Full and Overflowing
There once were two villages in the Allegheny Mountains. Each village had its own water supply. One had a small trickling stream, which in summer was reduced to nearly nothing. Those villagers barely had enough to get by. The other village had in the center a natural fountain, fed by an underground stream. It was always full and overflowing, regardless of the weather. The people in the first coveted the others resources, and wondered why they had such bad luck. Why couldn’t they live there?
... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
There are two villages in life, which do you live in? Every Christian has life, but is it just a trickle, or is it full and overflowing? Is your joy like a trickling stream, or is it joy like a fountain? It’s not about luck. We have a choice where we live!
In your OT, when Israel left slavery in Egypt, they headed for the promised land of abundance. It was 11 days away. But when they saw from a distance the giants there, they turned around and chose to live life in the barren wilderness. It would take 40 years to get there. Why? Did Moses refuse to stop and get directions? No, it was unbelief, and settling for less in life. Yes, God gave them manna, but the land of milk and honey w/ grapes the size of basketballs was also on the menu, if they wouldn't have settled for scraps.
1. What Jesus did FOR us. = life
2. What Jesus does IN us. = abundant life
What did Jesus do for us?
a. Promises to the Jews
'circumcision' = the Jews
'fathers' = Jewish patriarchs
Some 333 specific prophecies in the OT have been fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Big details like the place and circumstances of His birth, how He would teach, when He would enter the temple, and how He would die, to little details of no eternal significance. What are the odds? Peter Stoner, a Christian mathematician, said the odds of just 8 prophecies being fulfilled in one person would be 1:10[to the 28th]. That's a 1 w/ 28 zeroes. That's the entire state of Texas being covered knee high in silver dollars, and one of them has a mark on it. Blind fold a man and give him one chance to find it.
v. 8b 'He came to confirm the promises'
Don't ever let anyone make fun of you for believing in Jesus! The most logical and intellectual conclusion you can ever reach is that Jesus is God!
Jesus came to the Jew first, because He chose to use them not as a bucket to fill, but as a pipe to flow thru for the benefit of all the others.
a. Promises to the Jews
b. Prophecies to the Gentiles
v. 9a 'that the Gentiles might also be saved!'
Next, Paul reveals from the OT that the salvation of the Gentiles wasn't an afterthought w/ God, but part of His plan all along.
Rapid Fire Quotes:
v. 9b A quote of Psalm 18:49
v. 10 Deut. 32:43
v. 11 Psalm 117:1
v. 12 Isaiah 11:10
Notice that these quotes are from the law, the psalms, and the prophets. All 3 witnesses establish this.
He came. He came for us all. Why? That we might have life! Ye must be born again.
v. 13 Now we see life more abundant! Abounding life.
Christ did something FOR us in giving us life. Next, He wants to do something IN us so that life will be abundant.
What does Jesus want to do in us?
v. 13 speaks of joy and peace and hope...abounding...full and overflowing...not like a trickling stream, but like a fountain bursting forth!
1. The Source of abundant life.
v. 13 The God of hope! There is no other source. No bottle. No pill. No President. No other person. Money doesn't do it. God has a monopoly on the abundant life, and you're not gonna outsmart Him and find another way around to it.
ill.--Arnold Palmer spoke to the National Association of Blind Golfers. A bell is rung at the pin and they golf toward it. Their leader challenged him to play their best blind golfer for $10,000 to the charity of their choice. It didn't seem fair, but he agreed. "When is tee time?" They replied, "10 PM!" You can't beat a man at his own game.
God is the expert at the game of life which He originated. He created physical life, spiritual life, and the abundant life!
2. The Scope of the abundant life.
v. 13 Joy, Peace, and Hope
The world is spending a fortune trying to attain these three.
Joy doesn't come from people, possessions, or places. That is looking for joy in all the wrong places.
Peace--there's 2 kinds: peace OF God and peace WITH God. And you cannot experience the peace of God until you make peace with God. There is a state of hostility between man's sinfulness and God's holiness. Theologically, we are God's enemies before we are saved.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
enmity = state of war
Lost people usually don't feel at war with God, because they have no conscious hatred toward God and don't actively oppose His work. They consider themselves neutral. But the Bible says there's no such thing as neutrality towards God. Jesus said if you are not with Him you are against Him!
If you heard on the news that someone claimed to be Lord of the universe...you would immediately form an opinion of that person. You wouldn't be in limbo, you would make a quick judgment. If they are for real, they deserve your worship, and if they aren't real, they should be judged for such a statement.
But war can be ended with the help of a mediator, and that is Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
"peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled!"
After forming peace WITH God, we can have the privilege of the peace OF God, which is tranquility in our soul. Free from worry. Full of faith! Peace comes from the word for 'putting together' and worry from words meaning 'pulling apart'. His peace is an inner calm beyond understanding.
Some may choose to live in the war of worry, but I choose to march in and live in the palace of peace!
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Said the robin to the sparrow,
"I would really like to know
Why those anxious human beings
rush around and worry so."
Said the sparrow to the robin,
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
such as cares for you and me."
And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders, don't you know He will carry you!
Hope. v. 13 is the only place where He is called the God of hope!
Christians have an endless hope...the world a hopeless end!
Hope in the Bible isn't wishful thinking [I hope it rains today]
It's not a verb...it's a noun. It's not something you do, but something you possess.
"The ability to face the future with confidence because of God's promises."
We don't know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future!
The use of drugs and alcohol are on the rise...no hope!
How many committed suicide yesterday?...no hope!
The hope for America is not in the White House, but in God's house, your house, and my house. What could God accomplish through us if we put the same energy we expend on politics into prayer and soulwinning, and dealing with the sin in our own lives?
2 Chronicles 7:14
If MY people, which are called by my name, shall humble THEMSELVES, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from THEIR wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
"Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living it is gone." What a hopeless thought from John Cougar Mellencamp.
If you have Christ, no matter what the future holds, it will be worked for good. If you don't have Christ, it's bad. If saved, even death is just an express train with one destination...heaven!
Prosperity is good, right? It might be bad if it keeps you from Christ. It's harder for a camel to thread a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
Getting married is good, right? [if you have half a mind to marry, do it, it's all it takes!] No, it might be bad if not built on Jesus, it won't last.
God the Father PROMISED the abundant life.
God the son PURCHASED the abundant life.
God the Holy Spirit PROVIDES the abundant life.
v. 13 'in believing'
What kept Israel from entering the promised land? Unbelief! Fast forward 40 years and they are at the edge of Jordan again. Would they believe? They had to step into the water BEFORE it would part!
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