Speaker(s): Pastor Justin Schaller, Pastor Kim Shibley
Sermon # 11263
7:30 PM on 5/17/2017
How’s every one doing on Wed. evening? We’re good? Good.
Name one thing you can be thankful for. Jesus? Ok. How about two things? You say you got nothing? Then start digging. We have so many things to be thankful for.
Eph 3:14-15, the universal church. We have the church on earth and the church in heaven.
vs. 16. To preface this, if you look at the beginning of the S and go through the Bible, you have this paradigm over and over, one who oppresses and the oppressed. Israel was oppressed and had an oppressor. Even with Cain and Abel. One who is the oppressor and the other who is oppressed. Throughout history you have the poor people and the oppressor. The oppressed people are always looking for the deliverer. A lot of times the one who defeats the oppressor is far worse than the oppressor. In Judges you have that. The people get back their land or freedom and one generation later they’re way worse. Christ came and the Romans were oppressing the Jewish people. Are you going to go in and take out these people that are oppressing? He knew if he did and gave it over to his disciples, they might be far worse. Jesus said I came from another kingdom and my kingdom is not on this earth right now but will come and be in you. Before you think you can take over the one oppressing you, you need to deal with the oppressor in you. People try to find that paradigm. That person who is going out to deliver the oppressed people is the oppressor. You and I are the oppressor. All of our problems are because of us. If you go to the root of it, it’s really us. In the Gospel it has to start at that point, where we realize the oppressor is me. I’m a slave of the oppressor. Before you deal with the outside, you have to deal with the inside first.
Eph 3:16 Paul is saying I pray you’ll be strengthened with might in the inner man. He speaks of the new man, the new creation, the one put inside of us, the new identity. This new man needs to be strengthened. So often we are concerned with outside circumstances but most important is the inner man, the invisible. The inner man should be our one concern in life. The inner man is being renewed day by day.
He’s being strengthened, vs. 17. This is what I think of the new man. He’s saying rooted and grounded. He’s taking a plant, the whole idea of a root system with a plant. We have the opportunity to have the root system go as deep as possible. We’re going into the love of Christ. We’re motivated by hope, by the future. If we have no hope, we have no future. Love is the motivator of hope in our life. We have the opportunity to be strengthened and our root system to go so deep into the love of God. I know the sacrifice Christ had but the Cross is a perfect representation of the LOG toward us. The Cross goes linear and horizontal. As far as the east is from the west and as high as heaven and as low as hell. At the center is Christ himself. We have the opportunity to go as deep as we want into the love of Christ.
vs. 18. Eternal. It’s like the ocean. I’ve tasted the love of God. I take a scoop of water and could say it’s the ocean but it’s so much more than what is in the cup. We can think so much about the oppressor in our life but need to be thinking of who this new man is and what is he rooted in. What is he tapping into? The love of God. We can have so many stories of how the LOG has come into our life in a personal way. I want more of that. I want to know more what this new man is tapped into.
vs. 19-20. This is the work of the Spirit in us. We preached a message in Fed Hill about Lazarus raised from the dead and Jesus saying Lazarus come forth. Take off his dead man’s clothes. All of us, the oppressor in all of us wants us to be servants to the oppressor. To be servants to the sin. Do this to do this. We can live our life and beat ourselves up. We can think of ourselves as a dead man wearing dead man’s clothes. Lazarus was raised as a new man. We need to operate in this reality that we are new people. Paul doesn’t deal with the Corinthians according to their sin but according to the Cross of Christ. Why not build yourself up in the new man. When you are tapped into the love of God and know he loves you above and beyond, then you take on a new identity. We need to know it more and more. Maybe the outward man is perishing and we don’t have the same abilities as we once had. Why is it we still have a sin nature? We get to know the grace and love of God. I want this to be edifying for you. I want to know it more. The limitless opportunity we have to tap into that.
I remember P. Stevens’ last Eurocon. I remember the love of God being palpable almost. This is amazing. Ever been to a conference and said this isn’t the same thing. Then in a place where the love of God is poured out in a real way, you want to taste it more. That’s just a little cup of water; give me a gallon, a stream of it. I start operating in the LOG and motivated by it, persuaded by it, have hope in it. What freedom we have as believers to be rooted and grounded, perfectly R before the love of God who is pouring it out on us day by day.
1 Jn 3:18-22
A man went into a bar and bought a glass of beer and threw into the bartender’s face. He grabbed a napkin and apologized with remorse. So sorry. I have this compulsion to do it. The bartender said you be sure I will remember you and not serve you another drink. Months later, the guy asked for a beer and was refused. He said he was seeing a psychiatrist. The bartender gave it to him and the man splashed it in his face. I thought you were cured? I am. I still do it but don’t feel guilty about it anymore.
We look at these verses in 1 Jn and speak about this condemnation our heart has. If our heart doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence towards God which is a good thing. We keep his commandments is not the Ten Commandments. This whole idea of guilt. When we feel guilty, we know God is greater than our feelings. We can come to God when we don’t feel guilty with a bold confidence. John is speaking about the ability to understand the confidence and assurance we have in Christ. He understands too that it is a challenge for believers. Self-condemnation always plagues Christians. This condemnation is in us, this sin nature. It’s very important we grab onto the promises of God in our life. It’s not God’s perfect will we live in this condemnation. This whole idea of confidence and not living in guilt or remorse because of the promises of God. Do you feel condemned sometimes? I think so. Guilt is an unwanted guest in our car. Sometimes we don’t know why it is there. Speak of our relationships to God and how we are rightly related to him or if we are or not. We accept our spiritual position in Christ. We talk about it often but the important thing is believing we are who God says we are. When we refuse to accept the promises, you’re living void of faith. When we don’t live in the promises we are living in faithlessness. We are perceiving ourselves as weak and unable to overcome. Living in this self-perception, self-deception – it’s all the same when not living by faith.
We are his children in Jn 1:12. The question is: is your perception equal to the perception God has of you? God sees you in a way that is amazing. Sometimes you see yourself in a way unequal to the way God sees you. It becomes air between you and God. The difference between our practical understanding of our kinship with God and what is taught in the S. In the S, it is so affirmative, full of faith that God is for us and we should have confidence in everything he says and that our heart should not condemn us.
It’s the next verse in 21 that it’s good that your heart doesn’t condemn you. That means you are believing in the promises of God. You’re believing in what God says about you and allows you to move on and know yourself the way God knows you. Times in your life you try to make things right to feel good about yourself. Confidence in God’s work on our behalf is the house we need to live in. When we live in a house built on obeying the law or whatever construct we created, apart from the promises, we are living in a house of cards. Ever build one of them? A house of cards is weak and delicate. One wrong move, one puff of wind and they all go. Then have to build it all up again.
Rom 7:14 Paul is real. He’s able to lay out his heart. He lived somewhat in condemnation. I’m reading the New Living Translation. The only reason is it is easier to follow. Trouble is not with the law. The trouble is with me…I want to do what is right but don’t do it. … (He’s reading it in this translation)…it’s the sin living in me. When I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. Some say and others they want to say that this is the Apostle Paul’s life B.C., before Christ, and he wasn’t a believer here. In the context there is no justification for it. He’s talking about his life right now and I’m glad he is. That’s who he is and who you are. He is describing the troubles of the human heart and a lack of confidence. We can fall from grace because we are not applying it in our lives. He lived sometimes apart from God not in a secure dwelling. He overcame it. We can overcome it. We do what John says. We don’t feel guilty because we are believing the promises. We come to God in boldness.
Heb 4:16 he says come boldly not timidly. I love these writers. I love the confidence they have, the faith they have. These are mere mortal men with faith. This is what you are, mere mortal men and women with faith. You can come boldly to the throne of grace. You can know this love is real, true. God will never take any of his promises away.
2 Cor 1:20 his promises are yes and amen. Emphatically yes and amen. We have confidence in God, so we don’t have to feel guilty. God is greater than their hearts but better are those who have confidence in God and don’t have condemnation in their heart. There is no place for it. When we have this condemnation, we are living in a house of cards. It never works right. We’re not building a house of faith. Come boldly to the throne of grace where you may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. Don’t run to your counselors unless you need counselling. Don’t run to drugs. They run to whatever habit will take away the stress. Don’t run to the bottle. Don’t run anywhere. Run to God.
I was driving recently. I went to a fast food restaurant but it’s ok because it was Christian chicken! Chick Filet. I had this moral dilemma. The lady said the person in front of you paid ahead for you. Oh that’s great. Does that mean I have to pay for the person behind me? You’re rocking my world here! I’m thinking I’ll pay for the person behind me, but how much is their bill? It was about the same. Ok, I’ll pay for it. Then I felt so stupid. I talk about having the open hand of grace and I couldn’t receive grace without feeling I had to turn around and do it. Look how good the human spirit is! I would have felt condemned if I hadn’t done it and felt condemned because I did do it! It’s a house of cards and they are all coming down on me.
What was it that set Paul free? John free? Set you free? This K of God’s promise of no condemnation. There is now therefore no condemnation…What the law could not do because it was too busy buying Chick Filet for the person behind them! That’s why we feel condemned when we live in the flesh, when we live outside the promises of God, when we live outside of faith. We condemn ourselves because of real guilt instead of giving it back to God. That’s why we are condemned because we are not living in faith. Knowing God’s heart toward us, his love for us and his desire to have fellowship with us. What is the perfect will of God? If our heart condemns us…knows all things. If our heart…confidence. That’s God’s will is that we would have confidence in him.
Learn how to flush that stuff out. Learn to base your relationship not on your goodness but his goodness. The law always condemns. It always has to be rebuilt. That’s not my dream home. My dream home is a house of faith. Once you settle that in your heart, you have confidence in God. Have confidence in God’s promises. We have to know them, hear them, believe them and exercise them when we are challenged not to believe them. You got to do that to be free. He promises he will meet all my needs. He will always love me. Who am I not to believe what the Creator has said?
If we want to have this life of freedom, to believe his promises that we are not condemned but set free. We need to learn this or live this religious life of constant failure and back and failure that’s a house of cards you never win. But a house of faith is different. A house of faith is I believe God. This is what will set me free. The things in the Bible are not true because they are in the Bible. They are in the Bible because they are true.
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