Purpose & Process – Part 3

“PURPOSE & PROCESS – Part 3”

INTRO: God’s ultimate purpose for mankind is that we be conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29). God uses our circumstances, regardless of their source, to bring about His purpose of conforming us into Christ’s image (Rom. 8:28; James 1:2-5).

I. YOUR EMPLOYEES (2Cor. 4:16-18).

  1. When your outward man takes a hit, your inward man can still be growing daily in Christlikeness (2Cor. 4:16).
  2. Your afflictions work for you (they’re your employees!) to help you become more Christlike (2Cor. 4:17).
  3. Focus more on the unseen eternal realm than the seen temporal realm (2Cor. 4:18).

II. THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS – He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8-9).

  1. Should we expect to learn obedience without suffering?
  2. The greater the calling, the greater the process!

III. THE PRUNING PROCESS (John 15:1-2).

  1. Involves God removing fruitless branches.
    1. Do you have any fruitless branches wasting resources?
  2. Involves pruning back fruitful branches so they can bear even more fruit.
  3. You are just as much in the will of God when being pruned as you are when you’re bearing fruit!

IV. THE CHASTENING PROCESS (Heb. 12:3-13).

  1. What Jesus endured vs. what you’ve endured (vv. 3-4).
  2. Only beloved children of God are disciplined (vv. 5, 7-10)!
  3. The purpose is not punishment, but maturity (v. 10b).
  4. The chastening process can be painful, but in the end produces maturity or Christlikeness (v. 11; Gal. 2:20).
  5. Buck up – encourage yourself (v. 12)!
  6. Live right – remove the obstacles to right living (v. 13).

V. MARRIAGE, PARENTING & THE CONFORMING PROCESS.

  1. Marriage and parenting provide numerous opportunities to be further conformed to the image of Jesus!

CONCLUSION: Are you cooperating with the process?