What is one decision you’ve made that has forever changed your life? How?
Gen 1:1,3 “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
Is 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”
Rev 13:8 “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
That means that God saw eternity before time began. No matter how bad things got, how bad He knew things would be, He still said, ‘Let there be Light!’
It broke His heart that His own didn’t even know Him. Yet He still said, Let there be Light. He saw all of his people cry out, ‘Crucify Him!’ The emotional and mental anguish that came upon Him. Why would He still do it?
Knowing the fact that man would sin and all the pain necessary in order to save man from himself, why do you think God chose to become a man and die?
He loves you! His love goes beyond anything we can understand, that reaches to the highest heights and the lowest depths. He looks at our inadequacies and sins and still says, ‘I love her. I can work with him. I can change him.’ No matter what you bring and no matter how bad it is, He still says, ‘I love you. I’ll take you.’
Rom 5:8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
The kind of love man has is a taking kind of love. For us, there has to be something we get in return, but not God’s love.
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”
Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
He wanted someone like Him. We are not in His image because of hands and face or eyes. God is a Spirit. The thing that separates us from the animals is His breath. God formed man of the dust of the ground. Man wasn’t just spoken into existence. God took man personally, like a potter with his clay. He formed us with His own hands. 98% of our DNA is the same as monkeys. We have the same chemical composition as dirt. But, we’ve got God’s Spirit in us. We have His breath. The man became a living soul when God breathed on Him. We were called His sons and daughters.
God’s breath took a physical life and made it eternal. Through Adam and Eve, God had someone like Him that He loved and spent time with, connected with.
How is having God’s Spirit like a marriage? Why is this a good comparison, i.e. ‘the bride of Christ’? How is having God’s Spirit like a family relationship, i.e. parent-child, ‘we are His offspring’?
Then, tragedy struck…
Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not
eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Even though God saw it ahead of time, even though He knew this would happen, there was pain in His voice when He said, ‘Where art thou, Adam?’ Do you really think God didn’t know where Adam and Eve were in the garden when He came looking for them? His Spirit came back to Him and departed from Adam and Eve after their sin.
The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. There is nothing this world has to offer that comes even close to what God offers. The devil doesn’t come and tell you the truth, ‘Hi, I’m the devil and I’ve come to destroy you.’ Instead, he lies to you, gets you to believe him, and then steals from you, kills you, destroys your life.
You may try for fame and even achieve great acclaim, power, and riches, but even the president of the US will be forgotten 30 years from now. Do you know who Gerald Ford is? He was the 38th president of the US, most powerful man in the world, leader of the free world. What kid even knows his name? How many presidents do you know?
Satan came to make people beneath him.
1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
Why is sin so bad? How does it affect relationships? Why is doing things God’s way so much better? How does submitting to and following after God’s way and will free us?
Man was out of fellowship with God after that first sin. They could only cry out to God and hope for help. So many people today don’t even look for Him. They make gods of other things that they can see and touch. They look for help and hope from things that aren’t real.
The Cross: All that pain, all that sorrow, all that sacrifice—for you! Jesus allowed Himself to be mocked, spit on, beaten, accused unjustly, and brutally killed.
Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Acts 2:2-4 “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The same way God breathed into Adam, He once again breathed into normal men to have fellowship and to bring them to Life.
Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Eph 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”
It’s not about physical death. It’s about Spiritual death and life. The Word of God will judge and condemn, but mixed with God’s Spirit, it gives Life. That ‘quickening’ is Life. God loves you. He wants to connect with you, to walk with you, to talk with you.
In marriage, Spiritually, the man and woman become one flesh. God wants more than to just know you or merely talk to you. He wants more than to provide for you. He wants to be one with you. He wants to connect with you. He wants to be in a deep relationship with you. He wants to fill you with His Spirit, His presence.
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Do you have that Spirit? It’s the same experience and evidence as on the Day of Pentecost, you’ll hear yourself speaking in a language unknown to you. If you have received that gift of God’s Holy Spirit, how is your relationship with Him? Are you changing and being transformed into becoming more and more like Him? (He does the transforming, we do the submitting and obeying.) Do others see this transformation? What can you do to improve your connection with Him?
This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Skip Christo.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!