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March 20, 2019 3:00 am
My brother memo several Johnson, a celebrated English writer back in the 1700s. Once he heard his dinner guests talking with each other one was saying that morality and ethics amelia Shan when he heard this, he said that his buckler if they really believe there is no distinction between vice and virtue, let us count the spoons before they leave. That was many years ago. Today I believe that we don't have many spoons left the As I explained in my book the hidden enemy that we are finding ourselves now living in what the Oxford dictionary called the post truth culture. Many of our political leaders, business leaders, and yes, sadly, church leaders no longer cherish the truth and sadly many of the younger generations are rising they are unable to distinguish between truth and falsehood. That is why I am deeply thankful for the young people in this church. The church of the apostles.
I pray for them every day I thank God for them.
I know more than they think I do about their standing and continue to stand steadfast for the truth despite of opposition. I thank God every day for you. In fact, all you need to do is watch what some of those reports you see them on television where they make stuff up never happened.
Never took place.
Never was said and I know you you know what I'm talking about then you get the microphones of what you think about so-and-so saying so-and-so and never say will I really haven't heard this, I don't know about this. Now they pretend that's really all yeah okay let me tell you what I think about this made-up stuff is think about this. The truth no longer matters sports and entertainment have become idols. We have an unbalanced preoccupation with instant gratification instead of perseverance that we have an unbalanced preoccupation with escaping reality at any cost. Instead of standing and fighting for the truth as someone said whenever our Trivial Pursuit succeed. This balance we get thrown off balance.
In fact, it was Teddy Roosevelt who once said the following, the things that will destroy us.
Our prosperity at enterprise piece of enterprise safety first, instead of beauty and the love of soft living and get rich quick schemes you think the guy was prophetic when you look back and you see where we are today. Number 11. You know that self discipline and hard work is what really made this great country is what built this great country and made it to be what it is today.
But today self-discipline seem to be a dirty word in some circles and some sectors of our culture.
But the question is whether self-discipline we give you a general definition self-discipline is the subordination of personal desire to selfless and godly endeavors. It is the subordination of that which is easy and attractive, and what wrong to that which is difficult but right now for Bible believing Christians. Self-discipline is a subordinating of everything alive to the authority of the word of God, can I get an amen him erotically because it is absurd to think that good intentions and warm and fuzzy feelings toward God somehow turns us into fruitful Christians. It's absurd to think that the denial of biblical morality will bring us true joy in life. It is absurd to think that erasing the Old Testament are so many evangelical preachers are saying just remove the Old Testament don't even read the Old Testament is focus on the resurrection as removing the Old Testament going to convert people to Christ. It want no wonder Jesus asked the question in Luke chapter 18 verse eight when the Son of Man returns will he find faith on the earth easy believe is him that is preached in many appropriate today has caused many people in the pew not know what they believe anymore in the last message I was personally struck by the apostle Paul's explanation of true worship and how. True worship is not only 24 seven offering of oneself to the Lord. It is a total commitment.
Julian Huxley commented on this, saying it doesn't take much for a man to be a Christian.
It just takes all of him. In fact, Henry Drummond, the man of prayer said the following is the entrance fee to God's kingdom is nothing but the annual dues are everything the phrase the cost of discipleship has not been preached from most pulpits these days cost of discipleship. Count me out.
I'm out of here and yet Romans chapter 12 verses 9 to 21. Paul is far from telling the believers in Rome to accommodate diverse love and lust of the culture in Rome, far from it. He is giving us a list of 25 demands 25 demands. These demands a listen to me very carefully can never, never, never, never accomplished with our own strength. If you tried like me and failed. You know what I'm talking about only the Holy Spirit who dwells in us only that the power of the Holy Spirit that can make the Lord Jesus love through us can enable us to meet these 25 injections. So turn with me if you haven't already, to Romans 12 beginning at verse nine. The most important thing about that passage is that you have to keep it in context, for it is only after a believer has been deeply moved by the mercies of God, and by the grace of God, as we saw in the last message only then out of gratitude and out of Thanksgiving. The believer would want to offer his body as a living sacrifice to the Lord and only when the believer begins to offer all of him and all of her as a living sacrifice, only then that the mind begins to be transformed into the likeness of Christ and when the mind begins to continuously being transformed.
Only then, in that state of transformation you going to see that these three things which are shared in the last message that you will have an accurate perception of yourself. You have an adequate perception of others and you will have an active serving mentality here Paul continues verses 9 to 21 and says when all that happens, and only then to love genuine love is going to manifest itself in us. Only then, so to make it easier for you. I have codified those 25 injunctions into eight first in verse nine says love hates evil. Secondly, in verse 10. Love gives honor. Thirdly, verse 11.
Love is passionate about God for verse 12. Love helps, and perseveres in prayer five verse 13 love loves to give six verses 14 and 15.
Love feels deeply with others. Seven verses 16 to 19 love refuses to get even.
Finally, number eight verses 20 to 21 love reverses the cultural norms discuss with them very quickly. Love hates what Paul describes genuine love, real love, love the fake one.
But the real love in them virtually without hypocrisy and uses that Greek word it's without hypocrisy know some translations that sincere, but literally, without hypocrisy, what's hypocrisy. I sometimes hear the word hypocrisy used the most honest, accurate, but other times a really erroneous. Most people really don't understand what hypocrisy really means. I remember when I started my ministry in Sydney, Australia back in the mid-70s.
People say DA Padre. Now I don't go to church. No is full of hypocrites will have to confess gels that used to bamboozle me and I didn't know what to say until I really realized I got gave me the answer. And from that moment on his ahead. Padre do you know why I don't go to church is full of hypocrites.
José, you're right, but we have room for one more come and join us man that is a conversation but the word hypocrisy. The Greek word that Paul is using here comes from the ancient world of acting why the ancient world of acting because back then in the ancient world. The actors put a mask on to be somebody else or something else. And Paul is saying. Hypocritical love is a love that puts on a mask. Hypocritical love is a love that loves words only hypocritical love is a love that loves when it is convenient, hypocritical love is a love that's only seasonal or as-needed basis. Judas was one of the 12 disciples and he for three years had a mask on.
The entire time, but the day came when the mask fell in the real person showed up sooner or later the real person will be revealed. Listen to me today. We have such a confused and false notion of love and we think love is really not condemning sin, professing Christians would tell you the definition of real love is that mushy fuzzy warm feelings that love is a milquetoast reaction to sin or the suspension of our critical faculties not relevant. You do not have to go to a seminary to comprehend what the word of God is saying here regarding truelove regarding genuine love, genuine love hates evil. I have to confess to you that the more I walk with Christ. The more I genuinely hate sin in my life and words.
I cannot even express genuine love must hurt evil genuine love must hate compromising of the word of God, genuine love must hates rebellion against the command of God. The only security against sin is to be continuously be shocked by sin. You know what is happening in our culture. We no longer shocked by rebellion against the word of God. The first day came few decades ago when we baptized sin into the church and no doubt were soon and God… Is to what is new endorses and this is sizing us against being sharp by sin where accommodating to it. Not shocked by it. Please think with me think with me tried to imagine a group of doctors and nurses who are working in the infectious disease ward of the hospital who refused to wear protective gear. He said that's unconscionable and I agree with you I agree 100% but that's where many Christians are today.
Let's wake up beloved before it's too late. A man loving people but hating sin is not only a must. It's the only way to thrive in this perverse culture love hates what secondly love genuine love gives honor to whom honor is due. No I know and you know that there are some people confuse honoring somebody with flattery. Now listen to me. Flattery is a sin and operate none of you practice it, but honor shows genuine appreciation for those who have ministered to us. It is not a sin on our show respect and acknowledgment of the faithfulness of those who minister to us. Honoring others is a sure way of strangling envy and jealousy in our lives, honoring faithfulness is a mark of genuine love love hates what love gives what love is passionate about God. Verse 11.
Back in the days of the Wesleyan Brothers revival, a method of survival.
The used to call passion for Christ used to call it enthusiasm.
That was the word and this was a big accusation of anybody who's really passionate about Christ and they literally put people on trial if they accused of enthusiasm. I will never forget. 1984 I was visiting a church in Charleston, South Carolina. After the service was over. The pastor invited me back in the chancel and and and he said now wanted to sit on this chair here sat on the chair I did know what what what is coming in.
He said this is the chair in which Charles Wesley was tried by the bishops of the church and found guilty of enthusiasm. That's what they call the back. Little did I know, little did I know that six or seven years later in 1992 that I was tried by the bishops of that same church and found guilty for having passion for Christ and the authority of the Scripture and I was defrocked from the denomination. Something I wear with a badge of honor and ran today. We can have passion for sports team, I mean we can have passion for a hobby. We can have passion for countless things and we are called fans, but tried to have passion for Jesus and you are called fanatic beloved passion for God does not mean mindless activities passion for God does not mean mindless emotions, but rather Paul is trying to tell the believers in Rome and indeed to us today that we should not cool off our zeal for Christ and for his were can I get a witness that we should not be cooled off by the godless environment in which we live that we should not become indifferent toward the gospel of Jesus Christ of most law been lost love hates what love gives what love is passionate about love, hopes, and perseveres in prayer. Look at verse 12 rejoicing in hope, and persevering in prayer resentment well, it means that you shouldn't be discouraged when God have not answered your prayers immediately. Don't give up praying in the face of resistance. You don't give up praying the moment you're rejected, listen to me. Don't give up.
God will answer at the right time. Remember what Paul said in first Corinthians 1558. If you remain steadfast if you remain immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord your labor is not in vain. When you're faithful to the only one who can generously reward you when you're faithful to the only one who can see all of the time when you're faithful to the only one who can truly bless you when you're faithful to the only one who can truly answer your prayer then you can rejoice in hope ahead of time and then you wait in prayer.
My experience in praying is a God gives for answers at least for my personal point of view he gives for answers not want to for the Lord says no not yet. Or sometimes he says no I love you too much to give you that we can say yes I thought you will never ask.
And the fourth one of experience many many times to about it.
He says yes he was more exceedingly abundantly. Thomas Brooks illustrated our lack of perseverance in prayer this way is called prayers alike errors without heads swords without an edge.
Birds that have no wings. They pierce not the cut. Not to fly, not to heaven called prayers for reasons before it reaches heaven. All I can say is Lord have mercy love hates.
Love gives love this passionate about love, hopes, and perseveres.
Love loves to give verse 13 I want you to know at the outset, one of the greatest blessings in my life, blessings that literally blesses me out of my socks is that I have been privileged to know some people who love to give the reason I love them is because I want to emulate them. There will never know the side of heaven. What a blessing they are not seen them in Australia and Europe and here in United States. Reports in this church. I cannot tell you how much his folks bless me just for watching, but sadly I have also known others who nickel and dime God.
You know I'm talking about the nickel and dime should not dies before taxes shall not tied off the taxes. What is what ties me in go look it up in the dictionary's 10%. That's the starting point of the ending should only give what I have extra money or should I give July even Tylenol.
Beloved, he is the core problem about giving this into me is the core problem we think of ourselves as the owners of everything that God has given us and that's really the era that many even Bible believing Christians fall into. We think we are. We think it's hours we don't realize that we are managers and working for the boss who gave us everything. Listen, the Bible makes it absolutely clear.
We are mere managers and when they were going to give an account and don't forget that the boss, he's watching you. He's watching patiently and longing for you to come into the joy of being hilarious. Give her how are you managing that which is entrusted to you, according to Jesus in Luke 1610 is that those who can be trusted with very little will be trusted with much when we share with you how I see this you know how when you go to get a mortgage or loan from the bank.
The asking for a statement of net worth. Many times the sense of Ludacris in me.
I want to go on calculate everything I gave away added up and presented to the banker as my statement of net worth high note. We fly with the practice but at least that is my absolute conviction. My true statement of net worth is everything that I sent on the eternal bank of heaven easier statement of net worth is not what you have is what you gave love hates. Love gives love is passionate about love, hopes, and perseveres. Love loves to love feels deeply with others. Look at verses 14 and 15 rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep now rejoicing here does not mean dissipating in this mindless parties is partying. That's what some people think, or… South rejoicing, but because it's tied up with loving of your enemy here in this context rejoicing. Therefore, means the following. Listen carefully so you and somebody else in your company or in your organization or within your sphere are up for promotion he or she gets it. You don't can you rejoice with him. That's what it means. Can you rejoice for that person is saying here and another person in the context he wins, you lose can you really rejoice for that person. See that's what it means. Set your watch how God has blessed someone and you are struggling. Can you say all God, thank you for blessing my friend see that's what it means here in this context.
Now you have to agree with me that in our culture, any culture. This type of rejoicing with others even that our experience is can only be can only be a Christian principle owned in the Christian faith. Love hates what love gives loves passionate about love, hopes, and persevere in love loves to love feels deeply with others. Number seven. Love refuses to get even equipment versus 16 all the way to 18. On or about you, but have you ever asked yourself the question, what is the primary reason for wanting revenge. Have you asked that one surreal motive inside of me of wanting to hurt someone who had hurt me.
What is the underlying desire for the payback yell and thought about you hear the law them immediately upon smell punch back right. Why do you want to stick it to somebody who wounded us one word, pride pride, that's the underlying reason. That is the bottom line motivation when you see people who specialize in gossip and sowing seed of division. The only do that because they conceded Scripture indicates that these folks really refuse to be associated with people whom they seek to be below them. Pride.
Pride that may testify to the glory of God in all my years in ministry. I have never been more freed up and liberated them enough time alone to pray for someone who was falsely accused me who has unjustly criticized me. I pray specifically forgot to bless blessed family and blessed people bless the work Pacific I specifically spend time praying that God would bless all by the stop stop because you start thinking that I'm a superduper Christian don't. I'm a share of the fact that it's taken me years to learn this lesson of genuinely pray for someone who wrongly to pray for someone who deliberately impugn my motives to pray for someone who deliberately malign me love hates. Love gives loves passionate about love, hopes, and perseveres in love loves to love feels deeply with love refuses to and finally verses 20 and 21 love reverses the cultural norms the cultural norms. The natural thing in our interactions and our behavior.
The natural thing is he hit me. I'll hit them back harder.
He punched me I'm going to punch back with more vigor he attacked me. I'm going to attack him with all of God. He marred my reputation. I'm going to do it back with vengeance is just the natural world which we live in a fallen world. But you know what Paul is really saying here the little you give your use of, not translation interpretation okay. You cannot take care of your enemy better than God can.
So you might as well leave him or her to God. God will do a much better job with justice and you can in this way you will also heap burning coals of shame on the head is what I know about Brandon: that's actually repeated in the Scripture several times. It comes from ancient Egyptians and ancient Egyptian culture.
This was a ritual with somebody is found guilty by the court.
They put on a container on which burning coal inside that container and he would have that on his head and keep walking around and those who walk people on the roof. Seeing that happen there so more calls on.
So keep on burning. This is a punishment that was meant to be a punishment by the authorities.
Guilty person spank penance, beloved, listen see how the Bible reverses everything for Christian believers, he or she reverses the social norm and thus they shamed their enemies, not by revenge, now Christian believers reverse this process of evil by praying for the wrongdoer still don't like the long dark misunderstanding still had the wrong, but praying that is worse than putting heaping burning called on the head. I can tell you on the authority of the word of God. You cannot do any of these things that I just talked about from the epistle to the Romans on your own strength. I want to repeat this acidity in the beginning I'm saying it's now I know that every faithful believer hero Salome Michael. I remember when I was trying to do is now starting to do a great and mighty things just didn't work. It will not work. No matter how strong will, you might be. You can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit within you. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.Ward