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The Science of Overcoming Sin - Part 4

David Shin
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David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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  • February 22, 2020
    11:45 AM
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On the screen I have a photograph of a giant menorah that is located in Israel and you can't see it from the picture that I have I wish I had a zoom in photograph of the different candlesticks of this menorah but there are depictions and carvings of critical moments in Israel's history and one of them in the center menorah are the tables of stone that are engraved there symbolizing when Moses received the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai now at the base of the menorah are the Hebrew words. And so you have this structure by the way this is located in the holy place of the saying should wary representing the christian lie in the burning of the candle sticks representing the Holy Spirit in our lives and at the base of this structure are the words Shem on Israel indicating and implying that at the base of keeping our Christian experience going is the Shema now the Shema is familiar to the faithful is rely in Jewish history the been described as the central washed watchword of Jewish faith for centuries Jews have pronounced this single sentence affirming God's unity as their final words before dying as well as beginning in ending each day with this prayer on their lips so the Jews in Israel like history would get up in the morning and with say the Shem Ah before they went to bed at night they would say that Mon and according to Jewish tradition before they died the last words they would say. Is the Shema Now what is the moderate turn with me in your Bibles and let's read it in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 1st for Deuteronomy was written by Moses and here it is in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 1st for you have the words of the Shem Ah what every faithful Jew would say when they got up in the morning before when they went to bed at night and on their deathbed hero Israel the Lord our God is One and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength a little way to begin each and every day amen to say Lord you're one in you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind and I think this is a good tradition to follow amen the Jews would say this in the morning as they got up and before they went to bed at night they would say the show Ma and it goes on right these commandments that have been given you today on your hearts get them inside of you then get them inside of your children talk about them wherever you are sitting at home or walking the streets talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night so the Bible says You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind in the Bible describes what that looks like it's one thing to believe it in theory loving God with all your heart but this is what it looks like in a practical sense you talk about it throughout your day talk about it to your children why you're in the streets you talk about the love of Jesus Christ and when I would sell books door to door I would have to become a conversational is you ever have those awkward moments when you're sitting next to someone on the airplane. And you're talking with the individual Some people are very easy to talk to but others are very difficult one word responses and if you're like me you're an introvert so the less that it said the better I just put on my earphones and I'm just like please don't talk to me I mean this is my natural nature but sometimes you get in a conversation and there is an art to conversation we love to talk about ourselves but the art of conversation is to get the other individual to talk about what they are passionate about all of us are passionate about something all of us have something that just infuses emotion within us we have an opinion about this thing or we love to talk about this thing and so there will be times when I would be at a door and someone would come to the door I remember this one lady in Arkansas she came to the door with with a puppy. And I just scratched my canvas you know we have a can canvas that we're supposed to say and I just reached out neck petted the puppy I asked her what she fed the puppy I asked her how much the pet puppy kept her up at night and she just waxed eloquent and gloat about that puppy talked about the puppy and just went on and on as about 10 minutes just talking about the puppy and you know what she said she said whatever you're doing son I'm buying. Handed $20.00 over I gave her a cookbook us appraised. Locked in another garage was a man working on a project woodworking project and I just followed him around that garage for 5 to 7 minutes asked him about the project and he just waxed eloquent glowed about the project went on and on and on about the project we were just talking about woodworking he didn't even ask about my books I didn't talk about my books I talked about what he was passionate about and he said Son whatever it is you're selling I'm buying what are you passionate about. And according to do not on me Chapter 6 The implication of what it's saying is that the thing that you love the most you love to talk about the most human the thing that you love the most is the thing or entity or the person that you love to talk about the most in everyone is into something now a days I have this quaintance of ours that's really into this nutritional shake it's changed her life she gives a testimonial she's running marathons now by the way and she goes on social media and gives a public testimony about how this shake has changed her life and she's selling it it's multilevel marketing but she's a believer she's really into this nutritional shake and I believe friends that as Christians we should be into Jesus Amen we should love to talk about Jesus if you love Jesus you will love to talk about him and the Bible goes on in this passage in Deuteronomy it says that if you love God you love to talk about him but also in verse 8 it says you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as front let's between your eyes now here's a modern translation it says tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads and during the time of Jesus they took this very legal listicle ie the Farriss would go around with segments of the law that would be tied to their arms and literally tied to their foreheads but God was not referring to the literal tying of the law to their foreheads and we can see what God meant when God spoke to Joshua Joshua one verse 8 this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall do what. You shall meditate on it day and night this is a biblical principle in other words if you love Jesus you were allowed to talk about him and you will love to think about him and here is this concept of meditation that comes into play and remember the menorah the foundation of the menorah according to Jewish tradition was the Shem on the show Ma says Love the Lord your God with all your heart you will love to talk about him and you will love to think about him all day long it's foundational to the Christian experience and I believe that is foundational to victory over sin now when we think about this concept of meditation considering that meditation is foundational to the Christian experience it's foundational to Christian life we know that for every truth there is also a counterfeit and so it would not be surprising that there is a biblical form of meditation and there is a form of meditation that is not Biblical Now I like to go back in our history books a little bit as we look at the history of meditation in Christian tradition during the time of the Reformation. The Reformation principles of righteousness by faith were sweeping over Western Europe and there was a dramatic power shift that took place over Western Europe as these countries like Germany and England and Switzerland all fell like dominoes and took their stand with Protestantism it was a very difficult time for the papacy and for Catholicism because there was a transfer of power that was taking place and as the pope was sitting for low Orne in his palace a group of men sought his audience and at the head was a priest a Spanish priest by the name of Ignatius Loyola and he said that he wanted to bring Protestantism back under the fold of Catholicism and here was born the counter Reformation it's in your history books the counter Reformation was to counter the work of Calvin Luther's wing Lee and to bring Protestantism back now the way that the Jesuit order which was founded by Ignatius Loyola the Society of Jesus the primary means of bringing them back was through education and here is Malakai Martin a Jesuit priest he was one of the advisors to Pope John Paul the 2nd and he wrote the New York Times bestseller The keys of this blood he wrote another book called The Jesuits and this is from page 27 there was no continent the Jesuits did not reach no known language they did not speak in study or in scores of cases develop no culture they did not penetrate no branch of learning and science they did not explore no work in humanism in arts in popular education they did not under Tate and do better than anyone else here's a Jesuit just coming out and saying like look. The mode of the count of reformation was to make sure that the Jesuit order was everywhere and here he comes out openly and states that this was indeed done Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuit order stated in regards to the training of the Jesuits imbue him with spiritual forces which he would find very difficult to eliminate later so the Jesuit order was to have at the forefront of its agenda the counteroffer mation to bring Protestantism back and the training of the Jesuit priest according to the Asli Ola was to be a particular training that would be almost impossible to remove and here it is for Malikai Martin in the book the Jesuits he says priest who joined this group underwent strenuous in these he ation for weeks at a time they maintained absolute science silence under the skilled supervision of a director they've practiced a form and I have. A form of mystical meditation until each of them emerge from that weeks long regimen as a spiritual fighter completely won over to warfare utterly obedient servant of the pope one of the means in which the Jesuits trained their soldiers in the counteroffer mation according to Malakai Martin was a form of mystical meditation. Now there is a book in my library by Richard Foster in titled The celebration of discipline Incidentally I was given this book as a means of saying that this was a way that you become more spiritual and I bought. A later version I found it on Amazon dot com in 1978 edition and by the way Christianity Today lauded celebration of discipline as one of the 10 best books of the 20th century Now this is a Protestant book and it's lauded as one of the best books on spirituality today and it's the textbook of many spiritual formation classes and here it is from the 1978 addiction edition Richard Foster and I quote on page 27 and 28 in your imagination allow your Spiritual Body shining would light to rise out of your physical body is describing an out of body experience look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily imagine your spiritual self alive and vibrant rising through the clouds into the stratosphere listen quietly anticipating the an anticipated note carefully any instruction given he's describing spiritualism the out of body experience in this is not privy to just this book but its extent in eastern forms of meditation transcendental meditation in here describes a Christian practice quote unquote in which you come up out of your body and notice what he says listen carefully to the instruction that is to be given. And this is at the forefront now this was later removed from later editions likely because of the protest to these types of exercises Now notice what Richard Foster indicates in Foster's book prayer finding the hearts true home foster commends the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuit Order as a school a prayer for. Richard Foster a Quaker a Protestant is indicating to go to the practices of Ignatius Loyola who was at the forefront of the counter-Reformation to bring Protestantism back and says look we need to go to him for his practices of prayer for a song now this is from Tony compound and I used to listen to Tony Kampala a prominent evangelical and at the forefront of the evangelical Christian Coalition in the Christian right here in the United States of America and I want you to notice what Christian what this Christian author says he says a theology of mysticism provides some hope for a common ground between Christianity and Islam both religions have within their histories examples of a static union with God. He goes on I have learned about this way of having a born again experience from reading the Catholic mystics especially the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Leo law like most Catholic mystics he developed an intense desire to experience a oneness with God So here it is a prominent evangelical saying that he went to Ignatius Loyola to figure out spiritualism or he should say spirituality which is spiritual ism in his estimation Here's from Leonard Sweet who was listed as one of the top influential Christians of 2010 and he states mysticism wants to cast to the side lines of Christian tradition is not situated in post modernistic culture near the center in the words of the greatest theologians of the 20th century Jesuit philosopher religion dogmatics call or call ren or the Christian of tomorrow will be a what Willie a mystic one who has experienced something or are he will be nothing now I want you to notice the nature of what this new spirituality is doing this type of new spirituality is a form of unity according to Tony Campolo between Islam and Christianity between Protestantism and Catholicism and this form of mysticism and spirituality is not putting at the forefront the Word of God and theological cognitive reflection but rather it is subjugating the word to an experience are you following me and if you know anything about Generation x. y. z. and the alpha generation is that what is at the forefront of what these generations are looking for they're looking for experience we're looking for experience my generation is looking for experience in other words longing is more important than believing it used to be the previous generations you believe and then you belong. But the new generations are into belonging in other words it's about the experience in if the beliefs are secondary to that reality and that notion but here we have it the era that we are entering right now is a spouse thing in supporting a type of spirituality that is into an experience that is not cognitive it is not based on conscience and reason and the intellect but rather it's based on some sort of a static out of body transcendental Eastern form of meditation which very at its very core is going to bring a type of false unity in the end of time and this new spirituality is perv a sieve in Christian culture today as you've seen by the thought leaders especially this type of spirituality now I want to read a quotation from our General Conference president in July 2010 at the g.c. session he said these words in his sermon and his public address he said Don't reach out to movements or mega church centers outside the 7th Day Adventist Church which promise you spiritual success based on faulty theology and notice what he says after that he says stay away from non biblical spiritual disciplines or methods of spiritual formation that are rooted in mysticism such as contemplated prayer centering prayer and the emergent church movement in which they are promoted now the question is why would the General Conference president get up front and warn Adventists about seeking these spiritual disciplines. The implication of his statement is that even 7th Day Adventists are not immune to this new type of spirituality in other words it's invoke a non-cognitive reflection non-cognitive non intellectual seeking of an experience that diminishes the Word of God and will bridge the chasm between Protestantism and Catholicism in other words the way that the counter-Reformation will bring Protestantism back is to diminish this is to diminish this and say there's a new form of spirituality that's grounded in experience but not the Word of God Now I want to read from Revelation Chapter 16 verse 13 and 14 and I want you to notice the convergence of forces in the end of time. This is prophetic and I believe that is taking place before our very eyes Revelation Chapter 16 verse 13 and 14 and I saw 3 un clean spirits like wrong coming out of the mouth of the dragon these frogs indicate spiritualism if you go back to the Book of Exodus these frogs and the implication scholars believe that these 3 unclean spirits like frogs is spiritualism All right is this comes out of the mouth of the dragon who Satan out of the mouth of the beast who is the papacy and out of the mouth of the false prophet according to scholars this is apostasy prominences and so I want you to notice what's happening these 3 entities Satan Protestantism and Catholicism all have coming out of their mouths all right spiritualism all right and these spiritual forces according to the next part of his 1st he says for they are spirits of what of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the earth and the whole world and notice the operative word here to gather them to the battle of the Great Day of God Almighty in other words the implication of this verse is that the unifying forces between spiritual ism apostate Protestantism and Catholicism is this this unity that comes about through this spiritualistic force that convergence and brings them together in the end of time the implication of Revelation Chapter 16 I believe is pointing to this new form of spirituality that was cannot and formed at the heart of the counter-Reformation to bring not only Protestantism back but to bring all religions under one world banner. And it's to diminish a cognitive reflection of the Word of God for a spirituality that is based in eastern mysticism here's where we are it's said that we are living right now in a post truth society on every level whether you talk about politics or you talk about religion people are saying we can't even know the truth anymore and quite frankly individuals are tired of talking about propositions and ideas we all want to experience and so here's the convergence that's going to take place in the end of time now the question is what is Biblical meditation biblical meditation is at the very heart of the Christian experience just to say that there is a false meditation does not mean that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and say look there's no meditation at all we shouldn't practice meditation but here is Biblical meditation Psalms 1000 verse 97 all how I love your law I meditate on it all day long what is the subject of David's meditation here in Psalms 119 I was the 10 Commandments is the 10 Commandments Now the implication of this is this is a cognitive intellectual reflection absolutely In other words the Christian experience does not mean that you turn your brains off and put it on autopilot biblical meditation is engaging reason conscience in theological reflection upon the Word of God that is Biblical meditation to think about it and to reflect on it it is a cognitive experience now. Eastern meditation the premise of Eastern meditation is to empty your mind biblical meditation is to fill your mind with the Word of God. And so you have the counterfeit and the true biblical meditation is at the heart of the Christian experience as depicted by the menorah at the very base of the menorah were the words of the Shema this is something that we should think about all day long and it's all throughout Scripture this concept of meditation Psalms one verses one to bless it is the man who walks not in the counsel of the young godly nor stands in the path of sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night this is the reflection of the Christian to think about heavenly themes in our minds over and over and over again in other words the Christian experience is not just Sabbath where we say oh I guess I should think about spirituality today and all during the week it's sports it's the news it's everything else and then oh I guess Saturday and you think about God today that is not the way the Christian experience is to be ideally the ideal Christian experience is when we can come to the place where our favorite thoughts are about God hey man do you want to come to that place where the favorite place that you want to go is to think about Jesus I mean to think about him over and over again because he is so beautiful that is we're the Christian experience wants to lead us and when you look in patriarchs and prophets. She writes How I walked with God and she points out that Iraq did not walk with God in a trance in other words this was not some mystical out of body experience that was not cognitive she says that enough wrong with God after he had his son. And she says that the beauty and the revelation because he was given revelation of the sacrifice of Jesus and the love of God became his meditation all day long and in his thought life he thought about Jesus he thought about God for hundreds of years that he walked to the very threshold of eternity and God said You might as well take the next step in. And he's in heaven right now he he crossed the barrier from this reality to the eternal reality and it was in his thought life right here Bible says in the book of Genesis right before the flood it says that the thoughts of man were only evil continually So God not only wants to reform our our habits and our actions on a superficial level of what we do God wants to reform our thought life and what we think about every day now as we begin to wrap up here I if there is one book I recommend that you read every year is the book desire of ages the book desire of ages reveals the beauty and the love of Jesus and this book was given to me when I went away to school in academy and it was our textbook for an entire year every person that came to this Cademy had to take this class life in teachings of Jesus Christ and we had to read the book desire of ages every paragraph we would we would read it and write a reflection a devotional reflection of that paragraph and that book changed my life. That book changed my life because as I saw the character in the beauty of Jesus you know you just become in all and wonder as to who Jesus is you ever come in contact with someone that is beautiful in character that's what I found in Jesus Christ and became my reflection and there is a quotation that has stayed with me from page $83.00 it would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ we should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene especially the closing ones as we thus dwell upon his great sacrifice for us our confidence in him will be more constant Our love will be quickened and we shall be more deeply impute with his spirit if you're wondering what to do for devotional exercise I encourage you to go to the last moments of Jesus life and here is Biblical meditation let each. And let the imagination grasp each scene especially the closing ones and as we visualize scripture in our minds visualize Jesus and his character we're told that we will be changed from glory to glory and from faith to faith and she goes on page 83 if we are Kreiss our sweetest thoughts will be of him how many of you want that today how many of you want to say Lord Jesus I want Jesus to be my sweetest thoughts the place that I love to go in every moment an opportunity I have let us pray Father in heaven we thank you so much for biblical meditation. Biblical meditation lies at the very heart and soul of the Christian experience and Father we pray that Jesus his character and his love would become our favorite subject of meditation from day to day that would be change from glory to glory from faith to faith and from day to day for we ask these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ amen this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.

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