©2022 Spring Series
Not A Fan...A Completely Committed Follower!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 24 May 2022, Lesson 1
Kyle Idleman, Not A Fan… A Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Devotional Time: Not A Fan, Chapter 1 (pp. 19-28)
The Relationship With Jesus – In this series we will look intensely at how and why a relationship with Jesus, is what sustains our faith. There is no other name that matters, when it comes to our complete lives here, and our future existence. The scriptures declare, “For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, which says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Cf. Acts 4:11-12, NLT). The presence of Jesus in our lives, is our affirmation of a continuing change within. Our passion is not as that of a fan whose exuberance is centered on the abilities of a person or group that engages us. Our entire being is motivated by a Savior, in whom we have a spiritual and holistic relationship. Unlike the fan-syndrome, a genuine relationship with Christ is not tentative; nor does it end (cf. I Peter 1:23, NLT). The relationship we have with Christ is called “a rebirth.” This term is derived from the Greek translation of the word anagennao (an-ag-en-nah’-0). An’a means “another.” Gennao means “birth.” The complete term means that our spiritual birth is “completely different” from our human birth. We literally have been “reborn” into a relationship with Jesus Christ, which is to be our upmost priority (cf. John 1:11-13, NLT). The spiritual nature of our birth is vertical; meaning, it has come down to us. Whereas, our physical birth has been horizontal, derived as a result of human reproduction (cf. John 3:3-7, NLT). The priorities of our lives as Christians, should be inspired and guided by Jesus Christ, who has “birthed us” into relationship with God, the Father through faith (cf. Galatians 4:6, NLT). In the recommended study book, Not A Fan, author Kyle Idleman says the most basic definition of a fan is “an enthusiastic admirer.” In contrast, our relationship with Christ makes us more than an admirer. Relationship involves commitment, that has more depth than a human or temporal association. In initially meeting and listening to Jesus, Nathanael “admired” Jesus, because Jesus had some nice things to say about him. Jesus then asked Nathanael was his admiration based on what He said about him; or was he committed to a relationship with Him, because of the Lord’s ministry and work as Messiah (cf. John 1: 47-51, NLT). A fan of Christ will substitute symbols and rituals, for a mature and genuine relationship with the Lord. Fandom, as Pastor Idleman explains, will even use godly language. Jesus said, “Not everyone who calls out to me “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21a, NLT).” A relationship makes us accountable!
Becoming A Follower – One of the ways we discern whether we are more of a fan of Jesus, or a genuine follower, is to examine our relationship with Him. Kyle Idleman refers to this as taking the DTR test. This means, “determining the relationship.” Idleman says there are many encounters in the scriptures where people are tested as to the honesty and genuine nature of their relationship with the Lord. He says, “The biblical accounts of Jesus requiring people to define the relationship and honestly determine if they were true followers give us some telltale symptoms of being a fan…Fans often confuse their admiration for devotion…Fans assume their good intentions make up for their [lack of] faith…” Most of the disciples apparently were sincere in becoming followers of Jesus (cf. John 1:40-42, NLT). Those whom Jesus met initially, also were motivated to invite others to “follow’ Him (cf. John 1:43-46, NLT). Whatever reluctance some of the initial disciples may have had in following Jesus, the Twelve willingly developed a relationship with Him. A group of fan-admirers followed, then deserted Jesus. Peter and the others remained because of their relationship with Him. The Scripture reads: “At this point, many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe and we know you are the Holy One of God.” (Cf. John 6:66-69, NLT). Jesus knew that at least one of the disciples, (Judas Iscariot), was not sincere in his devotion to Him. The Lord was also aware, despite the shortcomings of some of the others, they sought a genuine relationship with Him (cf. John 6:70, NLT). We enter into relationship with Christ, by believing in what the Word declares about Him. Our belief (faith) identifies us with Christ, and we become heirs of His promises (cf. Ephesians 1:13-14, NLT). Our relationship with Christ is not always a humanely perfect one; but it one in which our sins are forgiven and we are brought into a “right relationship” with God. The Apostle Paul said we were “made righteous” through the death and Resurrection of Jesus. He says: “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Cf. Romans 4:25, NLT). Christ offers us a new relationship with God the father, trough faith in Him as His Son. Each of us must decide to follow our Lord in faith. The Samaritans who heard the woman’s testimony about Jesus as Messiah, came to believe in Him for themselves (cf. John 4;42b, NLT). Their own knowledge of Christ, made them more than fans!
What We Believe!
“We follow Jesus because we come to know who He is!”
1. Our faith in Jesus Christ brings us into relationship with Him!
I Peter 1:23, NLT
“For you have been born again, but not to a life thatwill quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal,living word of God.”
John 1:11-13, NLT“He came to His own people and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn –not from a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”
John 3:3-7, NLT
“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?” Jesus replied,“I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life,but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don't be surprised when I say, “You must be born again.”
Galatians 4:6, NLT“And because we are His children, God has sent the spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, Abba, Father.”
John 1:40-42, NLT“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said, and followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah (which means Christ).” Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John –but you will be called “Cephas”(which means “Peter”).”
John 1:43-46, NLT“The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Phillip and said to him, “Come,follow me.” Phillip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown. Phillip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can any good thing come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Phillip replied.”
Ephesians 1:13-14, NLT
“And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.”
John 4:42b, NLT“Now we know that He is indeed, the Savior of the world.”