The Only Jesus People May See... Is the Jesus In You Back to all sermons

Date: June 26, 2015

Speaker: Damon Hewlin

Scripture: 1 John 2:1–:6

Tags: freedom from sin, obeying God’s word, image of God, abiding by Jesus, walking as Jesus walked

Theme Text (Scripture Reading)

1 John 2:1-6
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Introduction

For those who were here, I had the opportunity to preach the New Year message this year, with less than 24 hours notice. As we are now at the end of June, we can consider today’s service as the half way mark of this year and God has blessed me with the privilege to preach again. However, this time I had more than 24 hours notice. So I extend a big thank you to Pastor Cam because I was able to have a good night sleep this time before preaching. If this pattern of preaching opportunities continues, I will more than likely be on schedule to preach about the birth of Jesus as the closing sermon for this year and maybe have several months of notice to prepare for it.

My sermon in January was titled, ‘When No One Else Is Looking’, which was primarily about living a life of Godly character and integrity. Focusing on not having a hypocritical life and that the life we live behind close doors should be the same as when we are out in public.

As I prepared for this message I prayed and sought God to confirm in me what to speak about today. It is amazing how God works. In January, before I received the call to preach the next morning, God had given me a message to share several weeks prior. This time, I did not have a set topic or scripture when I accepted the opportunity to speak today. Instead, God took me through a process of intimacy with Him first, which led me down a path of praise and worship songs selection over the last several weeks, various challenges for me to overcome including the devils attacks to distract me, and eventually I arrived to a point where God began to pour into my heart and confirm the message so that I can hopefully pour into your hearts.

Prayer
I would like for all of us to pray together today, a slightly different way of praying. Please join me in singing a song we sang together last week, as we usher in His holy spirit to speak through me.

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

Purpose
I believe the purpose for this message is to encourage believers to live in a way that glorifies God in all we do and say, and which allows the light of Jesus to shine in a dark world. God has also put on my heart to remind everyone that Jesus is the Word (Bible/scriptures), and the Word (Bible/scriptures) is what should saturate the life of a believer. We should continuously grow in our maturity of living according to the Word of God, we should bear good fruit by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word in us, and we should provide the opportunity for people to have an encounter with Jesus when they are in our presence.

So get your forks and knives out as we cut into the meat of the word of God. If your still a new baby in Christ, don’t worry, we also have some bottles to hold the milk of God’s word, which is just as good.

Part 1
As we read during the scripture reading in 1 John chapter 2, God is speaking through the author to provide words of reassurance and encouragement to let us know Jesus has overcome and defeated sin and death.

1 John 2:1-2
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Because Jesus suffered terribly and was crucified for our sins, as well as the sins of the world, we should by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit live holy, and continually over time we should sin less, and ask for the Spirits help to avoid sin. We should be careful to not use as excuses to sin, that we are only weak human vessels and we have a sin nature. Every moment of our life we must make a conscious decision to live holy with a desire to be sinless. The decisions we make should seek to bring glory to God. Jesus has freed us from the bondage of sin, so we don't have to live life bound and imprisoned by satan and the cares of this world.

I thank God that we have a blessed assurance in Jesus. If we do stumble and fall, Jesus is interceding as our advocate with the Father on our behalf. He will not leave us or forsake us, no matter where we are in life.

In the book of John chapter 11 (44) the scriptures tell us that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus came out with his hands and feet bound and his face covered. Jesus then gave the instructions to those by the grave to “Unbind him, and let him go.”


It doesn’t make sense for us to be made new and alive by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, if we are going to hold on to our old sinful ways and walk around with our hands and feet bound and our faces covered in darkness, blind to the truth of His word.

We have something to celebrate saints. Jesus has freed us, loosed us from the chains of bondage, He has set the oppressed free. Also, the good news is that He did this not only for us, but, for the sins of the whole world. How awesome is that. Jesus died and rose again in victory for all the sins of the world; past, present, and future, whether people accept it and receive it or not.

Part 2
So now we know that Jesus is the propitiation, the atoning sacrifice for our sins. That’s great news, now what?

For those of us who have accepted Jesus as lord and savior, we claim that we know Him and we should keep His commandments, His Word, the bible.

1 John 2:3-5
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

Why do we find it so hard at times to live according to the instructions and teachings of the bible?

In the book of Luke in chapter 8 verses 11-14, God tells us this:

Luke 8:11-15 (ESV)
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.
14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.

We are all at different stages of maturity on our journey through this life. Sometimes we get excited about the scriptures we hear or read, we receive it with joy and gladness because we do believe that our life will be better if we live according to the word. For young believers, it is very important to guard and protect them just as we do our children. We seek to shield our children from hurt, harm, and danger. The devil is waiting for the opportunity to come and take away the truth of the Word from our hearts before it takes root, so that we won’t believe. That is why it is important to stay under the covering of a shepherd and surround ourselves with spiritually mature believers who can guide and lead us in the ways of God. We must grow with the nourishment of God’s word as a continual part of our daily lives, so that the word of God becomes etched on the table of hearts, so that it can’t be removed when the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy.

We also have to make sure we give time to allow the word of God to take root in our life. The word of God is a seed and it needs to be watered and fertilized. We should allow the word of God to saturate our lives by reading scriptures, praying, singing songs of praise, worshiping our holy God, fellowshipping with believers, serving in ministry, and helping others. We are on a journey that will lead us through many hills and valleys. We should receive the word joyfully and be excited about the truth it reveals, but we must remember to pace ourselves to run the race with endurance and patience so our faith won’t fail. We should also try to avoid putting ourselves in compromising positions thinking that we are mature enough to handle situations that we are not strong enough or capable enough to manage. We will face many tests and trials in this life. However, God has given us the Holy Spirit as our Helper. We must be committed and dedicated to serving God even in difficult times, through trials and tribulation. We must make up in our minds that no matter what the circumstances of life are, we will be determined to live with evidence and fruit of a redeemed life. We must decree and declare this over our life every day.

Everyday we must go out into a fallen world. A world that challenges and disrespects the truth of God’s word in many ways. A world that insists on providing more and more ways to have as many that are weak to go back to being bound in the sin that Jesus has freed us from. For some of us, we find ourselves drifting further away from keeping His commandments and living according to the word. Because after we hear and receive the word, the truth that is in our hearts is choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life. Unfortunately, we let worldly television, worldly movies, worldly music, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life consume us more than we allow the holiness of God’s word to saturate our minds and heart. Therefore, we bear no fruit and we don’t let the light of Jesus shine in and through us. Instead of being an example and walking as our savior walked, people can’t tell the difference from what a believer in Christ looks like versus the world.

Proverbs 23:4-5 tells us
4 Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.
5 When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.

As I was finalizing the message for today, my daughter DeAnna came in to where I was studying and preparing the sermon. We were having a conversation and she noticed that the water for the flowers I received for fathers day was blue.

I glanced over at the vase and noticed there was a box with dark blue color on it and I noticed that the wrapping around the flowers was blue. We had the curtains open and the sun was shining, so my mind told me that the sun was causing a reflection off of the blue color on the box and the blue wrapping, causing the water to appear blue. I also did not have my glasses on at the time. She said, “no dad, the water is blue.” So I got up and went over to look, and sure enough the water was blue. We investigated further and came to the conclusion that the blue dye decoration which was on the flower, was staining the water.

Since I was already in the spiritual mind frame working on finalizing the sermon, this observation immediately hit me as an example of how the world can take that which is pure and good (the water), and slowly but surely begin to stain and saturate it until it takes on the same appearance of what it is surrounded by or connected to. By the water not being pure any more, the flowers begin to die instead of living and bearing fruit.

I told my daughter that I was definitely going to use this in the sermon on Friday as an illustration.

In Luke chapter 8 verse 15, the scripture tells us what happens when the seed of God word is in good soil.

Luke 8:15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

How do we hold fast to the word of God? We saturate ourselves with it, review it, read it over and over, meditate on it, apply it to our lives, teach it, tell it and do whatever we have to do to have it etched on our hearts. If we don’t do this, 1 John 2 verse 4 tells us that we are liars and the truth is not in us.

1 John 2:4
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

But when we do this and began to take on the image of Christ and the word saturates our life, 1 John 2 verse 5 says that the love of God is perfected in us and we will know that we are in Jesus, and Jesus is in us.

1 John 2:5
5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

Part 3
Okay, so we are no longer bound by sin, Jesus intercedes for us and has reconciled us to the Father, and we are saturating our lives with the word of God.

So how will people see Jesus in us?

1 John chapter 2 verse 6 says that if we confess that we abide in Jesus and Jesus is in us, we should walk in the same way in which Jesus walked.

1 John 2:6
6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Well, how did He walk? What did people see and experience when they encountered Jesus?
Jesus lived to glorify God in everything that He did, so that people would see the Father in and through His life. He has promised us the same.

Let’s look at what abiding in Jesus will do in our lives.

John 15:1-8
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

People encountered the living word when they were with Jesus, and they saw God and His Character.

Jesus was a walking bible. Jesus knew the essence and primary truth of the scriptures. He knew the intent and the goal of what the Father wants to achieve. He knew the scriptures in detail not just from memorization, but he knew the intent of the scriptures so well that He could tell the scriptures in stories or parables. He knew the scriptures because he lived the word. This is how intimate we should be in the study of the scriptures. I know that the business of life can definitely get in the way of our time dedicated to study, but it is important for us to make provision and incorporate it into every aspect of our life. As we immerse ourselves in the word we begin to look more like Jesus as we apply the word in our lives. Jesus is the word of God.

The book of John chapter 1 verse 1 says that

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And in verse 14 it says.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The bible tells us that we were created in the image of God. We are His workmanship. He has molded us and shaped us each uniquely as part of the body of Christ.

Therefore, our lives should reflect the image of God by His word, which is Jesus, being in every aspect of our lives and we should live according the word with the help of His holy spirit in us.

The way we talk should be different than those who are still in the world, how we treat people should be different than those who are still in the world, our actions and behavior should be different than those who are still in the world. It is difficult at times to be the one who stands against what is common and accepted by society, but we must make decision’s and choices, just as Jesus did, which reflect the character of God and brings Him glory, even when this makes us a little uncomfortable. It will be uncomfortable to walk in this way. Jesus had to run away from people at times when they were trying to kill him. It was challenging even for Jesus to stand and be holy as God purposed in Him, when he was surrounded by people who only wanted selfish and personal gain.

We live in a society where people say one thing and the actions don’t quite match what is being said. If we are in Jesus and the light of Jesus is being seen in our life, our actions must speak loud and clear.

In John chapter 14 Jesus says:

John 14:10-11
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

The actions of our life should cause people to see the evidence of Jesus in our life. Even Jesus said, that if you don’t believe what I am telling you about God working in my life, you must consider that what you see me do in my actions reflects God’s character and the truth of His word.

I have found that the perception of most Christians is that we don't have the same level of dedication, discipline, and commitment in serving God as do other deeply religious people. As believers in Jesus, we have an opportunity in this city and around the world to display a Christ-like life that can make a difference for the Kingdom. However, most of the time we fall short of displaying a mature Christian lifestyle. Instead, we show that even though we have a savior who has delivered us from sin and death, we still live lives as bound and imprisoned sinners. Lacking the discipline and conviction to stand boldly on the foundation of the truth of God's word.

We have to ask ourselves, how does my life display Jesus? I know that I am still working to mature in bringing God glory in every area of my life, on the job, at home, in the grocery store, driving in my car.

How do we treat people. We should make it a point to learn not only the CEO's name, but also the name of the person who collects your trash or serves you coffee. Greet everyone with the same love of Christ.

Our life that we live is a sermon, a message of the good news of what Jesus has done and continues to do in our life. Everything we say and everything we do in the world should be for God's use and glory.

God called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

In 1 Peter 2:9 he tells us:

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

We are new creations in Jesus, old things are passed away, all things have become new.

Gods grace allows the light of Jesus to shine in our hearts. Jesus is the light of the world, and because Jesus, His spirit, and His word is in us, He tells us in Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Notes:
1. Time through preparation and how God spoke to me in the shower.
a. Wanted me to be clean, not only on the outside, but to be clean on the inside.
b. God allowed me the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with Him, to learn more about Him for myself first, before I could minister to others.
2. God doesn’t want us to look past each moment of our life while preparing for things in the future.
a. We don’t want to miss showing Jesus in moments that matter.
b. While I was preparing, I would seek to have my quiet time to meditate, study, think through all the information and scriptures God was pouring into me. My daughters would come in be with me and ask what I was doing. Even though I wanted peace and quiet, I realized that I must make the time to share with them and allow them the opportunity to hopefully see the Jesus in their father.
3. I am not sure if it was better to have the month long preparation or have less time to prepare.
a. With having a month to prepare for the sermon, there was a lot of anticipation and excitement for this opportunity.
b. I can definitely understand why Jesus needed to get away sometimes to be isolated and spend time with the Father.
c. Even as I was packing up my notes on Thursday night, my daughters were getting excited and they were trying to get me to do the sermon as a practice run through so they could critique me. Talk about pressure.
4. I thank God for this opportunity because it allowed me to have time with my daughters and for them to see and experience studying the word of God, as well as allowed me to hopefully show them the Jesus in me.

Closing
My sincere desire is that we would be world changers one person at a time, one smile at a time, one taxi ride at a time, one flight at a time, one dinner at a time, one email at a time, one Facebook post at a time, one prayer at a time, one song at a time, one hug at a time, one invitation to Christ at a time, one sinners prayer at a time.

Everywhere that Jesus went, He changed the world for better. Even though some hated Him and wanted Him dead, they couldn't resist being around Him, thirsting to hear what He would say next.

May the light of Christ shine in and through our life as we walk as Jesus walked and allow people to see and experience Him through us, because The Only Jesus People May See…. Is The Jesus In Us.

Closing Prayer
Father, thank You for the truth of Your word and the saving grace of Jesus. I pray that you would open the eyes of the blind that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of satan back to You O God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a new life in Jesus. Help us O Lord, to live and walk as Jesus walked. Amen.