In this series of teachings, I want to help us “Take the Next Step”. You have heard the phrase “WWJD”(or “What would Jesus Do?”). I’d like in this series for us to take the next step and LLJD: ”Live Like Jesus Did”.
Theme Verse: “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (I John 2:6)
Could we really live life knowing the will of God? We can if we know the Father like Jesus knows Him. Over the next 4-5 sessions, we will learn how Jesus lived His life, and how we can be in that same “zone” He was in order to LLJD. We can become who God designed us to be.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3, NIV)
Our self-concept and identity is an important part of how we see our lives. It also determines our behavior. Who you are determines, in large measure, what you do. A person cannot act, for very long, in contradiction to their basic self-concept. The very first step in LLJD is “Knowing Whose You Are”
“Being a Christian is not just getting something, it is being someone” (Neil Anderson).
As followers of Christ, we live our lives in Him
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.(I John 5:11-12)
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)
I believe that the first chapters of Ephesians are the greatest single statement in the Bible on who we are as Christians. In order for us to LLJD, we simply must understand who we are and who He was. Tonight, I’d like to unpack much of Ephesians chapter 1 and Ephesians chapter 2 in order to establish our roots in Christ.
The Apostle Paul traveled around to churches on a regular basis. It was his particular role to pray for, encourage and support these infant churches as they began. One of his primary concerns was how they understood their identity. At the end of several of these passages in the letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul included a prayer of his…it helps us to frame all that has preceded it…
“Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people. I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him..”(Ephesians 1:15-19a, NLT)
Based on that prayer, Here’s a “Top 10” List of Truths regarding who we are in Christ
1) We have been given spiritual blessings
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”( Ephesians 1: 3)
Warren Wiersbe tells the story of how William Randolph Hearst once read of an extremely valuable piece of art, which he decided he must add to his extensive collection. He instructed his agent to scour the galleries of the world to find the masterpiece he was determined to have at any price. After many months of painstaking search, the agent reported that the piece already belonged to Mr. Hearst and had been stored in one of his warehouses for many years!
2) We were chosen by God to be holy and blameless
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. (Ephesians 1:4)
3) We have been adopted into God’s family
“In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will‑‑to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”(Ephesians 1:5-6)
The implications of this are huge! We now have all the inheritance of the family. Think you’d want to be adopted by Bill Gates? Chump change compared to what God has for you!
4) We have been bought and forgiven
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
5) We know God’s will and are to live for His glory
“And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:9-12)
6) We were secured in Christ when we believed
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
7) We were spiritually dead.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
STORY: A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on its back across the river. “Are you mad?” exclaimed the turtle. “You’ll sting me while I’m swimming and I’ll drown.” “My dear turtle,” laughed the scorpion, “If I were to sting you, you would drown and I’d go down with you. Now where is the logic in that?” “You’re right,” cried the turtle. “Hop on.” The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle, resigned, said, “Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there is no logic in your stinging me. Why did you do it?” “It has nothing to do with logic,” the drowning scorpion replied. “It’s just my nature.”
8) We are now alive in Christ
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
9) We are God’s workmanship
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God‑‑not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
- We have God’s Spirit living in us
“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”(Ephesians 2:18-22)
In the OT, God dwelt with His people in the tabernacle; Jesus brought a new reality to earth when in John 1:14 it explains that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”, so that now God’s glory, in Christ was dwelling among them. Now God’s glory dwells within us in His Spirit.
The first step in “Living Like Jesus Did”(LLJD) is to Know Whose You Are