[b]True Salvation, the Righteousness of God in Man[/b]
[i]by Alan Martin[/i]
The scripture says that the word of the Lord is pure.
Purified like silver refined in a furnace of clay. Purified seven times. How will you know that a man - or myself, tonight - is speaking, filled with the Holy Spirit? It would be by the miracle of grace, that the Spirit of Christ has done a purifying work by the baptism of fire.
I've learned only recently what 24 carat gold means. 24 carat is pure gold, meaning that every part is gold. Far too much of my life has been a mixture. If 18 parts are gold, that means there's 6 parts of inferior metal. And the only way that a man filled with the Spirit of God - that you can really know that God is filling him - is the Spirit will not speak anything but what the Father says, and the Spirit will bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not only that, but the Holy Spirit will take the things of Christ and make them known to you. He will take His power and make it known to you. He will take His wisdom. The Spirit will take His power and make it known to you. The Spirit will take Christ's righteousness and make it known to you. Because the ministry of the Holy Spirit, is to glorify Jesus Christ. And Christ Jesus is not just glorified by people praising Him. Christ Jesus is glorified when we receive the things of Christ in ourselves. When His power and His wisdom and His life - in this earthen vessel - begins to manifest the ministry of Christ abiding in us - so much so that it shows that the excellency of the power that is exuding from Christ dwelling in us - it becomes clear that it's not of ourselves - it's of God. That's a miracle of grace!
I can only stand here as an unprofitable servant, sharing what the Lord - who alone is worthy of honour and praise and glory and power and dominion and might - because those things naturally exude from Him. None of them naturally exude from me. Any manifestation of wisdom - any manifestation of truth - any ministry that produces His righteousness - is the life of Christ at work in an unprofitable servant. The Spirit will have to help a man.
But, since it is through God's mercy I have this ministry, as Paul says, I'm very bold. The Spirit produces such a love of Christ in me. And I'm burdened. I'm burdened for the state of His Church. I don't believe Jesus Christ is being glorified in His Church. And partly that is because I don't believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached, in His Church.
I believe another Jesus is being preached. I believe another gospel is being preached, and I believe people are receiving a different spirit than the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And what I mean by another gospel is being preached: the Bible says for in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness of God that is from faith to faith. And I hear much today about the blood of Jesus - as if the blood of Jesus is what produces the righteousness of God. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, and I know this, and we cannot enter into the throne and the Holy of Holies and the presence of God. No-one dared enter without blood.
But, Paul spoke of the righteousness of God being produced by the life of God - by the Spirit of God - it says in Romans 5, and you can turn there if you want to look; it says:  Therefore now having been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved from His life?
Two things are mentioned. How much more shall we be saved from His wrath through Him? How much more shall be saved through His life? What is He saying? What is the wrath of God being revealed from heaven against? In Romans 1: the wrath of God from heaven is revealed against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men. And the reason that we are saved from God's wrath through Jesus Christ and saved by His life is because when the life of God in the person of Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell in us He produces in us the righteousness of God, and the true grace of God comes and teaches us to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present evil age.
Therefore we're saved from the wrath of God because we're saved from sinning.
Have we mixed up the gospel? Do you realise, that forgiveness for sin, and atonement for sin, was in the first Covenant? That's a first Covenant blessing. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. And what is the first benefit listed? Who forgives all my sin. That was in the first Covenant. There was a Day of Atonement. On the fifteenth day of the tenth month, when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies, an atonement was made for sins committed in ignorance. But it says about Jesus, the first promise of the New Covenant, is that you shall call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins. And that's why John said that no-one who is born of Him, sins. If anyone continues to sin, he has neither seen Him, nor known Him. 'Cos we know that He appeared, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
And when Jesus Christ comes into a person's life and the ministry of the Holy Spirit comes, He begins the ministry of forming Jesus Christ - in us - and producing this work, where greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. And one of the things that Jesus warned about in the last days when they asked Him to speak about the last days - in all three gospels - the first thing that He says is, Watch out, that ye be not deceived, for many shall come in My name saying "I am the Christ".
I heard an older brother in the Lord explain that in a way that makes much more sense. How many people have you or I met personally who thought they were Jesus Christ Himself? Raise your hand. But we meet people all the time who believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ - but they walk in unrighteousness. And their lives contradict their testimony.
There's a lot of preachers preaching that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. But they are not filled with the Spirit of God. Because when men are filled with the Spirit of God, it manifests the life of Jesus Christ in an earthen vessel. They walk by the Spirit and they do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. They keep in step with the Spirit and they become living demonstrations of the Spirit and power. Do you know what power particularly? The power of godliness; lest we be a people that have a form of godliness, but deny its power.
You see, it says of those who genuinely believe in Jesus, He came to His own and His own received Him not. But, to as many as received Him - what did they receive from Him? - to them He gave power. Power to do what? Become the sons of God. Who are the sons of God? Those who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. They are the sons of God. And those who walk after the Spirit, walk in the righteousness of Christ, because the ministry of the Spirit is not like the ministry of the first Covenant. In the first Covenant the law convicted men of sin, but it did not produce righteousness in anyone. You see, Paul said, for if a law had been given that could produce life, righteousness would have come by the law. But did the law produce life in anyone? No! So, do you see why the ministry of the Spirit is greater? Because what's the first thing - the letter does what? It kills! But what does the Spirit do? Gives life. And what does that life produce in us? Righteousness. See, it takes the life of God to produce the righteousness of God.
And Jesus Christ - in Him, was Life - and that life was the Light of men. And that Light, God, who said light shines from the darkness, has caused light to shine in our hearts to give us what? The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. And dyou know what happens when men see the true light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ? What did Paul say happens to men who really see it? They are transformed into the same image, from glory, to glory.
Yes, we've all borne the image of the earthly haven't we? What proves that you bore the image of the first man, Adam? You do what Adam did. Through one man sin entered the world. And what through sin? Death through sin. And in this way death passed to all men because all sinned. And every one of us has borne that likeness. We have sinned. We've proven that already haven't we? But when are we going to prove that just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly so shall we bear the likeness of the heavenly? Because the first Adam became a living soul. But what did the last Adam become? A life-giving spirit. And what does the life-giving Spirit of God produce, which the law could not produce? The righteousness of God. It produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and, self-control.
If you were really taught Christ. If you were really taught Christ, this is what you were taught. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to do what? To lay aside the old man. You were taught to lay aside the old man which is being corrupted by its deceitful lusts. And you were taught to put on the new man. The new man created to be like God, in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
See, if it's the true gospel, it will result in the righteousness and the holiness of the truth being put on.
Now I cannot see into your hearts at all tonight. But I can see that brother Alan has kind of a purple shirt with kind of blue stripes on it and blue jeans and got this thing hanging around his neck. And his wife has a black dress with some white stuff on. You see, I can see what you put on, and when you have clothed yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, men can see God's righteousness. They can see God's goodness. And you know they will look at you and they will see the love of God being shed abroad in your Holy Spirit and you know what they will recognise? These are the disciples of Christ. You know what's enough for a disciple? A disciple is never satisfied until he is like his Master. I want to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by being a living demonstration of the righteousness of God in Christ, in this life. Oh I know; I hear men, 'That's not possible'. Neither were virgin births.
I don't think being conformed to the image of Christ and manifesting the righteousness of God on a daily basis is any harder than building an ark.
You know Noah was a perfect man, blameless among the generation of his time. Not many Noahs, were there? Not many Enochs were there? Walked with God and was not. Not many Jobs were there? Perfect before God. Upright. A man who feared God and hated evil. Not many of them, are there? It's always going to be rare. Does that make it impossible?
Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads unto destruction and many there be that go in. But small is the way and narrow the gate that leads to life and small and few there be that find it. Yes. Many find a Jesus, but few find a Jesus that from Him, they receive power - the true grace of God. You see, a grace of God has been being taught that is not the full gospel. I've just been in prayer trying to search for a fit description of this grace. This came to me. I just felt to led to look up 'gold plated', because I believe that men are preaching a type of gold-plated righteousness. I didn't know what 'gold-plated' means, but I understand now that if you take a layer of gold - a thin layer of gold - and you put it over a lesser quality metal like silver, or nickel, or copper, and it looks to be entirely gold, kind of like you know, God really doesn't see your sin. When he looks at you, He sees - Jesus. So you can be a lousy husband and you can be a lousy worker on your job, but you know, praise God, because of the blood of Jesus, when he looks at you, He doesn't really see your lousy walk. He sees
That's gold-plated righteousness. The problem with gold-plated righteousness is, that the components of the inferior metal diffuse their way into the gold, and cause it to fade. That's not the glory of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ comes to baptise men in the Holy Spirit and fire. A fire that purifies and cleanses the lesser metals away, that our faith, which is of greater worth than gold, which perishes though refined by fire, may be proven genuine. And this is the reason that some men are going to actually walk in this righteousness, Its because some men are going to truly believe. And only those who truly believe in Jesus Christ in this way, will receive power to walk in the Spirit of God, be led by the Spirit, not fulfil the lusts of the flesh, and go from one degree of glory into another. Just like those who had the promise of entering His rest preached to them, and entered. There remains a rest for the people of God. But those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did go enter. And why did they not go in? What does the Bible say? Unbelief.
And who were those men? We know there were at least six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men, twenty years old, that God gloriously and miraculously delivered from Egypt. The blood covered the door. They were delivered from their bondage to the Egyptians. They came out. They were baptised into Moses. They were baptised into the cloud. They were baptised into the sea. They ate of the spiritual manna that was among them. They drank from the spiritual rock which was among them which was Christ. But Paul says but God was not pleased with the majority of them. Their bodies fell in the desert.
So the majority fell in the desert. Six hundred and three thousand and forty eight bodies fell in the desert. But there were two, who, when they heard, mixed with faith what they heard. And those two out of six hundred and three thousand and fifty men entered the promised land. And there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God today. And that rest is found not in the law. It's not found in some church. It is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Cos He said, come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I - I - will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Learn of me. Learn of me. And here's what you'll learn: I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Do you know what kind of rest for your souls you'll find? When Israel was given rest, they were given rest from their enemies round about. We have some enemies, and they war against our souls. What are they? They are sinful lusts that war against our souls. And you know what a lot of us need? We need rest from our enemies. And do you know how you get rest from your enemies round about? Is by partaking of the divine nature, you escape the corruption that is in the world, by lust. And by the Spirit, whatever belongs to your earthly nature - what do you do? You put it to death. Isn't that how Joshua and Caleb inherited their promise?
And I know that there are those who look and when this gospel of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus is preached, that they just think
theres a lot of Thomases, theres a lot of Thomases in the land - and they say, 'Unless I see it; unless I see it I'm not going to believe this. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.
You know, when Joshua and Caleb went into the land, what did they see? Didn't they see the mighty strongholds that were there? Didn't they see the Anekites [Amalekites], and the Canaanites, and the Jebusites? And didn't they realise how much larger and how much stronger and how much bigger those nations were? And the other ten that saw them only only died - and were actually killed by the Lord of a plague, for spreading an evil report to the people. And you know all they did, was give an accurate report without faith. That's all.
And you know, I don't care how many generations of your family has been angry. I don't care how long you've been on depression medication. I don't care. I don't care how long you've been. You know, you're never going to gain faith by considering those things. How did Abraham - who is the father of faith - how did God use Abraham as an example to teach us that by faith we obtain the things that are promised? You realise that we've received many great and precious promises from God, haven't we. Now just because you've received a promise does that mean you've inherited it? Abraham was given a promise. What promise was Abraham given? That you will be made the father of many nations and I will bless you and you will multiply greatly. Now Abraham received that promise when he was seventy-five years old. That's when he first received it. Now, being seventy-five years old, let's say he married late in life. Let's say he didn't marry till he was forty. That means for thirty-five years, he and Sarah had been something - barren. But he had a promise. So, he He is our father in the faith, and if you and I want to learn how this righteousness of God in Jesus Christ is going to become ours. It's going to become ours just like Abraham. Consider Abraham. Abraham, against all hope, in hope, believed - and fathered. Abraham, against all hope. Against what kind of hope? All natural hope. All natural hope. Against all natural hope, on the basis of hope. What basis did he hope upon? That God promised. Okay. Against hope, on the basis of hope, he believed and so became. You see how it must work for us?
God has made us a promise. If any man is in Christ he is a new creation. God has made you a new creation just like He made Abraham a father of many nations. Old things are passed away. All things are become new. And that's the hope you must base all things upon. In hope he believed and so became the father of many nations. Now here's a beautiful thing it goes on to say: without weakening in his faith. And the Greek word for 'weakening in his faith' could literally be translated 'without trying to judge two things at the same time'. Here's what it says: he did not consider his own body, or, the deadness of Sarah's womb. Those are things you don't consider if you want to be believing. If you want to have faith, you don't consider your own body.
You know, some of us need to stop looking at Adam. Stop looking at your flesh. Stop studying the doctrine of total depravity. Not very faith-building. Abraham did not consider his body, being dead. He did not consider the deadness of Sarah's womb, but he glorified God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he promised. And because of that, it was reckoned to him as righteousness. And he was enabled by faith. Even Sarah was enabled by faith. And notice what it says there. He did not waver through unbelief, but was strengthened by faith. Do you realise that's the way that you have to be strengthened? By faith. The righteousness of God is revealed from heaven 'from faith to faith'.
Do you realise you don't just have full faith. You were given a measure of faith. And you must give all diligence to add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge and to knowledge, godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love, for if these things be in you and abound, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of God.
And so dyou know why the church is ineffective, and unproductive in its knowledge of God? Because these things are not in them and abounding. And why are these things not in them and abounding? Because they are not giving all diligence to add to their faith. And it says that if any many have not these things, he is nearsighted and blind and he has forgotten that he has been cleansed of his former sins.
These are things that we can hope that God in His great mercy will come and His Spirit will fall upon a meeting and men will be convicted of sin. Maybe the strongholds will be broken. The house will be swept clean. Praise God! And beware, brother, that if you don't fill the house, the last days are going to be worse than the first. Cos what Jesus sweeps out of the house - if you don't fill it with the good things of God - if you don't walk in the fulness of the Spirit - that spirit's going to go out and find out seven spirits stronger than itself and it's going to come back and find that house swept clean and empty.
When we become filled with the Spirit of God we become filled with the Spirit of God from one degree of glory to another. Walking in the Spirit of God, by the Spirit of God, just like Joshua and Caleb went into the land of Canaan to take their inheritance. How could they do it? Who went before them? Who led them? It says the Angel of the Lord went before them and He promised them I will drive out your enemies. You put them to death. Have you heard that somewhere in the New Testament? Aren't we to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature? Aren't we to put to death anger, quarrelling, wrath? It's not even supposed to be mentioned among the saints. It's just faith. All it takes to do that is faith. Cos it says in Romans, if by the Spirit, we put to death the deeds of the body, we'll live. We'll live.
Simply by obeying and yielding to and co-operating with, the work of the Holy Spirit, so that, one area at a time - just like Joshua and Caleb - a stronghold in your life, by the power of Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit ministering - that stronghold comes down and the Spirit of God begins to work in that area. And what does He do from that area? He begins immediately to work on the next area.
And so the Spirit of God begins to take dominion and Christ Jesus begins to be formed in you, from one degree of glory to another. And when Christ Jesus becomes formed in you, the Spirit comes in and takes greater and greater possession, so you begin to walk by the Spirit. You have the mind of the Spirit, and you're led by the Spirit. And you no longer fulfil the lusts of the flesh, and you realise you're in no way under obligation to the flesh. In no way you're obligated to do what the flesh wants. Then you become filled with the Spirit of God, because you're a genuine believer.
You are experiencing the righteousness of God that comes from the hearing of faith. Many people don't understand the simplicity of the righteousness of God and the hearing of faith. It's very simple. When youre born again - when you're first hear the word of God - and you believe, you have a measure of faith; you believe - you receive the Holy Spirit, your sins are atoned, the Spirit of God comes to live in you. Christ begins to dwell in your heart - at that time the Holy Spirit of God is - When He the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.
Why is this so important? Because, Paul says in second Thessalonians, that God chose us to be saved through - He chose us to be saved through - the sanctifying work of the Spirit and belief in the truth.
Do you remember when Jesus was praying for His disciples, in John 17 and He says: Father I pray not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. For they're not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Then He adds this: Sanctify them by the truth. Set them apart by the truth. Then He says Thy word is truth. Okay. Here's how that sets them apart from the world. How does the prince of the power of the air rule the earth? What has he done? What's his native language and how has he spread his entire rule over the earth? Lies. Do you see how the ministry of the Spirit of God sets us apart? He guides us into all truth. And Jesus said If you continue in my words, then you are my
And once you begin to really become His disciples, you then really begin to know the - truth. And what is it that sets you free? Truth. And what do you think it sets you free from? Sin. By the ministry of the Spirit in you, guiding you into the truth. How does that work with the hearing of faith? You know the Bible says that The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, for the righteous live by faith. We also know that the sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God. How do those two come together?
Here's how. The Spirit of God in another man preaches the word of God. The word of God you hear, believe, receive the Spirit. Then you have the Spirit. Then the Spirit begins to lead you. And the Spirit inside you, guides you into truth. So you're in a situation, and the Spirit brings to remembrance all things that Jesus says. Everything that God has said, the Spirit brings to remembrance. So all you have to do to walk in righteousness is simply believe what the Spirit says to you.
Isn't that what the Bible says? You shall hear a voice in the way. This is the way. Walk ye in it. And how do you escape temptation? There's a way of escape. You know, isn't it so? Do we really believe that no temptation has taken us, but such is common to man? That the Lord is faithful? He will not suffer you to be tempted above what you're able, will He? No. And the truth is He never has and He never will. Not one of us has ever been tempted above what we're able to bear. But in every temptation God provides a way of escape so that ye may be able to bear up under it. You know a way of escape sounds like being set free - to me.
Escape what? The snare, or the trap, of the devil. How do you escape? What's the way of escape? You're tempted and the Holy Spirit of God says to you 'This way'. And simply by believing through hearing - righteousness - the righteousness of faith. You simply believe what the Spirit is guiding to you, and you overcome the world by...? [Faith] And you overcome the evil one by...? [Faith] And you quench every fiery dart of the enemy by...? [Faith] You know what it says Take up the shield of faith with which you can quench a few of the fiery darts of the enemy.
Right? Well, why don't we live that way? I mean, you guys just know the truth. You just shook your heads. No. No. How many of the fiery darts of the enemy is the shield of faith supposed to be able to quench? That means that every temptation that Satan throws at us, theoretically, we can quench by faith. Overcome the world - by faith. So however, When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth? Faith on the earth is the rarest thing there is. No matter how many promises God has made, what are they in Christ Jesus? In Him they are Yea. In Him they are Amen
There's a promise in the book of Daniel, chapter 11 verse 32, and it says that those who know their God shall do? Do exploits. And that's actually taken as a promise, They shall be made strong and they shall do exploits. As you'll notice if you have the King James version, 'exploits' is in italics. I noticed. That's interesting. Why is exploits in italics? Because, they were trying to understand, you know, best they could, what the original language says. I checked it out in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, and it's simply the Greek word 'they shall do'. Hmm. You mean, Those who know their God shall do? Hmm. Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but He that doeth - same word - same Greek word does the will of my Father, who is in heaven.
First John says, Little children, let no-one deceive you. He who does what is righteous, is righteous, even as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning and we know that the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil. The real evidence of knowing God, is being empowered by the Spirit of God to do His will. If anyone says I know Him but does not keep His commandments, he's a liar and the truth the truth is not in him. Now notice that the truth is not in him. What do you think that means? What did Paul say? Examine yourself to see if you be in the faith. If you really believe in the truth, the truth is abiding in you.
How do you resolve that question? How do you know whether you are really in the faith? Christ, is in you. See, Paul wrote to the Ephesians and says that he prayed for them that they would be strengthened with power through the Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ would dwell in their hearts - by faith. And being rooted and established in love, they would have power together with all the saints to grasp what is the height and breadth and length and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that ye might be filled with measure of - all the fulness of God. And this is my burden for the church. I've talked with brother Greg. I don't know a lot about revival. But this is what I do know. Paul says that it was He who gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, until we all reach the unity of the faith and the full knowledge - the *epignosis - of the Son of God. Because, until we reach the full knowledge of the Son of God, we are still infants?
And what are infants? Blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine by the cunningness and craftiness of men. And the only solution to that is by the ministry of those God gave, causing people to grow up into all things into Christ, unto the full measure of the stature of Christ. Until you look like Christ. Speak like Christ. Act like Christ. Till your wife sees the righteousness of Christ in you and your children see the righteousness of Christ in you and men see that in this earthen vessel there is power, supernatural power and they see where sin was abounding, grace is now superabounding. Now that's glory! That's glory to Jesus Christ! That's glory to the risen Christ; because it takes Jesus Christ Himself to produce that life; not some belief about the cross, not some belief about the blood. It takes Jesus to make men perfect, mature, complete, whole, steadfast, stable, godly, righteous.
Only Jesus Himself can do this. Yes, my brother David was right - it's impossible to do for yourself. But look - that's only half of the equation. Paul said I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh, but what did he say? I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me. And that's what Paul was saying in Romans, when he said... Okay. Look with me. Let's read this. Chapter five. I want you to see these things. No. Forget that. I want you to live these things! We've seen long enough. But seeing in the sense of seeing and receiving. My burden, is to see Christ formed in His people.
Romans chapter five, verse seventeen: For if by the one man's offence, death reigned through the one. How do you know that death reigned through the one man? It's not a trick question. Everyone dies! Actually, except one. Enoch. Exceptionally, God has His ways of just keeping us all ? you know. But death reigned through the one man. We know that death reigned because men were dying - so that proved death was reigning. Okay?
For it by the offence of the one death reigned through the one how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life? How? Through the one Man. We reign in life through Him who loved us. In all these things we are overwhelmingly conquerors through Him. In Him. By Him. Living in Christ. Christ in us. Righteousness reigns. We reign in life because grace reigns in righteousness. Follow me a little bit later on in the same chapter, verse 18. Therefore as through one's man's offence judgement came to all men resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life.
Paul goes on to explain himself and I'm so glad he did. Please read this verse very carefully. Verse nineteen: for as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners. Before I read the next half, let's first of all look at that statement. For by the one man's disobedience many were made sinners. Okay. Hear me. Adam sinned and even though all of us were really good, his sin was imputed unto us and we were all sinners.
I see some of you with a smirk. You don't believe that? You think that's what it means. All of us really did well, but Adam sinned and his sin was imputed unto us so God looks at us as sinners even though we were good? D'you buy that? No I don't buy that. I buy this. Through one's man's sin, sin came to all men and made us all sinners. How do you know? Because we practised sin.
Okay. Now let's read the second half. Let's read that again and then read the second half. For as - the Greek preposition means 'in the same way' - For in the same way that through one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, also by one man's obedience, many will be made righteous. Not just considered righteous - actually, 'righteous'. A new heart. A new spirit, with the old man crucified, for those who have been united with Him have been united with Him in the likeness of His death. And the death He died, He died to sin, and the life He lives He lives to God. You see, He died. He rose from the dead, so that death no longer has mastery over Him. How do you know for sure, that death no longer had mastery over Jesus Christ? He stopped dying. He's not dying. He'll never die. You see it? Death no longer has mastery over Him. He's already defeated death. In the same way,
reckon yourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God. How do you do it? What is reckoning yourself to be dead to sin? It's called believing God. Called faith. I believe, Lord.
And you know, God would not ask us to do such a thing without providing something. 'Cos you know, you and I could probably imagine that this could be possible, if Jesus Christ were right here with us. You know we sing that song, [sings] 'Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh'. There's the other song [speaks] I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless/ ills have to weight, and tears no bitterness. So if Jesus were really right here with us, now maybe so. Thats not what Jesus said, it's better for you that I go away. Why? How can it possibly be better for the disciples who, when Jesus was with them, they could do good - how could it possibly be better for them if He go away? Because He who descended, was He who ascended above all, that He might be the all in all, who does what? Fills all. By Jesus Christ going away, He sends the promise of the Holy Spirit so that every one of us can have all of Jesus all the time in every situation. Not one of us are orphans. Jesus has come in the Holy Spirit. And the power of Jesus, and the wisdom of Jesus, and the love of Jesus, produced by the presence of Jesus in the Holy Spirit, works the righteousness of God. God in us - both to will and to do of His righteousness - of His good pleasure. And what pleases Him? Righteousness. Righteousness is what pleases God.
And don't think it's so strange. It may seem strange. But do you know what happens. D'you know why the truth sounds strange in our day? It's evidence that the full gospel is not really being preached. It talks about those teachers who by reason of their teaching cause the way of the truth to be brought into ill repute. Because it sounds so different from what's being preached in our day. That's not what we've heard. You know, Mary had never heard of a virgin birth, either. Those are not things we consider. Just because it's rare it's not something we can set aside.
Consider the difference between the two old men that heard the promise. Abraham heard the promise. Against all hope in hope he believed. He did not consider his own body or the deadness of Sarah's womb but gave glory to God - was strengthened by faith being fully persuaded God had power to do what He promised. There was another older man - a righteous man - by the way. His name was Zacharias. His wife's name was Elisabeth. And the angel Gabriel came to him and gave him a promise, didn't he? But what did Zacharias consider that Abraham didn't? Zacharias said, 'I'm an old man. How can this happen? My wife's old.' The angel Gabriel said, 'I am Gabriel; I stand in the presence of God. I've come to bring you the word of God. You're going to be shut up and unable to speak'. And you know what's happened to a lot of our testimony? 'I'm an old man. I've got old flesh. If it weren't for Adam's flesh, I'm stuck in Romans 7; O wretched man that I am! The good that I would I do not, and that which I would not, I do. Who shall save me from this body of death?' Well, that's not a testimony! You don't go preaching that gospel out there anyway.
That's not Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. That's not Romans 8. That's not where Paul stopped. Thanks be to God who giveth me the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord! For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh He condemned sin in the flesh. That's where sin ruled. The sin ruled in the flesh. Isn't that where sin has ruled in your body? In your flesh? Okay. Well, where sin abounded in your flesh, what's supposed to abound? [from the congregation: 'grace'.] You mean in this mortal body grace is supposed to abound? Yes. By Him who has power to bring all things under His control He will even give life to your mortal body. You know we need to stop preaching re-incarnation. Yeah! We preach re-incarnation. We preach you can live a lousy life down here, and you've just got to believe and praise God for the blood of Jesus Christ and you never really have real victory, but once we get to heaven, we're perfect. We do. We come very close to that kind of a gospel.
But the Bible says that everyone who hath the hope, really, of the resurrection - everyone who has this hope, in Him, purifies himself, even as He is pure. And back to a point that the Holy Spirit brings me back to. Don't look at me as if this is a strange thing. It's even a simple thing. It's so simple, that all you have to do is believe, and what will come from this belief, will fulfil all righteousness. It's already been stated here today, by someone, that the only thing that counts, is what? Faith that worketh through love.
Jesus only gave us, basically, two commandments. But one is believe in me, but, a new commandment that I've given unto you; love one another as I have loved you. Okay: faith working through love. D'you realise about love? The Bible says that love is stronger than death.
It's power is unyielding as a grave. It burns as a mighty flame. A most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love. And if we will abide in love - though faith - he that abideth in love, abideth in God and God in him. Amen. He that abideth in love, abideth in God and God in him. By this, love is made perfect among us, so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement.
'Cos you know what abiding in God and God abiding in us produces? It produces the righteousness of God. 'Cos doesn't the Bible say love is the fulfilment of the law? He that loveth his neighbour doeth no harm to his neighbour. So what you and I need, is a perfect love, don't we? In order for it to fulfil all righteousness, we need a perfect love.
Now has God just commanded you and I to do this on our own? God never commands what He does not provide for. So how is love made perfected among us? Well, God has sent the Holy Spirit. And what does the Holy Spirit shed abroad in our hearts? The love of God. Jesus prayed, in John 17, to the Father, Father, that the love You have for Me, may be in them. D'you know how we really are able to love Jesus, like the Father loved Him? The Spirit of God sheds abroad this love in our hearts. And the Spirit loves Jesus.
And when we are being filled with the Holy Spirit, we love Jesus. And when we love Jesus, John just said this: do you see any man that obeys His commandments? If a man is obeying His commandments, in that man verily is the love of God perfected. You know, it's the evidence. It just shows who really loves God. But d'you know what's happening in the last days. Jesus warned, due to the increase of wickedness, the love of the many would wax cold. Religion is not waxing cold, but the love of Christ is waxing cold, and when those who by God's grace and Gods will believe in Jesus Christ - those who believe Him - to them He gives power. The power of the very love of God comes to abide in them and the presence of the Holy Spirit - this life-giving divine nature - begins to transform us by putting to death our flesh, fully forming Christ Jesus in us, from one degree of glory into another and God's righteousness begins to be manifest in our lives.
And if this were the condition of the Church, you'd see women with meek and quiet spirits, with complete and total control over their tongues. They would exhibit such a godliness, that it would stun their husbands. You would see brothers, loving other brothers in the way that God loves us. You know it says, beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves, has been born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not. What? Knoweth not God. Now, can I boil that down to simpler things for us? Let's boil it down to a little simpler thing. Who's the person not loving? It's the person thinking that someone else should be doing something to them first, before theyll love. It's 'you have to understand me, brethren, or you're not treating me right'. Or, you don't appreciate me. Or, I'm tired of the way you treat me.
Is that how God loves us? Did God wait till we appreciated Him to send His Son? Did God wait till we understood how much our actions hurt Him before He sent His Son? Did God wait for the world to say they were sorry before He sent His Son? No, sinners love sinners that way. Tax collectors love tax collectors. Even sinners love those who love them. Sinners do good to others who do good to them. But Jesus said you be perfect. And everyone born of God, loves that way. Because God is love and God lives in them, and God does what God is. And the problem we have, really, and the need we have, is we need people to really come to really know God. And we need to stop - what we've done - is we've made things that we call 'knowing God', that are not knowing God.
Why don't we call 'knowing God' what Jesus and His servants called knowing Him? Walking in righteousness. Living in love. Being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Simply the fruit of the Holy Spirit in daily display, by those who walk by and keep in step in the Spirit. One day at a time, moment by moment. So men's faith is no more placed upon men's wisdom - not wise persuasive words. Living demonstration - demonstration of the power, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit abiding. And then we can do what James talks about. D'you have faith? I do. Show me your faith without deeds? 'I'll show you my faith by the way I treat my wife. I'll show you my faith by the meekness and gentleness of Christ in me, to my children. I'll show you my faith by a power and the love in me that allows me to bless those who curse me. To speak well - to blaspheme no man. To not even let any unwholesome talk proceed forth out of my mouth, but only that which builds up others according to their need and ministers grace to the hearer. By keeping a tight rein on my tongue.
By making a true righteous heart. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer and it makes my lips gracious and the tongue of the wise begins to command healing. And as I begin to really be believing - as I really begin to be believing in the Lord Jesus Christ - I begin to be filled with the Holy Spirit and he that believeth in me, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. And yes we need revival from here - right here - whoooooa ....
Jesus filling me, spilling out, producing life in others. Thats what we need. Yes, the Spirit needs to be poured out but Hes got to be filled up before He can be
See, being filled with the Spirit is not for charismatics. Being filled with the Spirit is in order to be made like Jesus. I can't do anything by my self. And the reason too many people are not filled with the Spirit is because they don't ask for the Spirit. I'm not talking about some kind of experience. I'm talking about being filled with the Spirit so that I can receive the power of the indwelling Christ to walk in righteousness - to drive out anger - to drive out selfishness - to free me from any addiction - to give me what is only present where the Spirit of the Lord is. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty - iberty from the only that really brings captivity. What's the only thing that really brings captivity in this world? Sin. Where the Spirit of the Lord is - if you're really under grace - sin is no longer master. But I'm just going to call people back to something that Elijah called the people to, just simply. Remember I talked about doubt being trying to consider two things at the same time?
What're you going to be like? Abraham, in hope on the basis of hope, believe? You see, you're going to have to come to know someone for this to become a reality. I want to be honest like Paul - not that I've already attained all this, or not that I've already been made perfect, but I do something about what lies behind - I forget it. And I press onward toward what lies ahead and I press on to lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of. And d'you know why the Lord laid His hold of me? To them, whoever He predestined, He called, and who He called, He justified and who He justified, He glorified. And what did He really call me to? He called me to be conformed to the image of His Son.
And I'm pressing forward, until I'm fully conformed unto the image of His Son. And then when I'm fully conformed to the image of His Son, men are going to see, not just the Author of my faith, they're going to see the workmanship of the Finisher of my faith. Dyou know, the only basis I have for this kind of hope? This reality? You know, the Bible says, who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for it, we wait, expectantly. D'you know what my confidence and my hope is based upon? Christ in me. He's my hope of glory. I am so fixed upon Him, that my hope is sure. I'm sure He's going to finish what He began. I'm sure He's able to keep me from falling. He's going to present me without spot or wrinkle. He's going to present me before the Father, a finished saint. 'Cos I'm only considering Him. I'm not considering my flesh. I have no obligation to the flesh.
And what I meant by calling us back to where Elijah was, listen: Elijah said to Israel, How long with you halt between two opinions? What does 'halt' mean. We think it means 'stop'. But that's not what it meant. He said how long will you halt - how long will you be lame? If sin is master, serve him. If Jesus is Lord, serve Jesus. 'Cos if you try to serve them both, you'll be nothing but lame. You'll have a lame testimony, and a lame life and you'll have a Christianity no-one wants.
And what really is the problem with the Church, is that we speak one thing, and walk another. And yes, we need a revival. We need a revival from being infants. We need to grow up into the measure of the fulness of the stature of Christ. And we need to, you know. James also said who is wise and understanding among you? We think we have wisdom for the world? We think we have the answer for the world? What did James say to do? Who's wise and understanding among you, let Him show it. Let Him show it by deeds done in the meekness of wisdom. There is no way to do deeds in the meekness of wisdom without the indwelling Christ, without being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Can I just ask you to bow your heads, and search your hearts and be honest? And be honest. What fruit has been coming from your life? The Bible tells us to be sober. Not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but to think in accordance with the measure of faith that we've been given. And here's what I ask you. The Bible says this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. The evidence that you really have faith are those areas in your life where you're having victory. Do not claim a measure of faith beyond - areas where the power of Christ is not giving you victory. Take an honest look at where sin has mastery over you. And be at least as honest as that father who said, Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.
Fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I can do your will, so that Jesus Christ can be formed in me, and that you will give me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, in order that I become in Christ, your righteousness - a tree of righteousness and that you would be glorified.
God is glorified when we become the righteousness of God in Christ. It stuns men. They see the power of God demonstrated. And our repentance needs to be thorough, and what really will produce this repentance, is a godly sorrow over anything less than the fulness of Christ, where we're sick and tired of giving glory to Adam, and robbing Christ of glory. Of blaming our flesh on our failure, rather than like Jesus said, it's really the weakness of your faith. Its your faith that's the problem. The reason that you can't, or I can't is because of unbelief.
Jesus says He that believes in his heart and does not doubt, can say to this mountain be removed and cast into the sea. And you're going to tell me that we can't believe that God cannot drive out anger, and depression, and fear, and inconsistency, and dryness? When we know it's His will? When we ask anything in accordance with His will we know He hears us. And when we know He hears us, we know we receive from whatsoever thing we've asked. Do you have faith? If you don't have faith, let not that man think he shall receive anything from the Lord, for he's a double-minded man and unstable in all of his ways. The problem we have is not our flesh. The problem we have is our faith. The problem we have is not the corruption of the world, because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
In one of the most corrupt places on earth there were four Hebrew children - Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. And even then, simply by faith, they purposed in their hearts not to be defiled with the king's food. And what did that simple act of faith produce in them? God gave them ten times the wisdom and understanding and power and virtue of anyone else in their day. *And they blazed like stars in the midst of the universe. So the problem is not corruption. Some of the greatest miracles of God happen in a time of great corruption.
Do you have faith? When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth? I just invite you to repent of unbelief. Repent of unbelief. Fix your eyes upon Jesus. Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon