We are not to be parrots. Perhaps that is obvious, but too often in the Christian life, we “parrot” our faith rather than allow the Spirit of God to indwell and direct our lives. In this teaching session I gave at the Cross Style Training Camp, I walk through Creation and the seven levels of lifeforms mentioned in Genesis 1-3 and show how trying to mimic God (which we often call “WWJD”) is no different than a parrot trying to mimic a human. We also discuss the two trees in Garden—showing how one is a picture of dependence (the life of a Christian) and the other a life of independence. Whether you listen to the episode or watch the teaching on the show notes page (which is encouraged since I use a whiteboard to teach the session), this episode will enunciate what it means to be a Christian—to live by and in the Spirit of God.
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Show Notes / Additional Resources
A video version of the teaching session: Life in the Spirit. Given at the Cross Style Conference on June 7, 2018.
Teaching Session Notes
Days of Creation
2. Sky/Water (firmaments)
3. Land, Grass, Herbs, Trees
4. Sun, Moon, Stars
5. Fish, Sea Creatures, Birds
6. Cattle, Creeping Things, Beasts, Man
7 Lifeforms in the Universe
Creation of Man
- Visible representation of the invisible
- Genesis 1:26-31
- V26 – Created in the image of God
- Dominion over all animals and plant life (v29)
- V28 – Fruitful, Multiply, Replenish, Subdue
Genesis 1:2 – And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Colossians 1:16-17 – For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
God’s Eternal Purpose: that Christ might be seen and glorified in all creation
- Genesis 2:7-9 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- Genesis 3 – ate of the TOTKOGAE
- Man chose independence – from now on he was going to choose what was good and evil
- Man was to live in dependence … upon the life given by the TOL (Jesus). God was going to tell him what was good and evil.
- Proverbs 14:12 (+ Proverbs 16:25) – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
- Judges 17:6 – In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
- 8 times in Judges it says that Israel did “evil in the sight of the Lord”
- 1 Kings 15:5 – David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
The New Beginning
- John 1:1-4 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
- John 4:10 – Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
- John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
- Jesus IS the Tree of Life!
- John 15:4-5 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [have life] of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
- John 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
- Abundantly (superlative): exceeding, more than is necessary, superadded, supremely, abundantly, much more than all, superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, more remarkable, more excellent, pre-eminence, superiority, advantage
Christ the Lamp (Dependent Upon the Father)
- Purpose of a lamp is to bring light into the house
- Jesus was plugged into the Father (through the indwelling of the Spirit) and not only created the avenue for humanity to do the same but also modeled how a man is suppose to live – plugged in, fully surrendered, and wholly dependent upon the power source (Holy Spirit).
- John 5:19 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
- John 5:30 – I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
- John 14:12 – Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
- Just as Jesus was dependent upon the Father, so too we are to be dependent upon Jesus via the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit
- We are called to live two lifeforms higher
- Not WWJD (What would Jesus do?)– would be like a parrot thinking he can mimic humans just because he can say a few words. This is not mimicking but a change of life
- Jesus: WWFD (What would the Father do?)? No!
- Us: WWJD? No!
Ian Thomas – It takes God to be a man! Man, that is, as God intended man to be! God created man to be inhabited by God for God! (from The Mystery of Godliness, 186)
- Illustrations: Glove, Dancing
- Dependency is not about inactivity but a change of source (nature)
- Self-Sourcing is Sin
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About NRJohnson & the deeperChristian Podcast
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
The Deeper Christian Podcast is the podcast to help you study God’s Word, know Jesus intimately, and discover how you can build your life around Jesus Christ. This weekly audio program, hosted by NRJohnson, dives into Scripture and encourages Christians to keep their focus upon Jesus Christ—equipping believers in how to study the Bible and know God’s Word, grow in their spiritual lives, and change the world. Main discussion topics center around practical advice on Christian living, Bible study, prayer, the Gospel, freedom from sin, evangelism and how to share your faith, the Christian disciplines, and the lives and messages from the Christian heroes from yesteryear such as A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, Major Ian Thomas, Oswald Chambers, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, C.T. Studd, George Müller, Andrew Murray, Leonard Ravenhill, E.M. Bounds, and others. Learn more about the deeper Christian life.