Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P12 (05-13-20)
Jesus, who is God in the flesh, lived in total dependence on the Father while he walked on this earth. He did nothing on His own initiative, even though as God, He could have been the dynamic of His own action and the cause of His own effect. He could have spoke things into existence that are not, as if they were. But He chose to do only what His Father told Him to do and exactly what the Father told Him to say and how to say it. Now, that is perfect faith in action.
Now we are to follow the example of His attitude of faith, not his actions. How can we follow his actions of raising the dead? I have not seen any human being raise the dead. No one has the power to do that. That is only something God can do. And Jesus, who is God, raised Lazarus from the dead. Why? His Father told Him to.
So we are to do and say what God tells us to do or say. That is the attitude of faith we are to copy. Have this same attitude that is in Christ, who, though being God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but became obedient. This is how Jesus was obedient. “I do not do anything unless the Father teaches me. I am going to let the Father teach me and I am going to act upon what I was taught. I will speak only what I have been taught.” If you want to talk about proof of someone being God, this is proof, walking in total dependency on the Father. I have not seen any human doing that.
So faith becomes an attitude that then results in making ourselves available to the one that we are depending upon. God wants us to know Him and to love Him and to trust Him in our daily lives, just as we trusted Him in our salvation. He also wants to be available to Him, an available vehicle. Jesus described Him as the Father living in me doing His work. How do we live our life? Realizing Jesus is in me, doing His work in and through me. He gave His life for me in order to give His life to me in order to live His life through me. That comes through dependency. I am depending on Him to renew my mind. I am depending on Him to be the source of every action. Therefore, we live on dependency, and availability being the key ingredient to faith.
When you see a person drug dependent, he has got a need to be dependent as big as the grand canyon. He does not know he is supposed to depend on Jesus to get that need met, so he goes to drugs, or to booze, or promiscuity. Or you go to whatever else it might be, such as success in business, in order to get that need of meaning and purpose in life met, not knowing that God gave you that need to meaning and purpose in life so your Creator, your independent one, could meet that need.
It is so sad when we see ourselves struggling in life trying to get these needs met, when it is as close as saying Jesus come and be who you are in me, to exchange your life for His. Let Him be the source of dependency and let Him be your source of meaning and purpose to live and let Him be your source of unconditional love and acceptance.
Jesus demonstrated His mindset of dependency. He walked in total dependency on His Father when He was here on earth. Although He was fully God, Jesus behaved as a man. So a person says, “Oh come on.” “Yes, he did.” He lived as a man as God intended him to be and not as the pitiful man we made him out to be. God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man. For a man to function properly is to live in dependency upon His Father.
You can take a light bulb, very finely made, and made very intricate. It is not sloppily built but it will not function without electricity in it. You screw that light bulb into a socket then you might as well have a potato out of it if you do not turn the electricity on it. Why? It was made that way. The light bulb is made in such a way that electricity in the bulb is indispensable to the function of the bulb. You can take an oil lamp. How much light can you get out of an oil lamp without oil in it? It cannot function. It was made in such a way that oil in the lamp is indispensable to the function of the lamp.
Some of you have seen people with the financial fortune to buy a $50,000 automobile. Only one problem is it will not run without $20 worth of gasoline in it. Without gasoline, it will not function. It is just a bag of steel. If you want to go some place you have to get behind it and push it. Why? It is made that way. Gasoline in the car is indispensable to the function of the car.
The principle is the same. God in the man. Why does man need God living in Him? The same reason. He was made that way. He was made in such a way that God in the man is indispensable to the function of the man. So we come into this world without God living in us, dysfunctional. So talk about dysfunctional families. All of us are dysfunctional families until such a time you get involved with Jesus. Then you are functional. Is that unusual? No. Because God is not in you. When you go to the psychological profession, they will say you are dysfunctional because of this or that. But God says you are dysfunctional because you do not have God living in you, what it takes to function.
Now, you are finely made just like a light bulb is finely made, and a car is finely made. It is not that there is no worth there because it is, but it will not function unless the bulb is with electricity, the lamp has oil, the car is filled with gas, and the man is filled with God. We are created to function as God created us. God in the man is indispensable to the function of the man. Without Christ, what are we doing? We are not an animal. So we cannot really behave as an animal. We are not a man as God meant us to be, so we really cannot behave like a man. So we behave like an idiot. That is exactly where humanity is, thinking we are so smart trying to function without God living in us, and we behave like an idiot. All you have to do is take a look at it, and you see people all over this world with thinking that is unbelievable.
If you have the misfortune of watching television, and hear these people, and you sit back and say, “what planet did they come off of”? It all ties into humanistic thinking because you do not have God’s mind living in you to teach you truth. So we have no constant in our life. We are a variable. Man as a variable thinks all over the place. Existential thinking says, “if it is good for you, it is okay”. What is truth? So the lost person says, “Whatever you think is truth”. Why? That is as good as you can do when you do not acknowledge that God in the man is indispensable to the functioning of the man.
Let us now look at Jesus example of dependency, by faith in His Father. Here he is, God, always has been God, always will be God, and always is God, and yet He came to this earth and behaved as a man. If Jesus behaved as God, what example would he have been to me, outside of that is how God behaves. I cannot behave that way because I am not God and never will be God. Now, there are people saying we are gods running around down here, but you can look at their faces and tell that is not true. But you and I as human beings are not God and will never be God and so I cannot behave as God. So Jesus came to this earth and say, “I am going to show you how to behave as a man, not so you can copy my action, but to copy my attitude.”
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
So he is saying, “if you want to copy, do not copy my actions, but copy my attitude. God may not tell you what he told me to do”. If you were my son, and you were older, and I said, “Go mow the lawn”. So you go and mow the lawn. Now, you have a younger brother. He says, “my father is supposed to be my example, so I am going to walk in his footsteps and I am going to follow him. And so you get through mowing the lawn, all raked up. Next thing you see, he is mowing the lawn. It looks like I am not doing so good. So I guess I will go out get my mower closer to earth, and scrape all the grass off. Why? He is trying to imitate your action, not your attitude. He is trying to copy your actions of mowing the lawn instead of the attitude of doing what the Father told you to do.
That is what is happening in Christianity today. If Jesus did, so you do it. Try raising the dead, folks. There are some people out trying to do that. Why? Because their theology is totally opposite of dependency upon the Father. They are trying to copy Jesus actions. “If Jesus could raise the dead then I can raise the dead”. Jesus did not raise the dead on his own. He raised the dead because the Father told him to raise the dead. If His Father did not tell him to raised the dead, he did not raise the dead. When the Father told him to say to Lazarus, “come forth”, Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth”. If he said, ”Come forth”, everyone dead would have come out of there.
If I am out there trying to imitate an action, then I would say, “All of you come out.” Why? Because I am trying to imitate action instead of attitude. He did not say actions but your attitude. It means, “I live in a total attitude of dependency upon my Father. As the Father sent me, so I send you”. So quit trying to imitate the actions of Paul, or Peter, or Jesus. We are not there to imitate actions but we are there to imitate their attitude of dependency. God is not telling you to do today, necessarily what he told them to do. When you get into the copy cat routine, saying “Jesus did this so I can do that”, you are saying Jesus initiated action, and because I am human I can do the action, then we are mistaken. That is not what God is telling us. He is telling us to have an attitude of dependency and let God tell you what to do and then move on that. Let us look at some scriptures to see how Jesus lived his life.
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
What was Jesus referring to when he said, “when you have lifted up the Son of man”? He was saying that if you are going to be on this earth, that does not mean to go find someone and lift him up. It means “I have been lifted up, and I was lifted up on the cross”. Your role is lifting up Jesus. That does not mean to lift up Jesus but to explain the meaning of what it meant when he was lifted up. That is, to look to Jesus, to look at the cross, to his burial and resurrection, and to find what you are looking for, and that is eternal life.
Who did Jesus say was the source of His words? Did Jesus act on his own? No. He said, “I do not do anything on my own”. Now, let us think about this. “I do not do anything on my own. I do not speak on my own. I do not act on my own. I do not pray on my own.” There is a good one for us to get a hold of. “I do not do anything on my own. I speak only what my Father has taught me”. He did not say, “I speak what Freud taught me”. He did not say, “I am going to teach what the scientists taught me”. He said, “I am going to speak only what the Father has taught me”. What did he speak? What the Father told him to speak. That is God.
So what are we doing out blabbing and grabbing? What are we doing out thinking we are the dynamic of our own action and the cause of our own effect, and that we speak things into existence that are not, as if they were, and all I have to do is speak it because I am the initiator of my own action and it will come to pass. How does that tie into what Jesus said, “I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to say it?”
You tell me, folks, that was not from a bias but from the scripture, that Jesus Himself, who was God and as God, could have been the dynamic of His own action and the cause of His own effect, He could have done every one of those things. That is what God does, speaks things into existence that are not, as if they were. That is what God does and Jesus is God. He could have, at any time done that, but he put aside that prerogative, finding himself in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto the Father. What does that mean, obedient? “I do not do anything unless the Father teaches me. I am going to let the Father teach me and I am going to act upon what I was taught. I will speak only what I have been taught.”
God gave us two ears and one mouth and we ought to use it proportionately. I need to do twice as much listening as I do praying. We have the emphasis all over the world on prayer but how much emphasis do we have on listening and learning the word of God? Folks, if you do not know the word of God, your prayers are nothing but man made. When you know the word of God, you are speaking back to God what He already taught you in his word. That is how Jesus lived his life. If that is how Jesus lived His life, why are we trying to live this life in the energy of our own flesh, being the initiator of all things. And if you truly believe that Jesus is living in you, why would he want to be living his life through you differently than the way he lived his life in his own body. You are the body of Christ today. The same Jesus lived in his own body now lives in your body, and I do not think he changed his agenda. What He is saying to you, “I want you to learn how to walk by faith in Me, and do nothing unless I told you to do it”. You do not initiate anything, and when you do it is called wood, hay and stubble.
49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
“Hey, that does not sound like God to me. It sounds like something is wrong here.” No. This is proof. If you want to talk about proof of someone being God, this is proof, walking in total dependency on the Father. I have not seen any human doing that. You have to understand Jesus was showing us specifically and precisely how to live in dependency upon his Father. “I speak nothing on my own accord, only what the Father tells me to say I say it, and whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Now, in John 5:19-20, 30, he is not talking about what he is saying, but what he is doing.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Do you realize that there is about a year of preaching in those verses right there. It is unbelievable the amount of truth in those verses. Jesus is saying to us, “I not only say what the Father tells me to say, but I do only what the Father tells me to do. So if you want to know what the Father is thinking, take a look at what I am doing and you will know what He is thinking. In this passage of scripture, “by myself I can do nothing”, do you think Jesus is saying, “I just cannot do that”. No, what He is saying is this. “In order for me to accomplish what I was sent to accomplish, I cannot do something on my own because I will not be accomplishing what God sent me to accomplish.” It is like saying on the cross, “I cannot save myself. I could make these spikes to melt and annihilate everybody around me. But in order to accomplish what I am here to accomplish, I cannot save myself. If I saved me, I could not save you. It is not that I cannot, in that I do not have the power to do so, but it is that I cannot accomplish what needs to be accomplished to do that. Therefore, I cannot do it.“
So in order for Jesus to accomplish what He wants us to see, and that is faith, faith is what God is looking for, then “I cannot be the initiator of my own action and the cause of my own effect”. Therefore, he is able to say, “the reason I can do nothing is because I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me. Without faith it is impossible to please God”. It is interesting that he said, “I seek not to please myself. Not my will, but yours be done”. That is faith, not imitating his action, but imitating his attitude of dependency. That is what we need to get into our heads, an attitude of dependency is what God is looking for.
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
If you cannot believe what I am telling you, believe in the miracles I am showing you. “No man can do what I am doing”. Again, are we supposed to imitate what he is doing? No. We are to imitate the attitude and that is the attitude of dependency on what he is doing. So faith becomes an attitude that then results in making ourselves available to the one that we are depending upon. God wants us to know Him and to love Him and to trust Him in our daily lives, just as we trusted Him in our salvation. He also wants to be available to Him, an available vehicle. We have just seen in those passages of scripture that Jesus was available to His Father. He described Him as the Father living in me doing His work. How do we live our life? Realizing Jesus is in me, doing His work in and through me. He gave His life for me in order to give His life to me in order to live His life through me. That comes through dependency. I am depending on Him to renew my mind. I am depending on Him to be the source of every action. Therefore, we live on dependency and availability being the key ingredient to faith.
10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Has he done anything yet? As far as we know, he had never preached a sermon prior to that time. He had not performed any miracle prior to that time? He had not healed anyone. He had not done anything yet. The Father said, “with him I am well pleased.”. What are we out trying to do, go do something so the Father will say, “I am well pleased with you”. Take a look. Jesus was there and he has not done anything as far as we know and yet the Father said, “I am well pleased with you.” Why? The Son was always available to the Father to do what He wanted Him to do. In his youth, he was available to the Father to work in a carpenter shop with his dad.
In Sepphorous, a little town across from Nazareth, is where Mary’s father and Jesus grandfather was head of the rabbinical school there. What was Jesus doing from age 12, during those silent years, until 30? That is how long it took to become a rabbi. And they called Jesus “rabbi” and you could not call him rabbi if he had not been to rabbinical school. Sepphorous was one of two, one in Jerusalem and one in Sepphorous, right across from Nazareth, in walking distance. I think evidence shows that Jesus got his rabbinical training from that school. Why was he there? If indeed he was there, he was there because the Father told Him to go there. He was totally dependent on the Father. How does that spell out for us?
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
This has been an extremely exciting lesson to me, a reminder once again of that marvelous need to walk in that dependency upon Jesus Christ. This passage is full of truth because it is saying in the final analysis if you want to know what a spiritual act of worship is. I believe the spiritual act of worship is in contrast to the fleshly act of worship. True spiritual act of worship is not something you do as singing praise songs as good as that might be, or sitting in a service some place, with your hands lifted up or poised in your hands, or going on with a special music program, and all those things types of things, and all of that is good, but that is not what he is talking about as spiritual worship. Any heathen can be engaged in those things. You do not have to be saved to go to church. You do not have to be saved to sing in church. You do not have to be saved to get goose bumps listening to spiritual music. You do not have to be saved to lift your arms up or to keep them down. You do not have to be saved for any of those things. But you do have to be saved in order to make your body available to Christ, who lives in you, because only a saved person has Christ living in him. Your true spiritual act, not a fleshly act of worship, has nothing to do with what you do in a service. It has to do with the attitude of dependency on the Father of making your body available to the Father the same way that Jesus made His body available to the Father when He was here on this earth.
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