You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Not every person who's a drug addict wants to stop being a drug addict. Not every person who's addicted to porn wants to stop being addicted to porn. You have to want to change. Christ can make you a new person, but you've got to walk out of that prison cell. Physicians will tell you that one of their biggest frustrations is examining a patient, diagnosing an illness, prescribing the medication, and then finding out the patient didn't take the medication, sometimes didn't even get the prescription filled.
What's a doctor to do? Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the same is often true in the spiritual arena. Those who need Jesus the most often resist making a change because they simply don't want a change. Let's learn more.
Turn to Romans chapter 3. The title of my message is three words that can change your life. Can you imagine what they may be? Three words that can change your life. No, they are not breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But here's the thing. There's a lot of things that people think are in the Bible that aren't in the Bible. I want to point out to you seven things you may have thought were in the Bible that are not there. Number one, the apple in the garden.
Right? How many times have we heard it said, well, you know, when Adam and Eve ate of the apple. What do you mean apple? Where did this whole apple thing come from? There was no apple. It says it was fruit that was pleasant to look upon. Hey, judging by the way things turned out, maybe it was a lemon because things have been very sour since then, right? I wouldn't have been tempted by an apple, a peach, or a nectarine, maybe. Maybe it was a piece of fruit that pulsated with light and had its own theme song.
I don't know. But it wasn't an apple. You may have thought that was in the Bible.
Here's another one. The three wise men. The three wise men. They even have their own song. We three kings of orient are bearing gifts.
We travel afar. Someone even named them. There's Beltazar, Melchior, and Gasper, related I guess to Casper, the friendly ghost.
I don't know. But the Bible never says three. You say, no, Craig, you're wrong. There's three wise men. No, it says there were three gifts, not three wise men. There might have been nine of them and they went in on gifts together.
I don't know. But the Bible never says three wise men. How about this one? When the whale swallowed Jonah, we even call the story Jonah and the whale. The Bible never says whale. The Bible says he was swallowed by a great fish and a literal translation of the word would be a sea monster. It could have been a whale. It could have been a custom designed creature that God put there for that particular occasion. It could have been something else. We don't know. But the Bible never says a whale in particular.
Here's another one. People say, you know, the Bible tells us that money is the root of all evil. Actually, the Bible does not say that. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, which while some have coveted after, they have erred or strayed from the faith, piercing themselves through with many sorrows. Money is not evil, nor is money good.
Money is neutral. It can be used for good. It can be used for evil. But the Bible specifically says the love of money is the root of all evil. Here's another thing people think is in the Bible. You know the Bible says the Lord works in mysterious ways. Well, that's a nice saying.
And there's some truth to it. There are times God works in mysterious ways. But it's not in the Bible. How about this one? The Bible reminds us cleanliness is next to godliness.
No, it doesn't. That's not in the Bible. Now, it might be a good way to get your kids to wash up for dinner, but the Bible does not say cleanliness is next to godliness.
And here's my favorite. You know the Bible tells us God helps those who help themselves. What Bible are you reading? Because that is not in the Bible.
Not only is that not in the Bible, that is not biblical. The truth is God helps those who can't help themselves. Or maybe a better way to put it, God helps the helpless. And if Paul has established anything in the first three chapters of Romans, it is that God helps the helpless.
Paul systematically destroys every defense a nonbeliever may offer as to why they don't believe. Paul shows us that we're all guilty before a holy God that we have offended. In chapter one of Romans we have what we might call the garden variety sinner.
Your basic hedonist who chases after the pleasures and the lusts of this world. And he shows them, yeah, you're sinners. And so the moral religious people are saying, yeah, Paul, preach it. Then he deals with the moralists in chapter two. The people that try to live good lives and think that will earn the favor of God. He says, you're sinners too. Then there are the religious people in chapter two and chapter three who are saying, well, we're the Jewish people. We're God's chosen people and we keep the law.
Paul is saying, yeah, no you don't. You break the law all the time. And to be very specific, no one technically keeps the law of God.
Everyone falls short of it. You know why? Because the law is not keepable.
People break it. The law, which contains the ten commandments, is like a moral mirror. It shows us who we are and how much we need God. The law was given to open our eyes and close our mouths. The law was given to send us running into the open arms of Jesus. So having established where the answer is not, Paul now shows us where the answer is. Romans chapter three, verse 21.
Read with me if you would. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Christ.
This is true for everyone who believes no matter who they are. This phrase that Paul uses, shown us a way, means to shine, light up, and appear. Much as you would describe the rising of the sun. It's the gloom of human history.
Man with all of his rituals and regulations and religion has not been able to reach God. But God reached out to us like a sunrise, and it was a sunrise, S-O-N, when Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Now the light shines in a dark place. And one of the things I have to admit I like about Christmas are Christmas lights. How many of you put lights on your house for Christmas? Don't be embarrassed. I won't mock you.
Because I'm one of you. I put lights up and I use the LED lights. Kind of a cool blue color. My wife doesn't like them. She says they're too bright.
I said, oh no, I really like them bright. And yeah, maybe I'll be the first person in our neighborhood. All the houses are dark at night and there are the bright lights of Christmas. That's what the gospel is. It's a bright light in a dark place.
And here's the thing that we need to remember. Despite our shortcomings, God has extended His grace toward us. Grace is unmerited favor. And that's because despite our sin, God never stopped loving us. Let me ask you, do you realize how much God loves you? Maybe you've come in here today or you're watching and you're thinking, God doesn't love me. I think God stopped loving me if He ever did a long time ago. God's not interested in me. God doesn't care about me.
Listen, nothing can be further from the truth. Despite your shortcomings, despite your sin, God has never stopped loving you. It's been said, quote, the gospel declares us to be much worse off than we want to admit and much more love than we ever hoped or imagined. End quote.
How true. Yeah, you're worse off than you think you were, but you're more loved than you ever thought you were. So now we come to those three very important words that I want you to write down and I want you to understand. Those words are justified, redeemed, and propitiation. Justification, redemption, and propitiation.
Three words that can change your life. They're all found right here in Romans 3, 24 and 25. Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood through faith to demonstrate His righteousness. You know, we throw these words around a lot all the time as Christians. Yes, well, I'm justified and I'm redeemed and I'm propitiated, if that's even a word.
It should be. What does that mean? I have no idea, but I like the way it sounds.
Well, you should know what these words mean. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We really enjoy hearing when Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching touches lives. Hey, Pastor Greg, I just wanted to let you know, sir, that I'm a teacher and I listen to you on the way home.
Normally after a very long day, listening to your voice and your wit and your humor helps relax me. And listening to the way you present the Word of God is very appealing to me because it speaks to my heart. A lot of your humor I will try and use in my classroom and I normally try and attribute it to you.
But sometimes I tend to claim it for my own. So please forgive me for that. But I just wanted to just call you and just tell you thank you so much. You've been a tremendous blessing to me and you've helped me, I think, be a better teacher by the way you present the gospel.
And you've reinforced the importance of what I do to help reach our young people because you're helping to reach young people and all kinds of people every day. Oh, and by the way, I absolutely love Jesus Revolution. Wonderful film.
I recommend that everyone go see it. Thanks a lot, Pastor Greg. How have Pastor Greg's teachings touched you and the people around you? Would you contact us and let us know? Call 866-871-1144.
That's 866-871-1144. Well today Pastor Greg is highlighting three words that can change our lives. Justification, redemption, and propitiation. We'll dig into what they mean now.
Let's start with justification. This means that God has both pardoned me and changed my relationship status. You have your status on Facebook. You can say I'm single or I'm married or I'm engaged or in a relationship.
One of the category is it's complicated. Well whatever it is you pick. You describe your status at the moment. Well if we were to use biblical terms for our status with God we would go from lost to found or messed up to justified. God has changed my spiritual status. I am a justified man.
You are a justified woman before God. What does that mean? It has a two-fold meaning. It talks about what God has removed from your life and what God has placed in your life in the place of that thing.
Number one, what has he removed? Your sins are forgiven. On my computer keyboard I have a delete key.
I think you have one too. So when I'm working on a Word doc maybe I'll type a paragraph I don't want. So I'll highlight it and I hit delete. And what happens? It disappears magically. Where does it go? I don't know.
I don't care. Maybe it goes to where all those socks go. Right? Because you never lose two socks. You only lose one. And are you like me and do you hang on to the other sock? I hang on. Maybe it will return one day.
No. I have never had the sock come back so I have all these single socks laying around. Why do we lose one sock?
It is a strange thing. But it disappears. So where do your sins go? I don't know. But they are gone.
Long gone. In fact the Bible says as far as the east is from the west is as far as God has put your sins from you. Hebrews 8 12 says God speaking I will forgive their wickedness and I will never again remember their sins. What does the Bible mean when it says God won't remember our sins? Is God having some kind of memory lapse?
Of course not. He knows all things. He is omniscient. He is choosing to not remember or choosing to not hold them against you. Therefore I should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget. So when you believe in Jesus you are declared justified before God.
It has been put this way many times. Just as if it never had happened. God looks at me as though all of the sins of my past never happened. Now look if that is all justification was that would be amazing.
I would be saying thank you Lord but there is actually a lot more to it. Justification not only speaks of what God has taken away. It also speaks of what He has put in its place. He has removed my guilt and the condemnation that accompanies it.
But now He has put something in there in its place. And it is the righteousness of Christ. The word justification means to put to one's account.
When God justifies a person He does so by placing to their credit the righteousness of Christ. This is not a gradual process. It is immediate. It is instantaneous.
And it is for you. Let me illustrate. Let's say that you got yourself into debt. You know you got a couple of those credit cards and you just charge like a crazy person. And you found yourself $10 million in debt.
Pretty bad. Yeah. So let's just say that Jeff Bezos was reading the newspaper. You know who Jeff Bezos is? He is now the richest man in the world. He has surpassed Bill Gates. And you know what he does? He is the founder of Amazon.com. How many of you use Amazon.com? That is why he is the richest man in the world right there. Because you not only buy the thing you want to buy but there are these other little things that are related.
Have you noticed those? Oh I have to get this. Click, click, click, click, click. You know and off you go. So let's say Jeff Bezos was reading the paper and he saw your dilemma in debt for $10 million. So he decided to settle your debt for you. And he paid off all that you owed. You thanked him for it. And then he said okay well I want to make sure you never get in this situation again. And so I put $1 billion into your account for the future.
The downside is you have to spend it only on Amazon.com. That is it. No.
But seriously. That is what God did for you. You were in debt.
You owed a debt you could have never paid ever. Christ not only paid your debt and forgave you of your sin but he put his righteousness into your account. A transfer of righteousness.
So that is justification. Then there is redemption. Being justified, verse 24, freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. A very important word. It carries the idea of delivering especially by means of paying a price.
It is a commercial term borrowed from the marketplace where justification is a legal term borrowed from the court of law. The Roman nation, the nation of Rome, would take many people into captivity and make them slaves. So you could go down to a slave market and purchase a slave. To be redeemed means you paid the price for the slave. So God has redeemed us from our sin. Jesus went down to the slave market, if you will. There you stood. There I stood shackled by our sin. He paid the price and he set us free. Now look.
You can set a person free but if they don't walk out of the prison cell it is not going to really matter all that much. You know there is a story of a man who was disabled and he believed that an angel would come and move the water and whoever was first at this well would be healed. It was an urban myth. So there he was. No real hope to speak of. And who shows up? But Jesus. And Jesus said to the man, excuse me, would you like to be made whole? God could have said, what kind of question is that to ask? Why do you think I am laying here hoping that someone will help me get to the water when the angel touches it?
No. It is a very good question. Do you want to be made whole? Because not every person wants to change. Not every person who is an alcoholic wants to stop being an alcoholic. Not every person who is a drug addict wants to stop being a drug addict.
Not every person who is addicted to porn wants to stop being addicted to porn. You have to want to change. So God says, do you want to change? Do you want to be made whole? And if you do the Lord says, I have done it for you.
So you are saying, well look you don't understand Greg. I have a history of addiction in my family. And my mother was addicted.
My father and my grandparents. And it just passes on from generation to generation. Here is my profound response. So?
So? You don't think Christ cannot break the cycle of sin in your family? He can make you a new person. But you have got to walk out of that prison cell. So if you continue to live under the power of sin that is on you. It is not on God.
Don't tell me you can't break free. You haven't reached out to him. You haven't turned your back on that lifestyle. And so he has done that for us. He has justified us.
He has redeemed us. And finally our third and last word. Propitiation. Now that is not a word you use in a sentence very often is it?
But a very important word. Propitiation means to appease the wrath of. To appease the wrath of. In the Old Testament when people would sin the high priest would go into the temple. And they would take an animal like a goat or a lamb. They would kill the animal. Then they would sprinkle the blood on the altar symbolically saying this person is forgiven of their sin.
But of course no one was really forgiven by that act. That act of slaying an animal was foreshadowing what was to come or better said who was to come. Jesus. The Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.
The sacrifices and rituals of the Old Testament were always temporary. They were simply placeholders pointing to Jesus. And God accepted these gestures on the basis of the future work of Christ. So his wrath was appeased. At the cross the judge took the judgment. At the cross God took his own medicine so to speak. He took his judgment that had to be satisfied. His wrath.
And he put it not on us though we deserved it. He put it on Jesus. And that is why Jesus sweat blood in Gethsemane.
Because of the horror of what was to come. As he would bear the sin of all of the world. And that is why on the cross Jesus cried out that word.
Tetelestai. One word. Which is translated it is finished. And it means it is completed. It is accomplished. He satisfied the righteous demands of God. We are justified. We are redeemed.
And God has sent Jesus to die in our place for our propitiation. Pastor Greg Laurie explaining those three words that can change our lives. And if you have questions about how your life can change. We would invite you to check out a special website. Where Pastor Greg has the answers for you.
Go to www.knowgod.org Well we are so excited to make available the new film Jesus Revolution on DVD. People have been asking about it. And Pastor Greg we have seen questions on social media. About what situations in the movie were just as they happened. And then situations where they took a little creative liberty let's say. So let me ask you about those things.
Here is the first question. Did you really wind up in military school? Yes I did. Two times as a matter of fact.
But it is a little different than the film. I went to military school when I was a very young boy in around first grade. And then I went back again in around the third or the fourth grade. My mother beautifully portrayed by Kimberly Williams Paisley. And the film was living her crazy life. Running around getting married and divorced.
Partying away. So she sent me to live in military school. Now in the film as a young man I am still going to school. In reality I went when I was quite a bit younger.
But John Irwin the director you know kind of compressed time frames. And it was a little different. But the technical answer to the question is yes I went to military school.
Alright. Another question. Did you really drive a Corvair? Yes I did. Did it often not start? You know actually it was a pretty trustworthy little car. The problem with the Corvair was the brakes. Because when you stopped you had to pump them three times. So as long as you knew when you were going to stop it was okay. But one time I was driving along and a car stopped quickly in front of me. And I pumped once. I pumped twice.
And I was into the third pump. I plowed into the back of this large Cadillac. And the entire front end of my Corvair crumpled up like tin foil. Because in the Corvair the engine is in the back not in the front.
So now the headlamps are cross-eyed. And I kept driving it. And finally I was pulled over by the police and they said you can no longer drive this car. So that was the end of the trusty Corvair.
But it was kind of a cool car. I liked it. Alright did you really tell Kathy if she ever got between you and God you two were through?
That's 100% true. Yes I said it to her. And the funny thing is in the movie she kind of like makes fun of it a little bit. But in real life she actually liked it when I said it. Because in her words she was looking for a guy she could not control or manipulate. Which came as a revelation to me that any woman would ever try to manipulate a man.
But she said this to me. Well you know the movie has fascinated people. It's inspired people. Many have been brought to the Lord through the film. And now we're bringing the film home.
Quite literally we're bringing this to people's homes. That's right. You can now have your own DVD copy of the Jesus Revolution film. Now I know it's streaming.
You've probably seen it out there in different platforms like Apple and Amazon. But here's what's unique about the Harvest Edition of the Jesus Revolution DVD. You get the movie.
But then you get bonus content you won't get anywhere else. Including a special cinematic message I shot on the beach that is designed to be shown right after a person has viewed the film. I'm telling them how they can come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. And I even lead them in a prayer. So this is a great tool. I think it's one of the best evangelistic tools out there.
And I think it's the greatest resource we have ever offered here at Harvest by a country mile. So I'm encouraging you now to order your own copy of the Jesus Revolution DVD. Order it from us and start doing evangelistic outreaches in your front room.
Yeah that's right. We really want to put a copy of this in your hands. And we'll send you this new DVD along with a free streaming code. To thank you for your partnership right now. Your investment so a new beginning can continue to come your way.
And by the way the resource costs us more than we normally pay for other resources. So thanks so much for your generosity right now. You can call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to Harvest.org. Well next time more insight from Pastor Greg based on those three words that can change your life. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. .
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