Classic Christianity – New Years P1 (12-28-20)
So often mankind lives in error because of the futility of their thinking. We are born spiritually dead, without the life of God in us, and until we are born again, we are essentially left to our own carnal thinking. We think we can pull it off and obey the law, or we think we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, and have no understanding that God within the man is indispensable to the proper functioning of the man.
I have spoken to a person who is lost, who will reject anything I say about Jesus but will say she picks out the good things out of all religions. The understanding of the lost is so foreign to someone who is now in Christ. We only know what it once was like because that is how we once thought.
Then we are born again, where the Spirit of God comes to indwell within us. The Spirit of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions. We are instructed to put aside our former way of thinking, that drove our former way of living, and to be renewed in our minds.
So often, though, we are bombarded by the ideas of the world. We are told it is unusual or abnormal to get depressed or to be anxious. Such experiences are common to man. So people turn to alcohol or are prescribed antidepressants to alter the mind. Although for a temporary basis that may seem to help, numbing your mind of pain, but that only treats the symptoms. But there is danger in that also.
If anyone has heard the testimony of Russ Taft, then you will know if the root cause of all your pain and hurt, suppressed for years, is that all it takes is a death of a mother or a father to bring up such hurt that you cannot bear it, so you relapse into addiction. What is hidden or missing so deep inside that only God can heal? Do you know the true person of God, His true character, that you can boldly go to His throne, and know that you are His child, and that is what you need. As Russ Taft says, I can run to Daddy and He can keep me sober.
Our thinking drives our actions. When you are thinking negative thoughts, you become anxious or depressed. If you project your present circumstances as what your life will always be like, you are presuming on the future and into fantasy. Only God knows the future, and he is sovereign, in control of it. We are instructed in God’s word to cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.
We are told to make your requests known to God, with thanksgiving, and the peace of God will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. We are told that God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. So the real question is, do we trust Him? If the circumstances do not change, can we still trust Him?
We must understand we live in a fallen world, and this world is not our home. The world is too great for us. But it is not too great for Him. He told us to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. But how can you be of good cheer if you do not have a relationship with God, and do not know Him, His unconditional love and acceptance? How can you be of good cheer when the one you love is no longer the person you once knew? And there is fear he will never change and you cannot bear it alone? God never changes. He is always there for you.
He even told us that, in this world, we will have tribulation. Contrary to our natural thinking, we are instructed to rejoice in our suffering because suffering produces perseverance and perseverance character and character hope and hope does not disappoint. We are told to not look at what is seen, for what is seen is temporary. Instead, we are to focus on what is unseen, for things above, in the heavenly realm. We are to see our present trials and tribulations as light and momentary for they are achieving for us an eternal glory that will never fade away.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So this brings up the matter of belief and faith. Let us not confuse the two. Someone can say they believe that God took away all their sins, past, present and future, but then you find yourself sinning tomorrow. Who has not, in a weak moment, let fear or anxiety take control, or swear at someone who cut you off in traffic? And, everything that does not come from faith is sin. So, then do we ask God to forgive you of your sins, when you do such a thing? You say you believe God took away all your sins. Either he did or he didn’t? You say you believe both, but then where is your faith placed?
Is your faith placed in what Jesus said, “It is finished”, that he took away all the sins of the entire world all the way back to Adam and forward to eternity? Will he shed his blood again for your sins tomorrow? So, you say you believe both of those things, but your faith can only be in one of those things. You can say you believe in both, but you believe with and without proper reasoning, in accordance with or contrary to the fact of what Jesus did and said he did.
So much of our lives are based on improper reasoning, thinking contrary to the word of God, or even misplaced trust, such as trusting that alcohol can give you relief from pain rather than God who loves you and has power to do something about it, without any negative effects with it?
God wants us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves us, and has the best in mind for us, a life of freedom, an abundant life in Him. We are instructed to walk in the Spirit and not in accordance with the flesh.
If we believed something to be true, but upon reading God’s word, the Spirit reveals the error, then growth occurs, when we start acting in accordance with the truth we now affirm to be true and put our faith in.
If you have misplaced trust or improper understanding of the purpose of the law, thinking you have to confess your sins to God to get forgiveness, then that cheapens both the law and grace.
As you read God’s word, you come to understand that we are no longer under the law of sin and death, we who have the Spirit of God living in us, but we are under the law of life. So, then why did I sin? It is because you stopped trusting God. You thought you could do something on your own or that you knew better than what God’s word had to say or you were ignorant of the meaning of the word of God or you did not really know God.
For the sake of illustration, a born again person is living under the law of thermodynamics, and is flying as long as he stays in the airplane. Being in the airplane is like abiding in the vine. But as soon as we leave the airplane, gravity takes over, and we fall. We decided on our own and stopped abiding. We were deceived into believing something other than God would give us peace.
Now, this is not saying all tragedies in life are a result of our choices, for we live in a fallen world, where other people make choices that affect us. That is why Jesus warned us that those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Why? It is not because He wants this for us, but He has given man free will, and those in darkness tend to hate those in the light. But also those who are hurting, following an improper way of living, addiction for example, deeply hurt others and themselves. Yet, He also tells us that He will cause all things to happen for the good for those who love Him and are called to His good purposes. So you see this life we live is Christ, is from a personal relationship of trust in the one who created us, who re-created us as new creatures in Christ.
Our flesh is often in conflict with the Spirit. The flesh is those innate patterns of thinking ingrained in us from Adam’s nature. It is used to operating from only the five senses, but now there is the Spirit in us that overrules the flesh, if we allow Him to.
Man is used to living under a law, whether one of his own making or tutored under the laws of God until faith is revealed. Yet putting ourselves under law leads to legalistic bondage. We were not designed to live independent of the Spirit of God. But if you are born dead, what options do you have until you are born again. Then, when we are born again, we hear false teaching that keeps us enslaved under law. The law, that God gives, is there to keep the lost person from destroying himself, and for purposes of order in society, but also to lead him to Christ.
One common example of legalistic bondage is a person instructed to tithe, and if he does not give his 10 percent, that he is robbing God. Yet, when one reads Malachi, you come to understand that he is not talking to you, who are under a New Covenant of grace, but to the Jews who were under the Old Covenant. Are you a descendant of Jacob? Then you read in Corinthians about how to live under a New Covenant, and what giving looks like, and you discover that you are to give willingly, cheerfully, not under compulsion, in accordance with what you do have and not with what you do not have. So you come to grow in grace and knowledge. Now, you no longer condemn yourself when you do not give, and you start seeing a clearer understanding of the character of God, of His mercy and grace. God is no longer seen as a harsh taskmaster that you could never please.
Do you see how living under the law binds you in error? But living under grace frees you to go freely to God, to boldly go to the throne of grace, in whatever need you have. By freely receiving from Him, you can now freely give, not out of compulsion, not because you have to, but out of a heart of love from the same love you received from God. There is no law that says you must give this or that. You are led internally by the Spirit of God who instructs you, and gives you freedom to do whatever is in your heart to do. You are a new creation and you function out of that new creation that is pleasing to God, through your faith.
Let us turn together to the book of Ephesians.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
Again, were the Gentiles’ actions real good? No. What does he say? You must no longer live as the Gentiles did, in the futility of their thinking. So where is man’s problem? All sin begins in taking hold of your mind. Everything develops from that concept. All sin and all life is all beginning right up there in the mind.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he
So instead of trying to change actions, what is God doing? Changing our thoughts. You can change actions putting a person in jail, incarcerating them, and changing their actions, but you are not going to change their mind. Until their mind is changed, their actions have only been curtailed. But when you get out of jail, and your mind has not changed, your actions pick right back up, don’t they? As a man thinks, so is he.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
If anxiety was unusual, why does scripture say, “do not be anxious”, if it was unusual for humans to be anxious. So you hear someone say, “There is something wrong with you. You have a syndrome.” If you are depressed, you hear, “Oh, that is unusual”. All I have to do to get depressed is to start thinking depressing thoughts. I can get depressed in ten minutes, can’t you? I can get depressed looking in the mirror. We have to understand the reality of that, don’t we? So, depression is not unusual.
People have been conned into thinking, “Oh, it’s unusual”. There is this guy that never gets angry, who never gets anxious, and never has bad feelings. Tell me, where is that guy? I have never met him. I have news for you. You have not either. But if you have been conned into thinking that is normal behavior, and anything secondary to that is abnormal behavior, so that if you are depressed and have anxiety, you think that something is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you. What is wrong with you is you are human. That is all a part of being alive, of being a human being. All of those things are as much a part of being a human as eating and sleeping. There is nothing unusual about it.
But what happens is, the more we think, the more we feel. So we get all of these feelings, and get down in the dump feelings, and depressed feelings. So what do we deal with? Feelings? You go to counseling and what do they ask you? How do you feel? You cannot deal with feelings. You cannot see feelings. How are you going to treat feelings? All that drugs do is numb the head, and that numbs the feelings. You cannot deal with what you cannot see. Change your feelings? How are you going to do that unless you change your mind? The answer is you cannot change your feelings.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will isâ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So what does God want to do, change your mind or renew your mind? The bible says “renew the mind”. Doctors say alter it. Are you going to function in the futility of your thinking or are you going to trust what God says, “let me renew your mind”. Why? “Because if you let me renew your mind, those feelings will also be renewed.”
So we have a world out there that is totally contrary to what is in the bible. God says one thing and man says another, and many say it in the name of Jesus. That is what irritates me, people in the name of Jesus, coming up with all this psychological garbage, that all it does is put them under deeper bondage than they were before. Are we going to put faith in God and His word or put faith in what man has to say?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
That ties into what we said about putting belief in something or faith in something. For many years in my early Christian experience, I believed two things. I believed Jesus died for all my sins; past, present and future. How many of you believed that when you were first saved? How many of you also believed that if you confessed your sins God will forgive your sins? God will forgive you. How many of you figured out that was double talk? I can believe in both of those things, but I can only put my faith in one of them. That is the difference between belief and faith. I believed in both of them but my faith was only in one of them, and that is if I confess, He will forgive. That is where my faith was. My faith was not in that He took away all my sins; past, present and future. I believed that, but I did not have any faith in that. All I did a number of years ago was to shift my faith off of 1 John 1:9 and put it to the totality of the teaching of the scripture, that I am no longer a person who gets forgiven. I am a forgiven person. That is where my faith is, and that is where my faith is today. So there is a difference between belief and faith.
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Folks, it is the same thing when we are dealing with this futility of our minds. I can believe Jesus is the answer to all of my problems. How many, if I were to ask you today, how many of you believe Jesus is totally sufficient for all your problems? Everyone’s hand would go up. How many of you put your faith in that? But there is a world of difference in those two, whether I am going to put my faith in that or believe that. Well, I believe God is capable of doing that, but I do not have any faith God is going to do it for me. Recall the scripture where a man, in need of healing, said to Jesus, “If you are willing, you can do this.”
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
Many times, we are in the same boat. I believe but I am not sure God is willing to do this. If I do not think He is willing to do that, why would I want to put my faith in that, you see? We all have to test it. That is why it says to test your faith. All of us need our faith tested. There are many things in my life I believe but I really have not put my faith in. I am sure the same is true for you. I believe it but I am not sure I can trust it.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The reason for going over this is because of what he is saying. We are no longer to live like the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. If you and I are in Christ, then we no longer live to think like a lost Gentile thinks. You see guys, the opposite of a Jew is not a Christian. The opposite of a Jew is a Gentile. You have lost Gentiles. You have lost Jews. You have saved Gentiles. You have saved Jews. But the opposite of a Jew is not a Christian. Most Jews function today believing the opposite of a Jew is a Christian: “So I am not going to be a Christian if I am a Jew. I would lose my heritage and everything else”. No. The opposite of a Jew is a Gentile. I am a Gentile. You are Jew. I am lost and so are you. That rhymes.
Now, what we want to do is pick up to understand that our thinking, therefore, is futile. We as Christians do not have to retain the futility of the thinking of the lost. Do we understand that? There is a different way of thinking today.
18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God
because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
So what is it that keeps our thinking futile, and keeps us separated from the heart of God? It is the hard heart that says, “I do not need the instruction of God. I know best.” Is that not the same sin in the garden of Eden? “I do not need God to know right from wrong and good from evil. I will figure that out on my own.” Amy and I, last week, talking with a couple from Germany. When you are talking with people who are lost, your entire thinking is just totally different. It is like speaking Swahili to somebody. I cannot understand what they are saying because their mind has been darkened and hardened.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:4
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
To the lost, their mindset is that all religions are good. “Religion is good. All of it is good.” You say, “How can all religions be good? I got a better statement than that. I think all religions stink. I do not like any religion. As a matter of fact, I think that religion, as Stalin said, is the opiate of the people. That is about the only thing I do agree with him on.” Religion is the return to bondage. Jesus did not come to form a religion. He came to form a relationship. He came to give us something we do not have, and this is life. That life is in Him. When I have Him, I have been raised again spiritually. I have His life, and not only that, He is my life. That is why Paul could say “for me to live is Christ”.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
When Christ comes to take up residency in our hearts, then we have the ability to think. We always had the ability to think, but to think truth and to place our faith in that truth. Faith is like the guy at the circus, who got the high wire up there, with no net underneath. He walked across the high wire with a wheel barrel. He went across that and the whole place went crazy in applause, as the most marvelous thing they had seen. He came back again, over the high wire with a wheel barrel. He was still up there. Then he said, “How many of you believe I can do this again?” “Yes”, the crowd said. “How many of you think I can go over there and come back again?” “Yes” while screaming and thinking it is the greatest thing. “So you believe I can do that? Who wants to volunteer to get in the wheel barrel?” There was total silence. That is the difference between faith and believing something, isn’t it?
What does it say about a lost person?
19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
Does that sound familiar? To how many of you does that sound familiar? How many of the rest of you have been living in a vacuum? Is this not what the flesh does? The flesh loses all sensitivity. We give ourselves over to sensuality and indulge in every kind of impurity and have a continual lust for more. Sin does not want less. It always wants more.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned
You did not learn of Christ through sensual indulgence.
21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
We are to put off our old self. What does it say about our old self? It is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. Do you have a former way of life and a former self that is still being corrupted by its evil desires. Do you have an experience like that? What is that called? It is called your flesh. Do you still have desires of the flesh? It is a good thing because if you didn’t you would be dead. As long as you are alive, are you going to have desires of the flesh? Yes. That is a reality.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Jesus Christ is alive in you spiritually. Is that true? Yes. Your new identity is what? A child of the living God. You only have one identity. Do you realize that? You do not have two identities. You are not a child of God and a child of the devil at the same time. The moment you stepped out of Adam into Christ, you stepped into being a child of the living God.
We can come up with all kinds of identities in this world. Satan loves to give us all kinds of identities other than a child of God. In the Christian world we have substituted that with: “I am a Baptist”, ”I am Presbyterian” and that kind of stuff. Do you see those names in the scriptures? No, it is not in there. John the Baptist is in the scripture but that does not mean he is a baptist. Instead of us saying we are a child of God, we would rather say “I am a baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Plymouth Brethren, or Assembly of God, or whatever it might be. And that becomes our identity.
How many of you have you walked up to and he says “I am a child of God.” A person asks you, ”where do you go to church?” The reason he asks that is so he can have an inkling of what you believe. “I will at least know what you believe in baptism by dunking or not”. “Bob, where did you go to seminary?” What they are saying is, “What denominational seminary did you go to, so I can know whether I want to listen to you or not, so I can see if you agree with me denominationally”. As far as an identity, we only have one. You are a child of the living God.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
You have flesh and Spirit that are in conflict with each other. The Spirit of God, who lives in you, is in conflict with the flesh that you were born with. They are at enmity with one another. The desires of the flesh are totally contrary to the desires of the Spirit, and vice versa. Do you notice that in your life? The issue is, which one am I going to yield to, and which one am I going to allow to control my life? Because it says when we give into the flesh, we will be mastered by that flesh. In other words, the flesh has the capability of mastering you. Also, when we yield to the Spirit, then we are being controlled by the Spirit of God.
Now folks, the interesting thing about this is that it being controlled by the Spirit is somewhat like being under the control of aerodynamics in an airplane. As long as you are under the control of aerodynamics, you are going to be flying. But if you decide that you would like to step outside and get some fresh air, you are immediately coming under the control of gravity, and you are going to splat on the ground. You will get your air all right. You do not choose that. You do not choose to come under the control of gravity. It is the by-product of coming out from under the control of aerodynamics. When you and I are in Christ, and we choose to be controlled by the Spirit of God, and we are saying, ”Lord, it is my desire for You to control me by your love. I want to walk in truth, not in error. I want to walk in truth. I want to walk in grace.”
You cannot be controlled by the Spirit walking under the law. The law is not for a Christian. So we have a lot of people who think they are a Spirit-filled legalist. That is a contradiction of terms. It is impossible to be controlled by the Spirit of God when you are under legalism. The law is contrary to the Spirit. That is like saying “I want mercy under the law”. That is impossible. There is no mercy in the law. If you are going to obtain mercy, you have to obtain it apart from the law. When you put mercy in the law, you have watered down the law. You have ruined the law. When you put mercy in the law, you have ruined it.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Under the law, the wages of sin is death. You put mercy into the law. Let us call it out of fellowship. What do we do? Water down the law until it has no meaning to it. I do not have to fear being under fellowship, when I can get back in. Death? That is another question. We have come down and watered down the law and made it lose its meaning until there is no respect for life because I do not even know I am dead. I have never been taught that the wages of sin is death. Under the law, it is death, death, death. No mercy under the law.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement [propitiation], through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
<sup27< sup=””> Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
If you are going to receive mercy, you will have to receive it apart from the law. That is exactly what Jesus did. He came apart from the law and gave us mercy. He cancelled the law so he could give us mercy. You cannot put mercy in the law. If you do, you ruin the law. That is why there is no man greater than the law. If your nation loses the law, it loses the nation. We better understand that as Christians. When your laws and the enforcement of those laws get diminished, you have diminished your country. There is no man greater than the laws of the land, regardless of what you think. Mercy apart from the law, absolutely. As a born again Christian, there is mercy apart from the law. But under the law, you better carry that out. If you don’t, you have lost it. Not a popular stance today, is it? People who take that stance are called bigots and everything else under the sun. The fact of the matter is, we do not see the ramifications. When God says the law is this, stick with it. You cannot go wrong when sticking with it.
So we have desires of the flesh and desires of the Spirit. They are in conflict with each other. So what did he say in regard to that?
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
How are you going to be made new? By changing your actions? No. By changing your mind. There are a lot of people that are not Christians that are acting better than us. By outward actions, you could not tell the difference. You go over into some of the Muslim countries, you will see some pretty good behavior. If you do not, you get your hand cut off, if you steal something. You will get your eye plucked out if you look at a woman wrong. Do you want to live over there? Outward actions are one thing and inward attitudes are another.
Matthew 15:18-19 (KJV)
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
God came to change the attitudes of the heart. Those attitudes will change your actions but do not think those actions cannot be imitated. In the final analysis, is it not really true, that everybody has got this emphasis on outward action, but in the final analysis, how many people in your experience really know what you are like? How many? If you are married, your mate? They know what you are like. Your children know what you are like. Outside of that, hardly anybody knows what you are like. Can we not become performers? Because it is just for a short while, and then you get home and kick your shoes off, and say “praise God, now I can be myself”. So you start knocking everybody in the head. So folks, you see why God wants to change the attitudes of our hearts. This outward can be changed. It can be faked, can’t it?
That is why when people get married. You do not really know somebody until you get married. Why is that? I thought I knew him. You did not live with him. Yes, but we lived together. But that is not the same. So what we have to come to realize is that not a whole lot of people really know how we are like. We are to be made new in the attitude of our minds. Until our attitudes are changed, nothing will change.
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We are taught to put on this new self that has been created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Genesis 5:1-3 (KJV)
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
You were born of mom and dad but you were created by God. Do you realize that? How many of you think man was created in the image of God? Is that true? No, that is not true. Man was created in the image of Adam. Remember that in the 5th chapter of Genesis, when Adam and Eve had Seth. Seth was born in the image of Adam. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. Seth was born in the image of Adam. God created only two people, created by the hand of God. From that point on, man was born out of man and woman. When you and I were born again, what is that? It is called a new birth, but what is it? A new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Why? Spiritual birth comes from God.
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