John 3:16 – Aspect 3 – Decision
What are we really doing here? Why do we come to youth each week and why do we get up every Sunday morning and come together to talk about God and religion? Why do we pray, and read this ancient book? Why do we model our lives after the teachings and example of someone who lived twenty centuries ago? What’s this all about, this thing called Christianity?
Don’t you want to make sure you have that nailed down? I do. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find out that I’ve been travelling down the wrong path. I don’t want to become so focused on this idea and that idea, and this activity and that activity, that I lose sight of the main thing, lose sight of the goal. I don’t want to be diligent, and zealous, but wrong. I want to make sure that I understand what I’m giving my life to.
Tonight we talk about our Duty or Decision
Define duty – is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment to someone or something.
When you think of someone obeying their duty, who do you think about? A soldier
What is it that a soldier needs to do to perform his duty wholeheartedly? Obey, trust (his commanders & other soldiers), to follow orders, he may have to die, to believe in what his doing.
When I say the word duty and ask you what that might mean in relation to us and God how would you answer.
(On Board) Our duty is… to obey, to trust, to follow, to die to self, to believe.
How do these things match up against the soldier? Pretty closely
2 Timothy 2:3-4. The bible does call Christians soldiers. Soldiers are called to endure hardship or difficult times and to please our commander, who is Christ.
Ecclesiastes 12:13. What is the duty of man? To fear God and keep Gods commandments
So the question is, does God command us to believe. 1 John 3:23 It seems He does, so it is our duty to believe in Christ.
Whether we believe it or not, we all have faith. The atheist has faith in the fact that the world came from nothing
The Muslim has faith in good works. The evolutionist has faith in Darwinian ideas. Faith is the absence of knowing. The Christian has faith in Christ but we also know that Christ is different to anything else before Him or since Him. He is the only one to claim to be God and the only one to have risen from the dead, the only one who claims to forgive sin, the only one who claims to take away sin.
We all believe something about God. Some believe God doesn’t exist, that’s a belief. Some believe God does exist, that is also a belief, but it goes much deeper than that.
Your belief, what you believe about God, will affect the decisions you make.
Now I want to move our discussion to this other d word – Decision. That is what Jesus says in John 3:16 that our duty to God is to believe in Him. That involves making a decision and saying either yes or no, I believe or I don’t. Each decision coming pre-packed with its own set of consequences.
Has anyone made any decisions today – getting out of bed, eat breakfast, smile at someone or be grumpy instead, read your bible, pray before work? You make hundreds of decision each day and often without even thinking. Each decision affects some aspect of your life or someone else’s life. Yet the most important decision, the one that effects our eternal destiny goes largely ignored.
From what we have been discussing, the fact of whether you believe or not eventually comes down to a time of decision. Once you know the gospel there is no excuse for not making a decision for Christ. The simple fact is if you are not for Christ then you are against Him. Sitting on the fence just doesn’t cut it. And there is a result of this decision.
What is the result of believing in God’s plan – John 3:16 – Eternal Life?
If I have heard Gods plan and I believe God’s plan what stops me from making a decision to become a Christian and commit my life to Christ.
Is making a decision to believe enough?
The bible says if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead you will be saved.
What are the key words here? Confess, Jesus is Lord, believe, HEART, raised saved.
The key one I want to focus on is Heart. What is the other way you can believe in Jesus? Head.
So the answer to our Question “Is making a decision to believe enough” is YES if you believe with your heart but No if you only believe with your head.
“Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!” – James 2:19, NLT
In other words, the demons all have a clear understanding of Gods plan. They’ve been in the presence of God. They’ve seen and experienced what we’ve only read about. But it won’t save them. They tremble in terror at the thought of what awaits them on the Day of Judgement Their knowledge of God will not save them. You can be a thorough student of the Bible, an expert on theology, and still end up with the demons. Your correct understanding of the truth will not be sufficient to save you.
It’s not enough just to hear the message; it has to be taken into the heart by faith. It’s a response of your whole person; embracing the message; and receiving it into your life.
So what does believing with your heart look like? What would you expect to see in the life of a person who has decided to believe in Jesus with their heart?
A desire to learn about Him, to live a life that shows that is what you believe.
What is it called if you say you believe but act as if you don’t? Hypocrisy
How do I make this decision?
A decision to believe is an easy one, just ask God to forgive you and He will, tell Him you know you have done wrong things, tell Him that you understand why Jesus came and that you are ready to receive the free gift of eternal life offered because of His death.
When I believe, what happens?
Do I feel all warm and fuzzy? Maybe. Does a bolt of lightning strike me and I am suddenly perfect and no longer sin? No. Do I feel different? Maybe
What if I don’t feel different or warm and fuzzy, am I not really believing. No. Believing is not a feeling it is an action, something you do and something you may wrestle with from time to time. But believing involves faith, having faith that God is truthful, honest and will do in you exactly what He says he will.
When you first believe there is an immediate change, whether you feel it or not. The Holy Spirit comes and lives within you. 1 Corinthians 3:16. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit? To guide us in all truth. In doing this, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the things that are in our lives that are not compatible with being a Christian. His role is to change us to be more like Jesus Christ in the way we speak, act, and think and the things we do and the decisions we make.
We know Gods plan is to draw us to Himself through the death of Jesus Christ so that we can believe what He has done is truth and through our faith of belief give us eternal life. We now know that God gives us His Holy Spirit to change us and mould us to be more like Christ. I t might look something like this.
Show Gods Chisel Clip.
Have you allowed God to chisel away the things in your life which are an offence to a holy God? Those actions or behaviours that keep you from being all the God has made you to be. Look to God to transform you and receive the gift of life, living it to the full as you fully embrace Christ as your Lord and Saviour.