How many liked that song? Even if you don’t, you are able but even if you don’t. Wow. You know who said that? The three Hebrew boys in the furnace. And they said to Nicodemus [Nebuchadnezzar] – Ha! They said to Nicodemus at night!
Funny thing this man went for an ordination test and got all these Bible stories mixed up. It was so funny. He hung in a tree by his hair 40 days and nights. And then he fell and they picked up twelve baskets of fragments. Funny story!
A shout out to Cheryl Leonard this morning and Donny Fischer and jump shot Jen, his wife. These folks live and work in Ohio and evangelize and minister to people, – farm shows, – wherever he goes he shares the faith. He’s with MBC&S class of 1992. Also Dan Cabral is here. Beautiful. What a family.
Women’s Seminar is coming up Sept. 28 and 29. Keynote speaker is Nicole Wheatley from GG church in Chicago. $40 for the seminar…Pastor’s Breakfast Sept 22nd in Fellowship Hall at 8:30 a.m. Egg McMuffin made by Scott Dubay. Pastors don’t pay anything and the women have to mortgage their house!
Let’s get happy today. He is. Did you come here this morning to get some Bible teaching, some application for life? You came here to take it home. Bring that door. We’re going to walk through that door (a prop).
1 Jn. 2:1-3. You come to church and you carry something with you from the church, from the H.S. We gather in his name and are thankful for that. We need help. We need to be loved and a real deep work going on in our lives. God is faithful. He is the Good Shepherd. He is faithful to speak to our hearts by the H.S. Open this precious book. How often it is. To read it and receive living words. We had a service Wednesday night and could take all the words you say in a day and put them in two piles. One pile is communication. This is from a piece that Eugene Peterson wrote. Pile of words: communication. And we need a lot of communication. When do I meet you? What am I making for supper? Who won the game? What is the weather like in the Carolinas today? Then another pile: communion words. Words that come from in prayer, in love, in obedience. I had something interesting happen in my life. I was facing a challenge, and I could fix the problem or do something but it was great the Lord led me to not care about it. Not touch it. I kind of got quiet and still and instead of getting involved and doing something about it, I was more thinking about not myself. I was thinking I’m not going to worry about it. I want to walk as a servant and as I did that, I did other things other than this thing. As I did other things, this thing started to roll into a solution. Communion words. Maybe we could say if you had visited someone in the hospital and they are very sick and you go into the room and sit next to their bed and you don’t know what to say to them. It’s harder to minister to them in communion than in communication. You could sit and talk all day long but they don’t have any energy or interest in what you are saying. They are sick and need ministered to. You pray and share from your heart and hope you minister to them. I think you follow what I mean. Communion is the Holy Spirit ministering to you and through you and at times maybe we don’t have words. We just have the communion, the quietness and the faith. That’s how we live. When we come to the church, we are looking for communion. We go home – this is me going home to my home and sometimes the communication in my family and I have a lot to say. We have the communication but my family also needs the communion that we look for in the church. It’s also what we look for in our home. Communion and peace and love and edification. We look for it in our church. I feel it’s a tragic thing if in the church there is not addressing the important issues. God and the word “holy.” God is holy. Many people don’t know what this means. Because you and I are sinners, we really don’t know how wonderful holiness is. When you touch it, it has an effect on you.
When people touched Jesus, virtue left Jesus and the woman was healed in Mk 5. He said who touched me. The disciples said many are touching you. That’s a common thing. Many are touching Jesus by the internet, by reading about him on Wikipedia, by meeting Christians at work. Touching him but not really. When the holiness of Jesus touches you and you touch him, this is through our new birth. Our new birth means we are born again and we have fellowship with the holiness of God. That’s what we want to teach this morning. In the world we live in, there are two things you rarely hear about. One is sin. Secular psychology and the secular world, they don’t like the word. They think of it as old fashioned. “There is a downward spiral in society because of secularism, a lack of common sense, corrupt religion, uncontrolled lust, sexual perversion. It parallels the decadence of Rome, the Roman Empire in today’s moral decline and highlights the desperate need for spiritual revival. What has happened to sin? It singles out societies intolerant notions of guilt and sin. It shows numerous examples of how society has treated every human failing as some kind of disease and created a disease model therapy that only compounds the problem. It shows how victimization has taken the place of traditional morality even in the church.” Don’t talk about sin. I’m a victim. This shouldn’t happen to me. It’s not me. It’s them. I like you to understand something this morning. I think you do. It’s beautiful when God speaks to me and tells me I am a sinner. That’s good. I am a sinner. I am responsible. I have failed. I am a thief, a liar, a deceitful person. I am wrong. I have failed. I am an adulterer, a cheater. I am in my heart. Probably people here saying not me.
Mk 7:21-23, Christ gives a list of things in our heart. One is pride. If I’m a good person, it may be the root of my goodness is rooted in self-righteousness and a form of pride which is sin. I am a sinner. The second thing people don’t generally know is holiness. It’s fantastic. It’s amazing. Holiness is so powerful. Holiness is so satisfying. It’s our blessing. To worship a holy God by the H.S. with words of communion, words of life, words of ministry, words that feed us and edify us and build us up. This leads us to our message this morning. When I’m done speaking to you, it will be so encouraging to realize who you are, who God is and what he has done. It’s amazing. I hope you get it. Let me say it again. We live in a sinful society that doesn’t like this message nor do they like this word “guilt.” “You feel guilty. You shouldn’t feel guilty. Who is making you feel guilty? You shouldn’t. Get over it. Everybody does it. They are trying to make you look wrong. You are not guilty.” They reinforce each other in their mindset and they go to bed saying I am not guilty but they feel and sense the weight of your sin. They may drink and take medication or as P. Steve and I talked and I asked him to do research on how many Hollywood award ceremonies there are in a year. We know the Emmys, etc. more than 100 in a year. Why are they doing this? They are awarding and rewarding each other for their accomplishments in this closed mentality. We are not dealing with sin or guilt; we are at the top of our game. We are great people. Mutually admiring each other. Dress up in the nice clothes and nice cars and movie cameras going and speeches going and they go against our government and traditional family values and the Bible. That’s their world. It’s not our world. My people have committed two evils.
Forsaken the fountain of living water and hewn out cisterns that cannot hold water in Jer 2:13. Forsaken God and built this cistern, this cavernous rock they carve out so there is a leak in it so the water that goes in they cannot hold water. They cannot hold this capacity. They don’t have a capacity for the living water and the living God. They have not found the way. They are mutually admiring and reinforcing their way of thinking and their values. This is done everywhere anyway except this new and living way that Jesus Christ has made for us.
1 Jn 2:1-3, I don’t mind it when God talks about my sin. He tells me he’s written this so we would not sin. It sounds almost impossible for a sinner not to sin. But this is possible. Who was born in you is Christ. The new nature we have is not a sinful nature. I am a sinner but born in us, being born again of the word of God that Christ is born in us. Christ does not sin.
Heb 2:17, Col 1:7, 1 Jn 3:9. Christ is not sinning. Christ lives in you and he is not sinning. I have an option now. I can live by faith and experience the holiness of God which I could not experience before. Before I was saved, I couldn’t experience the holiness of God. Now being saved, we have something going on we didn’t have before.
vs. 1. Advocate with the Father. Advocacy. You know the advocacy groups. You have a lawyer that is your advocate. He defends you in the courtroom. Someone at school is my advocate. We have an Advocate. We have someone who represents our greatest interest. An Advocate with the most important person, the Father. He is in the presence of our God. He is the Advocate for us. If we sin, he represents us before the Father. The basis of his advocacy, is what he did here on the earth on our behalf at the cross. What he did at the cross has a huge significance. It must be revealed to us and explained to us. If we understood a little bit of it, it blows our mind. It’s radical. It’s incredible. We are going to do our best by the H.S. and he will show us what it means. He is the propitiation for our sins. This is a big word for us. God, man, and this word propitiation. Here is Jesus coming and we’ll put the cross here. I’ll write next to it mercy seat. It was the body of Jesus Christ which became the place of propitiation. Place of propitiation. Where was the propitiation? In the Old Testament, the priests went into the tabernacle through the veil and there was a box this high and wide and long and it was called the Ark of the Covenant. Inside were three articles. On the top, the priest sprinkled blood. Two angels looked down on the mercy seat where the blood was sprinkled. This is called the mercy seat, a place where the blood went. This is a picture of an eternal reality. God must be propitiated. God must be appeased. He must somehow be satisfied. He is angry with sin. Sin contradicts his nature. He is holy. The opposite of holy is profane. God is holy and he loves his holiness and his nature and character is perfect. He can’t stand it when there is a lie or misrepresentation of truth. It contracts his nature. You know what that is? You buy a car, and someone lies to you and they cheat you. You know what that does to you. If you are married and one party cheats on you, you feel betrayed. And we are sinners. That happens to us and we get angry. Put it up on steroids when Almighty God would consider sin. He hates it. Can’t look at it. Doesn’t want to consider it. It’s not in his frame of mind. He must be appeased. Human beings are somehow here trying to pay for it. Accommodate God somehow by penance, fasting, tithing, sacrifices, being guilty for three weeks. After 3 weeks being depressed in my apartment all by myself sitting there because I’ve sinned.
I visited a brother who was in this state of mind. I said is God satisfied with three weeks of depression you have had there? He said I feel pain for my sin. Maybe it will take a few more weeks! A few more prayers and sacrifice and depression and going deeper. Then maybe you will pay for you sin.
Do you think so? This propitiation was on the body of Jesus. The “mercy seat was the place where the blood was sprinkled in the Old Testament. At Calvary, the body of Jesus hung on the cross as the place where propitiation was made. Peter referred to this fact when he said through his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.” Notice the phrase “in his own body.” He bore our sins in his own body. His body became the place of propitiation where the blood was shed. When God looks at the Son, he is satisfied so his mercy and grace is poured out to us. There is no more payment.
I said to the brother who is depressed for three weeks, I said for 3 weeks you could have been ministering to people, sharing your faith, filled with the Holy Spirit and praying and moving mountains. You could have been edifying the Body and helping others in the faith. For three weeks, you could have been a useful minister.
How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Your conscience is troubling you so you are serving with dead works. Three weeks of depression is dead works. What you are doing is a dead work. It does nothing. It means nothing to God. It’s a dead work. Your guilt, penalty, payment doesn’t mean a thing. Only thing that satisfies God is the payment of his Son. He paid the price so we could be free and Spirit filled. It doesn’t mean I don’t recognize I sinned. Maybe I grieve very much but after done with it say I have sinned. That’s it. Someone says if you sin willfully, that’s really, if you sin willfully. I’m saying there are sins I commit that I’m not aware of and sins I commit I am very well aware of. I’m very well aware I sinned. Who lied? I did. I take it and own it. I am the one responsible. I have sinned. There is a shift. I have sinned and I take responsibility for it. Who sinned? I did. The sinner. What does God say? I died with Christ and it’s judged by Christ. His wrath poured out by Christ. The blood of Christ is speaking.
You are eternally redeemed in Heb. 9:14. I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more. Rom 8:1, stand fast in your liberty. I have sinned but no longer I. I am crucified. Yet not I. I have sinned. I am crucified and I live but not I. Christ lives in me. This is brilliant. It’s Jesus saying to us, I don’t have any pleasure in your dead works. I want you to know I am your Advocate and I am your propitiation for your sin. You are free. The blood of Christ is a propitiation for your sins.
1 Kings 18 illustrates this. Elijah and the prophets of Baal. 1 Kings 18. Are you following it? This is good stuff. This is how we are going to be edified. Words of communion affect us and build us up. Wow, I was at church and I realized something. I am renewed, encouraged, edified. There is something going on in your life. When God speaks to you, you are able to bring it home, to your work place by your nature and Spirit and being edified in Christ. I need my church more than a restaurant to eat lunch. I need church more than the health club or my daily bread. I need the fellowship more than anything. I really need the church. It’s the only place we can talk about these things and definitely at this level.
1 Ki 18: 25 He’s making a deal with them because they are not even close. Here’s a group of them. I didn’t say they were in Hollywood! You’re trying to put words in my mouth! Here’s God and then gods, plural. There were many Baal’s. These people are facing off with Elijah. Elijah made a deal with them.
vs. 25. It’s a bull basically, a bullock.
vs. 26. They leaped then they are cutting themselves in vs. 27. I was in India and in the early morning a bell was ringing and the brother said he was waking up a god. They are done there in a little temple, small, like a mail box and they had a bell and ringing it. They said they’re waking him up. Who woke them up to wake up him? I think our God woke them up to wake up their god! Now I’m confused!
vs. 28. Loud yelling, leaping and then cutting themselves and bleeding.
vs. 28-29. Nobody cared about it. It was a bunch of, plain old, straight up foolishness of the human heart. Trying to propitiate the gods. Appeasing the gods by their blood and their sacrifice and their commitment. God, I thank you I am not as him, the Pharisee said in the prayer. I fast twice a week and pay my tithes. I am a righteous man. Religious people do this. Religious people, pagan, evangelical. We try to propitiate for our sins. We do something to pay for it. Elijah said okay step aside boys. The real thing is coming now. Put your seat belts on. I am here and I’m not doing a thing except saying a short prayer and that’s all I need to do. This is about him who is propitiated by the blood of Jesus. My God is a merciful God because he gave his Son. The only grounds for any of us meeting God is his grace through Christ. When Elijah went before God, he got everything all set and he said God you know what is going on and the fire came down like a big blow torch. Anyone got any questions about who the living God is and how I approach him? Not on the basis of dead works but on the basis of our living, awesome Savior who was raised from the dead. On the basis of that propitiation, we have an Advocate with the Father. He presents our interest and he gives us grace and it doesn’t end. We realize what it means to be forgiven of sin.
Listen to the word. The word [sin] our secular word wants to remove from their vocabulary. You may remove the word but not the guilt and pain and hurt. We still wrestle with the problem because we are cursed with the vanity and frustration. No healing balm in this world. Only the fountain that does hold water and edify us and does lead us in truth and make us a holy people. I’m going to do a whole message one day on this subject. The Greeks and Romans were great with theater. The people come to watch theater and listen and watch. It was entertaining. They also had gods. They were pagan god worshippers of gods. 12 of them basically. Zeus and Jupiter and Mercury and so on. They had gods and theater. They wanted the Jewish people to have that too. They wanted the Jews to be idolaters and go to the amphitheaters. Herod built seven of them. Herod wanted that. In the gospels, there is no mention of it. It’s the same today. There are evangelical Christians that want a theater. They don’t want a church. They are drawn to the entertainment. They want something to look at and cry about but the Jews are saying we are not made for theater. We are made for listening to God’s word. We are made to be anointed of God, have joy that is from the H.S., have thoughts not our thoughts but God’s and a way of life very satisfying to us. That’s what we are called for. Did we finish verse 3?
1 Jn 1:1-3, we know that we know him. The still small voice has told us. We know we know him if we keep his commandments. Not in a legalistic way but we keep his commandments by the privilege of his holiness and enjoy his word and enjoy truth in our inner man.