If the world was filled with God and His righteousness, things would be much different. There’s much misery and trouble. People don’t want to be told about what’s wrong with them. God has a message for those who fear Him. (Romans 3:10-12, Psalm 19:7-8; Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Sermon # 11530
11:00 AM on 8/26/2018
God is all I need (song). Is it true? It is. I do have a need. I need God.
Before the message, I’m going to ask you to come up with a short message. You’re going to do a little mini message.
Ec. 12:13. He has made arguments on the Book of Ecclesiastes on how empty life is. Life has an emptiness to it. A kind of frustration. We can’t really find what life is all about. We are living our life but missing something. Let’s come to this conclusion. Fear God. That’s the subject. Fear God. Do you feel that people fear God? Do you feel you live in a world where people fear God? I don’t think so. Do you fear God? How is it you fear God? How did it happen? What kind of fear is it? The fear of God. Say that after me. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God keeps me from evil. The fear of man is a snare. The fear of God. How do you get the fear of God? Where does it come from? Talk to your neighbor. How many feel you heard a great message from your neighbor? Service is over!
I certainly believe that happens in some measure here. You have the H.S. and you have been taught by the Spirit and are learning. We have gifts of the Spirit here. There are 19 mentioned in our N.T. Different combinations of gifts. Every one of us as unique as our finger print and retina of our eye. Everyone is different, so we have spiritual ministries that are different. That’s why I say talk to your neighbor. Pray for your neighbor.
Rom. 3, I’m concerned in my heart for young people that are growing up in our world without any investment or spiritual message, without truth, without the reality of God. So many live without God. Through the summer in the evangelism we were doing casually in everyday living, I usually share, not all the time but oftentimes, and ask simple questions to people. What’s the meaning of life? Do you fear God? Do you think about God? Is God important to you? Would you like to hear a message?
I was at Dunkins on Route 40 and four workers gave me a Munchkin with my coffee and I thanked them. Could I give something to you? I went to my truck and got a fake million dollar bill tract. I got three of those and told them a parable about a man who had two sons and ministered to them. They were listening, probably understood a little what I said and more concerned about who I am. Have you met people who said no, I’m not interested? Have you met people that said I don’t believe in God? No, I don’t care. Why are they saying this? It’s not in their heart.
It’s Romans 3:10. There is none righteous, no not one. Nobody is righteous. As if God put the whole human race in a CAT scan and could look beyond skin deep and find we are all diseased, every one of us. We get confused because people can be good, nice, kind, polite, civilized. It’s true. They can be generous, giving, philanthropic, giving away money out of the goodness of their heart. But all of this in the eyes of God is of no merit. You could have very good soup but put in there some mud dropped in the soup. We’re sorry but it’s very good soup! If the world was filled with God and his righteousness, the living God, it would be different. If Almighty God was ruling this world through angels, if angels were coming and going, there would be praise, wisdom, and love. There would be the reality of God on the earth.
Instead, we see in this chapter, chapter 3 which is the clarion test for the true nature of man, there is a lot of misery in this world. A lot of pain and trouble. Ever been in Baltimore city and pulled up to a stop light and a gentlemen next to you has their window down and music is blaring and it’s rap and you are listening to the words and the beat of the music and thinking, does he enjoy that? Like, woe! “Gangsta rap music that glorifies murder, rape, drug use and now accounts for many of the hottest selling albums on the record charts. The lyrics of most gangsta rap are indescribably vile. They mix violence, sexual imagery, unimaginably profanity in a way that is repulsive and purposefully offensive. Whereas they openly incite young people to join gangs, kill policeman, rape women, riot, commit other acts of destruction. Gangsta rap is big business. These recordings are not sold secretly out of the back of some hoodlum’s car but are marketed openly in retail stores everywhere with slick ad campaigns designed by executives in companies like Capital Records. Prime target for such products are kids younger than 18. A whole generation is indoctrinated with these vices.” For me, I’m an older guy and that is weird to be listening to all this garbage. My point, the heart of man. What is in my heart? Murder, rape, abuse, hatred, jealousy, fear, – these are the things in the hearts of men and in our mouth. These are things that come out of our mouths. It’s in our heart.
None that understand in vs. 11. None that seek after God. None that understands. We’ll draw a picture here. Understands what? The unseen world. God. God is here. Where is he? I don’t see him. I don’t care. He’s not here. I don’t understand. What is in my heart? I have a sin nature. This sin nature is pride, foolishness, imagination, of evil, hatred, jealousy, self- protection. I have excuses. I blame and so on. There is none that understands. We don’t understand but we don’t want to say that. We say I understand. I know what is going on. I got it figured out. I got a pile of money, a lot of friends, a lot of girlfriends. You don’t understand. Yes, I understand. There is a kind of pride that happens in our culture. We encourage it and teach it. We have different words for it. One of them is called “self- esteem.” “Advocates of self- esteem have been remarkably successful in convincing people that self-esteem is the solution to what ails you. In fact, self-esteem ranks several points higher than a sense of responsibility or a fear of failure, but does it work?
In a recent study, a standardized math test was given to teenagers from six different countries. Besides the math questions, the text asked the youngsters to respond yes or no to the question, I am good at mathematics. American students scored lowest on the math questions, far behind Korean students who had the top scores. Ironically, three fourths of the Korean students said no, I am not good at math, but the Americans, 68% believed their math skills were just fine! Our kids were failing math but felt pretty good about themselves.”
I’m saying pride is why I don’t fear God. In the beginning of our lesson, I asked you to give a message to your neighbor about the fear of God.
When I’m confident about myself and making it work in my life, I might not need God. I’m so secure about myself. When I have problems, I don’t say it’s me. I’m the problem. I say it’s my environment, finances, family, others, education. This is very common thing to do because we are sinners and finding excuses and putting the blame on others. We say I am not the problem. This is the very thing that changes my life. God is saying either I am wrong and you are right and you should crucify me or I am right and you are wrong. On the third day, the resurrection, God is saying I am right and you are wrong. I am the risen Christ and I am the Savior of the world and I am right and you are wrong. You must humble yourself before me and come to me. Say I need you, God.
vs. 11. Seeking God. In many people’s lives, it’s the last thing. They don’t have any interest because they don’t understand him. They are maybe afraid of him like Adam in the Garden of Eden. We are afraid of meeting God. Once on a plane, I was talking to the fellow next to me. I said if God is on the other side of that curtain and he sent me here to say to you he wants to meet you, would you go and meet him. The man didn’t say anything for a while. I let him think about it, and he said no. I think many people would say yes, I would. I do think. If man is this way and he has a hole in his heart and he’s missing God. God is not in his heart. What is in his heart instead? His girlfriend, his house, his future, his own life is there but God is not there. He doesn’t seek him. There is no way because we are enemies of God. You say no, pastor. There are so many people that are nice people. Those nice people go to a garden party and gave a million dollars to the local rotary club. Oh, very nice to meet you. Congratulations. Your family is beautiful and so on. One hour later and they are talking about you in a different way. The heart of man goes to the church and he is there at the church as a moral man but what is in his heart. Maybe hypocrisy. Maybe he doesn’t want to find God. As long as the church doesn’t get personal and in his life. As long as the church is a normal group of people doing good things. Okay. Don’t tell me there is something wrong with me. Don’t challenge me. Don’t teach me. The reason I left the church I grew up in, I drifted away. It had nothing to say to me. I was born again and I started to search this kind because I wanted Jesus to change my life. There are people who don’t want their life changed. We say you are deceived. You are wrong and don’t know it. That morning in Florida, half the bridge fell in the night. 80 feet high. I think a ship hit it. The morning drivers were flying off the bridge. This happened. I was on the road but it was the road of death and I did not know it. Many people are living a life and in their heart they are living in a sinful heart and they don’t realize the awesomeness of who God is. God is awesome. Christ is awesome. Salvation is real.
On our screen we have a heart with a hole because God is missing. We don’t seek him. The world tells us: 1) Self- esteem. That’s what you should care about. Your personal value. If people make you feel bad you talk back to them. If you feel guilty, it’s not real. It’s an old Victorian idea. That will condemn you and make you feel guilty and that’s not good. 2) Your environment is the problem in your life. This is the essential problem. Your environment did it. Your country, your family, your mother or father or how you were brought up. Wait a minute. I’m supposed to blame my environment for my life. What about my choices, my mind and my heart? What are you going to tell me about living my life? I don’t want an excuse. Is there something I am missing? Is there something I could get ahold of that could be above my environment? Is there something more than our society, our problems, and our sins, my failures and my faults and the things going on in my life? Tell me and we are saying you are right. You are right. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. I am wrong. I am wrong. I need help. I need God. That’s what I need.
P. Teplov told a story. In a Russian apartment where he was living, there was an electrical box with skeleton and crossbones and couldn’t be more clear don’t touch it. He opened the box and took a screw driver and it flashed and he went blind and he made his way back to his apartment and he couldn’t see. He fell asleep and his sight started to come back. If I was him, I would fear that box. I would have a lot of respect for that box. In the counter in your kitchen, there are bottles of poison for cleaning. Children cannot drink them and adults cannot drink them. If you have gasoline in your garage, you be careful. It’s incredibly powerful. You can’t fool around with it. I need some kind of fear and respect for the train station, route 95, the planes in the sky, the pilots. We need a lot of respect for objective truth and reality. Amen. Why doesn’t man fear God that made him? Why doesn’t man say I am wrong? I need help. Why doesn’t man go before God and say Jesus I am sorry. You are right and I am wrong. I am wrong through and through. I am proud. I walk around like I’m in charge. I walk around in this planet like I know what is going on. I’m blaming everyone. I’m looking at my self-esteem and thinking no one is going to talk down to me. I have good self-esteem. It’s a lie. Your self-esteem isn’t the issue. Reality is the issue. God will give you the reality of who you are and not fool around in a lie. You are not great stuff. You are so wrong you don’t even know how wrong you are. We’ll be in shock, incredibly amazed, how wrong we are.
vs. 12. “Unprofitable” means decayed like food is no longer of any value, become garbage, become throwaway, unprofitable, degraded food. None that does good. No, not one. In civilization, we do good but this does not have any merit before God because behind it is pride, hypocrisy, our self-image and reputation, our moral conscience. We do good for many reasons. We know good and evil and live by conscience but it can’t get us to heaven or take away our sin. It cannot give us the reality of Christ. When we are born again, we have a new heart. This is Jesus’ heart. This is the heart of David. David had a heart after God. It was given by God. He was born again. He didn’t have it by nature. He had it by grace. David was saved. He had a new heart. Same thing promised to us Gentiles. To us is given a new heart and spirit and we have the fear of God in us. We receive from God. We are in communion with God. We have a constant relationship with God because of respect for him. Sometimes we are quiet because what could I say to God that would be meaningful and not selfish and sinful. Nothing. I can only receive from his love and grace. Be quiet and listen to God.
Now we are listeners. In my previous life, my life was governed by my eyes. When I was not born again, my eyes are not that important. It’s more my ears. I want to hear about God’s nature and the gospels, and his resurrection and parables. I want to know about David and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. I want to know about the Jews leaving Egypt.
As an unbeliever, it was hard for me to get faith. I was skeptical a lot. I didn’t know the Bible. The Holy Spirit would say the Jews left Egypt. I would think about that. The Jews left Egypt. They went through the Red Sea. There must be God. That’s what I reasoned. It helped me. The simple statement the Jews left Egypt. So I believe. Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Was he in my new heart? Yes, he was. He’s the answer. He’s the way in the misery and destruction of the human race. So much trouble and pain in families and in the nation and finances, in the world of sex and abuse and hatred and murder. The heart of man is so capable. The heart of man is sinful. He is a murderer. He is a deceiver. He’s not saying he’s wrong. It’s others that are the problem. Does he have any fear of God? No. He doesn’t fear God. He lives his own life for himself. It’s got to be different now. We are born again. New heart.
Ps. 19 the whole new thing that happens.
vs. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect means sufficient. Three things commonly taught in our culture. They say there is 3) shallow religion. Religion is not an answer for you they say. The young people that come to our Sunday school and there is about 500 children. Many of your children are getting taught in our Sunday school. They say I want to go to church to go to Sunday school. Great. Go wake up your mom and dad and go to Sunday school. Then 10 or 11 or 12 (years old) they stop. That’s when they need it so much. Thirteen, fourteen because when they are 16 and have a mind of their own and could easily be rebellious and troubled, but they need an anchor. The world will say that’s no answer for you. That’s shallow. That won’t work. Religion, there is nothing there. Not true. Everything is here in Jesus. Jesus is here and he is everything. Law of the Lord is sufficient. It’s all together comprehensive. It’s everything I need. I found that in 45 years of studying the Bible, I never felt – I found it is sufficient for every situation you and I will ever be in. The Bible that goes to the new heart. The new heart is drawn by God.
Jn 6:44, we are drawn to God. Has it happened to you where you say Abba, Father? Aramaic for “daddy” in Galatians. I want you, God. This world is crazy. I need you, God. I depend on you, God. You are my Father in heaven. I need your law. Sure – unmistakable, trustworthy, unwavering, reliable. I came from a university, state college to Bible college.
I left the University of New York and went to Bible school. In a few days, I made the decision. I was looking for what we are talking about. That which is reliable, trustworthy, sufficient. Look at what happens. If you and I receive words and live by faith in those words, this life changes and is different from this one.
These two are completely different. I don’t pay attention to my self-esteem but have a great sense of God’s love for me. My environment. I lived in more than 4 different countries and been in different cultures and have had personal problems but my environment is not governing my life. Our God in heaven is filling us with the H.S. and giving us understanding. If I can hear the book and the Bible can be taught to me – not just this chapter and that one – the whole book. We can learn the whole book and the precepts and principles of the whole book.
vs. 8. Some people don’t come to Christ because they haven’t gone low enough to realize their life is a mess. Where do I go? Who has the answer? Where is the answer? Who has a message? We say J.C. is the answer. Every word he speaks. He is not coming in the world to condemn you but save you. He came not to destroy you but to be judged so you could be saved. I am the living water. Take my yoke. Come to me. I am the bread of life. Eat it and you will live. Come unto me. I am the way, truth, life. You can’t go to the Father without coming to me. These words are so important to us. I’m so glad I’m in a church where people are hungry for the deeper things. Grow up. I am the problem. My life is crazy and I need everything I can get by the grace of God and new heart so I have new ears to hear what is not said and what is said and what is trying to be said. I am hearing. God is helping me and ministering to me. Whenever you open your Bible up, God will speak to you if you come to him with a pure heart and contrite spirit. Jesus, I need your wisdom today. I don’t know how to pray. I am listening to you.
God told me to read Job 31. I read it a few times yesterday. I went out and mowed the lawn and then he said read it again. I got things going on from Job 31 in my heart. Before I went to bed, I’m waiting on God. I don’t know anything. I can’t do this. I go before God in this attitude. God, you are my Father. Speak to me. Ge 41. I’m trying to think what it says. I go to the Bible and read it. I think about it. It doesn’t relate to Job 31.
This is how you can live. Why not get counsel that comes from God. Why not know this book inside and out. A little piece of it. If you go to church once a week, I’m thankful for that. You should ask God and say do you want me to be there more often? I’m in a hurry and have a big family. I’m a hurry, worry, scurry person! God could say quiet down and listen to me. You could go on a Wednesday night but might have to shut down the TV or the computer. You can pick up your game. I’m coming back.
When you have fellowship with each other in a fresh way. I can stay home and read but I go to the church and listen to a greater thing. I have an accountability. Reading is also important but listening is so powerful and life-changing.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.