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"Alive to Christ"

Date published: 09/09/2018

John 3:29 “The bride belongs to the Bridegroom (Jesus).  The friend who attends the Bridegroom waits and listens for Him, and is full of joy when he hears the Bridegroom's voice.  That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” (NIV)


   As Christians, we belong to the bridegroom.  John the Baptist’s disciples were struggling with John yielding his ministry to Jesus.  John had no problem doing this because he understood what was required to experience God.  In this short passage, John reveals three principles that can help take every Christian into the full joy of better knowing God.


   John 3:30 lays the foundation: “He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less.” (NIV)  Every day is filled with hundreds of decisions.  Many of these decisions involve making Jesus Lord, or the substance of that decision Lord.  For whom do you live?  To whom are you surrendered?  Who or what controls your decisions?  Becoming less so that Jesus can become more is fundamental for every Christian to know and experience Christ. 


  “The friend who attends the bridegroom waits.”  This one principle in the Christian life may be one of the easiest, yet hardest things, you do.  We live in a society geared for action, decisiveness, and self-confidence.  The Bible is our foundation, our truth, our sustenance.  Our approach to the Bible is that we read it, think we conquer it, and move on.  To hear from and experience God often requires waiting, being still, and opening your heart to the Holy Spirit and to the concept that there just might be a God out there that has something to say to you.  Psalm 46:10 explains that your waiting allows you to know that there is a God who exists and loves you: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (NIV)  Waiting also reveals a more fundamental principal: your faith is of such conviction that you can wait because your hope is in God and not yourself.  Psalm 62:5 says it better: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” (NIV)


   The final principle is listening.  You can make Jesus Lord and wait for Him, but will you obey Him when you hear Him?  Obedience is the consummation of faith and the prelude to experiencing Christ.  Jesus’ words in John 17:17-19 show the importance of listening to obey, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.  As you sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” (NIV)  Jesus did not die so  that you would carry the label of “Christian,” but that your life would be a picture of the living Christ.  God wants you to receive the Word of Truth into your life so that He can transform His life and work in you.  Do not hear truth passively, but allow your heart to hear with obedience.  In John 10:4, Jesus described hearing this way, “His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.” (NIV)  Your Lordship to Christ causes you to place your hope in Him in such a way that you are comfortable waiting for His voice, knowing that it will come.  When it does come, you hear in obedience, ready to follow Christ’s way and not the world’s.  This is the life that lives constantly in the presence and power of Christ!


John 17:13-14 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them.  I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” 


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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience:  “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.”