LIFE in the WORD (S1)

FOUNDATIONS: Why What We Believe Matters  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:00
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Live in the word, and the WORD will come ALIVE in you.

Builders understand the Importance of FOUNDATIONS...
Florida Condo Collapse — 12-story beachfront condo in Miami-Dade County built in 1981 — and had been sinking into the ground since the 1990s, according to a study conducted by a professor at Florida International University.
Jesus had a word about the significance of foundations
Matthew 7:24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”
(S2) Series
Question? What does it mean to be a Methodist — What do we believe?
The foundation of our beliefs as Christians, was defined and adopted at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, called the Nicene Creed (Apostles). Early church fathers, apologists, set out to define the foundations of our faith. What we believe about God, Jesus, life, death, resurrection, trinity...all which came from the Holy Scriptures, through the Spirit of God...
Why does what we believe matter?
If you profess to be a follower of Jesus, it’s not enough to say, “I believe,” even the demons believed, but we should know why we believe what we believe?
Covid revealed cracks in our own faith, in the church, and in our denomination, that have slowly diminished our effectiveness in bringing the redeeming love of Jesus to the world — Declining attendance, closing churches, little building disciples...
I love the UMC — they showed me Jesus
Purpose of this series is to help us to better understand what we believe and why, as a Methodist, and followers of Jesus, so we can be more effective at bringing others into a loving relationaship with Jesus.
(S3) — What we believe about...Salvation — Sin — New Birth — Grace — The Christian life — Scriptures
Our first foundation...What do we believe about the nature and authority of scripture? To discover who we are and what we believe, We have to go back to our roots — Foundations of our faith
Two problems presented in today’s scripture lesson — What Jesus said — Those who don’t believe.
“63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
Hardy’s Beginnings
This church, Hardy UMC, is the result of the movement of the SPIRIT in the HEARTS of people who loved God, followed Jesus, and passionately shared this life-giving word to others.
The same spirit who INSPIRED John Wesley, the founder of Methodism
Who was he?
English cleric, theologian, and evangelist who was a leader of a revival MOVEMENT within the Church of England known as Methodism.
1703 to Samuel and Susanna — Epworth, Lincolnshire England — Young boy — ‘A brand plucked from the burning’ — Zechariah 3:2
Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1726 and ordained as an Anglican priest two years later. At Oxford, he led the "Holy Club", a society formed for the purpose of the study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life...
After an unsuccessful ministry of two years, serving at Christ Church, in the Georgia colony of Savannah, he returned to London and on the return trip...came under the influence of the Moravian's (Zinzendorf) during a big storm — “They espoused a belief in PERSONAL SALVATION through Jesus Christ.”
John in fear, realizing he lacked assurance of his own salvation...
On 24 May 1738, he experienced what has come to be called his evangelical CONVERSION, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed". He along with his brother Charles, he received a transforming experience. On finding the doors of the churches closed to him whenever he preached ‘enthusiasm’, he began a prolific ministry preaching outdoors, especially to the working classes.
“He traveled 250,000 miles on horseback, averaging twenty miles a day for forty years; preached 4,000 sermons; produced 400 books; knew ten languages.  At eighty-three he was annoyed that he could not write more than fifteen hours a day without hurting his eyes, and at eighty-six he was ashamed he could not preach more than twice a day.”
Wesley's greatest fear...
“My fear is not that our great movement, known as the Methodists, will eventually cease to exist or one day die from the earth. My fear is that our people will become content to live without the fire, the power, the excitement, the supernatural element that makes us great.” — John Wesley
What he believed about this book? Like most Christian denominations, he believed it was the inspired word of God. “homo unius libri – a man of one book.”
Speaking of early Methodists...
“God taught them all to make his ‘Word a lantern unto their feet, and a light in all their paths.’ They had one, and only one rule of judgment with regard to all their tempers, words, and actions, namely, the oracles of God. They were one and all determined to be Bible-Christians. They were continually reproached for this very thing; some terming them in derision Bible-bigots; others Bible-moths – feeding, they said, upon the Bible as moths do upon cloth. And indeed unto this day it is their constant endeavour to think and speak as the oracles of God.”
What do you believe about the Bible?Is it a Good book? Ancient writings for another people in another time? History lesson? Wisdom? Moral Guide? Good words to live by? Is it relevant and valuable for you today?
Do you understand it as the life-giving word of God? Does it have sole authority in your life? Are you a Bible believing follower of Jesus?
“For the Christian, both creed and conduct are grounded in the Word. Scripture directs both our beliefs and our behavior, our theology and our ethics.” Robert Black and Ronald McClung, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2004), 179.
Like the apostles, the early Methodists would live and die on the WORD of God, as the living-breathing-word of God
2 Timothy 3:16All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
Wesley did not read only the Bible — Many books, but the Bible informed him of all things in life and death…Wesley believed the whole of the Bible penned by man...but through the movement of God’s Holy Spirit...
Wesley quadrilateral — Albert Outler
The “Wesleyan Quadrilateral” is best described in the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline where it states,
“Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason.”
Wesley believed the WHOLE of the Bible penned by man…but through the movement of God’s Holy Spirit…
Problems in the churches understanding of scripture and its authority for Christian living—
Buckets — Parse out scripture — Whats good for me
This Biblical foundation has been weakened by the reinterpretation in the contemporary world as to the meaning of some scriptures, because they are hard to understand.
Two problem in today’s scripture lesson that caused some to not believe and turn from Jesus — Who Jesus was, and the words he spoke
(S8) — The words he spoke (53-56)
John 6:55–56 (NLT)
55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
Very truly — Life/no life — Eternal — Rumors about followers of Jesus — Eating Flesh and blood
These words were difficult for the disciples and especially those who opposed Jesus…to hear
John 6:60 “60 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?””
Can we admit that some of scripture is a tough pill to swallow? That was meant for people in that day...
“Scripture is meant to be read literally unless it leads to absurdity”
Yet it doesn't make them not true, or not relevant for us today.
Key words — within you — remains
Through the Lord’s supper, or what was known as the passover meal, which was a common practice in Jewish faith.
“The Lord’s Supper, which is rooted in the Passover, is a pledge to a never-ending meaningful relationship with God.”
Jesus in preparing them for his death…was offering them his presence with them…eternally thorough the Spirit of God — His gift at Pentecost

RELIGION should never take precedence over RELATIONSHIP

1 Peter 2:6 “As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.””
Through my death, I will be with you always — do this in remembrance of me — my blood, my suffering, my death is for you! Because of me you can believe my words and all that God has told you...The Whole word of God reveals the character of God and who Jesus is. We either belief it ALL has meaning for us today, or it doesn’t.
(S9) — There second problem, who Jesus was
John 6:57–58 (NLT)
I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
I am…the true bread…partake of me and you will never die — Jesus was offering HIMSELF as the one to give ETERNAL life
How do we do that? Through communion…means of grace…live in the WORD. How?
John 15:4 “4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”

Live in the word, and the WORD will come ALIVE in you.

John 6:63 “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
What we BELIEVE matters…as Welsyan Methodists and followers of Jesus
“We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New testaments, reveals the word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be recieved through the Holy Spirit, given to us in Jesus, as the true rule and guide for our faith and practice.” B.O.D.para. 104
Why what we believe about God’s word to us and what Jesus said, matters.. The world will continue to try to chip away at our very FOUNDATIONS…Let Jesus be your cornerstone and the WORD of God give you the courage and the wisdom to believe in who Jesus is and what he said and did for you and me...
RELIGION should never take precedence over RELATIONSHIP — LIVE in the word, and the WORD will come ALIVE in you.
Wesley said it best...
I want to know one thing, - the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: Here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri (" a man of one book"). J.W
New years resolution — Bible Reading plan —
“I want the whole Christ for my Savior, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship and the whole world for my mission field.” J.W.
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