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Jesus Unfiltered - Follow - What's it Mean to Follow Jesus?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2022 6:00 am

Jesus Unfiltered - Follow - What's it Mean to Follow Jesus?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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April 26, 2022 6:00 am

You’ve probably heard people say that they are a follower of Jesus. Well, what does that really mean? How do you know if you are truly following Jesus? Chip explains that genuinely following Jesus is the most important decision you’ll ever make because it will literally set the course for your entire life.

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You probably heard a lot of people say I'm a follower of Jesus or I'm a Christian.

What is that really mean and how do you know for sure you're really following Jesus. One answer that is today welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disable Christian Bible to go out and ask 10 people to follow Jesus are likely to get 10 different answers in this program she goes right to the source.

In John chapter, Jesus takes to follow if you're looking for more practical guidance stopping stick around after his message for some additional thoughts from ship what you have your Bible handy. Let's dive right in John chapter 9 opens with the story of a blind man and very destructively.

He's blind from birth we know it's not his fault or his parents fault, but it's a very special miracle because God will be glorified as you read later in that story, you'll find that some people can't even believe it's the same man. They even bring his parents in and they testify they cross-examined him twice because I think maybe he's lying. And at the heart of that is Jesus, opens his eyes and does a messianic miracle. Now you'll never understand the real meaning of that man who is blind into you go back to chapter 8 and find out that it came after the most intense and unique conflict up-to-date that we find in Jesus life that I mean there was a point in time where they were ready to kill him. They were ready to stone him.

He's going to say something about himself. They're going to have this dialogue.

This debate where the issues of his calling and his claims against the religious establishment will be so intense that they will be blind in what you just listen to is Jesus helping them understand there's some people in the world that are physically blind and he can make them see in their some people he can see and they think they're not blind but they are to ask you to open up your notes because we can talk about what it means what it really means to follow Jesus and I want to suggest, as we come to get our arms around that that everybody in life.

Everybody follows something or someone mean some people are very I mean intentional about it. Very conscious.

Other people were very unconscious, but they just don't know that there following someone. There's probably 100 different ways people follow things that I put a six down here that just seems see if these don't ring a bell with you.

Some people follow in the footsteps of their family.

I know a family that if you're born in this family, son, grandson, I'm if you're born of this family, the personal life is you going to this family business. You go to this college you will live geographically near mom dad grandfather great-grandmother mean the whole world revolves around Christmas's are always at this house Thanksgiving or on the everything in the world revolves around the family that's kind of their there like that's what gives them perspective. That's what really matters more than anything else, got a second is some people follow a philosophy of life that I have a friend who is a excellent businessman and I'm always talking him. But you know if you read the Bible much. I have been reading it not as much as I know you want me to unit intimacy with God. I'll talk with him about that is legit. Here's my philosophy. The golden rule just I just do the other people the way I want them to do to me and he does he's he's got more integrity than like anyone I've ever met. He's kind he's generous with his us were like you what you just follow that rule and I have another friend from my days in Santa Cruz and his entire philosophy of life. I would talk deeply. A lot of occasions was one word said so what you mean what you want to do what's whatever series whatever uploading whatever he says.

I mean whatever discount to go with the flow.

Whatever happens, and then I'm skinny, third is I find some people follow religious leader, a spiritual path you know Nina is the Dalai Lama or this new age teacher or someone with some enlightened way and if they follow that path. But light always promises is direction perspective and it's going to deliver the life that you really want 1/4 is some people follow. I just their own intuition there there sorta eclectic. They sort of just pull from the salad bar of philosophy in life than parents and families it but basically I got it, you know, I just cannot figure out.

I think I know that's what's best for me and you asking what you base that on me. I just my intuition on in my gut.

That's good for you, whatever that is, whatever it is with anyone. This is what I think is best for some people just follow with popular I mean if everyone's kids are doing this their kids doing this if you start the kids at this age of this age.

That's what they do. If the Internet and everyone says you know this is what you need to eat. They all eat that any whatever the fads where the you know they just follow the crowd and whatever is, popular, their disorder have a world is like like like retweet you know and and finally there's some who follow what what I just call a formula for success.

This was this is how I grew up and it goes something like this. Education is paramount. Work hard, practice get disciplined be an overachiever over prepare, get in the best schools get a good paying job and wealth and success will make you very happy and so in each one of these. Here's all I want to say is that all of us.

I call this people's personal light but this is their perspective that even if they don't know if this is their perspective.

It light promises fulfillment light promises living this way provides values a process of filter interpretation and so there on a path following one of these. Or maybe 10 or 15 or 30 others as I thought to be kind of fun.

Since we all follow something or someone to just probe a little bit together and find out what you follow and what I following so I have three questions for you ready for temple without question number one is who or what do you think you follow if I really can't push in just person becomes one who or what do you think you really follow that this, that the direction for my life decisions.

What really matters why I say yes why say no okay this second question, and I mess with the here just a little bit, but it's because I care who or what does your time, money and energy reveal. You follow can see I have this weird thing that happens is mentally and I don't think I'm being honest. This is what I think I follow is really important, but when I look at my time or my energy or my money for some if we just looked at you know, sir, your whole who are the people that you follow on Twitter if we could go through all where all the buttons that you push like or where you retweet it to you.

Follow or which of the Ted talks are like your top five right and I mean does it say on our little devices everywhere follow. You can follow us by this this this this coming that tells a lot about what you're interested in where our passions are, so my time and my money really reveal who I really follow instead of who I think I follow in the last question is why would anyone follow Jesus Christ. Why would any disease, he would he say if any mental follow me deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.

Why should we.

Why should they, and in John chapter 8 beginning at verse 12. He answers that question, but he answers it for them and he really answers it for us. So what you see is a context in which she says some very radical things, then you have some content which is a fierce debate and it comes to a climax. Here's the contact numbers. Here's what's happening sister that you are there so you can get what's happening member.

There's the feast of Tabernacles people been camping out the maybes lean to's and they're all over the place on top houses and you know kids think it's camping out. There's all this food there's all these parties is all this dancing there's remembering all those 40 years in the wilderness is just great. And then there's the feast of Tabernacles is also called the feast of lights and so there's this whole section called the women's court where the treasury is in the next.

It is the temple area is called the holy place where the actual sacrifices and things are brought in and then there's the holy of holies.

And so Jesus after the feast of lights and if you remember that in this area. This courtyard is quite large, there were like before candelabras that were like 75 200 and some feet that was huge with a slight it would remind them of member when the children of Israel the light the fire above it would move than they would move in the cloud by day and so Jesus has said, you know the water out of the rock, that's me, and now he says literally, grammatically, he says I am in the emphatic position the light of the world, not a light. I am the light of the world. If any man. If anyone follows me. You'll never walk in darkness, but you will have or possess the light of life. I mean it's radical so they been thinking about all of God's history.

It's in the very place where all these big candelabras were with the lights. It's all over, and he comes out at dawn we've already seen the scene with the woman caught in adultery and then makes us outrageous statement. It's a promise. It's a declaration I am you want to follow someone, I am the light of the world promise if you follow me, and by the words in the present participle. If you continue to follow me, you will never walk in darkness, but instead you have the light of life. Now in about six months. He's gonna go to the cross.

A lot of times he's done lots of ministry in rural areas and long time to heal someone or does a miracle assist please don't tell anybody meet with you just please, just like go to the priest and get this in care of his every time you tell someone thousands of people make my life impossible to continue my ministry, but he's done was sort of the secret Messiah ship, he is now in Jerusalem at the place of the tabernacle.

He's going public and he's declared, I'm the light of the world that the Pharisees are like going nuts and the religious leaders now in effect when the second the Jewish law says that the testimony one person is invalid.

We need the testimony of two, so now they going to go into this big debate about why. In fact, what he saying can't be true. You'll notice on your notes after his declaration. The Pharisees challenged Jesus credibility in verses 13 through 20. Follow along. Here you are appearing. Verse 13 the Pharisees challenged him witnessing a testimony is not valid.

The witness of one Jesus answered, even if I testify my own behalf. My testimony is valid for I know where I came from and where I'm going, but you have no idea where I came from or where I'm going you judge by human standards, high pass judgment on no one but if I do judge, my judgments are right because I'm not alone. I stand with the father who sent me in your own load is written at the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself. My other witness is the one who sent me.

The father he speaking of God the father. Then they ask him where is your father and by the way, this is probably a dig.

There is many rumors about Jesus by now they're trying to cutting down every way possible and the rumors are.

He's the pastor's son of Mary, who got pregnant by someone else before she married Joseph where is your father I'm in your real father and the Jesus responds you do not know my father if you knew me you would know my father also. He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area in the place where the offerings were put where we just described. Yet no one sees Tim because his time and not yet come not verse 21.

There's a shift in verse 21 he said look I have credibility. I have two witnesses, there's me, there's the father you you guys we been through a lot.

You don't have a clue of who I really am, and that's why you have no spiritual perception. And now he's going to take it to the next level and noticing your notes the next section he warns of the consequences of unbelief means can be very direct and say to them the consequences of your continued unbelief. You won't even look at the facts. He said earlier. He said if you don't believe my words, at least, believe the works of the miracles that I've done. He's going to say in this section because of their unbelief still die and their sin. He's going to say that the only time don't ever realize who he really was, is, after the cross and the resurrection. And then you got a notice in the very last verse. There's one group of people who actually believe because he there's about 15 of the steps that lead up in the Levites, they would, they would say Psalm on each step and it was in a lot of pageantry and those fees will now it was Dawn and so you got a crowd of people listening to him and then you have this group who's really wanting to kill him and get rid of him and see you got this mixed group, but now he's talking to the religious leaders, but a lot of people are listening and going. What I mean.

This would be heated. Don't don't think like a presidential debate with the senator from Illinois you have the 2.4 minutes. Would you like to make a statement thank you very much of it, you know, and that mean and now the next question goes to this vein popping if you ever been to Israel or downtown New York right and you watch culturally Jewish people talk to one another when they're kinda ticked off and pretty animated. I mean when they're not ticked off and not animated that Juridical years in a right and this is what's going on This is intensity with a capital I. So here's what happens.

Notice verse 21 once more Jesus said to them, I'm going away and you will look for me and you will die in your sin that's pretty radical where I go you cannot come. This made the Jews ask will you kill himself. Is that why says where he goes, we can come but he continued now is trying to help them see you are from below. I am from above.

You are of this world. I'm not of this world. I told you he just remind you is being directed being clear I told you that you would die in your sins. If you will not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins, who argue they ask just what I've been claiming to be all along. Jesus replied I much to say and judgment of you but he who sent me is reliable and what I've heard from him. I tell the world they didn't understand that he was telling them about his father. So Jesus said when you lifted up.

John always uses this phrase for the cross and the resurrection. Later when you lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am and I do nothing on my own but speak just what the father has taught me the one who sent me is with me is not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him. And then this little sidebar even as he spoke. Many people put their faith in him.

Now it's interesting because you give can imagine this crowd.

It seems now, he takes his attention and speaks to those people who believed in him were not sure whether they have partial belief or they have full belief or whether he's the Messiah, but he's going to just he's going to now say look, let me give you the acid test of discipleship. If you really want to be a follower.

This isn't just an intellectual belief, so there's this mixed group of you know, there's a hostility debate going over here this people to believed over here and so verse 31, almost to the end of the chapter, I want to tell you in advance what is in a say as I read I want you to catch it.

First thing is gonna say is that if you obey my word, it will result in freedom a talk at the acid test of discipleship is you have to obey my word. This is intellectually believing something about me.

This is about relational and obedient.

Second, he's gonna say if you love me and by the way, don't think of love is just illegally feeling but if you love me have very personal alignment. If I am your light and the alignment of your life, then the result is you hear God's voice, you would hear God speaking to you and the third thing is gonna teach him is that if you keep my word. You'll never die. If you keep my word essays essay the acid test of discipleship has had to do with just an intellectual belief that it will be a belief that leads to a following where the focus of your life centers around this man who now claims to be the Messiah, the son of God and later one with the father cc if you don't see it pick up in verse 31. Imagine the picture in your mind to the Jews who would believe him.

Jesus said if you hold or literally abide in my teaching, you are really my disciples.

Then one of the truth and the truth will set you free.

And so you speaking this group will that last line, got when you set us free.

You think you are the answer.

Him we are Abraham's descendents and we have never been slaves of anyone have a very short memory. Egypt, Persians, Rome okay but you know what they're saying.

Basically there pretty independent group and how can you say that we shall be set free. Jesus that I tell you the truth. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin no slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the sun sets you free, you be free indeed. I know you're Abraham's descendents you're ready to kill me because you have no room for my word in your heart. I am telling you what, listen to this phrase I am telling you what I've seen in the father's presence and you do what you have heard from your father.

Me, I mean there's no holds barred. There's no like a wonder who he really is. Abraham as our father answered one of Abraham is your father or your children of Abraham. Jesus said then you would do the things Abraham did as it is you determined to kill me man is told you the truth that I heard from God.

Abraham didn't do such things you are doing the things your own father does. We are not illegitimate children.

They protested the only father we have is God himself. Jesus said to them, if God were your father you would love me for I came from God, and now I'm here. I'm not, my own, but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you because you are unable to hear what I say you belong to your father coming. Imagine this in their face the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him when he lightly speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet I tell you the truth, you do not believe me. Can any of you prove me guilty of sin, I mean this is just like I mean, this is you can't say these people are the stewards of God's word. These are the religious leaders. These people that know more of their Bible of their day than anyone. These people keep all the rules. These are the people in authority. And Jesus said your father is a devil. You're trying to kill me because you're a murder in your liars and by the way test case.

All right. Can any of you I've been around three years I've done all this in public. Can anyone of you have one person that is one testimony that I sent minute it's it's an amazing confrontation and I can't find telling the truth.

Why don't you believe me he who belongs. Listen to this to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God cannot just interject this the most dangerous place to be spiritually in all the world is to be blind but think you can see see blind people that think their blind are looking for light blind people think they can see they've already got the like. The reason you can't hear it because you do not belong to God. The religious there knowledgeable their morally pretty upright. The Jews answered him, are we right now and saying your Samaritan, a demon possessed your accusing us the religious leaders of the day. I'm not demon possessed.

Jesus said, but I honor my father and you dishonor me. I'm not seeking glory for myself, but there is one who seeks it and he is the judge I tell you the truth if any man keeps my word he will never die me another cute what you never sent.

If any man keeps my word, you'll never die at this the Jesus I now we know that your demon possessed.

Abraham died and so did the prophets that you say. If a man keeps your word. He will never die. Are you greater than our father Abraham. He died and so did the prophets, who do you think you are. Jesus replied I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My father, whom you claim as your God is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him.

I know if I said I didn't know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Notice he he's modeling how he follows. I do what pleases him.

I keep his word. I do his will.

Your father Abraham. This is this is where it got really off the charts. This is the climax your father Abraham rejoiced notice past tense at the thought of seeing my day and he saw it and was glad. You know they're just I'm either baffled you're not yet 50 years old and you said and you have seen Abraham 50 years old.

If you are a Levite, a priest or rabbi at age 50 was automatic retirement. So they basically think you're not even retired.

You're like 30 years old or so and you're saying you've already seen Abraham I tell you the truth, Jesus answered before Abraham was born, I am not I was. I just been listening to the first part of this message. What's it mean to follow Jesus, which is from the second volume of his Jesus unfiltered series titled follow. When Jesus called his disciples used to simple words follow me about phrases since change the lives of countless people throughout history.

So what is it look like to follow Jesus today. In the second volume of trip series Jesus unfiltered were continuing our study of the Gospel of John in chapter 6 through 10 sheepdogs into topics like living without shame. Understanding the miraculous and finding true contentment and how those subjects relate to the practice of following Jesus, you're not going to miss a single program for complete information about our resources or to check out the other volumes of our Jesus unfiltered series is app listeners Special offers chip. I love the challenge you're asking us to wrestle with this message. What is it mean to follow Jesus. So to bring some clarity. I know we've created a great tool that identifies common misconceptions about following Christ then corrects them with Scripture you take a minute and tells more about this resource what's being challenged. Here is what we believe me, Jesus has come to explain the father and yet the culture of the world, my flesh, the enemy is constantly bombarding my mind and my heart with lies. As I went back through and I take the key truth out of each chapter as we call these truth cards. Let me give you an example. Here's a lie in private moments, I sometimes have thoughts that make me question my faith did these doubts.

Her thoughts mean that I don't really believe in Jesus and then at the bottom that card it says stop and back. There's a stop sign there and then we flipped the card over and it says everyone has doubts from time to time. We are bombarded by lies from the enemy, but the historical fact of Jesus resurrection, not my feelings on any given day is the basis of my faith and then right under that I have the core passage out of John chapter 20 is a what we would love to do is put these in your hands so you can just review my time doing it at night before I go to bed not trying even to memorize just pondering and thinking and doing three or four or five cards you do. A few of those before you go to bed. It goes into your subconscious mind. It's amazing how your mind is renewed because what we all know what did Jesus promise in John chapter 8 you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.

I hope you order set of these cards for you and maybe someone you love as well. Fixture also order these truth cards go to or call us at AAA 333-6003 there are 21 cards in this set, each with a common lie or spiritual battle we all face on one side and a Scripture passage from the Gospel of John, on the other.

Our prayer is that you will use these cards to renew your mind with the truth of God's word. Let me encourage you to get a set for yourself, and then maybe another one or two for those in your life again to order your truth cards call AAA 333-6003 or go to that's AAA 333-6003 or go to app listeners tap special offers over that ship. Let's get to that application. You promised thanks Dave, you know, as I started the teaching out today. I said that everyone, whether were conscious of it or not we follow something or someone. I am mean that the wisest man of the world, said there is a way literally. There is a path that every person is on that seems right to them. You know I think when Jesus was speaking to these Pharisees and was telling the truth and who he wasn't sharing the opportunity what they could have. I think some of them I think they got while could all of my thinking about God be wrong. I think others probably just sitting. This is young rabbi. What seen when you know we went to the official schools and you know where the people that had the truth and you know there's some people that after that encounter with Jesus, their life changed. Not just for the better but eternally they responded to the truth. They came to the point and they said you know this path of how I'm living how I'm working in my singleness how I'm treating my wife this path of how I'm treating my kids this path of what I'm putting into my mind. What I'm putting into my body. This path is bringing me death. And you know it takes a lot of courage takes a lot of courage to admit the path you're on is wrong. When I want you to know today. There's a path and the path is Jesus and you don't have to live the same way could I encourage you to just read the book of John, with eyes open and heart open and say Lord reveal yourself to me in a fresh way, there's a new path is the path of life. Take it just before we close.

I want to thank each of you was making this program possible through your generous giving 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. A few phone chips teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team. Would you consider doing that today to donate. Just go to tap donate on the app or give us a call at AAA 333-6003, let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do well for chip and the whole team has a Savior we say thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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