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March 1, 2021 1:00 am
To maintain a clear conscience, we need to be vigilant against the works of darkness that may find their way into our lives. That’s why Paul told the Ephesian believers to “walk as children of light.”Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Horace, Jesus, to maintain a clear conscience. We need to be vigilant lest any works of darkness find their way into our lives.
That's what Paul told the Asian believers as he taught them to walk as children of light. Today more thoughts on our consciences church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Sir Jane helps us make across the finish line in Ephesians chapter 5. As you conclude your serious on work. We are conscience day and you're absolutely right. This is the last in the series titled the power of a clear conscience and we go to Ephesians chapter 5 because the apostle Paul is urging believers to walk in the light.
All of us have had the experience of having our consciences cleared through confession, but then darkness settles on our souls. So the apostle Paul is saying. Indeed, we need to be vigilant. Now I believe that this series of messages is of tremendous help to people it'll help those who have been hung up because of their past. It will help the healing of relationships in past messages. I emphasize the need to reconcile not only with God, but also with others and we are making this series of messages available.
Here's what you can do you can go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com ask for this series of messages titled the power of a clear conscience or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me give you that phone number again 1-888-218-9337 now it's not only important for us to open our Bibles but we must also open our hearts as we listen to God's word and be reminded of the need to keep our consciences clear. I just read a book recently about this and a lot of other topics. I pointed out that in a purely secular culture where sexuality becomes, in effect controlling reality. The important thing and work sexual freedom way out of control becomes the dominant value of a culture. It is very important that not one form of marriage be above another. Therefore, all of them must be dragged down anything noble needs to meet the lowest common denominator because no one sexuality and their preference should in any way be perceived as better than another, so everyone is together and those who refused to celebrate. They now need to be condemned longer discussion, no doubt, at some other time. But notice this.
Do not be deceived by empty words, Paul says, because of these things and you can be sure of this, the wrath of God, upon the sons of disobedience. When a day and age in which we live. When our television and our media and our iPads and speeches that are given are filled with empty words, so there are really two ways in which we can be like God when as we walk in love, the audit we walk in light now what the apostle Paul does as he talks about their conversion and I want you to look at the text he says in verse seven. Therefore do not associate with them. That is, people like that for the one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord walk as children of light. It's interesting that in the book of Isaiah. The Bible says the people they walked in dark by the time you get to the time of Christ in Matthew chapter 4 it's quoted as saying the people they sit in dark this and here in this passage, you find that the people are darkness they are darkness, darkness personified and so what he says is that the Lord has given you light now you are light. They are darkness. You are light in the Lord walk as children of light and we had this elsewhere.
Of course, in the words of Jesus in other parts of the Scripture and them notice for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but instead expose them for it is shameful even to speak about things that they do in secret and when anything is exposed to the light, it becomes visible for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says away cosleeper rise from the dead and Christ's light will shine on you what he saying is that they works of darkness are unfruitful. Why, because no fruit grows in the dark. The other day some friends sent us a a pot of it so it's going to be. It's like a tree that's going to become a flower and one of the things it says is you have to put me in the sunlight going to grow inside but it has to be next to a window.
Now the unfruitful works of darkness. There is really no fruit in dark snow fruit that God accepts or takes delight in, but rather when we walk in the light now our works can be pleasing to God and in this pleasing to God. There is fruit in which he takes delight. So the apostle Paul is talking about the transformation of your hearing you've never received Christ as Savior. The Bible says that God is translated us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear son into the kingdom of light.
That's what happens at conversion and if you're just walking in darkness. You may never have been converted by God's a great miracle when you receive Christ as Savior and then he quotes and he says arise, O sleeper, rise from the dead in Christ will shine upon you every time I read that verse.
I'm reminded of the time that Rebecca and I were at Ravinia John Ravinia, you can go there and you can hear this beautiful music. They have orchestras and you can buy a ticket and go into the bandshell there and you can enjoy it or you can take a blanket on a beautiful summer day, eat a sandwich and then just lie out outside looking at the stars listening to the beautiful music and that's what we were doing one time and a man next to me, put down his blanket and instantly fell asleep and began to snore. I mean, he began to snore in such a way that we wanted to actually get up and go somewhere else, but we're kind of embarrassed. They're all these other people around. Well, thankfully. At some point this is going to be over and done and it was in you know I think it was Mendelson or Strauss. Some of those great composers and when it was over one stood to get the standing ovation that we all stood and began to clap.
He awoke, he stood up and he began to clap along with everybody else giving the impression that he'd been with us the whole time.
And that's the way it is going to be in the day of judgment. I'm convinced when Jesus asks us to stand before him there going to be people who been asleep their whole lives but they're going to want to sail you I was a part of it.
Yeah, I II was one of them.
The text says arise cosleeper rise from the dead, you may so how does this relate to keeping your conscience pure I'm going to help you with that in just a moment. There is a connection.
You see, it is these kinds of sins that we been talking about it is walking in the dark that pollutes the conscience because when you think of a clear conscience. What you need to think of is purity.
You need to think of having been forgiven and cleansed by God and living in fellowship within that cleansing. That's the way you keep your conscience clear and hear clearly our sins, and there are many others of that to file the conscience. Now there's 1/3 way. Maybe the apostle Paul would want us to say that we can be like God and he says. Then in verse 15 look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making best use of the time. You know I like the King James version. At this point because the Greek word is redeemed, so it's really redeeming the time and when it comes to redeeming the time you are buying it out of the marketplace. That's why like this imagery so much. Every day we are given 1440 minutes and those minutes once they are spent.
You can never have back and spend them in different ways but once they're gone they're gone forever day starts and what Paul is saying is that we have to redeem the time we have to buy that time out of all of the other commitments. All of the other cluttered lives that some of us lead all of the pressures when we come to the office and we already have our list of things to do before we get here. We have to redeem the time, because the days are evil and we have to be like God walk in wisdom God doesn't have to worry about redeeming the time, but we do we redeem the time, what I'd like to do is to bring this down to help us in terms of clearing our conscience.
What do we need to do first of all, begin each day in the light begin each day in the light.
Some of you heard this.
It's been a habit of mine for many years before I wake up this morning I did wake up far too early, but before I actually get out of bed before I get out of bed. I pray I give my day to God. I say to God and God today glorify yourself in my life at my expense.
But upfront, is there any sin that I need to confess is there any darkness between you and me that needs to be taken care of before I roll out of bed and begin my day for me. It begins there. And of course I don't stay in bed all day but I just throw that in.
What we need to do is to prove the power of mind over mattress and as a result, we need to get out of bed but you begin their begin there in the light, and if you wake up and there's darkness that's in fact the second thing that I'd like to emphasize and that is recognize the darkness recognize the darkness you're watching television. And you know right well that there is darkness. There is going to defile your conscience and so what you do is you recognize it. If you're a believer upfront. God is going to help us to retrain our consciences so that we pick up on the darkness almost immediately rather than immersing ourselves in the darkness, but we recognize that it's on its way and by God's grace returned from it. One of the things I don't like about the fact that I wrote down six points of obedience here is because once again, let's not look upon this as some new tech need that we have now given you by which you can take care of addictions or the darkness. Ultimately, all of that is done because of Jesus.
Remember this, God does not ask us to do anything that Jesus has not already done or us. Therefore, walking in the light really involves all the time looking to Jesus to be in us what we aren't. It's always a matter of faith, but nonetheless the steps that I'm giving you today prepare our hearts for that kind of obedience and faith. So first of all, begin the day in the light, make that as a habit. Second, learn to recognize the darkness. Somebody said I don't know who that they wanted conscience that is so sensitive that if a leaf were to fall on it. It would leave an imprint will I don't think I'm there yet but you know, the longer we walk with God, the more sensitive our conscience become and the more we are alert to the fact that the Holy Spirit of God is grieved when we allow darkness into our lives next. This is very important. Confess your sins thoroughly confess them thoroughly and I'm talking to Christians now confess them thoroughly and immediately and immediately member what I told you when the sermon opened about the fox and goose trail. See there are many people who just allow sins to stack up, one after another after another and then they might come to church on a Sunday, possibly to confess their sins possibly not because in their minds, they're saying will you know I've blown it so badly.
There's no use coming back home to my father.
I'm just going to continue to live the way I'm living in their defiled conscience continues to be defiled very important.
Confess your sin in immediately when you recognize darkness and don't have to wait until evening or the next morning, I mean sometimes. I've confessed my sin, even while I'm driving, how you may wonder what sin that is I don't know that I thought I just throw that in to give you an illustration of the fact that in a sense we should live so open before God that were continually confessing any darkness that comes to mind, so that were walking in fellowship and even when you are being tempted.
It is important to stay in the light.
To quote verses of Scripture to affirm your commitment to God, even while the temptation is going on here looking at something that you should not be looking at. And during that period of time you're affirming the fact I thank you that your word says that I'm to reign in righteousness. I thank you that I am joined to Jesus Christ. I thank you that he is my mediator.
I thank him that he is my Redeemer and you're saying all those things in party was soon to say to yourself, what in the world is a child of God.
Watching this trash for because what's happening is you are learning to walk in the light short accounts with God. Sometimes it is said keep short accounts with God. It's okay. Let me give you better expression.
Current accounts with God living in the light that God says we are next commit completely here. I'm thinking of the book of James where it says these words dearly beloved, submit yourselves to God, submit yourselves to God. If you and I can have a talk. Personally, what is it really what's the point of entry that you have in your life that is where the darkness comes what is the point of entry as you and I grow in our love for God. We should be willing to submit that to God. Jesus said that if your eye offend you pluck it out as to from you if your arm is offending you cut it off. He's speaking figuratively, but what he is saying is do whatever you need to do to no longer walk in darkness and keep stumbling into the same sin. Do whatever you need to do pay whatever price you need to do that you might be able to say that you have submitted onto God and then I say resist triumphantly fact that's what James says this is dearly beloved submit to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you, and I believe that you resist him by continuing to quote Scripture. Even in the midst of your temptation even in the midst of your struggle even when it seems as if the temptation is overwhelming you keep your mind on God on Christ and you keep insisting and you keep yielding and you keep faith and my last point you keep worshiping. Let me suggest to you that it may be more important for us to worship Jesus than to be obsessed with how to overcome our sins because in the process of worshiping Jesus. That's when sin begins to lose its power become a worshiper of Jesus read some of the passages of the book of Revelation, thou art worthy, because thou hast redeemed for thy glory and from every tongue and kindred, and nation and and learn to be a worshiper of Jesus. Direct your attention away from all of your struggles to him and live that way and you will soon discover that it will change your mind, it will change the way in which you process reality and it will help you to access the tremendous victory that Jesus gave and purchased for us as redeemed sinners and so that's where we are at what we need to do is to keep our conscience clear as a man thinks in his heart so he is guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Don't allow your conscience to the dark by the sort of sin. I began by saying that Satan has two lies number 11 sin doesn't matter number two after you have committed that sin, you might as well just enjoy yourself and continue to sin your defiled soul.
What you need to do is to accept that and keep on defiling yourself, may I encourage you to realize that God in Christ has won such a spectacular victory over sin over Satan that as God works in our hearts. We do not need to ever say I have to be this way. I have to keep defiling my conscience because the grace of God is greater than your sin. The grace of God is greater then your sin if you're here today and you've never received Christ to save.
If you are still walking in darkness is described here. If you put faith in Jesus and receive what he did for you. He will enable you to be forgiven, to be reconciled and you will begin the journey of walking in the light. You know what God can do with your past.
When you're working on a computer and you make a mistake and you maybe even write a whole paragraph and you realize it's wrong you hit the delete key. It deletes what you've written. God can actually delete the guilt of your past and set you on a different course in the Bible says that from your conscience will proceed the purity and the love and the sincere faith. Blessed are those whose consciences are clear.
Father we pray that you might help these thoughts to ring true in the lives of all those who listen.
Some especially needed this message to others, perhaps less so, but we thank you today that you stand ready to help us in the depths of our need and may there be no one here says that is sentenced to rate, we pray today that we might see the wonder of your grace. Greater than our sin.
We thank you today that before the throne, we have someone who represents us. Jesus, who is greater than Satan in greater in our sin. Now before I close this prayer do you need to talk to God what is it that you need to tell him you talk to him right now in this moment of silence and father we pray that you'll help all of us to be obedient to what we have heard, grant us the grace to turn from the darkness into the light, that great antiseptic. The light cleanses keeps us clean do that father in Jesus name we pray. Amen this is Pastor Luther and I certainly hope that you prayed that prayer along with me. It is so important for us to realize that it is one thing to have our consciences cleared. It's quite another to keep walking in the light.
This is your last opportunity to receive this series of messages for a gift of any amount they can be yours. And then you can play them again and again share them with your friends.
Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 this series of messages on the power of a clear conscience can be transforming not only in your life but in the lives of others. Again, let me give you that contact information. RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I want to make a very important announcement.
Be sure to call your friends for running to win next time we're going to begin a series of four interviews on my new book, we will not be silenced responding courageously to our culture's assault on Christianity were going to be talking about cultures view of racism. What is going on in our universities. Why is it that so many young people who go to university come back home and they hate America.
All of those things are going to be covered in a very special discussion next time right here on running to win. We hope that you'll call your friends invite them to join you for the sessions. You can write to us at running to win 1635 LaSalle Boulevard Chicago. I 60614 pastors under legal threat.
The church in America is now under attack from all sides. Next time I'm running to win this the first in a series of discussions about Luther's new book, we will not be silenced. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church