Saturday, May 25, 2013

CHANGED TO LIVE SIN FREE

And this true gospel of Jesus is dividing the world at the moment. And the Gospel where we repent and follow Jesus, and we are going to find ourselves walking to his kingdom and being changed anew. And today I wanted to talk about this wonderful change. This change that happens when we turn to Jesus. You know Jesus is about a new way, a new beginning and that's why he came to die on the cross for us that we could have this new way in our hearts and we could come on a new way in life and no longer have to walk the old paths that were now ashamed of. As Paul said we are now ashamed of the things that we used to do but now we are happy that we can walk on this new way. And that's what Jesus does he gives us a change a new way and we no longer walk on the broad path to destruction that Jesus talked about but we are part of the people who are striving to enter his kingdom by abiding in him on the new way. When the apostles had received the Holy Spirit and they started to travel through Samaria and Judea and the ends of the earth, you see they were walking in the power of the Holy Spirit in this new way and were boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth because they knew that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. And he had come and died for the whole world that all of us who repent and turn from our sins we would indeed come on this new way praise the Lord. And that's what's so wonderful is that we can come on this new way in the name of Jesus, and we can be changed like the apostles were and like all the early believers were. They all change. Many Christians don't realize about this change. Many of them are thinking we can just live our old ways still and still enter God's kingdom somehow through some kind of faith that they have and be saved. But truth is friends and when we turn to Jesus and we dedicate ourselves to him and we go and get baptized in his name, that's when real change comes into our lives. And that's what happened to the people who turned to the Lord Jesus. Is not that wonderful. Now I want to read to you the story about the Pharisee and the tax collector, because this is a story that many Christians really misinterpreted and they use to keep themselves in deception.

A lot of worldly people will also quote this scripture giving them an excuse to stay in their evil deeds thinking that they can continue to have good lives on this earth and go to the pub and drink beer, swear and curse and continue to sin and have the immoral relationships, de facto relationships, living with partners they are not married to, you know they think this is all permissible now. And so a lot of people use this parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector as an excuse to stay in their sin and to live an immoral life. And they use it to try and justify themselves until they end up in hell a little bit later when they die. But we're here to read this parable today. I want to read it to you in Luke; He also told this parable to those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt. Two men went up into the temple to pray one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee standing by himself prayed thus; God I think you that I am not like other men, extortionists adulterers and unjust or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give tithes with all I get get. But the tax collector standing afar off would not lift his eyes to heaven but he beat his breast saying; God be merciful on me for I am a sinner. I tell you said Jesus this man went home justified rather than the other for everybody who exults himself will be humbled. The one who humbles himself will exalted. So this is the story that Jesus told him in Jerusalem. He was talking about how the Pharisee was praying and how the tax collector was praying. And at the beginning he told this parable to those who trust in themselves and think that they are righteous and treat other people with contempt. And that is how many religious people want to be, is that they feel that they are righteous and they trust in themselves and they are righteous by their own making. But that's what the Pharisee was. He was the Law keeper, keeper of the Torah and he was strived hard to follow the 10 Commandments and to follow the Torah.

And many Christians are like this today. They will tack Jesus on the back of their Torah keeping and their righteousness comes from striving after the law. And so these people believe that their righteous by their own power by their own strength yet in their hearts they are still sinning. And they are actually sinning in action every day. Often they'll admit that they are sinning. But somehow they'll say that Jesus also covers for that while they strive after the law. And so they'll say it's impossible to not break all the commandments but we should try hard. And so what they do is that they trust in their own self for their own righteousness and they think themselves pretty good at it. And so they're like the Pharisee who was keeping the law to be righteous looking at contempt with non law keepers and people who were outside the temple. And so this is whom Jesus spoke this parable to. So we have this tax collector who was a corrupt man, who was an evil man, and he came into the temple in repentance. When you repent before God to have humility because you realise; I've lived an evil life and I haven't done what is righteous in the sight of God. You know I've been living in adultery. Ive been unjust, Ive been an extortioner, Ive been evil. And so this man cried out to God he said; Lord I've sinned please forgive me and please help me and forgive me. And what happened was that he went home justified. Now justification; what happens when we get justified by God? Justification is a change. It is a new way hallelujah. Now I want to read on about this wonderful justification. Luke 23:39; now one of the criminals or thieves who were hanged railed at him saying; are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us too. But the other thief rebuked him saying; do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly so for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds. But this man has done nothing wrong.

And he said Jesus remember me when you come into my kingdom. And he (Jesus) said to him; truly I say to you today you'll be with me in paradise. You see friends this is another scripture that the ungodly like to use to justify themselves in living life on the broad way going to the pub and drinking beer and wasting time in their sins adultery and fornication. And we're looking at the two people here. We are looking at one person who didn't want to repent and we are looking in another person who did want to repent. And he said to the Lord please remember me. And once again we are looking at this justification by Jesus Christ by God. So we are looking at the tax collector who was justified and we are looking at this evil thief who repented and was justified. And the thing between both of these people is that they repented. Now the Pharisee professed that he loved God and he wasn't against God like the evil thief who railed against God. No he professed to love God. So we are looking at two different kinds of people here. We are looking at the religious who believe that they love the Lord or they love Jesus, and looking at the regular sinner who hates God. And both of those did not get justified before God. But we are looking at a corrupt tax collector who wants to honor God and repent and looking at a thief who wants to repent. We are looking at two people who have turned away from the evil and decided to repent before the Lord and for that the Lord justified them, why? Because of faith, they had faith.

Now I want to read to you what happens to somebody who gets justified by God. Let us read on in acts 6:5; and what they said please the whole gathering and they chose Stephen a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. And Stephen full of grace and power was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue they stood up and disputed with Stephen but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit from which he was speaking. And they secretly assigned men who lied and they said that he had heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God, and they stired up people and the scribes and they came upon him and they seized him and brought him to the Council where they set up a false witness and they said that this man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law for we have heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us. And gazing at him they saw that his face was that of an angel. And later on Stephens said behold I see the heavens opened and I see the son of man standing at the right hand of God. And they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed at him and they cast him out of the city and they stoned him. And as he died Stephen called out; Lord Jesus receive my spirit and do not hold these sins against them. You see we are looking at a man who became justified before God, and somebody who became changed by their faith in Jesus Christ. And so Christians think that the tax collector, the Republican was an evil man so that means I can continue on the broad path. They have to remember one thing and that is that both the tax collector and the thief on the cross became new people like Stephen did. They became righteous men on that point when they became justified by God. You see Stephen the martyr he used to be a worldly man too. And the Lord Jesus justified Stephen, the thief on the cross and also the corrupt tax collector. He was justified by God. And what happens when people are justify they go back and they become a changed and new person. Now unfortunately the thief couldn't have that chance. But Stephen did have that chance and he ended up dying for Jesus living in holiness and preaching the word. That is what happens to a person who gets justified by God; they leave their sins. They no longer walk on the broad path. No longer drinking at the pub and laughing at dirty jokes living lives of immorality.

No some of them are dying for Jesus. They're standing up for his name in the face of trouble, persecution evil and they're not living in the paths of worldliness. Just like Peter and the other apostles who were sinning and denied Jesus. Once Jesus changed them when he had died and risen again and given the Holy Spirit, they were justified before God and they became new people also. They were no longer the people they once were. They were no longer chasing after their own ways. They gave away everything and they were spending their time living for Jesus. Living in his ways hallelujah. And that's what we should be doing. We should not be like these dishonest Christians who use the thief on the cross and the corrupt tax collector as an excuse to continue to live a life as a sinner as somebody who hates God, as somebody who spurns the cross. Because they want to continue in their evil. No we want to be like Stephen who was changed and the tax collector and the criminal on the cross who was changed by Jesus Christ. And they became new people and they had the new in their hearts hallelujah. Now I want to read you what is written in John: he who shall not eat my flesh and the my blood has no life in him. And Jesus goes on to say is that if anyone thirsts let him come to me to drink and let him eat of me. Jesus also says that if you don't eat of him and drink of him, you got no life in you. What is this? His flesh is the word, his word. That is what his flesh is. And his blood is the Holy Spirit of God. We got the Holy Spirit as his blood and we got the word as his flesh. Foolish and immoral people like the Catholic religion, they will say you got to be a cannibal and you got to eat Jesus or some Eucharist or whatever it is. But that's a lie friends.

That's a pagan belief. But what Jesus said was that his flesh is the word, his word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit, the life, lifeblood. And it is the Holy Spirit and the word within a person that changes them and makes them a new person. And that's why there's a change in the heart of those who are genuinely repentant and who have beat their breast before God and ask him to forgive them. And who have gone out to Jesus to remember them. There is a genuine change that comes into these people by the grace of God. We are not changed by our own power keeping the law doesn't help you enter heaven. It doesn't change your heart. Striving after being a good Pharisee doesn't change you. What changes us hallelujah is getting on our knees like the tax collected before Jesus, before God and repenting of our sins and turning away from our evil deeds. You know when we gone on in our sin then we're also helping the world to continue to destroy kill cause terrible destruction on the earth. We are all part of the problem and we're continuing to sin because we are giving Satan power because Satan is the sinner and evil gives satan power. So the more you do evil the more you help to spread Satan's agenda on earth, the more you help rape, the more you help prostitution, the more you help the exploitation of the poor, the more you help war, the more you help killing, the more you help murder, the more you help broken families adulteries, betrayals, the more you hurt some people. The more you want to sin, the more you want to contribute to the problems of this world. And the more you want to justify yourself as a sinner before God, the more you heap condemnation on your head. Hallelujah we are here to turn away from our sins today praise the Lord. Now Stephen was a righteous man he became righteous because of faith. It says in acts that he was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.

So he had eaten the bread of life and he had Jesus in him. Why is that? Because Jesus is the bread of life his words are bread. It says that he was full of the Holy Spirit. Full of the Holy Spirit means that he drank the blood of Jesus. That's what it means because the blood of Jesus is the Holy Spirit. That's what it means. And so what happens is Stephen is full of Grace and power and he was doing great wonders and signs among the people. And it said that some of those who belong to the Torah, the keeping of the law, they were the ones who wanted to kill him. Now we see this today. We get a so many believers who follow the Church or they follow religion, they're the ones who want to harm people spreading the true gospel of Jesus because it doesn't sit right with them. According to their ways they can't accept that we have to be holy, and we have to follow the Lord in truth. You know they can't accept that we got to repent of our sins. But we're not here to be like them. We are here to completely dedicate ourselves like Stephen did to the Gospel. That is what Stephen did. He dedicated himself to the Gospel and to the preaching of the word amen. And that's what they all did. They dedicated themselves to the preaching of the word and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These people were not going back to their sins and immorality. They were staying focused on the truth of Jesus Christ hallelujah. And that's what we are here to be doing today dear friends that's why we have to be serious about Jesus so that we have this new change come into our hearts. Do we have this new way? I ask Christians this. I ask them, you believe in Jesus well do you have the new way, do you follow the narrow way? Have you turned away from the broad path to destruction.

Are you resisting temptation are you living in victory over temptation through prayer and abiding in Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith. That is what I ask Christians. And the ones who want to condone sin and want to use the tax collector as an excuse to go on doing evil, I tell them God is not mocked. What you sow in this life you shall also reap. You will reap death and destruction in the next life if you live life as an evil person and if you commit sin and you do not repent. Many Christians believe that they will enter the kingdom while they live like a tax collector and they rip people off and they steal and are dishonest. You know God doesn't let people like that into his kingdom. It is written in revelation that on the outside of the holy city are all those who practice abominations. And we don't forget one John 3:6 where it says that those who abide in him do not continue to practice sin. And those who keep sinning are of their father satan and don't know Jesus. That is what is written in 1 John 3:6. but dear friends we are not here to be deceived. We are here to be honest about ourselves today and we are here to ask ourselves if we are changed and are we on the narrow way? If you're not and you are not changed but you're still living your old life in sin immorality and chasing around ways well it is high time to lay real faith in Jesus and really go to the Lord ask him him for mercy. And ask him to change you so that he can give you a new way in your heart, that you can come on this new way and not end up in the fire. That's what the theif on the cross did. He cried out to the Lord to have Mercy and remember me.

And that's all we should be doing. We should be asking the Lord to remember us so that we can enter his kingdom also. Hallelujah. That is what Jesus came to do; he came to give us a way to enter the kingdom. That's why the Gospel is so good because we can eat of his flesh and we can think of his blood which is his words and being filled with the Holy Spirit. And then you will never thirst again. Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit? If you haven't then you got to go ask. And that's what happened to the believers who the apostles laid hands on and they believed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they started praising God and speaking in other tongues and Peter said; if God gives the Gentiles his Holy Spirit who are we to refuse the baptism in water? And so they were all baptized and they realize that the good news of Jesus wasn't only for the Jews but was also for the Gentiles as well. Dear friends you know it is wonderful friends that we can be here today in the Gospel of Jesus and it's wonderful that we can follow him today. I want to ask you, do you dedicate your time to him? Do you live for Jesus? Is he the dominant factor in your life? I asked Christians this at the same time I want to make sure I myself are living on the right way on the narrow way. Are we living our life? You see Jesus changed me too and when I turned to him I had to turn away from many things. I had to turn away from focusing on my own life. I had to turn away from all my pursuits. I had to giveaway living life on the broad path. The broad path is the path that everybody lives on. It is the path where you go to the pub and you drink beer.

It is the path where you just laugh at the evil jokes of this world and you don't want to separate yourself unto the Lord. It is a path where you deny Jesus every day because standing up for Jesus means you lose face amongst the unbelievers and they might be your friends. So when you're on the broad path you're still friends with the world and all your unbelieving friends and your friends with them because you don't want to stand up for Jesus. Wont tell them the truth and have many turn against you. That is the problem friends is that a lot of people they don't truly love Jesus. He is not the first in their life. They are busy denying him so denying him everyday and not changed. But we are here not to be like these people. We're here to be changed in the heart and to continue to endure under temptation until the end. Because that's the way that we will enter the kingdom and I tell you friends time is running out. It is at the door that the Lord is going to return and he wants people to be ready for him now and he wants the new way in their lives now. Through him. You can't get it on your own power, you can't fix yourself up. All these resolutions we made we can't keep them. What we have to do is we have to dedicate Jesus 100% now and we got to give all our life to him so that he can lead us and he can guide us into what we should do for him in his kingdom. That is what Jesus is all about friends . he is all about the new way, like what happened to Stephen the martyr. He stopped being an evil man and he was changed and he became a righteous man and full of faith and grace and power of the Holy Spirit and he spent his time administering the word of God and in the prayer and preaching the word. Then he ended up dying for the Lord in the end he wasn't on the broad path to destruction. He didn't walk in the pub one day and slack around and talk dirty and then the next day get killed for Jesus. No he didn't deny Jesus one day and the next day was martyred for the Lord.

No he lived for the Lord in the grace and power of God changed by Jesus Christ. And that's how real Christians are not fake ones. Fake ones are those who say that Jesus died for them and it is all about the finished work of Jesus on the cross and we are all sinners like the tax collector and like the tax collector we are justified because we go on in our sin (but have faith). That is a lie; the tax collector was a changed man he got justified by God that he walked away justified, a new man, a different way. The thief on the cross would've become somebody like Stephen filled with the Holy Spirit and leading others to the truth with his testimony preaching the word. He would've been part of those in the book of acts doing the will of Jesus Christ walking around as led by the Holy Spirit. Many Christians today are busy being led by themselves and by Satan on the broad path. They are busy watching all this evil on TV and filling their minds and hearts with trash and rubbish of this world on the broad path. Their whole focus is on things like sport which is absolutely empty pursuit is all about self glory, their whole minds are focused on immoral Hollywood and many of these evil shows that are fiction and lies, and this is not the way of somebody who's changed by Jesus Christ where they live and new way, no. these Christians aren't busy turning away from their temptations.

They are falling to their sins everyday. But maybe you're one of those Christians who is decided to get serious today and you are falling to sin and you know you need mercy. Well that's when you cry out to God with a repentant heart and deciding to turn from your sins and what happens is Jesus will help you to repent and turn away from your sins next time temptation comes. He'll help you to have a heart that can live Holiness, and if you fall you got to repent and get back to the way praise God. You know that's how we got to be friends otherwise I tell you, you will not enter the kingdom of God. It is the narrow door as Jesus said the door is narrow. He said strive to enter it is difficult. He said for many would try few will be able. That is because many people don't want to lay true faith in Jesus. They do not want to give their whole lives up for him. But Jesus said that he who loves his life will lose it but he who tries to hang onto his life will lose it but he who loses his life for my sake and the kingdom and the gospel will save it. That's what we're here to do. We are here to not to have our worldly lives but to live for the Lord. Why don't we go away today and spend a day in prayer. Instead of turning on TV to watch sports, why don't you pray instead. Instead of following the TV and all your favorite shows why don't you go and pray and administer the word instead. Focus on the Lord and spend time with him…...