Romans #29 – Rebels With A Cause Stop Your Selfishness (Romans 13:8-14)

Romans #29 – Rebels With A Cause Stop Your Selfishness (Romans 13:8-14)

– It’s super good to see you. I sure love you, it’s so good to be together as God’s people, amen? All right, so we’re in Romans chapter 13 if you’ve got a Bible go there, we’re taking about a year going through this amazing epic book of the Bible. If you’re new, let me catch you up. Chapters one through 11 are primarily about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and then chapters 12 through 16, where we find ourselves are primarily about our relationships with one another. And the point is that God loves us so we can love each other. God forgives us so we can forgive one another. God has a relationship with us so we can have relationship with one another. God wants all of his relationship with us to flow through us to aid us in our relationship with others. Now, in chapter 12:2 which is sort of the hinge that the book swings on, he said there really are two options to be conformed to the pattern of the world, or be transformed by the renewing of the mind. And those are the big themes that dominate Romans 12, through 16. And for those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, their only option is to be conformed to the pattern to the world. For those of us who do know the Lord Jesus Christ, there is a much better way of life, a second way of life and that is to be transformed by the word of God through the Spirit of God in the renewing of our minds. And so we’re gonna talk about today is how to be transformed, versus a world that is seeking to have you be conformed and what the underlying issue really is, is selfishness. Are we going to live out of love for God and others or just exclusively solely for the self? So let me just unpack selfishness a little bit and that is that we are conceived with a sin nature, which means you just start selfish, okay. How many of you are parents, right. Did you need to teach your kids how to speak, yes or no? Yes, how to eat with a fork or a spoon, yes or no? Be selfish, did you need to teach them that? No, that’s the only thing they knew. The only thing a child knows is how to be selfish, everything else they need to learn. That’s inherent in their sin nature. Then we grow up and when you’re little, you can’t do anything for yourself so you’re innately selfish, so your parents take care of everything. Now the whole parent goal is that you would become a responsible person and then take responsibility for others. But if you don’t make that transition, you just stay selfish your whole life. Well then a kid grows up, little children true or false I mean we love them. We love all your kids, they’re adorable, but they’re selfish. So, true or false a little kid is selfish. They just start they never look at their parents like how are you doing? How can I pray for you? Dad, seems like money’s tight, how can I generate revenue to help lift that burden? Mom, I noticed the dishes are dirty and the house needs vacuuming could you please give me additional chores. I would love to serve and I’d love to be a source of joy and burden lifting for your mom. And if you have that kid, you got a miracle okay but that’s most kids are selfish then we hit the teen years, teen years are they selfish? Oh yeah, teen is the Greek word for selfish, just total selfishness. You don’t think about anyone except for yourself and you make decisions that are very short sighted. Then you hit your 20s, in your 20s you leave your parents house, you go get a condo, you go drink in old town, are you selfish or not? Yes, the 20s are the most selfish years. You don’t have to think about anyone or anything. You don’t live with your parents. You don’t have a spouse, you don’t have kids. You eat what you want, you drink what you want, you get up when you want, you watch what you want around 30 then this is being conformed to the pattern of the world. Around 30 you’re like I need to get married. That’ll fix my selfishness. No, it doesn’t. Now we just have a witness to your selfishness, that’s all we have. Now it can hold up in court. And so what happens around 30 is two selfish people get married and what happens? They’re very disappointed with each other. Oh, I thought you’d be less selfish. Now to bring it up I was kind of thinking you’d be less selfish. I thought you’d take care of me. Well, I thought you’d take care of me, you’re both right, you’re both evil, you both need Jesus, okay. So then what happens is you decide you know what, let’s add a kid, that’ll fix it. So two selfish people their whole life add a kid if you don’t think you’re selfish, have a kid that will prove that you are selfish because what a child does they test all of your pace. Now I love we got five kids, we love kids but true or false they just show how selfish you are. Because they don’t sleep, anybody who said sleep like a baby is never had a baby and they don’t know what they’re talking about. They should say sleep like a teenager that’s really they’re up at the crack lunch those people. And then what happens is the child is a constant inconvenience and expense. Right, so like here’s what I know about a child. They have an innate sense to not throw up until you’re leaving the house and running late, that’s when they throw up. They’re like snipers. They’re like I’m just waiting for the shot, waiting for the shot, waiting for the shot. Okay dad, mom are running late, they’re all packed, we’re going out the door. Here’s like mom’s wearing it now we gotta start all over. Now you gotta change them and gotta change yourself and you put them in the car, you put them in the car seat, and then they crap themselves, they just do with a level of force that is shocking for their size. Like it’s on their head, you’re like how much PSI are you able to push in that small frame and then it comes to the front seat at deploys the airbag, now we gotta get the insurance company involved. Like it’s catastrophic. True or false? True, and so what happens is, we just live in this world where we are selfish or we keep thinking that at the next season, something is going to change. Let me tell you, nothing changes until you’re served by the Lord Jesus, who is the most unselfish person who has ever lived, he takes away your sin, he gives you a new nature, new heart, new desires. And then he teaches you how to be served by him and how to serve others. And that’s really what we’re gonna learn. How to live in love versus selfishness and how to live in the spirit instead of the flesh. And let me just preface it by saying, as we get into this sermon, a friend of mine always says, the best way to use the Bible is as a mirror and not as binoculars. So as we get into this, some of you are gonna use this text as binoculars and be like, this is a really good sermon for my wife. It’s also a really good sermon for her husband, okay. So the point is this, use this text of God’s word for you before you use it for anyone else. And he’s gonna start by telling us the difference between our selfishness, which is being conformed to the pattern of the world, and learning to live in love which is being transformed by the renewing of our mind. So he says this in Romans 13:7-10, and he’s gonna give us sort of three checkpoints to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, how am I doing in living in love and living in the spirit, he’s gonna look at our money, our honor, and our love. Paid to all what is owed to them, taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenues owned that means pay your bills, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed, owe no one anything except to love one another, for the one who loves his fulfill the law. For the commandments you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet in any other commandment are summed up in this one word, quotes Leviticus, “You shall love your neighbors as self. ” Here’s the key with love, love does no wrong to a neighbor. See what we do in selfishness we use people. Love is where we serve people. Therefore Love is the fulfilling of the law. And so he’s saying okay, let’s look at living in love versus selfishness. Selfishness is what do I get? What do I gain? How do I benefit? What’s in it for me? Love is I wanna do what is best for you. You can’t be a good Christian unless you live in love. You can’t be a good spouse, unless you live in love. You can’t be a good parent unless you live in love. You can’t be a good friend unless you live in love. And some people they will act loving, but they’re really not loving, because what they’re looking for is the benefit for themselves. And that is using. We live in a world that uses people very rarely loves people. And so he starts by looking at our finances, which may seem like a strange place. But when you look at your money, it really tells you where your priorities are, and what your first obligations are. And so Jesus says where your treasure is, your heart is. So if you wanna know where your heart is, look where your treasure is. And if you wanna change where your heart is, change where your wealth goes. And we tend to think that our money and our love have nothing to do with one another. And here’s the big idea, we either love money and use people, or we love people and use money. The giving is one way of loving, it’s through generosity. And so what he asks are these kinds of questions number one, well, let me just say this, some will inappropriately use this scripture to say that no Christian should ever have any kind of debt. You may have heard that, that is not true. In Matthew 5:42, Jesus says, “Do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” What Jesus is saying is if somebody needs to borrow something, feel free to lend it to them. So the Bible is not against lending to people or taking on debt, but it is against taking on inordinate debt and/or not repaying that debt. So the question would be, first of all your time, are you giving to the Lord what is the Lord the first 10%, the first fruits. Forbes and WalletHub have said that Arizona is the least charitable state in America. Congratulations, you’re number one. Bad news, wrong list. Okay, that’s where we find ourselves because we tend to be libertarian, which is you take care of you, I take care of me. And if you annoy me, I carry a firearm for you. That’s Arizona, okay that’s Arizona. And so we don’t have a sense of responsibility for the well being of others. But first and foremost, tied second is taxes. Are you paying your taxes? And for those who would say well, I’m not sure you should, you should. I do know a few guys who didn’t think that they needed to pay their taxes. This is not a joke. This is a fact, they’re in jail. So if you’re watching this from prison, the word for tax in the Greek means tax, okay. So, if you don’t pay your taxes, here’s the deal, you’re going to jail, you’ll do prison ministry from the inside, which is not the ideal way to do prison ministry. So pay your tithe, pay your taxes, and then what I would call offerings. So the Bible talks about tithe, taxes and offerings. Tithe is what you owe to God, taxes is what you owe to government, offering is something above and beyond that so that you can love people. You can serve people, you can meet tangible needs. One of our family’s great joys is giving, we love to give. We’ve been big givers our whole life, we see 10% as a floor not a ceiling. And my kids growing up, we’re always looking for ways to meet tangible, visible needs. Can I buy you lunch? Do you need help with this? Do you need help with that? Does the single mom need a car? Do you need groceries? And what it allows by allowing margin in your budget, you’re allowing margin to love others and to meet practical, visible daily needs and that’s one way of loving one another. And then he talks about not taking on inordinate debt. And let me say this, that this is not something we’re particularly good at as Americans. Number one category, if you could guess, number one category of American to have significant credit card debt in percentage to their income, young women in their 20s. I gotta get my hair done, my nails done, I gotta get some shoes, I gotta get a dress so that I can meet a guy who has a job that likes to pay off credit card debt, right? That’s not, a lot of the guys are like, oh my gosh, that’s my girlfriend. He’s got a revelation, okay. But what happens is we tend to rack up debt, and what in the triple debt for those of you who are younger, this is what I always tell my kids, watch out for credit card debt, and then watch out for card debt, and watch out for college debt. That’s the triple threat debt, that’s what that is. Okay so immediately, when you reach a legal age, they send you a credit card. And all of the fine print is very, very high, I don’t know but the percentage rate is about the same as blood money with the mafia, that’s where your percentage rate is at. So you rack up credit card debt, and then you go and you buy a car. Now you rack up car debt as soon as you drive it off the lot, it’s no longer worth what you paid for it, you’re already in a depreciation state. And then you go to college, and they’re like, we’ll give you free money, let me tell you this, it’s never free. And eventually the bills come due. And so now you’re in your 20s and now you’ve got tripled debt. Now you’re gonna work for years to get up to zero, which is very discouraging. And then if you marry someone, they’re also in a hole and you’re both working for years to get up to zero. And what that does, it means that the borrower is slave to the lender to quote the Bible. And what that means is now you’re enslaved meaning your master, your creditor, your debtor, they are now in the sovereign position in your life, and they determine your decisions. There are people who say well, I would love to spend more time with my spouse or my kids, but I can’t because we gotta pay off our debt and as a result, I need to take a job that requires too many hours, or I have to travel or our schedules don’t coordinate. Or I would love to spend more time with my kids and go to their games and be there for dinner but I can’t because of our lifestyle and our debt ratio, we’re in a position that we’re not free to do. So here’s the deal, there’s a big difference between your income and your quality of life. Just because you make more doesn’t mean you will live more. Okay, because we live in Scottsdale and you look around you’re like oh my gosh, these people have a lot of money. Let me tell you a little secret, some of these people have a lot of debt. That car they’re driving, they are in debt, that house they’re living in, they are in debt, the lifestyle that they’re funding, the country club membership that they’re owning all of that is debt. They are in serious pain, they’re living beyond their means, they’re over their skis. And every day for them is this anxiety of trying to generate enough revenue to survive. It’s a lot better to live with less and have a higher quality of life. Because there is a big difference between your self worth and your net worth, there’s a big difference. And what he’s saying is live within your means. And if you take out that credit card debt, maybe a capital loan for a bank or a mortgage, you’re trying to start a business, make sure you’re paying those debts and that you’re working toward debt free. Because what God wants you to be is free. If God comes to you and says hey, your spouse needs you, your kids need you. There’s an opportunity for ministry here. Or I just want you to have a healthy life that you enjoy with the people you love. You shouldn’t have to look at God and say, God, I wish that were possible, but I have chosen another Lord. And that Lord is not ruling over my life. And I can’t do the things that the Lord is inviting me to do because the other Lord has supplanted you in superior position. And I love you with all of my heart but part of the reason that we’re not able to love people is because we haven’t managed our finances and we don’t have the time, energy and margin to love them, because we’re too busy paying off debt that we should have never obligated ourselves to in the first place. And so this is part of it. Some of you want to love more but you’ve architected your life and your finances in a way that you simply cannot. And let me say this too, while you’re at it, let the government know that it’s not good to have too much debt. Our country now owes $28 trillion. I wrote it down. I mean when I was a kid, we would always do this thing where we’d count and then somebody say infinity, 28 trillion is beyond infinity I think it’s on the other side of infinity. What that is, is that’s $85,000 for every American. That’s our debt. Okay, it’s our debt. My son here recently, he’s like hey dad, showed me his phone he’s like, the government just put $1400 in my account. What, how did they get I don’t know. True or false, giving $1400 to every 19 year old is probably not the best fiscal decision. Oh man could go either way. Yeah, it’s not a good decision. Because here’s the thing, we think if we give people money, we will fix their life, you give people money, it does nothing unless you give them wisdom. You can give a person wisdom that has no money, and they will figure out money. You can give a person money and if they have no wisdom, it will benefit them in no way. It actually might just increase their pain. He also looks, not only at our finances, but then honor. Loving people, and he’s talking here about loving people that are in authority over you. And we tend to be a people because we’re Americans and because we’re Protestant, because our nation was founded, through conflict and because our commitment as Protestants was forged through conflict, we tend to have a natural suspicion about being under authority and honoring it. But let me use Jesus Christ as an example, okay. Jesus was perfect. Were his parents? No, can you imagine how rough it would be to be Jesus’ mom and dad. They’re like Jesus we’re upset with you. He’d be like well, who’s fault do you think that is? I noticed you got a wooden spoon, feel free to he was out on yourself. If we have a problem, I know who the problem is. I mean, it’s tough to raise a perfect kid and it’d be tough to be his brother. Right the walk in, like whose fault is it? Can’t blame Jesus, yeah I guess it’s me again. So it says in Luke two that Jesus submitted to his parents. So Jesus is perfect submitting to imperfect authority. The point is this, that authority doesn’t need to be perfect to submit to it and you and I are surely not perfect. And this is one of the reasons and excuses we give for not obeying or honoring authority like, well, they made a mistake. Well, every authority is imperfect, but even perfect Jesus submitted to imperfect authority. If perfect Jesus can submit to imperfect authority, then we who are imperfect should submit to imperfect authority. And one of these is this is honor, let me tell you this, honor of authority is something that is tested when you disagree. That’s how you know you’re honoring. When you agree, you’re not honoring, your agreeing. Agreeing is easier like, you’re right, because you agree with me and I’m brilliant. So congratulations, honoring is when I disagree but you are in authority therefore I am going to honor submit to he says here, respect that authority. So honor is tested and you don’t know whether or not someone is honoring until you have your first disagreement or conflict. Every boss will tell you this, like when I hired them they were great until we disagreed and then it went crazy. Well, that was the test of the honoring, okay. The Bible says rebuke a wise man he will thank you, rebuke a fool and he will hate you. The point is you don’t know who you’re dealing with till you have the conflict, okay. In addition, honoring is not just what you do when someone is present, but when they’re absent. A lot of people will honor when they’re in the room, when you leave the room than the trash talking begins. You’ve seen this at work. And let me submit this to you, this is really important in a family system. Sometimes mom or dad will speak well of mom or dad, when mom or dad are present, when one of them leaves in front of the kids all of a sudden there is negativity that is poured into the children, critique or criticism that is poured on the children and what that is that is discipling the children to dishonor authority, which is ultimately sawing off the branch that you sit on as a parent. You’re actually harming yourself long term. And so for us it is okay, how am I doing in honoring authority? Now, what this means is you have two options. Let’s say you’re in a job and you don’t agree with the leadership or the directions or the decisions, you can honorably, respectfully seek to effect change if you can’t affect that change, then you can stay and honor the decisions or you can leave but if you leave, how should you leave? Honorably, either stay and work for change honorably or stay and submit to decisions honorably, or leave honorably. Leave because the key is this, to have a good beginning you need to have a good ending. For things to begin well here, they need to end well here. And so you want to honor here, work with integrity and if you do transition, so let me just say this, if your kids in a school and you’re like, you know what, I can’t trust the leadership in the school. I don’t like the decisions that they’re making, I can’t stay here in good conscience than honorably, go find another school. If you’re in a business and you can’t agree with the mission statement or the cultural values, then honorably leave and find somewhere else to work. If your kids on a sports team, you’re like I don’t like the coach, I don’t like what they’re doing, I don’t like the way they run this thing, then honor while you’re there and then leave honorably and find another option for yourself, okay. So he talks about love looking at your life, how are you doing with your finances, how are you doing with your honor, and then he really bottom lines getting directly into the issue of love. And he’s telling us that the one debt that will never be paid. And I hope you pay off all your credit card debt, your college debt, your school debt, and your mortgage. And if you don’t know how to do that by the way, find a guy named Dave Ramsey. I’ve met with Dave a few times have been to his office actually really liked him, he’s really good guy. He helps people especially Christians figure out how to pay off their debt. You wanna figure out how to do that. My whole prayer and goal is that you would pay off your debt. But the one debt that we will never repay is love. Every day we get up there’s somebody else to love, there’s another way to love. Love, there’s always more love. And so when they came to Jesus and they’re like alright, summarize everything in the Old Testament said here it is. Bottom line, love God, love people, right. Paul follows this Romans one through 11, love God chapter 12 through 16, love people. Paul architects all of Romans on the simple teaching and summation of Jesus. When it comes to love the New Testament is written in the original language of Greek, I won’t pretend to be a scholar, I use the tools. But in the Greek language, they have multiple words for love. Philia is friendship. So like the Philadelphia is the city of brotherly Love, which is crazy if you’ve been there. A lot of people are getting shot I mean, they need to study the Greek word, that’s what they need to do, okay. But Philia is friendship, Eros is romance. It’s the erotic romantic. And then there is Agape which is a decision of the well, where you love someone, because it’s the right thing to do whether or not they deserve it. And for the Greeks, that was the highest version of love. And that is the word that Paul uses here. So let me say this, love is not predicated on you, but it’s predicated on him, okay. And so as you know, I can’t love them. No, no, he loved us first before we loved him. Therefore, we love them the way he loved us, which means we love them before they’re lovely or before they’re lovable. And there will be decisions because love is sometimes a feeling but it’s always an obedient action. Love is sometimes what you think or feel, but it’s always what you do. And so ultimately, the Bible commands us to love people that we don’t feel like loving. It says to love our enemies, how many of you don’t feel like loving your enemies? Let’s be honest, okay. How many of you are married, the Bible says husbands love your wives and wives love your husbands, how many of you have been married for more than 15 minutes, and you found a place where you just didn’t feel like it? You ever look at yourself, I don’t feel like loving you. Finally we agree on something, okay. So in those moments, can you still love one another? You can, you can make a decision as well. Because let me say this, love doesn’t come from you. it comes from God through you. This is what he told us in Romans five I think it’s around verse eight, that God has poured out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit whom he has given us. If love needs to be something that is in you that they earn, then it’s impossible to continually love. If love is the nature of God, God is love and he pours out his love and to you by the Holy Spirit. Now as a Christian, you have a supernatural ability to love others with God’s love. And it doesn’t even need to start with you, it starts with him. You’re like okay God, you give me this love, I’m going to share it by treating them the way that you have treated me. Let me say this about love. It’s the one thing that would change everything. Our whole world would be totally different if there was just more love, right. We’d have less war, we’d have less divorce, we’d have less crime, we’d have less conflict, we’d have less distress, we’d have less emotional brokenness. We’d have less broken families and 98% of what’s on the internet would disappear. If there was just love. And the truth is this that everyone knows this but the question is who’s going to go first? No one looks at the road says, you know the problem is too much love. Let go, we should back off. We all know what the problem is, but we’re all waiting for someone else to go first. So what he’s saying is, don’t be conformed to the pattern of the world waiting for everyone else to be loving, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and in your areas of influence, be an agent of God’s love and affection. And the Bible tells us as well that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. First thing that assumes, is we love ourselves, we just do. And that it starts with those who are nearest to us and we start talking about loving others, we can start to think of all the ways we can love people, let me say this, start with your nearest neighbor, my nearest neighbor, her name is Grace, okay. It doesn’t make any difference if I love the nation’s and I don’t love my wife, right. Love starts with my neighbor, she’s my nearest neighbor, down the hall from us are our children, so they are my next nearest neighbor. And the point is simply this that to some degree, everyone is our neighbor, but who is in your life that needs God’s love, who has God appointed to pass your path so that his love could flow through you to them. And sometimes we think about love and we think about all these people, but don’t look over the people that are in front of you, look at the people that God has placed in front of you. And let me say this when it comes to love, his summary is simply this, there are a lot of commandments in the Bible, but there’s a big difference between the letter of the law Jesus says and the spirit of the law. The letter of the law is don’t commit adultery and don’t kill anybody and Jesus is going through some of the 10 commandments, that’s the letter of the law. The heart of the law is love. The motive behind all of God’s laws and commands is love that leads to life and health and human flourishing, to God’s glory. That’s the entire point, that’s the entire heart behind all of God’s laws. So I’ll give you a story that comes to mind. And the point is simply this that sin in love cannot coexist. If you’re sinning, it’s because you’re not loving. If you wanna stop sinning, focus on loving. I had a conversation some years ago that comes to mind, one of the most godly, older men, saints I’ve ever met in my whole life. Incredible respect for movement leader, church planning network like incredible godly man. And he looks like the grandpa from up. I mean so like that’s the guy right there, he’s the guy. And so I’ll never forget his kids spoke well of them him and his wife are adorable together. They’ve been together, I don’t know, 50 years, 60 years, I don’t even know. They hold hands and pray together, they’re cute, they flirt with each other, total life goals. They love Jesus, you can just sense the presence of the spirit of God in their midst. And I was talking to him one time I was like, how do you avoid sin? How do you obey God’s commands? How do you pursue a life of character and fidelity? How do you do it? They look to me long pause and I’m expecting like the heavens to open and seeing angel wings and maybe hear a harp like I here we go. He looks at me he goes, I have no idea. Like if you don’t know, I’m a dead man. I was like well, he’s like, what do you mean? I was like well, how do you stay faithful to your wife and manage your finances, be emotionally healthy and love people and forgive your enemies and do everything that God says? He looks at me says, I have no idea, I’ve not really thought about it. I said well, what the heck. I said, what do you do? His like, I just spent a lot of time with Jesus. He said, I get up and I talk to Jesus and I sing to Jesus and I pray in the Spirit to Jesus and during the day I talk to Jesus some more and I think about Jesus some more he’s like, I really don’t think about all the stuff I’m not supposed to be doing. I just think about Jesus. And I thought, you know what, that’s the answer. I can have the list of all the things I don’t need to do, or I can spend time with the one who will keep me from doing them. I never met anybody like I was hanging out with Jesus and I ended up in Vegas with a neck tattoo hung over married to a clown, I don’t know what happened, so. The point is, it’s to stay away from these things is to stay close to this person, okay. So it’s about love, that loving relationship with God leads to treating others in love, which is the heart of law. So for parents, let me just give you a simple example from the Driscoll family, I got five kids. When the kids were little, I only had three rules, three basic rules. And my whole thing was as a dad, I don’t want a lot of rules, I want a lot of relationship. I want you to know that I love you and I’m here for you so when stuff comes up, I can coach you along. Because I can’t predict everything that’s gonna come up in a kid’s life and all five kids got different personalities and different paths. Like I just want you to know that I love you and I’m here for you and I’m here to help. So I wanna build a relationship, I’m not big on the rules. And so I had three basic sort of overarching rules if you are, number one, be safe. Okay and if you’ve raised a boy, you know that’s necessary. If you’ve only got girls, they’re like, why do you need that? Ask somebody with a boy. Boys are all suicidal. They’re like, where’s the highest point and the sharpest object? I mean, that’s always what they’re going for, okay. So be safe, have fun. Always wanted to tie family and Jesus to fun. So that when you grow up, you don’t need to rebel. Rebellion is usually I wanna have fun, so I need to rebel against my parents and Jesus. Well, if Jesus and your parents are fun, you don’t need to rebel. That’s why we put water slides in the back by the way, because they’re like, I hate the water slides. No they don’t actually, they really like them, and the popsicles and the squirt guns. Like, why do you need to rebel against that, we’re in our swimsuits. Like, there’s no rebellion needed. We wanna tie Jesus and fun together so that there’s no need for rebellion. And so be safe, have fun and then love one another. That was my rule, love one another. Be safe, have fun, love one another and love one another covers everything. So let’s say there and I know sometimes kids do this, not my kids. I mean my kids were filled with spirit, they’d wake up in the morning, pray in tongues, read Leviticus and pray for your kids. So but your kids, you ever see kids in the car like little kids in the car, they’re flicking each other, right. So here’s Judas, here he is he’s just trying to annoy, right. In the answer if you could say don’t flick your sibling or you could say is that loving. No, okay you took their dessert, you could say don’t take their dessert or you can ask was that loving? If you ask the love question that actually answers all of the other questions, okay. And so be safe, have fun, love one another. So people are loving, they won’t be breaking and violating God’s commandments. So he’s looking at the difference in the war between love and selfishness and then underlying this is ultimately the war between the spirit and the flesh. If you’re conformed to the world, it’s selfishness and flesh, if you’re transformed by the Lord, it is living in love which is living in the spirit. So Romans 13:9-13, we’ll read a couple of verses again and then pick up the theme for the commandments. You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet. And the other commandment are summed up in this word, love your neighbors as yourself. Right you can’t love somebody and commit adultery. You can’t love somebody and murder them. You can’t love somebody and steal from them. Love does no wrong to a neighbor therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know the time that the hour has come for you to wake up from sleep for salvation is near to us now than we first believe we don’t know when Jesus is coming back but every day we’re a step closer. The night is far gone, the day is at hand so let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime. Not in orgies and drunkenness and sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and not in jealousy, okay. What he’s saying is this when we think of time, we need to think of times in God’s terms. We tend to think of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, God sees history in the realm of two primary events, the first coming of Jesus Christ, and the second or last coming of Jesus Christ. That’s how God sees history. And we need to see our life in that context. And so the first time Jesus Christ came as our God and Savior, to live without sin, the only perfect life to die for our sin it was the greatest act of love ever conducted on our planet. He died in our place for our sins, God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. That Jesus my friend is God. And he was selfless, not selfish. He lived in the spirit, not the flesh, and he loved you by dying for you. That’s how much he loves you. There’s no greater gift that you can give anyone than laying down your life and calling them your friend. And that Jesus rose from death and he forgives sin. And what he does, he serves us he gives us a new nature, new heart, new desires, a new mind, so that we can be a new person that lives a new life. So let me just say this my dear friend, if you have not yet received the lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that’s the most important decision you will ever make. That’s the most significant thing you will ever determine is whether you reject him or receive him. So we would just beg you, we love you so much. We want you to know the Lord Jesus, because apart from the Lord Jesus, you can’t be transformed all you can be as conformed. You can’t live a new life, you can just live the same life that everyone else is living because the life that we’re talking about is the supernatural life that is only made possible for the children of God. And what he’s saying is this, that all of human history is kind of like darkness and light. When he’s using this language of darkness and light he’s comparing and contrasting darkness represents the flesh, light represents light in the spirit and darkness represents being conformed to the world, light represents being transformed by the renewing of your mind. And so what he’s saying is that human history, right now we’re in the dark season. Now when Jesus comes back, he is the light of the world that’s when there is the dawning of the new eternal age. The Bible says in Revelation that actually the sun will never set, and that the glory of Jesus Christ is the light of the world will illuminate all of creation forever. But now we live historically in the dark season. We look at the past and sometimes with our evolutionary mindset which is an erroneous mindset, we say, oh, those were the dark ages. Let me tell you, it’s all dark ages till Jesus shows up the light of the world. That we’re living in our own darkness and the point is this when it’s dark outside, people tend to do the most despicable things because they are hidden, right. That when darkness comes in, let’s say there’s a power outage in a major urban center and all the lights are out for the night you know it’s going to be hell on earth. And this is why we have lights in our homes, we have lights on our homes. This is why we try to create as much light in the darkness as we possibly can. Because where there is more darkness, there is more danger. Now we live in this period of human history where it is dark. How many of you just sense and feel that like it’s a dark season, and it’s getting darker. This is the opposite of the evolutionary myth, the evolutionary myth. It’s the bright and getting brighter. I don’t know what planet you’ve been inhabiting but just reality tells me that the world is bad and it is getting worse, it is dark and getting darker. How many of you would agree with that, you feel that, you sense that. How many of you are mine, you’re like me, you’ve got kids and maybe one day grandkids, you’re looking down the corridor of time you’re like, in 50 years, what does this look like? The path that we are on seems to be headlong over a cliff into an abyss. Now, for the Christian that means that our hope is that Jesus Christ is returning, that the same God who was faithful the first time will be faithful the last time. The same God who was faithful to get out of the grave will be faithful to get us out of our grave. The same God who gives us new life will be faithful to give us eternal life, amen. So for us our ultimate hope is in Jesus. And what he’s saying is in the meantime, what tends to happen when it’s dark, we tend to sleep. But what he’s saying is that God’s people during this season, until the return of Jesus of darkness, we need to be awake. And what’s really interesting is our whole culture is woke and God’s people should be awake. There’s a difference between being awake and being woke. Being awake is seeing things in the spirit, being woke is seeing things in the flesh. Being awake is seeing things through the transformed mind, being woke, is seeing things through the conformed world. And what happened during this last year with churches closed in throttled and some still are so pray for them, everywhere that loves Jesus and believes the Bible were for them, because we’re all on to Jesus. That ultimately, the church was throttled and closed and as a result, many Christians simply went to sleep in their faith this last year. They stopped worshiping, they stopped giving, they stopped praying, they stopped learning, they stopped gathering, they stopped serving, there was a lack of a sense of urgency and it’s like the church fell asleep. Meanwhile, the world got woke. And what he’s saying here is that the church needs to stay awake so that it can reach the world which is woke. And what he’s saying is you need to look at your own life. Do you have a sense of urgency, if you’re a Christian, about the cause of Jesus Christ and the forward progress of the gospel, and people hearing about and meeting Jesus and living under his sovereign reign? And what he’s saying is this, that every day we’re a little closer to the second coming of Jesus. Now, I don’t know when Jesus is coming back, I don’t know. Every once while there’s a person there, like I know, no you don’t. Cause Jesus said no one knows the hour or the day. So you don’t know. But here’s what we do know he is coming and every day we’re closer to whatever that day might be. Which means there should be an alertness and awakeness, there should be a sense of urgency among God’s people. That whatever time we have, we wanna invest that time we don’t wanna waste that time. And so the key is living in the spirit not living in the flesh. And so this is going to be his underlying juxtaposition. So how do you live a life that honors and glorifies God and is transformed? It’s by living in the spirit not living in the flesh. And so he’s comparing and contrasting your life in the spirit in life in the flesh. And let me say this, and we talk a little bit about the flesh, the flesh is the sinful fallen predisposition towards self destruction, foolishness, self righteousness, pride, emotionalism and rebellion, right. It’s the shadow side of us, some psychologists would say. It’s the worst version of you. It’s you without God, it’s you without the spirit and the flesh is something that we only have until we meet Jesus and then we get a new nature and we get the Holy Spirit. But there is still this battle in our being regarding our flesh, okay. And so Paul talks about this a lot Galatians he talks about the fruit of the Spirit versus the works of the flesh. He’s already spoken of his own battle earlier in Romans where he says, there are things that I wanna do, that’s him in the Spirit. He said, I don’t always do those things and it’s so frustrating to me. That’s him struggling with the flesh. This is the reality of every believer, you’re not perfect, but you’re new. You’re not perfect, but you’re new and when God has done with you, you will be perfect. So the flesh is oftentimes your first initial emotional response. Let me just say this for parents until your kid meets Jesus, all they have is the flesh. The problem sometimes with Christian parents is that they’re trying to change the child’s behavior, they’re not inviting the spirit to change the child’s nature. See my goal is not to raise good kids, but God’s kids, okay. I’m not trying to raise kids like I train a dog, just obedience. I want heart change. When things change in here, then things start to change out there. Only God can change what’s in here. So the first priority of a parent is to pray for a born again, new life, new soul, new creation, spirit filled experience for your child, okay. That they would have the spirit, not just the flesh. And some of you look at your kids are like, why are you act like that? Cause they have the flesh and you know what they need, they need the spirit. We all need the spirit. And so ultimately living in the flesh is how everyone lives until they meet the Lord Jesus and some people still choose to live at least on occasion after they know the Lord Jesus. And so when we’re speaking about the flesh, it tends to be very emotional and very impulsive. The flesh has no cause-effect, long-term correlation. This is the person’s like I’m gonna commit adultery and they’re not thinking about what happens to their grandkids. I’m just gonna go buy that and they don’t think about now the debt that they’re in and what they’re going to need to pay. Well I’m just gonna drink that they don’t understand well when you get the DUI, here’s all the consequences for your employment. So the flesh is very impulsive, it’s very short-sighted, it’s very easily incited. It’s often triggered by negative emotions like an unhealthy anger or a fear. And ultimately when we’re talking about the flesh, we’re talking about you making the worst decisions that later on you reflect upon but in the moment you were just impulsive regarding, okay. I’ll give you some examples. The reason that some people live in the flesh so consistently and you know you’ve triggered someone in the flesh when they get very emotional and they completely overreact and over respond. Because oftentimes what happens is there’s an unhealed heart or there’s an unforgiven offense and when you trigger that, the response in the flesh is not to the person or the event, but it includes past persons and events and all of a sudden it’s like the avalanche and you’re getting the response to everyone and everything. I had this some years ago, I was dealing with a young man it just comes to mind as a kind of verbal processing with you. And I told him, I said, you know you need to make some changes in your life and you here’s what I think a better path forward for you would be. And he got very emotional raised his voice he’s like, you can’t tell me what to do, dad. I was like, whoa, I’m not your dad. He’s like well, you remind me of my dad. Okay, there’s an unhealed heart there. There’s a brokenness there and I just triggered it. But you weren’t responding to me, you’re responding to your dad and I just triggered it so now I’m in the middle, okay. But let’s deal with that hurt so that you can be healthy and just respond to the people and things in front of you not respond to everyone and everything that’s ever treated you in that way. You know that someone has an unhealed hurt when their response is completely out of proportion. They’re responding not just to you, but to someone or something else. In addition, the hardest time to live in the spirit not the flesh is when someone else is in the flesh, you can tell they’re in the flesh. They just come out here. Sometimes they look angry, sometimes they got a smirk, sometimes you’re like, I know what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna push all my buttons, you’re gonna drive me crazy. And you’re gonna get me in the flesh cause if they’re in the flesh, guess what they want you to be, in the flesh. Let me ask you this, two people in the flesh, does it ever end well? No, because the flesh can’t love, only only can you love in the spirit. You can’t love in the flesh. You can only forgive in the spirit, not in the flesh. You can only have peace in the spirit, not in the flesh. You can only have harmony in the spirit, not in the flesh. And when someone is in the flesh, and let me say this when someone is in the flesh, it’s like they’re a suicide bomber. They put the vest on they’re like I’m gonna blow you up. Well you know you’re gonna blow yourself up too. That’s what the flesh does. The flesh is willing to blow you up and I’m willing in the process to blow me up. There’s no wisdom in that, it’s very short-sighted. And let me say this, we often have relationships with people who are in the flesh and how many people you have somebody in your life, they just get you every time you. You got me again, they just trigger you. And usually we have boundaries or we cease relationship with these people. The hardest time is when they’re family, cause you can avoid certain people, but if they have your last name, it’s more complicated. And so how do we live in the spirit with those who are in the flesh? And let me say this, when you are living in the spirit, you’re living above it, when you’re living in the flesh, you’re coming down to get into it. And this is where you say and do things that you later regret and the spirit of God convicts you of and it’s very ugly and gross and you feel terrible about it. You feel terrible about it. Now what happens with the flesh as well? The flesh is particularly vulnerable when you get hit and I call that hungry, isolated and tired. Hungry, you’ve not eaten, you’ve not nourished yourself, you’re just depleted in your life energy. You’re isolated, you’re not in church, you’re not in prayer, you’re not in the spirit, you’re not in the scriptures, you’re isolated. There’s a big difference between solitude and isolation. Solitude is where you go be with the Lord, isolation is where you go be with yourself. This is very dangerous, this is very healthy, right. There’s no problem being alone as long as you’re alone with God. If you’re alone and not with God, you’re isolated. That’s different than solitude. And then you’re just tired. I can’t handle any more conflict, I can’t handle any more drama. I’ve not been sleeping well, I’m sick, I’m injured. When you reach the end of your humanity, your flesh is particularly vulnerable to inciting you. But let me say this. I’ve used this analogy before and I’ll use it again. And let’s just be honest, we’ve all been in the flesh, amen. We all know what this is. And if you don’t ask your spouse, they’ll tell you. We’ve all been in the flesh, we’ve all been in the flesh. And I’ve used this analogy before it comes from Amy Carmichael she was a godly missionary, but not a trick question. Usually if I ask a question, the answer is Jesus or this is a different question. So what’s in the bottle?

– Water.

– And I just bumped it, what came out, okay. When someone bumps you, you are responsible for what comes out of you. Cause oftentimes what happens is, well, you respond in the flesh, you get angry, name call, escalate unhealthy ungodly behavior, you’re like, well, you bumped me, right, but all I did was expose what was in you. I didn’t create or cause what was in you. Let me say this friend, you can decide whether you are filled with the spirit or filled with the flesh. Now other people are responsible in the sight of God, whether or not they bump you, but you are responsible for what comes out of you when they bump you. And some of you have people in your life or maybe you’re that person in someone else’s life where everyone knows that you’re like a grenade with a pin pulled. They just live in the flesh. And so what do we do? We avoid them, we work around them. We don’t trigger them, don’t pump them they will blow up. The key is this, if you live in the spirit, you’re putting the pin back in the grenade. Like the same thing happened but the reaction was very different. If you kick a grenade with a pin out versus the pin in, is there a different result? Yes okay, a person in the flesh is a grenade with a pin pulled, a person in the spirit is a grenade with a pin in. You’re responsible for who you are and how you respond to them, they’re responsible for how they treat you. And so the key is to live in the spirit. So how do you live in the spirit? Well, Jesus Christ lived in the spirit. Do you know that Christ literally means anointed of the Holy Spirit. That Jesus lived by the power of the Holy Spirit and then he says, I’m not gonna leave you as orphans I’m gonna send you the spirit, you’re gonna live by the same power that I did. If you are a Christian to live a spirit-filled life is to live a life patterned after the emotional health and relational integrity of Jesus Christ. I wrote a whole book on this called “Spirit Filled Jesus” and I think sometimes we think of being spirit filled we think oh gosh, the Holy Spirit’s gonna make me weird no, he’s not, he’s gonna make you like Jesus. You can’t be like Jesus without the Holy Spirit. And he wants to bring you the fruit of the spirit, which is love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. And so for those who live in the spirit and spend time with the Lord, Jesus, they’re able to rise above the flesh and the temptations troubles and trials that this conforming world and those who instigate us in it would bring to us. I want the best version of you cause I love you. And so it’s interesting if you give science time eventually science catches up with the Bible. This kind of interesting to watch. But the most recent brain science says that we have a rear brain and we have a frontal brain. There are multiple parts to the brain that the rear brain is the same brain activity that an animal would have, impulsive, short term, animals are not thinking about their retirement, right? They’re not thinking about cause and effect and consequence. They’re very shortsighted, very emotional, very irrational, okay. But what we have in addition to that part of the brain only God’s children as image bearers, they tell us, have a frontal brain. The frontal brain is more reason, more processed, more cause and effect, more long-term in its considerations. I honestly believe that when something happens or triggers us, we start in the rear brain. And to be confirmed the pattern of the world is to continue to live out of the rear brain. To be transformed by the renewing of your mind is to bring that issue to the front brain. It literally is moving it, which means this my friend, many things in many people in your life they’re gonna start in the flesh, they’re gonna start in the rear brain. But guess what? To be transformed by the renewing of your mind, you’ve gotta then bring it to the Holy Spirit and you’ve gotta bring it to the front brain. Okay, what is my response gonna be? What am I gonna say? What am I gonna do? How am I gonna respond? What is my reaction going to be? You will often start in the flesh, don’t stay there. You may start very emotional. You need to get very peripheral. You may start by wanting to return fire for fire. You need to bless those who curse you and love your enemy. And so what this looks like is sometimes it’s literally getting time with God. See Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to be alone with the Father the scripture says, the best way for you and I to live in the spirit is to be under God’s word, so thank you for letting me teach you God’s word. It’s worshiping together as a church family, which is our way of praying as a community, and it’s spending time alone with the Lord. And it may mean, you know what I’m very frustrated by this. So then rather than talking to them, I’m gonna go talk to him and I’m gonna go turn my phone off and get some time with the Lord and say Lord, let me journal out what I’m thinking and feeling. Let me write a processing letter that I don’t send to anyone, but it’s just between me and you. Lord, let me jot down or put together the conversation I wanna have with them. So that I’m in the spirit when I prepare for the conversation and that I’m following the directives of the spirit in the conversation, and I’m not letting the flesh be the one that dictates the conversation. Sometimes you need to talk to him before you talk to them. Sometimes you need to pray for them before you engage them. That oftentimes, literally this is saying, I need to invite the Holy Spirit and get time with the Lord before I deal with this person or problem. How many of you, you get emotional and you just have to do something or say something right now. How many of you, it’s never been good. So just learn from past experience. I’ve never met anyone who said, I prayed, I got time with the Lord, silence and solitude, I journaled, I fasted, I listened and that was the worst thing I ever did. I’ve been doing this job a long time. I’ve met a lot of people who said, I wish I wouldn’t have said that. I wish you wouldn’t have done that. Then you need to do something different go be with him and speak to someone else, speak with him before you speak with them. And this is how we are not conformed to the pattern of this world, but transformed by the renewing of our mind. And then he talks about 10 commandment killers. There are 10 commandments, here are the 10 commandment killers, adultery. And this is how you know you’re in the flesh. These are indicators, warning lights on the dashboard of life for the flesh. Adultery, this is dishonoring the marriage covenant. And it’s amazing cause people will say like, well, we committed adultery cause we loved each other. Well, the Bible says that actually you don’t. Adultery and fornication is not love. That’s not loving one another, that’s using one another. That’s not what it’s doing in the best interest of someone else’s relationship with God, it’s damaging their relationship with God so you can have a relationship with them. It talks about murder, this is the taking of innocent life. Jesus also talks about not only adultery and murder of the hands, but also the heart. You can commit adultery in the heart by lusting after people you’re not married to. And technology exists in large part to just make that constant. Let’s just be honest we live in this day, he’s gonna talk in a moment about sexual morality. It used to be, if you wanted to commit adultery or sexual morality, you had to work for it. You live in a farm out in the middle of nowhere you’re like that’s it, I’ma fornicate. All right, I gotta walk into town. I mean, this he’s gonna work for this. You walk into town there’s like 50 people and you know them all and you’re like I’m gonna get caught. And since they know me, I probably don’t have good odds. You gotta work for today, you just follow your phone. Right the flesh is literally an arms length away constantly. So this is our world becomes more difficult not to live in the flesh. Social media allows you to immediately respond in the flesh. Social media platforms are built on the flesh. They instigate the flesh. They are sustained by the flesh. A lot of advertising is just appealing to the immediate gratification of the flesh. A lot of what is constituted as pornography and temptation is literally just saying we are going to temp the flesh. So as the child of God, we need to make what he calls provisions against the flesh. And when he’s talking about provisions against the flesh, it literally is that the conforming of our world is to nourish our flesh. So what happens if I let go of this water bottle, it falls because of gravity. The gravity exists whether you believe in it or not. So the world and the flashlight gravity, they exist whether you believe in them or not. And if you don’t make a plan to make no provision for the flesh, the natural course of life is just literally down toward hell. Your marriage is gonna go to hell, your finances are gonna go hell, your kids are gonna go to hell, your family’s gonna go to hell, your joy is gonna go to hell, your relationship with God is gonna go to hell. If you don’t make a plan to make no provision for the flesh, ultimately gravity takes over the flesh wins, everything is conformed to the world and everything literally just quickly goes south toward hell. It includes stealing, which is the taking of illegal property, coveting. And let’s just be honest most of social media exists for coveting. The whole point of Instagram and photos is, we’re smarter than you, we’re prettier than you, our car’s nicer than yours, our dinner’s better than yours, our kids are adorable they’re not picking their nose and beating on each other and you know what, they’re all lying. It’s just fake, it’s all staged. And it’s just too elicit coveting in you. Instead of contentment with what God has given you. He talks about orgies. This is public nuisance, carousing, just the base behavior and it’s now celebrated well, this is who I am, oh, that’s who you are in the flesh. That’s not who you are in the spirit, that’s who you used to be, that’s not who you will be when God has done with you and Jesus Christ has raised you from the dead. It talks about drunkenness. This is just a lack of moderation. You don’t need to be filled with spirits, you need to be filled with the spirit. He talks as well about sexual immorality and this has all kinds of sexual sin. He talks about the battery. This is just a wicked life without any shame. And then he talks about dissensions and jealousy. And this is I don’t like how God has provided for you therefore, I need to attack you. I need to tear you down. I need to destroy you. I need to harm you. And ultimately dissensions are who or what are you against? It’s always a negative anti message. You know what we are for Jesus Christ. We’re for Jesus Christ. And our primary message is not who are what we are against, but who and what we are for Christ and the Gospel of Christ. And what happens with dissensions and some people live their whole life, are you on my side of the war? And some people, the only way they have relationship is living in the flesh, forming an unholy alliance and declaring war. Some of you have this in your family, whole families are like civil wars. And it’s like well, we’re against them and which side are you on? That’s dissension, God’s working in through unity. Satan works through division and dissension. Let me just say this. I love you with all my heart, I truly do. I love you as church family, from the same place that I love my own family. And I’ve been doing this job a long time and I’m now at the age my kids are getting older and the next season for us is gonna be grandkids. If your home environment is dominated by the flesh, it’s a horrible place to be. It’s not peaceful. It’s not restful. It’s not joyful. If you as a parent are living in the flesh, you’re discipling your children to live in the flesh. Why would you ruin your children? Why would you wreck your legacy? It sometimes it’s like, well, because of that person, well, what about these people? Why are you looking over them? Why are you not looking up to him and looking at them and seeking to bring him to them? See what happens oftentimes is we put a generational curse on our own family, through living in the flesh. If dad lives in the flesh and mom lives in the flesh and the kids live in the flesh, what mom and dad are doing, they’re literally saying we’re gonna just put a curse of living in a flesh filled environment, not a spirit filled environment on our children. We’re gonna put bitterness in them and anger in them and unhealth in them and we’re going to say that we hang together through dissension and conflict, and then what happens is you wreck your marriage, you break your kids and you destroy your grandkids. I’ve seen it for 25 years. Let me tell you this, I wanna put the spirit on my wife, not the flesh. I wanna put the spirit on my kids, not the flesh. I wanna put the spirit on our family, not the flesh. I wanna put the spirit on our church family, not the flesh. Satan wants the flesh on everyone and everything and that’s been conformed to the pattern of this world. And this world is a miserable place to be. For those who are living in the spirit, even though things around us might be awful, things in us can be wonderful. Even though there might be a lot of conflict out there, there can be a supernatural peace of God in here. Even though the odds are not good, the odds are good for those who are filled with the spirit. We have so many of your kids, we love your kids with all our heart, but the most dangerous person to your marriage is you. The most dangerous person to your children is you. The most dangerous person to your family is you. The most dangerous person to your grandchildren is you. The most dangerous person to your legacy is you. And if you will choose to live in the spirit and not the flesh, there is so much hope for you. If you will choose to live the flesh, instead of the spirit, my friend I love you, but there’s not hope for you. Because God does not bless the flesh he only blesses the spirit. God does not anoint the flesh, Satan will counterfeit the anointing with demonic supernatural power, but God only anoints that which is in the spirit. And so I love you and I want good for you. I want the best for you. I want your marriage to be in an environment that is saturated with the spirit, not the flesh. I want your children to grow up in an environment that is saturated with the spirit not the flesh and I want there to be generational blessing and not generational cursing on your family. Some of you ask, how do you do that? I’ll bring the band up and tell you. He says, and this is how we get the best version of you. But put on the Lord, Jesus Christ. So put off all of the flesh and put on the Lord, Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh. You need to make a plan. How am I gonna deal with that? How am I gonna speak to them? What is my reaction going to be to gratify its desires? So he tells us first who Jesus is. He’s Lord, all authority, Jesus means savior from sin and Christ means anointed in the Holy Spirit. And then he tells us who we are. We’re the children of God who can take off our old life, put on our new life every day what we do, we take off our dirty clothes, we put on our clean clothes, what we do for our body, we also need to do for our soul. You know today I said some things, take those off those are dirty, tomorrow I’m gonna say some things different. You know what? Today I did some things I regret, Holy Spirit forgive me, thank you Jesus for dying for that, tomorrow I’m gonna put on something new. And what he’s talking about is dressing our soul in the righteousness and the power of Jesus Christ. And what happens in our day when we change our wardrobe, we change our mindset. So for example, when you graduate, they put a crazy gown on you and the worst hat ever architected and you move the tassel from one side to the other, what you’re saying is my whole life up until this point was student and now I live as graduate. What I’m telling you today is it’s graduation day for many of you in the spirit. In addition, when you become a police officer or a firefighter or a soldier, you take off your civilian clothes and you put on your uniform and you’re saying, I am now at a higher level of authority and responsibility for some of you today, you’re getting your uniform and as well, what happens on a wedding day is particularly for the girls, what do you do ladies? You pick your dress and this is such a big thing. I still don’t understand it. I got two daughters I’ve seen 1,000s of hours of this television show called “Say Yes to the Dress” and it’s not because I’m looking for a dress but my daughters love this show and it’s the most predictable show, there’s no plot twist at all. Girls walk in, dress, nope. Will you say yes to the dress? yes, it’s the same every episode. And I’ve sat on the couch with my daughter I look over and she’s like, I don’t get it. But when you put the dress on, what you’re saying is I’m no longer single, I’m married and I’ve got a new life and it starts today. I love it. Here’s my question to you, what mindsets do you need to put off? What mindsets do you need to put on? What responses do you need to put off and what responses do you need to put on? What temptations and sins do you need to put off and what obedience and worship do you need to put on? What relationships do you need to put off and what relationships do you need to put on? I want you to spend some time listening to the Holy Spirit and to hear what he would say to you so that you can live in the spirit as we worship together.

– Thanks for listening to this sermon from Pastor Mark Driscoll. For more free content, such as sermons, study guides, daily devos and more visit realfaith.com.

Mark Driscoll
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