
2 Tim. 3:16-17 tells us that the scriptures are able to make us complete and thoroughly equip us for every good work. 
Because God does not speak to us directly, miraculously or mysteriously today, we need direction for how to live.  How do we save ourselves (do what we need to)?  How do know if we are faithfully serving Him?  The answer is He tells us in His word.  He gives us direction!
1 Thess. 2:13, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13, NKJV)

 James 1:18, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
1  John 2:24, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

Through various avenues He has provided within His word, we know how to serve Him and have that relationship with Him
Rom. 1:16 – Gospel God’s power to those who believe!
1 Corinthians 1:22-24 contrasts our reception of the word with that of the world. To the Jews it was a stumbling block, to Gentiles it was foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 
When we understand this we can see the importance of respecting the authority of His word!

e.       Through men – God works in us through other godly men and women. 

                                                   i.      Through preachers and teachers – Romans 10:14-17 – preachers proclaim the gospel
Ephesians 4:11-16 – leaders given to build up the body in word!
Acts 8:30-39, when God sent Philip to the eunuch, he preached the word to him – God did His part, man did his part in delivering the message.
Note: There is not a single account of conversion in the New Testament where a man was not sent to deliver the message.
2 Corinthians 6:1, “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

                                                  ii.      Through men and women teaching as they have opportunity – Acts 8:4,
Acts 19:26 (Aqula and Priscilla),
Ephesians 6:4 – fathers, train your children
Older women teach the younger women – Titus 2:3-4

                                                iii.      Through building up one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
Romans 12:10 – be kindly affectionate to one another
1 Peter 3:8 calls for us to love as brothers
Hebrews 12:12 tells us to strengthen the hands that hang down
Galatians 6:1, we go to our brother who is overtaken in a trespass.  2 Thess. 3:15 tells us to admonish them as a brother and not as an enemy. 

God gave us the church for a reason – Heb. 10:24-25.

f.         By working for Him – when we serve God and do His will, He is in us.

                                                   i.      1 Cor. 10:31, Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

                                                  ii.       Col. 3:23, 17  - do all to His glory and in His name

                                                iii.      1 Cor. 9:23, “Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

                                                iv.      1 Cor. 6:19-20 – glorify God in your body

                                                  v.      Be zealous for Him (Titus 2:14)

                                                vi.      1 John 3:24,  Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

                                               vii.      1 John 1:7, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6–7, NKJV)

g.        Through Prayer – once again we emphasize the importance of prayer.  If we want God to be in our lives, we need to speak to Him. Prayer is the avenue He has provided for that.

                                                   i.      Philippians 4:6, let your requests be made known to God…

                                                  ii.      Matthew 7:7, 11 – Jesus challenges His disciples to learn to trust God and go to God with your requests.

                                                iii.      1 John 3:22, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Also 1 John 5:14-15 – our confidence, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and we know we have the petitions we have asked.

                                                iv.      1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your cares upon Him - go to Him.

h.       Providence – to emphasize that God working in our lives is not miraculous, a mysterious force, etc. does not mean God does nothing.  In passages about prayer and other passages of confidence, we find that we can turn to God for strength, wisdom, and even help.   Today He works providentially, rather than miraculously (though He is all powerful).  Later this month we will address this in full detail.

 

And thus we can see how God is working in us and dwells within us.  It is very much related to our willingness to follow Him.  Do we?  As you examine your life, what impact does God have?  If He is not there, you need to make yourself right with Him.  Will you?