John 14:6 … I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; …
CLA (Sung in Yoruba) [AGL’s African Acapella/Choral week 2013]
Refrain: Betelehemu (Bethlehem)
Awa yo, a ri Baba gb’ojule (We rejoice for we have a trustworthy father)
Awa yo, a ri Baba f’eyin ti (We rejoice for we have a dependable father)
Ni bo labe Jesu? (Where was Jesus born?)
Ni bo labe bisi? (Where was he born?)
Betelehemu iluwa la, (Bethlehem, city of wonder)
Ni bo labe Baba o daju (That is where Father was born)
Inyi, inyi, furo (Praise, praise, be to Him)
Adupe fun o, jooni, (We thank you, today)
Baba olo reo (Gracious Father)
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace.”
The Father robed Himself in flesh and dwelt with us.
If Jesus were your dad…
We see kids in the church.
1) You’re like your dad.
Intentional, you can be like your dad. (Intentional on the kid’s part, intentional on the dad’s part)
2) You have your own personality (This explains how someone can go their own way even if the dad sets a course for them.)
3) Even so, something rubbed off on you. (Just by the mere fact of spending so much time together, something rubs off).
What do you think it would be like to grow up with Jesus as your Dad?
Why do we study the Word of God? Not to be ‘right’ or to win arguments. We study God’s Word to be more like our heavenly Father, more like Jesus.
The anointing, “mah-shawkh” O.T., literally means this, something rubbed off, smeared, hard to get off of you, paint, covered. So you don’t see what’s underneath, you see what’s on top. New Testament something applied.
Can we intentionally let the Holy Ghost rub off on us? Can we spend time, like osmosis, in the atmosphere of His presence? Can we spend enough time that it changes us and we become like Him? That we change our thinking so much that we think like Him?
Just like with your earthly father, ask Jesus, ‘Dad, can you help me? Can you help me to think like You do?’ He will always answer, ‘Sure, Child.’ Like hiking with friends, hanging out, we start to talk like them, act like them, walk like them, do things the way they do, even when they are not around.
1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
Let the Holy Ghost impart something to you every day and you will become like Him.
I walk like my dad. People can see that when we are together. Many of my mannerisms are the same. Something rubbed off. Some of it is genetics. I wear the same size suits basically. (His tailored suits fit me.)
How are your spiritual genetics? Were you born again? Then you can really be like Him. Born of water and Spirit (John 3:5), born into the kingdom, with the Lord Almighty as your heavenly Father. You have the potential to be just like Him because you have new Spiritual DNA.
But we spend so much time in the apostolic church on being born again. Do you know a baby can hear in the womb? I talked to my daughter a lot while she was still in my wife’s womb, and she obeyed me minutes after she was born. She recognized my voice. That’s where some of you are, in the womb, not born again yet, recognizing the voice, but you must be born again to become who you are meant to be and do the things you were meant to do. As royal as a baby in the womb can be, it will never rule if it isn’t born. The same is true for those that are in the womb spiritually, hear His voice, but need to be born of the water and Spirit! You must be born again, to enter into kingdom authority and power.
But there is more. The Bible talks a lot more about discipleship than about just being born into the family. In that context, you must be raised again!
Some had good fathers, some not so much. Let me say it again, the heart and soul of my message, either way, you must be raised again!
This is the heart and soul of my message tonight. You need to be raised again, not by your earthly father, but by your heavenly father. There is a big difference between a spoiled rotten baby prince and a responsible, mature prince who is ready to take the throne.
TBI, our church’s discipleship class, is currently Foundations, Serving, and Maturing. This will soon be re-branded, Believe, Belong, Become. What you believe changes your life, Foundations (Believe) talks about the born-again experience, habits you must have to grow as a baby in the family of Christ. Who you are after this born-again experience, how this affects your relationships with your new family members and people who have not yet been born into the family. It talks about the structure of this family. The Serving (Belong) level talks about where you belong. How you fit in with your new family, how you take the unique gifts, the time you have, your talents, abilities, and how you will use them to build up your new family. The Maturing level (Become) talks about who you become, a mature member of the Body of Christ, and how to mature.
This is foundational. I’m here to steer you down the proper path to becoming mature in Christ.
What does it look like to be ‘mature in Christ’? What changes in your life, your thinking, your believing, your habits, and your actions are needed in order for you to be ‘mature’?
To be mature is to become like your heavenly Father. He must increase, we must decrease (John 3:30). Just as we mentioned, the anointing is something smeared on, rubbed off of Him, like paint, they see this, so they must see Him on us, see more of Him and less of us. When people see us, they must see Him.
Christ-likeness is maturity. You’ll know how to use your spiritual gifts if you become like Him. You’ll know how to act in situations if you become like Him. You’ll know how to treat people, no matter how they treat you if you become like Him.
Christ means ‘anointed.’ The Spirit of God, who was the Father, rubbed off so strongly on the man who was born, that He acted just like God would have if He had taken on flesh. This is a very important point. It was so strong in Him, that He said, ‘If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father!’ (John 14:9)
Jesus GREW in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man. He spent a lot of time in fasting and prayer, so the Spirit, God’s nature, His father, would rub off on Him, and his earthly nature would be covered by His Spirit. He still had to grow as a human! Contend with his flesh. But he never sought his own human will.
What do you need to let go in order to be more like Jesus?
Luke 2:49-52 “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
The man Christ Jesus was a baby, He had to learn to walk, even though He was the very God robed in flesh, He submitted Himself to all of this, to prove a point, that flesh could become subject to the Spirit, walk blameless before the Lord, and do great things for the Kingdom. He was our example. We are to follow in the same way, to let the Spirit be greater in every way, and to GROW and INCREASE in wisdom. Knowledge is knowing some fact, wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge. In the same way, we learn to walk in His ways, one situation, one choice, one thought submitted to the Spirit at a time.
Did you notice, they should have known that He was ABOUT HIS FATHER’S business! The Father in Him was to be His identity. This baby human was to become like His Heavenly Father in every way. He had to be ‘raised again.’ Not just like his earthly father in his early carpenter ways, but to become like His heavenly father in His eternal ways.
Christian means ‘little Christ.’ Like Anthony, and Antonino, or Benjamin and Benjamino, or Charles and Charlie, add an ending and it becomes a diminutive, a nickname. Christian means ‘little anointed one,’ we become little Christs, like Christ was a man anointed by the Spirit, so we can become like Him.
We do take on the family name in baptism (born of water, there is a name applied in our baptism, Romans 6:3,4, Gal 3:26-28). When you were baptized, you were marked as under the new covenant. (Circumcised in heart; prophesied in the Old Testament, Deut 30:6 “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
Fulfilled at baptism:
Col 2:11-12 “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
This is essentially emphasizing the need again to cut off the old way you were raised, be born, and learn to walk in a new way, in a new family, new set of rules, new nature, new Father.
What is holding you back from this new way of life? Are you willing to ask Jesus to help you?
Col. 2:10 You are complete in Him.
Col 2:9 Your Heavenly Father is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.
Col 2:14,15 He blotted out any thing that was held against you, and openly made a show of principalities and powers that had laid claim to you, you are no longer theirs, you are His! All of this happened at your baptism!
New Covenant: He will teach you all things.
Jer. 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
We often think getting baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost it will solve all our problems instantly. (Maybe that’s why some people don’t stick? We’re preaching it wrong? You can start a new life vs. you’ll have it all perfect instantly like a bowl of ramen noodles, just add water?) That’s out of context. It’s like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, and having the presence of God hover over them for years in the cloud and the pillar of fire, and everything is paradise (the way we think of it). This was a form of baptism, in Jesus name (by the way), and a form (visible) of the Holy Ghost, they had the Spirit of God completely guiding them (I Cor 10:2). But that was just the beginning. There was a desert to cross, a Promised Land to conquer. Deliverance, provision, protection, healing, restoration all waiting to be acquired. They needed to grow in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man as well. The Old Testament is a history of how they did and did not fulfill this destiny.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This was a major revelation to me, a life-changing event through the Word of God. Just because I received the Spirit of God, and He was overflowing in my life (baptism of the Holy Ghost), and He knows all things, doesn’t mean all of a sudden I know all things. Just because He can do all things, and His power resides in me, doesn’t mean I can suddenly do all things. The verse says He will TEACH you all things. I was born again, a new baby in Christ. I needed to start learning to walk and do things as my Father walked.
What would God look like and act like if He showed up in the flesh? We have that answered in Jesus. And we are to become like Him, as His children.
We need to start being raised in a new way. To think like our Heavenly father thinks. Spirit and Word. Allow Him to write His law in our hearts, one at a time. He wants it in your character, not some rule book somewhere. He wants you to be like Him.
Are you willing to seek Him and trust Him to ‘raise you again’? Are you willing to be ‘raised again’ by Jesus?
He’ll correct you like a what? Like a Father.
Heb 12:5-8 “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
(You’ll be considered illegitimate, void of the inheritance, if you go your own way, people will see you, not Him!)
Heb 12:9-10 “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
Catch that last verse. Partakers of his holiness. We’ll be like Him!
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
How do your good works glorify God? Only if you are like Him! They’ll say, good job, God, you raised a pretty good kid there, he acts just like you!
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
(v44 is about loving those when they treated you unfair, persecute you, harass, victimize, slander, oppress, abuse, mistreat, torment, torture.) Why would you bless them, because God does (End of 45). Are you going to let His Spirit and Word rule you, in you? Will you become like your heavenly Father?
Study the Word of God to become like your Father.
II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Will you let Him guide you, correct you, prove it in you? (I like that, re-proof, like prove it, and then prove it again.) To become just like Him?
(John 1:1, John 1:14)
We become the Word made flesh. Just like Him.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!