Participants: John Lomacang
Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000012A
00:30 I want to do something a little different
00:32 that I normally do, I want to read the Scripture,
00:35 but I want you to stand with me to read the Scripture.
00:38 I've seen this before, but it is a good reset
00:40 and I think it's a good time to just take a breath
00:42 and reset - so let's stand together.
00:44 We're going to read the Scripture on the screen,
00:46 it's a wonderful one - it is the declaration of the Apostle Paul,
00:52 and I'd like us to read this together today
00:55 with some wonderful conviction...
00:59 Are you ready?
01:20 Father in heaven, As we open Your word
01:22 now we pray that You will open our hearts to speak
01:25 to us today as to how we can find that we can experience
01:31 this life that is found only in Christ.
01:36 In Your precious name we pray... Amen
01:40 You may be seated.
01:45 Most of you don't even know it happened.
01:49 It happened July 29, 2006.
01:54 It was labeled the greatest public works project in
01:58 U.S. history, but you didn't even know it happened,
02:04 June 29, 2006.
02:08 From the day that President Dwight D. Eisenhower
02:11 signed the "Federal-Aid Highway Act" of 1956
02:17 the Interstate System of America was born.
02:21 Now, I look around, some of you could have been alive
02:24 during that time - I just want to make it clear in the record,
02:28 I wasn't - can you say Amen. Amen!
02:31 But the "Federal-Aid Highway Act" of 1956
02:36 opened up in America something called the "Interstate System."
02:42 We can simply modify it by calling it "The I-System."
02:47 Every citizen has been touched by it, if not directly
02:51 as a motorist, than indirectly as a passenger.
02:55 Every item we buy has been on the Interstate System
02:59 at one point or the other and when I read the story
03:04 a few days ago, historians all agree that the Interstate
03:09 is one of the most important achievements in American history
03:13 and President Dwight D. Eisenhower has been
03:18 credited by that invention.
03:21 He did not invent it, he did not build it,
03:23 but he signed it into law and as you travel around...
03:27 and I just discovered this when, a number of years ago,
03:30 when Angie and I were driving
03:31 from Orlando, Florida to live with the Heritage Singers
03:35 there in Northern California, I didn't know about it,
03:37 but then it came to my mind when we looked at the map
03:40 back then when we used the Rand McNally Maps,
03:44 I discovered something that I hadn't known until
03:47 I decided to travel the Interstate.
03:49 Even numbers go from east to west, odd numbers
03:54 go from north to south.
03:57 If you're in the south, the lower numbers
03:58 are there - Highway 10 and the further north you go
04:01 the higher the numbers get up to Highway 80,
04:04 and I don't know if there is a 90, but I know that in the
04:07 far west is the lowest one, Highway 5,
04:10 and in the far east is Highway 95 which takes you
04:14 from north to south.
04:16 So you will know your direction if you understand that
04:18 you are on an odd number or an even number.
04:22 Today, when we enter these super highways,
04:24 in our region, you see I-64 or I-70,
04:29 but the point of the story is this...
04:33 The interstate known as the "I-Ways" will take you
04:39 where they are designed to take you.
04:43 The interstate of human nature or the I-Ways of human nature
04:47 will take us where they are designed to take us.
04:51 Once we decide to travel on the I-Ways or the
04:56 interstate of human nature, we cannot change our direction
05:01 unless we get off of the interstate.
05:05 This morning, I want to talk about the interstate
05:09 of human nature... the I-Ways of human nature,
05:12 and I want to thank Gary Wills for being creative
05:14 in coming up with this background.
05:18 The "I's" have it.
05:20 You see the plight of humanity or, let me broaden it,
05:23 the plight of every one of us can be summed up in
05:26 the following phrase...
05:27 "We are where we are not because we failed
05:31 in our journey, but because we were born to travel
05:36 in only one direction."
05:37 Every one of us was born to travel in only one direction,
05:41 the direction of the fallen human nature.
05:44 Every one of us was born on the interstate of human nature.
05:51 We were born to go south, the Lord wants us to go north.
05:55 We were born to go west, the Lord wants us to go east.
05:59 Every one of us was born with a predetermined direction
06:04 on the I-Ways of human nature...
06:07 That's why Jeremiah the prophet asked the following question...
06:10 Notice Jeremiah 13 and let's use our Bibles.
06:13 We know it comes on the screen, but we want you
06:15 to become familiar with the Bible in how we can
06:18 use the word of God together, let's look at the word of God.
06:21 Jeremiah the prophet asked a very important question,
06:25 and it is about the direction of the human nature.
06:30 He asks... "Can the Ethiopian change his skin,"
06:36 and what is the answer?
06:37 Come on talk to me, what is the answer?
06:39 The answer is "no."
06:40 Or the leopard his spots? What's the answer? "No"
06:43 Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil?
06:49 And the answer is what? No.
06:51 Every one of us was born on interstate of evil,
06:56 the interstate of human nature where we are incapable
07:00 of changing our skin color, where the leopard is
07:05 impossibly locked in the battle of changing his spots.
07:08 We cannot change, we are incapable of change.
07:13 And when I think about that, the thing that really gets me,
07:16 we think about the journeys of life...
07:18 You know many of the journeys that we set in life
07:20 having nothing to do eternity.
07:22 Many of the decisions we make having nothing
07:24 to do with eternity.
07:25 Almost every decision we make, as we grow up,
07:28 has nothing to do with eternity - think about that.
07:33 We have guidance counselors for educational goals;
07:36 we have financial counselors for investment goals;
07:39 we have realtors for real estate goals,
07:41 but most of the decisions we make, even as Christians,
07:45 have really nothing to do with eternity and most of our focus
07:48 is what we're going to do down here...
07:50 But, the supreme goal of life is not making a mark
07:55 in this world - the supreme goal of life
07:59 ought to be getting ready for the world to come,
08:01 what do you say?
08:03 That's the supreme goal.
08:04 If you think about it, there is no other goal
08:08 of greater importance than the supreme goal of getting
08:14 ready for the world to come
08:17 But to me, it seems like an odd thing because Adam's nature only
08:22 has one destination...
08:24 Just the first part of 1 Corinthians 15:22,
08:27 the Bible says, "For as in Adam, all die," and when you
08:33 think about the journey that we are all born on,
08:37 it is a journey to death.
08:39 None of us could change that direction by our efforts,
08:43 by our actions, by our skill, by our education,
08:48 by our ability... none of us could change
08:51 that direction because Adam's nature binds us to our
08:58 We are hopelessly locked in where we're headed
09:03 because of Adam's nature.
09:07 This has become a subject of my concentration
09:10 and you might have noticed that for one very important reason...
09:15 After pastoring 30 years and being married 33 years,
09:21 I've come up to the great realization and I want to say
09:25 this - I've come up to great realization that you can pastor
09:29 for 60 years, but if making heaven is not your supreme
09:35 goal, if becoming more like Jesus is not your supreme goal,
09:39 then you've got a great career, but you don't have eternity.
09:44 And so we have a new saying now, Angie and I,
09:47 we have this new saying together - "We are living
09:51 with eternity in view, living with eternity in view.
09:57 And I want to tell you this morning,
09:58 and I hope this becomes a focus in your life...
10:01 It is not worth allowing anything in this life
10:06 whether good or bad, failure or success,
10:10 whether what has held you or what is holding you,
10:13 it is not sensible to allow anything in this world
10:17 to allow us to miss out on the blessings that God
10:21 has prepared for every one of us and the lights said "Amen."
10:34 Adam binds us to bad habits, produces within us evil desires.
10:39 Adam's nature shackles us to immorality, a selfish mind,
10:45 it buries us in self-interests, and so where we are
10:49 is not by coincidence...
10:51 Every one of us is born, every of us is born on the
10:56 interstate to failure, to darkness, to habits,
11:00 to disease, to darkness.
11:03 Every one of us is born there, but God's love for us
11:07 has made it possible that none of us need to stay
11:11 on the highway or the interstate or the I-Way
11:14 of failure by Christ, every one of us can find freedom.
11:21 Until we are born again, we can only go as far as Adam's
11:27 interstate allows us to travel.
11:31 Until we're born again, we cannot get off of
11:34 Adam's interstate.
11:37 That's why Jesus said what He did in John 3:7...
11:42 The hopeless of our nature is revealed through the
11:46 following words of Jesus and notice what He said...
11:49 To the Christian, He says, "Do not marvel that I
11:54 say to you... let's read the last part together...
11:57 you what? Must be born again."
12:02 Jesus is looking at a grown tax collector named "Nicodemus,"
12:06 a grown man, highly accomplished,
12:11 status in society, established in his community.
12:16 A grown man by the name of "Nicodemus"
12:19 who comes to Jesus by night... and I gotta pause and say
12:22 something there... it's better to come to Jesus
12:24 by night than not to come to Jesus at all.
12:29 He came to Jesus by night in the darkness of his life,
12:32 afraid to allow the other publicans and tax collectors
12:37 seeing him come in contact with Jesus,
12:40 he came to Jesus by night and Jesus made it very clear to him
12:43 that all of his accomplishments in life have brought him
12:46 nothing but failure if he stays on the interstate of self,
12:52 the I-Ways of Adam.
12:55 In other words, Nicodemus I realize how long it is taking
12:58 you to get to this point in life, but to do further
13:01 you've got to start all over again.
13:04 Now, can I pause and say something?
13:08 I believe - and this is a statement of faith,
13:14 I believe that if we really understood, by faith,
13:19 what awaits us when Jesus comes, we would be more
13:26 determined and more excited about getting ready
13:30 for the coming of Jesus.
13:32 If we only knew... if we only took the time
13:35 to inquire and although nobody has seen it,
13:39 there's enough information that you can read
13:41 to get you excited to sever this world and get ready
13:44 for the world to come and if you travel at all,
13:47 if you've gone anywhere, even if all you've gone
13:49 is to Carbondale, I can tell you today, there's nothing
13:53 in Carbondale... Cindy, I'm not talking about you and Jay,
13:56 laughter... but there's nothing in Carbondale,
13:59 there's nothing in New York, there's nothing in Paris,
14:01 there's nothing in Europe, there's nothing in Asia,
14:04 there's nothing on this planet worth giving up eternity for.
14:10 And Jesus said to Nicodemus, in verse 6 of John 3,
14:17 "You gotta start all over, Nicodemus, because that
14:20 which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is
14:25 born of the Spirit is spirit."
14:28 You see, we are where we are because of who we were,
14:32 but we will only be where we can be because of who
14:37 we've become.
14:39 I know where I was, but I want to be someone
14:42 different than who I was.
14:44 I want to be somewhere different than where I was.
14:47 And when I read in the Bible... we've got the practice every day
14:50 when we wake up in the morning, we reach right away for a
14:54 devotion and then we read our Bible later on in the day,
14:57 we don't go to bed at night without reading our Bibles...
15:00 And you know what it has done in our lives, in our home,
15:02 it has awakened a thirst and a joy for reading God's word.
15:07 And what's so nice about that is you cannot understand
15:11 how victorious you can be unless you read in God's word
15:14 the victories that He brought to His people in the
15:18 Old Testament and in the New Testament...
15:21 And I believe one of the reasons why we have...
15:23 There's a song I sing called, "There is a Way,"
15:26 you know sometimes we become friends with our own personal
15:29 cloud and we carry it with us.
15:32 Rather than looking beyond the cloud and realizing
15:35 even on a day like today the sun is still shinning.
15:40 Don't get caught up in the clouds,
15:43 the Sun of righteousness shines 24/7.
15:49 So it may not look like a cheerful day,
15:52 it may look like an overcast day, but it's only overcast
15:55 if you fail to realize that on the other side of these clouds
16:00 there is a silver lining and He is the Sun of righteousness,
16:06 and His name is Jesus.
16:10 But I want to ask a couple of questions...
16:12 I don't normally ask questions in the sermon because
16:14 that usually requires an answer, these are rhetorical questions.
16:18 No answers required, but just to think about it.
16:21 How do we become who we need to become
16:25 to get where we can be?
16:27 And I follow that with a second question...
16:30 What did Jesus do to get where He needed to be?
16:35 Open your Bibles to John 19, look with me.
16:38 What did Jesus do to get where He needed to be?
16:43 That sounds like an odd statement,
16:44 "to get where Jesus needed to be? Isn't He Jesus?
16:48 When He came to the earth, He took on the nature of Adam.
16:50 He took on the same human flesh that every one of us has.
16:55 He became subject to the very same temptations
16:59 that every one of us is subject to, but praise God
17:02 He never allowed those temptations
17:04 to cause Him to sin.
17:05 But still in His nature, in the nature of fallen Adam,
17:10 there was something that Jesus had to do to get to the other
17:15 side of the journey, here it is in John 19:17-18...
17:22 And the Bible says...
17:49 What did Jesus do to get where He needed to be?
17:53 Jesus knew that to get where He needed to be,
17:57 He had to carry His cross.
18:03 He had to carry His cross to the place of His crucifixion
18:08 He had to carry the cross.
18:10 He didn't want to carry the cross.
18:12 He said, "Father, if it is Thy will, let this cup pass from Me.
18:15 He didn't desire to carry the cross;
18:17 human nature never desires to carry the cross...
18:20 And so in its frailty, in the Adam nature, He said,
18:24 "Father, if it is Thy will, let this cup pass from Me,
18:27 but not My will but Thine be done."
18:30 You see, the reality is... many Christians identify with
18:33 the Jesus that rose victoriously.
18:35 We like to say, "Jesus was victorious," can you say "Amen."
18:40 He is victorious! He was victorious!
18:43 Where I'm headed today is... while we like to identify
18:47 with the Jesus of victory, very few are willing to walk
18:51 the road with the Jesus that was crucified.
18:54 You see, there's an element of
18:56 Christianity that seems to be odd.
18:57 There is an element of Christianity that
18:59 seems to be odd.
19:01 There seems to be an underestimation of the
19:05 Christian value.
19:07 There seems to be a dumbing down of the benefits
19:11 of Christianity.
19:13 Follow me for a moment...
19:16 Allow me to explain it in the context of a basketball player.
19:21 You know, I was explaining in the context of a
19:23 football player, but as I was telling my wife about the
19:26 sermon, she said, "Now do we watch football?"
19:28 I said, "No," she said, "Then talk about
19:31 She said, "We never watch the Super Bowl, so why talking
19:35 about football, talk about basketball."
19:37 So if you wanted me to use the illustration
19:39 of football, my wife changed that.
19:41 Let's consider the context of the Christian life
19:43 in the life of a basketball player and let me preface it by
19:49 simply saying... When you understand the
19:52 value of the victory, there are changes,
19:55 there are patterns, there are regimens
19:58 that take place in your life because of the focus
20:03 that you now have.
20:04 Notice carefully... Consider the basketball player.
20:08 He lays it all on the line just to win - does he not?
20:13 He studies with intensity to discover the secrets of victory.
20:18 He studies the team he is up against.
20:21 He studies the players that he's up against.
20:24 He studies the strategies.
20:26 He looks through the video tapes to determine
20:28 how to defeat those who are going to be the opponent
20:31 in the next game or the next series or the championship.
20:35 He spends time studying.
20:37 He lays his life on the line.
20:39 He conditions his body to withstand
20:41 the demands of the battle.
20:43 He conditions himself, he doesn't take his
20:47 day-to-day for granted.
20:49 He lives a life of daily conditioning.
20:52 He meditates to remove any doubt that he can win the game.
21:01 He meditates to remove any doubt that he can win the game.
21:09 And finally, he refuses to entertain the thought
21:14 of defeat.
21:16 But look at 1 Corinthians 9:25, this puts it all into context.
21:22 1 Corinthians 9:25, look at it...
21:25 He does all that and the Apostle Paul,
21:28 considering the athlete says, "And everyone who competes
21:32 for the prize is temperate in how many things?
21:36 All things... but get this...
21:40 They do it to obtain a perishable crown,
21:44 but we for what kind of crown? An imperishable."
21:48 In other words, they will do all of these things,
21:52 they govern their lives, they create regimens
21:56 in their lives, they create discipline in their lives,
22:00 and they do ALL THAT just to win a gold or a trophy
22:04 or a medal or a championship that only lasts
22:08 for one year at best.
22:11 They do all that and they put themselves in subjection
22:14 of study and meditation and physical conditioning,
22:17 and they refuse to entertain the thought of defeat.
22:19 They do ALL that just to become victorious
22:23 for a perishable crown.
22:27 Paul says... and I'm going to add this,
22:32 I believe this is what he meant, I didn't see it in the verse,
22:36 but I believe this is what he meant.
22:37 I believe he meant that if an athlete is willing to do
22:40 anything that he must do to win,
22:43 we should be willing to do anything that we must do to win.
22:50 We should never entertain the idea that we are going to be
22:53 defeated somewhere or that defeat is imminent.
22:55 If the athlete does that just for his name to shine
22:59 in the light... and you've seen it, you've seen the
23:01 championship games - you may have seen one or two
23:04 or you may have heard about one or two.
23:05 When the championship team wins, they have a gigantic
23:09 celebration, all the confetti and everybody is cheering
23:12 on one side, except those who supported the other team,
23:16 breaking champagne and they're jumping up and down
23:19 and cheering to get their caps and they have the celebration
23:22 that seems to go on and on for about a week,
23:25 and then everybody forgets it.
23:28 And they get you fired up on the commercials,
23:31 buy the championship trophy or the championship
23:33 basketball or the championship cap or the jersey.
23:36 And millions of dollars flow from our pockets to the venders
23:40 just because we want to identify with the championship team,
23:45 but on the other side of that, God doesn't ask for a penny
23:49 out of our pockets to identify with the victorious Jesus.
23:53 Come on somebody!
23:56 But he does say that there ought to be some kind of
24:01 discipline in our lives when we know that we are in the final
24:05 stages of the competition that the battle is intensifying,
24:09 that the enemy or the opponent is doing
24:12 all he can to defeat us.
24:16 There ought to be some determination in us.
24:19 Let me read this... I sent this to somebody
24:22 yesterday... "Nothing so humiliates Satan
24:28 as to lose one soul whom he has counted as his own.
24:34 To have that soul flee to Christ for refuge and lay hold of His
24:41 righteousness causes Satan humiliation and then he
24:46 doubles his efforts to regain the mastery over those who are
24:52 standing under the banner of Jesus Christ.
24:55 Have you been delivered? If you have been, say "Amen."
24:59 Has the devil attacked you since then? Yes,
25:02 Any time - the moment you leave church or I might
25:09 even say - even in church.
25:10 Sometimes you're thinking about the victory and the devil is
25:14 messing with your thoughts; he has entered your mind;
25:18 you come to worship, but you can't come to worship
25:22 because the devil is reminding you of the PAST!
25:25 The failures, the defeats, the things you have fallen short on.
25:30 But I want to tell you today, he can remind us of all he
25:34 wants, but I've got my mind FIXED on eternity!
25:39 I'm telling you today, I can't get there for you,
25:43 you can't get there for me, but we've got to make up
25:47 our minds that no matter who the opponent is,
25:50 or how intense he increases his ability to try to defeat us,
25:57 we've got a God on our side whom the devil
26:00 can never defeat, come on somebody! Amen!
26:05 And anytime the championship game begins,
26:07 we ought to be like the players.
26:09 I've seen these guys, I've looked at some of these
26:11 guys and I gotta include all the sports here,
26:14 but when these superathletes,
26:16 you gotta be good to get to the championship level...
26:19 When these superathletes enter the arena of the
26:22 final competition, there are certain things that they know
26:25 in their minds that drives them, that pushes them...
26:30 They get injured but they don't care about the injury because
26:32 their determination is to win not to fail,
26:36 and I'm going to tell you, if all you thing about
26:38 is yourself, you will fail,
26:40 but if you focus on Jesus, you will win. Amen!
26:43 If all you think about is what I can't do, how I feel,
26:46 where I've been, what I've done, what happened to me,
26:49 you are on the Interstate of I.
26:55 Gotta get off the Interstate of I.
26:57 When the game begins, when the championship game begins,
27:01 whether it's the 7th game in basketball or the Super Bowl
27:04 which is only one game, every player knows
27:08 that there is a trophy waiting for the winning team to claim.
27:12 I'm going to tell you this morning - you may not know it,
27:14 but there's a crown waiting for every one of us to claim.
27:18 They also know that there's a cap with the word
27:21 "champion" embroidered on that.
27:23 Do you know that when the game begins,
27:25 in this locker room, there's a whole box of
27:28 caps that says, "This team wins," and in the other
27:31 locker room, there's a whole box of caps that says,
27:33 "That team wins."
27:34 You can only put the cap on if you win.
27:42 And merchants invest thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands
27:47 of dollars into creating paraphernalia hoping
27:51 that that team might win when
27:56 it turns out that that team wins.
27:59 I want to tell you today, when God sent His Son Jesus,
28:04 hear me carefully... when God sent His Son Jesus,
28:08 He did not invest millions, He invested everything in our
28:13 victory. Amen!
28:17 And He didn't send Jesus hoping that Jesus might win,
28:22 He sent Jesus and He stayed with Him,
28:26 and as long as Jesus was determined to do the
28:29 Father's will, He would come out victorious.
28:32 That's why the victory never comes before the cross.
28:36 The cross always comes before the victory.
28:39 The cross always comes before the victory.
28:43 Look at Luke 9:23- we've got to be willing to carry the cross
28:47 before we experience the victory.
28:51 We've got to be willing to carry the cross
28:54 before we experience the victory.
28:57 Notice Luke 9:23, "And Jesus said to them all...
29:03 And there's a word I'm going to highlight that we've been
29:07 talking about from week-to-week, He says, "If anyone,
29:10 what is the next word? "Desires" to come after Me,
29:14 let him do what? "Deny" himself and take
29:18 up his cross - how often? "Daily" and follow Me."
29:22 We'll never know the power of the cross until we experience
29:25 the death of the cross.
29:27 You'll never know the power until you go through the death.
29:30 Jesus didn't say - "All power is given to Me" until He went
29:34 into the tomb and then rose on the third day.
29:38 He didn't bypass the cross, He went through the cross
29:41 into the tomb, then into eternal victory.
29:44 Notice what the Bible says and this is a very encouraging text.
29:48 Romans 6:5-6, "For if we have been united together in the
29:54 likeness of His what? "Death," what is the very
29:57 next word? What is the next word?
30:00 Certainly not maybe, certainly we also shall be
30:05 in the likeness of His what? "Resurrection."
30:08 In other words, before I go to verse 6, if you're willing
30:11 to enter the death of Christ, you will emerge
30:16 in the life of Christ.
30:19 If you enter the... if you put yourself to death,
30:22 only then will you understand the victory and the power of
30:27 the cross - you can't find it any other way.
30:31 You can't find it any... you could try to find it
30:34 in all kinds of combinations or equations,
30:38 but you can't find the power anyplace else,
30:42 but through the grave, out of the tomb into victory,
30:46 and it all begins on your own "Skull Hill,"
30:50 your own "Golgotha Hill," you've got a cross.
30:53 And before I read verse 6, I want to say this...
30:56 You know, at times, there's a severe disservice we
31:00 do to the phrase "the cross."
31:01 People think that "the cross" means "you got burdens,"
31:04 that's not what the cross means.
31:06 Burdens are not the cross.
31:09 Hardship in life is not the cross.
31:12 People say, "Oh I got my cross to bear."
31:15 That's not a cross.
31:16 The cross in the Bible means "self-sacrifice."
31:21 Putting self to death... Jesus didn't say,
31:25 "Oh man, it's so hard living in Nazareth."
31:31 Jesus didn't say, "The Pharisees are making me sick."
31:37 Jesus was born with the fact that the cross is before Him,
31:42 and everything around Him was subject to the journey,
31:45 and then the destiny.
31:47 You see, if we get rid of all the little irritations of life,
31:52 and this is what the life is, He said, Jesus said,
31:54 "In this world you will have tribulation."
31:57 Do you have tribulation? Yes!
31:59 That's the part, that's this life,
32:01 that's just what happens here.
32:02 It's going to happen, we are in enemy's territory,
32:05 he doesn't like us.
32:06 But the cross He talks about is not the difficulty
32:10 you face on Monday to Thursday...
32:12 The cross He talks about is... Are you willing to be so
32:16 dead to self... This is deep.
32:18 Are you so willing to be dead to self - that when an
32:21 offence comes you way, it doesn't change your focus
32:26 about eternity.
32:30 Because you know the devil will irritate you if he
32:33 could change your focus about eternity and when he irritates
32:36 you and you lose your focus, you forget about eternity,
32:39 and you go back to your mirror and there you are
32:41 "I" back to yourself... that's the real battle.
32:45 That's why He says in verse 6, "Knowing this,
32:49 that our old man was crucified with Him.
32:53 Until that old man us crucified, you'll never know
32:56 the power of the cross, that the body of sin,
32:59 that ruling power, might be done away with that we should
33:02 no longer be slaves to sin.
33:05 Sin is a ruling power and I gotta make this very clear.
33:08 I don't want this to flow off of you just by
33:10 a whole group of Scriptures, I want to make this very clear.
33:13 When sin is in control, self is the central focus.
33:18 When sin is in control, it's all about me.
33:28 When Christ is in control, it's no longer about me.
33:34 Let's go back to our Scripture reading.
33:36 Look at this... That's why you gotta get
33:39 out of the way - until self is put to death,
33:41 we will always have self to contend with.
33:43 That's why the Apostle Paul wrote this...
33:46 We're talking about crucifixion, the old man
33:48 being crucified, carrying our cross and putting self to death.
33:51 Now when self is put to death, then we can say as
33:54 Galatians 2:20... Look at this again.
33:56 Now we look at this from different eyes.
33:59 "I, together, I am crucified how?
34:04 With Christ, nevertheless, what?
34:08 I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth where?
34:13 In Me and the life which I now live in the flesh,
34:18 I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved Me
34:23 and gave Himself for Me."
34:25 Let me make this clear...
34:27 See, I have been crucified. Let me break this...
34:29 What has been crucified?
34:31 What has been? SELF has been crucified!
34:35 So when it says, "Nevertheless I live," it doesn't
34:38 mean self-lives.
34:40 It means, "I'm still alive."
34:42 But the ruling power, the focus has completely changed
34:47 from a "me" central focus, an "I" centered focus,
34:51 to a "Him" centered focus.
35:04 And when the focus is no longer on us... let make that
35:07 When the focus is no longer on you...
35:10 When the focus... The secret to my joy,
35:14 can I reveal this?
35:15 The secret to the joy that I've been having...
35:17 I feel a little excited...
35:20 The reason why I feel the way I do,
35:24 and I'm using the word "feel,"
35:26 the reason why I'm in the joy that I'm in is because
35:30 I realize it ain't about me, it's about Jesus. Amen!
35:38 Cause you know what, the devil can go into my file,
35:46 which is 50+ years long, that's all I'm giving you,
35:51 and pull out junk... come on now, you all got junk,
35:57 Pastor C.A. - we all got junk. Right? Amen!
36:00 You got junk - I got junk. You stuff - I got stuff.
36:05 He could spend so much time throwing your stuff at you
36:10 that you can't see nothing but stuff coming,
36:14 and you start catching stuff and looking at stuff,
36:20 and remembering stuff and thinking about the stuff that
36:24 happened to you or the stuff that is happening to you,
36:27 and you forget about Jesus...
36:30 and then all of a sudden you have a birthday party,
36:35 it's called an "I birthday party,"
36:37 you only invite one person, yourself...
36:41 it's called a "pity party."
36:43 and you spend all your time lamenting all the failures
36:47 of your life rather than saying, "as Jesus said, "If the world
36:56 hates you - if the devil hates you - remember he hated Me
37:00 before he hated you.
37:03 He wants to keep the Jesus out of us.
37:06 And nothing is more irritating, as I said in that quotation...
37:10 Nothing is more irritating to the devil than to know that
37:13 somebody has been rescued from his hands...
37:17 Nothing humiliates him more than to know that we
37:20 are no longer focusing on ourselves,
37:23 but we're now focusing on Jesus.
37:26 Can I make it even clearer?
37:28 Don't even let the offences become personal
37:32 because the devil wouldn't come after you
37:35 to try to make you upset if he didn't believe that
37:38 you are a child of God.
37:39 He doesn't waste time with people that don't claim Jesus.
37:42 That's why we look at the world...
37:43 If you read the Psalm of Asaph, Asaph was distracted by
37:48 the wealthy - he saw all their success and he wondered why
37:53 he couldn't have that kind of success.
37:55 He saw all their fame, he even said that
37:57 "in their death there are no pangs."
38:00 He said, "They have more knowledge that even God has,"
38:03 because they look like they were just so successful
38:06 with no problems, no hardships of life,
38:10 no bills that couldn't be paid...
38:13 He got caught up in all that until God said,
38:16 "Asaph, come into the sanctuary and let Me show
38:20 you their end," and when Asaph saw the end of the wicked,
38:25 he said, "I got it."
38:28 So I want to say it as my dear brother,
38:29 Elder Brooks would say it...
38:34 cause that was a profound statement that I'm about to say.
38:36 He says, "It doesn't make sense to live in hell,
38:39 go through hell and end up in hell."
38:44 This world is... there's hell all around us.
38:49 We might think that Thompsonville is
38:53 exempt from that... don't fool yourself.
38:56 You can go to the north, to the south,
38:58 to the east, to the west, it's all around us.
39:01 It's in our homes, it's in our families,
39:03 it's in what we watch, it's in what we listen to,
39:06 it's in what we concentrate on...
39:08 And we try to live this Christian-centered life
39:10 during the week while hell is being shot at us in
39:14 every direction and where you get thrown off course
39:17 is when you think it's all about you and you fail
39:21 to realize that the only purpose for all that difficulty
39:25 is to get you off-centered from looking at Christ.
39:29 That's why He says, "Look unto Me, and be saved."
39:33 "Look unto Me, the author and finisher of your faith."
39:36 We gotta keep our minds focused on Christ.
39:38 Come on, somebody say "Amen." Amen!
39:40 It can't be about you because you know why?
39:43 You're a vapor - you're here today whooh...
39:48 I thought, "Man, if I live to be 100,
39:50 I got almost 50 years left!
39:56 Not so bad, 100- that's a long time.
40:00 But then I turned to the right and I saw this word called,
40:02 "eternity," and I said, "Wait a minute, I like that
40:06 better than 100." Come on somebody! Amen!
40:08 That's a whole lot more enjoyable
40:09 than 100 and you know what?
40:11 We're not going to go through eternity with aches and pains,
40:14 and hardship and difficulty, we're going to go
40:18 through eternity with none of the former things
40:22 ever being brought back to our minds - praise God for that!
40:25 Sometimes we say we're Christians and somebody says,
40:29 "Well why is the guy that's not a Christian seem so much
40:33 more happy than you?"
40:42 The Lord has given us the promise that
40:47 if we focus on Him, the image that He has, thank you Jesus,
40:53 will one day be the image that we reflect and let me give you
41:01 the caveat - Not in eternity but here and now. Amen!
41:07 1 Corinthians 15:49, look at it. "The transformation that
41:11 takes place in us is profound."
41:13 I'm going to move a little quicker...
41:16 I might do some jumping, but I know I'd rather be moving,
41:19 keep up with me.
41:21 The transformation that takes place in us is profound.
41:26 The promise that the Lord made and, by the way,
41:28 1 Corinthians 15 is a chapter of promises.
41:31 He says in verse 49...
41:43 We used to look like Adam,
41:44 but now we could look like Jesus.
41:48 We used to be distraught like Adam, heading for the grave,
41:51 now we're heading for the resurrection.
42:01 But in order for the image of Christ to be seen in us,
42:04 we have to get rid of the image of self.
42:07 We have to be willing to put self to death.
42:15 You see, when Jesus came... Jesus came not just to
42:19 forgive sins - somebody asked me this question once.
42:22 If Jesus could forgive sin, why did He have
42:24 to come to this earth?
42:26 Why couldn't He just forgive sin and not have to die?
42:30 I said, "Jesus didn't just come to forgive sin..."
42:33 2 Corinthians 5:21 says...
42:43 Jesus didn't come just to forgive sin,
42:46 He came to trade places with us.
42:50 He came to take MY struggles, My nature, go to MY cross,
42:56 DIE for MY SIN and to forgive MY SINS,
43:01 and then give me HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS
43:03 and HIS GLORY, and HIS FREEDOM.
43:06 He didn't just come to die, He didn't just come
43:09 to forgive sins - He could have done that by email.
43:12 Your sins are forgiven you... your sins are forgiven you.
43:15 He could have done that from a distance,
43:16 but He came to take our place.
43:17 He came to become what we were born as,
43:20 to take us off of the "I-Way" of self.
43:24 So when the fullness of time came, God sent forth
43:28 His Son born under that law.
43:30 He was born under law, not under the Ten Commandments
43:33 or the Ceremonial Law, He was born under the
43:35 law of sin that held onto every human being from the
43:39 day of creation, from the fall of man.
43:43 Every human born was held under the law of sin.
43:49 And Jesus knew that they couldn't free themselves
43:54 from the law of sin, so He came - He came
43:58 not only to take our place, but here's what gave me joy...
44:02 Every sin that Adam failed in, Jesus was victorious in.
44:08 Every temptation that Adam faced, Jesus endured.
44:13 Every trial that overcame Adam, Jesus overcame...
44:18 But even deeper than that, hear me carefully...
44:21 Every sin that we would EVER commit was laid on Jesus.
44:26 Every sin that is in the past,
44:28 and every sin that is in the future, Jesus made provision
44:32 for those not only to be forgiven, but to overcome.
44:37 Look at Isaiah 53, you know the text.
44:41 Isaiah 53- go there quickly with me.
44:46 Sometimes you can't preach, you gotta teach...
44:49 I'm teaching today, but I forgot my glove.
44:54 Does anybody have a glove?
44:56 Surely somebody has to have a glove - it's cold outside.
45:02 Forgot my glove.
45:04 But look at Isaiah 53:5-6
45:40 I used the illustration once with a glove,
45:43 and you've seen a glove before, so I don't have one visible,
45:46 but I want to just make the illustration very, very clear.
45:49 The glove represents us, the glove has no
45:52 power in and of itself, but it does have a function.
45:56 We have no power in and of ourselves but we do have a
46:00 function in God's eternal plan.
46:04 Yet when the Lord enters into our lives, it makes the glove
46:09 look as though it is alive, but it really has
46:11 no life in and of itself...
46:12 But Christ moves in and gives it a power that
46:15 it has never known, and this glove that was an
46:19 inanimate object unable to do anything but just lay there,
46:23 the hand now enters into that glove
46:25 as Jesus enters into our lives and gives us a power
46:29 that we have never known and He begins to work out His will
46:34 in us - then He begins to work out His will for us...
46:39 Then He begins to work out His will through us.
46:43 Let me say that again...
46:44 First He begins to work out His will where? IN US..
46:48 Then He works out His will FOR US.
46:51 Then and only then can He work out His will THROUGH US.
46:55 You see, until self is put to death,
46:59 there's no room for Christ to come in
47:02 until we are no longer the focus and we leave sometimes...
47:05 the first thing we often do after the service is
47:07 ...what's going to happen this week? How am I going to make it?
47:10 Where am I going to get a job?
47:12 How am I going to make ends meet?
47:14 How is this relationship going to work out?
47:16 What's going to happen with so-and-so?
47:18 We dive into the caldron of self-focused issues
47:23 and forget who we are in the presence of Christ.
47:28 I'm going to go to 1 Peter 2:9... to let you see
47:31 the transformation that takes place when
47:34 "I" is put to death, Christ comes in and He
47:37 doesn't just forgive our sins...
47:39 He doesn't just deliver us from the power of sin,
47:42 but He changes our standing in the
47:45 presence of our Heavenly Father.
47:48 Notice what He does... and I believe that if
47:50 we understood this the way that it's intended to be understood,
47:52 I believe that we would have a lot more joy in our position
47:56 before God - I believe if we knew who we are in
47:59 the sight of God, this would bring us reasons to rejoice.
48:03 Notice what He says in 1 Peter 2:9...
48:05 He says, "But you are a what kind of generation?
48:08 CHOSEN GENERATION, a ROYAL priesthood,
48:12 a holy nation, His own special people,
48:15 but get this...
48:18 That you may proclaim or show forth the praises of
48:22 Him who called you out of WHAT? Darkness into
48:27 this what? MARVELOUS LIGHT."
48:30 The marvelous light that He brings us into is not just
48:34 INCLUDING marvelous teachings, but it's Jesus.
48:39 Jesus - He said, "I am the light of the world."
48:42 And then He says, in His absence,
48:44 "Let your light so shine."
48:46 You see this thing called, "Christianity"
48:48 is not a second chance to do what we couldn't do
48:51 the first time, but it is an opportunity
48:55 to see that self has been crucified and when self
49:00 is crucified, our darkness is removed...
49:04 The light of the world comes in and I'm going to tell you,
49:07 even if all you are is a pumpkin, if you put a candle
49:11 on the inside - somebody is going to see your light.
49:16 But I ain't a pumpkin, I'm a child of God...
49:18 Come on, say Amen! Amen!
49:20 When Jesus moves in, you don't see the sad face
49:23 carved out by Satan, you see the joy - the Joy!
49:27 What happens to the joy that's supposed to be
49:29 in the Christian's life?. Happy Sabbath
49:38 And then you go downtown to the football arena...
49:41 "HEY was" - people are infused with this passion
49:45 that you wonder - "Where is it coming from?"
49:48 If people can get that excited about things that are
49:51 going to pass away in a matter of hours,
49:55 why cannot a Christian exude with joy?
49:59 I'm not talking about the "prosperity gospel,"
50:03 I'm talking about the gospel of Jesus...
50:05 Why cannot we celebrate our deliverance in Christ?
50:09 We ain't destined for hell once we're in Jesus,
50:14 we're destined for heaven.
50:17 You see, the power of sin has been broken,
50:20 and Jesus is the power that moves in.
50:22 The control of sin is removed, Jesus moves in and
50:26 takes control, sin no longer dominates us...
50:29 Jesus is the one calling the shots.
50:32 Sin no longer commands us, Jesus is the new commander
50:35 in our lives.
50:37 Sin no longer has authority.
50:38 Jesus is the only authority in our lives.
50:48 Jesus moves in and changes the old "I"
50:51 in the process of His work for "It is God who works in us
50:56 both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Amen somebody.
51:01 "And He who has begun this work in you will complete it."
51:04 He will finish that work but look at Philippians...
51:06 You've read this before, but today I believe
51:08 you're going to see it quite differently.
51:10 Look at Philippians 4:13, a text that you know by heart!
51:17 And I'm going to preface this by saying...
51:19 "This text could not be true unless the old "I" has
51:23 been put to death and the Lord has given a new power
51:27 to the new "I" because before, you couldn't
51:32 do anything.
51:33 But it is amazing that Paul begins with this verse...
51:37 He begins this verse with the letter "I"
51:40 What does he say, together, together...
51:42 "I," together, "I," one more time,
51:47 I want to hear that, "I" can do all things HOW?
51:51 Through Christ who strengthens me."
51:55 How much can I do? Come on now...
51:57 ALL things!
51:59 How could this "I" who failed become an "I" that succeeds?
52:02 How could this "I" who had experienced defeat
52:04 become this "I" who experiences victory?
52:07 How could this "I" who was bound be the "I"
52:09 that is set free?
52:11 How could this "I" that failed be the "I" that knows the joy
52:15 and the power of victory? How could it be?
52:18 Because Christ has come in and given the "I" the glove of me,
52:25 a new power that I've never known before.
52:27 You see brothers and sisters, when we become the new "I,"
52:30 there's a change in every area of our lives.
52:35 As I begin to close...
52:37 The change has come here, we begin to love the things
52:42 we hated and we begin to hate the things we love.
52:47 We embrace the life we despised and we DISPISE the life
52:52 that we once embraced.
52:55 We change our direction and we experience transformation
53:01 in our affections.
53:04 I want to make sure that I end on the right note...
53:08 You see, the new "I" can now do, hear me carefully,
53:13 look up, this is the close...
53:15 The new "I" can now do what the old "I" could never do,
53:20 and now the new "I" is not focusing on what I failed,
53:25 but the new "I" can say with confidence,
53:27 look at the last text... 2 Timothy 4:7-8,
53:31 the new "I" could now say this with confidence
53:37 Thank you Jesus.
53:42 What does he say, together... "I have fought a good fight,
53:48 I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
53:55 You couldn't say that if you were still living in the old "I"
53:58 because the old "I" couldn't fight.
54:00 The old "I" couldn't finish anything.
54:02 The old "I" had no faith, but until the new "I"
54:05 has been filled by Christ, and the old "I" has been
54:10 put to death, now we have a better looking forward.
54:13 Notice verse 8, he says, Finally... together, "Finally
54:18 there is laid up for me a what? Crown of righteousness
54:22 which the Lord, the righteous Judge,
54:26 will give to me on that day and not to me only,
54:31 but unto all those that what? Love His appearing."
54:37 Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Interstate in America.
54:41 Jesus created the Interstate to Eternity.
54:47 He says it's a little narrow highway...
54:50 It's a little narrow highway...
54:54 and I'm going to tell you today, there's enough space on
54:57 that little narrow highway for every one of us
55:00 to leave the old "I" and get on the new "I."
55:05 Put the old "I" to death and travel with Christ
55:09 as the central focus.
55:10 "It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me."
55:15 I now have a new power, a power to be
55:17 delivered from the old "I."
55:19 I don't look at life with failure anymore.
55:21 I don't look at life as obstacles
55:22 anymore... I don't look at life as...
55:24 "it cannot happen that way anymore."
55:25 I look at "I can do all things through Christ
55:28 who strengthens me," not prosperity,
55:31 but victory in Jesus.
55:33 So today, the moment we say the benediction,
55:38 a new battle is going to begin, but that battle
55:42 can only have its way over us if we still allow the things
55:46 that occur following this service to be all about us.
55:51 Is it about us? No, it's about Jesus.
55:57 If it's about you, it's going to be a burden.
56:00 If it's about you, it's going to be nothing
56:01 but sadness.
56:04 If it is about you, it's going to be nothing
56:06 but defeat and a looking back at the failures and the
56:09 obstacles that were there before,
56:11 but if it's about Christ, we will go from victory
56:17 to victory.
56:18 Even in the midst of the battles,
56:21 we'll find that in Christ we can have that deliverance
56:25 today - don't want to go back, I want to go forward in Christ.
56:31 Anybody else today - I want to pray for you. Lord Jesus...
56:38 As I pray, I'm going to ask you to stand...
56:46 Our Heavenly Father,
56:55 The gospel is simple but profound...
57:00 How can an old I become a new I?
57:05 How can we overcome the obstacles that have hindered
57:10 our progress and now face the battles that we have
57:15 been exposed to with the assurance of victory.
57:20 How can we find strength and deliverance
57:26 in every area of our lives?
57:28 How can we leave the old past buried and walk into the
57:34 irresistible future?
57:35 How can we abandon the irreversible past?
57:40 Lord Jesus, today help us to realize it's not about us,
57:45 but the benefit is for everyone of us.
57:51 Jesus wants to not just deliver us and forgive our sins,
57:55 but He wants to give us a walk of joy, a walk of power,
57:59 a walk of freedom and today, Lord Jesus, we pray that
58:03 every one of us can experience that in our own lives.
58:07 So come and speak to us today at the point of our need,
58:10 help us to shake off the old I, to open our hearts to Christ,
58:16 invite Him to come in and to transform the journey that
58:20 lays before us.
58:23 So today, Father, we give You that privilege,
58:26 we open the door with joy to find that You are our ONLY hope,
58:32 our ONLY safety.
58:35 Help us to find victory at the base of our Christianity
58:38 that one day we will stand at the summit of our Christianity,
58:43 and we give You the Praise and the Glory and the Honor
58:45 in Jesus name... Amen