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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : Victory Over Sin : The New Birth Is The New Covenant

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It is impossible to be a true Christian without being born again, which really means to be born from above or fathered from above.

John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 3:7 "Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again."

When a person is truly born again, he receives full access to new heart.

Jer. 32: 39-40 "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good, and I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me."

Ezek. 36: 25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances."

Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live."

Jer. 24:7 "And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

Jer. 31:31-34 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Ezek. 11:19-20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

Heb. 8:8b "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."

The new birth is the new covenant, the covenant of a new heart, reborn by a supernatural miracle - the miracle of the "rebirth", which places, as a free gift, the agape love of Christ within the heart of that person. It destroys all systems of human works, all religions of "works". It is impossible for a sinner to ever ever obey or love God without being born again.

2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Phip 2:13 "For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

Eph 3:16 "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;"

Heb. 12:24 "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel."

1 Cor. 11:25 "After the same manner also Christ took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament (covenant) in my blood: do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

There are three ways most church going people view salvation. These are:
1. The pardon and forgiveness of sin.
2. Sanctification and holy living.
3. The escape from hell and the glory of heaven.

These are all true but salvation itself is the very life and essence of the triune God. This life is not something that God gives but is Himself, Christ and the Holy Spirit living and dwelling within the believer.

There is no true life or salvation outside God or without Him. A selfish person is dead because he has cut himself off from the life of God. The life and operation of God living and working within a person produce all that is grace, redemption and salvation. A person will never experience this life without having God's rule and reign continually over him.

Many make a fatal mistake about Christianity by taking, receiving and embracing the outward teaching of spiritual things as the truth and essence of religion. They perform religious activities and form ideas and opinions about Christ and religion. By doing this they reject Christ as their Savior and only true source of light, love, truth, life and salvation.

Rom. 14:17 "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

Many think that peace, righteousness, and joy are just things that Christ distributes or gives out, but for a kingdom to exist, you must have a king. Only when we are united to King Jesus, do these privileges actually exist. These are not something that Christ just gives away then departs. They only exist as the result of His continual presence within us. I don't think I can emphasize enough the fact that Christ's LIFE can only exist as a result of Christ's actual presence within us. LIFE is not something that Christ just declares or gives out and then leaves. Christ Himself is the only true source of LIFE and we must always be totally dependent on His continual presence within us. Christ ONLY imparts LIFE to us as he lives within us.

When a light bulb is connected to electricity the bulb produces both light and heat. This light and heat only exist as long as the power flows. The light and heat are only the result of being properly connected to the power source. If the electricity is disconnected the light goes out instantly and the bulb will grow cold. The believer is like the light bulb, he can not produce his own light or heat without the electricity flowing. Christ is the believers "electricity" and only true source of spiritual power. Only when we are properly connected to HIM will we experience HIS true life, righteousness, peace and joy.

1 John 5:11-12 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that does not have the Son of God does not have life."

John 15:1-6 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. If any man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

Christ is the vine and we are the branches. Do you know Christ as your only source of continual nourishment and life? Much fruit is the real evidence of this union and fruitlessness is the proof of no union. If a person separates himself from Christ, he has no spiritual life at all. Christ is the inducing cause of a believer's obedience.

Reasons why so few walk in the fullness of the new covenant.

1. Many who truly believe that they are Christians are not.

Matt. 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith to me Lord, Lord shall enter into heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."

These people were so deceived that they were true Christians that Christ Himself had to confront them. They thought that because they used the name of Christ to do "good" things, that they were good people, but they didn't KNOW Christ Himself. These people were not submitted to Christ and His Kingdom. Everything that they did was really done to further establish their own kingdom and their own selfish interests.

I was once like this myself. I considered myself a true believer because of my experiences and what I did "in His name". I spoke in tongues in my private life and in the church. I also prophesied with the stamp of approval of the church leaders. I had received what was called the baptism in the Holy Spirit and had been told that tongues were the sure evidence of it. I had an active ministry in evangelism. I was on the radio and television and had many that I called converts. This was all done when I was not truly born again. I was only living for myself and using God and these things to further my own selfish interests. God placed me in some very humbling circumstances before I would even consider the possibility that I was not saved. After much prayer and searching by the Holy Spirit I knew that I was still my own king and that I had never really submitted myself to Christ's ruler ship over me.

You must understand that true Christianity is not something you have without being under the ruler ship of Christ. Church membership, so-called spiritual gifts, emotional experiences and many other factors can lead a person to a false belief that he is a Christian. A person should never consider his experiences, feelings, and emotions as evidence of Christianity. The only experience worth trusting is one that directly leads a person to live a holy life.

Many people who consider themselves filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit are only led by impulses and desires. The Holy Spirit enlightens and influences the mind and leads the Christian under His influence to act reasonably. Many people look and wait for the Spirit to make direct impressions on their feelings and not through the intelligence. They are full of impressions.

The devil transforms himself into an angel of light and persuades them to give themselves over to the impulses and impressions. He then leads them captive at his will. The person who gives himself up to be led and directed by feelings, impulses and impressions, no matter how good or religious he appears, is a sinner. The true Spirit controlled Christian is not led by these things. The Holy Spirit leads him by enlightening his intelligence.

Christ is the door through which each person can experience the fullness of God. He made provision for everything we need to escape the corruption in the world. We can be a partaker of God's divine nature and truly be holy and perfect as God requires. Through Christ we can conquer and overcome any sin. Through Christ we can do all things. We can truly fulfill all the requirements of the law so that when God looks at us He sees true actual obedience without needing some blood stained glasses.

I know many people who claim to have legal righteousness and holiness while still living in sin and rebellion. This means they believe that God accepts them as holy for what Christ did on the cross. This is pure deception. Christ did not hand out legal holiness. The truth is very simple; Christ only made it possible for us to experience true holiness and righteousness through His death. We need His LIFE inside us. As He rules over us, He imparts righteousness to us.

Many people base their born again experience on an act or prayer they have said. A person can accomplish many religious acts and say many prayers without becoming a true Christian. It does not matter if you think that you were born again or converted in the past. The real question is; have you changed your supreme purpose in life? Are you now living totally for and in obedience to God? Do you love Him with all your heart? Do you have a vital relationship with Christ that produces Godly fruit and keeps His commands?

I had gone forward in a church, and asked Jesus Christ into my heart and life as my personal Savior. I embraced the doctrines and practices of Christianity. I confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord. All this was in vain for I had never surrendered my own kingship over my life. I was still taking God's place of ruler ship and I was on the thrown of my life, living for myself. Everything I did was from a purely selfish heart. I wanted to go to heaven and still be free to sin.

I strongly believed I was a Christian and had much evidence to prove it. I was very active in the church and even had a ministry in evangelism. I also was training for missionary work. My own deception lasted more than twelve years. God had to place me in serious circumstances before my certainty was broken. I spent much time in seeking God, praying and Bible study. I was very serious with God and was willing to do all that was necessary to be right with Him. He lovingly dealt with me until I knew I was not a true Christian and the reason.

When I had doubts or fears concerning my salvation I went to several pastors and church leaders and they all assured me that I was already really a Christian. Some said I was under the attack of the devil's lies. Not one of them showed me what the word of God said what a true Christian was so I could judge for myself if I measured up or not. Do not let anyone ever tell you that you are a Christian. They can only see your outward actions. They can not see your heart. You must examine yourself, to test and prove yourself, to make certain that you really are in the faith. You must prove it to yourself.

Words do not save anyone nor do deeds. Salvation is only possible under the conditions of faith and repentance, which is giving up all selfishness. Confessing and claiming to be a Christian will never make a sinner a Christian. A sinner can call Christ Lord without actuality ever submitting to His lordship.

Do not fall into deception. If Jesus Christ is your King and Lord you will obey and follow him. John 5:56 "He who does not obey the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him." I John 2:4 "The one who says, 'I know Him' but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

Personal faith, obedience, holiness, moral perfection and righteousness are not optional. These are requirements for salvation, not something that you may apply if you want a deeper experience in Christ. God does love us and has a wonderful plan for our life, but preaching this truth is not evangelism. The gospel is not a sales pitch that has five or so easy steps to heaven.

The sinner must see his sin as a crime worthy of eternal punishment in hell. Sin is not an inescapable slip of a helpless victim. Sin is rebellion against God. The sinner when truly convicted will beg for mercy because he knows that he is a criminal that truly deserves hell. Unless a sinner turns from sin and bows to Jesus Christ as Lord, he cannot have eternal life.

Many people have a wrong definition of faith. The Christian had been saved by grace through faith. Some have a type of faith, but it does not save them. They were under grace, but God's grace did not cover them. Their definition of grace was in error. They knew they had to be born again. Many preach a new heart, but they differ radically on how one obtains a new heart. Some denominations don't like the phrase born again, so they use other words, but essentially, at the root, all of them teach a new heart in the love of Christ, and through various methods that obtain it by an "act of faith". Some call it being born again, others call it regeneration, but it means the same thing. The point is, they all think they are going to heaven when they do not have this new heart at all.

Many people who have never been born again think that God sees them as Holy because of the blood that Christ shed on the cross. The people who believe this, claim that Christ righteousness is imputed to the sinner. This means that God sees them legally holy in spite of the fact of his corrupted sinful nature. They teach that God can not see their sin because He sees the blood of Christ.

The grace of God is not intended to cover up sin but it is designed to free you from it. Christ's righteousness only becomes ours when we receive Him. When a person is born again, Christ actually comes and lives within him. Jesus Christ IMPARTS righteousness to the believer as He dwells in him. The Christian actually walks, lives and experiences Christ's righteousness as He dwells in him. You are COMPLETELY DECEIVED if you think that God sees you holy, when the truth is you have never really been born again. Without being born again you still are a rebel and a criminal living in your corrupted sinful condition.

Many people think they are Christians already because the know the facts of the gospel. A person can really know and believe these gospel facts without receiving any godly results or benefits at all. Even the devils believe and know these facts.

James 2:19 "If you believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

These people claim to truly believe but they have no true obedience to God. Many are deceived.

Ezek. 33:31 "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness."

Isa. 29:13 "Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of man."

James 1:22-25 "But be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

I John 3:2-8 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

True faith must believe to such a degree that it actually receives the life of Christ by taking the necessary action. True obedience must spring forth from faith. Each person must take God at His Word. The problem is, many people think they believe God's word but their experience proves otherwise. True faith always will prove itself in corresponding action.

Do not fall into deception. If Jesus Christ is your King and Lord, you will obey and follow him.

John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"

John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son has eternal life; but he that does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."

I John 2:4 "The one who says, 'I know Him' but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

A person can acknowledge the teachings of Christ. He may believe and know all the facts of the gospel without ever receiving Christ's life. He can practice "Christianity" and follow religious traditions and rituals without ever experiencing the true life of Christ. True Christianity is not just believing and knowing biblical facts, or the practice of Christian traditions and rituals. True Christianity is KNOWING and HAVING Christ. Real Christianity is the very life and essence of Jesus Christ living and dwelling within the believer.

Many have embraced a false gospel. A gospel that says you can be forgiven from sin and free from the penalty of sin without holiness of heart. They believe that they are heaven bound and feel completely safe in their corrupted sinful condition. This is a LETHAL and DEADLY doctrine. These people have never actually received any of the saving benefits of salvation. If you are one of these people please know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be saved and to remain in your corrupted sinful condition. God has provided the only solution to your sinful condition. This FREE gift is in the person of Christ. When you believe God's word you will and receive Christ, you will be made holy and your old sinful nature will be crucified with Christ. The true gospel when received actually changes the sinful heart in to a holy heart. Holiness is not something that is optional in salvation. It is a necessary part of salvation. WITHOUT HOLINESS SALVATION IS IMPOSSIBLE.

2. Those who are born again lack knowledge and faith.

No person will ever live a holy life as long as he thinks it is impossible for him to do so. As long as a person considers his sin, normal he will never exercise faith in God's promise to set him free. It seems that most people who claim to be saved still expect to sin every single day. They consider themselves safe and secure in Jesus' arms and heaven bound when in reality they do not really love God nor keep His commandments. Do not be deceived, if this you then you need to repent and really experience Christ as your Savior over sin.

One of the biggest reasons why so many people fail to be truly holy as the word commands is because of low exception. When people do not really expect to be holy in this life. These people have no expectation that they will ever be free from sin. They think that they must continue sinning in thought, word and deed every day until they day until they die. Many people think that living in sin is normal. They seem to accept it as a fact of life. No only do they accept it but they actually expect to never be free from the bondage of sin. While they expect so little as they usually do, no wonder they get so little. According to their faith, and not much beyond it, is all that they ever expect to receive. They do not see Jesus as their Savior from sin. They never will be set free from the domain of sin unless they actually realize that Christ died to set them free from all sin.

Numbers 13:30-33 "And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

God had provided the promise land to the people of Israel. He brought them out of the land of Egypt with mighty miracles and signs. God lead them to the promised land and they decided to send out twelve leaders to spy out the land. Ten of these leaders returned with a negative report saying that they could not posses the land that God had already provided because of giants living there. Only two spies came back saying that through God they could conquer and posses the land. They also saw the giants but knew that these giants were just grasshoppers in comparison to God's great power and resources. The people then had to choose between these two reports. Instead of believing God, they were filled with unbelief and discouragement and they believed the ten that gave the evil report.

Their sin was, they believed the evil report rather then God's word. Now you have this choice to believe God's word to be free from your corrupted sinful condition or believe an evil report that sin is much to powerful for you to ever overcome or conquer. Do you see yourself as a grasshopper when you see the giant of sin? Or do you see God's word that tells you, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you?

This example shows that the majority is not always right and that leaders can give an evil report. There are many leaders today teaching that it is impossible for a Christian to live in holiness. They tell you all about the giants (the world, the flesh, the devil and our sin nature) and why you will fail. If you chose to believe them, you will die in your sins. Why not instead listen to truth about God's great power over sin and how through His strength these giants become as small grasshoppers easily stepped on?

Have you refused to believe God because you have believed a lie from some preacher or minister? How many of you are now in the sin of unbelief because you were told this lie, that it is impossible to live without sin and be totally holy like God demands? Say now "I believe God, I am well able to overcome sin through Christ who strengthens me."

God had promised them the land and had provided everything possible for them to enter in and to enjoy all his provision. They refused to believe God and died in disobedience. The question is, are you going to follow their example?

Heb. 3:15-19 "While it is said, today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

Heb. 4:1-2 "Let us fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."

Heb. 4:11 "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

God has already provided everything you could ever possibly need to overcome every sin. He expects you to take what He has made available to you so that you will actually overcome sin in your life.

Isaiah 1:19-20 "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Now you must decide who to believe. Are you going to believe God or some evil report? Yes there are giants but through God's great power and grace you can conquer them all. You can be more then a conqueror through Christ and triumph over all sin.

Many people think they are Christians already because the know the facts of the gospel. A person can really know and believe these gospel facts without receiving any godly results or benefits at all. Even the devils believe and know these facts.

James 2:19 "If you believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

These people claim to truly believe but their lives prove other wise. Many are deceived.

Ezekiel 33:31 "And they come unto thee as the people come, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness."

Isa. 29:13 "Wherefore the Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of man."

James 1:22-25 "But be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

I John 3:2-8 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

True faith must believe to such a degree that it actually receives what God offers by taking the necessary action. True obedience must spring forth from faith. Each person must take God at His Word. The problem is, many people think they believe God's word but their experience proves otherwise. True faith always will prove itself in true works.

Hebrews 3:10-4:11 "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

God makes it clear in this passage they could not receive what He had for them because of their unbelief.

Faith must be exercised NOW! God's free offer must be taken at ONCE! He is always is ready to help us. He is always waiting for us to come to Him. God's solution is available RIGHT NOW, not sometime in the future. Do not be deceived; if you are in unbelief then it is truly YOUR FAULT ALONE. You can believe NOW, AT THIS VERY PRESENT MOMENT and if you do not, it is not God's or the Holy Spirit's fault, it is you own!! You are always able to place your confidence in Him regardless of any condition or sin that you may be experiencing. You must have some idea of your crime of sin, the nature and character of God, His free solution to the problem and that it really applies to you. True faith will instantly sanctify your heart.

The elements of faith are:

A. An intellectual perception of the truth. You must some idea of God's truth.
B. You must realize your true need.
C. You must realize that God's offer truly applies to you and that you MUST take it NOW!!!
D. A trust or confidence of the heart that yields all voluntary powers up to the control of God.

Many who have heard of the gospel live on their abilities, resolutions, choices, will power, and not on Christ Himself. They might not be aware of this fact; but if they ever come to depend on Christ, they will see that they have been trying to brace themselves up on the strength of their own resolutions. On the other hand many depend on faith without any work. Theirs is a puny, sickly faith, empty of energy or activity. Now both these classes are utterly mistaken; both those who depend on resolutions without faith, and those who trust in faith without works. Both equally miss the very thing that the gospel requires, and which alone can ensure success, that is, resolving and executing in the promised strength of Jesus Christ.

Self-confidence and self-reliance, are works of the flesh. It is impossible for the flesh to lean upon God. It is too impatient to tolerate any delay. So long as it thinks itself strong it will never depend upon God. Even in a time of desperation the flesh continues to scheme and to search for a way out. It never has the sense of utter dependency. This alone can be a test whereby a believer may know whether or not a work is of the flesh. Whatever does not issue from waiting upon God, from depending upon the Holy Spirit, is unquestionably of the flesh. Whatever one decides according to his pleasure in lieu of seeking the will of God emanates from the flesh. Whenever a heart of utter trust is lacking, there is the labor of the flesh. Now the things done may not be evil or improper; they in fact may be good and godly (such as reading the Bible, praying, worshiping, preaching); but if they are not undertaken in a spirit of complete reliance upon the Holy Spirit, then the flesh is the source of all. The old creation is willing to do anything-even to submit to God - if only it is permitted to live and to be active! However good the deed of the flesh may appear to be, "I", whether veiled or seen, always looms large on the horizon. The flesh never acknowledges its weakness nor admits to its uselessness; even should it become a laughingstock, the flesh remains unshaken in the belief in its ability.

"Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?" This uncovers a great truth. One may begin well, in the Spirit, but not continue well therein. Our experience bears out the fact of the relative ease with which a thing may begin in the Spirit but end up in the flesh. Often a newly apprehended truth is imparted by the Holy Spirit; after awhile, however, this truth has turned into a boasting of the flesh. The Jews in the early days committed just such an error. How frequently in the matters of obeying the Lord, of denying one's self afresh, of receiving power to save souls, one genuinely may rely upon the Holy Spirit at the outset; yet not long afterwards that same person changes God's grace into his own glory, treating what is of God as his possession. The same principle holds true in our conduct. Through the working of the Holy Spirit at the beginning there occurs a mighty transformation in one's life whereby he loves what he previously hated and hates what he loved before. Gradually, though, "self" begins to creep in unawares. The person increasingly interprets these changes to be of his making and unto his own admiration; or he grows careless and gradually pushes on by self-trust rather than by dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Thousands of matters there are in the experiences of believers which begin well in the Spirit but terminate unfortunately in the flesh.

Why is it that many of God's children eagerly seek a to please God fully and earnestly desire the more abundant life but nevertheless fail? Often when listening to messages, conversing with people, reading spiritual books, or praying privately, the Lord makes known to them how perfectly possible it is to have a life of fullness in the Lord. They are made to sense the simplicity and sweetness of such a life and they see no obstacle in the way to their securing it. Indeed they experience a blessing with power and glory that they have never before known. Oh, how good it is! But alas, how soon it all vanishes. Why? How? Is it because their faith is imperfect? Or is their consecration was not absolute? Surely their faith and consecration was towards the Lord. Then why did they fail? What is the, reason for losing the experience and how can it be restored? The answer is simple and definite. They are trusting in the flesh and trying to make perfect by the flesh what was begun in the Spirit. They are substituting self for the Spirit. The flesh desires to lead the way while hoping that the Holy Spirit will come alongside and assist. The work of the Spirit has been replaced by that of the flesh. Absent is that complete reliance upon the Spirit's leading for accomplishment. Absent also is a necessary waiting upon the Lord. Attempting to follow Him without denying the self is the root of all failures.

Should a believer be so self-confident that he dares to complete the task of the Holy Spirit in the energy of the flesh, he will not come into full spiritual maturity. He will instead drift until the sins he previously had overcome return to him again in power. These people failed because they sought to establish their own righteousness by works and to tried to make themselves perfect by the flesh. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the flesh to complete the work which the Holy Spirit had begun. The greatest blunder Christians commit upon experiencing victory over sin lies in not using the way of victory to sustain it; instead they try to keep the victory by their works and determination. They may perhaps succeed for a while but before long they shall find themselves sliding back into their former sins. They then either slump into despair by concluding that constant and persistent triumph is impossible to achieve or they try to hide their sins without honestly confessing that they have sinned. Now what is it that causes such failure? Just as the flesh gives you strength to do righteously so it also gives you the power to sin. Whether good acts or evil, all are but the expressions of the same flesh. If the flesh is not furnished opportunity to sin, it is willing to do good; and if once the opportunity to perform good is provided, the flesh will soon revert to sin.

Through ignorance of this truth, many fall. They have attempted to perfect themselves by the flesh what bad been begun by the Holy Spirit, for they desired "to make a good showing in the flesh" in order that "they might glory in (their) flesh" (6:12,13). Naturally their successes were very scanty in performing good by the flesh, while their failures in overcoming evil became quite numerous. Little did they realize that as long as they would serve God with their own strength and ideas they doubtlessly would serve sin in the flesh. If they did not forbid the flesh to do good they could not prevent it from doing evil. The best way to keep from sinning is not to do any good by one's self. Being unconscious of the utter corruption of the flesh, many believers in their foolishness wished to make use of it, not recognizing that the same corruption marked the flesh in boasting of doing good as in following lust. They could not do what God wanted them to do because on the one hand they tried to accomplish what the Holy Spirit had begun and on the other they vainly attempted to rid themselves of the passion and lust of the flesh.

There are some who do not care to be saved from their sins. This is not the kind of salvation which they would have. If they could be saved in their sins, they would like that full well. But they have no desire to be saved from their sins. They would gladly avoid the punishment if they could. The presence of sin and its daily practice is no source of grief or trouble to them. Some of them have a sort of desire, but yet are not willing to be saved from sin. They have seen some of the bad effects of sin and wish to be saved from it. Many sinners mistake their desires, for a willingness; but they are not really willing. They often think that they are willing, but if you push them you will find they are not. They will draw back and will not go straight forward in the gospel path of faith in Christ Jesus and of renounce their sin.

John 3:14-18 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

John 3:36 "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."

John 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 20:31 "But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name."

Rom. 3:22a "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:"

Rom. 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

1 Cor. 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

Gal. 3:22 "But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

1 John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God."

Repentance is a gift of God. When you believe God and act on it will be granted you. Repentance, comes as the RESULT of believing, it can exist before it.

Acts 5:29-32 "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree. Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him."

Acts 11:18 "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."

We get discouraged by lies and distortions made by leaders and others in the church. Remember when twelve spies went to check the land and ten returned with a negative report that filled the hearers with unbelief and discouragement?

Most believers accept the truth that the life of Christ is at work within them. This general belief accomplishes little. The Christian must understand that this continual working of God is the only source for all spiritual good there is. The only thing godly in a believer, is what gets all its life from the Spirit of God living and breathing in him. He is to look and depend fully on it both for his thoughts and desires that can be holy and good. There is nothing good in the believer except the life and goodness of God.

God does not consider anything done by a person's self to have any righteousness. A person's life is not truly good until it proceeds from Him. God quickens His own life and nature within the believer. All possible goodness is in God alone. No one can have any goodness separate from Him. A believer can only worship in spirit and truth when he completely trusts in and relies only on the working of God within him. The workings of the flesh cannot make a person holy. The only reason that a believer is godly is that God is actively at work within him.

A new Christian usually is too ignorant of himself and knows too little about Christ, to walk in true holiness and obedience. He needs fresh conviction of sin, to see himself as truly needy. Then he needs to have Christ revealed to him and formed in him the hope of glory. This must take place before he will be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Many do not fully understand how needy they are until God places them in a circumstance that reveals it to them. One purpose for trials and temptations is to show a person his true need. When a person sees the need, and seeks God for the answer, then the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ. What the new convert needs is a clear and powerful revelation of himself. Then he needs Christ to awaken and develop all his weaknesses and needs concerning Christ. A new convert will fall again and again in sin unless he receives these revelations in such power to cause embracing faith.

Every person is responsible to know and do the whole truth as soon as it is possible for him to do so with the light of the Holy Spirit. A person must first experience a trial that clearly shows him his own weaknesses. He will never embrace Christ rightly until he sees his true weakness. He may often fall under temptation and be in bondage until Christ is clearly and strongly revealed by the Holy Spirit. This has to be done in such a degree that self is put down and Christ is exalted in the heart.

Sin has so fooled the sinner that he never fully develops the alarming fact he is nothing without Christ until he fails one trial after another. Without this knowledge he will never receive Christ as his all and all. Christ quickens the believer's will into obedience by pouring a stream of quickening truth to him. Christ strengthens and confirms the believer's by making fresh discoveries to him. The believer comes to know Christ in precious relations in which he had known nothing of Him before. As the believer discovers his real weaknesses, he sees that Christ meets his needs fully.

The believer can not fully know all his weaknesses and Christ all at once. His present duty is to fully embrace all he understands of Christ. He must be 100% obedient to all the light he has been given. As trials and temptations come, he will learn more of his own needs and must learn more of Christ and take Him in new relations, or he will surely fall.

No person can have Christ or all his needs revealed at once. The believer when tempted sees his need revealed. The design of temptation is to show the believer his weakness in a given area at one specific time. The sanctified believer will see this need and receive a new revelation of Christ that fully meets the demands of that need. God does not require anyone to know all the relations of Christ at once

Knowing his own weakness and then throwing himself on Christ in these relations is the condition of the believer's perseverance in holiness under temptation. Temptation will come to the believer from time to time and nothing can guard him against falling but the revelation of Christ. The believer must continually take from Christ all that he needs by faith. The gospel promises that for every temptation there is a way of escape.








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