What manner of heart do you have? Is your heart available to receive the seed of the Word and to be fruitful? God gives grace to the humble. He strengthens us in His truth. Mark 4:5-21; John 19:30; Romans 4:3

Speaker(s): Mat Gehret, Matt Roberge
Sermon 12510
6:30 PM on 5/14/2023

P. Matt Roberge –

Alright. Thank you, dad! Actually, I was deathly afraid of doing anything in front of people, so all through high
school I just was hidden away. I didn’t start singing till after high school, and I was absolutely
petrified. And here I am today absolutely petrified! Before I begin, I would like to say thank you
to the A.V. Department. They don’t get a lot of thanks but they do a lot. People turn their heads
when something goes wrong to look at the back. What’s going on? But nobody says thank you
that often. Thank you, A.V. Team.

Alright. Galations 5. Let’s all stand. Aright. Let’s all stand for the reading of the Holy Bible. Galations 5:1,
(prayer). You may be seated. You’re welcome. Stand fast. I was thinking about this. Standing
fast. It’s a very strong word like don’t lose this position. Don’t be persuaded from it. Don’t fall off
the standing. And what standing is that? Liberty. It’s interesting, isn’t it? You think you want to
fight for something. You want to fight for your good works. I’m working hard for this. Here we get
a different picture. Work hard for the liberty that Christ has freed you in. Work hard not to fall
from that.

I think that we easily entangle ourselves in a yoke of bondage. I want to talk a little bit about the
conscience, and how we can approach God with our conscience. We can try to serve God with
our conscience. I don’t know if anybody remembers, but in John 19:30 Jesus said that it is
finished. I love a message that P. Bob Colban preached a couple years ago. It says a couple
verses earlier, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, he said, “I thirst.” Like that
was the last bullet to check. Alright. Check. You got it all done. Everything is accomplished. Now
I can say it is finished.

What does that mean for us? What is finished? That’s what we need to stand fast in. What is
finished? What is finished? We don’t need to work anymore for our standing with God. I’ve been
thinking about this. Naturally, we always fall into this I believe like our conscience. We start to
feel like okay, well, I need to do this. I’ve been sort of on this side of the tree. I need to do this to
please God, right?

Do we feel that way? Does anybody else get that sort of deep down inside psychologically we
are sort of motivated by righting the wrongs that we’ve done. We get that way, don’t we? But
Galations 5, Paul says stand fast in the freedom that Christ has made you free in, and do not be
entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Hebrews 9:14, Interesting side point. The Holy Spirit led
Christ to the cross. He offered himself through the Spirit. But it says here he will purge your
conscience from what? From dead works. Purge my conscience from the bad things that I did?
Purge my conscience from dead works, because I will always fall into this trap of approaching
God based on my conscience. I’m serving him to appease my own conscience, and really I’m
serving myself.

And God says in James 4:6 that he resists the proud. When I am serving God based out of my
conscience, it’s pride. Why is it pride? Because I feel like there is something that Christ’s blood
did not pay for. There’s something in my life that I am exalting over the power of God. My
inadequacies, – it’s my pride to say that my inadequacy is too much for God’s power. I can’t
serve God because of this. It’s pride.

Guess what God does with that? Resists the proud. Can you imagine God resisting you? It’s
crazy, isn’t it? You’re struggling to move forward and God is resisting you. It’s not yourself
anymore. It’s God. You’re trying to present your offering. Look what I did, Lord. And God says
I’m not interested, Cain. I’m not interested. I want you to come to me on a different basis. But
what does he do to the humble? James 4:6, what does he do to the humble? He gives more
grace. “He resists the proud, but he gives more grace to the humble.” It takes humility for me to
say, yes, I am in right standing with God. It sounds kind of prideful, doesn’t it?

But actually, it’s humility to say yes I agree with God, cause it doesn’t make sense in my natural mind. My
natural mind is always driven to this conscience based serving. I want to serve God based out of my conscience. But God says no I purged you from that. It’s dead. It’s dead works. I purged
you from that to serve the living God.

So, don’t fall into this trap of feeling like I need to do something first before I can come to God.
We do that, don’t we? I can’t pray right now. I just had some terrible thoughts. Let me wait a
couple hours. We do it, don’t we? We do it. Has anyone ever been asked to pray for a meal or
something or pray before the service. You’re like, you picked the wrong guy! I am just an
absolute wretch. I can’t pray right now. That is a lie from the devil. And it’s our natural man that
has so much pride that it wants to polish itself up and try to serve God.

But what does Romans 8 say about the carnal man? The carnal mind is at enmity with God. It’s
God’s enemy. That’s why he’s resisting. You’re trying to serve God in your carnal mind and
you’re literally an enemy of God. And he’s resisting. But to be humble, is to allow the Spirit to
lead us into God’s presence regardless of who we think we are. We rely on the Spirit’s leading.
And there we receive grace. Grace upon grace. More grace. And in Romans 5:17, that grace
causes us to reign in life. We have a whole new different outlook. It’s not based on my
conscience, it’s based on what Christ did. I can stand firm in that freedom that Christ has made
me free. I don’t fall back into this yoke of bondage where I’m striving to please God. I’m striving
to please God, and God is resisting that. God is resisting that.

I don’t know why this is on my heart, but I feel like people get burnt out. People get burnt out.
I’ve been serving God. I’ve been serving God, and what do I have to show for it? What do I have
to show? I got no money. I got nothing. I expected something out of this. God is resisting your
natural service. He wants you to serve in the Spirit. He wants you to be humble, and in the
humility you get more grace. More grace. More grace. More grace. In 2 Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to
make all grace abound toward you that you would have all sufficiency in all things. It’s a whole
new ballgame. Being humble to receive grace. Being humble to receive grace. I don’t naturally
receive grace. It’s not in my natural mindset.

I want to work for it. Let me work for it. Please. Give me the steps. That’s why religion is so popular. Give me the list. I’ll do it. Christianity is not that way. God’s way is not that way. It’s the humble that get the grace. Amen. He did it all. He
finished everything. Don’t come to him with your own sacrifices. There’s one sacrifice that he
honors, and there’s one sacrifice that we honor. Amen.

P. Mat Gehret –

Good evening. We’re going to be in Mark 4 tonight. P. Matt, that was an
awesome message. Thank you. I want to remember that every day to stand fast. It’s God who
keeps us, right? God who causes us to triumph. God who motivates us. God who seals us. God
who protects us. God who preserves us. Does it have anything to do with us? Nope. It really
doesn’t. It’s like the most freeing fact of our faith that you could ever learn. It’s the biggest way
that maybe we could stand in liberty. It has nothing to do with us. Thank you, Jesus.
Let’s pray. (Prayer). I’m gonna read a couple verses that I’m assuming most of you have heard

Mark 4:3-9, are we ready? Great. Here we go. This is Jesus speaking to a large crowd in
a boat out on the water because there’s so many people. vs. 3-9. How many of you have heard
that parable before? It should be a familiar one. You might have heard it by the time you entered
4th grade in Sunday school or Junior church. Or whatever you called it whenever you were at
that point in your life. It’s one of the most common parables to be taught on because – so, why
does Jesus use parables. He mentions why in the verses immediately following. You could read
that if you want. It’s in verses 10-12. He explains why he uses parables. But really, he has
mysteries to give out, and he is waiting for those that want to receive them, want to hear them,
to go after it and hear it and receive it.

When I talk to you guys about the four different types of soil that Jesus himself is going to
explain in the next couple verses, I want you to think about this as your heart as you hear the
Word. The different types of soil are the different states of our heart as we hear the Word. Okay.

So, how do we explain a parable if it’s a mystery, if it’s a dark saying? It’s something we have no
understanding in ourselves to figure out. Well, the very first place we should look is the Word.
We see if Scripture interprets Scripture. In this specific passage, Jesus goes right into it and
says this is exactly what I mean when I say these things.

Okay. Let’s look. Let’s skip down to vs. 14 and read what it says. Mark 4:14, so the preacher, the
Bible teacher, the Bible study leader, the mother at home with her children, the father at home
with his children. Whoever. Whoever is giving the Word is the sower. Okay. So, I’m going to say
to you guys tonight that when we hear the Word, regardless of who it is, when we hear the
Word, we’re going to take these next four instances as the state of our heart at any given
moment when we are hearing the Word.

This could be any one of us, any time. I don’t want you to think about it as this person is a saved believer. This person is an unsaved believer. I want you to think of yourself in the situation being able to have any one of these hearts at any given moment. Okay?

Getting ramped up. Here we go. I forgot my glasses today, so if I go a little slower it’s because I
need to focus on what these words say here. vs. 15. So, this is one type of heart. One type of
soil. One state of our own heart as we listen to the Word. Do you guys know – of course you
guys know this but I’m going to pretend. I’m going to take a quick straw pool. Do you guys know
that we have an enemy? We have an enemy. His name is the devil. His name is Satan. Rev.
12:10, he is the accuser of the brethren day and night. One of his methods of scooping up the
Word and taking it away from you is lying to you. John 8:44, he’s the father of all lies. He lies to
you. As soon as you hear the Word, he comes in with another word, another voice, another
method, another teaching.

He says don’t listen to that. Listen to this. What did he say to Eve in
the Garden? Has God really said this? He comes I with something else, and he brings a lie to
you. So, we have a deceiver. We have an enemy. He comes and he swoops up the Word. The Word
has no opportunity to take plant, take root in our hearts. It’s already gone. He swooped it away
with a lie, with an accusation, with condemnation, with deceit. The wiles of the devil in Eph. 6.
He has a very vast playbook to take away the Word from our hearts. You can be a believer
sitting in a church service listening to a message like you are right now and the devil is speaking
to you, and you’re listening to him instead of what’s being preached. Because he doesn’t want
you to focus. He doesn’t want you to hear.

Anywhere the gospel is proclaimed, he wants to
make sure there’s a million and one other distractions to keep your ears from hearing what the
Spirit has to say to you.

So, our heart, what’s one state of our heart? It’s deceived. The deceived heart. vs. 16-17.
Having two children, one who is a little over the age of two, you really start to see like how their
minds work a little bit. And my daughter if she does something we don’t want her to do, we’ll like
let her know. And we’ll tell her to do this other thing. And I always go at the end of what I’m
telling her I always go, okay. And you know what she does without fail? She says okay. Okay.
This is us when we receive the word gladly, very quickly. Okay, God. Okay. Okay, God. And then
what do you think? Ellie, step back from the TV.

Ellie, step back from the TV. Okay. Okay? Okay.
What does she do in the next five seconds? I’m just kidding. We don’t turn the TV on for – no,
she’s in front of the TV. She gets right back in front of the TV, and she’s right back in front of it

This is us in our walk with God whenever we agree with him quickly, but we don’t have any
basis for believing anything he says to us. These are the Pharisees in the Bible. The Pharisees,
who when the Word is being preached, when it is being taught in the synagogues, what are they
doing? They are listening and receiving it gladly and agreeing with it, and then as soon as
something gets hard, as soon as any sort of difficulty comes their way, as soon as anything
goes against the standard norms or practices of what they have to say or do at that time, they
immediately divert from it. They immediately divert from it, and go into their own rules and their
own interpretations and they step away from the Scriptures.

Where does it say this? Matthew 15:7-9, Okay, daddy. Okay. They go back to their own belief
systems. They go back to their own structures. They go back to their own legalism, their own
laws, their own heresies. But they all agree upon it, so it’s okay and everybody needs to listen to
them. Interesting. So, that heart is the shallow heart, the natural heart, the hardened heart.
Mark 4:18-19, This is the careful heart. The anxious heart. The worldly heart. Doesn’t Jesus say
in the Sermon on the Mount wheresoever your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Store
not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust do come in and destroy, where
theives break in and steal.

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” “Seek those things
which are above…” “If you be risen with Christ,” Colossians 3, “seek those things which are above.”
Where is your desire? Where is your thought life? Where is your attention when the Word is
being given? When you have your Bible open like P. Matt said, you know, you have that excuse
in your heart to not pray. Oh, I was just thinking terrible things, doing stupid things. Just being a
total jerk of a Christian, so I’m not going to pray right now. That’s what we are talking about.
When the Word is being preached, can you drown that stuff out? Can you let the dross of the
silver wash away and come forth as a shining vessel?

You can. You know why? Because the Word can do that. But you have to receive it. You have to be listening. You have to have ears to hear. You have to listen to what the Spirit is saying as the message is being preached. Do you
know that whenever you are listening to a message, you may hear my voice, but you hear
another voice behind you. It’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Talking to you about the way that
you can walk in, which direction to go in. Which of these verses apply directly to your heart right
now? How you feel on the inside walking with God, he’s going to speak directly to you about it.

And in no way are we to be condemned for being in any of these states of our heart. Whether
we’re deceived, whether it’s shallow or hard, or whether we’re worldly or anxious or full of care,
we are in no way to feel condemned for these things. But we have another type of soil, another
state of our heart that we can turn to. And it’s right here in vs. 20.

We could call this the receptive heart. The Word is preached. The seed is thrown, and it is taken
in and it is pushed down deep into that soil. And it is making an impression in the dirt. And there
are little buds starting to work it’s way out of that seed. And the roots are starting to take a firm
grasp in the dirt, in your life. This is the spiritual hearer. This is the humble, this is the humble
person in James 4. This is the humble heart.

Now, I want you to turn with me to Romans 4. I want to make one small application if God gives
me the grace to do so. One application. Romans 4:1-5, in Galatians 3 it talks about how the promise that
God gave to Abraham in Genesis 15 came 430 years before the law ever made an appearance on
the earth. In Genesis 15, Abraham is roughly 70-75 years old and then when you get to Genesis 17 and it
says Abraham is 99 years old; that’s when God says okay because of this covenant that I have
made with you, because of this promise that I have given you that you believed in, I’m gonna
give you circumcision as a seal, as a sign. Even the seal, the sign came at least 25 years after
the promise was believed and accounted to Abraham for righteousness.

Which heart did Abraham have in that situation? Was he deceived? God said I’m going to make
you a great nation. Your seed is going to multiply on the earth. Abraham, if you can look up to
the stars and you can count them, your seed will be greater than the stars in heaven. He was
receptive. He was believing. He wasn’t looking at himself. He wasn’t thinking about himself. He
had every reason to. When he was 99 years old, still there was no seed. Still there was no
Isaac. Still there was no fruit of this promise that was supposed to take place, but did that stop
Abraham from believing? No, he still had the receptive, spiritual heart.

I hope that I can get this point across. John 8:31-32, Jesus is speaking and he says, “if you will
know the truth, the truth will set you free.” The truth that God gave to Abraham in Genesis 15 set
Abraham free. Did he have questions about it? Did he have doubts later? Yeah, maybe a little
bit, but did he ever stop believing God for the promise that God gave him? No.

When you are saved, when you are justified, when you realize that Jesus Christ has become
the propitiation for your sins and he is now seated at the right hand of the Father ever living to
make intercession for you, do you know that that is never going to change? That is never going
to change. Do you know that whenever you have, whenever you believed unto righteousness
the same way that Abraham believed unto righteousness, he didn’t perform any works. The
circumcision didn’t come for 25 more years. The law which he was supposed to – the nation of
Israel was supposed to follow didn’t come for another 430+ years.

Do you know that nothing can come against your belief, because Christ seals you at the
moment of salvation? Sealed. It’s like the picture of the circumcision in Genesis 17 is a picture of the
way that God instanteously marks you for his own the moment you believe. Romans 4:3, do our
works in any way, shape, or form prove to ourselves to anyone else that we are saved? I know
what some of you are thinking, because a lot of you did not answer that. Do our works in any
way, shape or form prove to God or to other people that we are saved? They absolutely do not.
They have nothing to do with it.

Whenever James starts to talk about works in James 2, and he says faith without deeds is
dead. Faith without works is dead. Do you know what examples he gives? He gives Abraham as
the example. How was Abraham’s faith shown to other people? Circumcision. His offering up
Isaac on the altar. How was Rahab’s faith shown that she believed God? How was it shown?
Because she acted in accordance with her faith. Does that have anything to do with us proving
to God what we can or cannot do? No, if we have the humble heart, the receptive heart, the
spiritual heart that hears the Word that is preached, and we say Lord I believe you. I’m not even
quick to believe and then turn tail and run the other way.

I believe you so much that I can stand here whatever comes my way. 1 Peter 1:6-7, “the trial of your faith is much more precious than gold that perishes that it might be found unto the praise and honor of Jesus Christ.”
Do you know why you have the power to stand in any one of those situations in Ephesians 6?
Whenever the deceiver comes after you, the accuser of the brethren, whenever other people
get on your case and push you around and say, you’re not this. You’re not that. You’re not any of
these things. And God all the while is saying, no. You are. You are saved. No, you’re a believer.
No, you’re sealed unto the day of redemption. No, you have a standing with me. No, you’re the
apple of my eye.

Who do we believe? We believe God. In Hebrews 13, it calls his covenant an everlasting
covenant. I think it’s vs. 20. Hebrews 13:20-21, who’s doing the work there? Jesus is doing the work.
Whenever God makes the promise to Abraham in Hebrews 6:13, what does it say? If you go to the
end of that chapter, it talks about how God keeps his covenant 100% wholly within himself. It
has nothing to do with you. If you believed, you’ve been accounted righteous. Nothing can
separate you from the love of God. Nothing can take you out of his hands. No one can come up
against you.

In Zechariah 3, the great high priest Joshua is standing there, and the devil is just attacking him.
Attacking him. Attacking him. And there is nothing that the devil can say or do that’s going to
remove what God says to the great high priest right after that. No, you’re clean. No, you’re
forgiven. No, you’re saved. No, there’s nothing that you need to do to prove that. I have done
the work for you. God says that in Hebrews 6, in order to relate to man in the way that they
understand an oath, I’ll go ahead and make a covenant with Abraham. I’ll go ahead and make an
oath, so it’s within your realm of understanding so you can get exactly what I’m doing. But the
fact that God does not lie, that God does not change, that when God says I will keep a
covenant, he will do it.

There’s no going back on that. That’s enough. But by the second immutable thing, he would make an oath with mankind for that purpose. That’s like icing on the cake. That’s what allows us to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.When you’re hearing the Word and you are in one of those other places in your heart – you’re
deceived. You’re shallow. You’re hardened. You’re filled with care. You’re worrisome. You’re anxious. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. “Be anxious for nothing, but in
all things through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known
unto God. And the God of peace” – what’s it say?

Which surpasses understanding, Philippians 4:6-7. You have a hardened heart, the moment you believe Ezekiel 36:26, he gives you a heart of flesh. A heart to receive. A heart to take in doctrine. A heart to take in the word. A heart to listen to
what the Spirit has to say to you. The moment you’re deceived. The moment you’re deceived,
the truth sets you free. Go back to the Word. Go back to the Word and receive it. So, let’s pray.


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