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People Jesus Met - Zacchaeus - The Marks of True Salvation Part 42

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 5, 2020 7:00 am

People Jesus Met - Zacchaeus - The Marks of True Salvation Part 42

So What? / Lon Solomon

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May 5, 2020 7:00 am

Marks of true salvation. 

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Well this morning we want to begin by singing a little song I'm going to sing it and I want you to sing along with me because I think a lot of you know this little song so ready all right here we go slack. He was a wee little man and a wee little man was he God.

He climbed up. Sycamore tree for the Lord.

He wanted to see and as the Savior came passing by the look that up in the tree and he said that TS you come down for going to your house today. Yes, I'm going to your house today. Give yourselves a hand that was God as many of you know we are involved in a series of messages entitled, Jesus met and guess who we're gonna talk about today. Well if you test IKEA.

You guessed right were going to go back 2000 years and see what happened at that very eventful meeting and then were going to bring all that forward and were going to talk about okay so what differences that make to you and me in the 21st century.

So here's our plan. Luke chapter 19 is our passage and we begin at verse one. Here we go. The Bible says Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through and behold, there was a man there by the name of Zakir. He was a chief tax collector, and he was wealthy. Now here in verse two. The Bible tells us three very important facts about this man. Zakir's number one. The Bible tells us he was a tax collector. What we know about tax collectors and the time of Jesus. Well we know what tax collector was a Jewish person who collected taxes for the occupying Roman army the way it worked was like this.

The Romans would tell the tax collector what the amount was that he was supposed to collect from his district. But he was free to collect as much as he wanted, and anything he collected over and above that required amount was his to keep personally to make it even better for him. He was backed up by the very Roman army. It's also no one could refuse or dispute whatever he wanted to charge them. In essence, my friends, tax collectors carried out a form of legalized extortion against their own Jewish people. The second thing this verse tells us about Zakir is that number two. He was a chief tax collector. In other words, that TS was so good at this that the Romans actually promoted him and made him the regional manager of all the tax collectors and finally number three. The Bible tells us that Zach TS was wealthy and how exactly did Zakir get wealthy well we just said it. Zach TS became wealthy.

By ruthlessly victimizing his own Jewish people. Now I'm sure that Zach TS was vilified and that Zach TS was ostracized and that Zach TS was demonized by every Jew in Jericho. But you know what that TS didn't really care because the bottom line of what verse two tells us about this man is that the God of Zach TS is live was money verse three and Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he was unable because of the crown so he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him since Jesus was coming that way.

Verse five and when Jesus reached that spot. He looked up and said to him, Zach TS come down immediately. For today I must stay at your house so Zacchaeus hurried and came down and welcome Jesus into his house. Verse seven and when all the people saw this, they began to murmur and say he Jesus has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner. Well indeed, Jesus had and I can only imagine the dinner that Zach TS must've put on that night for the Lord Jesus and his disciples all that he had gefilte fish and I'll bet he had matzoh ball soup and I'll bet that he had lox and bagels and I'll bet that he had blintzes and brisket and Kugel and if you don't know what that is is because you're not Jewish, but I know what it is and I'm getting hungry. I'll bet that was some meal. He put on for the Lord Jesus and the Bible never tells us exactly what Jesus said to Zach TS. During dinner, but the Bible does tell us that by desserts. Zach TS was a changed man watch verse eight. Then Zakir stood up and said to the Lord. Look, Lord, here and now. I will give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anyone out of anything. I will give them back four times as much, as I took a love this Zakir stands up at the end of dinner in front of everybody there makes two announcements announcement number one.

He says I am going to give half of my possessions to the poor. We need to understand that this was not just some act of random kindness on the part of Zach TS. This was an act of biblical obedience. This was an act of obedience to God. Deuteronomy 15 verse seven says you are not to harden your heart or close your hand to the poor man among you, but you are to freely open your hand to him. Verse 11 for the poor.

So never cease to be in the land. Therefore, God says, I command you saying you show freely. Open your hand towards the poor and needy, in your land. What is announcement number one. Tell us about Zach TS. It tells us my friends that that night during dinner Zach TS switched gods. He took the Lord God money off the throne of his life and he put the Lord Jesus Christ onto the throne of his life, but there was a second announcement announcement number two Zach TS said. And if I have cheated anyone out of anything. I will give them back four times as much, as I took you say this long. I gotta tell you, this sounds like some of those insipid nebulas DC politicians statements you know if I offended anyone. If I misspoke in any way.

I apologize not, you use a lawn, you know, doesn't sound genuine all my friends to the contrary. This was very genuine.

You see, when Zakia said if I've cheated anyone in the Greek language used a first-class condition using Lilo up what what what that means is a first-class condition means that in the if part if I have cheated anyone whatever is in the if part is assumed to be true to be correct. A better word to use than if is the word sense sense I have cheated people is really the best way to translate this and so would Zach TS was doing tonight really is. He was confessing that he had treated people he was admitting that he had swindled people and he had stolen from people and that now he was going to go back and restore that money to them +400%.

What is announcement number two. Tell us about Zach TS. It tells us that that night.

Not only had Zakia switched gods, but he had also repented he had owned up to the sinful actions in the sinful behavior he'd been doing. Up to that point and now he was determined to make right. The sinful behavior he'd been doing.

Up to that point. The liquid Jesus said verse nine then Jesus said to him today salvation has come to this house. I love this Jesus said, hey, today I want everybody to know this man has come to Christ today. I want everybody to know this man has gotten say today I want everybody here at dinner to know that this man has been born again. Make no mistake about it, friends denied this man has gotten the real disease. Now, just before we leave. Luke 19. Let's notice one other very important thing and that is that salvation had not come to Zach TS's house that night because he stood up and promised to go out and do all these good works, no, no. The Bible is crystal clear about this. Romans three verse 20 says by the deeds of the law that is by doing good works. No one will be justified. No one will be saved in God's sight. Friends Zakia had come to Christ. The reason that salvation had come to Zacchaeus's house that night is because as we said earlier that night. Zach TS had decided to repent and to switch God's these good deeds that he was talking about. In other words, were not the cause of Zakia's is salvation. They were the results of Zakia's is salvation. Second Corinthians 517 says if anyone is in Christ, there is the cause bears the horse they become a new creature, a changed person would change behavior. There is the result bears the cart and we need to be so careful that we don't get the cart of good works ahead of the horse of salvation and being in Christ guys all get that with me hello yes all here. Yes, I good because now it's time for us to leave off in Luke 19 and it's time for us to ask our most important question in all of you allowed in all of your Prince William and all of you on the Internet and all of you then you read a I heard that I heard when a hold on, you guys are Tysons are okay Tysons. Are you ready I here we go here we go wan to pray is a lawn so it's a great story in the little song was to but only what difference is any of this make to my life. Well were to talk about that right now you know back in 2002, one of the greatest NFL players of all time passed away. His name was Johnny Unitas.

He was the quarterback for the then Baltimore Colts and the Unitas was an amazing football player. He let the coach the three NFL championships, including Super Bowl DL was selected to 10 pro bowls. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1979 and Unitas still holds to this day a passing record that many people consider to be a kin to the 56 game hitting streak of Joe DiMaggio, a record that will never be broken. And that is Johnny Unitas through at least one touchdown pass in 47 active football games. No one's ever come close to breaking that when he died in 2002 other was a gentleman who came here to this church came up to me in the lobby and said you know he said I am I went to the same church in Baltimore that Johnny Unitas used to go to and I said really.

I said to the come often and the gentleman said yeah he was there regularly so I'm there all the time and then I said well here's my question. Do you think that Johnny Unitas was a real believer in Jesus Christ. Or was he just a churchgoer and the gentleman said will you know I don't know him well enough that I can answer that question, but folks, this is the million dollar question, isn't it not just for Johnny Unitas but for every body.

Are we really followers of Christ has salvation really come to our house. Have we really got the real disease in the question. The issue is how we going to know what test are we going to use on ourselves to determine this. Well, let's go back and look at our verse from a moment ago. Second Corinthians 517 is this it says if anyone is in Christ, they become a new creature, old things passed away behold all things become new folks, the Bible tells us that when true salvation comes into a person's life. When a person gets the real disease like Zakia said something supernatural happens inside of that person God the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of that person and the Holy Spirit begins to morph us into different human beings and we were the Holy Spirit morphs a person into someone with different values and different morals and different desires and different goals.

The spirit of God more sauce into people who have different consciences and who use different language and who tell different jokes. He morphs us and the people who have a different attitude towards others in a different purpose in life. Jesus in fact spoke to this very process when he said in Matthew chapter 13 verse 33. He said the kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman mixed into a large amount of Joe and it worked its way all through the Joe it affected every single part of the dough. Your number of years ago for Christmas. A friend of ours gave us a breadmaker. Now I was 40 some years old and I've never seen homemade bread ever made you say what you mean when you were growing up. Your mom never made homemade rolls or homemade cookies or homemade muffins or or homemade anything.

Listen, friends, my mom, when he came to cooking. Reminds me a lot of Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopi Goldberg said her recipe for chicken soup was step one send the Butler to the store for chicken soup that was my mom know I'd never seen bread made in my whole life and so as I watched. I was amazed how you took this little itsy-bitsy bit of yeast and you put it in this huge lump ago and that little bit of yeast goes off like an atomic weapon inside of that go and completely changes the character of that go will listen. Jesus says that is exactly what happens to a person when the Holy Spirit comes into their life when true salvation comes to their life.

Jesus says that God injects the Holy Spirit the supernatural yeast of God into our lives, and he 11 sauce into completely different people supernaturally from the inside out. Folks, the Bible says this is an unavoidable process and the Bible also says this is a predictable process to a nearby that when I mean it's predictable and that the Holy Spirit brings the same changes into every single believers life and there are five of these, the Bible tells us about five of these changes. Five of these marks. Five of these indicators if you will of true salvation. And this is how we can tell whether Johnny Unitas got the real disease.

This is how we can tell whether we God the real disease.

Do we have these five marks of true salvation slowing out of the inner depths of our life. That's how you can tell so I'm in a tell you what these five marks of true salvation are and I want you as we go through this.

To be honest and grade yourself I evaluate yourself, do I really have these here we go number one mark number one of two salvation is a love for the written word of God. Psalm 117 verse 97 says oh how I love your law, it is my meditation all day long. David says later in that same song 119 verse 127 I love your commands more than gold more than pure gold. You know folks before where truly say the Bible is a dry book, the Bible is a boring book.

Even when we try to read it.

It doesn't make any sense and it is sheer drudgery, but after we really come to Christ and after the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our life. And he begins illuminating our heart and our mind. Suddenly when we read the word of God.

We love to read the word of God. We love to study the word of God we get chills up and down our backbone sometime. From reading the word of God that is marked number one indicator number one that you got the real disease of salvation. Number two. Mark number two is a love for God's people for other true believers. John said this first John 314, he said.

By this we know that we have passed out of death into life. How John because we love the brethren. That is our fellow believers in Jesus Christ. When I think of this. I think of the apostle Paul asked chapter 9 verse one.

The Bible says. Meanwhile, Paul is a Rabbi was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples and you remember Paul headed off to Damascus in acts chapter 9 to arrest the disciples of the Lord to put them in jail, but then on the road to Damascus. Paul got the real disease he met the Lord Jesus Christ. Now watch what happens. Verse 19 acts nine afterwords Paul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus, the very people he was trying to go arrest asked chapter 9 verse 26 and when Paul arrived back in Jerusalem. He tried to join up with the rabbis no he tried to join up with the disciples look at this business interesting. The apostle Paul goes from murderous threats to brotherly affection for God's people. Almost overnight, and why why this change because true salvation had come to the apostle Paul's house that's why you're remember when I first came to the Washington area, 1971 I was 22.

I'll save you the trouble I'm 60 want not pay attention all right. Look, and I was living in South Arlington and there was a church nearby was only a believer. At that point for about four months in my life and remember before I was a believer, I used to smuggled open from Europe sell dope on the streets of North Carolina.

Chapel Hill almost got arrested and set the federal penitentiary. I mean when I would policeman went east. I went with when they went north.

I went south me and police did not mix understand okay so I show up. I walk up to the search for some of ever been there, walk in the parking lot and here sitting in the parking lot is a police cruiser from Arlington County and it's empty because obviously the police person is inside the church. I stopped right in the parking lot and said you know what I think I'm a find someplace else to go this morning. I'm not going in there would a cop and there are you kidding me, me and cops know in the Lord Jesus right there. Hit me upside the head and said what is wrong with you if that policeman is in their he's a brother she's a sister in Christ you get your parts into the church and more than that, you find that police person and you introduce yourself to a mom like you got to be kidding me, and the war was like no I'm not, you get your parts in their so I did. I found John Weber and introduced myself to him and his wife Sharon and Johnny Weber was now an elder.

Here McLean Bible church and I have been fast friends for 40 years. My friends and let me tell you what I learned what I learned is the only place a cop and a drug dealer can get along is in the Lord Jesus rise X drug dealer X drug dealer X drug dealer.

Thank you very much is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen when you come to Christ. Suddenly you don't enjoy being around people of the world you enjoy being around people of God.

That's one of the great marks that you really come to Christ. Number three. One of the marks of true salvation.

Number three is a deep desire to obey God.

What exactly is to descend on them to give half of my possessions. Half of my wealth to the poor folks nobody under God's green earth and Jericho could've ever imagined that he is doing something like this but you see when we get truly saved a new King takes over the throne of our life and suddenly wanting to please that King and wanting to obey that King becomes the controlling obsession of our life. This is Mark. Number three.

This is indicator number three that we have truly come to Christ. Mark number four is a dedication to making things right with people that we've wrong.txt in this, Luke 19 verse eight he said if a better sense I have cheated people. I will give them back four times as much is I took the folks think for a minute.

How did Zaki is get all the wealth that he had you got it all by stealing it from people, so he's going to give it all back +4 times over that key is is going to go broke that key is going to be bankrupt.

He didn't care.

He said you know what I don't care about my own welfare anymore now that Jesus Christ lives in my life when I really care about is going back and making things right with people that are wrong because that's what Jesus tells me to do. Finally, number five Mark number five of true salvation is a passion to tell other people about the Lord Jesus Christ. This happened to Paul. Paul asked chapter 9 verse 20. The Bible says and wants. I love this immediately.

Paul began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying he is the son of God amazing Rabbi Paul for Jesus. I mean, whoever heard of such a thing. This is like vegetarians for five guys is this is like Glenn Beck for global warming. This is written.

This is oxymoronic. This is ridiculous and yet here you got it friends will how do we explain this incredible change in the life of Rabbi Paul. It's real simple.

Rabbi Paul had met the living risen Jesus.

That's how we explain it, and Zaki is the same thing happened to him. He stood up that might in front of everybody at dinner and without hesitation or without reservation.

He declared the Jesus Christ to change his life. This is Mark.

Number five indicator number five of true salvation churchgoers come on Sunday and keep Jesus to themselves, but people with the real disease consider every day to be Sunday and try to give Jesus a way to anybody who will listen.

So let's conclude Paul said second Corinthians 13 five he said test yourself to see if you are in the faith examine yourselves in the litmus test that God gives us in the Bible to use for this is the new creature test number one. Do I have a love for the written word of God flowing out of my interbeing number two. Do I have a love for God's people flowing out of my interbeing. Number three. Do I have a deep desire to obey God flowing out of my interbeing. Number four. Do I have a dedication for making things right with people. I wrong flowing out of my interbeing and number five do I have a passion to tell other people about Christ flowing out my inner being. Paul said it. Galatians 615. He said neither circumcision nor on circumcision and I would like to add nor good works, nor church attendance nor saying the rosary nor being baptized nor being bar mitzvahed nor keeping the 10 Commandments, nor growing up in church, none of this, says Paul means anything, what counts is being a new creature and you know this is how I knew in 1971 that I really come to Christ that I had the real disease. I mean, I saw these five changes begin happening inside of me and it wasn't because I'd been the seminary. I hadn't it was because I been the Bible college, I hadn't it was because the Holy Spirit of God had taken up residence inside of my life and I would walk down the streets of Chapel Hill and all my arrogant little college buddy friends would say to me when he visited the Bible. The Bible is a distant visit and give me all these got it you know all these contradictions so called in Christianity. I couldn't answer all those things.

At that point, I can now but I was brand-new in the faith. I couldn't explain all the little things they were thrown at me but let me tell you something I knew that I knew that I know that I was a new creature in Jesus Christ and not of all that nonsense.

They were thrown at me made any difference.

I saw the five marks of salvation coming out of my interbeing and I know I was in Jesus Christ now disabled long look, sometimes even as new creatures. We let the Lord down right sometimes even as new creatures, we fail the Lord right absolutely is able. Sometimes we disobey God and sometimes we fail to share our faith when we should. And sometimes we fail to apologize the people we've wrong as quickly as we should ride yes but listen folks, when a new creature. Let's God down and we do the thing that marks that person is a new creature is that there is a sadness they feel way down deep, a contrition of heart that they feel way down deep that drives them to the Lord to make it right and drives them to go out with other people and make it right.

This is also a mark of a true believer.

They got a conscience that is incredibly sensitive to letting the Lord down so let me close today by saying that I wish that the number of new creatures in America equaled the number of churchgoers in America but it ain't so more close to home.

I wish the number of new creatures in McLean Bible church equaled the number of people who attend McLean Bible church, but it just a so and some of us here today pass this test. We walk out of here and say thank you Lord Jesus are not what I used to be. I may not be everything I want to be. But Jesus, thank you.

I'm not what I used to be. Some of us in your fail the test today. We don't have these things in our life folks you model walked in on how you might've prayed a prayer you might've raised your hand you might a student, a church, you might've come down front, but listen if these five marks of true salvation are not flowing out of your interbeing.

There is something wrong. We want to help you with that. We want help you get right.

That's why we have Christianity 101 were starting a special session just for you tomorrow night, Monday night, and if you have the courage to come in and say I think sums wrong will help you figure out what it is and fix it so I can be there tomorrow night. I've already got plans okay okay you know what were going to take it because I know this is short notice, and if you go out there and sign up say I can't be there tomorrow and I will send you a DVD so by the time the second class meets you seen class number one. I'm not let you out that easy to get it, forget it, no, no, listen, if you don't have these five marks of salvation in your life, beg of you beg of you, you go out there and sign up for Christianity 101 and if you're allowed to go down front and see Greg Vancil and if you're Prince William you go out in the lobby and you see Mark Davis and will help you if you need to talk to somebody today at all of our campuses. We have people with badges on that they got questions with a B?

And they're able to talk to you right today, but friends if you really know Christ. You can pass this test. You may not be perfect to pass this test if you can't something wrong and the stakes are way too high for you not to get it right so I hope you'll do that in the next time we give this test you'll be able to say, praise God. I couldn't pass it last time. By the grace of God I can pass it today. That's our goal. Let us help this project.

Lord Jesus, thank you that when we come to Christ we become new creatures while how great that is.

Thank you Lord Jesus that that new creature process looks the same in its basics for every single one of your children, so we gives us a test. It gives us a barometer that we can use and we've used it today and father I pray for those of us who are able to pass that test that we would walk out of here today, just praising the mercy and grace of God for giving us new creature status even though we never ever could've deserved it more for those who couldn't pass the test.

Given the courage to go out, sign up for Christianity 101. Let's help fix whatever is wrong. So the next time we take this test can pass or thanks for speaking to us today change our lives because we were here today, and sat under the teaching of the Word of God, and we pray these things in Jesus name what God's people say a man

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