How may we have life? May 11, 2014

Acts 2:42-47  Psalm 23        1 Peter 2:19-25          John 10:1-10

Do we understand Jesus?  When Jesus healed a man born blind, the Pharisees did not know how Jesus had healed this man.  They even drove the healed man out of the synagogue.  Then when the man said that he believed in the Son of Man, Jesus, the Pharisees asked if they were blind.  Jesus tells them that since the Pharisees said, “We see,” their sin remains.

John records Jesus then talking about being the gate for the sheepfold.  In the process he has to speak twice about being the door.  It is like the Jews were not able to understand.  But, I think we can be like this at times.  How many times do we have to hear Jesus’ words until we follow him?

If you have been in church for any number of years, then you have heard that believing in Jesus gives us life.  Yet, there are many people who have heard Jesus’ words and still don’t believe in him.  This present story of Jesus talking with the Jews shows how we can be.  Jesus is telling them, and us, about life.  The figure of speech he uses with the Jews does not help them.  It may help us figure out life.  How may we have life?

  1. Jesus gives us life (John 10:1-10)
  2. We want to enter the sheepfold by the gate
  3. Others get into the sheepfold any way they can
  4. When following Jesus, you know his voice & don’t follow strangers
  5. Jesus admits to being the gate (to what? The sheepfold!)
  6. What are we entering?
  7. Galatians 3:22 – all people shut up because of sin (we can’t go anywhere)
  8. By following Jesus, we enter life – we go into the sheepfold, then we go out & find pasture – maybe green pastures (Psalm 23:2)?
  9. Jesus gives us life, and we have it abundantly!
  10. Life – does not involve sin, which leads to death (Romans 6:23)
  11. Abundant – some words this word can be – superabundant, superior, beyond measure, exceedingly abundantly above, uncommon
  12. This life in the flock that Jesus tends sounds wonderful!  When we follow Jesus, we get delivered, protected from sin.  It does not end there!  What does this abundant life look like?

 

  1. What does this abundant life look like? (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Peter 2:19-25)
  2. It is possible to have devotion in this abundant life
  3. To the apostles’ teaching – studying God’s word with other believers
  4. To fellowship – wanting to be a disciple & hanging out with other disciples
  5. To the breaking of the bread (communion) and/or meals together
  6. To prayers – lifting each other up to God (daily offices – like those in the United Methodist Hymnal on pages 876-879)
  7.  There is possibility of wonders & signs being done (Acts 2:43-46)
  8. But, there is also suffering (1 Peter 2:19-25)
  9. It is a credit to us if we suffer unjustly!
  10. Christ suffered, so will we (He did not threaten, neither do we!)
  11. He, & we, can trust the one who judges justly
  12. It is by his wounds we are healed (He bore our sins so we can have life – Isaiah 53:5-9)
  13. When we follow Jesus, the one who lets us into the fold, into membership/discipleship in the church, then we have an abundant life.  There is the possibility of great growth in our lives as we follow Jesus.  This abundant life looks like a life filled with learning, hanging out together, communing with God & each other, and yes, even suffering.  This still beats the idea of being stuck in our sins, heading to death.

 

We need to understand Jesus.  He has life, abundant life, for us when we enter the gate.  The trap of sin is it keeps us where we are.  Following Jesus allows us to go farther than giving into sins ever would.

How may we have life?  We have life when we follow Jesus’ voice.  We get to be with the rest of the flock.  We get to go places sin wouldn’t allow us to go.  Our life becomes abundant!

It may mean more time studying God’s word with other Christians.  It may mean time hanging out with other Christians in worship and receiving Holy Communion.  It may mean suffering – but that suffering is endured for the goodness of following Jesus.

Are you ready for this abundant life?  Then let me know your desire to participate in a Bible Study, in someone’s home or here at the church.  All I know is, we cannot have an abundant life if we cut off ourselves from hearing Jesus speak to us through the Bible.   Are you ready for Jesus to be the gate to life?

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