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God's Christmas Present

Brian Hindman

Presenter

Brian Hindman

History and Bible Teacher, Mount Pisgah Academy

Recorded

  • December 17, 2016
    7:15 AM
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Father in heaven thank you so much for the gift of the Sabbath for the gift of life and the gift of salvation and eternal life which comes through your Son Jesus Christ or I pray today that you would open our minds and our hearts that we might be hold wondrous things out of your word that we might be transformed by our experience in your word today and we just ask for the Holy Spirit to guide and lighten our hearts and minds and we ask this prayer in Jesus' name amen All right what do you want for Christmas Have you finished your Christmas shopping are there a few items left that you need to purchase. Well in case you haven't finished your shopping have a few things appear on the screen you might want to consider possibly. A few things up on the upper left hand corner happens to be the most expensive private jet in the world it is a Gulfstream G $650.00 and it sells for $65000000.00 you and 11 or 12 of your friends can be carried around wherever you want in the world in this exclusive one of a kind private jet. Down below that is one of if not the most expensive car in the world production car I guess a car that you can buy in that they actually make and it's street legal it is a Lamborghini Veneno roadster and it sells for a cool 4 and a half $1000000.00 that's all just you can run around between the cushions of your couch and find enough change and you can have a Lamborghini and park it in your garage. All right very oddly there in the top middle is supposed to be the world's most expensive house in the world and this is in India there's a man over there a billionaire who built himself in 2012 a house that is estimated to be from $800000000.00 to $1000000000.00 it's $27.00 stories tall and it's right in the heart of Mumbai one of the main cities there in India so it's in prime real estate location I think what amazes me most about this house is not the fact that it has a garage that can hold 168 cars not the fact that has 9 elevators that. Are for servants and people and whatever high speed elevators but what amazes me the most is that it comes with 600 permanent servants or staff that belong with the House 600 people to take care of the operations of that house. That is quite a bit of people indeed Well anyway all right if you like animals I'm an animal person I love dogs the most expensive dog in the world is over here on the top right it is a red to bat type betten massive and one I guess this one right here just sold for $1600000.00 So it looks kind of like a Red Lion in a way that's a lot of money. $1600000.00 and I didn't want to offend the cat lovers and so some of you're probably cat people and down here on the bottom right is the most expensive cat in the world it's some breed called an asher Oh probably not saying that properly but they can sell for up to only $100000.00 so I think they're supposed to be hypoallergenic as well so they can really family friendly and then they are in the bottom middle is the most expensive watch in the world and it's some kind of I'm not going to be able to remember how to say this it's a protect Phillipe Henry Grave super complication I knew I wouldn't member that $11000000.00 And that watch can be yours super complication super expensive is more like it. We'll as Christians though I think you probably know where I'm going with this what really is our focus as we live here in at the close of 2016 you have your Bibles so Corinthians Chapter 4 verse 18 Let's get into the Word of God This morning 2nd Corinthians chapter 4 and verse 18 the focus of Christians living today and there is a lot of stuff out there the young people might say there's a lot of bling out there but everything that glitters isn't gold and even gold itself isn't what's most precious and most valuable to us I believe as Christians so you create the chapter for verse 18 In fact we'll pick it up with verse 17 The Bible says for our light affliction which is but for a moment work out for us a far more exceeding an eternal weight of glory now watch verse 18 while we look not at the things which are seen but at what the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are what their temporal their only temporary but the things which are not seen are what are eternal we keep our eyes fixed and focused on eternal realities. That God has revealed to us in His word and that is to be the focus of Christians living today the eternal life living with Jesus for all eternity we're God is the God of love and that love is demonstrated by giving I don't think you need to look up this next verse you probably know it I hope all of you know it but sometimes it's so common I think we can overlook its its significance and the meaning behind this verse as to what it reveals about God and His character John 316 For God so loved the world that he did what he gave love is demonstrated by giving not giving with the hope of receiving something else in return but giving because it is a blessing to those who is giving it to for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and don't let that trip you up there in the English only by gotten does not mean that Jesus came forth in some kind of a way and was born if you look at the Greek forgotten it only it actually means one of a con you can really replace that word there and say God gave his one of a kind only one of a kind there's no other like him to us that whosoever believeth in him might not perish but have everlasting life God has given to us his son. Now how long was Jesus given to the human race was it just during the time that he was on earth for 33 and a half years and then he went back to heaven in went back to being God again. How long was Jesus given to the human race and Pastor Wright quoted this in our call to worship this morning Chapter 9 verse 6 the Bible says For unto us a child is born unto us a son is what given and that given God is not someone who gives and then takes it back he has given Jesus Christ to the human race for all eternity all eternity Jesus is to be one with us a human being that is remarkable that he was given for all time and for all eternity do we realize the condescension and the love that God has for us in giving to us his son for ever now notice what this actually does for us there is a statement Volume one selected messages page $299.00 paragraph 3. It says there after Adam and Eve brought death into the world by their disobedience a costly sacrifice was provided for the human race now this next and it right here just floored me costly sacrifice just how costly it says a higher value than that they originally possessed was placed upon them a higher value than you and I originally possessed was placed upon us how is this so by giving Christ His only begotten or only one of a kind son as a ransom for the world God did what. He gave all of Heaven isn't God unlimited and omnipotent and all powerful and mission and all knowing how can he be exhausted or reach a limitation into his giving none the less it says God gave all of heaven when he gave Jesus Christ and so we determine what gives something value by the cost you pay for it if you were to open up your Christmas present for me on Christmas morning and you would see and recognize he went shopping at the Dollar Tree. Would you think that I had put a lot of money into your present not really you might appreciate the thought more than the present but the value would not be that great when you look at the value that was placed on us as human beings to purchase and redeem us the very precious blood of Jesus Christ a greater and higher value than we even originally possessed before Adam and Eve sinned it was given to us placed upon us that is a remarkable statement Well I want to look at a gift that God has given through his son today in a story that is found in Matthew chapter 22 Matthew chapter 22 and so if you have your Bible as I hope you do God forbid we would ever come to church and not have our Bibles right Matthew chapter 22 and we're going to notice here a story or a parable about a wedding a story about a wedding and this is going to reflect the gift that God has given to us Matthew $22.00 and let's just notice it together beginning in verse one and Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables in a parable we understand is a story that has a symbolic meaning. And said verse 2 the kingdom of heaven is like a to a certain king which made a marriage for his son and sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding and they would not come. Again he sent forth other servants seeing tell them what you're bitten beholder I have prepared my dinner my oxen and my fat legs are killed and all things already come into the marriage but they made light of it and with their ways one to his farm another to his merchandise and the remnant took his servants and treated them spitefully and did what and slew them verse 7 but when the king heard there of he was wrong and he sent forth his armies and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city then say it he to his servants the wedding is ready but they which were bidden were not worthy Go ye therefore into the highways and as many as you shall find big to the marriage invite them to come to the marriage so those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all as many as they found both bad and good and the wedding was furnished with gifts and when the king came in to see the guess he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment and he say it to him friend how came in hither not having a wedding garment and what was his reaction. And he was speechless he had nothing to say then said the King to him to the servants bind him hand and foot and take him away and cast him into outer darkness there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth and he closes this story by saying for many are cold but few are chosen I want to look at this parable and how it illustrates the precious gift that Jesus has given to us through His Son Jesus Christ so going back again looking at the the 1st 2 verses we look at the the verses there the king held or set up a wedding for his son a special service or for ceremony the king in this story represents God the Father and the son that he has the service for represents of course Jesus Christ Now what does this marriage actually represent it's interesting throughout the Bible Let's go to this verse rugelach up every verse but there are some of you here that I think are just like me that would like to look up every verse and you can tell me who you are afterwards you're my kind of people if you like to look up every single verse and see it for yourself we won't do that for the sake of time but let's go to Isaiah 62 verse 5 and we're going to see something about the symbolism of a marriage in the Bible and this is symbolism that is carried across in both the Old and the New Testament. That relates to. God's relationship with his people as they a chapter $62.00 and will notice together verse 5 the Bible says Isaiah $62.00 verse 5 for as a young man Mary is a virgin. Mary V. and as the bridegroom rejoice with over the bride. Rejoice over the we get a picture here I think in this verse that a marriage represents the connection or the relationship but God desires to have with all of his people and it really is all people on earth a marriage is just a representation of how God wants to have the closest possible relationship with us and so the relationship is like an into a marriage now when you get married married how long are usually married for is it off and on experience not at all once you get married and enter into that relationship it is something that carries over throughout your entire life it is a lifelong relationship and it's the same in our relationship with God a connection with him that is of the highest closeness most intimate level that he wants to have with his people so the marriage represents the relation or the union the connection of the human and the divine now looking at verse 3 back in Matthew $22.00 Verse 3 The Bible says and he sent forth his service to call them that were been to the wedding and they would not come. So who are the king's servants that are inviting people to the wedding with the privileges given to the disciples the disciples are the king's servants who are sent out to invite people to come to this gospel feast the good news of salvation and to enter into a relationship a saving relationship with Jesus Christ now who is it that they invited to this wedding let's turn over to Matthew tin and we'll look at verses 5 through 7 Matthew Chapter 10 verses 5 through 7 is going to tell us who was invited to the wedding by the disciples and at 1st it might seem kind of strange why this is so but this is what the Bible says Matthew 10 verses 5 through 7 Do we have that all right the Bible says these 12 speaking of the 12 disciples Jesus sent forth and commanded them saying go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans into ye not but go rather to the large sheep of the house of Israel so where they sent the house of Israel the Jewish nation or the 1st ones given the invitation to this wedding or banquet. And it continues on and says heal the sick close the lepers raise the dead cast out devils freely have received freely give so they are invited they are called rather to go and invite all of the Jewish nation that had been God's chosen people from way back in the time of Abraham when God called him to be a separate and distinct and peculiar people and to reveal his troops to Abraham and to his descendants What does the invitation actually consist of the invitation if we look up or turn over into Luke Chapter 9 in verse 6 I could just tell you but I'd rather you just see it in the Word of God don't want to believe anything that I have to say unless it comes from what God says in His word Luke Chapter 9 and verse 6. Luke 9 verse 6 The invitation is right here it says and they departed the disciples and went through the towns preaching the what it is the gospel preaching the gospel and healing everywhere the good news and I would just say the good news is that there is a savior for sinners there is a savior for lost sinners and that includes the entire human race and this was the invitation the gospel message the disciples were going and they were sent out to go and preach why is it that they refused this invitation What was the reason for why the people this the Jewish nation refused to come they gave excuses if you read another parallel parable in Matthew 20 they gave excuses I've got a piece of property I've got a business transaction I've married a wife or a spouse I must attend to that the cares of this life were more important to them than they gift that God had given to them the spiritual reality that he longed to impart to them the gift of righteousness and have you ever been invited to a wedding it's probably a simple question Have you ever been invited to a wedding. It just so happens the number of years ago I was invited to a wedding and I was invited to be in a wedding and it was actually my roommate from Fletcher academy that when I went to Fletcher we roomed together my freshman and sophomore years and he was getting married up in Silver Spring Tacoma Park Maryland This was back of it was 151415 years ago well when you're in a wedding you have to. And you're going to be part of the wedding rather is a guy was a groomsman you have to get fitted and get you know ready to wear a tuxedo and so I went and got my measurements and I was supposed to sit in them or call this is back before things were online and done as easily as they are now supposed to call and give my measurements to somebody at this bridal store or not a bridal store a tuxedo store do a lot of wedding stuff and and give him my the size of my jacket and my pants and all of those things and so I did that and I was living in North Carolina at the time I was up in Asheville and so when I drove up for the wedding that weekend and when I got there on Friday afternoon we realized and we went to go pick up all the groups and to pick up their tuxedoes that we had pre been measured and ordered mine wasn't there. I was not there and I don't know why it was not there it's probably likely that the fault lay with me somewhere but I distinctly remember calling and telling someone they are in this is the gyn and they took my information but it just wasn't it wasn't there and so therefore I had no way I had no text Ito I had nothing to wear and I'm in the wedding and this is Friday a late Friday evening and there was before sundown but there was there's nothing we could do well since this was in the Washing D.C. area Saturday night after sundown we went to a mall and I think sundown was late like 730 or so if we were to a mall at 8 in your the mall closes at 9 and we went to a tuxedo store and it just so happened that they happen to have on a mannequin and I'm wearing it right there the tuxedo the exact one I was supposed to wear with the vest I was supposed to wear with all the all this stuff and it was it was my size or close enough and so I was saved and I mean really I was so worried because we united been good friends we've been best friends since 2nd grade and I don't what do you do I mean you're There's no there's no there was no time to get another garment or another of another tuxedo but luckily we were able to get that and so I was able to be there for the wedding and be involved as a group when the wedding Well it just so happens that there was a person who was here at the wedding who did not actually have what he was supposed to be wearing. He did not have what he was supposed to be wearing let's look at Matthew 22 and verse 4. Matthew chapter 22 and we're going to verse 4 In fact I'm getting ahead of myself I'll get to that in just a moment but it says here in Matthew 22 verse 4 again he sent for the other servant saying tell them which are bid and behold I have prepared my dinner my oxen and my fat legs are killed and all things are ready come into the marriage what is it that is meant by the fact that this 2nd group of servants was sent after the oxen and fat legs had been killed and for the sake of time we will go to Daniel 926 and 27 but it is the 70 weeks prophecy this is to represent the fact that after Jesus had died on the cross there was still a prophetic portion of time left over that the message of the Gospel was exclusively to be given to who the Jewish nation there was still 3 and a half years left and so the fact of the sacrifice had already been made Jesus sent his disciples if you read accepted one verse 8 it says but ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses on to me in Jerusalem well who lives in Jerusalem the Jews and in some area and under the uttermost parts of the earth and so the 1st message of the Gospel and forgiveness was to be given to the Jewish nation right after Jesus had been crucified still 3 and a half years left in that 490 year prophecy to give it to the Jews so that is what's illustrated in the parable It's amazing how precise this parable is in illustrating what took place well how did those people respond who were given a 2nd chance how do they respond well if you flip over to actual After 8 this is again the 2nd offering 2nd appeal given to the Jewish nation how do they respond when given a 2nd opportunity actually after 8 verse one and Saul was considering up to his death. And at that time there was a what a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all a scattered abroad there was a tremendous persecution by the Jewish nation of the early Christian Church great persecution again they rejected the message that had been given to them through the disciples and so the disciples went everywhere scattered giving the message to we're going to find another class of people well how serious is it to ignore or reject a king's invitation it's pretty serious It shows a Despite to the one who has provided the invitation that you do not value what is offered to you you don't really care about having a response to what has been done for you a serious serious slight to reject this offer and it says Now what happen to those people that rejected this offer what happen to them and again for the sake of time we will look at all the verses but it says there are actually go to Matthew 22 and read what it says in the parable Matthew 22 verse 7 but when the king heard there of that they had rejected a 2nd time an appeal or invitation to come to the wedding a close relationship with him. It says he was wroth and he sent forth his armies and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city Well let me ask you a question when was this literally fulfilled the city and the headquarters of the Jewish nation when was it actually destroyed. It was destroyed 8070 under the Roman general Titus I had a chance several years ago a number of years ago to visit Rome and on the bottom left looking over the forum which was the center downtown area of Rome and just over my shoulder on the sitting on my left shoulder is a famous arch there it is called the Arch of Titus and that Arch of Titus was built to commemorate Titus destruction of Jerusalem there in $87.00 the Titus was the son of the Roman emperor of esp Asian and after his father died Titus became emperor himself and so this was built right after that so it's interesting that when Titus defeated the the Jews there at Jerusalem and the Jews put up a fierce fight against him he made a comment that I thought was very interesting this is in the history records he said there there is no merit in vanquishing a people for sake and by their own God he was offered a victory parade and a victory Laurel to commemorate his great conquest in defeating the Jews and he refused that because after all these time this years of fighting he recognized even as a heathen that the Jews had rejected God and because they had rejected God he could do nothing for them and so he refused to accept that pretty amazing in my estimation that as a heathen he saw all and understood that the Jews had been for sake and because they for God therefore he could not help them in their time of urgency if you look at the bottom right this is actually and a carving on the Arch of Titus it shows them carrying away the 7 branch candlestick as the the jubilant Roman army captured and took away some of the artifacts are the things they're objects from the temple and they believe that that was taken in place into a pagan temple in Rome there and it's kind of lost in history what happened to that 7 branch candlestick but sad it was taken away from where it had been there at the 2nd Temple. Destroyed by the Romans Well who is the king inviting to the wedding in this 3rd invitation if we go back to our story and we're going to get to a serious point I'm coming to a point Matthew 2289 and then say it he to his servants the wedding is ready but they which were bidden were not worthy go you therefore into the highways and as many as you shall find bid to the marriage actually after 13 let's go to X. and look at X. gives us a picture of the early Christian church in the New Testament who is it that's being invited now in the 3rd invitation to this special feast special banquet the wedding service Acts 13 reading verse 46 then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold and said it was necessary that the Word of God should 1st have been spoken to you speaking to the Jews but seeing you put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life Lo we turn to whom we turn to the Gentiles those who are without the Jewish nation we turn to all others outside and go and preach to them just as God had asked them to do this 3rd invitation is given to the Gentiles Now what kind of people responded to the 3rd invitation and what is it that is symbolizes Matthew 22 and verse 10 what kind of people responded It's kind of a mixed bag Matthew $22.00 verse 10 so those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all as many as they found both bad and good. Both bad and good and the wedding was furnished with guests bad and good what does this symbolize Well if you turn over to Matthew 13 it is the another parable the parable of the net and in the parable of the net the Gospel message is like and to a net which which draws in many different people both good and bad and it is some some that are drawn into the gospel message are not drawn in because they want to 1st seek their sins and commit themselves to God they are drawn in just because it sounds like there's. Some kind of an advantage that I can gain from myself there is some kind of personal selfish reason that I can get in being connected with God And so it is a description of how people are drawn into the church that might have a profession but not have a real hard consecration while things are going to be serious as we look and see in verse 12 who was it that came in to examine the guests says the king came in to examine the guests or you can compare that with Daniel 79 and to in words a description there of the Ancient of Days who came in to see or examine the guest the king and was this before or after the wedding. This examination took place before the wedding and it is an important for us to realize that this illustrates that there must be a work of preparation that we are involved in in order to be fitted to be sitting down and part of this wedding feast What does this investigation by the king actually symbolize or represent. First Peter $417.00 for the time is come that judgment must begin where at the house of God and if it 1st begin at us what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel this illustrates a an investigation that we are or familiar with called the investigative judgment this is mentioned in the Bible not just in one verse it's mentioned in at least 8 different places as I can tell in 1st Peter 47 Daniel 791013 also Daniel 814 Revelation 147 Matthew 2212 and Revelation 20 verse 128 different places the Bible talks about a time when there will be an investigation done and this takes place before the wedding is consummated What is it that this wedding garment that is so necessary so vital so essential to participate in the wedding actually represents what does that actually represent. 64 Verse 6 I bet you all know this verse Well it says all of our righteousness are or is are as filthy rags all of our righteous deeds done on our own our own initiative or as filthy rags in other words they are somehow their twisted or they are not fully pure in my actions in what I do all only a connection with Jesus Christ can give us a pure motive and pure actions to do what is right and so if you actually I think I have a verse that I was going to put in my notes that I did not have appear on the screen. And write that down go with me to the book of Jeremiah let's look at this Jeremiah Chapter 23 and we're going to look at verses 5 and 6 it says verse 6 if there are Jeremiah 23 verses 5 and 6 and we're asking this key question what does this wedding garment actually represent what does the wedding garment represent very important verse the Bible says Jeremiah Chapter 23 beginning in verse 5 behold the days come say at the Lord that I will raise and to David a righteous branch and a king shall reign and prosper in his days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely Now notice the last part of this verse and this is his name whereby he shall be called and what is his name called The Lord Our Righteousness the Lord Our Righteousness never saved by my own righteousness always saved and only saved by the Lord Our Righteousness I read a very awesome statement a spirit of prophecy that said that we should say by faith the Lord my righteousness not in an arrogant manner but we should claim by faith and realize the Lord is my righteousness that is the way that God has offered his salvation to us through the perfect life and the sacrifice of His Son the Lord offers that righteousness to us you know I've heard some preachers see. You know they have tried to kind of be a little I believe the work that God intends for this message to have in our hearts and they've asked the question Will are you perfect. Are you perfect and they say why ask people dead and they always say no and then this one pastor said Well neither am I just calm down settle down don't be so worked up about this perfect business folks I think that's the wrong question the question is is Jesus Christ perfect and that's an easy answer right yes and then the next question following that up is does he offer that perfection of character and life to us will clearly he does offer that that's the wedding garment and so if he offers it to us then the next question that's really most important for all of us is have I accepted that have I asked for by faith and accepted the righteousness that Christ wants to give to me and so it's never focusing on myself and in my perfect it's always focusing on Jesus Christ and His perfection that nobody would question in their right mind nobody would doubt or question that and that's the whole essence and message of the Gospel that he is longing to give that to each one of us but he will force you to take it he will not force any of us to take that wedding garment so how is it that we receive this this is got to be practical it's got to be understandable something that we can do to understand what is our part to play in this wedding garment you know Jesus was only 12 years old when he was taken to the temple and it said he was meeting and talking with the Jewish leaders and he told them as parents when they came looking for him with that I must be about my father's business if Jesus could understand that at 12 that I think everyone in our church at 12 or older should be able to comprehend that we have a work to do that is for our father's business something to do well what is it that Jesus counsels us to borrow from him and this is the message to Laodicea Revelation 318 I counsel the to buy of me gold tried in the fire that to be rich and then the next. Hart says wood and white Rayment that white Raymond is the wedding garment by the way it's right there in the message to lay to see if that's the same as what we're reading in the parable and white Rayment that be clothed and would that the shame of the nakedness do not appear the shame of your attempt to cover yourselves in your own self righteousness and your own futile attempts apart from God or really just spiritual nakedness Well how is that we buy this from him because Jesus says I counsel I advise you to buy of me gold tried in the fire and white Rayment how do we actually buy from him. Folks it's very simple I believe it is Matthew 77 very simple verse ask and it shall be given you seek and ye shall find knock and it shall be opened on to you it's very simple we have to ask in faith believing that God in His word will do what he's promised to do asking and believing in faith Well what is it that we need that makes this acceptable to God Hebrews 116 says but without faith it is impossible to please him speaking about God without faith it is impossible to please God so we must ask and believe that God means you and he means me when he offers us this righteousness His name is The Lord my righteousness I need to get that in my head and realize my my gratitude in dependence upon him we buy with faith asking in faith and believing Well what is that we do not buy with well you don't buy spiritual things with physical money in a min. Somebody needs to tell that from back in the Reformation middle age time period going around selling indulgences and selling forgiveness to forgiveness with physical money that's not how we got operates Isaiah $55.00 Verse one the invitation is made Hope everyone that thirst it comes to the waters and he that hath no money come he buy and eat yea come buy wine and milk without money and without price so without physical money it's not you're buying with money you're buying with the transaction of belief and faith and trust in God That's how you receive it and it is a question that we need to settle in our own minds today that we might know that we have this wedding garment that we have acquired it won't work of those who stand before the throne of God done before if we turn to the Book of Revelation 7 and verse 14 Revelation Chapter 7 and verse 14 we're going to come to a close shortly so Revelation Chapter 7 and verse 14. And the question is What work have those who stand before the throne of God done and I said to him Sir. And he said to me these are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb wash their robes a robe or garment represents or symbolizes our character how do I wash my robe how to how do I actually do that what is it what does it actually look like in 1st John one verse 7 it says they are but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the last part of that verse says and the blood of Jesus Christ Clif with us from some sin. Well you better hang on to that verse right there the blood of Jesus Christ Clinton close at us from all sin that closing blood is what we have to apply to our lives by faith we must of course the very 2 verses down 1st on one line is if we confess our sins confession repentance towards God and for sake our sins then we can receive by faith this wedding garment we can acquire it you can have it today our character our lives our purified based on the Word of God It says here in 1st Peter one verse 22 how is it I'm asking these I'm trying to make this practical How do I actually do this it says they're seeing he have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brother in so what does it say the 1st part seeing he have purified your soul purified your character it says how by obeying the truth through the help and the aid of the Holy Spirit so therefore I must obey truth I must obey what the Word of God says and then it says Now in verse $23.00 being born again not of corruptible see but of incorruptible by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever to be born again and have this character transformation is to be borne by obeying the truth in the Word of God That's very simple and practical we can see that we can understand that and through God's strength he's made it possible for all of us to do that to be purified in obeying the truth with the aid and the help of the Holy Spirit what is necessary for character development connection with Jesus connection with Jesus John 15 verse 5 and 7 I am the vine dear the branches he that abideth in me and I in him the same bring it forth what some fruit a little fruit it says the same bring it forth much fruit for without me he can do nothing if we really have a connection with Jesus Christ we will be bearing and bringing forth fruit but we must have. That connection by faith and that is what we must do on a daily basis 1st 7 says if you abide in me and my words abide in you you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you if we are abiding in Him and His words they are alive in me because I'm thinking about them I'm doing and acting upon them based on what God has asked me to do then it says You shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you will that does that mean I can ask to have this character the righteousness of God we can't put this off this is not work that can be set aside for another year or another time it is something that we must take care of to day and have it settled in our heart and in our minds what does Paul call all believers to do in verse 12 it says there is a very serious verse work out your own salvation not somebody else's but work out your own salvation with fear and trembling now that version used to cause me to become very alarmed it still is a serious verse now we look at that work out your own salvation with fear and with trembling does that mean that I should be fearful and tremble that God might not fulfill his promises not all right good be confident not at all does that mean that God might not help when I need help know what is the fear and trembling in it is a rather than a distrust of God It is a distrust of me distrust that I might be too occupied with the things of this world and lose out on what God wants me to focus on the blessing that he has for me that I don't trust myself that I don't think I'm OK and I don't recognize my need of a savior so it says in verse 13 in what 2 ways is God do this for it is God which work within you both to will and to do of His good pleasure God is the one who gives us the ability to do what his will is and he even gives us the ability to want to do his will it is God who does this what if we don't think we have enough strength to overcome our sins. You tell me these things pastor home I don't think I can do it I don't think it's possible well there's another verse you need to memorize and you probably know what flippy is for 13 I can do some things through Christ who strengthens me I can do all things through Christ including who whatever the obstacle or the difficulty is you can overcome it with his strength and this verse right here highlights that so you Corinthians Chapter 12 The apostle Paul was struck down on the road to Damascus and Jesus there intervened in his life and said to him Why are you persecuting me and Saul was struck down with blindness for several days and this is something that we read throughout Scripture that he struggled with throughout the rest of his life was poor eyesight and he prayed earnestly that God might take this away from him he called this a thorn in the flesh inside a Corinthians 12 that he could not see very well well so. The Lord answered him and what did he say and he said to me My grace is sufficient for the for my strength is made perfect in your weakness most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me so he's saying there that if you don't think you can do it you can't but you but God says his grace is sufficient it will make up the difference if you believe it and receive it by faith God's grace is sufficient for all of us righteousness is right doing and it is by their deeds that all will be judged our characters are revealed by what we do the work show whether the faith is genuine. It is a reflection of what I do as to what I really believe I could stand up here and preach sermons every day of the week and tell you all kinds of things but if you do not see any fruits in my life if you do not see any change in any. Any result that shows that I'm not just talking but I'm doing something about it to show that I believe the things that I'm saying then you should really question my my Christianity if there's no fruit there's no results to show from all the profession of belief and trust in God. Maybe I'll close with a statement here I know there's a lot more left what does it mean to be clothed with the wedding garment so practical so simple so clear to actually have this wedding garment What does it actually mean we're told in very clear terms Christ object lessons page 311 paragraph 4 by his perfect obedience he Jesus has made it possible for every human being to a big God's commandments do you believe that I hope you do by his perfect obedience he has made it possible for every human being every single one of us to obey God's commandments Now here is a very practical is a description of having a wedding garment on when we submit ourselves to Christ can you do that can you submit yourself to Christ can we do that today we can do that I understand the heart is united with his heart the will is merged in his will the mind becomes one with his mine the thoughts are brought into captivity to him and that what is the result of that when my mind my will and my thoughts are brought into captivity to the will of God we live his life we live his life I can do that you can do that today and it says this is what it means to be clothed with a garment of his righteousness the Lord Our Righteousness to have his will his heart his mind his desires his focus we can have that right now today it can be ours if we will but ask for it and believe. Well what does the man without a wedding garment represent but based on the timing of this this parable which took place in the investigative judgment we as the out of it as I understand it took place began October $22844.00 notice this this feast here is not as idolatrous feast it's not a bunch of wicked heathen people coming and drinking out of the temple vessels and blaspheming the name of God These are people who profess to love God they're wanting to be around other people who profess to love God in this parable So who is this person then without a wedding garment it dawned on me I think this is a legacy in 7th Day Adventists the man without a wedding garment is a legacy in 7th Day Adventist who is there and wants to be around the truth and professes to want to be part of the truth but hasn't committed and surrendered and fully given themselves entirely to God that hit me like a lightning bolt and it must be that's the timing of this parable of the invent investigation the King is coming in to investigate that began in 1904 so what did he have to say for himself the man was speechless because he had nothing to say and what happened to the man without a wedding garment well. He was valid hand and foot and ordered to be taken away did he get a 2nd chance what does that illustrate we have one life that God has given to us to live one life only there's not a 2nd and 3rd and 4th probation we only have one chance one opportunity and we're told if we had a 2nd and 3rd and 4th probation we wouldn't live it any differently than we did in our 1st 1st probation our 1st life so therefore the decisions I make in this life are the ones that last for all eternity that will make a difference for all eternity will I focus on houses and land and things on this earth or will I focus on the heavenly kingdom and sitting at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with God's people are going to skip through some of this year through Christ restoration as well as reconciliation is provided for man the goal that was made by sin has been spanned by the cross of Calvary notice they are restoration and reconciliation are 2 different things it's one thing to be reconciled it's another thing to be restored and have yourself brought back into perfect harmony with what God's desire is for your life to be restored and reconciled all of this is made possible through God and we're going to close it with this last verse Proverbs 2326 the sermon today was supposed to have a double meaning and that double meaning God's Christmas present God is given to us as a Christmas present of his righteousness that we must by faith receive in accept and demonstrate by by living a holy life before God but also God's Christmas present is what do we give God. What what does our response I read these things about God's gracious goodness to us and I get a how do I respond how should we respond Proverbs 2326 I think tells us the Christmas present that God wants today you want to know what that verse says very simple Proverbs 2326 my son or my daughter my son give me the heart and let the eyes observe my ways it is an invitation God is asking us for him for our hearts and I saw this illustration some time ago someone and it kind of illustrates this right here the point the little person says it's all I have and Jesus says is all I want. It's all I want is your heart I mean does that does the Lord Jesus have your heart today we sing these songs and they're so moving all come to my heart Lord Jesus there's room in my heart for you is there really room to receive Him and allow him not just to be our savior but to be the Lord of our life and to have full control that my mind and my thoughts and my actions would all be living his life they would become so unified so connected in a marriage relationship sort that we would be living his life that is what God wants us all to have Today Father in heaven Christ was born to save We thank you for this Christmas present offered at such an infinite price for each $1.00 of us Lord May we make sure work that we would receive this wedding garment that symbolizes your righteousness in our hearts in our lives that it might completely transform our character to be like Jesus and Lord May we go a step further and have that same burden of souls for those around us that we would desire for them to come to the wedding supper of the lamb for all things have been made ready for Bless us now today on this your holy Sabbath we pray in Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audio from 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 service to visit W.W.W. audio or.

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