Sermon:  Without Him I Could Do Nothing

Summary:  Without God, we are powerless, defenseless, and helpless.  God adopted 
us and became our Father, giving us the ability to grow in our desire to serve him, 
and the power to serve him.  In order to do this, we need to fully submit to his direction 
in life.

Know:  Salvation is not an "object," but a restored relationship with God.  It is a 
relationship we need to invest in or we may wander away from God

Feel:  A desire to grow closer to God, and a sense of gratitude for what he gave to 
make our relationship with him possible

Do:  Reflect on God's part in your relationship to him.  Evaluate how your attitude of 
dependence or independence in God is reflected in your actions.  Formulate a plan 
from which to draw inner strength from God instead of from something else.

Text:  Phil 2:12-13

Scripture Reading:  Hab. 3:19

1.  Team Hoyt
	a.  Rick Hoyt umbilical cord wrapped around neck, brain damage
		- Cannot walk, use hands, or talk
		- Doctors told Dick, the father to put him in an institution
		- Dick could see in his sons eyes that his son was intelligent
	b.  Dick took him to Tufts University and eventually got a special computer
		- By tapping a button with the side of his head, Rick could type out 
		  words and communicate
		- Rick graduated High School and later got a degree in Special 
		  Education from Boston College
	c.  One day during basketball game, Rick heard about benefit run for an 
	     injured athlete
		- Typed out to his Dad that he wanted to do that
		- Dad pushed in in the 5 mile race, and that is how it all started
		- They have run marathons, triathlons, and ran across the country
	d.  Rick cannot race without his Dad, and Dad will not race without his son
		- Dick tells people that he has become his son's arms and legs
		- You can see a video on my blog - 
2.  Reminded me of our relationship with God
	a.  We cannot run the race on our own
	b.  God gives us the means we need in order to run and win the race
3.  Text - Phil 2:12-13
	a.  Work out our own salvation
	b.  We need to do so with the right attitude
	c.  The right attitude is fear and trembling - humility
	d.  Why?  It is God who is at work in us.  How?  Ways --

I.  God gives me the will (Phil 2:12-13)
	A.  To "will" and to work in us
		1.  This is talking about the desire we have
		2.  We are so corrupt, that even our desire is affected by sin
		3.  We can't even have the "will" to serve him without him
	B.  Paul describes his own inner transformation
		1.  He often uses the language of death and rebirth
			a.  Phil 3:10 - Conformed to his death
			b.  Phil 15:31 - I die daily
			c.  Gal 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ
			d.  Rom 12:1 - Offer self a living sacrifice
		2.  In baptism, Paul also uses death and resurrection language
			a.  Rom 6 - Baptized into death
			b.  Col 3 - Raised up with Christ, old man put to death
		3.  Why all of this death language?
			a.  Like difference in commitment between pig and chicken
				-  Chicken offers up some eggs and goes on its way
				-  Pig is completely committed
			b.  Death is a complete commitment
	C.  ILL:  Memorials in Belarus
		1.  Village of Chatyn was one of the memorials
		2.  2.3 million killed, 209 cities & 9200 villages destroyed
			a.  Many villages burned with inhabitants in them
			b.  186 never rebuilt
			c.  Chatyn was one of them
			d.  Statue of a man who survived, carrying dead grandson
		3.  We talked about how humans could be capable of atrocities
		4.  Without God, we really can expect no better
			a.  Without God, people donít even desire what is right
			b.  Ultimate result is something like this
	D.  When I fall short of God's will, I need to remind myself
		1.  I can do no better without God
		2.  I have strayed away from God
		3.  I must once again place myself on the altar
		4.  Only then can his will become my will

II.  God gives me the way (4:12-13)
	A.  Paul keeps on going regardless of situation
		1.  He can make it thorough anything how?
		2.  Through Christ who strengthens us
	B.  How does God do this? 
		1.  Eph 3:16 - Strengthened with power through His Spirit
		2.  Rom 8:13 - By the Spirit, put to death deeds of the flesh
		3.  Jude 1:18-19 - In last days, mockers, follow after ungodly lusts
			a.  Devoid of the Spirit and worldly minded
			b.  Without the Spirit, can do no better
		4.  What this means - You cannot serve God without God
			a.  John 15:5 - Jesus is vine and we are branches
				- If we abide in him, we bear fruit
				- He said, "apart from me you can do nothing"
			b.  No wonder he calls for humility
			c.  None of the success we have is our own
	C.  ILL:  Patrick, A man from 8th century Britain 
		1.  Capture and enslaved as a shepherd in Ireland
		2.  Not much education, but an amazing spiritual depth
		3.  Wrote a hymn - St. Patrick's Breastplate.  Excerpt:
			I arise today
			Through God's strength to pilot me;
			God's might to uphold me, 
			God's wisdom to guide me, 
			God's eye to look before me, 
			God's ear to hear me, 
			God's word to speak for me, 
			God's hand to guard me, 
			God's way to lie before me, 
			God's shield to protect me, 
			God's hosts to save me 
			From snares of the devil, 
			From temptations of vices, 
			From every one who desires me ill, 
			Afar and anear, 
			Alone or in a mulitude. Ö.

			Christ shield me today 
			Against poison, against burning, 
			Against drowning, against wounding,
			So that reward may come to me in abundance.

			Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
			Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 
			Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
			Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, 
			Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 
			Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, 
			Christ in the eye that sees me, 
			Christ in the ear that hears me. 
		4.  Here is a man who understood his place with God
			a.  There are some who use this as a guide to their prayers
			b.  We can will and only work with Him in us 
	D.  God is the one who makes us able for the task

III.  God has given us the work 
	A.  Work out our own salvation with fear and trembling
		1.  Used to hear that this meant figuring out difficult questions
			a.  Don't know if something from past get between me & God
			b.  No clear scriptural guidance - Work out your salvation
		2.  But that is not what this is talking about
		3.  Work out your salvation - Work it
		4.  Is there something we must work or do?
	B.  ILL:  Dad brings home a new car for his spoiled son as a gift
		1.  When kids receive a gift, how will they view it?
			a.  Not care for it as much, they didn't earn it
			b.  Not change oil, do maintenance, begins to fall apart
		2.  Can same thing happen to salvation?
			a. (Rom 6:23) Salvation a gift, only wage can earn is death
			b.  Is this why some people view salvation flippantly? 
			c.  Makes some want to say salvation is something you have 
			     to earn
		3.  Jesus earned salvation, brought it home and offered it to us
			a.  Some refuse the gift
			b.  Others treat it haphazard way, then in danger of losing it
		4.  Problem:  Not that it is a gift, but that some misunderstand it
	C.  Salvation is not an inanimate object, like a new car
		1.  Salvation is a restored relationship with God
			a.  John 17: - This is eternal life, that they might know you
			b.  Eternal life is knowing God
		2.  This changes how we see salvation - Like a marriage
			a.  I am sometimes hard to love, but she loves me anyway
			b.  I didn't "earn" my marriage
			c.  However, I invest a great deal into it
			d.  We "work" at our marriage
		3.  No wonder Paul uses marriage analogy in Eph 5!
			a.  Salvation is a restored relationship with God
			b.  In order to have a healthy relationship, invest in it
			c.  God has invested his very best in this relationship
			d.  What am I going to invest in this relationship?
		4.  We need to work our relationship with God
			a.  Not to draw him closer to us
			b.  But to draw ourselves closer to him
			c.  If I don't, I may wander away
	D.  Great thing about this - God gives us a will and way to do this
		1.  God makes our relationship with him possible
		2.  He has invested the very best he can give
		3.  What am I going to invest?
			a.  Paul said he invested his whole self
				- Conform to his Death
				- Crucified with Christ
			b.  Isn't that what God did, didn't he invest his whole self?
				- Didn't God work hard to establish a relationship?
				- He now leaves the ball in our court

1. Am I going to work out my salvation?
2.  It starts with understanding what God did for you
	a.  Rom 5:6 - While we were helpless, at the right time Christ died for the 
	b.  Even though you are helpless and disabled, he will carry you
	c.  Will you let him carry you?  (Invitation)
3.  God will continue to carry you if you faithfully let him
	a.  If you try to get out of his wheelchair and do things your own way, you 
	     will get stuck
	b.  You need to remain true and faithful to him, you need him
4.  How?
	a.  Pray for God to change you from the inside out
		- To change your will to his will
		- To truly be faithful and obedient
	b.  Then and only then can you truly work for his good pleasure


Sermon:  Without Him I Could Do Nothing

Summary:  Without God, we are powerless, defenseless, and helpless.  God adopted us and 
became our Father, giving us the ability to grow in our desire to serve him, and the power 
to serve him.  In order to do this, we need to fully submit to his direction in life.

Open (choose one)
- What do you normally feel like when facing an important task?  A lion.  A beaver.  An ant.  
A mouse.  An Ameoba.  A rabbit.  A wiener dog.  A bird.  Other____________
- When have you felt invincible?  When have you felt helpless?

Explore  (John 17:3; Phil 2:12-13)

1.  What does fear and trembling mean?  What are some reasons we are to approach God 
with fear and trembling?

2.  In what way(s) is this an appropriate, positive response to the God who loves us?

3.  How does Jesus's description of eternal life differ from the way many people view eternal 
life?  How does this affect your view on salvation?

4.  What does God do for us in our relationship to him, according to these passages?


5.  Describe the role(s) God currently plays in your relationship to him.

6.  In what ways do you typically depend on God?  In what ways are you more independent 
of God?

7.  What are some ways you can reduce your independent attitudes toward God?  What practices, 
attitudes, etc. need to change in your life in order for you to learn to be more dependent on God?

8.  List two or three practices you can commit to that will enable you to let God be the one who 
guides, strengthens and leads you.