How To Be A Christian | Sandals Church


(bright electronic music) – Hey, everybody, welcome
to Sandals Church. My name is Vivi Diaz and
I am your online host, and I just want to say welcome because here at Sandals Church,
we are all about this vision of being real, and something
we are so excited about is that this vision of being
real isn’t just for the adults in the room, but if you have kids, or maybe you’re just a big kid at heart, I would love to invite you
to check out our brand new Sandals Church experience
for kids at sandalskids.tv, so make sure to check that
out because we’re so excited and we’re also so excited that
you chose to join us today. So enjoy the message and have a great day. (“Hey Marjorie” by Jon Mero) ♪ Hey hey Marjorie ♪ ♪ Hey hey Marjorie ♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ You know you do something to me ♪ ♪ You know you know you know ♪ ♪ Hey hey Marjorie ♪ ♪ Hey hey ♪ (“Hey Marjorie” by Jon Mero) – What is up, Sandals Church? I want to welcome those
of you who are joining us from our online community,
but I want to share why I’m especially glad to
be with you this weekend. How about that extra hour of sleep, y’all? Fall back, woo woo. All right, so there are
friends of ours in Arizona and Hawaii who don’t get God’s blessing to humanity every fall, that don’t get to practice
daylight savings time. We pitied you just a little
bit today, but we love you and we’re glad that you’re joining us. Hey, I wanted to share just
an extra little fun fact about daylight savings
time that blew my mind when I heard it recently. Did you know that the
Sunday after fallback, when we gain an hour of
sleep, that heart attacks on that day alone go down 21%. It’s crazy, right? It’s crazy. In the spring, when we spring
forward and we lose an hour of sleep, that next day alone,
heart attacks go up 24%. Isn’t that wild? Here’s the moral of the story. Sleep is really good for your health. And so if you haven’t
figured out how to get six to eight hours of quality
sleep, for your own sake, you got to do that, man, and I know that’s easier said than done, but the health benefits of good sleep have absolutely nothing to
do with the message today. So that was for free, but you
can tithe on it if you want, we’ll gladly accept that. But no, this weekend, we want
to talk about what it means to be a Christian, and
so if you weren’t with us last weekend, Pastor Matt
talked about what it means to become a Christian,
and so before we jump in this weekend, I would be
remiss if we didn’t pause for just a moment and celebrate
the powerful movement of God that we experienced together as a church, as 531 people gave their lives to Jesus for the very first time. (audience applauding) Yeah.
(audience applauding) And if that weren’t enough,
the Wednesday falling, this past Wednesday,
as all of our teenagers gathered together at all of our campuses to discuss the weekend’s
sermon, another 76 teenagers gave their lives to
Jesus this past weekend. (audience applauding and cheering) So I just want to give you a heads-up. I’ve been beginning to sense recently that we are on the front
end of a fresh and new and powerful movement of God, specifically within the
youth of Sandals Church, and I just want you to know
this, when a culture around us, when we’re seeing youth
who are lost everywhere, these 76 represent that
they are being found in Sandals Youth, found by
Jesus, known by each other, and so I just wanted to celebrate that before we move on today. So, I also want to mention,
just to remind you, give you a heads-up, I
don’t want to pull the wool over your eyes, it’s baptism weekend. And so just brace yourself because I’m gonna challenge you today to pay special attention to this message because I’m gonna just
declare this right now, God is inviting you to take
another step toward him, if you believe in Jesus, but you haven’t been baptized today. But as I mentioned, this message
is not just for those 607, this is for anyone who’s
interested in understanding what the essence of the
Christian life is all about. How do we live lives day-to-day
as Christians in our world? And so before we jump into
our passage this morning, would you pray with me? God, I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and God, my prayer is that the words that I speak would be yours. And God, as I speak them,
that you would give us ears to hear, that we would
hear from you today, and God, that the seeds of your
word would fall on good soil in our hearts, that we
might bear much fruit, God, for your glory and for our good. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen. So the passage that we’re in this morning is from Mark chapter five, and we’re not gonna tell the whole story, and so I need to provide
a little context for you before we jump in where your notes begin. So what we’ve got is a pretty crazy scene. It’s like a Halloween scene gone bad. It’s a pretty gnarly deal. So sort of buckle your seat
belts for this context. What we have is a demonized man
who is living in a cemetery. And he’s got such physical
strength that the chains that the community around
him put him in regularly, he just breaks and smashes and destroys. No one around him is strong
enough to subdue him. At night, he roams the
burial caves howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. So what happens next changes
everything for this man, this crazy creature, character, person living in the cemetery. He meets Jesus. He encounters Jesus, and inside
of him, there are a bunch of demons and they recognize who Jesus is. They understand the spiritual
authority that’s before him and they start to actually freak out. They’re like, have you come to torture us? Is this the end of our days? And they beg for mercy. And so Jesus sends the pigs, sends the demons into 2,000
pigs, a big herd of pigs, and I mean, just to
pause there for a moment, that’s kind of a funny scene. I don’t know if that, if you imagine that, if that makes you laugh, just 2,000 pigs heading for the cliff,
going over the cliff, and eventually, drowning in the sea below. And then the pig herders
that are watching this, they freak out and they
go running into town to tell the people what they’ve seen. And they go not just into the town, but across the countryside. What they’ve witnessed is pretty profound, and they don’t know what to do with it. I kind of imagine it like
this, the pig herders running into town, trying
to catch his breath. He sees a buddy of his and he’s like, hey, you know the naked guy? He’s like, first of all, Johnny, you got to take a deep breath. You’re gonna hyperventilate,
and second of all, we got a few naked guys in town, which one are you talking about here? And he’s like, you know the
one, he’s got the demons, he’s probably mentally ill. Oh yeah, you told me the other night that he’s waking up your daughter, your two-year-old daughter
every night with the howling and you’re just telling
them that it’s the coyotes. Yeah, you know, the guy
that the neighborhood watch goes to every Thursday,
they put them in chains and every Thursday night,
he just destroys them, and now Nancy from the
neighborhood watch community, she’s got anxiety ’cause her
chains budget is in the red. He’s like, Johnny, settle down, bro. You gotta you gotta relax. He’s like, no, no, no, you don’t get it. This is the family business. I got 2,000 pigs at the
bottom of Lake Galilee, dead. This is the family business. My dad’s gonna kill me
’cause he can’t live without his bacon. So this is the scene, right? It’s craziness. This is a nutty scene. I think sometimes when we read
the passages of scripture, we don’t fully enter into it imaginatively to understand how nuts
some of these things are, but that’s where we pick up the story. It starts like this. A crowd soon gathered around
Jesus and they saw the man who had been possessed
by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully
clothed and perfectly sane. Fully clothed and perfectly sane, and check out their response. This is kind of interesting. And they were all afraid,
which is kind of ironic, right? I mean, you would think
they’d be all freaked out and afraid beforehand, and
now the guy gets healed. You’d think they’d be
relieved or something, but they’re afraid, and
as I reflect on that, I’m like, what is that about? I think it’s actually
indicative of what it’s like to witness God doing
something that’s crazy, that’s powerful, and last
weekend, we experienced something like that as 607 people
gave their life to faith. Those kinds of things just
aren’t happening in our culture, in our post-Christian culture,
as some are calling it. And so I think that many of us, maybe whether you’re one of the 607 or you’re a family member
or a friend, you’re like, what just happened? Like, I know this guy. I know where he’s coming from, I know where he’s been,
I know where he lives. In fact, I live with him, I’m his mom. And you’re like, is this real? What does this mean
exactly, and what’s next? So I hope that some of those questions will be answered today,
beginning even with the clue that we get from scripture. It continues this way. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon
possessed begged to go with him. Right, his life had just been
changed in a radical way. This encounter just, he
was ready, he was sold out. I’m gonna go with you,
I’m gonna follow you wherever you want, and Jesus’ response is actually quite interesting. Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, “and tell them everything
the Lord has done for you “and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to
the 10 Towns of that region and began to proclaim the
great things Jesus had done for him, and everyone was
amazed at what he told them. The first point in your notes is this. You have a story, but the
point doesn’t stop there. Here’s the emphasis. You have a story to tell. If you’ve encountered Jesus,
if you’re a Christian, you ought to be able to tell your story. You ought to be aware of it
and then to actively share it. This is, I believe, our
primary task as Christians is to share our story, to
share the story of Jesus and how it’s intersected
our lives and redirected us and given us a new life,
a new life with purpose and with meaning and
with hope and with joy, fueled by the love of
God and love of neighbor. Everyone has a story to tell. Some of you may know a
part of my story, at least. For the first 10 years of my marriage, I had an on-and-off secret
addiction to marijuana, but what many of you probably don’t know is those might not have
been my darkest years, because in high school,
for two or three years, I was over the deep end. My home environment was
not a place of peace. It was kind of chaotic at home. I had my own internal stuff
going on that I now look back at and refer to probably as emotional pain. And so I was in this place where I just went over the deep end. It was like zero to 60 in 2.7 seconds where whatever chemical would come my way, I didn’t care what it was, I just put it into my body to feel different. I didn’t want to feel, I wanted
to escape, I wanted to numb. And so it was a scary
and dark time in my life, and here’s where it gets really twisted. The entire time, I’m
showing up as a youth member to my church, putting on
a face, wearing a mask, fooling everyone but God, that I was what everybody
thought I would be. I mean, I was the youth guy that was seen as sort of the up and comer, right? Big, God’s gonna, got
big plans for my life. There’s the proverbial grandma in my small Southern Baptist church that would pinch my cheek and be like, you’re gonna be the next Billy
Graham, and I’m hung over and I’m like, yeah. I mean, it is pretty, pretty sick. There’s a guy named
Sam Pitts was his name. He’s an older gentleman, sort
of unique, a little bit weird. He would always tell me, “I can’t wait to be reading
about you in the papers. “When am I gonna see you in the papers?” I’d be like, yeah,
someday, Sam, or whatever. But I was living a double
life, the epitome of hypocrisy, and there’s a lot more to that story, but what ended up happening, toward the end of my senior year, is I actually started to get scared, because I knew the truth,
I knew who I really was, and I knew where I needed
to be going, and the path that I was on wasn’t gonna get me there. And so I ended up deciding to go to a small, private
Christian school in Oklahoma. I needed to just get away. I knew that I couldn’t change
in the same environment and with the same
relationships that I had, and so at the end of that
freshman year, which by the way, was probably one of the loneliest, was probably one of the most painful, as Jesus had to do some
real work on me to heal me, to bring me out of the fog that I’d been in the last couple of years, and I began to consider
what to do with my summer, and most good Christians
at a Christian school, they go on a mission trip. And so I said, “Lord, is that it? “Do you want me to go on a
mission trip and go overseas “and be a part of
something special there?” And I came across this
passage in Mark five. And it was one of those few
moments where it was just like, man, the words were
jumping off the page at me. God in that moment was
speaking to me and he said, through that passage, no, go home and tell your family what
Jesus has done for you. So I knew what that meant. I knew that I needed to
go home to my home church and tell them about what God
had been doing in my life, but, and that sounds great,
but what it also meant is I was gonna have to get up
in front of them and confess. Hey, I’m not who you think I was. These last couple of years,
this is what I was up to. And so I shared that story and
I asked for their forgiveness and I tell them what God
has been doing in my life. And it’s, I’m onstage in my
church, and all of a sudden, my dad, God bless his
soul, he starts, he gets up and he starts walking toward the stage, and I’m like, oh my gosh, dad, he’s about, he’s got this big old
beard, he’s kind of this, he’s this lovable guy,
but he’s kinda goofy. Got this strong accent from Arkansas, and I’m like, geez man,
this is hard enough. What is he gonna do? What is he gonna say? And he walks up on stage and
he puts his arm around me. And he says, “My son’s come home, “and we’ve killed the
fatted calf, let’s party.” (people laughing) If you don’t know the
reference, thank you. It was a powerful moment. If you don’t know the
reference, it’s the prodigal son who’s out wasting his life
away in sin, and he comes home and his dad kills the fatted calf to throw a party for those around. Here’s the point, that’s
a little bit of my story, but you have a story to
tell, and I don’t know what your story involves, but
if you’ve encountered Jesus, you have a story to tell
him, and I want to speak to a lot of you in the room
who, when I tell a story like this, that’s sort of
extreme and involves addiction, and maybe you’ve heard other stories, like, yeah, I went to jail and rock bottom and Jesus delivered me and
it was this powerful story and you’re like, that’s not me. I don’t have the extreme story
like this guy from Mark five. It breaks my heart to
hear that, first of all, because it’s not true. Second of all, that’s the enemy wanting to minimize your story. Why? So you don’t tell your story. Become aware of how God, I
mean, we forget very easily what God has done for us. And so whether you’ve been a Christian for a very short amount of
time, or you’ve been a Christian for a long time, Jesus is at work. He’s active and he’s alive. I like to say it this way. Not only have you been
saved, you’re being saved, and you will be saved. This is a life of
salvation and work of Jesus that we could, at any given moment, my hope is that we could respond. When an opportunity is given
to us, we could tell the story not only of what Jesus has
done, but what he’s doing and what he’s up to. The biblical word for
this idea is witness. It’s this notion of what have you seen? It’s like an eyewitness. What have you seen? What have you heard? Acts 1:8 says it this way. You will be my witnesses,
and this isn’t in your notes, but you will be my witnesses
in Judea and Sumeria and to the ends of the earth,
to the ends of the earth. We have a story to tell, Jesus’ story, how it’s intersected our story, and we’re to tell that to the world. It’s why Sandals Church,
if you don’t know this, invests a lot and sends families,
our own people, to India, a place that has the greatest
concentration of people who haven’t heard the story. The Great Commission in
Matthew 28 says this, go and make disciples, that is
to teach, tell them the story of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is our task, this is our
mission, to tell our story. Psalm 107 says it this way,
has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out, tell
others he has redeemed you from your enemies. The old translation says this, let the redeemed of the Lord say so. We got something to say as Christians. We have a story to tell. This next verse will blow your mind. It’s from Revelation 12 and it’s describing the
final deathblow of Satan. When everything comes sort
of to ahead, to an end, and Satan is faced with
his final death blow, there are two weapons that
bring him down once and for all. And they have defeated him, that is Satan, by the blood of the Lamb, that’s Jesus. So the first weapon that
brings him down is the blood of Jesus, the sacrifice
of Christ on the cross. Check out the second one. And by their testimony. Satan is ultimately defeated
by the blood of Jesus and by our stories, both
individually and collectively, that come against him. Isn’t that wild? Doesn’t that blow your mind? The next point in your notes
is this, how to be a Christian. We gotta tell our story, that’s first. Secondly, keep putting sin to death. Keep putting sin to death. And that’s the emphasis is to
keep, because as a Christian, now you’ve been freed to make a choice. You can either choose God or not. Do you know that the scriptures say that before you were a
Christian, in Romans eight, you were enslaved to sin? You actually didn’t have a choice. Even your righteous acts, your good deeds, the best of all of it,
couldn’t measure up. It would fall short of the glory of God, but now you have freedom to choose, and I know that this is,
this might be a newsflash, so just buckle your seatbelt for a second. Christians still sin. And that might seem obvious to us. Do you know that there’s
actually a belief out there, there’s a teaching, it’s
called Christian perfectionism. There this small brand
of Christians who believe that you can actually
arrive at perfection, and be done with sin forever. I want to be super clear. Sandals Church does not
affirm that position, okay? We are sinners. Now, on the other side of
the coin, there was a nature that we had, a sinful nature,
where we didn’t have a choice, where we were enslaved to it. That’s been put to death now
and we’ve taken on a new nature as an adopted child of God, a
son or daughter of the King. And so what it’s like for us
now when we sin as Christians, my favorite analogy for
this is probably one that Pastor Matt gave. I heard him give it quite some
time and it stuck forever. I want to remind you of it now. It’s like clothes that don’t fit. Sin on a Christian is like
clothes that don’t fit. It looks a little awkward. If you’re a fan of the 90s, this is Chris Farley in Tommy Boy. ♪ Fat guy in a little car ♪ Okay, 27% of you got that reference. It’s all right. It’s like this, it’s when
someone does something out of their character, that’s
not in their nature to do, so if my second son, who is
not affectionate physically, if he came up to me on his own
free will and gave me a hug, I’d be like, what, what is wrong with you? Who is this? Who is this hugging me? Aiden, is that you in there? He’s just not, I mean, it’s lame. He’s like a piece of, he’s like a, like four by eight piece of
plywood when he gives me a hug. It’s like a side awkward, like robotic. And I’m like, I’m your dad, I’m a hugger, just give me a hug, do
it for me, you know? So, but if he did that, it
would be out of his character. It wouldn’t be in his nature,
or if any one of my four boys just picked up after themselves. Right, it’s just, it’s not
in their character to do so. I’d be a little shocked for the good. That’d be a pleasant surprise, right? Just this morning, my
oldest son, who’s 17, he’s sitting there on the
couch early this morning, and there’s an empty
LaCroix can and a pizza box on the end table, and I’m
like, son, is that yours? He’s like, yeah. It’s like, I have this, I’m
still deluded as a parent. I think, man, you teach
them, you tell them, hey, pick up after yourself
and then it’s done, and maybe by three or four years old, they get the point and they do it. Well, no, but if they
were to pick up after, I’d be surprised. Same thing with the Christian. There ought to be a little
bit of a surprise for us. It ought to be like clothes
that don’t fit when we sin. And so I’ve had, I alluded
earlier to it, an addiction that I had for the first
10 years of my marriage, but I’ve actually had two
addictions in my life. The other one was
nicotine, and I don’t know if any of you have struggled
with nicotine before, but I did. It was an addiction, and it
was not like what happened with the marijuana. On February 11th of 2010, God delivered me from my addiction to marijuana. It was like done, right? Thank you. Yeah, it was an amazing thing. (audience applauding) Because more or less after that day, I didn’t have desires for
it, I wasn’t tempted by it. Nicotine was a different deal. And so what I had to do was I had to keep putting it to death. And what I’ve read in
the literature, it’s not, it’s one of the most
difficult habits to break, and most success stories come
by repeated quit attempts. You can’t just quit once. Most of the time, it comes back. I remember, it’d be a few, I’d be like, I’d gear myself up, I’m gonna
be done, I’d go a few days, and then I pick it back up
again and I’d be discouraged, and few months later, I’m
gonna quit again, two weeks, and I had to keep on putting it to death. It was a fight that I had to
not give up on, and so, again, I don’t know what your struggle is. I mean, this is my story. Maybe it’s not addiction for
you, but what is that thing that just keeps resurrecting in your life, that thing that you’re like,
man, I thought I was done with that, and here it is again. Life’s getting the better of me and here that old crap is coming back up. I thought this was resolved inside of me. I thought I was done with that. Last December, I ran and
I did an Ironman race with Pastor Matt, and,
but before you cheer, before you cheer, I finished, I finished. (audience applauding and cheering) Yes, in the interest of humility, he beat me by about two hours. I knew I wouldn’t be racing against him ’cause the guy’s a beast, but here’s why this
was so powerful for me. This is why it was such
a big accomplishment for me personally. It’s not because it revealed
that I’m some great athlete. I’m really not. I’ve gained like 20-plus
pounds since the race, but who’s counting. It revealed to me, it was almost
like this symbolic picture of a victory that I finally
had had over nicotine, over an addiction to tobacco,
because there was no way I was gonna finish that race still using, and it was internally, for me, the sign that God had given me the
grace to continue fighting against something that would
over and over again beat me up and beat me down, and I
finally had victory over it. Hebrews 12 talks about this,
this sort of struggle this way. Therefore, since we are
surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses, there’s that
word again, of witnesses to the life of faith, and
I just want to pause there because Hebrews 11, the
chapter that precedes this, is what they call, some people
called the hall of faith. It’s a lot of the heroes of our faith. And so what he’s talking about there, it’s kind of an interesting scene. He’s basically painting
this picture that everyone who has gone before us,
all the faithful believers and lovers of God and Christians
who have gone before us, it’s like they’re cheering us on. It’s like they’re cheering
us on in this race, in this life, this Christian life, that maybe you’ve heard
this metaphor before, is not a sprint, but a marathon. And so he’s saying, since we
are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every
weight that slows us down, especially the sin that
so easily trips us up, and let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. So maybe you’re tracking with me. Maybe you’re like, yes,
I want to pursue God, I want to follow Jesus,
I want to be be done and continually put these
things to death in me that are not God-honoring. How? How do we do that? Good thing you asked. The next verse, listen
to this, this is how. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates
and perfects our faith. So, in the 1980s, growing
up, our classroom teachers used to have us put on
thinking caps, okay? I don’t know, some of the
youngsters, young whippersnappers, might not know about thinking caps, but what I’m about to say
initially isn’t gonna make sense. It’s gonna be a little counterintuitive, so just stick with me and
we’ll figure this out together. What this verse to me is saying is that you don’t defeat
sin by defeating sin. You don’t defeat sin by defeating sin, and so I’m gonna give you a
picture of, that I’ve come to to help me understand this principle, and it’s kind of a boxing metaphor. So I’m an eight on the Enneagram. We’ve been in the series
about the Enneagram, the challenger. The challengers like a good fight, okay? So this is a boxing metaphor,
and the idea is this. All right, I’m wanting to beat up sin. I want to defeat it, I don’t
want it to conquer me anymore. And so I’m fighting it, I’m
facing it, I’m knocking it down, I’m winning, but no matter
how strong of a will you have, in recovery, we actually
call this white-knuckling, where you’re just sort of,
by the strength of your will, you’re just going after
it, you’re fighting sin. At some point in life,
whatever your struggle is, you’re gonna reach a
point where you arrive at what I’m gonna call HALT BS, H-A-L-T-B-S. It’s an acronym. We’re at Sandals, so the
BS thing, I mean it’s, we can get over it for a minute. It doesn’t mean what you
think it means, okay? It’s this, it’s a checklist. It’s a checklist to say,
man, how many of these things can I check off? And the more I can check
off, the more vulnerable and the weak, and the more weak I am in this battle against sin,
hungry, angry, lonely, tired. That’s the HALT, hungry,
angry, lonely, tired, and then I add the BS, bored or sad. If any of those conditions exist, and especially when they
exist together simultaneously, this fight, no matter how strong you are, you’re eventually gonna get the, it’s gonna get the best of you. Sin is gonna knock you down. It’s gonna be more powerful than you. And so this picture, from this
verse, finally dawned on me. What if the story, what
if the way to defeat sin isn’t like this, where I’m focused on what I’m fighting against,
I’m only seeing my sin, but instead, I just turn,
and I look at Jesus. What if the way to defeat sin is actually by taking steps toward God? I’m not just seeing the
sin, I’m seeing Jesus and I’m moving forward, and
when I’ve done this in my life, this is what ends up happening. I got my Holy Spirit
goosebumps right now, okay? So, I see that all of a sudden, the sin that was all I could see, it’s not so much got me anymore because I’m moving toward God. That’s how we defeat sin as Christians. (audience applauding) One other story, and I
know you’re getting a lot of the recovery stories, but
there’s a lot of wisdom there that can apply to any of our struggles. There’s a friend, when I was
early in my recovery journey, he was familiar with the truth of God. He sorta dabbled growing up in the church, but he wasn’t a Christian,
he wasn’t attending church at the time, and we’re on
my friend’s back porch, and he says this, he had
been seven years clean from a meth addiction, and he said, “Hey, guys, let me be honest with you. “For seven years, all
I’ve done is I’ve woken up “each morning and my singular goal “was to have my head
hit the pillow at night “and for me not to have used, “and if I did that, it was
a win, it was a victory,” and he said, “It’s gotten me this far. “I’ve got seven years of
clean time,” but he said, “I’m not sure it’s enough anymore. “There’s gotta be something more.” Right, what he was saying
there was something that deeply resonated in me. Maybe it resonates in you, again, regardless of what your struggle is. It’s not just about the nos,
it’s not just about the don’ts, it’s not just about what we’re against, but it’s also about what we’re for. As we begin to talk about
baptism, what we’re seeing there in that picture is it’s
also about the yes. It’s also about the life, the new life that we have in Christ. I think what my friend
was missing was this, was that to be a Christian
is to be led by the spirit. That’s the next point in your notes. To be a Christian is to
be led by the spirit. Let me tell you, when you
are led by the spirit, life is an adventure,
better than any high. It’s life-giving, it fills you
up with all the good things that you desire and look
for everywhere else, but can only find in God. To be a Christian is to
be led by the spirit. Romans eight, right after
talking about this sort of battle with sin, it says, for all who
are led by the spirit of God are children of God. To be a child of God, to be a Christian, is to be led by the
spirit, and so the question for you today is where is
the spirit leading you? What is God just not,
not just saving you from, what’s he saving you for? What’s he saving you for? Where is the spirit leading you? Psalm 1:43 says, teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit,
wherever the spirit leads is gonna be good because
the spirit is good, let your good spirit
lead me on level ground. So I know it’s kind of a vague concept. Let me give you a few guidelines. When it comes to being led by the spirit, what does that mean? The spirit’s always
gonna lead you to Jesus. The spirit of God is always gonna lead you to the word of God ’cause they
won’t contradict each other. The spirit of God will always lead you to God’s people, the church. The spirit of God will
lead you and empower you to share your story. Those are some thought-starters,
but I thought, this week, how can I be a little bit more specific? How can we look to scripture, especially for each of
the Enneagram styles. God, would you give me a
verse for each of the numbers that, yes, would apply to any of us. I’d encourage you each to
read each of those verses, and I didn’t list them
out there, but the idea is that you would go home
and you’d read your verse for your number, you maybe,
you have relationships that are struggling and you want to, you want to see a small glimpse
into what it might look like for your loved one to live
life according to God’s word in the spirit as they are led by them. My wife, when I shared with
her the seven, she’s a seven. She’s a public teacher,
public school teacher, always the woo-woops with the sevens. Yup, but she was, she
was having a rough day. It’s been a rough year in her classroom. And so I was trying to
listen to my pastor, Pastor Matt Brown and
Tammy, ’cause they taught us how to love our spouse and according to their numbers, and so I was like, oh, we’ve got to do something spontaneous. We gotta go on an adventure. And, fortunately, God hooked us up well, because my second highest
number is a seven, and so I was like, let’s
go to downtown Disney and have a date night. And so we’re going into the park. I’m like, hey, God gave me these different verses for numbers. I want you to check out
the one for the seven. And she reads Nehemiah 8:10
and she starts bawling. On the one hand, I’m like,
oh my gosh, what’s going on? This is going south, I’m
supposed to be picking her up. But, man, it just, it spoke
to her and it blessed her and I hope it does the same for you. The final point in your notes is this. Baptism is God’s picture
of the Christian life. Baptism is God’s picture
of the Christian life. And if that seems like a
hard left turn, it isn’t because everything we’ve
talked about up till now finds its first expression
for the Christian in this practice we call baptism. It’s the beginning of you
getting to tell your story. One of my favorite parts
of the baptism process is each person fills out a
card, and one of the questions on that card says, why did you
choose to get baptized today? And then over the microphone, we get to hear their testimony. We get to hear them witnessing to what God is doing in their life. They’re beginning to tell their story. It’s also a picture of a
Christian who’s identifying with Christ, putting sin to
death, and dying to themselves, and being raised to walk
in the newness of life. I love that phrase, to walk
in the newness of life, of, again, not just what
God has saved you from, but what he’s saving you for. And so Colossians three includes
one of my favorite verses, especially in this translation
because it has the word real. And I think for Sandals Church, man, I want you to hear this
verse because it’s a, it’s a description of
the essence of baptism. It says, since you have been
raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the
realities of heaven. Remember the boxing picture, right? He’s saying, don’t look
at the things of earth. Set your sights on the reality of heaven, where Christ sits in the place
of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of
heaven, not the things of earth, for you died to this life, and here it is, for you died to this
life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Let me translate that. This is what this means. Your true self, the most
real you, your best life, is hidden with Christ in God. That’s the most real you
that you need to discover. What that tells us is that as we’ve been on this realest self journey
over the last seven weeks so that we can have better relationships, as we’ve taken these steps
towards self-discovery. This passage in Colossians says that Christian self-discovery,
understanding who we are, cannot be done apart from knowing God and pursuing Jesus and following him. And so just like before, I
had mentioned some of you, who you hear this story and you’re like, man, I don’t have the extreme story, I don’t have the addiction story. I want to encourage you
with this last verse because it’s at the end
of the chapter, Acts 10, I encourage you to go home
and read it, where a man by the name of Cornelius, who’s
not a knucklehead like me. He’s not the naked guy in Mark five. He’s actually a normal,
decent dude who fears God. At the beginning of the chapter,
it tells us that he prays, he gives to the poor,
and he still needs Jesus. And so God sends Peter to preach
the good news to Cornelius and to his household, and they believe and the Holy Spirit falls on them. And then Peter declares,
“Can anyone withhold water “for baptizing these people “who have received the Holy
Spirit just as we have?” He’s saying nothing should get in the way. If you’ve received the Holy
Spirit, if you are a Christian, there’s no reason not to be
baptized, and he commanded them, I’m gonna command you
today to be baptized. I command, okay, that didn’t land, but if I was an apostle,
maybe I could command you. I don’t know if I can command
you to be baptized today, but I want to strongly
encourage you to take this step and to watch God as you
take steps toward him, draw near to you in response. And so I wanna finish with
this analogy that we often use at Sandals Church for
what baptism is like, and that’s a wedding ceremony. It’s this public declaration
that you are choosing to be with Jesus for
the rest of your life. You’re committed to following
him for all of your days. And so I want to ask you a question. If you’re married in the
room, when you got married, were you ready to be married? Okay, maybe I’m the
only one, a few of you. I certainly was not ready, okay? Let’s take it to the next level. If you’re a parent,
were you ready for kids? Did you get the manual in the mail? ‘Cause I sure didn’t. Here’s what I’m trying to get at. There’s this concept that I like to call the myth of readiness. It’s this notion that you’re
gonna arrive at some point, at some state that you call ready, you’re gonna cross some
line where you feel ready to take a step toward God. In the same way that
many, many people struggle to make big decisions in
life because they feel like they’re not ready,
and here’s the truth. If the spirit of God dwells in you, you are always ready for obedience. You are always ready to
take steps towards God. Who can withhold the
waters of baptism from you? What is in your way? And let me just tell you today, if you’ve never been
baptized, nothing, nothing, And so I’m gonna pray right
now for courage for you and for the rest of us as we
celebrate baptisms together to be reminded of our own
story of the Christian life that this picture paints for us. Would you pray with me? God, I, first of all, asked
that if there’s anyone in the room who hasn’t yet taken that step to give themselves to you in trust, as their Lord and savior. Maybe they missed last weekend. God, would they know
that it’s not too late? God, would they know that
your scripture say that today is the day of salvation, God,
that you are always ready. When someone wants to take
a step toward you in faith, God, for those who have
the Holy Spirit within them because they’ve taken that step, but they haven’t been baptized yet. God, give them courage. God, would they have no
excuse to take this step and to enjoy what it means to
come up out of those waters, walking in the newness of life,
and for the rest of us, God, would it be a powerful
picture of our own story, and God, what you have done
as we remember what it means to live this Christian life, that is one of abundance in you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. – Sandals Church is a nonprofit
that operates from donations from people like you,
because when you donate, your money goes to
helping us create places where people can be real. So to donate and be a
part of how God moves with the vision of being real, make sure to go to donate.sc
to make a donation today. Have a great week. (bright electronic music)

4 Comments

  • Can’t find Adam’s age online, help?

  • Is there a way to get the sermon notes for the verses related to each number in the enneagram. Thank you

  • thanks for the advice i will do the exact opposite of everything said in this video

  • Can I get a guide on the bible?

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