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4. The Root of the Problem

Michael Dant
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Why do we find it so difficult to enjoy God and to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength? Why do we resist His perfect way?   It is our enemy that does this. But who or what is our  enemy? (Hint: It's not just the devil). Recognizing our true enemy is the first step to gaining the victory.

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Michael Dant

Embedded Computer Science Teacher at Southern Adventist University. 

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  • April 28, 2016
    11:00 AM
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You know surrender is a word that is bandied around a lot. You will hear from the pope and. You will you read it in the evidence review. You read in the books. We talk a lot about surrender. But we don't always say much about what really is it. What does it look like in practical terms. How can i become surrendered how can i know if i am sure injured. How can i stay surrendered once i get there are all these. Important questions about one of the most important aspects of the christian life. That. I wish i had known. When i was young. Took me four decades. To the lord for decades. To teach me some of these things and to help me to understand surrender a little bit better. So that my whole my own life. Could be transformed by his holy spirit. Well let's do a quick review. The first thing we looked at last sabbath for the sermon was the love for god. The seed of surrender. Is love for god. The seed of love. Is surrender. If you want to to love god with all of your heart and mind and soul and strength which is by the way the great commandment. If you want to obey that commandment. Then surrender is the key. Love for god is one of the most wonderful things in the christian life. Love for god is the motivating force. Of the true christian life. Love makes. Obeying god. Denying self sacrificing self for the good of others. And the glory of god. It makes it into a joy. Rather than a drudgery. So we definitely do love god with all of our heart mind and soul and strength. And then we look to part two in the afternoon. We look at what that meant in practical terms what does it mean to surrender to god. And we look at our choices. And how. Surrendering is choices. It's all about giving god are choices. We don't obey god because we're trying to earn deserve or merit something. We will be a god because his way is always best. There's no downside to going god's way. In fact. We looked at how obedience is not why. God blesses us. It's how he does it. The legalism believes that they can and they can impress god in some way. They believe that obedience is why god blesses them but that's not it at all. Obeying god is how he blesses us. Every time that we choose his choice. We're accepting something good from him every one of god's commands the gift. And invitation to be blessed. That was part two. Part three. We looked at this problem that we have because we want to love god with all of our hearts and minds and souls trying. And we realize that we nor to do that we have to surrender our selves wholly to gonna give him all of our choices. But then we also understand that. For some reason given god our choices are not natural or easy to us in fact given got our choices. Is can be excruciating only difficult for us. And we looked at why that was. It turns out. We have an enemy. Built inside of us. Called self it's our sinful nature. And our sinful nature by nature wants to go its own way wants to choose our own choices and to our own pleasures and. Go our own way. And so when god says hey this is the good way. We say oh thanks laura but i'll rather go this way that inmate's sinful nature. Is actually finding god. As he tries to bless us. And so we found the ellen white says that. That self. Is the enemy. We most need to fear. No other victory we can gain she says. Will be so precious. As the victory gained over self. So that's where we are so far in the series. And today. We're going to look at the cure for self. Because that's what we so desperately need we need to be victorious over this enemy. We can. Do it ourself. We can't fight self. By ourself. We have the power of choice. But our power of choice is not that strong. We need help. Serious help. Carl grant was representing the united states. In osaka japan. For the table tennis competition. And the night before the competition. He was talking to one of the chinese delegation. And they had a friendly game together. And caro. Put all of his energy into that game he wanted to beat. One of these. These people from the chinese delegation because they're some of the best table tennis players in the world. And so he put his. All into any doubt. Just barely beat the guy. And he was so ecstatic he would back to his team is this is. I beat one of the. The players from the team from the chinese delegation. And they said. I doubt it. I don't think you did. Well he says i did come to me to march with me tomorrow i'll prove it so they went the next day they went to the to the area where the chinese were setting up. And he didn't see the guy that he had beat but he said to one of the players hey you know. I played a friendly game last night with one your players and. I won. And the guy says. I don't think so and he says who was it. And carl says well i don't see him here i don't get as many but all very is. And it just at that moment he was walking towards them. And the chinese player smiled. And he said oh yeah that's mr chen. He's our cook. You know it's the same way with self self. Laughs. At our feeble attempts to beat it. You may be able to eke out a win against a cook. But you're no competition for the. You know come to shoot for the real problem. And it's true. We cannot fight self. By ourself self laughs at us. So if this is intertwined. Every fiber of our being. In fact. Although we want to fight fellow for. We kind of like it. We kind of enjoy selfish indulgence. And selfish pleasure. We want to go our own way by by nature we are addicted to self. And so we cannot fight it. That is why we are told that everyone who enters the pearly gates of the city of god will enter there as a conqueror. And his greatest conquest. Will have been the conquest of self. So how do we fight self well i believe the answer is found in the story of the other rich a ruler. The rich. Not so young ruler. His name is nick demas. There are some interesting parallels between the rich young ruler and demons. They were both rich. They were both rulers. They both sought out personal interviews with jesus. They both called uses a good teacher. In the case of nicotine as you said a teacher sent from god. And they both had eternal life issues. Serious. Misunderstandings about what it meant to be a follower of god and although there is a lot of. Interesting comparisons between the rich young ruler and nick davis. There's also one. Striking difference. And that is the way that jesus handled their problems they both had essentially the same problem. But to the rich young ruler he said. Sell all that you possess. And distribute it to the poor. And you shall have treasure in heaven. And come follow me. That was. Chrysler lucian. To the rich young ruler. Problem. But to make it demus for some reason that we don't necessarily understand fully. He went a different path. He went to a more theoretical approach. And i'm glad that he did. To nicotine as you said. You must be born again. You think the rich and ruler need to be born again. Absolutely. They both need to be born again. And i'm glad that jesus went this way because we can learn some things about fighting self. By looking at both the rich. And the story of nicotine is jesus said to make a deep is that which is born of the flesh is flesh. And that which is born of the spirit is spirit. What he was essentially saying to the demons was. You have a flesh problem. And you're not going to cure it by trying to bandage it up and make it better. It's not going to work. What you need is to be born. Of the spirit because whatever is born of the flesh will be flesh. Forever and for always. But what is born of the spirit is spirit. The cure is to be born of the spirit. Not to try to to patch up the flesh. And it's interesting by the way. Even though jesus didn't say to to return to nicotine is go and sell all you possess and give to the poor. Even though jesus didn't say that if he did end up doing that didn't he. He gave away all of his riches to help the early church. My friends we all have a flesh problem. It's not just the rich and ruler. It's not just nick of demas. We all have a flesh problem. And the cure for us as well. Is to be born again. Before. We are converted. The holy spirit is working on. Our hearts and minds. The holy spirit is working on the hearts and minds of. Every person on this planet do you believe that. But when we come to christ. And we give ourselves holy to him something very very powerful happens. All of a sudden now. The holy spirit is working in us. Instead of just. On us. He's working in. Us he's due welling. The god is dwelling in us. Before our conversion we are walking the broad road and. The holy spirit has limited access to us. We rounded the devils ground. But after surrender. We are on the narrow way. And we are on god's ground. And the devil has limited access. And the difference. Is transformational. You know when jesus. Was resurrected from the dead. He was in a hurry to leave earth and get to heaven. And it wasn't because he was missing heaven so much or because you hated earth so bad. The what jesus wanted to do. Was he wanted to go anyone to do what he wanted to send as a gift. Right. He wanted to give us the gift of the holy spirit. Jesus the god with us. When he left. He sent us one of the greatest gifts has ever been given to mankind. That is the holy spirit. The god in us. God with us and got in us. And jesus is now doing the work for us in heaven. And american in english men were standing at the top of niagara falls and. As they were looking at the beauty in the power of that falls. The american said to his friend. Do you want to see the greatest. Unused power in the world today. Things been said sure. So we went down to the base of the falls and he looked up at that wall of water flowing over those falls the power thunderous roar of those waters. And the english and the americans said to his friend. There my friend. Is the greatest unused power. In the world today. Well the englishman smile. And he said. No my friend. The greatest. Unused power in the world today. Is the holy spirit of the living god it is now true. Isn't that still true. The greatest unused power. In the world today. Is the spirit of the living god the holy spirit. Is the one who is the key to our entire christian life. The holy spirit the one who guides us he's the one who teaches us truth he's the one who makes us holy. He's the one who can fix it so soon. He's the one who comforts us he speaks through us. The fruits of the spirit are love and joy and peace. And patients. And goodness and kindness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. The gifts of the spirit are wisdom knowledge. Face. Helps. Apostleship. Prophecy. Tuns administration. Healing. Teaching. Miracles. All of these things and more come from the holy spirit. And this is the almighty god. Who wants to dwell in us. To live and to work. Powerfully in us. But the holy spirit is the greatest. Unused power. In the world today. Trying to live the christian life. Without the holy spirit. Is like trying to start a lawn more without any gas in it. You're not going to be successful. Are you going to do is end up with a sore arm and a lot of frustration. Trying to live the christian life. Without the holy spirit. Is like a caterpillar trying to fly by flapping its legs. It's not going to happen. But if the caterpillar dies. The transformation takes place. That enables it to fly. And that's exactly the same way it is. With you and i and my friends i'm not telling you anything that you didn't already know this morning. We desperately need the holy spirit. We are a church and need a revival and reformation. And we know that the holy spirit is the agent of that change. It's only going to be. Through the power of the holy spirit. That we are going to experience that personal and corporate. Revival and reformation. We know that. So the question is. And this is the question that we must ask. And we do ask. How can i be filled with the holy spirit. Right. That's the question we're asking. And that's what we're praying for. We're praying. Desperately for the holy spirit. We're longing for the holy spirit. It's a common question. And it's a good question. How do we receive the holy spirit. I'd like to share with you this morning. Seven. Foundation principles. Of the christian life. That i believe gives us a good picture of where the holy spirit comes from. How we can receive the holy spirit. And how the holy spirit works powerfully in our lives. l.-y. tells us that at the very outset of the christian life. Every believer should be taught its what foundation principles look at this. He should be taught that he is not merely to be saved by christ sacrifice that's good that's important that's not the end that's the beginning of the christian life. But. They used to make the life of christ. His life. And the character of christ. His character. Well you know when i was young i grew up in having his church. I was taught the doctrines. And i'm glad i was there are very very helpful to me. They help me to understand god. They help me to love god and to appreciate what he's doing for me. But nobody ever sat me down and gave me a class on the foundation principles of the christian life. And most of my life i had these gaps in my understanding i had picked up some things along the way. You know being in a christian church in a christian home. But there were some tragic gaps in my mis and my understanding i'm going to share a little bit more about my. My testimony this afternoon i hope you can come. That were keeping me from living the life that god. One of the so desperately. For me to live. So let's look at these seven. Foundation principles of the christian life the backbone. That makes up our life as a christian. The first one is repentance. Repentance is harder than we think sometimes. Repentance is an abhorrence. For sin. Repentance is a recognition that we are sinners. Recognition that. Only jesus can. Can save us. A recognition that we hate this sin. And they're willing to do whatever it takes to be rid of it. There's a lot involved there. Remember this is just the backbone this is not the flesh. This is not the muscle this is not the sinews. This is just the backbone has a lot involved in just the repentance aspect that we're not going to even come close to covering. Repentance as a healthy loathing for sin is equal says. Then you'll remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good. And you will loathe yourselves in your own site. For your new queries and your abominations. Now my friends this is a healthy low thing. This is the loathing. The sin. That is in us. A recognition that we are sinners. That we are hopelessly sinners. And that we desperately need a savior. And the good thing about this kind of repentance. Is that it leads us to be willing to let god do whatever it takes to forgive us. And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This deep repentance leads to the second element. Foundation principle of the christian life surrender. Surrender. Is a leap of faith. Where we give up on our life. We. We let god. Have our life. All of our choices. In every aspect of our life. All the time. Why would we do that. Well prepared to tell us motivate us. Repent is help really help us to realize that we are sinners. We hate the sin. We're not going to be victorious over the sin unless christ takes over. And that's where surrender comes in surrender my friends is getting out of god's way. And letting him be almighty god in us. Getting out of god's way. And letting him. Be almighty god in the lord. Do whatever it takes surrender. So repentance leads us to surrender. Surrender leads to the next. Foundation principle the christian life. Justification. Justification is just a fancy word that means jesus forgives us. That's where salvation happens in the christian life. Jesus covers us with his righteousness. We are declared righteous. We can now say there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in christ jesus right. Some people might be surprised to learn that surrender. Is required before justification can take place. But the bible clearly teaches us and so in many ways perhaps one of the easiest ways to see this is through baptism. Baptism is a public symbol of what. What three things happen during bappa what three things does baptism represent. Well the. First thing is the dying. To self. The second thing is the burial in christ. The covering with his blood. And the third thing is the resurrection to newness of life. First we die. Then we're cleansed. And then we're raised. Newness of life. You can't have. Resurrection. Without death right. Unless you die there's no need for resurrection power. You're not going to have resurrection power. And so it's a very important order here. And the reason why it's this order. Is because you can say to god lord i want you to forgive me. Except for this one thing i'm going to cover with your righteousness i'd love to be covered with your righteousness lord but i'm going to stick my foot out a little bit. And i'm going to just keep this one thing. Outside of your robe of righteousness that's not what it's about. Justification is an all or nothing thing. Either god covers us with his righteousness. Holy. Or doesn't cover said all. That's why. Surrender is so important. And that's why and life says that god requires the entire surrender of the heart. Before justification. Can take place. Now i want you to make sure you don't misunderstand me here this morning. I'm not saying that you have to be perfect. Before you can be justified. I'm not saying that you need to be perfectly surrendered. Before you can be justified. The bible and ellen white both agree that order to be justified. You need to have an entire. Surrender. What's the difference between entire surrender. And perfect surrender. Entire surrender means that there is nothing that you know about that you're holding back. You have given god everything that you know about you're not keeping back one little thing and i think well lord. I know that this isn't that great of a thing. But i'm going to just do it anyway because well you know someday i'll give it to you. We're not saying that anything. That's entire surrender. Whole hearted unreservedly. Perfect surrender. Doesn't happen in this lifetime. Perfect surrender is when. Everything in our life that need to be surrendered is surrendered. Even the things that we don't know about it course that doesn't happen because surrender is a process we'll talk about that more and see if a new best friend has a process. We're gonna continually shows us new areas in our life that need to be submitted to him that we don't know about right now. So we can be entirely surrendered right now. Not holding back one known problem. One. Known area of life. But we're not going to be perfectly surrendered probably in this life. So repentance lead to surrender. Surrender lead to justification. What does. Just occasionally to well. When we surrender we are committing to empty lead got empty us of self. So now all of a sudden he has this empty building. And then. Jesus comes in and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He justifies us. So now we have a empty building. That is holy. So what do you have. It's a temple. And the holy spirit can come. And well in you. So together should render justification. Make it impossible for the holy spirit to come. And to dwell in us. The bible says repent. And each of you be baptized in the name of jesus christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will what. Receive the gift of the holy spirit. Notice what's required in order to receive the gift of the holy spirit. First repent. That's number one on our list. Then baptized. Which is number two three. Two and three and four. Write the dying to self. The cover with christ's blood justification. And then the resurrection to newness of life in the holy spirit. Repent. And each of you be baptized in the name of jesus christ. For the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the holy spirit. My friends the gift of the holy spirit is our today. Did you know that the holy spirit is being poured out with power right now. It may not be latter rain holy spirit power but the holy spirit is being poured out right now. In power and. He was deported itself. Fully powerfully in each one of our lives. Repent. And each of you be baptized the name of jesus christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift. Of the holy spirit. When the holy spirit comes into our lives. He does some supernatural things. He changes. Us in supernatural ways. Ways that we cannot even consider doing. By ourself. We call this. This change conversion. This is god changing the way we think. Changing our desires changing our motivations helping us to love him with all of our heart mind and soul into love others and sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. And for the glory of god. We became. As the bible talks about. We become partakers of the divine nature. As the holy spirit dwells in us we become partakers of the divine nature and. God says moreover i will give you a new heart. And put a new spirit within you notice god doesn't say i'll patch up the old flesh. No he says he will be reborn. That was born of the flesh is flesh but that which is born of the spirit is spirit i will give you a new heart. And put a new spirit within you. We become partakers of the divine nature. And. So what happens next. Well repentance leave to surrender trendily the justification. Justification and surrender together lead to the holy spirit in conversion in our life. And what is the first fruit. Of the holy spirit was the first through the holy spirit. Love. That's right. Love. Comes from god. If we want to love god with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength. We must give god. All of our heart mind and soul and strength. And then he comes and fills us with himself. And the first fruit of that spirit. Is love. We are told that to know jesus requires a change of heart. No unconverted person in his natural state of depravity love christ. A love of jesus is the first result of conversion. A love for jesus is the first result of conversion. Love is the great motivator. Love is what makes obedience into a get to experience. And makes it possible. And so love leads to. This this this desire. And this ability this god given ability to follow his will to make his choices. Because we love him. We want to please him. We want to go his way. We want to enjoy him to the fullest we don't want anything to separate us from him. That love. Helps us to go god's way. To choose his choices. And like paul. It makes us self. Sacrificing for the good of others. Paul could say i will most gladly spend. And be expended. For your souls. Where did that attitude come from. That was love that was the obedience. That comes from love. So repentance leads to surrender. Surrender leave the justification. Through under justification lead to the holy spirit filling us the temple. The holy spirit gives us love the first through the spirit. That leads to a billions. So what's obedience about what to be dns for. Is a b.b. is about salvation is the next word up there going to be salvation. No where to salvation occur. At the justification part when christ covers it with the righteous were saved right. So billions can't have anything to do with salvation we can't earn deserve or merit. Salvation through obedience. It doesn't make any sense. It's not even close to that area of the christian life. So what is it for what is the purpose of obedience. What does obedience do for us. The answer is. Sanctification sanctification. Is the process of becoming like jesus. That's probably the best definition i know. Thank you vacation. Is the process of becoming more and more like jesus being changed. Into his image we'll talk more about that this afternoon. Sometimes i know this is true with me most of my life. I had this idea that sanctification was something that just happened on a magically. It kind of just magic you know kind of got a bias mosis. You just woke up one morning and you were more sanctified than the day before. And i didn't realize the same to vacation is part of the process of obedience. God gives us this. Love motivated. Bairn spired spirit able to billions. And through that. He actually changes us. He perfects us. He changes our diets he changes the way we use our time he changes the way we think he changes our character. He does all these things. Through this love inspired. Love motivated. Obedience to him. Do you not know paul says that when you present yourself to someone as slaves for be to use. You are slaves of the one whom you will be either sin. Resulting in death. Or of obedience. Resulting in what righteousness. This is how god works on our characters. By helping us. By empowering us to lead by working in a sport to will and to do his good pleasure. This is how he changes us. And makes us holy. l.-y. degrees when she says thanks for cation is not the work of a moment. An hour a day. But of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling. But is the result of. Constantly dying. To sin. And constantly living. For christ. Wrongs cannot be righted. Nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble intermittent efforts. It is only by long. Perseverance effort. Sword discipline and stern conflict that we shall overcome. Thank to the cation. Is the result of lifelong obedience. But this is not legal list it could be the ans. Don't miss that. This is love motivated. Spirit inspired spirit. Enabled. Choosing god's choices because we want to please him. And we want to enjoy him to the fullest. So looking at this backbone. These are the seven fun foundation elements that i'm sharing with you this morning. Looking at this backbone of the christian life. Where do you think. Our power of choice. Comes in first. I'll give you a hint it's red. Ok you got it now. Yes exactly. God has given us the power of choice. It is our power it will always be our power and we can't give it back to him and say lord i don't want any more taken he won't take it. But we can give it back to him. By giving him or choices by choosing to choose his choices. By the power that he gives us. So if surrender is where the power choice first comes in. That means that that is prime candidate for the devil. To derail us. Right. If the devil wants to do the rail the christian life where is he going to start. What's he going to attack. He's going to make us think we're surrendered and we're not in our whole life is going to be a train wreck. And that's exactly how it was for mean. If the devil is able to get surrender out of the picture. Then this happens. That is a photo of my life. For most of my christian experience. I want to be a good christian. I was a sincere christian. But i knew there were things in my life that i hadn't given god. Little things. Besides god isn't finished with me i said. And it was those little things. There was keeping me from being. Surrendered. Wholly to christ. So they he could build. And do what he wanted to do. In my life. If surrender fails the whole christian life fails. Now as we look at this list of seven things some of you might be saying hey we're missing a couple things. We're missing a couple foundation. Issues. Foundation. Principles of the christian life. And we are we're missing faith. And we're missing grace. But don't fear. They're here. Foundation. They are the foundation of the christian life. Faith and grace. Are foundational. You cannot have. Repentance without faith. You cannot have surrendered without faith. You can't have justification without faith. You can't have any of these without faith. Faith is the foundation principle of the foundation principles. And great. This is the power. It's only by god's grace that we're going to be able to repent. It's only by his grace that we're going to be able to surrender. It's only by god's grace that he's going to be able to forgive us and covers the rights of those. Whatever it is. It's only by god's grace. It's all grace. But there are two places. In this picture. Where you and i have a very important role to play. Where our power of choice comes into play with our power of choice. These things just can't go the way god wants them to go to areas in our christian life where we need to make some choices. Not in our own power. None own strength he works with us remember to both will and to do. But we still have to make these choices. With his power. Surrender. And obedience are those two places. Surrender is the commitment to give god our choices. And obedience. Is the acting. Of that commitment and really giving god all of our choices. In our daily life. But as we look at this picture. This owner view of the christian life. There is an overarching theme that comes out. And then it is only god can do it. Only i can let him. Only god can do it. Only i can let him. Only god can help me to repent. Only god can bring me to surrender. Only god can justify me. Only god can give me the holy spirit. Only god can help me to love with all my heart mind and soul and strength. Only god can do it. My friends whatever it is in the christian life. Or a new thing really. Only god can do it. We don't have the power or the wisdom to be able to do any of those good things. But god will not force his goodness upon us. God will not force us to enjoy his goodness. To go his way. We have to let him. Bless us. So. Only god can do it. Only i can let him. And that is our key phrase this morning let's say that together. Shall we only. I can do it. Only. I can let him. No matter what it is. This is a true statement. So how do i receive the holy spirit. The father give us not the spirit by measure under him. So with the followers of christ. We can receive other heaven's light. Only. As we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of god or accept christ by faith. Unless we consent to the bringing into captivity. Of. Every thought to the obedience of christ to do all. To all who do this. The holy spirit is given. Just a tiny little bit. No will. Without measure. The key to the holy spirit. You may not be surprised to reckon. To find is surrender. The seed of love is the surrender of self. The key to the holy spirit. Is surrender. And the first. Fruit of the holy spirit is love. It all comes down to surrender my friends. It is so important that we understand. This most important concept. And that we let god do this in us. Self is the problem. The holy spirit is the solution. And jesus wants to give us the holy spirit. More than the most loving heavenly our earthly father wants to feed his children. Remember that verse. The holy spirit is the key. And god longs to give us his holy spirit. To fill us to overflowing with his holy spirit god longs to do that. So why isn't he. Why are we so desperately need a revival and reformation. The answer is if all were willing. All would be filled with the holy spirit. If all were willing. All would be filled with the holy spirit. In order to be filled with the. Holy spirit. We have to be willing to let god do whatever it takes to empty us of self. Because we can't be filled with him until are empty of ourselves. And he has to do it. But we have to let him. The problem is that not all are willing. In fact true conversion is. Is rare even in the christian church today l.-y. tells us that the new birth is a rare experience in this age of the church. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many so many who assume the name of christ are unsanctified in unholy. They have been baptized outcasts this part. They have been baptized but they were what. Buried alive. Self did not die. And therefore they did not rise to newness of life in christ my friends that was my experience. That was my experience i was buried alive when i was baptized i had no idea what i was doing. I and did not understand surrender nobody taught me what surrender was. How it worked. I could become surrendered. I just said sure also under no problem the baptized me. And i was buried alive. In baptism. And when you're buried alive. Resurrection power doesn't happen. And so for most of my christian experience i lived a life of spiritual poverty. I'm going to share my testimony this afternoon. And i really hope that you can come and. We can share together. Conversion is often misunderstood today. Many who speak to others of the need of a new heart do not themselves know what they are meant by these words the youth especially stumble over this phrase a new heart. They do not know what it means. They look for a special change take place in their feelings. This they term conversion. Over this error. Thousands have stumbled to ruin. Not understanding the expression. You must be born again. Satan leads people to think that because they have felt a rapture a feeling that they are converted. But their experience does not change their actions are the same as before. Their live show no good fruit. They pray often and long and are constantly referring to the feelings that they had of such a time. But they do not live the new life. They are deceived. Their experience. Goes no deeper than feeling. And that is why. You and i live in the age of the latest seen church. The lukewarm church the church that has been diluted by worldliness. Because many of us. So many of us are not willing to let god do whatever it takes to fill us to overflowing with his holy spirit. We're not willing to pay the price of dying to self. So that he can fill us with himself and that's why jesus says. Of us. That you will feel like you're rich and in need of nothing. And not realize that you are wretched and miserable import and blind in making. And that's true if you ask me for most of my life. If i was a good christian i would say i am better than average. I would say that sincerely i wouldn't say that. I would say that probably or even to stickley i would say. Yes god is blessing me. And i'm blessing others. And. I'm a good christian and. I didn't realize what a good christian was. I did not realize what it meant to give yourself a holy to god. To be on fire for him. I thought luke warm was normal. Because that's what everybody around me was doing. And yet god wants to fill us with his spirit. To overflowing. And if all were willing. All would be filled with the holy spirit the holy spirit is the greatest unused power in the world today. It still is. Are we willing or will we willing to let god do everything it takes. My friends i'd like for you to to think about this sentence. I encourage you to memorize it. This i believe. This one sentence. Can help us to understand the christian life. Very powerfully. Only god can do it. Only i can lead him. God longs to do it. God can easily do it. He makes it look simple. God can give us the wisdom. He can guide us. He can forgive us. He can bring this out of the pit of sin. That we are wallowing in. He can transform us. He can make us a blessing to others. He can do all these things that he longs to and he will. But we have to let him. We have to let him. And that's where it gets a little bit scared. Because god has given us a power of choice. And he will not force his goodness upon us not even his holy spirit. God will not force is goodness upon us. We have to let him. And so i'd like to encourage you to think about this. Overarching theme of the christian life. Only god can do it. Only we can love them. My friends. If you want to be filled with the holy spirit. Don't be on fire for gun. If you want to delight in the almighty god. Do you want him to be the core. Around which your whole life revolves. To have a calm delight in him. No matter what the circumstances. Because you've died to yourself you're nothing more to lose. God has it all. Is that your desire. I would like to give you an opportunity to express that desire this morning if that is your desire. I would like to have a consecration prayer. Up here at the front. For anyone and everyone who would like to recount to create their lives to christ in a way that they maybe have never done before. To give god. Themselves. More fully than they have ever done before. If you are willing to be recounts of created to scorn to god i'd like to invite you to come forward right now. I'm going to get this thing out of the way. Let's have a consecration prayer. The smarting. Asking god to tempt us. More fully than we have ever been empty before. So that he can fill us. More than he has ever filled us before. Maybe you have been converted before or maybe it's this slipped away. Or maybe you are converted and you want to increase that to experience with god and. Recommit yourself wholly to him. This is a good time to do it as we pray together. As we share in this. This privilege. Of bringing our. Pleased to god lets kneel as we pray. Heavenly father it is such a privilege to be able to kneel in your presence. Right now. And to ask you for something that we so desperately need and you so desperately want to give us father. Father everyone who has come forward. This morning and even some who are still seated. Desperately want to be reconstituted to you. Father we want to give ourselves to you as we have never done before. We want to let go of every. Earthly weight. That is keeping us from walking with you on the heights. Heavenly father take our lives. Take our time. Take our money. Take our energy. Take our food. Take our entertainment. Take every aspect of our life heavenly father. Please grant that we may be. Joyfully able to give you every choice. In every aspect of our lives all the time. And father for a special blessing. I pray on everyone who has come forward to smarten. Father pray that you will. You will fill each heart. And that you will empty. Each life. More than has ever happened before. For these blessings. We thank you we praise you. And we know that you have been here have heard this prayer and that you love to hear this prayer. Because we are contemplating ourselves to you. We thank you in jesus name. This media was brought to you by audio verse. A website dedicated to spreading god's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons leader visit. W w w. Audio verse or.

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