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What Sort of People- Part 1

C. Raymond Holmes
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C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

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  • June 12, 2016
    9:30 AM
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I haven't any father we're going to open and study your word we pray that you would Son Your Holy Spirit to be our teacher and impress the truth upon our hearts and minds and then Power us. To live. Holy and godly lives in Jesus' name amen it. Well we're going to study the fruit of the spirit this week and I hope I can get through all of the material in five days five morning. Way back in. A decent sixty seven sixty eight the apostle Peter wrote. In his second letter. Chapter three. Verse ten concerning the return of Jesus he wrote of that quote the day of the Lord will come like a thief. And other word suddenly and unexpectedly and the earth and the works are done on it will be exposed and if what if what Peter says next was relevant two thousand plus years ago it is most relevant. For today. And the reason I say that should be obvious because we're closer to the day of the Lord the day. That Peter was when he wrote that. He says next. Second Peter three verses eleven and twelve but since the day of the Lord will come. Will come not if it comes up since the day of the Lord will come. Quote. What sort of people ought you to be and lives of holiness and godliness. Waiting for an hastening. A coming of the day of the of God and since we are waiting for that. Momentous event. Peter then says in verse fourteen. The diligent pay attention become cerned be determined the diligent to be found by him when he comes without spot or blemish and that piece goes on in verse seventeen. Take care that you are not carried away. With the error of the law less people and lose your own stability. But. By the way I've never noticed that there are a lot of buts in the Bible. I call a Bible but. There are a lot of Bible ifs usually when you read up but it introduces a contrast and if. Usually introduces a condition but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did you watch the news this morning I did. Because I heard I haven't seen any news or heard any news as we left home on Thursday heard about this horrendous shooting in Orlando have you heard about yesterday morning fifty people killed by a gunman one gunman. And over fifty. Wounded what's happening to our country and I don't know if you're like I am but I used to feel safe traveling going anywhere. But I have to admit I don't feel safe and more. In my own country. Those that kind of thing reminds me and it should remind all of. A cup of iniquity. Is just about all we are faced. Specially today with raw. Evil A trip to Europe member nine eleven you remember what you were doing. I remember what I was doing I'm to summer seven. Thousand nine hundred forty one I was just a kid but I remember lying on our living room floor listening to the radio. Reporting the attack on Pearl Harbor people now remember nine eleven my sister called me and I rushed in the house and turned on the T.V. and I watched the second plane hit the tower and I kept watching and the whole thing collapsed and I remember thinking of the twenty first century is going to be a century of religious conflict is turning out that way in the name. Of religion the shooter. Yesterday was a Muslim and he chose to shoot up a bar lounge dance all of his frequented by a lot of gay people because he hated them. That's all we are folks what kind of people are should we be that's to question faces. God's people today how do we become holy godly. Peaceful peaceful I'm eighty seven years old and when I look back on my life. I was born on nine hundred twenty nine ten years before the Second World War started. You know Asian all just a few years after the ad of the First World War. My lifetime there has been the First World War Second World War Korea Vietnam the Gulf War the war on terror. And a lot of other. Conflict in between I wonder historians and sociologists are referring to the twentieth century as the century of warfare and now in the twenty first century everybody looked forward to this century with a whole. You know look what happened but hardly got started how do we become holy godly peaceable peaceful stable people certainly not by our own efforts we cannot develop those kind of characteristics. By our own efforts why not because it takes a transformation a complete change of life a divine intervention takes a totally new orientation of heart and mind and that's something that only God who alone has the power to create and recreate can accomplish in us and that we human beings desperately need this kind of transformation ought to be obvious to any observant and perceptive person. Though he or she. May deny or even repress that kind of awareness and that's a denial that. Paul's turning gay. Who was a physician psychiatrist. Identified as the repression of conscience. Repression of conscience. Though at the same time he says it is intuitively sons by human beings that quote The world is racing to its ruin that's from his book and titled the whole person in a broken world. War The the world is racing to its ruin. This is a physician on a psychiatrist writing. So we have to ask as TORNEY A does. As he into mates. In his book we have to ask. Why all of the efforts of humanity that humanity makes. To save itself. Instead to bring it to ruin. Why. We need to ask does the efforts that humanity makes. To overt war to avert war a yachtie Pichot into war I'm thinking of things like the League of Nations the United Nations has the United Nations. Help the world of void conflict and war all the money that we spend on the United Nations has it done that no why do the efforts that humanity makes to Garren T. its material security. Disrupt the economy and increase its misery why why do the efforts that humanity makes to penetrate the secrets of nature and capture its energy. Lead us instead to the atomic bomb and the nuclear age which threatens to destroy everything it has built up. In the course of the centuries. Why do the efforts of humanity makes. To free mankind from social slavery to. Plunge it instead into struggles which only increase. Our burdens tourny a talks about that on page nine of his book he understood this conflict digging dilemma know a lot of people don't even think about these kind of things but he understood this conflicting dilemma as as he says quote A curse. Doom are rushing into self-destruction he didn't monic for us this is a physician and the psychiatrist remember that's writing not a Christian theologian a Bible calls that. Sin and also lawless us which produces. According to go lay sions five nineteen. The works of the flesh and that my friends is the mortal disease. Sin that has afflicted mankind ever since Adam and Eve's disbelief and disobedient that little word. Little three letter words and. Covers an awful lot you know there are a lot of people out there that scoff and laugh and ridicule when you talk about this even mentions. What is the solution what is the and to doe the solution is that we you and I. All Mankind every single person. Needs to be empowered and they mold and bold and energized from within God's plan of restoration goes. Beyond saving people to changing people. And you know this is why I have problems with our Evan Jellicoe friends like used to be one that while I am still an avid Jellicoe. Which means I believe in the gospel do you then Joel this is one of the reasons the fundamental reasons why I eventually made the transition from the Lutheran. Church on ministry to the Seventh Day Adventists but I I hear you know a lot of our Evan Jellicoe friends say. Just tell me about Jesus tell me how much God loves me that he gave Jesus His Son to die on the cross for me. Don't talk to me about. Authority or discipline or or obedience or God's law. That's legalism. Just just I just want to be saved I just want to know that I'm going to go to heaven when I die. Don't talk to me about changing myself about myself being changed don't talk to me about transformation I don't want to change. This into this from Hell I'm white. She says neither talent eloquence. Nor selfish study of the Scriptures. Interesting trained. Selfish study of descriptors. Will produce a love of God or conformity to the image of Christ nothing. Nothing but divine power can regenerate the human heart. And character and imbue the Soul that is to say the inner being. A thought so means. With the love of Christ. Which will ever manifest itself in love to those for whom he died. That's from the review in Harold. Eight hundred ninety three nothing but divine power. Doesn't. And how do we get that power. That's what I want to know. If only divine power does it how can I get it by the way one of my Lutheran sudden Ari professors. Who became my mentor of a lifelong friend he was a from the even after I left the Lutheran Church I kept in touch with him. Called him every once in a while he called the. We would talk about things over the fall. A few years ago a number just a minute and. He called me one day. You know I called him to see how he was doing and we had a conversation on the telephone. And at the end of the conversation he said just before we hung up he said Ray. I have concluded that this church and he was speaking of is looser and did nomination. I have concluded that this. Church is a Christ less Church. Logan and we ended our conversation. And I sat there thinking about that what did he mean and I thought I've got to go down to Minneapolis and spend a couple of days with him. And discuss this what are you talking about what do you mean and I was making plans to do that and two days later I was on a Thursday his son called me and he said my father died this morning that was. You know hard enough to handle it down I couldn't believe what I said next. He said he told me he wants you to preach at this funeral Seventh Day Adventists I had two days to prepare my wife and I drove down to do tell Bill a boy. And I preached at his funeral and I told that story in my sermon what he said and I said to the hundred Haitian I said I don't know and there were some Lutheran. Pastors and see logins in the in the congregation that day and I I told him I said I don't know what what he meant by that. As I didn't get a chance to discuss it with them but I said. Maybe you ought to think. Strange thing nobody. Said anything to me. After that service I don't know why. But it was almost like you want to deal with it so if the if if only divine power can transform human beings how do we get it Ellen White says God's amazing grace one ninety five The Holy Spirit quote works in and through every one who receives Christ and I knew that before I ever read. What she said when I was happy to hear her say it the Holy Spirit listen to it again works in and through every one who receives Christ and she says those who know the in the whiling of this Holy Spirit reveal in its. Fruit The Holy Spirit works in and through every one. Who received Christ and everybody who knows that in the wiling Holy Spirit then begins to reveal its fruit. The point is that when you receive Christ you receive the Holy Spirit this is why it's critical that we believe in the Trinity one God three persons. Because when you receive Christ. You receive the father. And you receive the Holy Spirit you can't separate them. So when you receive Jesus you receive the Holy Spirit if you have sex up to Christ as your Savior and invited him into your heart you have the Holy Spirit. It's a gift. That's part of the Verres of God. And that's the only way that the Holy Spirit has access to your inner being I read time you read the word soul whether it's used in the Bible or in the Spirit of Prophecy think in or being as that's what it's referring to that's the only way that the Holy Spirit has access to your inner being when you receive Christ you receive the Spirit and she says when the Holy Spirit is received into the heart. The whole character. You might use the word person is changed Ospel workers three sixty four and she also says the old hereditary traits of character must. Be overcome that's an imperative they must be overcome the natural desires of the soul must be changed all deception all falsifying all evil speaking must. They put away. Three sentences sorry imperatives. Must be done. The new life which makes men and women Christ like. Is to be lived she says in gospel workers one twenty seven the tastes and inclinations become your only. Five page five thirteen Christ gives them the breath of his own spirit. The life of his own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth his highest energies to work in heart and mind. Now friends it this is not just fanciful idealism. This is truth but how is it possible why is it necessary because Jesus said John six verses sixty three and sixty four it is the spirit. Who gives life. The flesh is of no avail but she says. There are some of you. Who are the. Issue. And stay Jesus says in John fifteen verse twenty six that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and in chapter sixteen verse thirteen he says when the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all the truth and by the way that's not just the criminal. As we all think that's the first work of the spirit that he's going to guide you into all truth so that you receive Jesus you receive the Spirit and the spirit starts to guide you into all truth. And first John five or six says the Spirit is the truth. That's why he cannot do anything else but guide you and I into the truth because he is the true all oh truth the truth about God. The truth about his law the truth about his grace the truth about his will about his righteousness. About His grace and mercy about the Gospel and. The truth about the self. As the Spirit speaks to the human mind in the human heart it's usually when the Holy Spirit begins to. Reveal the truth about. Ourselves. We start to Bach. And resist. I don't want to hear that. I don't want to go there and then the Holy Spirit reveals the truth about the nature of the fall in human beings and also the truth according to First John five twelve of whoever is the Son has life you don't have the son you don't have to live life like God defines it Jesus says whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life true life life the way God created it to be live you see once the Holy Spirit has access to the inner being he begins his work in the heart of those who have been saved by faith in Christ. And he begins to transform them into Christ like ness I praise God for that you know because I don't want to be the person I was. One Jesus first came into my house and to my way I don't want to be that person I don't like the person. I'm. I'm so thankful I can be something else something better and you know of the Bible calls the result of this inner work the fruit of the Spirit cruet. Always refers to the ripened probably knew we only pick ripe and fruit we don't like to eat unripe and great the weed we pick at when it's ripe. Fruit of the Spirit tells us exactly what that fruit. Proves there are now open your Bibles to delay sions chapter five let's begin reading at birth sixteen but I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh for the desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh for these are opposed to one another they don't harmonize they are in conflict to keep you from doing the things you want to do but if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law now the works of the flesh are evident Listen to this list. Noticed the first one. We need to hear that today. Sexual immorality you want to know what that is all I ask and temporary culture what it is. I ask God's word. He defines what sexual immorality is. Not contemporary culture. Sensuality. Goes along with the first one Idolatries sorcery enmity strife jealousy fits of anger rivalries dissensions divisions and the drunkenness orgies and things like these I warn you. As I warned you before. That those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God That's not what Pastor HOLMES That's what the Bible says that's what God. Says anybody who does those things will not inherit the kingdom of God I don't know how many times you go to church but if that's the way you're living you're not going and heard of call the Bible but contrast the fruit of the spirit. Is Love Joy He's patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control against such things there is no law and those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh. With its passions and desires you tell me which of those two lists the works of the flesh or the fruits of the spirit. Are the characteristics of a holy God really. You know answers obvious as anybody who has a new sense read no. Obvious So the Bible contrasts the truth of the Spirit with the works of the flesh the difference between good and bad best and worst becomes dramatically vivid He says the works of the flesh are evident no mistaking the Heir Apparent their obvious you can immediately recognize them it's in the news every day they're they're there they're evident even to the unbelieving world unless they're blind. Remember turning to is phrase The repress and repression of the conscience that's what the On billion big world is doing all the time repressing its conscience God created us with a conscience. And we can repress it when you read a list of the work of the fresh works of the flesh do you see any of that in the world around you oh yeah do you see any of it in people you know all this list of the works of the flesh yours is not just a sociological analysis of the social rot and contemporary culture it is the Biblical description of Siddons power corrupt human being. That's what it is in the context of a grave warning he says I warn you. Like I did before. But those who do such things will not inherit it of God How do you think Paul felt when you said that I'm sure his heart was heavy sometimes. In order to communicate God's truth you have to tell the truth you say it in love and this is evidenced in such things as in our contemporary world as the breakdown of the institution of marriage we all know that the institution of marriage has been trampled underfoot today what do you hear most of the oh it's just a piece of paper come on a drastic increase in single parents kids are growing up without. Fathers or mothers. Same sex marriage. I do this because it's nonsense. It's also testing as. As that kind of a marriage according to God's word remember it's the Word of God that provides a definition not culture. If we're believers if we're God's people. The drug culture today and and the crime that produces and the agony and the misery and the how both the pro miscue was lifestyle of public figures today so-called eye of the laws of the culture greed. At cetera et cetera et cetera Oh it's sad. It's depressing it's discouraging we're on the verge of social chaos. And total confusion children are growing up today in an environment. A confusing environment so that they don't know who they are and now we're faced with this this nonsense about. The use of bathrooms were a kid decide Well today I want to be a girl or I want to be a boy today the next day while I'll be a boy I'll be a girl I'll go I'll go to disrobe go to the come on let's tell ya date that's confusion. Makes no sense to me I'm sorry so we love these people. Yes we have to love is the first from the spare room we should redeploy Asians five again you know the list is introduced by the but which I already mention. Which tells us that it's going to reveal a dramatic and vivid contrast another then is within those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified. The flesh with his passions and desires contrast that. With those who do such things the works of the flesh. Cannot inherit in them. I wonder if there's any significance in the fact that. There are fifteen works of the flesh. Plus Paul says things like the. Things that he doesn't even mention fifteen works of the flesh and nine fruit of the Spirit and what does that mean what does that suggest it to me it suggests that there's a lot of stuff that needs to be overcome and God's grace and the work of the Holy Spirit are needed to do the job nothing else will work. No attempted to human solution. Will work him or No nine in our hymnal marvelous grace of our loving Lord grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt Grace Grace Hobbes graves Grace will pardon. And cleanse within Grace Grace God's grace grace that is greater than all our sin. And all many people are aware and they agree that something needs to change in our world something that wrong and we try to bring about the change by education and or by legislative means by passing it was human law. And you have to have laws because you can't live in society with. All of the law or you would have anarchy we try to bring about that change by. Changing the structure or the personnel of governments of legal systems or. Social reforms that cetera. But that doesn't work because what needs to be changed is the inner life of persons that's why any of the church is right one concentrates on evangelists. We call it soul winning one at a time we concentrate on individuals. We preach to people we invite individuals receive Jesus into your life one at a time. That we've got ties to people in our culture as a result of unlock revelation. A father and his eleven year old boy together. Or in the baptistry together. And their mother who was a believe or sitting in the front pew tears running down her face and wiping her eyes through the whole thing and we invite them to give a testimony if they want to it's not required but if they want to both of them did eleven year old boy he wrote it on the typewriter his test was wonderful and in the process of his testimony he said. I'm going to be a pastor when I grow up and when we gave them gifts afterwards and I gave a gift to the boy I said Andy I want to tell you a secret I have been praying for that for years but I didn't say anything to you. Because I didn't want to put and pressure on you. I wanted it to come right from God to your own heart and then I told him I'll pray for you because now you're really going to need it the most radical change of all is the change in the inner life person. That's radical that's why we baptized by immersion what because it symbolizes death. And burial to the old person. And then when you come up out of the water symbolizes the resurrection so the new life and in our church it's customary to give a rose to rip tides person after their baptism. A red rose. Because the red symbolizes the blood of Jesus that was shed for their sin. The green symbolizes a new beginning. And the aroma symbolizes the kind of life. Is going to live. Sweet Smell it as Paul says and current. Hope. Interchange and transformation of persons. Is the most radical change of all but it's the most resistant change everything but me change the rules changes a schools to education change the government change everything on change me don't mess with me and history. That. Changes nothing nothing in fact everything just gets worse what needs changing in our world can only come about through people who themselves have been changed. Chains to the point where we're actually in capable listen to that US and capable any longer of the behaving in ways that used to be habitual to us that's real change that's called transform age. And only through such people will God's voice be heard above the royals of human civilization through people in whom the Holy Spirit has produced his fruit underline his. Spiritual characteristics can can only be received by grace through faith not Cheve by human effort so we're going to take a look this week at. This list of Paul's characteristics that are such a vital manifestation of all living believing faith on the first one on the list is love why can we assume that it's because it's the most important one. In the sense of being foundational to all the others and a sense that love is the primary attribute of Christian character as it is of God's character God is love the Bible. Doesn't say love is God says God is love. You know if we really knew an experience of this I know I know you would understand dear ones I would say this if we really knew and understand this. This whole racism issue would disappear overnight I can understand why it's there out in the world you know. But in the church and the fellowship of God's people no department tells us that all of these barriers the tween human beings have been broken down at the cross. We just don't believe it. We don't believe it we don't live it what kind of love is Paul talking about anyway we need to know that it's certainly not what passes for love in our contemporary world it's not a self centered me me me me in Morro unrestrained desires of the flesh that are against the spirit not that kind of behavior that is flown in our faces today and which the modern culture molds our children there is a motivation friends for church schools my heart breaks when I hear of church schools closing because they don't have enough money to operate Come on what are we supposed to do with our money. How important is this. Paul says in First Corinthians thirteen if I speak in the tones of men on of angels but have not love. I'm a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal and if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all face so as to remove mountains but have not love. Nothing if I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing without this fruit of the Spirit everything else is worth less the most eloquent language the gift of prophecy knowledge of spiritual realities even faith itself extreme generosity sacrificial service apart from love. Nothing. And makes us nothing worthless meeting those fruitless lives love is patient Paul says it's kind love does not envy your boasts not arrogant or rude. Does not insist on its own way its not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth love bears all things believes all things hopes all things and doors all things love never ends apart from that kind of love no human relationship. Has any real hope of success or enduring in the New Testament Greek or at least five words for lo you know the. Era. Which means sexual love. A family affection. Ilaiah friendship philanthropy humanitarianism. Pay Divine Love which is exemplified in the character and the life of Jesus got paid is the word that is used in the in the Bible and Galatians five First Corinthians thirteen John three sixteen. It's also the word for love used in first John four seven and eight where he says Beloved let us love one another for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God and the one who does not love us not know God because God is love every single time you read the English word love it's Greek pay. And by the way that is not just good warm fuzzy feelings about somebody it's sacrificial. When I used to console young couples who wanted to get married I never married anybody without quite a lengthy series of columns and. One of my first questions was do you love each other. I've asked the guy do you love her I ask her Do you love him. And they always have soared Yes. No I would say how much. How much do you love twenty five percent. Fifty seventy five or one hundred percent they would tell one hundred percent and say What is that need the essence of love a love of sacrifice the giving of oneself for the sake of another. That is far more than fuzzy warm feeling I don't know you know today the marriage of don't use a lot of the. Many times do the old traditional evolve or better or worse for richer or poorer in sickness and in health till death us do part you've got a sacrifice you make those kind of hours are times all almost up but I have to tell a story those dollars kind of illustrate what I was talking about. Some of you know my transition story from the roots are in ministry to. Some of you don't but I don't have time to tell the whole story. It came about because and had been his woman influence my wife became my wife's friend and so on and so on and by that her Wisconsin meeting where she heard elder Joe Cruz. Who as I call him had been is to heavy artillery. And. She decided to accept the truth concerning the Sabbath and so on. And. My ministry started to fall apart because of that because the congregation didn't want to. Accept that I had a problem with that. I had a successful ministry there was an awakening among the youth in my congregation. Fantastic but I hated those people and all at the distance. I was mad and I behaved that way something was happening to me that terrified me. And word that. I couldn't stand myself. I couldn't I couldn't do anything so finally I In desperation I went to the sanctuary. Of Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer where I'm living now and pastor and has a Administration and sister I laid down on the floor in front of the altar. On my face and I don't know if I was there or one or two hours but it was quite a while I couldn't speak all loud I was groaning and were really. Going and I told the Lord I said if you do you have to take to sin the way I was rather wrestling with sin. Or I don't know what if instead hadn't happened that day and everything that has happened to me and my wife said it would have never happened I don't know where I'd be today but I thought I can preach to my congregation with this sin and I begged him to forgive me and to take it away. And he did. He did. He gave me the assurance that my sin was forgiven I'm not only that he cleansed me from the on righteousness in other words it was gone. The other miracle or not. And when I got up from the floor and I walked out of that church I was like walking on foot off the ground I was so late and I started to go home to the parsonage and I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and the Spirit spoke to me and told me you've got to do something else this is not over. You got to go to both so that lady that was people that influenced your wife. And I asked them to forgive you for all of this hatred and anger. Not in my car not drove back to Wakefield where they were living and knocked on their door. Dr Victor big for dentist. By the way they became our best friend. He and his wife both died this year she died in February he died in April. Terrible loss for us. And the way he did me and. I confessed I told him I said I was sorry. They forgave me. And then they did the same thing to me. I said we're so sorry that our influence has caused you all of this pain and so on. And I forgave them. And he shook my hand and she gave me a big hug and we have been in separable friends ever since because Gone did it. It was only after that transaction was over that I was able to deal with the doctrine theology this is what I'm talking about this is what Paul is talking about this is what the fruit of the spirit is all about this is low I had no idea what was going to happen after that all I knew was I had to get this Burton awful my heart all right couldn't come to New in the ministry preaching to my people every week. But friends you know and I'm bearing witness here to the truth that I'm sharing with you today when God does it he does a complete job of it. And that's called transformation and that's what that is the desperate need in the world today from God's people. This media was brought to you by audio force a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about your verse or if you would like to listen to more service leave to visit W W W. Dot org.

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