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Created To Become Like Christ, Jim Dunn - Free sermon outlines and Bible studies! (Higher Praise Topical Outlines) -


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Created To Become Like Christ
Romans 8:29
By: Jim Dunn

Adapted from Rick Warren's 40 Days of Purpose

Intro:

When the wife of missionary Adoniram Judson told him that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, "I do not want to be like a Paul...or any mere man. I want to be like Christ...I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints...Oh, to be more like Christ!" Source Unknown.

“From the very beginning God decided that those who came to

Him - and He knew who would - should become like His Son...” Rom 8:29 (LB)

“God wants us to grow up ... like Christ in everything.” Eph. 4:15 (Msg)

MY 3rd PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST

“Discipleship”

“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him,

who have been called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28 (NIV)

THREE UNEXPECTED TOOLS

1. GOD USES TROUBLE TO TEACH US TO TRUST HIM.

“...troubles produce patience. And patience produces

character, and character produces hope.” Rom 5:3-4 (NCV)

“They came to a garden called Gethsemane and Jesus said to

His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ ... Distress and anguish

came over Him, and He said, "The sorrow in My heart is so great

that it almost crushes Me." Mark 14:32-34 (TEV)

"Father," He said, "everything is possible for you. Please take

this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want your will, not

mine!" Mark 14:36 (NLT)

The worst misfortune that can come to any boy is to be saved from hard lessons and trying duties. Trials and tribulations do more than test us, they educate us. They show us our weaknesses and our needs and draw us toward the source of all good and all strength. Prosperity is a great teacher, but adversity is a greater. Affliction has been called the "wholesome soil of virtue, in which patience, fortitude, and all the graces take root and flourish."

- Paul E. Holdcraft, {Cyclopedia of Bible Illustrations,}(New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press) 10

· Keep a spiritual journal

“At the Lord's direction, Moses kept a written record of their

progress.” Num. 33:2 (NLT)

· Remember the reward

“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an

eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17 (NIV)

2. GOD USES TEMPTATION TO TEACH US TO OBEY.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted

by the devil.” Matt. 4:1 (NIV)

"’Get out of here, Satan’ Jesus told him. ‘The Scriptures say,

Worship only the Lord God. Obey only Him.'" Matt. 4:10 (LB)

Illustration:

ONE WINTER a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. "Oh," cried the Farmer with his last breath, "I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel." If Christians give in to any slight temptation or evil thought, it will eventually come back and bite them!

Number one, remember that it is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus never sinned, yet He was tempted. It’s not a sin to be tempted. Martin Luther used to say, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair,” if you have enough hair for them to build a nest in, that is. It’s not a sin to be tempted.

Number two; remember that everyone is tempted in the same ways, all of us. The Bible says we’re all tempted in the same common ways. One of the ways that Satan tricks us is he makes us feel like our temptation is better than anyone else’s, like “I’m really bad, I’ve got this great temptation, I’ve thought of this thing, this temptation, nobody in all of human history has ever thought of.” No you haven’t.

Your temptation is just like everyone else’s. And if you’re feeling like “Wow, I’m really a bad person”, we’re sort of like the toddler who thinks they’re the first one to come up with the idea of sticking a green bean up their nose. And the truth is, every one of us faces the same temptation. We’re all alike. And if you’re scared by the temptation that you’re facing, feeling like no one else has ever faced this, we’ve all faced the same thing. And God is
able to help us through these temptations.

It’s important to remember that you’ll never outgrow temptation. You never get to a point in your life where you become so spiritual or so old, that you’re not tempted anymore. We all are tempted throughout all of our lives. But it’s
also important to remember that Jesus teaches us in His experience that every temptation is an opportunity to do good, to make the right choice. It’s a stepping stone toward being more like Jesus Christ. Notice what Jesus did when he was tempted in Matthew 4:10. Jesus said, “Get out of here, Satan. The scriptures say, worship only the Lord God. Obey only Him’”. He confronted the temptation.

Here’s the point. Temptation always tests whether you love God more than the temptation. That’s what’s happening when you’re tempted. It’s always a test of what do I love the most in my life. When I’m tempted by money, it’s a temptation. Do I love God most or do I love money most in my life? When I’m tempted by a wrong relationship, it’s a temptation. Do I love that person or do I love God more in my life?

When I’m tempted by comfort, I just like to be comfortable in my life, it’s a temptation. Who do I love more? My reputation? Who do I love more? God or that temptation that’s come into my life? Obedience, choosing to say, “yes” to God, it’s a matter of love. It’s not a matter of duty. The Bible tells us that Jesus said, “If you love Me, obey My command”.

If you want to endure temptation while staying on course:

· Keep focused on pure thoughts

“Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.”

Phil. 4:8a (LB)

· Get a spiritual partner

“You’re better off to have a friend than to be all alone... If you

fall, your friend can help you up.” Eccl. 4:9-10 (CEV)

3. GOD USES TRESPASSES TO TEACH US TO FORGIVE.

Well, if trials are situations designed by God to draw us closer to Him and temptations are situations designed by the devil to draw us away from Him, from God, then trespasses are situations designed by other people designed to hurt us. Yes, there are people in life who want to hurt you intentionally, and that’s why the Bible says in the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord” we’re to pray, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”

Now this is the tough one. Its one thing to handle trouble and it’s another thing to handle temptation. But the most difficult tool of all that God uses in our lives to make us like Christ is this one. And bearing the hurt of other people without retaliation is, without a doubt, the most important and the most difficult step in becoming like Jesus Christ, because it often involves being misunderstood, being criticized, being judged, being hurt physically or emotionally or verbally, it may involve abuse.

“People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at

Jesus ... and the elders made fun of Him... Even the bandits who

had been crucified with Him insulted Him in the same way.”
Matt. 27:39-44 (TEV)

“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive these people, because they don't

know what they are doing.’" Luke 23:34 (NLT)

Now, if you’re going to grow up spiritually and if you’re going to become like Jesus Christ, you’re going to have to learn the same thing. The truth is in life you’re going to be hurt. This is not heaven. This is a fallen world. Everybody sins. You hurt other people. Other people hurt you. We hurt each other intentionally and unintentionally. You’re going to be hurt often in life. And if you’re going to become like Christ, you have to learn to forgive. You say, “Well, how do you do that?” Well, how can you learn to forgive if you’ve never been hurt? You can’t! You can’t learn to forgive unless somebody’s hurt you. And yet forgiveness is one of the primary qualities of God and God wants you to learn to become like Him. So there are hurts that are allowed in your life in order to make you like Jesus.

Two helps for when people intentionally or unintentionally hurt you:

· Remember God has forgiven me

“Forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.”
Eph. 4:32 (CEV)

· Remember God is in control

“You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to

save the lives of many people, which is being done.”Gen. 50:20 (NCV)

“We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go

through the hard times with Him, then we're certainly going to

go through the good times with Him.” Rom. 8:17 (Msg)

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”

Phil. 2:5 (NIV)

Conclusion:

Let’s bow our heads.

Dear Father, life makes so much more sense when we realize that it’s not about our career, it’s not about our comfort, and it’s all about character and becoming like Jesus. Help us to use life for the reason You gave it to us.

Now you pray. Say,

Dear God, I want to grow in character. I want to become who You made me to be. Thank you for the model of Jesus. I want to become more like Jesus in the way I think and the way I feel and the way I act. And if that means taking me through troubled times, then I say, “I want Your will for my life”. And if that means going through a wilderness of temptation, please give me the strength to make the right choices. And if that means I must endure the hurts of other people, then teach me to forgive as much as You have forgiven me.

If you’ve never opened your life to Jesus Christ, say, “Jesus, I can’t live like you unless I know you. So I want to get to know You today. As much as I know how, I want to ask You to come into my life and heart. In Your name I pray, Amen.”

Sermon By: Jim Dunn
Website: heavenwd.tripod.com/sanjosebaptistchurch/


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