His Harvest is Ready

Imperfectly Perfect

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. C.A. Murray


Series Code: HHR

Program Code: HHR000005

00:31 I welcome the sunrise as night turns to day,
00:38 should I try again, or turn and walk away?
00:45 The journey to this point seems so very hard
00:54 yet I'm standing praying right here in the yard.
01:00 The tears that I shed don't seem like it is worth it,
01:09 yet I know that you are on your way.
01:18 Lord lead me home,
01:24 there is no place to run and hide
01:27 you know what I keep inside
01:32 Lord lead me home,
01:39 I need to find a place to rest
01:43 where life in you is best, lead me home.
01:55 I know that I can trust You, You never let me down.
02:03 I know that I need You, You keep me off the ground.
02:09 Through disappointments You say it is okay.
02:18 My child I love you, there will be a brighter day.
02:24 So I made up my mind to keep on walking.
02:31 Yes dressing on the higher way.
02:41 Lord lead me home.
02:47 For there is no place to run and hide
02:51 You know what I keep inside.
02:56 Lord lead me home.
03:02 For I need to find a place to rest
03:06 where life in You is best.
03:10 Lead me home.
03:14 I'm going to trust You ever more each day.
03:22 Climbing higher as I pray.
03:32 Lord lead me home.
03:39 For there is no place to run and hide
03:42 You know what I keep inside.
03:47 So Lord lead me home
03:54 I need to find a place to rest
03:58 where life in you is best, lead me home.
04:06 I need to find a place to rest
04:09 where life in You is best, lead me home.
04:21 Lord, lead me home.
04:39 Amen and Amen!
04:41 Thank you Pastor John.
04:44 We have entitled our discussion for this night,
04:46 our message, Imperfectly Perfect.
04:50 We live in an imperfect world and yet we have been called to
04:54 perfection in Christ.
04:56 So we want to just discuss this night.
04:58 As we look at the subject, Imperfectly Perfect,
05:01 and coming on Friday evening, tomorrow night we take a break
05:08 to give you a chance to catch her breath and we're back
05:11 on Friday evening and as I recall the subject is Home Depot
05:18 Just A Hammer and A Nail.
05:21 Home Depot, Just A Hammer and A Nail.
05:27 You are looking at me as if to say what is he going to talk
05:30 about Friday evening?
05:32 Well, come back Friday evening and we will discover
05:34 what the Lord has to say in Home Depot,
05:37 Just A Hammer and Nail.
05:39 Shall we pray, Father God, again we call upon You and we thank
05:45 You dear Lord for Jesus, for what we have learned, and we
05:50 thank thee that through Your strength and power we can do all
05:54 things that pertain to salvation.
05:57 Teach us again this night, to be like Jesus and then enable us to
06:03 do that which we know to be right.
06:05 We thank you dear Father, in Jesus name, Amen!
06:09 I want to thank you, there has been a marked change in the
06:13 weather since my coming to Chicago whereas a few nights ago
06:18 we were all in short sleeves and fanning.
06:21 No one is fanning this night, and everyone is in
06:24 long sleeves and coats.
06:25 The weather has indeed changed for which I am thankful.
06:29 We have gotten a little break, it is a little cooler
06:34 and a little breezier and I am thankful that
06:36 you came out to be with us.
06:37 One of the things that occurs to me, that as we find
06:43 out new truth, I think you will agree with me, that
06:48 this thing we call Christianity is not a past time.
06:55 Christianity, Bible Christianity is invasive and pervasive,
07:02 it weaves itself into every aspect of our life.
07:06 You can't be a part-time Christian or a sometime
07:10 Christian, because Christ makes demands on our lives
07:15 that are radical.
07:16 He asks for a lot, but He also gives us lot.
07:22 Can you say Amen?
07:24 Even the casual Bible student will understand that
07:32 when you take on the name Christian, you are taking
07:37 on weighty responsibility.
07:40 It takes nerve to be a Christian.
07:44 It takes fortitude to be a Christian,
07:48 because Christians many times have to swim upstream against
07:54 the tide of popular culture.
07:57 So to be Christian means that you are going to have to rely on
08:02 Christ to do a superhuman worked through you.
08:06 Because Christianity weaves its way into every
08:08 aspect of our lives.
08:10 Even if you stop doing bad things, you don't get credit
08:17 because you have to do things through Jesus.
08:20 It is not just enough to stop doing a bad deed,
08:24 you have to replace bad things with good things,
08:27 and the power to do that comes from Jesus.
08:31 So let's launch out.
08:33 I am in the book of John, what book did I say?
08:35 John 3:7, let's set our foundation.
08:52 There are few texts in the Bible that are more important as
08:58 respect to the methodology of how to do salvation,
09:03 than this text and perhaps John 3:16.
09:06 Marvel not Christ said to Nicodemus that night.
09:11 You must be, not you should be, not it would be nice
09:17 if you were, not it's a great thing to be, but Christ told
09:22 Nicodemus during that night meeting, you must be born again,
09:28 of course that foundation under girds
09:31 this entire chapter.
09:33 The truth is that the first step to true Christianity
09:40 is conversion, what is that step?
09:42 Conversion, conversion is that which follows conviction.
09:47 I want you to stick with me here.
09:48 Conviction is the sense, the understanding that
09:54 something is wrong, what did I say?
09:57 It is the understanding that something is wrong
10:01 in your life.
10:02 You are walking along, you are living your life,
10:04 You are walking along and all of a sudden you come to the
10:07 realization something is wrong.
10:09 That is conviction and at that point, you stop.
10:12 Because you realize there is something wrong in going
10:15 in this direction.
10:16 You are convicted that this way is the wrong way.
10:21 So conviction stops you in your tracks.
10:24 You realize that Christ is going that way,
10:28 and you are going this way, and the longer you continue to go
10:31 this way the farther you are getting from who?
10:34 From Jesus, so conviction says something is wrong
10:39 with this path that I am on.
10:41 Now what are you going to do if you want
10:43 to follow Jesus?
10:45 Jesus is back there and I am going this way,
10:48 what do I have to do?
10:49 I have got to make a U-turn, Amen!
10:52 Yeah, I have to make a U-turn.
10:55 So I am going this way and I make a U-turn.
10:58 The moment that I make that U-turn, that U-turn,
11:02 ladies and gentlemen, is conversion.
11:03 Conversion is a U-turn, say it with me, conversion is a
11:09 U - turn, it is a change in your direction.
11:14 It doesn't mean you are perfect, doesn't mean you never have a
11:18 bad day, doesn't mean the devil leaves you alone, doesn't mean
11:23 your home and scot-free.
11:25 It simply means that you have changed your direction.
11:29 So when somebody says are you converted, if you have changed
11:34 your direction, you can say, Oh! yes I am!
11:37 Because I have changed the direction in which
11:39 my life is going.
11:41 Now we are in John 3:3 it says:
11:45 You cannot see the kingdom of God without that
11:49 new birth experience, without that conversion.
11:52 Over and over the Bible seems to indicate that
11:56 unless our lives, our hearts are converted,
11:58 unless we have made that U-turn in our lives,
12:01 we cannot see the kingdom of God.
12:05 1 Corinthians 1:23 says that,
12:08 to the Greek or to the Gentile if somebody does not
12:11 know the Lord, this thing that we call
12:13 Christianity is foolishness.
12:16 You know I was, years ago when I got audited by the IRS,
12:20 the fellow that was auditing my tax return asked
12:26 me if I was telling the truth about the figure that I put that
12:29 I gave to the Church each year?
12:30 He said to you really give that much money
12:32 to the church?
12:33 I said yeah, he said are you serious, I said yeah.
12:38 Why? That was his question, why?
12:42 Why would you give the church that much of your money?
12:45 I said because I believe in Jesus and I believe in fostering
12:49 His work, and he could not understand that.
12:51 So he made me prove that I gave that much money to the church,
12:56 and luckily I had a receipt from the church for all the
12:58 money that I had given to the Church.
13:00 He just couldn't understand why anybody would give that much
13:04 money to the church.
13:05 To him it was foolishness.
13:07 So you cannot see the kingdom of God.
13:11 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells me that spiritual things are
13:15 spiritually discerned, spiritually seen, so a lot
13:18 of the things that God's people do don't make sense
13:21 to people who don't believe in God.
13:23 Why would you get up and give one seventh of your time?
13:27 All day Saturday.
13:29 It's like the fellow I was telling you last night,
13:31 my friend that owns the dry cleaners,
13:32 it doesn't make sense to him.
13:34 You can make a lot of money on Saturday.
13:36 You are a church all day?
13:40 His church they go to church one hour and that
13:42 is it, they get the Lord one hour and then he's gone.
13:45 And you are going to give the Lord from sundown Friday to
13:49 sundown Saturday, all day?
13:52 Yeah, and I don't regret it, do you?
13:56 I love to do it, because I love to be with the One who has
14:01 given me life, and that is Jesus.
14:03 Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
14:05 A lot of the things that we as Christians do don't
14:08 make sense to those who aren't in Christ Jesus.
14:11 So they cannot see it.
14:13 Verse 5 of the same chapter says, they cannot enter.
14:17 Not only do they not see it, they don't enter into it.
14:21 When we talk about the joys of serving the Lord, the blessings
14:24 of serving the Lord, there are people who
14:26 cannot enter into that.
14:27 Do you not know that when you give your life to Jesus your
14:32 life does actually get better here and now?
14:35 Can you say Amen?
14:37 You get the promise of eternity, but you also get,
14:40 as one Pastor said, you also get some goodies here and now.
14:43 Pastor John mentioned 9/11.
14:47 Let me tell you just one story, I like to
14:49 collect miracle stories.
14:50 Down through the years I've collected miracle stories and
14:52 one day if I ever get a chance I would like to put it,
14:54 put them all in a book.
14:56 But having been in New York during 9/11, I had worked
15:00 in the conference office during those fateful days,
15:02 I've got story upon story.
15:04 I will tell you about one story, a fellow by
15:06 the name of Alteno.
15:07 He actually worked at the World Trade Center building number
15:12 two, Seventh-day Adventist, went to church on
15:16 Saturday praise the Lord.
15:18 He also was a singer in the choir and a deacon in
15:21 the church, he was also a window washer at the
15:24 World Trade Center.
15:25 You talk about a dangerous occupation, washing Windows 110
15:29 stories in the sky.
15:30 They always make the window washers work in pairs because it
15:36 can be dangerous.
15:38 So he and his partner worked for twenty plus years on the
15:43 World Trade Center.
15:45 Every year brother Alteno, member of the Lynden church, in
15:50 fact Pastor Lomacang's wife family there in New York are
15:54 members of that same church.
15:55 They know this fellow.
15:56 Always took his vacation in August, every year because the
16:02 Sun is so hot in New York in August that the light shines
16:04 and the sun shines off those window panes and it
16:06 just bakes your skin.
16:08 So everybody likes to be off in August.
16:09 He always took his vacation in August, four weeks in August.
16:12 20 year habit, every year.
16:14 For some reason in 2001, brother Alteno decided, this year I
16:22 think I will take my vacation in September.
16:25 And what day in September?
16:30 I think I'll start my vacation on September 11.
16:33 So the first day of his vacation was September 11, 2001.
16:38 Twenty years August, for some reason when the sheet
16:44 came around in January of that year, he put down
16:46 September 11, 2001.
16:49 He broke a twenty year habit.
16:51 His partner took his vacation in August like usual.
16:57 So on the morning of September 11, 2001 his partner
17:01 was in the little cart outside of the World Trade Center
17:06 and he perished.
17:08 Brother Alteno was on his first day of vacation and
17:14 he is praising God today.
17:17 Now do you think that was a coincidence?
17:20 Just blind luck, that he chose September 11, after twenty
17:26 years of going on vacation in August that
17:28 he just happened to take that day.
17:30 Do you really think that was just a coincidence?
17:36 The Bible says that without the new birth experience
17:38 you cannot see the kingdom and you cannot enter into
17:42 the joys of the kingdom.
17:43 I am saying when you give your life to Jesus,
17:47 God gives you the promise of eternity, but He
17:50 gives you some blessings right here, right now!
17:53 So the Christians life is qualitatively better
17:58 than one who does not know the Lord.
18:00 I'm going through this by way of recapitulation because as I said
18:06 at the outset, coming to Jesus calls for radical changes
18:10 in our lives.
18:12 And I want you to know that with Jesus you can
18:15 indeed make those radical changes.
18:17 Without being born again you cannot have a new birth
18:20 experience, you cannot have continual consistent Christian
18:24 living, in fact it is impossible without
18:28 the new birth experience.
18:30 What you will have is what 2 Timothy 3: calls a form
18:35 of godliness, but you will not have the power.
18:39 You won't have the victorious living unless you
18:42 had Jesus within.
18:44 How do I know?
18:45 Romans 12:1, 2, what book did I say?
18:47 Are you with me in your word?
19:30 Paul is saying, I beg you, I ask you, I'm imploring
19:34 by the mercies of God, to look how good God is.
19:38 This is not an unreasonable request that you present your
19:41 bodies, give them over to God, because God can
19:46 do things with you, to you, for you, and through you
19:50 that will amaze you.
19:52 Don't be conformed to this world.
19:55 Don't be molded into the shape of this world,
19:57 but be transformed, have your mind renewed by the power
20:03 of the indwelling Jesus Christ.
20:05 The secret ladies and gentlemen is surrender.
20:07 The secret is surrender, not fighting your self, or fighting
20:13 against the world, but surrendering to Jesus Christ
20:16 and we will come back to that in just a little bit,
20:18 keep that in mind.
20:19 Let's go to Matthew 5:48, what book did I say?
20:37 Now, it almost appears as though that text is
20:41 simply saying you have to be perfect.
20:44 It is saying that, but it is saying something else.
20:48 So I want you to go back with me to Matthew 5 and back up to
20:52 verse 43, because there is a qualification to
20:55 that perfect that I want you to know about.
20:57 I'm in Matthew 5:43, look at this:
21:25 Piece of cake right!
21:27 You are going to persecute me and
21:32 I am going to love you.
21:33 You are going to steal from me and
21:36 I'm going to love you.
21:37 You are going to beat me up and
21:39 I'm going to love you.
21:40 A piece of cake!
21:42 I don't think so, even that little baby doesn't like that
21:46 idea, but God calls us to do that.
21:51 To do good to those who won't do good to us,
21:55 is that an easy thing to do?
21:57 No it is not!
22:01 Then comes verse 48: "therefore you shall be perfect. "
22:06 Now I want you to look at the context and look at what the
22:12 Lord is trying to do here.
22:13 Verse 48, let's go back there can you put it up for me?
22:17 Matthew 5:48, can you bring that back?
22:20 It says:
22:28 What is the first word in that text?
22:30 Therefore, therefore you shall be perfect.
22:36 Does the text say, be perfect?
22:40 Ah ha, no it does not, it says therefore, be perfect.
22:48 When ever you have a therefore, it presupposes that
22:54 you have a wherefore.
22:56 You have to remember that when looking at Bible text.
22:59 If you have a therefore it presupposes you have a
23:05 wherefore so than you can not translate therefore be
23:09 perfect the same as you would translate be perfect,
23:13 because the therefore frames the context.
23:17 I want you to stick with me.
23:18 Therefore frames the context for discussion.
23:23 When you see a therefore it means that everything on the
23:27 back side of therefore is based on everything on the
23:31 front side of the therefore which is the wherefore.
23:34 Some of you are scratching your head saying what
23:37 is he talking about?
23:39 Well it is like contract, the contract would say wherefore
23:43 this is true, and this is true, and this is true, therefore
23:50 this is true, do you follow me?
23:51 Guy meets a girl, falls in love and wants to form a contract,
23:56 we call it marriage.
23:57 Wherefore I love you, wherefore I care about you, wherefore
24:02 I want to spend my life with you, therefore,
24:04 I want to marry you.
24:06 Does it make sense?
24:07 So every time you have a therefore you always
24:11 have to have a wherefore.
24:13 If I just walked up and said, therefore I want to marry you,
24:17 therefore what?
24:20 You have to do the wherefore before you get to the therefore,
24:25 does that make sense?
24:26 Is it a little clearer?
24:27 Clear as mud, praise God!
24:30 So it doesn't mean simply be perfect, it means therefore be
24:37 perfect, because there is a wherefore.
24:40 The wherefore it is, verse 43, "you have heard that
24:43 said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,
24:47 but I say to you love your enemies, bless those who
24:51 curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray
24:56 for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. "
24:59 Now let's pick it up with verse 46:
25:23 So Christ is making a point here, He is not just
25:25 putting down tax collectors, Jesus loved everybody,
25:30 but of course as you well know the tax collectors were hated
25:33 by the Jewish community back in Christ time.
25:36 Tax collectors were Jews hired by the Romans to
25:39 take texts from their own people, so they were
25:42 hated because the Jews thought the tax collectors
25:44 were sellouts to the Romans.
25:46 The Romans would charge a certain amount of tax and
25:49 tell the Jewish tax collector, get us this money and
25:53 if you want to add any tax in addition to a you are going to
25:55 pay us you can raise it as high as you want.
25:58 So if the Roman tax was 5 dollars, the Jewish tax
26:01 collector would charge the people 10 dollars and give 5
26:05 to the Romans and keep 5 for themselves.
26:06 So the tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people,
26:11 but Christ loved everybody including tax collectors.
26:14 Can you say Amen?
26:16 Matthew was a tax collector and of course short
26:18 little Zacchaeus, who Jesus went to his house
26:20 was the chief of tax collectors.
26:22 So that let's me know that Christ loves even me.
26:25 Therefore you shall be perfect.
26:27 So the context of this perfection then is a loving
26:32 relationship with Jesus Christ.
26:34 That whole scenario, everything the Bible says about
26:38 perfection is in a context of a loving relationship
26:42 with Jesus Christ.
26:44 That reflects on how we love the Lord and also
26:49 how we treat others.
26:52 The context then is perfect relationship,
26:56 everything that has to do with the Lord has to do
26:59 with perfect relationships.
27:00 Let's go to the book of Matthew, what book did I say?
27:02 Matthew 22:36-39, the word of God says:
27:35 Powerful words, powerful words, now let me hasten to say,
27:40 these two commandments do not replace
27:43 the Ten Commandments.
27:46 I have heard some preachers say, all you have to
27:48 do is love and that replaces the Decalogue, 1-10 gone.
27:51 All you have to do is Matthew 22:36, love the Lord,
27:55 love your neighbor, but if you examine it closely
27:59 what you find is these two commandments are
28:02 the Ten Commandments.
28:05 They do not replace the ten, they are the ten,
28:08 in fact they tie a nice little bow around the ten.
28:11 They encapsulate the ten, if you love the Lord you
28:14 are not going to have any gods before you,
28:16 you're not going to worship graven images,
28:17 you're going to keep the Sabbath holy.
28:19 The first four are dealing with our love to God,
28:21 and the second six are dealing with our love to man.
28:24 We love the Lord supremely, and our neighbors as ourselves,
28:28 and that includes the neighbor who
28:30 doesn't talk to you.
28:32 That includes the neighbor who doesn't like you.
28:34 That includes the neighbor who does not treat you well.
28:37 Let me say this to you, no one was ever won to Jesus by
28:41 somebody that they did not like.
28:45 If they're going to love your Jesus, they have to love you and
28:48 we are called to let our light so shine before men that they
28:52 will see our good works and glorify our Father
28:55 which is in heaven.
28:56 So these two commandments encapsulate the 10 Commandments,
29:00 ladies and gentlemen that is perfect love.
29:04 Be Ye therefore perfect, perfect what, perfect love.
29:11 Our job, my job, your job is not to live sinless,
29:17 our job is to fall in love with Jesus Christ and allow
29:24 Christ to work out His sinless life in and through us.
29:28 It's not your job try to stop sinning,
29:31 it's your job to love Jesus,
29:34 and Jesus will stop sinning through you.
29:36 Can you say Amen?
29:38 Isaiah 64, what book did I say?
29:40 Isaiah 64:6; the Bible says,
29:58 Our best, our best efforts are insufficient to meet
30:06 the requirements of God.
30:07 All you can do is love Jesus with all your heart,
30:12 all your mind, and all your soul.
30:15 Our best efforts, in fact in Philippians 3: 5-9,
30:20 Paul gives his pedigree.
30:22 He talks about being a Pharisee, as touching the law
30:25 blameless, he said you want to talk about pedigrees,
30:27 if you want talk about how good a person can be,
30:29 look at my rap sheet, nobody does it like I did.
30:32 Yet I realized that I had to give all that self-righteousness
30:36 up for Jesus Christ.
30:38 Philippians 2:5, let's go to Philippians,
30:41 what book did I say?
30:42 In the book is Philippians chapter two.
30:52 Philippians is asking us to open up our minds to
30:56 the power of the indwelling of Jesus Christ.
30:58 Open up our hearts, open up our souls and let
31:02 Christ come within and fight the battle for you
31:05 and through you.
31:07 Let me give you an example.
31:09 Suppose a person has a desire for someone, a man for woman,
31:19 something that is unholy.
31:21 In his mind he's a Christian and he says to himself I know
31:26 this is not right, so I'm going to have to stop it.
31:29 I'm going to use my will to not think about her.
31:34 So every time he used his will to not think about her,
31:38 what is he doing?
31:39 He's thinking about her, he is thinking about not thinking
31:43 about her, so in thinking about not thinking about her he is
31:47 in effect thinking about her.
31:49 Amen, do you follow?
31:51 Okay I am not going to look at her, I am not going to think
31:54 about her, I'm not going to let her come through my mind and
31:57 his long as you are saying that you are still thinking about
32:00 not thinking about her,
32:01 which is in effect thinking about her.
32:02 So how do I get from not thinking about thinking
32:06 about her, to really not thinking about her?
32:08 Think about something else, makes sense?
32:14 Now what can come into my mind and occupy my mind so that I'm
32:20 not thinking about her?
32:22 Jesus, Jesus, when I fill my mind with Jesus I am not
32:30 thinking about her, nor am I thinking about not
32:34 thinking about her because I thinking about Jesus.
32:38 So the Bible says let this mind be in you which also was in
32:46 Christ Jesus, so that if you stop thinking about her long
32:51 enough, and keep thinking about Jesus, the thoughts of Jesus
32:56 replaced the thoughts of thinking about her.
32:58 After a while you really are not thinking about her,
33:01 you are only thinking about Jesus.
33:02 Amen! Let this mind being you which was also
33:06 in Christ Jesus.
33:07 The context again is a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
33:11 Philippians 2:13, what book did I say?
33:13 Philippians 2:13, powerful text,
33:30 Powerful text on successful Christian living.
33:33 It is God who works in you both to will and to do.
33:42 Lord I want to stop thinking bad thoughts,
33:46 I have the will but I need the power to do.
33:50 So God in His goodness, will give us the will to stop and the
33:57 power to stop, can you say Amen?
34:01 That is a powerful thought when it comes to successful
34:04 Christian living and perfect relationships.
34:08 No matter what you have done, where you have been,
34:11 what you have committed, God will give you the will
34:15 to stop and the power to stop.
34:19 It would be terrible if God would tell us to stop
34:20 doing something and didn't do not give us the ability, not
34:24 give us the ability to stop.
34:25 So if God says don't do it, praise God that He gives you the
34:29 will not to do it, and the ability to stop doing it.
34:33 To be like Christ Jesus.
34:34 So our job is to let God work in our lives.
34:38 Our job is to be like Christ and let Christ do His
34:42 wonderful work in us.
34:44 That is biblical perfection.
34:46 Here's a powerful text, Romans 8, what book did I say?
34:48 I'm in the book of Romans and I want to commend to you again
34:51 this book of Romans.
34:53 It is a powerful book in the New Testament,
34:55 one of the strongest book that is just full of powerful God
35:01 breathed statements that will help us along our Christian
35:05 journey and this is one of them.
35:07 Romans 8:1, let's take a look at it.
35:26 There is no condemnation, and why is this so very important?
35:30 For this reason, even if you stop doing something of your own
35:37 suppose I am a thief.
35:41 One day the spirit of God touches me, or rather the
35:45 law is reaching out and I say you know what I am not going
35:50 to steal anymore.
35:52 And I never steal again, from the moment I stop stealing I am
35:57 no longer guilty of being a thief, true or false?
36:01 True, but what about the stealing I did in the past?
36:05 You see if the statutes of limitations run out,
36:09 and the police don't get me for 7 years, I cannot be held
36:12 responsible any more.
36:14 To the police I am not a thief, but what about
36:18 my sins of the past?
36:21 Those sins have to be taken care of.
36:24 Those sins have to be atoned for.
36:26 Those sins have to be dealt with or they still condemn me,
36:30 do you follow me?
36:32 So the Bible says there is now therefore no condemnation to
36:35 those that are in Christ Jesus, because being in Christ Jesus
36:38 takes care of my future sins, but it also takes care
36:42 of my past sins.
36:45 My old life becomes buried in the sea of forgetfulness.
36:49 They rise up to condemn me no more because Christ washes
36:53 those sins away so I can proudly say now there is no
36:57 condemnation because I am in Christ.
37:00 He takes care of my past, my present, and my future.
37:03 Praise God!
37:05 Let's go to verse 14.
37:20 These are indeed the sons of God.
37:24 Verse 16, let's go to verse 16.
37:32 So it is no longer fighting against ourselves, it is walking
37:37 with Jesus by faith.
37:39 Perfection then is a process that comes in us and through us,
37:43 we love to do the will of God.
37:45 We are pleased to do the will of God, because Christ
37:48 now is in us and anything that hurts God, hurts us.
37:50 Anything that is against God, is against what we are doing
37:53 because we are in Christ and Christ is in us.
37:55 Powerful text Ephesians 2:8, we have used it before,
38:00 what book did I say?
38:11 This is what is exciting about this thing called Christianity,
38:14 all you need to be saved comes to you
38:18 free of charge. Amen!
38:21 Free of charge, you don't have to pay for anything.
38:25 Everybody likes free of charge.
38:27 The only thing that my wife likes better
38:30 then clearance, is free.
38:33 There is one word that tends to stop her in the store,
38:36 it's when she sees the word clearance.
38:37 She stops cold in her tracks.
38:39 Because she is a bargain hunter, my wife doesn't like
38:42 to pay full price for anything and I don't blame her.
38:45 But when she sees that word clearance, it is like putting
38:47 on a red light, she screeches to a halt and heads
38:50 to the clearance rack.
38:52 The only thing better then clearance, is free.
38:55 God says salvation is free because the grace is free
39:01 and the faith is free.
39:03 All you have to do is open up and accept a free gift.
39:07 Don't you like to get free stuff?
39:08 I love free things.
39:10 The other day I went to a gas station and a lady gave my wife,
39:13 as we were driving up, a bunch of little scratch off card to
39:16 see if we could get free gas.
39:17 She scratched off, I think, 15, nothing sorry, sorry, sorry,
39:23 sorry, sorry, sorry, I said throw those things out,
39:28 nobody ever wins those things.
39:29 Sorry, sorry and all of a sudden bing, winner, 5 dollars
39:34 worth of gas, one gallon ha ha.
39:37 Maybe a gallon and a half, but we got a 5 dollar
39:39 gift certificate for free gas and we were excited like we won
39:43 a million dollars.
39:44 Five dollars, but it was free, well it wasn't really free
39:51 because you pay for it over time.
39:53 But it felt free and we were happy about it.
39:56 By grace you have been saved through faith and that not
40:00 of yourselves, it is a gift from God.
40:03 In the Old Testament there's a bunch of these statements.
40:06 Let's look up the book of Habakkuk, it is not one
40:09 that we turn to too often, but it has a very powerful
40:11 statement and is one of the ones that touched
40:13 Martin Luther's heart back there in 1500's when
40:16 he talked about and found out about free grace
40:19 and free faith.
40:20 Habakkuk 2:4, a Bible says.
40:32 A powerful statement.
40:34 Those who are justified, those who are righteous in God's
40:38 sight will live by faith.
40:41 And even the faith that we get is a gift from God.
40:45 Can you say Amen!
40:46 This is one of the greatest of all the doctrines of salvation,
40:51 the idea that faith comes from the Lord.
40:54 Hebrews 11:1, what book did I say?
40:57 The book is Hebrews 11:,
41:03 I think we have the wrong one,
41:05 I want to go to Hebrews 11:1, come back to me brethren
41:08 Hebrews 11:1, you know it.
41:11 But I want to read from the word of God rather than give you
41:15 my digest of it.
41:20 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
41:23 the evidence of things not seen. "
41:26 Faith makes the unreal, real.
41:31 Faith makes the unseen, seen.
41:35 Faith takes a God who inhabits the universe, and brings Him
41:41 down and places Him inside my heart.
41:44 Can you say Amen!
41:45 Faith does that and you can't do anything without faith.
41:49 The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please Him,
41:53 that is just six verses later.
41:55 Hebrews 11:6, For he who comes to God must believe that he is
41:59 and that he is a rewarder for those who diligently seek Him.
42:03 When we go to God, we know He is there and we know
42:06 that He hears us.
42:08 Let's look at faith, Hebrews 11:7, and now
42:11 we are ready for that.
42:15 Act of faith, Hebrews 11:8.
42:21 And your obedience comes by faith to, lets go on.
42:27 And we'll get to the land of promise by faith, lets go on.
42:35 You know the story, past childbearing age, but by faith
42:38 God gave her a son.
42:39 Hebrews 11:17.
42:44 Only son, he offered them up for a sacrifice and that had to
42:47 be an act of faith, let's go on.
42:48 Hebrews 11:20.
42:52 Again act of faith, let's go on, Hebrews 11:21.
43:00 Again act of faith, we do these things by faith.
43:03 Hebrews 11:22.
43:08 He said I am is here in Egypt, I am dying, when I am gone,
43:11 when we get free, dig up my bones and take me back to the
43:15 promised land, act of faith.
43:21 Again act of faith, he should have been killed, act of faith
43:23 held him there.
43:29 He knew that God had a plan for his life and he stepped into
43:31 that plan by faith.
43:32 Hebrews 11:27.
43:36 He left the palace, left all the comforts of the palace to
43:39 dwell with God's people.
43:40 Hebrews 11:28.
43:43 Talking about that faithful night when God had His people
43:46 leave and they had to put blood on the door post to make sure
43:48 that the death Angel passed over, let's go on.
43:50 Hebrews 11:29.
43:57 Act of faith, they had to put their feet in the water to make
44:00 sure God was going to do what God said He was going to do,
44:03 but God always does what He says He's going to do as long as
44:06 we do what we are supposed to do, Amen?
44:07 Hebrews 11:30.
44:12 Giants people in a giant city with giant walls, they walked
44:15 around the, down the walls came by faith.
44:18 Hebrews 11:31.
44:24 Woman of ill-repute, by faith she stuck with God's people,
44:28 stayed with God's people and God was true to His word.
44:31 God is always true to His word, can you say Amen?
44:36 Always, all we need to do is be true to our word.
44:40 Anyone who's ever accomplished anything glorious to the cause
44:43 of Christ, did so by faith.
44:45 Without faith it is impossible to please Him.
44:50 James 2:23.
44:53 Abraham, the Bible says, James 2:23.
45:07 You get to be called righteous simply because
45:09 you believe in God.
45:11 The word that is translated, belief and faith are
45:16 the same there coming from the Greek, same word.
45:20 Paul uses the same word in Hebrew and
45:23 it is translated faith.
45:24 Abraham's faith was accredited to him for righteousness.
45:28 What God did for Abraham, ladies and gentlemen I submit,
45:32 He will do for you.
45:34 Theologians call this justification, a moment you give
45:38 your heart to Jesus it is at that same moment that Christ
45:42 credits your faith with righteousness.
45:46 God is saying because you love Jesus, because you believe in
45:51 Him I give you credit for the perfection
45:55 that you are working towards.
45:57 While I'm in the process of making you a Saint,
45:59 I give you credit for being a saint.
46:02 I give you credit for being a true child of God.
46:06 I want to tell you what Christ can do for a person.
46:10 I mentioned this a couple nights ago, when I Pastored in
46:16 Manhattan, I did 117 funerals at one church.
46:20 The very first funeral I did at that church I had just gotten
46:25 there, I guess less than a month.
46:28 There was Lady they are who stands out in my mind to this
46:32 day and I can call her name.
46:33 Her name was Sister Kathleen Downes.
46:35 Kathleen Downes was a very faithful Deaconess in the church
46:39 an officer in the church, one of the mothers
46:41 of the church.
46:42 She was stricken down with cancer and Kathleen Downes,
46:47 I suspect when she was healthy she was about 5 foot 7,
46:51 maybe a 140, a 145 pounds.
46:54 When I met Kathleen she was 5 foot 7, about 92 or 93 pounds.
47:03 Cancer had taken control of her body and she could barely
47:07 speak, her sight was failing, her hearing was failing, but the
47:13 nurses and the doctors they are at Calvary Hospital in the
47:20 Bronx said, Pastor this lady is amazing because we know
47:26 she is in pain.
47:28 She doesn't take any of the pain medications.
47:31 She will not allow us to treat her, she's is failing fast.
47:37 But when you come into her room, all day long all she does
47:42 is sing about Jesus.
47:44 They said we know she is in pain, we know that she is
47:49 suffering and yet all day long there is a melody coming from
47:53 her room singing about Jesus.
47:55 Those times that I met with her, she never had a hard word
47:59 to say, she was not angry, she was not upset,
48:03 she wasn't shaking her fist at God.
48:06 She was just praising the Lord for life and for Jesus and for
48:11 the promise of the future.
48:13 Now the reason I say that is because I got a e-mail
48:17 just today, and someone said in that e-mail,
48:20 how can I praise God through the pain?
48:26 I am in pain all the time, how can I be faithful?
48:32 How can I praise the Lord?
48:33 I think about Kathleen Downes who praised the Lord
48:38 and sang for Him until she drew her last breath.
48:42 That is what faith in Jesus can do for you.
48:46 It can perfect you.
48:49 2 Corinthians 12:9 says Paul hearing from the Lord,
48:56 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is
49:04 made perfect in your weakness. "
49:07 The weaker you are the stronger God is.
49:12 The more you need Him, the more available He becomes.
49:20 Great peace have they who love God's law.
49:22 One of my favorite texts there in Isaiah 26:3 lets us know that
49:28 even in the toughest of times,
49:30 we can have joy and peace in Jesus, because of the
49:35 faith we have in Him.
49:37 Our weakness can be made perfect in His strength as
49:42 long as we hold on to the Lord.
49:46 I want to go to 2 Peter 1:5.
50:04 That comes by studying the word, and to virtue knowledge, and
50:09 knowledge there comes this desire
50:12 for self control in our lives.
50:15 You know when you commit your life to Jesus and
50:17 Jesus gives you control.
50:19 I heard one preacher say that life really is,
50:21 Christian life, really is commitment and control.
50:24 If you give your life Jesus, Jesus gives you control.
50:26 Then there's perseverance, and godliness,
50:29 and brotherly kindness, and love.
50:31 All of these things mixed together to make us successful
50:35 in Jesus, don't you want to be successful in Christ?
50:38 Do you want be successful in Christ?
50:40 You know I have said this before, one of the hardest
50:43 thing I think there is to do is try to be a server,
50:45 or a lover of Christ and not have Christ within.
50:48 One of the most miserable people I know are people who are
50:50 trying to be Christians without Jesus dwelling within.
50:52 You can't do it.
50:53 Because then your religion is just a form.
50:56 You have to have Christ dwelling within you.
51:00 Again I say let this mind be in "who?", in you.
51:05 Form this perfect, abiding, loving relationship with Jesus
51:11 Christ and I guarantee you that,
51:13 Jesus will see you through.
51:14 And every night when you call upon Him,
51:16 He will be there.
51:17 And every morning when you ask him to bless your day's work,
51:20 He will be there to bless you.
51:21 And when you are driving on the streets,
51:22 He will be there.
51:23 And when you're working at your job, He will be there.
51:25 And when you're at school, He will be there.
51:27 And when you are home with your family,
51:28 Jesus will be there.
51:29 And finally one day you will look up and see Him
51:32 face-to-face and He will reach out to you
51:37 and say come ye blessed of My Father and
51:43 inherit the kingdom I have for you.
51:44 And perfect hope will blend into perfect love,
51:49 the reality of an everlasting relationship with
51:53 Jesus Christ without end.
51:55 How many love Him tonight?
51:58 How many want to be perfect in Christ?
52:02 Therefore, be ye perfect.
52:05 If that is your will stand with me and we will close in
52:08 prayer, let's pray together.
52:10 Shall we stand, Father God,
52:12 help us to be perfect in You.
52:15 Perfect love, perfect relationship.
52:20 For truly perfect love casts out all fear.
52:26 Oh Lord, let there be no fear in our hearts, no fear of what
52:31 the world has to bring.
52:33 No fear of Satan and his trick's but give us a perfect love
52:38 relationship with You.
52:40 You said therefore be perfect, help us Lord to love You with
52:46 all our heart, with all our mind, and all our soul and we
52:52 will give our lives to You and we thank You in the worthy and
52:57 blessed name of Jesus, Amen!


Revised 2014-12-17