Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon comes from 1 John 2:3-6. The title of this sermon is: United With Christ.
We have all seen marriages that by law were united but the husband and wife did not live as one. They lived as separate individuals. Instead of dying to themselves, and serving the other, they remained selfish and wanted to be served rather than to serve. They wanted to receive but not give. Our hearts ache when we see a marriage end. However, our hearts rejoice when we see a husband and wife that love Jesus and they serve each other and give to each other rather than receive. They put each other’s needs above their own. They make decisions as one. They parent as one. They are one.
We have all seen sports teams that have completely fallen apart because the players were not united as a team. When a team plays as individuals rather than a team, it doesn’t matter that they wear the same color of jersey. A team moves together. They are one. Offense and defense. They act as one. They think as one. They are one. They lose as one. They win as one.
United: Made one. Combined. To act as a single entity.
John is writing to the church. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say that just because you said a prayer or that you attend church – you are a Christian. It doesn’t say it nor does it allude to it. John presents a text that is challenging. It pushes back against what some might believe. It pushes back against what you might have been taught.
1 John 2:6
If you are in Christ, than you do your best to walk as Christ walked. You do not do this in your own power or your own strength. You do this in Christ.
John Murray, in his book Redemption Accomplished and Applied says this,
“Union with Christ has its source in the election of God the Father before the foundation of world and has its fruition in the glorification of the sons of God. The perspective of God’s people is not narrow; it is broad and it is long. It is not confined to space and time; it has the expanse of eternity. Its orbit has two foci, one the electing love of God the Father in the counsels of eternity, the other glorification with Christ in the manifestation of his glory. The former has no beginning, the latter has no end…Why does the believer entertain the thought of God’s determinate counsel with such joy? Why can he have patience in the perplexities and adversities of the present? Why can he have confident assurance with reference to the future and rejoice in hope of the glory of God? It is because he cannot think of past, present, or future apart from union with Christ.”
Being united with Christ indicates four different aspects that we need to understand.
- We are in Christ
- Christ is in us
- We are like Christ
- We are with Christ
God chose you in Christ before the foundation of the world – Ephesians 1:4
In eternity past, God chose you and at the same time thought of you as belonging to Christ so we have been given the right to share in the blessings of Christ’s work.
Jesus was our perfect representative on earth. So, whatever, Jesus did as our representative, God counted it as something that we did too. This seems strange at first because how is this possible since we were not alive when Jesus was here on earth?
We were present with Jesus only in God’s thoughts. God thought of us being present in Jesus and going through what Jesus went through because he was our representative. Jesus perfectly obeyed God for his whole life. God thought of us as being obedient too.
Romans 5:19 – For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 1:30 – He (God) is the source of your life in Christ Jesus whom God made our wisdom, and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
God considers us dying with Christ and being raised with Christ. Because Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of God, in him we are also with him. We groan or long while we are still here because we know that we belong to Jesus and we want to be with Jesus.
Baptism is the symbol for how we show the world that we have died with Christ and was buried with him and then we were raised to live a new life.
All of our actions can be done in Christ. If your actions are done in the power of the Holy Spirit and are honoring to God then your actions are in Christ.
This also means that as you are being sanctified, all of you is going through a process of change. Your thoughts can be in Christ. Your decisions can be in Christ. Your actions can be in Christ.
- You rejoice in Christ
- You listen to and apply Scripture in Christ
- You worship in Christ
- You walk by faith in Christ
- You love your neighbor as yourself in Christ
- You stand firm and are as bold as a lion in Christ
- You are obedient in Christ
We are in Christ and Christ is in us.
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
The Bible makes it clear that the Spirit of Jesus dwells in all Christians. This means that he is in us and remains in us through faith.
To overlook this truth or to neglect it is to continue to walk in unbelief. This unbelief causes us to fail to realize that we have Jesus as our great source of spiritual strength. Unbelief also causes us to fail to believe that we are who Jesus says we are. That means the longer you continue walking in unbelief the longer you will have a crisis of identity.
Because of the truths we have heard today – We are in Christ, and Christ is in us – this leads us to know that We are Like Christ.
We are imitators of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:1 – Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
The Bible gives us plenty of ways to be like Jesus:
- Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church Ephesians 5:25
- Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you Romans 15:7
- As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive Colossians 3:13
There are many more examples. We know what the Bible says, we just need to do what the Bible says.
You don’t walk in your own power or strength. You don’t act on your own selfish lusts and thoughts. Christ is Your Life.
Disobedience shows your arrogance and your unwillingness to obey. This means that Jesus will hold you in contempt.
Your disobedience says that you disregard and disrespect Jesus and what he has said to us through the Bible.
Your disobedience says that you would rather walk in foolishness rather than wisdom. Fools that continue in their foolishness are considered worthless.
God did create you to walk in disobedience.
1 John 2:3-6 – And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
You either are or are not united with Christ.
If you have no desire to see lost people come to know Jesus
If you have no desire to share the gospel or your story with others
If you have no desire to be discipled or to disciple others
If you have no desire to progress in sanctification to be more like Jesus
If you have no desire to bear the fruit of righteousness
If you have no desire to obey God….you are not united with Christ
God did not create you for disobedience.
God chose you in Christ before the foundation of the world.
Christ is your life!
Live the life that Jesus has created you to live.