Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXIII: Applying The Truth That Believers Have A Heavenly Association
  1. Introduction
    1. God wants us who trust in Christ to be MOTIVATED to live uprightly, Ephesians 4:1-3.
    2. However, we face strong spiritual opposition to being thus MOTIVATED: (1) the world system lures us to love it versus loving God, (2) Satan and false teachers imply we should distrust Christ and His truths in an effort to discourage us from heeding Scripture (Gen. 3:1-6) and (3) our sin natures equip us to heed the lures and deceptions of the world and the devil, urging us to become UNMOTIVATED to live uprightly.
    3. An antidote to such spiritually DEMORALIZING influences is found in focusing on our heavenly association, one of the 33 positions we possess when we trust in Christ, Lewis S. Chafer, Syst. Theol., vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 254-257. We view that positional truth to find Biblical motivation to live rightly in the face of pressures to the contrary from the world system, the sin nature and the devil (as follows):
  2. Applying The Truth That Believers Have A Heavenly Association.
    1. As the believer realizes he is a partner with Christ in his spiritual life, he is MOTIVATED to live rightly:
      1. Opposite false teaching, 1 John 5:11-12 claims a believer's eternal life is tied to Christ's life, B.K.C., N.T., p. 902. Colossians 3:4 states Christ IS our life in contrast to false teaching, cf. Col. 2:8, 16-19!
      2. Hence, the believer should live righteously for Christ not only because His teachings are true, but since just opposite false teachings and its fallout, his eternal life is intimately tied up with Christ's own life!
    2. As the believer sees he is a partner with Christ in heavenly position, he is MOTIVATED to live rightly:
      1. Opposite the pagan origin of Paul's Ephesian readers, he taught they were spiritually positioned in Christ on His heavenly throne, a place of enormous honor and glory, Ephesians 2:6.
      2. It only follows that we should be highly motivated to live rightly in accord with such a lofty position!
    3. As the believer grasps that he is a partner with Christ in service, he is MOTIVATED to serve God rightly:
      1. 1 Corinthians 1:9 informs us that believers are called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ.
      2. Then, opposite false teaching that denied the resurrection, 1 Cor. 15:58 claims our present work for God is not vain, for our 1 Cor. 1:9 fellowship with the risen Christ of 1 Corinthians 15 makes us His partner in service so that what service we believers perform in this life for God is of eternal value.
      3. Thus, we should be highly motivated to do God's service because of its rewarding eternal results!
    4. As the believer admits he is a partner with Christ in suffering, he is MOTIVATED to suffer righteously:
      1. 1 Peter 4:12-13 with Phil. 1:29 and Acts 9:4, 16 et al. show believers are assigned to suffer in partnership with Christ in a unique, spiritual bond.
      2. Thus, we are obliged to be highly motivated to suffer for doing good and not evil, 1 Peter 4:15-16.
    5. As the believer notes he is a partner with Christ in prayer, he is MOTIVATED to pray in God's will:
      1. John 14:12-14 predicts how a believer will accomplish much by praying in Christ's name.
      2. Realizing this fact leads us to be highly motivated to pray for productive service, 1 John 3:22; 5:14-15.
    6. As the believer perceives he is a partner with Christ in betrothal, he is MOTIVATED to live righteously:
      1. Every believer is part of Christ's Bride, the Church, and this Bride will be wed to Christ so that, at Christ's Second Coming, the believer's service record will be seen by all, Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 19:7-9.
      2. Realizing this fact highly motivates the believer to live righteously in light of this future exposition!
    7. As the believer understands he is a partner with Christ in future expectation, he is MOTIVATED to live righteously for the reward of coming blessings rather than for this lost world's vanity (1 John 2:17a):
      1. The "blessed hope" of the rapture mentioned in Titus 2:13 and Christ's own expectation of the future culmination of all things that is revealed in Hebrews 10:13 both exist in Scripture contexts where believers need motivation to live uprightly, cf. Titus 1:10-12; 2:11-13; 3:14 and Hebrews 10:35-39.
      2. Thus, focusing on our future expectation of glory and reward with Christ motivates us to live rightly!
Lesson: As we believers focus on our heavenly association with Christ, we find MOTIVATION to LIVE RIGHTLY OPPOSITE false ideas or lures that deny God's truths and imply it is futile to do so!

Application: May we FOCUS on the many TRUE, GREAT facets of our HEAVENLY ASSOCIATION with Christ to OFFSET the DEBILITATING views of the world, the sin nature and the devil that imply that Christ and Scripture are FALSE or that it is FUTILE to live righteously for God!