Posts Tagged ‘Christ in our hearts’

Christ In Our Hearts

February 16, 2016

I grew up in the Lutheran church.  I asked Jesus into my heart as a young child.  As a young adult, I questioned the biblical grounds for the practice of asking Jesus into our hearts.  I want to share some of those thoughts with you today.

I.  Born Again:  John 3:1-8

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

I believe that the reference to being born of water is referring to the natural birth.  The reference to being born of the Spirit is a reference to what happens when we are saved.  The first birth is physical, the second birth is spiritual.

II.  A New Creation:  II Corinthians 5:17*

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

This verse reemphasizes the idea of newness.  When we are in Christ, the old passes away and we are made new.

A new birth.

A new creation.

New.

III.  Knock, Knock:  Revelations 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Who’s there?

Jesus.

Will you let Him in?

Into where?

Into your heart.

It doesn’t say that in this verse.  That is one interpretation.

IV.  Christ in Your Hearts:  Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

First I want to point out that we are strengthened by His Spirit.  God is the source of our strength.

Christ dwells in our hearts through faith.  Faith is the key.  We are saved by our faith in Jesus.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)  Our new life is available only because of what Christ did for us on the cross.

Our new lives are rooted in love.  God loves us.  We love God.  God loves everyone.  We should love everyone.

We can be filled with the fullness of God.  Not that we will become gods.  Our capacity for God is not that great, but our vessel can be filled with the Spirit of God.  God is infinite.  We are finite.  We can, however,  continue to grow in that relationship with God  throughout our lives.  It is sort of like a balloon that expands as air is breathed into it.

We will not ask Jesus into our hearts if we do not have faith in Him.  In doing this, our sins our forgiven, we are born again, made a new creation in Christ.

I believe that it is a good practice to ask Jesus into our hearts, even if that exact phrase is not found in Scripture.

This are the sermon notes from 1/3/16.  Any advertisements are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

 

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Be Strengthened and Filled

June 4, 2012

Here is the sermon outline from June 3, 2012.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJ)

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[a] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I.  That You Would Be Strengthened

We all get tired sometimes.  Life can be very demanding.  It is important to recognize that we do not have to face the trials of this world in our own strength.  We can be strengthened by the Spirit of God.  When we are worn out, or overwhelmed by life, we should remember to take extra time in the Word and in prayer, allowing God to strengthen us in our innermost being.

II.  That Christ May Dwell In Your Hearts

When I was a young adult, I wondered where the idea of “asking Jesus into your heart’ had come from in the scriptures.  I was familiar with the concept of repentance, faith, and confession, but I was uncertain of the biblical grounding for the common prayer of asking Jesus into your heart.  Ephesians 2:17 settled that issue for me.  It is a very important part of what we believe as Christians.  We are not alone, Christ is with us.

III.  That You May Know the Love of Christ

God loves us.  This basic fact can really help us in times of trouble.  If we are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ we will be able to withstand the storms of life.

As we mature in the faith we are better able to comprehend more of the love of God.  The width and length and depth and height of God’s love for us is beyond human comprehension, yet we are able to sense, and understand, more and more as we grow in Christ.

IV  The Fullness of God

Paul prays that we might be filled with the fullness of God.  Of course, we cannot possibly contain the infinite God, but we can be filled with His Spirit.  We can grow in our knowledge, understanding, and experience of God.  This is one of the ways that Christians mature.

V.  Above All That We Ask or Think

Finally, we recognize that God is able to do more than we ask or think.  God is awesome and all-powerful and we should not limit God by our own imaginations or understanding.  We can trust God to do what is best, even if we do not understand in the moment.  God is able, and His grace is sufficient for us.