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19 May 2019

It’s Out Of The Heart [Matthew 15:10-20]
  • Topic: FORGIVENESS, REGENERATION, SIN, The Gospel

Overview

Many suffer from guilt and shame in their lives. Like Adam and Eve who ran from God and sewed fig leaves to cover themselves, we seek to run away from God when we sin too. We feel dirty. We feel unclean. And we know we cannot stand before a holy God. But the gospel is the good news of God's salvation. The Bible tells us that when we cannot wash ourselves clean, God will do sprinkle clean water on us and cleanse us from all uncleannesses. Not only that, He will give us spiritual eyes to see and a new heart that beats for Him. Find out from this sermon how you can be saved and find comfort in God's generous forgiveness!


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Sermon Transcript

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We are in a journey through the Bible and we have arrived at Matthew Chapter 15 and in particular looking at this passage where Jesus exposed the evil, the wickedness of the religious leaders of His time. As mentioned, Matthew 15 really is about Jesus exposing the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees. In effect, He was exposing their wickedness when they used their own man-made traditions to give excuses for them to violate the clear commands of God.

The incidence before us is that the Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and said to Him - why is it that Your disciples did not follow the traditions of our elders? Why is it that they ate without washing their hands clean, they are ceremonially polluted as a result? Well Jesus, He exposed their hearts but He would also give us the answer to their question and that's what we’re going to look at today in verses 10 to 20.

So the Bible says He called the people to Him and said to them - hear and understand “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person”. So they say why is it that the disciples don't wash their hands? This is the straightforward answer, “what goes into the mouth does not defile a person, what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a person”. Then the disciples came and said to Him, do you know that the Pharisees were offended when You, when they heard this saying - don't You know that they're upset with You for saying that this does not defile a man? Jesus then said every plant that My Heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up, these by inference, are not God's people. These religious leaders you have been listening to, they are not from God and one day God will uproot them; let them alone, they are blind guides, and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit but Peter said to Him - Lord, we still don't quite understand this. Would You explain the parable to us? We don't understand what it means when you say “whatever put, put into the mouth does not defile a man, but whatever comes out of the mouth defiles a man”. We don't quite get what you say and so Jesus replied, “are you also still without understanding, do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled but what comes out of the mouth, proceeds from the heart and this defiles a person, for out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander, these are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone”.

I think this is a very plain simple teaching by Jesus, it should be very obvious. Let me ask you, do you need to wash your hands before you eat? Let me ask you again do you need to wash your hands before you eat? Wah, you all guys are very smart, not easy to trick. Yes, you need to wash your hands before you eat so that you do not have diarrhoea. You need to wash your hands before you eat so that you will not get sick, but you do not need to wash your hands to eat in order to be ceremonially clean before God. No one can wash his hands, eat and say I am acceptable before God. Jesus has as explained, it is not your diet that makes you acceptable before God and it is not your diet that makes you unacceptable before God but your deeds that defile you. Sermon is over. You got the point, that's it, really, that's what it is.

Whist the answer I think is very, very obvious from the teachings and sayings of Jesus, I still think it might be worth our while just pausing and considering a few spiritual concepts. That's what we are going to do from this passage that which is so clear, we're just going to go a little bit deeper in; understand, in understanding spiritual concepts.

The first thing I like to highlight in this text is the depravity of the heart. What causes a man to sin? Well, we often like to blame it on something else, we like to blame it on our environment, we like, like to blame it on people; we like to blame it on the devil, we tend to blame everything else and we think that a source of sin is outside us when Jesus clearly tells us the source of sin is inside us. The smelliest, filthiest, dirtiest place in this world is not your rubbish chute but right here within the human heart. So instead of trying to blame everyone else, I like you today, even from the teachings of Jesus to focus your attention on this heart because this is where the real problem lies.

This is a picture of a restaurant in US; it's called the Woods Jupiter. I don't think anyone of you would know where or what this is but I read about it this week in the news. This is called Woods Jupiter because it belongs to Tiger Woods. It’s managed by his current girlfriend. It came into the news this week because one of the employees here is a bartender. He had ended his shift, but he stayed on behind for a few more drinks. A few is an understatement because he got himself really drunk and after he was drunk, he decided to drive home, drink driving and as you could expect, disaster happened because as he was driving he lost control of his vehicle, his vehicle swerved across, across three lanes, it went airborne, it crashed and he died on the spot, but what happened next was that his parents took up this case and sued Tiger Woods for over serving alcohol to their son. So as you could imagine the online comments were that, how could they blame the restaurant for over serving when it was the choice of the son to over indulge in that anyway.

But it caused me to think about how we are very quick perhaps, now it's a tragic story, no question, but it is also sad for us to think this might be a reflection of how we like to deflect the blame to everyone else. But Jesus here tells us about the depravity of the heart, this is the real source of sin. Some of you may be asking, what is the meaning of the word depravity? Good question, because many years ago, I also didn't know the meaning of this word, I never came across this word until I came to church and the word depravity simply means the corruption, the wickedness, the perverseness, the rottenness of the human heart. It's very hard for humans, men like you and me to accept that fact that our hearts are absolutely rotten.

I think many of us believe we are actually quite good. I think many of us would think that we are quite moral, respectable, decent people, after all, we are brought up with our education background, our culture and I am a Chinese, and we learned Chinese proverbs like we regularly share here Ren Zhi Chu Xing Ben Shan, which simply means man is good by nature. We look at kind deeds all around us, we look at little showings of love, we help old ladies across the road, we give money to the charity, we are kind to strangers, we see little glimpses of kindness, goodness and we say to ourselves, humanity is quite good. Well, the Bible however says the exact opposite. The Bible says, out of the heart comes all these bad stuff, out of this garbage springs forth sexual immorality, theft, murder, and so on and so forth.

The Bible, not only here tells us about the ugliness of the heart in Jeremiah or Isaiah it says, “All we like sheep have gone astray we have turned everyone to his own way”. You say, how does this work, I thought we are capable of some good deeds? Well let me put it this way, yes, we can certainly help poor people, the handicap, the disadvantaged, they are some moral deeds that are done but no one does those things because they fear God or because they love God. In other words, what I'm saying to you is this; we can be moral but we are not spiritual. We don't do it because of God, we don't do it because we love Him nor worship Him because we all have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way. We do not want God, so from our perspective, we look quite decent, but from God's perspective, we are a wicked, perverse, rebellious people.

So get this, we can be moral but we are not spiritual. Man has corrupted himself in sin and we will not turn to God. Ren Zhi Chu is not Xing Ben Shan; we are not good by nature, we are evil, we are wicked by nature because we have rebelled against our Creator. The heart is deceitful above all things. It's very difficult for you to accept this. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. I think here it's not about the perversion or the perverseness referred to in desperately sin. I think it really talks about the inability, the incurability of the heart, it is so sick it cannot be helped, that is our problem.

Romans, “there is none is righteous, there must be one, no, not one, no one understands God, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless, no one does good, not even one”. Ren Zhi Chu Xing Ben Shan according to Romans, “no, no one does good, not even one”. You can do some moral deeds but it's never spiritual, it's never for God, it's never to worship Him. So the Bible gives the facts as it is, God doesn't sugarcoat His truth. The reality you have to be confronted with today is this heart of yours is a filthy stinking mess.

Now if you understand this, I like to give you a test right now, a simple test you can do and it is just a choice between A or B and I like you to commit to A or B, two statements and you tell me which statement more accurately describes you. The first statement, we sin because we are sinners. Second statement, we are sinners because we sin. You say, wah lau, it doesn't, doesn't this sound the same, pastor, why are you doing, OK OK, I know it's Sunday morning, it's raining, it's really nice to sleep but this really helps you clarify your concept. Statement A, we sin because we are sinners; statement B, we are sinners because we sin. Which statement describes you more accurately? ABCD okay, alright, so let me ask you, how many of you say A? How many of you say B? Wow, split almost half, half, 60 40, maybe. We sin because we are sinners; we are sinners because we sin.

I think personally, I think a, actually both are quite acceptable, but in the context of what we are reading and in what we are studying, I think the preferred choice for me would be option A. We sin because we are sinners. Why? The Bible tells us we are conceived in iniquity, we are born in sin, we are born into this world with a corrupt, wicked, sick and sinful heart and therefore out of this heart, we sin against God.

However, B is not wrong, but B is more accurate for someone. A is accurate for a good majority of us, but B is true, is more true for someone preferred over A. Who? Very good Fabian, it is better, it is more fitting to use B for Adam and Eve, you know why? Adam and Eve were created without a sin nature. So we are sinners and Adam would say because we sin against God. Today, for me, I would say I am a sinner, therefore I sin against God. So it is this source, it is out of this heart that is corrupt that results in all these sins being poured forth from our lives, this heart of ours is a sin factory. Some are more productive, some less, but it always produces sins, because it's desperately wicked, sick, corrupt and perverse. It's what Spurgeon would say, “Adulteries and fornications are first gloated over in the heart before they are enacted by the body. The heart is the cage from whence these unclean birds fly forth, starts from within.”

So the crystallization of concept here is the depravity of the heart. Jesus clearly tells us, “It’s not what you put into your mouth, but what comes out of your mouth because what comes out of your mouth comes from a perverse, wicked heart.” Now I know these are truths that are not nice to listen to, you probably would not be very happy if this is the first time you hear the preaching of the Bible, but let me say this, please hang in there because God is not here just to condemn you so that you feel bad about yourself and leave you there, but we've got to know our problem. We got to realize how sick we are so that we can then turn to Him to be saved from our sickness.

So I hope you hang in there and uh, I will end off of course with the solution that the whole Bible is really about that's the good news. So number 1, we see the depravity of the heart. The second concept I learned from this passage is the darkness in the eye that they can't see, very strange, this is what sin does. Sin not only destroys, ruins the human heart, sin also destroys and ruins the human sight, we can't see well. So Jesus said about the religious leaders that they are blind guides and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.

So they are not able to see. It's a very humorous picture actually if you think about it. Blind people just trying to figure their way out, this is painful, this is the difficult. Can I get out of this? You say who will lead us out and then there's another group of people say we will lead you out, we know the way but actually they are lying. “Help, help, oh, we will help you” but you are blind and both the blind guides and the blind will one day fall into a pit. So that is a tragedy, the blind leading the blind, but you say but that's not quite true, the Scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders they are not quite blind, they read the Bible.

In fact, they memorized the Bible since young, they memorized the books of Moses, they must be very adept at teaching the Bible; in fact they do teach the Bible. Why would you say that they are blind? Don't they have access to truth, don't they read it? Let me say this, there is a difference between light and sight, can I say that again, there's a difference between light and sight. Just because you are in the light doesn't mean you have sight. A blind man can stand in the open, basking in bright sunlight and still see nothing. Why? He's blind and the religious leaders can bask in the vast amounts of Scripture and still not see anything because they are blind and that's the problem and they pretend that they know the way.

They tell others they know the way, they create all kinds of traditions, thinking that these are the way but Jesus says, they are blind guides, they are not from My Father, one day they will be rooted out. So they couldn't see Jesus, they couldn't recognize, they wouldn't accept that Jesus is the Savior and they certainly would not admit to the sinfulness of their heart. So the Bible tells us how blinded they are when in 2nd Corinthians, Paul says, for to this day, to this day that Paul has written the letter to the Corinthians, to the church at Corinth, “for to this day, when they read the old covenant, the same veil, you can imagine a handkerchief, a kind of a piece of cloth, the same veil remains unlifted because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts”, they have the light, but they don't have sight, they have access to truth, but they can't quite understand it. There's a veil, there are layers; there are obstacles to their full understanding.

In their case the god of this world that is Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light. So you see they have the light, but they don't have the sight. Why? The devil has blinded them. The god of this world, Satan himself has blinded them so as to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel, of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. And then again, we read in 1st Corinthians, “the natural man, the man left to himself, the man that is without God, the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him”. He can hear the Bible truth, he might be one of you sitting right here and you hear all these things and he says, this guy is talking rubbish, the Bible is talking rubbish, this is ridiculous, this is folly to me.

Why, because you're not able to understand them. Why, because these things are to be spiritually understood and you have not the Spirit, you are darkened, you are blind, you have this veil, the god of this world has blinded you and then in Ephesians 4 we read again, “they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to their hardness of heart”. Now we say the blinding is done by Satan, yes that's true, he's culpable but at the very same time you're blinded, we are ignorant, we are darkened because our hearts is hardened against God, therefore, we remain in our darkness, we are equally culpable.

So here is the danger of sin, sin blinds you, it blinded the Jewish nation, it blinded the religious leaders and this is the double whammy of sin. Sin corrupts the heart and sin blinds the eyes and it is so tragic. And when one is both depraved in his heart and darkened in his eyes, he would just carry on living in sin and what it result in is that he becomes defiled before God. He becomes unclean before God, he becomes filthy before God because all their filth in the fountain of his heart springs forth in his life, in his actions, in his thoughts, in his deeds, in his speech and it defiles the man. He's filled with shame and guilt and he knows that he cannot stand before the Almighty.

This is a picture of Mr. Xu or Xu Xian Sheng, he's from Taiwan. Maybe you have seen him in the newspaper or in the social media this week I read about Xu Xian Sheng this week. So what he was doing was that he was listening to something with his airpods, you see that, airpods are expensive stuff I'm told like what, $200 a pair. It's wireless. I don't know why it's so good but it's supposedly very good. So anyway, he put this on and then he fell asleep and when he woke up, he realized I can't remember is it one or two, but he realized at least one of his airpods has gone missing. So he began to search, can't find it and activated this thing that you know you can activate it and it will give out its beep, beep sound and you will find it.

So he activated and he heard peep, peep, peep, peep coming from his stomach. So what has happened is somehow in his sleep he swallowed his, I don't ask me how, you must be quite a, I mean you must be quite special to be able to do that, but he managed to swallow his airpod whilst he was asleep and it's now inside giving out all these sounds.

So desperate, he went to see the doctor who did an x-ray and confirmed that the airpod is indeed in his stomach. So how now, what do you do? Well, go take surgery, cut it out, take it out, do you do that? You must read the Bible to know what to do because the Bible says, “do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth, passes into the stomach and is expelled.” The doctor in Taiwan, very good, I think he read the Bible, gave him some laxatives and I he, he watched his stools for the next one or two days. He found it, he sort of teased it out, don't ask me how, but he teased it out, he saw it, he washed it and he said it is good to be used. No kidding that's exactly what he did. Ay, why, why you squirm, it's $100, $200 leh, maybe I will do it also, okay.

Well Jesus' point is well taken. The Jews thought that it is eating with unclean hands that somehow pollute a man's soul. This ceremonial uncleanness comes from our diets and drinks. But Jesus says no, absolutely not, don't you know human physiology; whatever you eat enters the stomach and will be passed out. Now you can imagine why actually the Scribes and Pharisees will be very offended. They were offended because to them this is not a matter of traditions. This is a matter of the law, it is spoken many times in the Old Testament how God gives the food and dietary laws. There are clean and unclean animals but why is Jesus saying then, this does not defile any man?

Well, the reason is clear and I don't think Jesus contradicted the Old Testament scriptures at all, but that all along; actually there is no such thing as polluting your soul. Objectively speaking, if you do eat some pork for example, but it was God's way of teaching His people, the concept of clean and unclean. By itself it's not wrong, but as a matter of instruction, that is what they have to keep. So, the Jews were very upset that Jesus says, no it's not about your diet but actually He's absolutely right of course, He's the Son of God.

So it is not what you eat that defiles a man. Subsequently, Peter was told to eat and kill and eat all kinds of animals. That's fine and we know that from the rest of Scripture. But what defiles a man is what comes out of the heart. When we have evil thoughts, murder, adultery, immorality, so on and so forth, this makes us ugly, this makes us guilty, this fills us with shame and this makes us unworthy to come before God.

There was a man who wanted to have a picture of himself taken, so he asked another gentleman, “would you help, would you mind taking a photo for me, I want a portrait of myself”. The man then says no, I don't need to take a photo for you. I already have your portrait. You say what, what, you have not even taken my picture how do you say you already have my portrait? I have your portrait, let me show you. He took out his phone, open up a Bible app and read to him Romans chapter 3, “your throat is an open grave, you use your tongue to deceive, the venom of asps is under your lips, your mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Your feet are swift to shed blood, in your paths are ruin and misery and the way of peace you have not known, there is no fear of God before your eyes”.

He says this is your portrait. I'm not sure if I'll use this for evangelism but, but I thought what he said is not that far off. The portrait of a man, according to God is not very flattering at all. There are some times in this church where people ask me, “Pastor, why are you always speaking or using such harsh words to describe sin and sinners like us”. I say to him, I don't, I don't want to use excessively harsh words but I use biblically I hope, accurate words because that's what God sees, that's how God views us. We look at ourselves as quite nice people but in the eyes of a most Holy God, we are not; look at the this way, He describes our throats, our tongues our lips, our mouths, our feet.

Many of us, many of you ladies you put lipstick, make yourself pretty, beautiful but actually, in God's eyes your lips are ugly one lah, okay lah, you get what I mean ah, not physically ugly lah, but spiritually what comes out not very nice ah. But we like to think we are nice but that's not true according to the Bible. So the Bible here actually concludes that we are a very unclean people and perhaps today after maybe, just 20, 30 minutes of this message, you feel like, wow, the Bible is very strong.

The Bible comes on hard and I, I want to, I feel like running from God. I'm convicted of my sin I'm filled with shame with the things I've done in my life, the things I've said in my life and it is maybe a time like this that you feel a little bit like Adam and Eve when they first sinned against God, they suddenly realized that, that they are naked, they are filled with shame and they ran from God, they wanted to sew for themselves fig leaves to cover before God and maybe that's what you feel like right now, you feel like covering yourself away from God and maybe want to run, you want to run away.

I say to you, please run, but please, don't run away from God but run to God because the Bible gives us this wonderful promise and indeed the whole Bible is filled with this wonderful appeals from God. Yes, you are sinful, yes you're filthy, yes you are ugly, yes your heart is deplorable, yes, you are depraved, but come, don't run, come, because I am such a generous, merciful and forgiving God, “come let us reason together, says the Lord.”

“Though your sins are like scarlet”, there is no denying it, there's no hiding from it, this is reality, you are sinful, “they shall be white as snow” if you are willing to come; “though they be red like crimson, they shall become like wool”. So like the prodigal son, you've wasted, you have ruined yourself, you rebelled against your Father but your Father still calls you to come, because there is the offer of forgiveness for every sinner today, and that's really what the Old Testament tells us that we may be unclean, we may be filthy, but God says, “I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be as clean from all your uncleannesses.” This is stunning, this is amazing, all the filth of my life, all the thoughts, all the sins, all the words, all the actions, yes, I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses.

Oh, you can’t clean yourself because the Bible says all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; you cannot clean yourself but God is offering to clean you by Himself. Just now Jeremiah said, our hearts are desperately sick, it is incurable. Let me tell you again this is the promise of God, “I will give you a new heart and I will put a new Spirit within you.” Your heart is hopeless, but “I will give you a new heart, I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh.”

You know what the Bible is about, it's about this good news that we are so ruined and depraved and corrupt and helpless and hopeless in our sins. The Bible puts that across so clearly, but at the very same time, the Bible gives us the great news that God will clean us clean, God will give us a new heart through Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross to pay for your sins, to satisfy the just wrath of God to earn for us what we could never earn by ourselves this new life in Jesus, this reconciliation with God.

You know, I think Christendom today is giving a gospel that is not really the Gospel. Christendom today tells people, come to Jesus, come to God because He will give you a breakthrough in your career, come to Jesus come to God because if you're sick, you will be healed. Come to Jesus, come to God because you are feeling empty life, He gives you some meaning in life and I hear this message over and over again even in our own country, but we forget that the crux of the matter is that we are a sinful people before a Holy God. God did not come to save your career, God did not come in the form of Jesus to save you from your physical sickness, God came to save you from something far greater than that and that is the wrath of God. He came so that His blood will wash you clean of your sins, He came so that He can give you a new heart that you will want to do that which is right and that is far, far, far better and more precious than breakthroughs in career or in health.

I'm not saying those things are not important, I'm saying we really cheapen the Gospel and we do not give people the right Gospel if you're not telling people about their sin and their guilt and the forgiveness and cleansing that is available from the cross. I know that's how people like to listen to preaching, oh it's about health, oh it's about career, I will come, I'll come to church, I’ll come for rallies, I'll listen to this but if you're not leading them to the true forgiveness found in the Gospel, you're not leading them to Jesus.

Let me tell you this, the message of the Gospel hurts because nobody likes to be told, “I am a filthy, helpless sinner”, but at the very same time, if you really humble yourself, there's no message as good as the Gospel that when I can't do anything at all, God freely gave me His Son.

So He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, no one is saved by his works, no one, because, as mentioned, all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. You don't come to God because you have been a good boy, you don't come to God because you have been coming to church, you don't find acceptance with God because you were baptized or you read the Bible. We are not saved by any works we do because we are so rotten, we can't do it anyway, but we are saved according to His own mercy. He saved us not because there is any good in this man. He saved us because there is everything good in Him. He saved us out of His own mercy and now He washes us, He gives us regeneration that means a new creation.

This is the word that is used to describe the re-creation of this new world of this world, when Jesus returns and this is a word that is used to describe the new birth in the man when he believes he is born again and then it starts off the process of renewal, that is a word that refers to a renovation. He changes your life from the inside out once you are regenerated, you are born again. This is the amazing mercy and grace of God He poured out on us, the Spirit richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

We started today looking at the source of sin, we started today looking at the depravity of the heart, the blindness of the eyes and, and salvation is about cleansing, salvation is about giving a new heart.
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And salvation is about God giving you sight and light because He says “God who said, let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” Salvation is all God's work. Amazing, amazing when we can't save ourselves, He gives us light, He gives us cleansing, He gives us a new heart. This is the God we worship, this is the Gospel truth, this is the good news of the Bible.

So the Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and accused His disciples of eating with dirty hands, Jesus turned it around and exposed the real problem, it is the dirty hearts. But little did they realize that the One they're accusing will be the very One would go to the cross and die and give His blood, to cleanse dirty hearts all over the world. This is the God we worship. Will you today stop hardening your heart, will you today, repent of your sin and look to Jesus that you may be saved? If you are guilty, if you're ashamed, if you know that you are naked before God, run, but don't run away from Him, run to Him through Jesus Christ.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together. The Gospel is stunning good news, but it's stunning good news only when we first understand and accept the verdict of God upon human life, that all we like sheep have gone astray, that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately sick that there is none righteous, no not one, there's no one that does good, no, not a single one. The good news is good news when we realize how desperate and ugly and dirty and depraved we are, but like a shining light in the midst of a dark tunnel, the light of the Gospel shines ever so bright that when man is so ruined in his sin, God out of His infinite mercy, gave His Son Jesus Christ, the very God, the Son of God himself. He will go to the cross, suffer a cruel death, be risen again the third day, purchasing the right to set us free from sin, satisfying the just wrath of God upon sin and now, the promise of God in Ezekiel is made available to all who would believe upon Him, “I will sprinkle clean water on your heart, I will cleanse you from all uncleannesses, I will give you a new heart, I'll take away the heart of stone and I'll give you a heart of flesh, I'll give you light that you may see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”.

My friends, this morning, there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners can plunge beneath that flood and lose all their guilty stains. Don't just come to church, come to Christ, come in humility, come in repentance, come in faith and plunge beneath that flood. Look to Christ alone to save you from your sins. Here, behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world; that takes away your sins, all your sins as you repent and believe in Him.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, perhaps you are a Christian and you know it already, but in your life you have picked up sin and maybe you are filled with guilt and shame today as well. You came this morning with a heavy heart. I say to you, run, but don't run away from your Father, run to your Father today because He tells you, if we confess our sins; He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God is near to the brokenhearted and those who are contrite, He will not despise; run to God, our Father today and my friends, if you know this good news, how much you are forgiven of your sin, can I beseech you by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice? You don't earn your salvation, but if God has blessed you with salvation would you glorify God with your life, glorify God with your body? Live in a holy way, godly way. Go and tell others the good news, make disciples of all nations, let your life so shine that they may see your good works and glorify Your God who is in heaven and it all begins in the fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins.

May the Gospel be received into many hearts today, may the Gospel be believed upon, may the Gospel be lived out, may the Gospel be given out. Father, thank You for Your Word, bless each one gathered here today. May we know Jesus more and more, may we rejoice in Your love. Thank you, we pray all this in Jesus Name, Amen.

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