01 Sep 2019
The slogan of self-righteousness is immortalised in Mat 19 "what good deed must I do to have eternal life? " It is about doing. It is about more. It's about me. Jesus showed the rich young ruler, however, that this way of self-righteousness is impossible. No one can be good enough. Having eliminated self-righteousness as a feasible solution to our sin, Jesus then explained that salvation is the gracious work of God. Not only did Jesus die to be the lamb that takes away the sin of the world, God has to work in our hearts in granting us repentance and faith. He has to write His laws in our hearts. With man, salvation is impossible. But with God, all things are possible. If you are searching for salvation and eternal life, look no further! Let this simple but helpful sermon on Jesus and the rich young ruler aid you in your search for God!
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Matthew 19, verses 16 to 26 will be the basis of our thinking this morning. Someone said that there are three ways you can live your life. First, is that of no religion. You don't believe there is God. You don't believe that you need to get right with this God and therefore you live a life without faith, without religion. No religion - first way.
The second way is that of earning favour or acceptance with God. You believe there is God, you believe that you fall short of God's standard, but you try to arrive at what God wants by yourself. We would call that – self-righteousness.
Some 2,000 years ago, someone asked this question in Matthew 19 and verse 16, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” I think this is a very apt slogan for the philosophy of self-righteousness. What must I do? What good deed must I do to have this eternal life? I believe in God. I believe that there is judgment to come. I believe that there is eternal life to come. What must I do to qualify for eternal life?
This question is asked by a young man in the Bible. Jesus interacted with this young man. This young man is not only young, but he is also extremely rich. Luke 18:23 tells us that detail about his life. He’s very, very wealthy. He's not just wealthy, he's extremely wealthy. And then again, in Matthew 19:22, we are told that, “He had great possessions.” So he owns a lot of stuff. He has a lot of property, maybe. A lot of possessions, expensive things.
“How did he get to be so rich?” you say. Well, maybe he swindled people. Maybe he's a crook. Maybe he’s a cheat. No, not quite! He's a very successful man. “He's a ruler.” [Matthew 18:18] He's probably a respected ruler of the synagogue amongst the Jewish people. So this man has got it all in his life. He’s young. He’s rich. He’s respected. He’s religious. He's a bright, promising young star in the nation of Israel, for sure.
But he had a problem he didn't know the answer to. He was very troubled about his future. So he came to Jesus asking, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” [Mark 10:17] “I have everything in this life. I have! But I'm not just concerned about this life, I believe what the Bible has to say about the future, about eternal life, about knowing God. I'm not quite sure I'm there yet. What must I do?”
Let me say this. He's not only thinking about this question as if it's a side issue. This is a question that really, really troubles him. This is a question I think that has dominated his thoughts. He's desperate to get the answer. You say, “How do you know that?” I know that because this man ran up and knelt before Jesus in a body posture that says, “Please help me! I'm desperate!”” [Mark 10:17]
Maybe some of you today are like this. You have been coming to church. You have been going around churches. You have been going around religions. You have been trying to find the answer to rightness with God. You have been trying to find, what do I need to do more to assure myself I have eternal life, I can stand with God and I will be blessed forevermore?
If you're someone like this, I'm glad you're here. I believe God has brought you here for a specific purpose that you may today know you can have eternal life. So the mantra of self-righteousness is really - what must I do? [Mark 10:17] You can really circle this few words there, because that's what it is all about - What must I do?
Well, Jesus interacted with this young man. Before he gave a direct answer, He first asked a question, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” [Mark 10:18] In effect, He’s saying to this young man, “Do you know who you're speaking to? You, you say, ‘Good teacher’, but why do you call me good? Are you really understanding the meaning of good because there is none good, except God alone? Are you recognizing that I am sent of God, unlike the many religious leaders of the day who say that I'm of the devil? Are you saying that you believe that I am indeed, sent by God, the Son of God? God, the very God because no one is good, except God alone? Are you saying that?”
So that's a question Jesus lodged in the mind of this young man, causing him to think a little but then He went on then to the answer to the question - What must you do to have eternal life? Jesus very, I think cheekily, said this, “You know the commandments, young man.” [Mark 10:19] “You are ruler of the synagogue. You grew up reading the Bible, you grew up reading the Moses laws and so on, you know the prophets, you, you know them.” “And if you want to have eternal life, then keep the commandments. Do them! Obey them!” [Matthew 19:17]
And then the young man said, “Which ones?” I imagined him with his eyes bright and lit up, his hands rubbing in glee and delight, “Hah, this is so up my alley! My whole life, I've been trained, I've been conditioned to obey the commandments. So if you tell me, just keep the commandments, this is easy! Which ones?”
Jesus replied him, “You shall not murder.” Commandment number? Six. You shall not commit adultery. Commandment number? Seven. You shall not steal. Commandment number? Eight. You shall not bear false witness. Number? Nine. Honour your father and mother? Some say, “Ten.” Very interesting, Jesus changed the order somewhat to be 6,7,8,9 and then 5.
And then he said, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” [Matthew 19:18-19] This is the summary if I may say of the second half of the ten commandments - loving your neighbour. The first half would be more about God - you shall have no other gods before me, you cannot worship graven images, don't take the name of God in vain, honour the Sabbath and so on.
So Jesus said, “In effect, commandments 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - Love your neighbour as yourself.” If I hear this, I would say, “Ah, this is so hard! How can I love my neighbour as myself! I love myself but to love my neighbour, including my enemy, it's really hard. To honour my father and mother all the time, really hard. To not kill, I've never killed anyone but I've been angry, I've been bitter, I've been upset with people. Whoa! Thou shall not commit adultery. Oh, don't even start to imagine what is in my head. Oh, this is so difficult! This is hard!”
But do you know what the young man said? The young man said, “All these I have kept. What do I still not lack?” [Matthew 19:20] I can almost imagine the smirk on his face. “Huh, that's easy! Jesus. Commandments 6,7,8,9,5, I've done it all! I've never broken those commandments. What else is there that I should do? What do I still lack?”
You know, Jesus didn't say, “Are you sure?” He didn't do that! He just went on and said something else. “Well, if you would be perfect, if you have obeyed all of them, very easy, go, sell what you possess….” [Matthew 19:21] And by the way, you have a lot, right?” “Yeah, I have a lot.” “Go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me.” [Matthew 19:21]
I can imagine as he heard these words, the smirk on his face is immediately wiped away. His face became shocked or looked shocked and he was down cast. Because the Bible next tells us, “When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” [Matthew 19:22]
The summary of the conversation went like this:
Young Man: What good deed must I do to have eternal life?
Jesus: Well, you know the commandments. Keep them.
Young Man: Alright, this is very much what I've been used to do. Tell me which ones.
Jesus: Oh, commandments 5,6,7,8,9 and love your neighbour as yourself.
Young Man: That’s easy! I've done them all, Jesus.”
Young Man: What else do I need to do?
Jesus: Well, you go, you sell, you give, you come, you follow.
And then radio silence. He didn't reply a single word.
So this man came with a mindset that says, “What more must I do?” He thinks that he's quite good, quite alright. He's quite up there, he just lacks that little bit, a little more push, and he will be tipped over and he will qualify for eternal life.
Jesus with this conversation, obviously is not saying, “You can keep the commandments and have eternal life.” Jesus orchestrated this whole conversation to crush his ego and to burst his balloon. Jesus did all that so that he may realize, you have never made it. You have never made it! You have never really obeyed the commandments and you will never ever make it!
If you think that you can qualify for God's favour with your self-righteousness, you are super-duper wrong. Self-righteousness is mission impossible. You have never obeyed God's commandments perfectly and you will never be able to do so.
Let me try to illustrate this. If you have children today and if they are academically quite alright, you would probably wish that they will get to the top schools, top secondary schools. And in Singapore, maybe the top two secondary schools will be RI and RGS. I did not come from them, so I can say them.
So you may say, “Aah, you want to go to RI, you want to go RGS, they are the top schools, how to get to RI and RGS?”
Well, they have a very limited quota, isn't it? I mean, you can't have a 10 million people go there. No, no every year, maybe just, I do not know, maybe 300. I may be wrong, I'm not sure, 300 students each.
So out of the whole Singapore, everybody wants to go there, how would they select? Well, generally they select those who do well in their? The most important four letters of the alphabet – P S L E. Alright, they select based on your academic achievements generally in PSLE.
So you imagine today there are people who take PSLE, a whole cohort, I do not know how many thousand, people, students take that. You have a lot of students taking PSLE and they will all score different PSLE grades. And if you plot all their results together and the number of students who have let's say, number of students who have PSLE 200 points, 210, 215 and so on and you plot them, the result would look something like? Bell curve. Will look something like, very good, you read my mind.
So most students will get the average PSLE score, most will be there, right? You could see 90% will be within this, this average majority. There will be some students who really jialat and there'll be some students who are really excellent, but very few. So you have this phenomenon of the bell curve. So for RI and RGS, they select 300 students, generally they select people from the higher PSLE score. So you get this triangle of students there, 300 from there.
And they will then say, “Ah, if I could get 300 students here, this will be my cut off mark.” Maybe the 95th percentile of students would qualify for RI, RGS. Very simple! How do you select students? Bell curve. How do you get people into the good place? Bell curve. Just make sure you meet the mark.
Now you think about eternal life, it's like PSLE. Who can qualify for heaven? Who can be part of God's kingdom? “Very easy,” they say. Just draw a bell curve according to good deeds. Number of people in this world, most people, quite okay one aah, not, not too bad, not too evil, not too wicked. Of course you have the extreme one who are very jialat [dire situation in Hokkien], like Saddam Hussein. And then you have some very good people like Mother Teresa, whatever you think. And so you have a bell curve.
Who can go to heaven? Don't get the dirty ones. Don't get the jialat ones, get the pretty decent chaps, get the better one. So you choose, we think God would choose people on the right side, a segment of that. And if you draw that line, you say, “Ah, that is the mark! That is the mark I need to hit.” So this rich young ruler probably came to Jesus thinking, “Eh, Jesus I hit there already or not? What more do I need to do ah? Am I at the 94th percentile and I need one more percent? Tell me what more I need to do. Because if not enough, you tell me I will shift. I will try to be better. I will obey more, I'll do more so that I qualify.”
But you know what Jesus is saying in this encounter with this rich young ruler? He's saying to him, “You know what's the standard God has? God's standard is right here - perfection. And you know what? No one has made it.”
You like my curve? Hey please say, “You do.” I spend the whole-time plotting in. Ok, ugh this naughty fellas, you are on the left side, hah, hah, hah, hah. Alright, but I want to say this. Before you guys throw tomatoes at me, there is something really wrong with this chart. What's wrong with this chart?
Ah very good, finally someone pointed out, not my art but the fact that we think we are all capable of good deeds, but according to God, there is no bell curve because you ain't even able to cross one good deed. Do you realise this? The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” [Romans 3:10] The Bible says, “No one does good.” [Romans 3:12] “Oh, surely there must be one?” No, not even one! And as Nicholas said, “All our righteousnesses are like what?” Filthy rags.
You see, we don't understand how sinful and rotten we are before the eyes of God. We don't understand how sin has totally corrupted us, so that even when we do something seemingly good - helping a lady, giving to charity, the heart is far from God. It was never for the intention of honouring the Creator who made us. So in God's holy eyes, there is no one that does good, not even one.
And therefore, there is a huge gulf, you see. It's not even close! You're not even on the 95th percentile. You have not even started the race. You are zero and God’s standard is perfection and there is no way by yourself you can ever bridge this gulf. “So for by the works of the law…” by your obedience of the law, hoping that you are good enough, hah, “… no human being will be justified in His sight.” [Romans 3:20] You see that?
So if you want to be right with God through self-righteousness, you are doomed! If you think that by coming to church, giving money, helping the old lady, don’t sin so much, don't commit too many sins, somehow God will consider you part of the 95th percentile, you are doomed!
So the rich young ruler is brought to an awareness of his sin. He really thought he’s quite perfect you know that? “I've kept commandment 5,6,7,8,9.” Oh, but all Jesus did was to poke a hole in his argument and crushed his ego because Jesus proved that he loved his riches. He trusted in his possessions, in it is his god. And he really broke the first commandment - thou shalt have no other gods before me. And everyone would know probably, “Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” [James 2:10]
So if you want to get to God by yourself, the standard; the requirement never changes - it's perfection. You break one, you fail! So the rich young ruler went away sorrowful because “pecah lobang” [to break a hole in Malay], qun poh [being exposed in Cantonese dialect] “Aiyah, I thought I’m good enough! Jialat! Pecah lobang!” He's exposed, he, he's seen, he now realises that he is doomed. “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them.” [Galatians 3:10]
The point here Paul is making in Galatians is - if you think that you can get to God by obeying the law, you are cursed. You know why? Because you can never make it. You can never, ever make it! So this man said, “What more must I do?” “Let me burst your balloon, your bubble. Oh man, young man, you have never made it and you will never make it!” Self-righteousness, earning favour in, through obeying the law is just doomed to failure.
I read the Bible with my kids and we just a couple of days ago, came to the ten commandments. Here's, here’s a snapshot of the picture Bible we use right now. And I asked my two sons even before I asked them what commandment, 1,2,3,4,5,6, I didn't want them to be all into the details and forget why God gave the ten commandments.
Let me ask you, “Why did God give the ten commandments?” Whatever your answer is, I guarantee you, I think, if you were to poll the nation of Singapore and ask people why did God give the ten commandments, even Christians will answer, a lot of them will answer, “Oh, so that we may obey, so that God will save us.” Do you realize that? Because that happened in my family. I asked my two boys, “Why did God give the ten commandments?” “So that we can obey and so that God will save us.”
Huh, aiyoh pastor’s son eh, aiyoh. I didn't say that, but I understand that answer because that is so natural. So natural to the sinful heart to think that when God gives the ten commandments, it's the means by which I can qualify. My other son, I wouldn’t say who ah, my other son then said, “No, the ten commandments do not save you, but it is to show you your sins.”
And he's right because the Bible says, “Through the law comes the knowledge of sin.” [Romans 3:20] The reason why God gives you the law is not that you can obey it to get right with Him, because you're so sinful, you can never do it. But the reason why the law is given, is to stun us and to convince us and to show us how concretely we are sinful before Him.
So the Bible also says, “Now the law came in to increase the trespass.” [Romans 5:20] We thought that the law will restrain trespass. No, with the law it increases the knowledge of the trespass. Makes you more aware. So we often say, “That the law is like a mirror.” Right? The law is a mirror. What do you use a mirror for? To show yourself how ugly you are.
Okay, okay, to show yourself how handsome you are, but you just have minor faults. But do you use the mirror to go and clean your face? No. If you see a pimple, do you use a mirror to slap it, so that it squirts? “Eee… Pastor, what did you say? You don't do that!” Of course not! A mirror is not meant to solve the problem. The mirror is meant to show you the problem.
The law is not meant to save you from your sin. The law is meant to show you your problem of sin. That's all! It shows you your sins so that you may turn to? Wah, tolong [beg in Malay], this one must get right lah! The law shows you your sin so that you may turn to Jesus who died and to save you from your sins. That's the good news!
Or we would say, “The law is like an X ray machine.” The X ray is meant to show you your cancer but the X ray cannot save you from cancer, it only gives you more cancer. The X ray shows you your cancer so that you may run to the Great Physician, Jesus to save you from your sins.
The word, “came in” here is very interesting. [Romans 5:20] The word, “came in” the Greek is used in ancient literature to refer to someone who enters a stage play as a secondary character. What do you mean? Well, if you watch a romantic movie between the star, a handsome man and a beautiful lady, they're having lunch or dinner at a candlelight restaurant. They must have some waiter that brings the food in, right?
So they are having a nice conversation, your focus is on this man and this woman, but then they will need to have some servants who come in, place the food and he exits. Let me ask you, where is your focus - on the waiter, or on the couple? Obviously on the couple! Ah, what? On the food ah! Okay. You guys are horrible. Your focus is on the couple, but this waiter plays a secondary role. That's the word “to come in”. To come in, in a secondary way.
In other words, the Bible is saying, with regards to salvation, the law is not the primary thing at all. It's not the ultimate thing at all. It only plays a complimentary role because in Romans 5, if you were to read it, the main thing is this - Man has sinned in Adam. When Adam sinned, all the human race after him sin. That's primary!
And the second primary thing is that whilst we all die and we all sin in Adam, we all live, if we go to the second Adam. And who is the second Adam? Jesus. These two are the main things in God's salvation plan. You are either under the first Adam where you sin and you will perish or you today repent and believe in a second Adam, that you might be saved.
The law only came in as a secondary role – calefare. Just comes in, shows you your sinfulness and it exits. Ultimately, no one is saved by obeying the law. You get that? Clear? Next time if people do a survey, I hope Gospeliter will not respond the wrong way. But most of all, I hope you will not live your life based on self-righteousness because it is doomed to failure.
So, we then understand why Paul would say, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23] All are zero, in terms of good works and a billion when it comes to sins. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Self-righteousness is not the way, but “You can be justified by His grace as a gift.” [Romans 3:24]
So I began by saying there are three ways to live - no religion, you don't care, you don't bother, you're not interested. Well, one day you have to stand before God. Second way - self-righteousness. You thought you're quite good. You thought you're ahead of the bell curve, but actually, all of us are at the zero point and you will still be damned because you are a sinner. Doesn't work!
The third way is the way of grace, where you are justified, your declared righteous, you are declared right with God, not because of what you have done or what you will ever do, but because of His grace. It's free, His free favour on you as a gift. How can He just declare you righteous? Oh, because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. [Romans 3:23-34] Because Jesus, God's Son, came into this world, lived a perfect life. He fulfilled every jot and tittle, every letter and every dot of the law of God. He did it! He's the only One who did it.
And then He went to the cross and He gave His life to be your substitute. He took your sins and He’s willing to give His righteousness to those who believe in Him. So the Bible says, “For God, it pleased God the Father, to make His Son to be sin, who knew no sin. He was perfect, but He was made sin that we who are sinful might be made righteous.” So this is grace! This is the Gospel! This is absolutely good news, because there is no other way you can be right with God, only when God gives you that gift through Jesus Christ.
And so that's why we say to you, “You need to come to Jesus.” The reason why I'll teach my kids the ten commandments, is not that they should obey them to get saved - it's not possible. I teach them the ten commandments, that they may know that they are sinners, that they will despair of self. Then I say “Shawn and Matthias, you've got to look to Jesus, He’s the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, you've got to repent and believe in Him.” My friends, that's what I want to say to you today, “You've got to repent and believe in Jesus.”
This young man, however, went away sorrowful, maybe because his sin is now exposed. “Aah, I never knew I was sinful, but now I do.” But then the reason why I think he went away sorrowful is because I think he loved his possessions. He had great possessions, he cannot let them go. [Matthew 19:22] You know something strange about wealth? When you are poor, it's easy to give things away, you know that? But when you get richer and richer and richer, very hard.
You know why? You thought, you think that you own the riches but the reality is that the riches own you. He loved, I think you can read between the lines, he was not willing to follow Jesus, he was not willing to sell and give all because he loved his possessions. Why? Because he had great possessions. He had a lot and they all weigh him down so much.
And so Jesus said, “You know, look at this young man, it's like a case study. Look at this young man, so hard, right?” “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich man enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 19:23] Very hard! How hard? Well, he gives a proverbial saying. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” [Matthew 19:24] What an interesting little proverb there.
Some people try to make sense of it by saying, “Oh, the camel is really a picture of a rope. Or the needle, the eye of a needle refers to a gate in Israel in those days.” But actually, none of these explanations are satisfactory. But the point I think it's clear, it is saying, “Someone, it is so difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, that it's likened to a camel passing through it.”
Now you obviously don't try to do that. You either have a broken needle or very disturbed camel. But the camel is the largest animal in Palestine and so Jesus says, “It’s hard.” It's, it's a way of speech is almost like myself saying, “I'm so hungry I can swallow a cow.” “Wah, Jason, you really can swallow a cow ah?” “No lah, of course I can’t! I’m, I'm just having this way of speech so that you get what I mean.” “Oh, I love you so much, I'm willing to go to the moon and back.” Wah, you know how much going to moon costs or not?
Now, no one actually means those things. So it's a way of speech, it’s colloquialism to bring this point across. “Then the disciples asked Him, ‘If it's so difficult, who then can be saved?’” [Matthew 19:25] And Jesus replied, “With man, this is impossible but with God, all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26] You know what He's saying? He's saying, “This grace, this gift, this salvation in believing in Jesus, it's hard and it must be the work of God.” Salvation is of the Lord, only God can save.
Now this story is about Jesus and the rich young ruler. Have you heard of the story between Jesus and the rich, old ruler? You must have, because long time before this, there was a man - a rich old ruler, who came knocking on Jesus' door and wanted to ask Him the way of salvation and life too. But before he could ask the question, Jesus already knew what was in his heart and said to him, “Truly, truly I say unto you except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
You know that rich old ruler, his name is Nicodemus. Nicodemus must have thought, “What more should I do?” Like the rich young ruler, they have the same philosophy. Jesus said to him, “No, it's not what more you need to do, it's what God needs to do. Because unless you are born from above, there's no chance you can get into the kingdom of heaven.”
Salvation is the work of God, it's the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in a man's heart, because if the Spirit doesn't move, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven. You will not appreciate these things, you will not leave these things behind, you will not follow Jesus.
My friends, this is so difficult to accept for proud people like as we are. We like to be the ones who think we are the ones who decide. Well, the Bible tells me, “Salvation is of the Lord.” The Bible tells me, “Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.”
So what this means is that you and I, we need to come to God with deep humility and say, “Lord, have mercy on me.” You know, the teaching of the Bible, really humble sinful men to the dust because we really make no contribution to salvation. Salvation from the beginning to the end is all of God. Born again the imagery is that of helplessness.
Any one of you decided to come out of your mother's womb by yourself? “Hey, mom! I think a bit swollen inside lah, a bit too watery. My, my, my fingers all ‘jiaw jiaw’ [Hokkien] already, my fingers all more wrinkled, I want to come out.” And you decide? Did you decide? Did you decide to swim or to …? None of you did that, right? It's all done for you.
Salvation is the work of God and that's the point. So this young man came to Jesus saying, “What must I do?” Self-righteousness. Jesus, in effect is saying, “It's not about what he will do, it’s what God will do. It's all of grace.” So the Bible tells us of a new covenant. A new covenant is God's sovereign, gracious, loving work in man's life, that he will unilaterally, “He Himself will write God's laws in their hearts, take out the heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh.” [Jeremiah 31:33]
Who did this surgery? Who did this transformation? Who did this heart transplant? Man? No! God. It's grace. And that's what the Gospel is all about. Maybe this morning you're upset with me, “Wah, Jason, you say, ‘I'm no good, I'm sinful, I'm rotten, nothing I do is ever right in God's eyes, just so harsh.’”
Well, let me remind you there's a little interesting phrase here in Mark 10 that says, “Jesus looking at him, loved him.” You know, Jesus exposed that man’s sin, burst his balloon, not out of menace, not out of malice, but out of compassion and love, because until he sees that he is helpless in and of himself, he is sinful in and of itself, he will not come to Jesus.
I hope today that the harsh, strong teaching, actually it’s not harsh, but the clear, strong teaching of the Bible, will help you realise you need to come to God and cry out to Him for mercy. Is there nothing you need to do then? Well, “Follow me,” Jesus said. [Mark 10:21] Believe me, believe me, just as I said to old Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
I'm saying to you, “It's not about you coming to church earning favour with God.” It's not about you putting money in offering bags, earning favour with God. It's not about you trying to be a good boy, good girl, good lady, good man, so that God will love you and like you. No! I'm telling you, “We are all rotten to the core, but we have a God who loves rotten sinners and He gave His Son, Jesus Christ. And Jesus is good enough to save us from our sins. Look to Him, believe Him, follow Him.” May God save many in our midst today.
Let’s bow for a word of prayer together. Father, thank You for Your word this morning. And we pray for our little ones at home. We pray for our little children. We pray even as we teach them the Bible daily, even as we show them the Gospel daily, we are extremely humbled this morning to realise it is not our eloquence, it's not our persuasion that saves them because unless he or she is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. So, Lord, we cry out to you for mercy for our little ones’ souls, that they will be saved.
We want to pray today for friends who may be here for the first time. They might be thinking, “What more must I do?” Lord, help them to realise it's not what more they can do, it's what Jesus has already done. Please help them to repent, to turn and to believe in Jesus, Your Son alone, that they might be saved.
O Father, we pray for those who have been raised in church, who have been attending church for long while, but who somehow still believe that they have to earn their way there, somehow still subscribe to self-righteousness as a way of life. O God, burst their balloon today, crush their ego, that they may look to Jesus alone. May Your people today bow at the foot of the cross, thankful for Your grace. May we ever be looking to Jesus to believe Him, to follow Him. So Lord bless each one.
If you are here right now and you want to respond to God in your heart, I love for you to do so, right where you're seated. You don't have to raise your hand. You don't have to walk the aisle. You just need to sincerely cry out to God in your heart - God have mercy on me, a sinner. I'm not going to justify myself. I am not going to try to think that I can do a little good here or there to earn my way there. I am rotten and sinful to the core, I need Your mercy and your grace. Lord, have mercy on me.
If you're willing to do that, the Bible tells me, tells you, “That they who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” I pray that the wind of the Spirit will blow in your heart today. I pray you will be saved and God be glorified as you come to Him in faith. So Father, do that work in our midst. We thank You in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
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