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When the Saints Go Marching In [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2021 6:00 am

When the Saints Go Marching In [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Allen Wright, pastor, Bible teacher, and author of his latest book, The Power to Bless. Forsake every attempt to earn God's pleasure by your righteousness, and instead focus your life on the righteousness that's been imputed to you so that you can know your place as God's own heir.

And when you do, you won't disqualify yourself by saying, I'm no saint, but instead you'll be like Isaiah and say, here am I, send me. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Belonging to God, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Allen Wright Ministries. As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer.

Contact us at PastorAllen.org or call 877-544-4860, 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Allen Wright. Every day that baby would drink some milk. Every day that baby would smile and look at us in a way that's different from strangers.

The baby chose us, but we had long before chosen that baby. It's a mystery I speak of, but this is a long way from some merely intellectual exercise of thinking about predestination and who is saved and who is not. This is something about the heart of God the Father. And what Paul is saying is that there is a connection between the way you were called by God and chosen in Christ, loved by Him before you knew how to love Him. There's a connection between that and you understanding yourself to be a holy one, to be a saint. Because as long as you think that in some measure your holy standing with God depends upon your capacity to earn such, then you'll never be able to believe that you're truly holy unto the Lord.

Because you'll know that you have such deficiency that everything within you will say, Well, I'm no saint, so how could I ever think of myself that way? But everywhere in the scripture God is making it clear that the way in which you have been accepted and made holy by God is by God's unmerited work of making you clean because you're reckoned to be so by God through Jesus Christ. One of the most powerful stories that demonstrates the holiness of God is in the call of Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 6. In so many, many ways my own call to the ministry mirrored this experience of Isaiah's. When I was in college I had an actual call to the ministry in which I experienced the presence of God in a very, very holy way, unlike I ever have before or since. And when he came into my little dormitory room and I knew I was in the presence of God, I knew I was in the presence of God.

I could not do anything but weep. And I wept for weeks and weeks after that when he called me in the ministry. And I'm identified with therefore at least a little bit of what Isaiah experienced. Isaiah chapter 6 verse 1, In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. And above him stood the seraphim.

Each had six wings, with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory, and the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called.

And the house was filled with smoke. And I said, woe is me, for I am lost. For I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.

For my eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts. Now what does God do in response to Isaiah's inward awareness of how unholy he is compared to a holy God? Of his own sin compared to the purity of God? Does the Lord say, oh Isaiah, don't worry about it. You know, sin doesn't bother me that much. Listen, chill out, be happy, no worries.

We can still use you. Everybody makes mistakes. Mistakes were made. So what?

No, of course not. Here's what he does. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he'd taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said, behold, this has touched your lips.

Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for. God in his own initiative with searing glory came and did a cleansing work to Isaiah so that his guilt was in God's eyes lifted and covered so that Isaiah would have right standing with God. And as soon as that happened, as soon as he did that, as soon as the Lord brought that cleansing work to Isaiah, he said, Isaiah said, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I sin and who will go for us?

And then I said, here am I, send me. Because God knew that he couldn't move Isaiah until Isaiah knew that God had reckoned him as holy. He was of no use to God until he could see himself as holy unto the Lord.

And as soon as he was able to, he said, here am I, send me. Why is it that people disqualify themselves from the destiny that God has given them? Because they say, I'm no saint.

There's a lot at stake. There's a very interesting story in Luke chapter 17. Jesus tells this little story, this little parable that at first seems inconsistent with the kindness of Jesus and kind of hard to understand. It's in Luke 17 verse 7. Jesus said, will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he's come in from the field, come at once and recline at table. Will he not rather say to him, prepare supper for me and dress properly and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink. Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?

And this is what seems at first glance just severe. So you also, Jesus said, when you've done all that you were commanded, say, we are unworthy servants. We have only done what was our duty. Now why would Jesus, who is going to teach his disciples that they have intimate access to him, and actually dying with at the last supper the very man that would deny him three times and end with the man who would actually betray him into the hands of the Roman authorities, why would Jesus, whose whole life and ministry is pointing to the incredible promise of the marriage supper of the Lamb for all eternity, that we have a seat at the table through the new covenant, why in the world would he tell a story like this, which he is drawing upon this illustration. If there's a slave who works hard all day and then comes in in the evening and it's time for the master's supper, the slave doesn't come in and say, well boy, I've had a busy day, I've worked hard for you today, so I'm going to sit down here and have some of the lamb chops with you. They say that's not the way it works. It's kind of like saying you go into a restaurant and somebody serves you very well and obviously they've been working hard, but you'd be quite shocked if they thought that meant that when the food came, they just pulled up a chair with you and said I'm going to have half of your ribeye steak because I've had a hard day. I'm sure you understand. Or as Brian Chappell gave an even more vivid illustration, it'd be like buying a house and the realtor worked very hard on your behalf to help you buy this house and so you're moving in, the trucks are bringing in the stuff, movers are bringing stuff in, and here comes your realtor with a suitcase in hand.

You say, what are you doing? You say, well, I worked really hard for you, I'm going to move in with you. And you say, wait a minute, no, you worked hard, but that didn't mean you get to live with me. What Jesus is saying is that if you think that your place at the table with the Lord Most High comes to you because you have been such a faithful servant, because you have done so many righteous deeds, because you've worked so hard for God, if that's what you think is going to earn you a place at the table, you must understand that no, you're still just an unworthy safe, still just an unworthy servant. It's what Isaiah prophesies that even our best acts of righteousness are filthy rags to him.

If you are going to have a place at the table, you're not going to get there by being a better and better slave. The way you're going to be at the table with Jesus himself is by being born again, chosen in him, called holy and blameless, one of his own holy ones. That means you need to be an heir and a co-heir with Christ. You're not going to come into the blessings of God by your own efforts. You're going to come instead.

Why? Because God has made you into an heir. So what it means is forsake every attempt to earn God's pleasure by your righteousness and instead focus your life on the righteousness that's been imputed to you so that you can know your place as God's own heir. And when you do, you won't disqualify yourself by saying, I'm no saint, but instead you'll be like Isaiah and say, here am I, send me.

That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Imagine for 99 days in a row someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you. Wouldn't you feel cherished? But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12-message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians, and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastoralan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. Because I'm a child of the Most High God, and I am an heir alongside of the King of Kings. I'm a holy one. Heidelberg Catechism, question number 60. How beautiful this is. The question is in this catechism, how are you righteous before God?

Here's the answer. Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ. That is though my conscience accused me that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, if I had never had nor committed any sin, and myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart. That's the gospel. 17th century Puritan preacher Walter Marshall wrote a renowned book called The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification. And Pastor Marshall said, May God bless my discovery of the powerful means of holiness so far as to save some, one, or other from killing themselves. Well, what he was saying was, I have seen into the way in which we are regarded as holy by God, and there's so much at stake that it really is, and he's saying, life or death. The greater context of it was this, some of the more ignorant zealots for personal holiness do inhumanely macerate and torment their bodies with fasting and other austerities to kill their lusts, and when they see their lusts are still too hard for them, they fall into despair and are driven by horror of conscience to make away with themselves. May God bless my discovery of the powerful means of holiness so far as to save some, one, or other from killing themselves, and instead I pray that God will enlarge the hearts of many by it to run with great cheerfulness, joy, and thanksgiving in the way of His commandments. Could there be that much at stake? That if you think that your own status with God is going to come by you trying to mortify your own flesh by your own power, that it actually arouses the seed of death?

Yes, it does. This is how strong Paul is about this. This is why the gospel is so powerful. In it is life.

The seed of life is in the grace of God. How you see yourself changes everything. See, we tend to believe about ourselves whatever the most important authority to us has to say about us. That's why it's so difficult if an authority figure in your life shames or criticizes you. If you got criticism from a random stranger, it might bother you, but when somebody that's supposed to know you and loves you and care for you is the one who is bringing and belittles you, it's very difficult.

Why? Because your soul leans in to what those that are supposed to love you most have to say about you. And so what happens for someone like Paul and what happens for any Christian who becomes alive in the gospel is that your identity moves further and further away from what limited human perspectives people have and comes more and more to alignment with the eternal perfect perspective of God who has made this redemption possible for you and is in a thousand different ways in His Word seeking to tell you just exactly who you are.

And I promise you, if you stay in that, you become, without even trying, you become like that. It's like Zig Ziglar. Remember Zig Ziglar, the inspirational speaker, and he used to tell the story about a rural, agrarian culture years ago, somewhere out in the country many years ago in which it was a custom there when a young man would ask for a young lady's hand in marriage that the groom's family would offer a gift to the bride's family, not a bride price, but just a token of honor. And it was usually done in that economy, in that cultural setting by way of a gift of cows. And so, you know, usually your groom's family would give a cow to the bride's family.

But sometimes there'd be an exceptional, you know, family that wanted to show exceptional honor and they might give two or three cows. Well, this one farmer had these two daughters, Zig Ziglar used to tell. And the older daughter was outgoing and confident and seemed intelligent and lovely in every way. And he thought, you know, she may, she may, she's gonna get engaged, somebody, and there might be two or three cows coming. And he had a younger daughter that seemed shy, withdrawn, and didn't seem so lovely and didn't seem so attractive. And he is just like, I just, one cow would just be wonderful, you know. Well, one day a suitor came around and asked for his daughter, and he thought that she was speaking of the older daughter. He said, no, I'm speaking of the younger. And he began to court her and see her, and the time came that this young man who came from a wonderful family and had some means asked for a hand in marriage, and he offered to the family a gift.

And it wasn't two or three cows, not five cows, 10 cows. And the young man and his new bride went off for a long honeymoon. They traveled overseas, and they went around, and they spent many, many months away from their hometown until one day the bus pulled back into town and off stepped this young man who got off the bus. And some people were sitting on a bench nearby and said, that's that young man that got married to the farmer's younger daughter.

Yes, it is, and then this lovely lady that stepped off of the bus, and she was so confident and so happy and so attractive and so winsome in every way. And they said, and who is that young lady? And they looked closer and finally said, you know, that's the farmer's younger.

What has happened to her? And Ziegler put it this way. She became a 10-cow wife because 10 cows were given in her honor. And you become, you see, you become whatever the identity is that the one you love the most assigns to you. And what Paul is saying to the Corinthian church who is messed up in so many ways, he said, I want to open this up by reminding you, you are the ones who are saints. And in his words to the Ephesian Christians saying, here's how it has happened, you have been chosen before the foundation of the world in Him, to be holy and blameless in His sight. You are the holy ones of God. When you are in Christ, you are a saint. You are a holy one, hagios.

You belong to Him. You cannot be pulled away from Him and therefore you must not be disqualified for use in glorious ways in the kingdom of God. I'm saying this, if my daughter's bear could get a ribbon, how much more so can everybody in Jesus Christ be holy and blameless in His sight? And that's the gospel.

Allen Wright. And that was a good story there, by the way, of the bear and the ribbon at the fair. It's the teaching when the saints go marching in and I hope you got the point and it sinks real deep.

Allen is back in the studio here in a moment with additional insight on this for your life and a final word in our series, Belonging to God. Imagine for 99 days in a row someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you. Wouldn't you feel cherished? But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the Apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Allen Wright's 12-message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Allen Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Allen, here at the conclusion of this teaching, but as we continue right in the middle of this wonderful series on holiness, we keep saying it's not what you think and there's a lot of revelation, I think, to figure out, we know that we are gods, but then to unpack that and say, well, what does that mean?

That's what this series is teaching us. Well, it's so interesting that Paul's favorite term for Christians is, if not calling them the beloved, he calls them the holy ones, the saints, you know, to all the saints in Ephesus. And how interesting for us as Christians that we feel like we need to say, well, I'm no saint, but, you know, we have to clarify, we're no saint. And the whole idea of the saints being someone who has accomplished more or reached more moral perfection or has a, whatever you think holiness is about in terms of behavior is completely contrary to the picture in the New Testament. The New Testament picture of holiness we've been seeing is the saints or the holy ones. And so much of how we live out our lives is built upon our identity. And I think that's what God just wanted to say. And I would say to every listener, your identity is in Christ. And if you are in Christ, if you've accepted Him, then that makes you a saint. Well, that's who you are, a saint of the Most High God. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-26 18:36:03 / 2023-11-26 18:45:23 / 9

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