Have you had the experience of telling an unbeliever about your joy in Christ and had him respond with something like: “I’m happy for you.“
Christianity is not for me, but if it is helping you, go for it.
Because “the whole world lies under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19)
the world is blinded to the fact that Jesus, and only Jesus, is the
“true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)
They are also blind to the fact that in Jesus, and Jesus alone, is power.
We must daily remind our souls what we have in Jesus.
When God created the first Adam,
Adam was glorious, for was in the image of God.
But when Adam was tempted, he fell, and the whole of humanity fell with him.
The “imago dei” was marred. But God did not leave us without hope.
He sent His Son into the world as the second Adam,
to restore us to the image of God.
Only the second Adam can offer us forgiveness and POWER.
Do you remember in 2010 when Tiger Woods came on television with
a public apology for his infidelities?
Watch this short and poignant clip.
My heart went out to him, for he seemed truly sorry, but he was turning to Buddha, who offers some good teachings, but could not offer him forgiveness or POWER.
I respected Brit Hume for saying so publicly, nor did he palliate his words.
It was clear, caring, and bold.
Oh the sound and the fury of the media reaction!
To dare to compare religions and to say one was better!
How intolerant! How prideful!
Bill O’Reilly had Hume on his program, interrogating him, but Hume stood firm, speaking compassionately about Tiger Woods and what he feared he was going to lose – not just endorsements, but his family, and far, far more. Hume repeated:
“Jesus Christ offers Tiger Woods something that Tiger Woods badly needs.”
And what is that? It is what no world religion offers – not just a set of rules given by a late teacher like Buddha or Mohammed but the Spirit of living second Adam, Jesus Christ, to come and live in us, redeeming us and empowering us to become reflections of Him!
This is something we could never do on our own.
This week we will find our “second Adam” foreshadowed in Genesis 3.
This “second Adam” theme flows like a river through the Scriptures and shows us just how much we have in Christ.
The Song of Songs gives us a picture of Eden restored, something our second Adam will do. But in the meantime, Jesus gives us daily kisses, and I want you to be alert to those, and to share them here, as I will.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Share a way the “King” has kissed you recently. (It could be a living word from Scripture, an answer to prayer, the sense of His presence, help to do His work in the world, sweetness in nature or in Christian fellowship…)
Monday-Wednesday Bible Study
All through the week share your “kisses” from the King. You may get kissed as you study, for the Word may become radioactive in your heart!
How does the doctrine of the “Second Adam” impact us? We will look at three ways. We will look at the first way this week, and the second and the third next week.
A. The Second Adam is “a life-giving spirit” to conquer sin.
B. The Second Adam is “a life-giving spirit” to conquer death.
C. The Second Adam is preparing a place for us like the original Eden.
THE SECOND ADAM IS “A LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT” TO CONQUER SIN
3. Read Matthew 4:1-11 in order to contrast the temptation of the first Adam with the second Adam:
A. The first Adam was well fed when he was tempted — contrast that with Matthew 4:1-2.
B. The first Adam was in a lush garden — where was the second Adam — and what detail does Mark 1:13 add?
C. The first Adam was tempted once — how many times was the second Adam tempted?
4. When we respond to Christ’s wooing, His Spirit, the same Spirit that overcame temptation and death, comes to live in us. Our part is to respond to that Spirit, just as we responded to Christ in salvation. A truth drums through Romans 5, 6, 7, 8. It is this: Every time we present our members to Christ for righteousness, His Spirit grows stronger in us. I see the same drumbeat in 1 John. What do each of the following verses teach you — and how might you apply them today?
A. Romans 6:12-13
B. Romans 8:5-6
C. 1 John 3:9
D. 1 John 4:12
Every time we obey, every time we love, every time we stay in the light, His Spirit grows stronger in us. And one day, when we see Him as He is, His work will be completed in us, for we will be like Him. The second Adam will return us to the imago dei, the image of God.
To encourage your sisters, I’d like you to share a time or a way the Spirit of God has helped you change for the better. As Mike Reeves says, “It is not bragging to notice fruit in your life that would not have been there except for the Spirit of the living God producing it.” I will begin with an illustration — but I hope to hear many from you.
I’ve told you many times of how the Spirit revealed my sin of making side-ways comments to others in an attempt to control them. The way that I am overcoming this is due to something that rules could never have given me. The “rules” from Scripture did give me understanding, but it was the power of the Spirit that helped me actually live them out. I came to understand from the teaching of Scripture that I only had two choices when I am troubled my someone’s behavior. Usually, I am to”overlook it in love,” but if a sin is repetitive and I am close to that person, I can “speak the truth in love.” But it is not enough to stop making side-ways comments, that idol of control needs to replaced by God. I must believe God hears me when I pray for that person to change. ! John 5:16 says: “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life — to those who commit sins that do not lead to death.” After memorizing this in context, I am convinced the sin leading to death is the rejection of Christ. It is futile to pray that God will forgive the person who rejects Christ. But here is the silver lining — we can pray for all other sins that a brother or sister in Christ commits, and know that God hears us, and will work with His mighty power in that person’s life. His will is that believers grow in maturity, and we can pray boldly for that and He will hear us, will work in their lives (though perhaps differently than we expect) and will give them life!
And I have seen that happening. The power of God’s Spirit is at work in my brothers and sisters in Christ, and so I can give grace, and instead pray for that person, and know that God will work in His time and in His way. This is the expulsive power of a new affection. Our God, our “second Adam” is at work in each of us to complete the work He began in us, and our prayers actually help expedite the process!
5. Now it is your turn to share a way the Spirit of Christ is giving you power to overcome temptation and sin — and to share how you see fruit in your life!
As you hold to your conviction that Jesus is the answer, and the only answer, expect persecution, as Brent Hume received. I saw that again, just this month, in an interaction between Bernie Sanders and an evangelical who wants to hold political office. This article describes what happened, and I believe is a foreshadowing of the persecution to come in this the United States against those who belong to Jesus Christ.
6. Comments on the above?
6. Share a kiss from the King.
THURSDAY-FRIDAY: CLASSIC (AND FREE) KELLER
In this message, Keller will speak of the “renewal of all things.” The second Adam renews us spiritually, and one day will renew us physically, and place us in a renewed heaven and earth. This message concentrates on how we are renewed spiritually.
8. Share your notes and comments.
9. Share your best “God Hunt” or “Kiss from the King” this week. I’m going to share mine right now! For years my administrative assistant and friend and our own Rebecca has wanted to bring her whole family to my home in the summer — and she wanted Lizzy’s family to come too. So this last week it happened through God’s marvelous orchestration — in fact, until the last week Rebecca didn’t think her husband could get work off, but then, he did! It was a balm to my soul to have the deep spiritual conversations that began on the blog and could continue face to face. And sweet to meet their dear families and see how they too connected. I thought you might like to see Rebecca, me, and Lizzy together. How I wish we all good have a grand face to face meeting, but I know it will happen in heaven. Mary E was much on our hearts during our time together too — and so were you — we talked about how delightful this sisterhood had become. And I can tell you that the beauty we see in Rebecca and Lizzy on the blog shines all the more brightly in person.
Now it is your turn to share a God Hunt!
10. What is your take-a-way and why?