Really Living

John 17:3, 11

May 3rd and 4th, 2008


            “And this is eternal life, that they know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent…..And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one.”


            In most messages there are a few points, and hopefully those points   are reinforced in the sermon.  However, this evening/morning I’m going to take a different approach.  While there is an overarching theme “Really Living” based on two verses of John 17 (see above), in this message there are nine aspects of “Really Living” based upon what the 8th graders chose for their confirmation verses.   Our theme verse says that really living is based on eternal life, which isn’t just a future reality but a present reality for those who confess Christ   this morning these nine students are saying to the world “Really Living” is found being connected to Jesus and all he has taught.  Really Living can also be seen in relationship with fellow believers in the Church.      The last part of this verse is saying to each other, the church, and the world that followers of Jesus are to remain as one.  

            The first verse was chosen by Dorothee Belli  3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.[1] 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. In this verse we see that “Battle for Life.”    Sometimes we think that faith in Christ is merely one good thing out of many, that simply is needed to bring balance to our life.     It is not just one good thing among many rather it is a necessary thing, and the Devil while defeated will do everything he can to rest this faith from us.  However, we have weapons like the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6), which is the Word of God.  Our weapons against the devil and the world and our flesh are Words, promises, body, and blood of our Savior.  They look rather weak, but as this verse says these weapons demolish strongholds.

            The second verse from Romans 14:8 shows us that we have meaning in life. “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we died to the Lord.  So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord”.   Our meaning comes from being connected.  Many people make poor choices in life because they sense they are disconnected from anyone.     This verse reminds us that we have meaning now and in eternity because we belong.   We belong because Christ has made a claim upon each of his own in his resurrection promises afforded to us in baptism.   He reminds us we belong every time we hear his words of promise and his words of life.  

            Deidre’s verse shows us the “Power for Life”.   “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes Romans 1:16.”  Here the word for power literally means the “dynamite of God”.  The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has already covered your sin.  It is the good news that ultimately God is not against you but for you.  The wonderful thing about the weekly worship service is that the gospel is expressed in song, word, meal, and message on a regular basis.  While it may not seem rather hum drum, don’t underestimate the power.  As you and I sense our limitations, remember you are really and deeply loved by the Lord God Almighty through Jesus Christ.  This is a powerful message.  .

            Mica’s verse shows that to “really live” is to have “Grace for Life” 25 When the disciples heard this; they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [2] Matthew 19:25-26

            Jesus had just told them the story of the rich man who wanted to know what he must do to earn eternal life.  He thought he had kept the commandments all his life, but Jesus asked him to sell all he had and give to the poor. He was unwilling, and then Jesus said “I tell you it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  This stunned the disciples and they were cut to the heart.  Who then can be saved?, they asked.    This rich man and the disciples were working with a system of doings, and Jesus then takes them another direction.  With man salvation based on what we do or at least what we think we can do.  God says it is based on perfection, nothing more, and nothing less.  The Grace is that God has sent Jesus who is perfect in our place.  The question is now turned to statement.  No longer is it what must I do to be saved, but rather what has Christ done on my behalf.  Perfection based on what God desires of us is frankly impossible.  The sooner we recognize this fact, the better we are.    However, grace says that what is impossible for us, God has in fact done in Jesus Christ.

            Kailee Kellerman’s verse conveys “Help for Life”.  “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15).  The God in who grants us meaning, power, and grace for life, is also a God who comes to our help.  In the meaning of the second commandment we learn that we are to use and not abuse his name.  What does using it look like?  We call upon it by praying, praising, and giving thanks.  Our God provides for our daily needs, and seeks us to call upon his Holy and precious name.   Our Savior himself is the one who says “Come unto me all you who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest”.  God is in the business of coming to the aid of his people.   This verse also assumes that God’s people will have trouble.  Christian men and women are not immune to that.  This verse shows us in trouble we have the great privilege of calling on his name, and he will deliver us. 

             Ben’s verse shows us that to really live is “to have confidence for life”.  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13)    Just prior to this verse Paul writes that he has learned the secret of being content whether he has plenty or very little.  This contentment can bring about confidence when we are faced with seemingly impossible tasks in front of us.  It doesn’t mean that if I want to be an NBA basketball player tomorrow Christ will give me to the strength to do that.  Rather in any and all situations, we can be confident that God will provide what is needed.  Just as he has in the past, he will do so in the future.

            Austin’s verse reminds us the “High Stakes of Life”.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).   The stakes are not nearly as big when your practice tight rope walking on a foot high rope verses 75 foot height.   Here it is very clear that the wages, the result, the payment for sin is death.  By death he doesn’t merely mean annihilation, but rather everlasting condemnation, hell itself.  This is what we have coming to ourselves, whether we like to hear it or not.  That is the sad state of affairs for humanity, yet God’s solution is much greater than the dilemma.  The gift, the no strings attached gift, is everlasting life.  You talk about swinging from one extreme to another. 


            Morgan’s verse “talks about the grip of life”.  27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28.    Here we see that for sheep that listen to the voice of the gospel, and trust that they are forgiven, Jesus Christ has a firm grip.   Sometimes you may wonder, "Would I be able to stay connected to God should I face a tragedy or persecution"?
What happens if I face my own personal physical or mental crisis?   Oh, folks don’t underestimate that grip Jesus has on his sheep.  While there are dangers all around, when he grabs you with the gospel, he is determined not to let go. 

Finally we have Jordan’s verse which shows us the look of life “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.[3] Ephesians 1:4”  Here, the looking is from God’s perspective and not from ours.    Did you know that he loves you and I so much, he called us before the creation of the world itself to be   holy and blameless in his sight.  Are we that way now?   From our perspective even as believers we would have to say no.     However, our “look of life” comes through faith in Jesus who declares us to be holy and blameless in his sight.  This does not mean that God through the lense of Jesus.   In him we are holy and blameless.  Our “Look of Life” our significance does not come from we think about ourselves, what our friends think of us, what your parents or grandparents think, but totally and completely what Jesus thinks.  Holy and blameless.

Real living is found being connected to Jesus, and this connection to him and the church you are stating out loud this morning.  To God be the Glory.  Amen.     



















[1]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

[2]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

[3]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.