Friday, April 1, 2011

The Kind of Believer we want to produce III.

OK it is time to acknowledge - I did expect a much stronger reaction to the words I used in this conversation. When we chatted around the convo at Exploration yesterday, a group of young leaders voiced their preference with "Jesus follower" rather than "believer". That was good - the former is a stronger picture of obedience in their journey, rather than simply an academic / philosophical exchange of ideas. But I did think there would be a more fervent appeal for another word to "produce" which speaks of the industrial age of factories and impersonal cookie-cutting one-size-fits all. Possibly a family and more relational word would be more powerful - from 'disciple' to 'raise up'.

1 John is a most wonderful book, written by the apostle 'of love' as he is sometimes called. It is a very strong, yet tender photo album of what Jesus loving and obeying believers look like. There is no suggestion of cramming all of humanity into a single vat of conformity, yet he unapologetically directs the reader to understand the essential cornerstones to becoming a temple of God, where his presence can reside unhindered and his work completed without interruption. Here is an easy, simple outline of "The kind of Jesus followers we desire to disciple":

  • Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ; Father - a Trinitarian grasp...
  • We have fellowship with one another; Fellowship - a vital, life source no matter what,
  • The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin... will forgive us our sins; Forgiveness, the beginning of a truly gospel centered journey,
  • Anyone who obeys his word; Foundation - obedience is the cornerstone of this journey,
  • You have overcome the evil one; Foe - knowing what the devil's strategy is against you and then defeating him daily,
  • Do not love the world; Fight - our three part defense against the things that tempt us,
  • You have an anointing; Flame - each Jesus lover has been endowed with an anointing to live an extraordinary life of miracles - find it, fuel it,
  • We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers; Family - belonging to a band of brothers reaches true reality when we are prepared to live and die for each other,
  • Anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need; Financials - the Lordship of Christ is often best reflected in our checkbook for it reveals who reigns in our lives,
  • Test the spirits... spirit of falsehood; False - as with bankers, these Jesus followers are to test and measure the real from the counterfeit,
  • Dear friends; Friends - real, simple, authentic, transparent, honest, for life,
  • Confidence in the day of judgement; Future - fervent passion with Jesus till the end for it will be a great celebration when he comes, and we are ready,
  • Victory that has overcome the world, even our faith; Faith - is what brings the Father pleasure, means we truly trust him,
  • The Spirit is the truth; Freedom - a Jesus lover who is engaging the freedom there is in Christ,
  • Confidence in approaching God, if we ask anything according to his will: Favor - we live under friendly skies, the Father delights in loving, blessing and answering our prayers,
These are some very cool God ingredients from the apostle of love. What else do you see in the text?

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