28 May 2017
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Well, it is a privilege to be here with you, I had the opportunity a year ago to be in Kuala Lumpur with a number of you that came for a family conference setting, we, we spent time together and now it's a treat to be back with you today. Gracious and wonderful people. I'm excited to see your new church facility and so great place.
Now, listen, I get the opportunity to preach any message I want to and you imagine that you had the opportunity or responsibility to preach or to give a message to a people and you can pick any message you want to pick, don't you think you would probably pick, in your opinion, the most important message of all messages. That's what I have the privilege to do and that's what I've done.
I think what you hear today, might be one of the single most important realities, that any Christian can ever understand and for you here that are seekers, seeking to understand what does it mean to be a real follower of Christ, I think you'll find this to be most helpful. I need to ask this, from you first, are you a church that's willing to kind of interact and feedback with me and I ask a question, you kind of give me the answer, are you open to doing that? Yeah or no, what do you say, okay alright, that's all I need to hear, alright.
Here's what I'm going to do, I am going to be addressing the subject matter, the Deceit of willpower, willpower, how deceitful.
In doing so I'm going to be very, very, very basic to begin with and I'm going to ask you a few questions. I want to make sure that we are all together on the same page and we are all in agreement about some very important but basic things okay.
So what I'm going to do, I'm going to talk about two kinds of people, then I'm going to refer to two certainties about one of those two kinds of people and then I'm going to talk about three words, that just kind of gives you a picture of where we are going.
So let's start, number one, the first point I want to make, there are two kinds of people in the world. According to the Bible and our Christian faith, there are two kinds of people. Now I'm going to tell you what the first kind is, from the Scriptures and I'm going to see if you can by hearing that, know what the second kind of people is, you with me? Here's the first.
The first category of people, is known as the natural man, alright? Man or woman, but it's the natural man. If one kind of people is the natural man, what is the second kind of people, can you tell me ? Spiritual man, very, very good. So if that's new to you, you need to know that, you are either a natural person or you're a spiritual person. A natural person is not a real follower of Christ, not a true Christian. All other people who are not Christians are natural people and then those who are true Christians are called spiritual people.
Now let me ask you something else, now about the spiritual person. Forget the natural for a moment, those that are real Christians, of those that are real Christians, they have, how many natures, can you tell me how many natures, a Christian has? Anybody know or let me reverse it. Let's see if we know the natural man. How many natures does a natural man have, alright, has one, it's called the sin nature, right? So we all need to know that, natural people, all natural people have one nature, sin nature alright.
For those who are Christians, how many natures do they have? Two, very important, we're going to address those two natures today.
Let me ask you another question about the natural person. The natural person is said to be in Adam, the first created being, meaning in the likeness of Adam. The spiritual person is in the likeness of somebody and who is that? Alright, he's in, he is in the likeness of Jesus, who is called by the way, the second Adam in Scripture.
So we got this first piece right, two kinds of people, a natural person who is in Adam, one nature, you have the spiritual person, a real Christian, in Jesus and two natures an old and a new, alright.
So you see the outline there that kind of explains that. So we got the first of the three done, this is going to be a quick sermon, ain't it. well, we are a 1/3 of way through, that's not true. Anyway, number two, number two, there are two certainties, that you need to know about the person who is a spiritual person. So we're going to now set aside the natural person for a minute and I want us to talk about the person who is a spiritual person. Two things that are absolutely true of all people who are spiritual people.
So if you're a Christian, this is what's true of you. The first of the two things is simply this, that is, that you are sealed, SEALED, sealed with the Holy Spirit. What that means is this, if you're a Christian, it is certain without any doubt, that God's Spirit has come within you and God has sealed you with His Spirit never to leave again, meaning once you're a Christian, you're always a Christian, sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Here's how it says in Ephesians 1:13, In Him, Jesus, you also after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed, you were sealed in the Holy Spirit, with the Holy Spirit of promise.
So we know that sealed with the Holy Spirit, here's the second thing true of the spiritual person, that is, they are capable of being filled with the Spirit, FILLED, filled with the Spirit. It doesn't mean you are filled with the Spirit, but it means, if you're a Christian, you are absolutely capable of being filled with the Spirit.
So here's the way it says it, in the book of Ephesians chapter 5. It says, Do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.
If you go to the book of Galatians in chapter 5:16, this is what it says, Walk in the Spirit and then it says you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
Hmm, so what are the desires of the flesh. Anybody here ever have trouble with somebody in conflict and find yourself hating them, saying there's no way that I can love that person. Maybe it's somebody who's done something so wrong to you, has hurt you as bad as anybody could hurt you and you're a Christian and you're sitting there seething in this relationship, that's so broken and then you come across God's Word and it says, oh Christian, by the way you're to love your neighbor and the Christian says well, this neighbor I can't love, not after what they have done to me, I just can't do it.
How about this? Any of you found yourself so low, so down, not a medical issue, but just emotionally you get so down and you feel like there's nothing happy in life and then you read the book of Philippians and 16 times, it says, to either have joy or to rejoice, have joy and you go, how can I ever have joy in the midst of the mess I'm in right now.
Any of you ever wake up in the middle the night, right in the middle of the night and you can't go back to sleep, your mind starts racing and you think about all the challenges of your life right now, the things that you are so concerned about and you just are worried and then you see the Word of God, that tells you, have peace and you say, how would I do that?
Well, there's a text in that same book of Galatians that follows just a little later in chapter 5:22, it says, the fruit of the spirit is love. You can't hate, how you going to if you can't love, how you going to get away from hate? Well the Bible says you can't really, but the fruit of God's Spirit is love, the fruit of the Spirit it says next is joy, but I can't get up, there's no way I can find myself up. Oh, you need joy and you can't, you're right, but God's Spirit can, the fruit of the Spirit is peace, think about that.
You see the teaching of the Bible is, that there is a source of power that the Christian has available to them that I am going to suggest, most Christians tap into very, very little. It would be true of Christians in our church and Christians in your church. If I were to asked the typical Christian in most churches, when is the last time that you consciously appropriated the power of God's Spirit, that you became filled with the Spirit, you consciously became filled with the Spirit?
Do you know that I were to ask you to raise a hand and I would not do that here, but if I were to say, how many of you consciously appropriated God's Spirit in some way today already, there may not be many hands all that go up in the typical church. If I said how many in the last week, very few hands. How about the last month and we go really, whoa, that's odd because God has said we can appropriate the power of God's Spirit.
Now let's get, let's be fair, do you think it's possible to appropriate the power of God's Spirit without consciously doing something to appropriate, oh, I assume that's the case, just like with prayer. I think it's very possible that somebody can be praying without forming a prayer as such.
That's why the Bible says that we should pray without ceasing, that we just should be in an attitude of prayer. But wouldn't it be odd if you're talking to a Christian and you say, when's the last time that you actually formed a prayer and said something to God. I haven't done that, I mean, I pray without ceasing, but I don't ever put a prayer together, never pray, never say something to God. You say that's something strange and in the same way, I'm going to suggest, that for a Christian to say, I'm appropriating the power God's Spirit on a daily basis, but I don't ever consciously appropriate the power, I go huh, something strange about that Christian life, I'm not buying that.
So keep in mind, this is one of the most important realities, the Christian church can ever understand. But for some reason, most Christians know very little about this idea of appropriating the power of God's Spirit.
You know, I, I had an illustration that came to life through an experience I had in our church number of years ago. We have a number of security staff that work in our church property and, and, and one morning I was driving in, early in the morning to come to work and here riding in on his bike is one of our security guards. I was just kinda shocked, came out of the car, I said, “can I ask you a question?” I said,” do, where did you come from?” He said, “well, I came from my home”. I said, “where do you live?” And he told me and I knew where he lived and it was a long way away and the terrain, very hilly and I was kinda shocked. I said “man, you came up. Oh yeah, I do every day, rain or shine, I ride my bike to go to work”.
Now I'm really impressed, when I hear that and what's, not only the fact that I was impressed, I was a bit confused because frankly, looking at him, he was not in very good shape and I thought “how do you do that, that's impressive”, so I kept saying, “man, I'm impressed”. And finally he said, “look, don't be impressed”. I said “why?” He said, “look at my bike”. So I look at his bike. “So yeah, what about it?” He said, “look at it”. Well, it has handlebars, some pedals and just like, a little sturdier than most bikes, I go, “what about it?” He said, he said, “that little thing right by the, right by the, the pedals and here's a little box about this big”. He said “that's the motor”. I say “a motor?” He say “yeah, you see by handlebar, there's this little button there, you just turn that on, you start going up the hill you can't get up that hill, you just turn on that button, that takes you right on up to the top”. I said, “oohhh”.
Do you realize this is the story of most of us. Here's how it goes, we wake up in the morning and we say “God, I love you and I want to serve You today and so I'm going to obey You today, that is my intention and plan, I'm committed to obeying You” and then we start out in life and that early morning we see our first big hill of temptation, whatever that temptation may be, and we see that hill right in front of us we say, “okay, Lord, this is where I need I, I, I need to really go hard because I told You I'm going to love You and serve You and obey You today so I'm telling You, I will not be allowed, I will not succumb to the temptation” and you start going up that hill and you get halfway up that hill and you pedal as hard as you can, you can't get there, you get off and you say, “oh God I am so, so sorry, I told You today, I would be faithful I wasn't, so I am sorry, tomorrow when I hit that same temptation, I'm telling You, I will do whatever it takes and I will get to the top of that hill”.
So, next day, you see it coming and you start going as hard as you can go and you get a little further, but you can't make it to the top and so finally you get off and say God, I am so sorry, two days in a row, please forgive me, tomorrow, when I hit this hill, now I'm telling You, tomorrow, I will get to the top of the hill. And you know what happens tomorrow comes, there's that hill of temptation and there's an effort like you've never, never tried before and you still can't get up to the top, you get off your bike and this is what you say, “I can't, I can't”.
I can't tell you the number of Christians, that I've talked to in our church, who might be struggling in marriage and they sit together and they say, I cannot love him, I cannot love her, I just can't. I said wait just a minute, are you a Christian? Oh I'm a Christian, oh we love the Lord, yes we are Christians, we just can't get along. I said that's interesting because there's a text in, in first Corinthians 10:13, that says, there's no temptation, no temptation given you but such as common to man and God is faithful not to allow you to be tempted beyond that which are able, but will with the temptation make a way of escape.
Can I make a suggestion to you? I will say, why not, don't say if you're really a Christian, don't say you can't, put that out of your vocabulary forever, but instead say one of two things, either say I won't or may be more appropriately, maybe you need to say I haven't learned how to yet, I haven't found the way, but there is a way, but do not say I can't because as Christians, oh we can, but we cannot do it by willpower, and that's the great lesson that we have to learn, we can do it, but not by willpower.
So, how do you appropriate God's power, I want to go to the final third point and that is, it is three words, where we go to three words that are going to explain to us how to appropriate the power of God's spirit. I hope you will remember these three words for the rest of your life. I use these three words every day of my life, with rare exception when I go a day without recalling these three words, they are this vital.
I want to give you the three words to begin with, then we're going to go into our text in Romans 6 and it'll be my job to make a very complex text, very simple, in a very short time. So you watch and see if that happens, here are these three words.
The first word is the word know, KNOW, know. The second word is the word consider, consider what you know and then number three, is the word, present, we are going to see them in God's word now, so open your Bibles if you have them or check the screens as we read these verses, Romans chapter 6. There are three important words, point 3 there are three important words in Romans 6:1-13, that unlock the secret of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The first word, know. Know has to do with an informed mind and this is what Paul says in Romans chapter 6, let's jump to verse 3 and here's what it says, Or do you not where's what that word, there it is, do you not know, that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death. Skip down to verse six. Primary verse, it says, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.
Go down to verse nine. Knowing, that Christ had been raised from the dead, is never to die again, death no longer is master over Him.
Now, what does that mean? I'm going to make it really, really, really simple. Here, are the things he says, you gotta know, if you want appropriate God's power, if you want to be able to love when you hate, if you want to have joy when you're down, if you want to have peace when you're worried, whatever it may be, here's how you do it, you gotta have the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit comes as you appropriate the power of His Spirit and the first thing you have to have is an informed mind and you need to know what is true and he says three things that you need to know.
The first thing is that you have died to sin. Do you know what death means? Death means to be separated from. So he says the first thing you got to know is you have a sin nature, remember how we talked about that the Christian had, the non-Christian has one nature, it's a sin nature, the believer has two natures, one is the sin nature. The one other nature, is the nature of Jesus.
So everybody has that nature, the sin nature, but he says, here's the difference. The natural person, oh, he is bound into his sin nature, but, but then something happens to the Christian, the Christian is separated from the sin nature, that's called dying to sin, alright.
He says the second thing, you need to know that happens, is that you are united on the use of the term baptized with Jesus, with His Spirit. So that's a uniting, you've been separated from an old nature, you've been united to a new nature and you've been thirdly, raised up to a newness of life. He said you got to know that if you want appropriate the power of God's Spirit.
You see, appropriating the power of God's Spirit is relying on what He's done for us, as opposed to willpower is relying on what I have in me, that is me, no, not sufficient. I need what He has in me. So Paul says the first thing, is you have to have an informed mind to know what's true of you. So let me put it to you, in an illustration, let me use this hand, this hand represents me, alright. Now, here I am and this is my second hand and this is my old nature. At conception, this is what happens, those two are locked together. It's what Paul says being a slave to sin, I mean, we are just like this it. You cannot separate the two in any form or fashion. We literally are bound to our sin nature.
But then something happens, we die to sin, remember the word death, separation. Here's what happens, boom, they are separated. Now here am I, and here is my nature. In chapter 7 of Romans, Paul is going to talk about the strange occurrence of me and then my nature, that separate from it, it's been separated. Now, I'm without hands, I need another hand, so can you pretend this one stays here, alright.
Now, here's what happens, this third hand represents God's Spirit and at the moment of this separation, this is what happens, boom, I'm back now, but I'm united with Jesus, I baptized with Him, never to be separated again forever, forever, forever but keep in mind, here I am, but here is my nature, my old nature is still very much in me, a part of me. But now that nature is next to me, united with Jesus. He says you have got to know that. If you don't understand that, you'll never be able to rely on God, you got to know what He has done.
Look at verse six with me, it says, Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him. Can you tell me what is the old self, tell me. Sin nature? what everybody says, don't feel bad, because everybody says that, but everybody is wrong until you really studied, you find out, oh, that old nature, is not the old self. You know who the old self is the old self is Randy as a non-Christian, crucified, gone, you will never ever, ever see me as a non-Christian, ever.
If I'm really a Christian, you'll never see me as a non-Christian, that person, that's the old self, it's been crucified. If you're a Christian, you've been united with God's Spirit, let me tell you, never again will you ever be seen as a non-Christian by God or it, it can never happen because you have been united with Christ.
But then read on, it says then, in order that our body of sin might be done away with. There's your sin nature, but this is what's so misleading, most all Bibles read that the body of sin might be done away with, so we will no longer be slaves to sin. It's one of the worst translations, our old nature is not done away with, remember it still there, that second hand is still there.
Chapter 7 makes it real clear, it's still there, it's not done away with, but you know if you take a study Bible and you look in the margin, you know it will say, the little number by done away with and it will say actually, and it'll tell you, rendered powerless, that's what the word really means. Oh, it's here, but it's been rendered powerless.
The best way I can illustrate that is using a pirates ship analogy. Kids, you could even enjoy this one, so listen up, here it is. Imagine that the ship has an old mean wicked, wicked, I mean the captain is as bad as they come. His name we will call him Capt. Jones and Capt. Jones hates and cares less about any of the crew, just is abusive, everybody hates him and finally one night, while they're out sailing, everyone has now talked about it, there's nobody that likes Capt. Jones. So they decide it's time for mutiny, they're going to actually put him to death.
So before they do that, they say we gotta find out who our new captain will be and everybody agrees with Capt. Smith. Capt. Smith is the sweetest, kindest, great leader, we need him as our captain. So they anoint him to be captain and that night late, they go break in the cabin of, of Capt. Jones and they bind him up and they have him walk the plank and he's just about to step into his death, in the water and Capt. Smith said no, whoa, whoa, whoa, no, we are not going to send him there, bring him back.
We got to, we going to let him stay on board because in three days, we're going to hit shore and we will put him out and he'll be gone forever, but he has no power now, he's been rendered powerless, he has no weaponry that can hurt us. He has nothing and he has no authority, so just let him free, let him walk around, we don't care and so sure enough, that's what happens.
Then Capt. Smith says to the crew, said, now I want you to spend three days resting, yeah I want you to sleep, I want you to, to do no work, just enjoy the next three days and they're all elated and excited. So the next, next day they're all laying around, playing cards, sleeping, you know just doing whatever and turning the corner, in one spot where a group of men are just laying around, comes Capt. Jones and Capt. Jones comes around and says, get up and swab the deck and they jumped up and they grabbed their pails and mops and they're just working and working for about an hour and they're sweating and it's hard work and then here comes Capt. Smith, good captain Smith. He turns the corner, he sees all the people working so hard, he goes, gentlemen, gentlemen, what are you doing, why are you working so hard? I told you to rest. Oh Capt. Jones, he told us to clean the deck. Wait, wait, wait, did you not know that he's been rendered powerless, why would you do what he commands. You see, when we reach our temptations, let me tell you, the old nature is saying, oh, you better lust because if you don't lust you going to miss out on life, oh you need to do this, you need to be mean, they were mean to you, you need to come back to them and, and we're going aye, aye, sir, and there we go, until we finally say, I can't do anything.
But no, no, no, that's not true. But you gotta have power, so this whole idea, the body of sin might be done away with, means to be rendered powerless.
Let's go to the second word, the second word is the word, consider. Now the word consider is found in verse 11 and here's how it reads, it says even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ.
Now, the word consider means to take into account. Maybe a way I can illustrate this, I've been an avid tennis player for many, many years and, and let's imagine that I'm playing a tennis match and, and I've gotten to a level that I'm playing fairly good tennis and I happened to be playing a guy that's not that good at tennis, at tennis, but, but for some reason, he beats me and I'm scratching my head, saying how did he do that and I know he kept hitting into my backhand and my backhand for some reason that day, it's just horrible and I'm going, man how, what happened, what happened, what happened.
So I finished the tennis match and I'm go in and take a shower, let's say, I'm thinking about how did he do this and why was my back and so bad and all of a sudden it's like a light comes on and I go, ooh, look where I had my racket head on my backhand. I couldn't hit a backhand with it in that position, I need to bring that racket and all of a sudden I go, no wonder, it's where I was, what is wrong with me.
Now did I learn something new while I was in the shower, not at all. All I did was consider something that I've known for a long time, but I live as if I had forgotten it, that's what happens to the Christian, yeah, yeah, I guess I knew I was dead to sin, I guess I knew I was united to Christ, I guess I knew I was raised up, but, but it's like I forgot all of that and now I'm living life in the power of the flesh and I'm just trying to obey and I'm struggling and it's hard and I can't, ooh, what was I thinking.
It's like spiritually speaking, we go brain-dead and then we consider and we come alive, we aah. Know, consider, what's the third word? What's the third word? Let's make sure, know, consider, present.
Here's how it says it, in verse 13, it says and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
So what's this saying? It says, present yourself to God, this is a surrender. The first is an informed mind, the second is a surrendered heart, and he's saying, now that your mind is informed about what God has done, now in light of that, surrender yourself, present yourself to God as an offering to Him, surrendered. And by the way, the members of your body as well. What are the members your body? How about the eyes, what we look at, the ears, what we listen to, the mouth, what we say, the mind, what we think, the heart, where we put our affection, our feet, where we go. He says, why don't you give all of your members to Him? Surrender and when that takes place, that's when God's power is released, that's how it happens.
When I was a young Christian, there was a, there was a man that I, I knew that was the most godly man. I watched him, I was awed by the way you lived, such a surrendered life, I was amazed. And so one day I went him and I said, I said, Tom can you tell me, what's the secret to the way you live? You live as if you're dead, to the things of this world and so alive to God. How do you do that? And he asked me a question, he said, do you do push-ups? I said, I do, I do push-ups every day.
He said what is the maximum? I mean, truly the maximum number of push-ups that you can do at one sitting, how many can you do ? So I gave him the number. He said is that really the max? I said well it's that many, that would certainly be the very, very, very max. He said, okay, what if I ask you, to get down and do that many push-ups and so you did your very, very best, you gave it everything you had and sure enough you get to one more to hit that number and what happens, you start shaking and your body that uggh, oooh, uuggh, waah and you do it. You feel hey, I got it, I told you I could do that many.
He says, let's assume that I leaned down to you and said, if you do one more push up, I will give you $1 million and let's assume that I have the money and I and you know that I'm actually going to get, if you do one more push up, I'd give you $1 million. He said, do you think you try to do one more push up, so you better believe I would. He said, do you think you could do one more, even though you already hit your max. I said, well, I guess adrenaline would probably kick in and I might be able to get one more. He said, yeah that's probably what would happen, here's what you do, you go back down. And you take a big breath and you start pushing and you start shaking from the very beginning and it would be questionable for the longest time, your arms will be shaking and you finally ugggh and then I leaned down, I say 5 million if you can do one more.
He said, you think you try, I said, yeah, I'll try. He said, you know what happens, about the time you bent your elbows, your chest would hit the ground, boom, you'll be, you have no ability, at that point, you probably looked up at me and you say, Tom, I can't. He said when you come to that place, in your Christian life, will you learn I can't, but God, you can, will you, that's when power, comes into your life.
Do you know we are so hooked on willpower, we just keep trying and trying and when we can't do it, we say I can. But there's another level and that level when God's power comes in and really takes over.
I want to conclude with a two statements, I want to put these statements up and I want to illustrate and some of you who have been to the training I've been giving and so forth, have heard maybe one or both of these illustrations, one's in little book that I write, that some of you have used, called The Answer, but, but I am going to use these two stories of my children, that will illustrate the points that need to be made.
Here's the first application, reads like this, put it up on the screen. Willpower will deceive Christians into believing they can experience God's power without embracing the truth. There are certain people who think, if I present myself to God, that's what counts. It's all about surrender, but they don't acknowledge what God has done, the knowing is gone.
The story is of my, my daughter, I have two daughters and two sons and my, my oldest daughter, her name is Rachel. Rachel is a nice girl, she is now a mother of four children and much older, but when she was in high school, she was just starting high school and, and and she was just the, the bubbly let's have fun, all gregarious, you know, just, just a fun little girl.
We moved from where we had been living, we are put in a different school district and she had to change schools which is no big deal. She loved just meeting new people, but in about the second week of school, she had an encounter, some things happened that were just horrendous. I mean left her a broken girl, in one day's time, this bubbly sweet, outgoing girl, became so depressed that within a year her mother and I, would take turns going up to see if she was alive the next morning, fearing that she would take her life, knowing she wanted to, hoping she wouldn't do it.
We've been to every kind of doctor, we've been to institutions, we've done everything we think need to do to help her through her depression, it just didn't happen. We knew now, it was a circumstantial depression, that's a type of many types of depression. This is one called circumstantial, we knew it was not chemical related and so forth, it was just circumstantial and here now for several years now, a year, two years, we been fighting, battling this thing, man, it was like we were losing the battle, we could tell.
But as I began to think and pray and talk and get advice and counsel this that, the other, I thought I might have found the solution to her problem and indeed it was. So one night I called her down from her room and I said, Rachel I want to have a little talk with you, about your depression I think I may have found the answer out of your depression. Well, let me tell you, that was music to her ears. I heard her say over and over dad, why is God allowing this to happen. You know I love the Lord and you know I'm serving God and you know how I'm in discipleship and I'm doing service projects, I'm just trying to serve the Lord so faithfully, but why would God let this happen to me and, and it hit me, I understood, I think the answer.
So I called her down and said that I want talk I finally found the solution, well, she was so excited, she said, what is it? This is going to hit you strange but I'm being serious with you now. I think the way out of your depression is for you to go out and start raising hell. She looked at me and she said “what did you say?” I said you need to go out and raise hell, she said, what do you mean? I said, well I know that you've not had any alcohol to drink, you just chosen not to drink alcohol. I think you need to go get drunk, you need to get really drunk, just to see what it's like to be drunk.
She looked at me and she said, what? I said, in addition to that, I think, I know you're holding out for marriage to have sex, but I think you need to have premarital sex, you need to go out now, start now, start having sex.
Now, she goes “dad, what are you talking?” you taught me against these things, what do you mean?” I said, ooh, I'm not for these things, I just think it may be the only way to get you out of your depression. She said “dad, I'm confused. I don't get it”. I said, let me explain it this way, I've been writing down things that you been saying and they're not true. I'm convinced, but I know you think they are true.
At the top the list Rachel, I've heard you say if, if once I heard you say 100 times how ugly you are, there's not one of you that will see her picture that would ever say this girl's ugly, but she was convinced, she's ugly. I say, you say you're ugly, are you ugly?” She says, I know I'm ugly. I said, number two, I keep hearing you talk about how overweight you are. There's none of us that would look at her and go, oh, that girl's overweight. But I said, do you really think you're overweight, she said, I know I'm overweight, I'm ugly, I'm overweight.
I had all this list of things she was saying. What I happen to know also that God's Word says, you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. And I said, you know Rachel, I don't buy that. She says, I, I know it's true. I said, alright, so let's just assume that we have Jesus, your Savior walk into this room, incarnate in flesh, somehow, this were to happen and we were to say, oh Jesus we were just talking about Rachel and, and you could be the tiebreaker, she thinks she's ugly, I think she's pretty, she thinks she is fat, I don't think she is, Jesus what would you say? and then I turned to Rachel and said, Rachel, what do you honestly think He would say? She's head came down, she said, well, He'd say I'm pretty and He'd say I'm not fat.
I said, let me get this straight, you seem to think it was somewhat awful to go out and get drunk and have premarital sex. Which do you think would be the most offensive to Jesus? To do that or to look at Him in the face and say Jesus you're wrong or better yet you're lying, which do you think would be the most offensive? All she said was, to tell Him, He's wrong or lying.
I said, do you understand, Rachel what you're doing, you're allowing your feelings to determine what's true and you're not looking to what God has to say to be what's true and as truth sets you free, the opposite brings you into bondage.
Rachel, you know how you get out of sin, you get out of sin by repenting, you understand that repenting is, it is saying you're wrong and you're sorry, but it's more than that, it's really, it's really coming back to the open arms of a loving Father and saying Your love and Your truth is enough for me. Would you want to do that, you know, we walked through, she did, we walked through one at a time of the lies she'd been believing and she confessed to these sins and asked for forgiveness. It wasn't the next day, but I'm telling you within the week, week and a half, two weeks we saw her,come out and rise and since then I think she'd be the first to tell you, when she starts believing the lies there it goes, when she gets, it's just a, it's a given. Do you realize that, here she is saying I'm surrendered, I'm surrendered, I'm surrendered, but what I know, that doesn't count, it's at both ends.
Let me tell you the second one and will make this application, it reads like this, willpower will deceive non-Christians into believing they are Christians if they sincerely believe the truth, meaning that I know I'm okay, I don't have to present, I don't have to surrender. That's the story of my youngest son, my youngest son, David. He's grown and married with three kids, but when he was in just the, his young high school, middle high school years. He and I such good buddies, still are to this day, a great relationship and, and he made a profession of faith early, he'd become a Christian, he'd kinda live in a good moral life and everything looked good, but his mom and I would say, if we talked to each other and say, I don't see any spark in him and don't see much of a love relationship with God is like, he's going through the religious stuff, you know, but we didn't know.
Well, we're having breakfast and he always wanted to have one day, a week, breakfast, we would always meet together and have a little Bible study, for a few minutes of prayer time and just to me that, shows how spiritual inactivity he was, he would want that. So one day, we're having that time together breakfast, he says, he says, hey dad, you need to be praying for me. I said well, I pray for you everyday buddy. He said, no, no, no, dad, you need to pray like really, really, really pray for me.
I said, I don't know what you talking about, well what you mean really, really pray. Well, dad I'm doing some bad stuff right now that you don't know about. Like what? Every dad loves to hear that, you know. You're doing bad stuff like what? Well, dad I'm getting drunk a lot. He said, I, I mean I had alcohol poisoning multiple nights that my friends thought I would die if they didn't get me to the hospital, I wouldn't let them take me.
He said, and dad, besides that you know I've been doing everything there is wrong with girls, you name it I've been doing it. I just it's I'm just kinda got caught up in it. I going wow and he said and also dad. I said, whoa, whoa, whoa, that's enough I don't need to hear anymore.
I said let me ask you a question David, what's going on, what's happened. He said, dad, here's the problem, I don't want God. I said you don't want God? He says no, but dad hear me out. I don't want God, but I want to want God, he said, I know God is real and I know what's going to happen, to lead me to destruction. I know I'm going to pay the consequences. That is why I'm asking you to pray for me, pray that I would want God, not just want to want Him. I said, I'll do that, but can ask this question, are you a Christian, see he's facing temptation, he's not overcoming it. But I had a feeling it was because he wasn't a Christian.
I said, are you, are you a Christian? He said, dad, of course, I'm a Christian, no doubt, I'm a Christian. I said, really? I said and how do you know you are a Christian and he said, dad, I know I'm a Christian because I remember when I was in such a ,such a young grade, grade in school and, and I remember I was with so and so and I prayed to receive Christ, and I know I was sincere and therefore I know Jesus is in my heart and I didn't say a word to him. I just stared and made a noise and I went aaaaah.
He looked at me and said what was that, I said, oh it's the buzzer, it means you got the wrong answer. He says, what do you mean. I said, you know there's nothing in the Bible that looks back to a, to an activity, to a anything in the past to determine if you're a Christian, it's always the present and it has to do with fruit. I don't see fruit in your life, your mum doesn't see fruit in your life.
Well, I don't care dad, I don't know what you say, you don't know, I know I'm a Christian. OK, your business boy, your business. Do you know it was like four years later, he is now finished high school, into college for two years. He's home for Christmas break, he walks down the steps and he comes where I'm sitting. He says, hey dad, you know what, you were right, I had no idea what he's talking about, I said, right about what. Remember we met four years ago or so and you told me you didn't think I was a Christian I said yeah. He said, you are right, I wasn't a Christian. I said, what makes you say that, he said, because just last week, so I became a Christian, I know now what it means to be a Christian and he has gone on to live strong for the Lord.
See, he had the, he had the knowing down, oh I know what God's done. I know, I know, I know, but there was no surrender of the heart. See, those two come together and you appropriate the power of God's Spirit. I'm absolutely convinced this is the most important message that you and I can ever hear.
So I close with a little prayer, the prayer is what I pray every day and I say every day there been a few days in the last years but it's a rare day that I miss this prayer and I put it up it, this is what it looks like, it says resolve to consider what I know and to present to You the members of my body as instruments of righteousness.
Now, here's how I pray it. I wake up in the morning and I drop down to the floor and I say Lord, today I want to begin my day, appropriating Your power and I want to be resolved right now to tell You, I'm resolved, to consider what I know, that I know that I have died to an old nature and I know I've been united with You, Jesus and I know I've been raised to a newness of life. So I have power available, but I have to surrender and so I want to give You my heart right now. I want to give You my whole being, to give You the members of my body. I give You my eyes, my mouth, my ears. I give You my, my feet, I give You my heart, I give You my mind. I just want to give it all to You and I know I will fail but as I do I want to re-surrender it to You and remember what You done for me, I need Your power. That's the only way I can get through today.
See I'm convinced, if you and I start embracing the realities of Romans 6 and I come back, here five years from now and you are all still here and I say to you how many of you have consciously appropriated the power God's Spirit this week and I see all these hands go up, I'll tell you what, this is going to be a different place. You'll find the difference when you appropriate the power of God's Spirit. It's a journey, it start slow but you will ramp up and you'll see, there is power available, don't rely on willpower, rely on His power.
Seeker, it's the story of the gospel, you don't rely on what you do, you can't morally meet God's demands, that's why He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross that He would pay the penalty that you and I deserve and so it's by doing the same thing. Hey, I can't, but You can Lord, You enter my heart now and save me, that's how you become a Christian, let's talk to Him about that now, let's pray.
Father I want to pray for these dear folks here and I pray that You would grant for every Christian here the ability to appropriate Your power, the resolve to do so, and to see You work mightily in the lives that otherwise would never be changed because of the lack of Your power and I pray Father for the many here that are seeking to understand the faith of Christianity that You would right now let them turn to You and say I can't, but You can, You can save me and would You do so, and I pray Father, You would indwell hearts even now to the end that life would be changed forever. We thank You. We pray this in the great name of Christ our Savior, amen.
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