10/11 Series: Family at its Best - Who Stands Up For You 1 John 2: 1-6
Pastor George asked our young people, Who are people that protect you? While first to be mentioned is family, he asked about friends? Of course, we hope that a friend would come to our rescue when a need arises. Pastor George then referenced Proverbs 18:24 that says... “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”, which he said is referencing God. God our friend to our rescue. We all can be one of those friends too, said Pastor George.
Our scripture passage for this week is from 1 John 2: 1-6. titled Christ Our Advocate. Verse 1 says, “…but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” In sin we are guilty without just payment to a holy God. In the passage we have the assurance of an advocate. An advocate is one that pleads the cause of another as before a judicial court, someone to plead in favor of. Jesus is our advocate. Through Him our sin is forgiven, making us right and sinless before God. This we know, Who Stands Up for You? Jesus our advocate. Sure, is wonderful being in the family of God knowing we have our advocate to save and redeem us back to being worthy, in the presence of a Holy God, our friend. This passage ends in verse 6 with “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
To be an advocate and a friend, who walls in the ways of Jesus, is the kind of human being I would want to stand up for me in my time of need. Pastor George outlined for us on what this means and just How did Jesus walk? 1. He awoke early to pray. 2. He walks slowly through the crowds. He touched them in love and fellowship. 3. He showed compassion, as sheep without a shepherd. 4. He spoke in lovingly truthful ways. 5. He celebrated with others, he came to serve and not to be served. To walk in the same way in which he walked we pray, Give us the strength Lord to do as you, walk through other’s lives, Amen.
This week we viewed two videos in Right Now Media each addressing being one with God and one with another Christian brother/sister. First viewed is titled ONE-Why True Biblical Unity is Essential by Tom Kraeuter. This series focused on the prayer of Jesus in John 17:11 “And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” ONE goes to the very nature of God, say Tom Kraeuter, Perfect Love, Perfect Community, Perfect Unity. He goes on to say, part of believing in Christ is believing in His church and His body. There is no such thing as Christianity without community. There is the need for connection, need for fellowship, we need each other. We learned that He gathers us together because of our differences, we need everyone in the Body of Christ. Kraeuter spoke of Biblical Community. It’s not easy, a church has flaws. 1 Peter 4:8 says “…above all keep loving one another earnestly, deeply, love covers a multitude of sin.” Listening through this video we learned that the Spirit of God builds unity. We are the Body of Christ right now. We are the containers, the expression of Him here on earth. What should the Body of Christ look like? One, working together the way God wants us to, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, doing life with others in unity and diversity.
A second video watch is titled The One-Another by Tony Evans. Here is what he says about Biblical Unity: first is our relationship with the Lord that is crucial in Biblical Unity. The gospel is about love, God – Us – One Another. We are about making His name great. Our unity is a sign to the world that Jesus is our Savior. From Biblical Unity comes Biblical Community, the one-another. Tony Evans states that God wants to see more of you with others because that is what the church is about. The one-another experiencing God together. Tony goes on to say, the thing that should mark God’s people is not what they do for themselves but what they do in the family of God connected to others. It’s that horizontal love, Biblical Love. The law of Christ is the law of love says Tony. He goes on to say, everyone should be an encourager or an encourage-e, to support them or be supported in faith.
Pastor George talked of this love on Sunday. To love God is to love others. Truly the love of God is made complete by your actions. He says to ask ourselves, does this show the love of God? The love of neighbor? If no, then don’t do it. We as the Body of Christ is to care for them, walk slowly, listen, what do they need? It’s showing love, grace, compassion.
Tony Evans gave Biblical Love this definition: a decision to compassionately and righteously seek the well-being of another, a decision whether or not it’s accompanied by an emotion. Tom Kraeuter says we are to put on the shoes of the intercessor Jesus Christ, and cry out for another in prayer, surround them with love, to care richly for one-another. The I’ll stand up for you in times when you find it hard to stand, kind of love. Tony Evans also says as Christians we are to comfort one another. God has a ministry in your pain. We go through our affliction so that I can comfort you in your affliction. It’s our ministry to others and God’s ministry to us. Whatever you want God to do for you, do for someone else. Be a comfort in your comforting says Tony. But in all, Tony states, do it in the spirit of gentleness, giving the truth in love. To care for the person through the least amount of pain possible.
Christian Unity begins with Biblical Unity under the Lordship of Jesus, which flows into Biblical Community with one-another through Biblical Love, keeping us strong in our faith in the good times and the not so good times. In Christian Unity the mission field is working. We at times need another to stand up for us before the Lord in prayer, to stand up to us in our sin, to guide us back, to stop looking at the pain but to keep the eyes on Jesus, to stand with us through the good time and not so good, so that we do not lose faith but instead so that our faith can be strengthened. It’s brothers and sisters keeping you pointed towards Jesus. Being family at its best, is a relationship with others, with a common goal, and desire to not lose any of its members along the way, doing what it takes, even when it means to stand up when a need arises.
Larry and Darlene