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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Believing with all your heart

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"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." (Acts 8:36-40).

If you believe with all your heart you may be baptised. Note that baptism has this condition - you must believe with all your heart.

The story is told of a certain man who sold a house but withheld one nail above the front door which would remain his property and may not be removed, according to the contract. After a number of years the original owner returned and wanted to buy the house back. When the new owner refused, he went away, found the carcass of a dog and hanged it up on that nail. The new owner could do nothing, because the contract stipulated that that nail belonged to the old owner. Eventually he had to sell the house. He thought that one nail was such a small thing compared to the house that he paid little attention to it, not knowing that that nail will eventually force him to sell the house.

So too if you come to Christ but keep something of the old life back, the devil will eventually use that foothold to gain access to your life.

Jesus Christ wants you 100%. Not 50%, 80% or even 99%. He will have all or nothing. You cannot serve Him with one foot in the world; then He will have none of you. It must be a total surrender.

There is a member of the body that's far worse than even sexual immorality. That is the tongue.

"There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." (Proverbs 12:18).

"Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:" (Psalm 64:3).

Many people speak recklessly. Their words wound and kill others.

A certain boy named Thomas had a dream. He saw his mother, brother and little sister badly injured with multiple stabwounds. He was furious when he saw it and sought to lay hands on the criminal who had committed the terrible crime. As he thought on it he saw a figure moving on the other side of the room. He called to the person whether he was the murderer. The person answered from across the room, "No not me but you. My name is Conscience. The stabbing of your little sister Edna happened yesterday at 2pm when you were working in the garden. She came up to you carrying a bucket to help you and you were angry with her and scolded her terribly. Those wounds would take months to heal before she would even have the strength again to lift up that bucket. You also reprimanded your brother in a terrible way a few days earlier and wounded him in the process. You also spoke and treated your mother with disdain. She almost died because of your evil words. That wound just missed her heart." As he heard this he broke down and sobbed, crying to God for mercy and forgiveness. He remembered everything clearly. Then he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder and he woke up. There his mother stood next to his bed, looking down at him. He asked her, "Mother what is your wound like?" She didn't know what he meant. Then he told her his dream and asked her forgiveness. He also promised to God that he would never again speak in such an evil way.

If you want your faith to be complete then your tongue must be sanctified. The tongue reveals the depths and deceitfulness of our hearts.

"Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:8-14).

Reckon yourself to be dead to sin.

In the same way that Christ died and was raised to life, you count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. If we had died with Christ, let us also live with Him.

When we are baptised into Christ, we are in Him so that He is the One that's seen.

We ought to judge ourselves. If we judge ourselves we will not be judged then.

We must speak to ourselves, take ourselves by the scruff of the neck and there where we fall short judge ourselves and never repeat that again.

I can never preach to others to repent if I haven't repented first. I can never say confess your sin if I don't confess mine first.
I must say with Paul "I am crucified with Christ. I live no more but Christ lives in me."
I must have a clear conscience before God and men before I can preach to anyone.

A corpse is not tempted. It is dead.

You can try a corpse with strong drink if he was an alcoholic and he won't be tempted thereby. You can bring a prostitute to a dead man with all her enticing attire but he won't stir or move.

He is not tempted by his flesh or by his lusts. He is dead towards it.

So we must be dead towards sin.

"And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24).

That immoral, godless, human nature with its appetite, passions and desires have been crucified and is dead.

Do not yield again to sin, else you give strength again to those sinful passions and desires. Do not offer your members to sin anymore but offer your members to God for righteousness.

When you are baptised you proclaim before heaven and earth that you have died to sin with Christ and raised unto life with Christ. It's not that that miracle happens when you're baptised. That water is just a symbol and illustration of how you died with Christ and are raised to life.






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