Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Jim Howard

Justice or Mercy

Jim Howard


  • January 27, 2018
    11:30 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Father in heaven once more we ask that you would be here in our midst that you would touch our hearts with the Holy Spirit help us to know that we have a loving father and Savior in heaven. Who cares for each one of us and who has a plan for our lives bless us with the Holy Spirit and the powerful influence that he makes upon our hearts this morning for we ask it in Jesus name Amen. I like you take your Bibles as we begin today in term with me to Exodus Chapter thirty three. As you are turning there. I want to tell you about one of my favorite. Statements in the Bible it's in first John where it tells us that God is Love God is love one of my favorite statements and one of the things I'm really. Thankful for and yet something I think some people get confused on is that the Bible does not say love of is God. Did you know it didn't say that doesn't said anywhere in the Bible doesn't say love is God It says God is Love The problem is that if it said Love is God then we would take our understanding of love and we would place that upon God but instead we are forced to look to Scripture the primary revelation of God and learn what love is through Scripture. The world doesn't do that and so the world has all kinds of false ideas about love false ideas about the character of God misapprehension and confusion about who God is but we have to Scripture and we know that God is love and we're talking about the God of the Bible so now we look to the Bible and we're looking at Exodus Chapter thirty three and verse eighteen have you found it. This of course is Moses making an outlandish claim of God or request of God. In verse eighteen it says and he said speaking of Moses Please show me what your glory show me your glory verse nineteen is fascinating then he that is God said I will make all my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you I'll be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion so here God says I'll show you my glory and his glory was not merely a visible brightness but it was his goodness his character that he was going to show him when the time actually came that God showed. Moses His glory me he began to speak and describe his character you find it in the next chapter Chapter thirty four beginning with Verse five. It says now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord and the Lord now by the way the name of the Lord is synonymous with his character who he is and the Lord passed before him and proclaimed the Lord the Lord God merciful and gracious Amen. Longsuffering abounding in goodness and truth keeping mercy for how many for thousands forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. Then comes this part by no means clearing the guilty visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation. Now to far too many though they wouldn't likely admits. Many people see a contradiction here in the description of the character of God. And their inability to see the beauty and the harmony of the character leads to wrong conclusions about the plan of salvation they wonder how can he say keeping mercy for thousands and also say by no means clearing their guilty. And actually visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third in the fourth generation in the minds of many God's justice and His mercy are in opposition to one another. If you're going to be just you can't be merciful. If you're going to be merciful you can't be just. But God's Word declares that love cannot exist with both of the twin characteristics of mercy and justice Ellen White beautifully paints this in the book the desired ages and the light is one of the founders of our church who we believe had special inspiration from God And here's what she wrote in this wonderful volume on the life of Christ on page seven sixty two. She said God's love has been expressed in his justice no less than his mercy justice is the foundation of his throne and the firm. Of his love. It had been Satan's purpose whose purpose the devil to divorce mercy from truth and justice he sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace but Christ shows that in God's plan there indissoluble e joined together the one cannot exist without the other. So Satan's purpose was to divorce mercy from truth and justice and to prove that God's law was an enemy to peace. This was exactly the understanding that existed in the days of Christ the rulers and the Pharisees believed that the law left no room for mercy when a man was sick they chastised him for the sin that must have caused his disease and when Jesus healed they saw Jesus as impeding the righteous judgment of God When Jesus allowed a sinful woman to anoint him with perfume they saw it as compromise with sin. And when a woman was caught in adultery they sought to prove that Jesus was opposed to the law by challenging him to command her stoning but Jesus would not be trapped he was the embodiment of love justice and mercy were perfectly blended in his character he could discern when administering justice was the most merciful thing to do and when it ministering mercy was the most just thing to do. Now had that woman caught in adultery been brazen and hard hearted he would have responded differently but he saw in her a victim of the venom of the priests he saw in her a broken in a contrary heart and with a wisdom born of heaven Jesus executed justice he did the most just thing by extending to her the hand of mercy I remember a minister friend of mine saying that the Pharisees and Sadducees both hated Jesus the Sadducees hated him because he was so principled and the Pharisees hated him because he was so nice. But you know what So far reaching was the influence of the ferrous sees through the devil's deception that the law leaves no room for mercy and tried to separate that the Pharisees had bought into that and their influence was so great that the disciples themselves were confused by it do you remember when they called on Jesus and said Would you like for us to command fire to come down from heaven and to consume these just as Elijah did. Jesus of course said you don't know what manner of spirit you are. Just like the Pharisees the disciples had a hard time seeing how somebody could be merciful if he was going to stand for truth and justice how do you do one and the other but Jesus blended perfectly justice and mercy throughout his ministry commentating with the greatest expression of Justice and the greatest expression of mercy at the same time in the death of the Son of God That's why the Bible says Mercy and truth have met righteousness and peace have kids. At the cross of Christ. That same book desire of ages page seven sixty two says this by his life and his death Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy his mercy. But that sin could be forgiven and that the law is righteous and can be perfectly obeyed Satan's charges were refuted and God had given man unmistakable evidence of His Love one of the most impactful. Portions of the writings of L. Light that I ever read in my early Christian experience was in the back of a volume called The seven a. Seven day is the passages of Ellen White that are littered throughout the Bible Commentary series all in one place and in the back there's a couple of append to seize and one of them is on the Atonement and it gives all the passages of Ellen White not all but a great compilation of what she had to say about the atonement. And one of the most fascinating things that I remember reading was on page four seventy of that volume where it says that is. God bowed his head satisfied now justice and mercy could land speaking about the cross now he could be just and yet the justifier merciful of all who should believe on Christ you can find that by the way in Romans Chapter three just in the justifier verses twenty three twenty six is the section. He that is God looked upon the victim expiring upon the cross and said it is finished the human race shall have another trial. The redemption price was paid and Satan fell like lightning from heaven. You see the devil had tried to divorce mercy from justice but here on the cross justice and mercy were blended and Satan's argument was defeated and he fell from heaven but when you know that the devil does not give up easily and in that same chapter called it is finished in the book as I have ages on page seven sixty two L. Ike describes how after the cross of Christ he had another deception this is what it says is. Another deception was now to be brought forward Satan declared this is his new deception that mercy destroyed justice. That the death of Christ abrogated or changed the Father's Law. Now had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated then Christ need not have died but to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression in place the world under Satan's control it was because the law was changed because a man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts that Jesus was lifted up on the cross yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come listen to this last statement. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and same. Make about that the last conflict will be that bikes extending mercy he destroyed justice. It's the same argument mercy and justice are posed to one another you can't have one without the other is just before the cross he said Justice destroys mercy after the cross he says now that you've extended mercy it destroys justice. But that particular phase of the argument is the one that you and I are living under it's the last great conflict of the great controversy. So the environment during the life of Christ was this idea that justice left no room for mercy but now all. To day we have the opposite deception in today's Christianity Grace leaves no room for a lot of mercy leaves no room for justice. Outside of the admin and. We see this when we suggest that God's law is permanent and that it should be cats because this is often met with the response that we are enemies of God's grace as Seventh Day Adventists we don't understand freedom in Christ that careful obedience to the Ten Commandments is legal istic or that the law was abolished. By God's mercy on the cross but inside the Seventh Day Adventist Church we often have the same difficulty. It's just manifested in slightly different ways. If we encourage church members whether young or old to keep the Sabbath holy by not participating in things that would dishonor it. Or to surrender hurtful happen it's of lifestyle or to be obedient to the laws of health or to maintain biblical modesty where accused by some even inside the church of majoring in minors and driving people away as long as we are emphasizing the love of Christ his willingness to forgive his infinite sacrifice on Calvary's cross everything is OK but call for repentance in order to find true peace in your life in the practical areas of your life give instruction on a biblical way of life and you find at the final deception that Grace leaves no room for law is alive and well even in our own church. Now in the Bible we consistently find that we are taught to carefully obey God. For instance Deuteronomy five thirty two Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. But in this new mercy that void of Justice Grace leaves no room for an emphasis on being careful to obey. Only and it's OK it's no big deal if you do or you don't kind of Biblical instruction or lifestyle instruction can possibly co-exist with a mercy that has been artificially separated from justice. I experienced this firsthand in my own early Christian experience. You know my parents were Seventh Day Adventists till I was nine or ten years old and then they left the church anybody ever hear of a guy named Desmond Ford. Desmond Ford's teachings taken to their logical conclusions lead someone to kind of say it doesn't really matter and that's what my dad said and they left and stopped going to church and we went into a totally worldly existence for many years when I was twenty two years old I read the Bible for myself when the Lord revealed eternal realities to me so powerfully that I could not deny them and he changed my life in a moment the Lord Jesus revealed himself as a lover of my soul and I've never been the saying but I was confused by those experiences with my parents I mean when we left the church they weren't exactly friendly toward it. My mom would often talk about how her friends that she met outside the church were better than the ones she had inside the church. You know old dress change the. Attitude change the. Liberty of what we could watch changed everything changed the little red books for those who don't know a white books used to be bound in red. They were tossed aside. And so when I was converted at the age of twenty two there was no question that the Lord Jesus had gotten a hold on me but I wasn't so sure about the evidence to. Especially those distinctive things that seem to be so troubling to a young person I'll never forget it boldly declaring. That I was in violation of those things but I still had a relationship with God and you can't tell me I don't but as time went on I began to come to an understanding things a little bit differently. I began to see things a little bit differently but sure enough. You know there's so much crazy that goes on in Seventh Day Adventist Church it's a it's amazing that any new person can navigate it through you know. Where I was going to church there was this heavy emphasis on. The moral influence theory I didn't know that's what it was called back then. But I now understand what it's called. Many people are not aware that Martin Luther King Jr was a strong proponent of the moral influence there your idea of it is that Jesus did not die so that justice would ultimately the justice of God's law would be satisfied he died as sort of a model or an example just to win our hearts back to God. There was no actual satisfaction of justice that needed to happen. And I was won over by this I the way that it was described sounded so true closely connected to it was the idea that God does not destroy. But that when you see destructive things happen it's only when God withdraws his hand of protection now the problem with these things is that the death of Christ on the cross was a demonstration of the love of God So that was true and God does often destroy by with drawing his protection and allowing the results of sin or the Devil himself to wreak havoc and that's often the case. But I know how much I saw you know truth in that I couldn't shake certain things I was reading an inspiration. Such as What about in Revelation where it says fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. I couldn't shake it I couldn't shake these statements in the spirit of prophecy about Joe. This and mercy and the need for justice to be satisfied at the Kos. Listen to this one from seven A I told you that was influential for me. It said this. Justice and Mercy stood apart in opposition to each other separated by a wide gulf the Lord our redeemer clothed his divinity with humanity and wrought out in behalf of man a character that was without spot or blemish he planted his cross midway between heaven and earth and made it the object of attraction which reached both ways drawing both justice and mercy across the golf justice moved from its exalted throne and with all the armies of heaven approached the cross there it saw one equal with God bearing the penalty for all injustice and sin and with perfect satisfaction justice back out in reverence at the cost saying it is enough is that not an incredible passage that's incredible and I remember having to wrestle with that as a young person how is it that Jesus can die one man and that pays the debt for the whole world that doesn't even seem just. Wouldn't more people have to die to pay the debt for all these people until I read in seven A that no the law it demanded the sufferings of a man but Jesus gave the sufferings of a god. And it struck me no no. That's why the angels could not pay the price because their created beings we would need as many angels as there are people to pay the price for all the people in the world but what is more valuable. Two thousand computers or the one who created and designed them you remove the computer. You can create two thousand more you remove the designer and. That is gone the value of God as the divine. Being of the universe is so if you're really greater than his creation that wouldn't Jesus died one man who is also the Son of God could pay the price for every creature I mean it's incredible but let's be clear justice the justice of God's law required it but I kept thinking well that must mean that that God needs a peace somehow somehow God needs his justice satisfied before he'll forgive us no no steps to Christ God so loved the world she makes it very clear John three sixteen God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son the Father already loved humanity and did not need the cross in the sense that to change his thoughts toward us but the law needed to be met because you have to understand if it's not then there would be a breach there would be a misunderstanding of justice in the universe up the importance of the law of God and the law of God must be elevated for the entire universe in order for happiness to exist for eternity unless that law is perfectly met we're going to have a total loss for all of creation that's why I'm reading elevating said that the law was of more value than humanity I thought then sounds like he cares more about his rules and cares about people well guess what he cares about those rules because he cares about people you are saying. If he would let that law get lowered in the slightest you and I would never have joy in our life. He's got to keep it it is of value because it is equivalent with himself. And who he is and we must be brought into harmony with that if we are to experience what he wants to give us through all eternity. At that time I was heavily in influence also by reading the pioneers of the Seventh Heaven church I mean for a while I read other stuff but then I got in the pioneers man they went to the Scripture I mean it was incredible and to pioneers that I really got diving into because of having a sister you might be familiar with his Jones and Wagner. Jones and Wagner were known for their preaching in one thousand nine hundred eight but they did a lot of other things they wrote a lot before and after that and I read all of Christ in His righteousness glad tidings lessons on faith the eight hundred ninety three and one thousand nine hundred five sermons to the General Conference I read all their little pamphlets I mean it was incredible I mean it was so powerful I was I was so moved by the things that I read. Then I learned that there were different groups that said that we need to get back to the message of Jones America and I said a minute until I read what they said the message of Jones or when there was and I began to recognize that the things that they were saying were not when I was writing. There was an emphasis on and not everyone who supported and believe strongly in the message of eight hundred eighty eight thinks the same but I know there were some that I was connected with there who felt that we just need to focus on a GAAP a love and if we focus on a cop a love it'll just change everything and people will naturally want to obey and I'm all for cop a love but I'm telling you when I when I read it it didn't sound like what I read in Jones' American or in fact I specifically remember Ellen White writing to Jones and telling him hey you need to be careful because when you teach you make it sound like you very clearly say that works are not a part of salvation but you get people the wrong impression. And you need to be careful because you give people that impression and they're going to be led astray I know what you mean I know that you understand it correctly but if you present it in the wrong way as if Mercy is void of justice if I could add that then you're going to confuse people and they're going to get off onto a wrong turn back. So I had read that and so I didn't understand why these who supported eighteen with such a message of an essence mercy without really emphasizing the Justice and instruction and. How that could be right of course I myself was all messed up. We started a newsletter don't go looking for on the Internet because you won't find it I've removed all trades. Not that we ever had on the Internet but you know I always get a little scared. We start a newsletter because once we flipped from hey this stuff by L Y It's you know that's old news and we don't need to do that and once I flipped I went the other way and said This church is totally rebellious and I started to emphasize to great degree how we need to be more solid on The Spirit of Prophecy and it wasn't always nice we had though of a newsletter we started called and we published a lot of Jones' minor stuff it was called glad tidings what a wonderful title and I finally decided to take up my efforts as an author and I wrote an article article called if anyone would come after me would you think it was about. Self-denial. And how we need no more of these smooth sermons and I was. Laying it out there only problem was it was very obvious you are saying I'm talking about the people who I was thinking about are the people that we were handing it to and they knew very well who I was talking about and it was simply not. Gracious or wise. And I remember reading after that point I didn't feel right about it we publish it in everything and I was convincing myself that was the right thing to do and what have you and I remember reading out of that in thoughts on the Mount of blessing and I read where Ellen White said no one has ever been turned from a wrong position by censure or reproach. But many have been driven from Christ and I mean the Lord put it to me. I knew in that moment that's exactly what I had done I had. Given a message that was totally justice and gave no benefit of the doubt no thought to the need to. To relate to people as someone who can understand and to have a measure of grace graciousness and mercy in my message and it clearly drove people away from what I was wanting to draw them to so I bounced back and forth. I experienced all kinds of things in those early years that. It helped me to understand that I really have to be careful not to present a message of mercy that's a void of justice or a message of justice that is void of mercy. Ellen. Talked about the days of Jones and Wagner as a time when they were emphasizing just says Boy mercy she says it this way. As a people we have preached the law until it we are as dry as the hills of Gobo that had neither do nor rain that's pretty dry. We must preach Christ in the law and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. The problem in today's environment where the devil's deception is that mercy destroys justice is that people read that statement and they say see we need to stop preaching the law and start preaching Christ but that's not what she said. She said we need to stop preaching the law and start preaching Christ in the all and there is a difference. A very clear one Ellen White knew that the law that is justice much must be preached to bring conviction of sin if Christ was to be desired as the savior from sin mercy some people point to where Ellen White talked about how the sacrifice of Christ should be the foundation of every discourse and so they try to turn every Bible study and every sermon into something about the death and resurrection of Jesus brothers and sisters she did not say the topic of every sermon. She said the foundation of every sermon in other words the plan of salvation has to be at the heart of every message that we give but this is a problem that people make sometimes they read something like a statement like that from Ellen White and they draw a conclusion without using their heads and thinking what about her if she felt honestly that every service. That the foundation of it should be the cross of Christ have you ever evaluated her sermons. Evaluated what she wrote to understand what it means to have Christ as the foundation because let me tell you she gave a lot of practical instruction a whole lot of it no not every sermon not every article not every everything was on the topic of the cost of Christ but everyone had its foundation as the cross of Christ she presented each subject in its relation to the plan of salvation and lovingly appealed to hearts to turn from sin and to turn to Christ. That's having that as a foundation but some people are trying to take away. The pieces that would bring conviction and thinking that if you only give mercy without justice that that's what's going to win people but mercy without justice ceases to be mercy and becomes sick sentimentalism. It's tempting for some of us to leave off. The part about turning from sin. And to focus on that marvelous sacrifice the argument that's been given is that people need to be blown away by the love of God and telling people about their requirements of God before they're all struck by the love of God will only drive them away. No censure and reproach will drive someone away but Biblical instruction will not it sounds good though I mean it's obvious that love is the only good motivator for obedience would you agree but the problem with this thinking and I want you to hear this is one of the only profound things I'll say in the sermon so just kind of pay attention this part of. The problem with this thinking is that it separates God's love from his requirements. When what people need to see is how his requirements and ultimately even his judgments other fruit of his love don't stop sharing the requirements of God thinking that that that's only going to drive people away before they hear about his love show how his requirements are there find out of his love. Show how the wrath of God is not against people but the wrath of God is against the sin that is destroying people and the reason that God has wrath is because he loves people show them how to justice is love don't remove justice thinking that mercy only will somehow get people to all of a sudden want to obey the requirements of God Let me tell you what there are many requirements of God that are are going to require every one of us a great deal of deal of wrestling. And there has to be deep conviction that it's something that we need to do before you and I are willing to surrender to God and that deep conviction needs to come from powerful exposition of the biblical basis for those requirements. Do you understand you need to give that in order for people to be convicted by it in order for them to be see the need for Christ and the need to do it. All it takes is a little bit of a perusal of the Bible to see that Jesus always combined these things. The woman caught in adultery he said Neither do I condemn you extending to her mercy but you know he just couldn't and there could be he had to go and say Go and sin no more. Justice and I hear people talk about how we need to have Christ centered sermons and I believe it but I get so confused by the definition that some people want to use I mean if I was going to look somewhere to find out what a Christ centered sermon would look like you know who I would look to. Christ. I would look there what's the most prominent sermon that we have in the Bible from Jesus Christ the Sermon on the Mount. And what do we learn in the Sermon on the Mount in the very beginning he starts with the Beatitudes and he starts pointing out this need for humility to be pure in heart its center and he gives the benefits of that but then he said I'm sorry to say immediately I didn't come to destroy the law. No he says you've heard it said you should not murder but I tell you don't even be angry with your brother without a cause you've heard it said don't commit adultery but I tell you that if you lust after woman you've committed adultery already in the heart I mean you're not talking about just a little bit invasive Jesus was more invasive in his Christ centered sermon than just about any sermon you're going to find and you keep reading it I mean just go home today and read Matthew five or seven just check it out. Today in the era of the devil's deception that mercy leaves no room for justice people would sit in the pew and listen to cost and say we need less of this and more Christ centered sermons and what bothers me and I'm just being frank here and I can't point a finger because I felt it and thought it myself but it still bothers me. Is when we think we're more merciful than God We read scripture we read Ellen White and we conclude that it's too harsh. We're ready to separate justice for mercy we read brothers and sisters God is love and that's revealed in the scripture and that's both the Old Testament and the New Testament. When you read about some of those judgments in the Old Testament you have to understand something God in some cases had to destroy a people in order to save a greater number of people. But you and I don't see it and many times in the church there has to be a measure of discipline or there has to be something instruction given or coaching given why to prevent a greater spreading of something you understand. In other words don't read the scripture or the spirit of prophecy and conclude that you have a better idea of what being loving would look like instead let the scripture in the Spirit of Prophecy inform you of what love is. Because brothers and sisters love is not God. God is love when Jesus came to the rich young ruler young ruler came and said What shall I did inherit eternal life I mean. There's lots of things that I can think that we would say in today's day and age and I don't know for sure that I would say what Jesus said but I'm trying to learn from him. And he said keep the commandments. Seem such a strange thing to say went right to justice and well which ones. He starts listing these commandments by the way he lists out the ones that the guy doesn't have a problem with really. And he says well what I still lack will go sell all that you have that's just a command commitment that he struggles with that he didn't mention the first time and come follow me. Now. Here he was asked by somebody what do I do to inherit eternal life and all that Jesus gave him were requirements it's fascinating you don't see any I mean there are times when he had a very different picture right like. The woman at the well and he talked to her about the living water but even he started about the living water he said I Go call your husband. Remember that and said. I have been and he said Well you've actually had five and one you currently with is not your husband and that you spoke truly. Jesus didn't ovoid but he actually drew attention sometimes to the sin of people's hearts so that they would see their need of His mercy. If you separate justice for mercy you lose that and you have no power in your teaching or your preaching. However if your preaching is as dry as the hills of gold boa. And all you're sharing is the requirements of God and you have no patience or Grace or sympathy if you give no help if you don't point people to Christ if you don't show them how beholding Christ brings the Spirit of God into the heart changes the attitude in the life if you don't help them out know how to get to where they're going then you're just as hopeless we need to be preaching the character of God and using that character as the framework for everything we do a perfect blend. Of. Mercy and justice mercy for thousands by no means clearing the guilty Ellen White says and price object lessons that the light of His glory that's his character is to shine forth in his followers in the last days. What will our character look like. She goes on to say that the last message speaking of the third angel's message the last message of warning and mercy is to lighten the whole earth with its glory. Incredible and there where you are what was the last message warning what's that. Justice and Mercy. Let us not fall to the Devil's deceptions and try to separate. These two things the truth is if I look back on my own experience it is the perfect juxtaposition of justice and mercy that brings conversion to the heart. I remember reading my Bible and having two powerful impressions. One of those impressions. Was that I was really dark. I mean the more I looked at Christ the more I saw just how dark and shameful I was. And at the same time. The second powerful impression was that he had been pursuing me my whole life and then he still wanted me that he still love me you understand that if you do not have both of these powerful impressions that you cannot really see conversion you've got to see. The depth of your sin and you've got to see the depth of his love in order for the heart to be melted. You know if you don't see the depth of your sin and you see is love it's like you know I'm no wonder he loves me I'm a pretty good guy. It's not very impactful to learn that he loves someone who's But if you think you're so sinful and you don't see the love of God then you're going to think you're never worthy of it. But oh how I love in the chapter on faith and acceptance and steps to Christ my favorite past is he loves to have us come to him just as we are sinful helpless dependent it is a glory to encircle us in the arms of his love and to bind up our wounds to cleanse us from all impurity I mean it's incredible but I would not have saw that scene that is incredible unless I was reading the powerful instruction from God's word yesterday I was talking to the Emmanuel students about the time right after my conversion three weeks after my conversion when I had to go to a bachelor party. And I thought to myself wow do I keep want to keep going down this lifestyle I not read anything that told me otherwise but for some reason I always fear was tell me this might not be a good idea I went out and talk to my dad is that you really think I should do this I mean does God really want me to give up drinking and give up all my lifestyle because everything will be over for me and my dad said You're asking the wrong person and I got upset but then I looked at me out his Bible open on the today and it has been I took it by when I. Open it up and was open to go after five the first of the Spirit but just before the fruit of the Spirit is the works of the flesh and it lists out all these awful sins and it concludes with these sins drunkenness and revelry. Of which I told you in past times to tell you now as I told you in the past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Brothers and Sisters I needed to hear that I needed to know that I needed the Spirit of God to speak to my heart and tell me that if I keep going down the path I am going I will be a last man and my dad just told me Son Just remember that the Lord Jesus loves you. No matter what. Or that his love is unconditional and he'll take you take all the time you need. If that was the message that I got I cannot tell you that I would have had the same experience over those next couple weeks where I began to surrender my life to him. But the powerful impression of those words in sacred pages I'm telling you what I needed that justice it pointed me to Christ and it helped me to surrender and when I finally surrendered you know it flooded over me peace like a river. Because there is no peace for the wicked there is no peace for the wicked no matter how much we make a loss over it brothers and sisters grace and truth came through Jesus Christ and great peace have those who. Don't know about you. But I do not want to get caught in the devil's last final deception at the end of time that mercy destroys justice I'm not going to withhold giving biblical requirements Biblical instruction challenging people with what God is actually asking of us because that's the only thing that will convict the heart so that they will appreciate the love of God When I share it with them. How many of you want to say Lord Jesus I know that you want me to reflect your glory to the world to help me to give a right picture of your love to the world how many want to say that with me Father in heaven you've seen the hands that are raised we need your help we're human we get mixed up we go this way and that and we get it confused We're just like the disciples who wanted to call down fire from heaven or so often times Lord we want to sympathize with those we shouldn't be sympathizing with one way or the other we make mistakes we don't see it right but please in your mercy forgive us Lord and help us to reflect the beautiful love of God so balanced unsymmetrical help us to know when the most just thing to do is to administer mercy and when the most merciful thing to do is to administer justice in our own lives and ministries and may it be that the world sees the righteousness of Christ uplifted as you are reflected in our characters this is our prayer in Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio for us a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


Embed Code

Short URL