Sermon on Sunday, September 28, 2014. by Pastor Thomas Tate
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GLORIFY GOD THROUGH A LIFE LIVED FEARLESSLY
A GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN LIFE
- “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
A BLESSED LIFE OF FAME AND RICHES?
- “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
A FEARLESS LIFE BEGINS WITH ASSURANCE OF YOUR SALVATION
- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
PAUL, WHO LIVED ONE OF THE GREATEST CHRISTIAN LIVES, DID NOT FEAR DEATH
- For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD, HE GAVE US A FEARLESS SPIRIT. A POWERFUL SPIRIT
- For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
DAVID, WHO LIVED ONE OF THE GREATEST CHRISTIAN LIVES, DID NOT FEAR DEATH
- Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span…He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. “If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us…” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
- Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers. As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them. When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid… Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
- Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth…” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you…”
- The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. “This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” – 1 Samuel 17:44-47
- Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God…” “All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. “Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.”
- Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.
- Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you…” Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den. When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever!
- “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, ALSO LIVED FEARLESS LIVES
- For this reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges against the Jews. They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “O king, live forever! “You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. “But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. “There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
- Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? “Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
- Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. “Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
- FEAR ABOUT FAMILY…
- FEAR ABOUT MONEY…
- FEAR ABOUT FUTURE…
- FEAR ABOUT HEALTH…
- FEAR ABOUT __________________
TRUST IN YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER
- For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
- ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
TRUST IN JESUS AND LIVE FEARLESLY
- “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. “And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Sermon-based Bible Study Questions
A GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN LIFE:
GLORIFY GOD THROUGH AL LIFE LIVED FEARLESSLY
- What does the ultimate Christian life look like to you? What would you be willing to do to obtain that life?
- Many Christians are quite content living a nominal or average spiritual life, why is this? Read John 10:9-11. What kind of Christian life did Jesus intend for us to live when He gave His life for us? (Abundant-exceedingly about the greatest abundance. Superabundantly, extraordinary)
- Many Churches today fill large auditoriums by telling the people what they want to hear, that Jesus wants them to have an abundant life of riches and good health. How does Jesus describe the blessed life in Matthew 5:10-12? Why doesn’t Jesus message of the abundant life fill churches?
- I believe that the ultimate Christian life is a life the Glorifies God by a life lived fearlessly, trusting completely in God in all situations. This begins with our salvation (1 John 5:4-13) but doesn’t end there. If you are not afraid of death then life can be taken on fearlessly. What are your thoughts on this? Are you afraid to die? Do you know for sure that you are going to heaven? Why or why not?
- What are you afraid of (spiders, snakes, losing your job, family problems, sharing the gospel…)? The Bible teaches us that fear does not come from God but from a lack of faith in God. What kind of spirit did God give us and what does a life lived fearlessly look like according to 2 Timothy 1:7-8?
- Read the story of Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-Nego in Daniel 3:8-19, 28-30. This is one of my favorite stories of faith because they believed God could save them but their faith was still strong if He didn’t. How is this so different than today’s faith? When was a time, that you felt God let you down? How has this message helped you? Are you willing to commit to living the ultimate Christian life?