A Passion for Christ

Isaiah 53:1-6

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Imagine this, a homeless man born into this world. Him being lowly and not very much to look, placed on the earth to be disregarded.  This man stood on the street corner and begged us to repent because the kingdom of God is at hand.  He wore a sign proclaiming that we will go to hell if we didn’t believe that he was sent by the Father.  We look at this man who is not dressed very well and call him crazy.  We laugh at him and mock him. We say that he is possessed by a devil.  Some of us hit him and beat him while others throw pennies at him.  A few may buy him a cup of coffee.  As we pass him we cover our children eyes and say don’t look at him.  His beard is long and his hair is kinky, his skin is dusty for there is absolutely nothing worth desiring from this man.  His message is lost because of how he looks.  We say if you are sent by God why aren’t you rich,  if you know God where is your power to command.  Who would believe that this man is the Son of God?

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a]and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsit is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We scoff at this homeless man, no matter what he has done in God’s name we laugh and mock him.  We try to explain away his works because we think that we are naturally good and that our goodness will count for something.  We flock to those that can promise us a good life.  We chase after wealth, health and satisfaction with this world.  The wolves call it spirituality to mask these cravings of the flesh.  We are the living dead hungering as well as coveting each others flesh, possessions and lives.  We don’t hear the homeless man’s voice because we don’t recognize it because we don’t belong to the heavenly Father.  We can’t accept that nor can we believe it because we don’t have the ability to.  So the wolves tell us that this homeless man must die so we can have peace, peace, peace with the world and its father.  So they beat him to near death and humiliate him before the world.  We join in the fun of beating this man and his blood is on our hands.  The wolves offer us a bowl of water to wash our guilt away but its to late.  We drag this man up and down the street thinking we are doing the world a favor.  We have been fooled by our sinful nature that we are doing God’s work.  During the entire time of this man’s torment, he doesn’t say a single word.

We hanging him up nailed to a cross laughing at him calling on him to produce his God, his Father in order to save him.  Again we ask him to prove himself by putting himself first and ahead of God’s will.

John 5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God[a]?

John 7:16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Even in death we believe we should be selfish.   We can’t see it but he has won.  Those that did follow him hide to save their own lives but only a few hang around.  There is one in the crowd who looks on him and sees the old testament and the new testament come together. He sees mercy and grace in one place, in one man and he is changed forever.  The sky is darkened and the earth shakes and the man that hangs is pieced in the side.  He is buried and in three days his body is missing.  He appears to those that where chosen by the Father to believe and the twelve that once hide to save themselves now lose themselves for his name sake.  Those that believed and had faith possess righteousness.  The world tried to crush them to get them to deny this man.  They were hunted and killed, yet their passion gave them life and boldness.  The world calls it a lie and we believe the world and the wolves.  All the wolves can offer is death and we gladly accept it because we love this place.  Our passions are for our flesh. The gospel of the wolves is centered on pleasing our flesh and making our lives easier to live in a covetous world.

Where is our passion for Christ?  For when we didn’t know any better Christ paid the price for sin which we didn’t have the ability to pay.  We continuously rack up the debt of sin going into bankruptcy.  But we will not come to Christ unless its on our own terms, so we wait until we are half dead.  We want to live a life of sin to the fullest. After we have indulged in our lust of the flesh we give the left overs to God.  We just don’t get it, we were dead and half way to hell.  But they tell you that you are gods?  the only “god” like creatures who are dead in sin and who are disobedience, are demons.  We pick apart God’s word looking for scriptures that benefit us, don’t we know that we are still mocking Christ!

Where is our passion for Christ?  A baby was born and lived to fulfill the law of God to give us righteousness.  Jesus then died to take away God’s wrath which was on us.  Christ did in 3 hours what would have taken us an eternity to do.  So where is your passion?  Who would willingly suffer for people who don’t care? No one, no one but God himself so the Son was born in human flesh to pay the price.  We still can’t accept Christ because to accept Christ is to say that we are wrong.  No one admits guilt even when they are guilty.  No one is born like that, that trait has to be imparted on a man by God.  So where is our passion?  But Christ took that wrath and made us acceptable to the Father so there is no accepting Christ. What we have to do is submit to Christ.  Like children we think we know everything and don’t know we need a Savior.

Colossians 1:15-19

15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,

1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

We lost our passion because to have passion for Christ is to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ (Luke 9:23…). Jesus said that this is what it means to be His disciple.  So to do this is to deny our flesh, to not be selfish and to put others ahead of us.  That takes passion for Christ.  To do this we must find our identity in the cross of Jesus,  this means dying with Him on the cross and becoming a new creature.  It mean being defined by Jesus and not things.  This kills covetousness and all of our idols that we put ahead of God.  This takes passion for Christ.  To do this we must seek after God and all of His righteousness, thus following Christ being like Him.  This means Christ is living for us and us living for Christ.  We no longer live for our own desires but the will of God. This takes true passion.  This is sanctification, this is discipleship at its finest.  This requires a daily living sacrifice something a sinner is not willing to do.  We need only to repent and turn to Christ.  He will then give us the Holy Spirit who will dwell with us, giving us passion for the Savior.

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