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The Presence of Christ as the Means of Growth

Summary of the Message
The very presence of Christ is the source and aim of our Christian growth, and in all the activities and practices he has called us into, what are often called sacraments, Christ is present in them. That presence in our lives is most expressed in Christ’s Lordship in our lives.
Key Sermon Points
1. We have RECEIVED Christ Jesus
Receiving Christ is not about something that we affirm or believe but is about a relationship with the living Christ. Christ dwells within each of us and among all of us in the church and so he participates in all the things we do in his name, e.g., when we read and hear his word, when we pray, when we take the Lord’s Supper, when we serve one another and serve our neighbors, Christ is present.
2. We have received Christ Jesus as LORD
Though we focus often on Christ being our savior, we don’t reflect nearly as much on his being our Lord. Our lives, even our bodies, do not belong to us they belong to Christ; we have been bought with a price. One way we can think about Christ being our Lord is through our practical allegiance or loyalty to him. Saving faith can be thought of as trust + allegiance, we trust in Christ for our salvation and we give our allegiance to him and his ways for my life as my Lord.
3. Therefore, we should continue to live our lives in Christ
We must resist the culture’s attempt to redefine our faith, its emphasis on self-rights and avoidance of difficulties, and instead continue to live our lives within the presence of Christ and the Lordship that brings. We maintain this even in the face of life’s many challenges.
Discussion Questions
  1. Have you felt the presence of Christ when you are gathered with God's people? In what ways?
  2. Do you see how practical loyalty to Christ is a major part of faith? Where do you struggle with maintaining loyalty to Jesus?
  3. What changes do you see that you should personally or the church corporately make so we can continue to live our lives in Christ?
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