Summary: Pentecost 11(B) - When we live in the truth of the knowledge of Jesus we can put off the old self and put on the new self.
LIVE IN THE TRUTH OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS (Outline)
July 27, 2008 --
PENTECOST 11 --
INTRO: Our country, nation, and its people are independent. Each one of us likes to do what we want to do when we want to. Even the experts of today admit that our people are very selfish. The only person who is important is the all important – I. The reality of Christianity is to love God above all things. In the realm of Christianity believers also love their neighbors as themselves. When we consider what the Lord Jesus has done for each one of us our lives change dramatically. The sacrifice of Christ to pay for our sins makes all the difference in the world. Our outlook and attitude are the complete opposite of the selfish, self-centered world in which we live. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body"(1 CORINTHIANS 6:19,20).
In faith believers LIVE IN THE TRUTH OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS.
I. Put off the old self.
II. Put on the new self.
I. PUT OFF THE OLD SELF
A. Paul is in Rome, in prison. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a letter of Christian encouragement.
1. Chapters 1-3 of Ephesians describe and define God’s free grace for believers and the world.
2. The Christian reacts to God’s grace, verse 17. Gentiles = unbelievers with empty thinking.
B. The seriousness of being in a lost condition gives one pause and serious reason to reflect.
1. Verse 18. Unbelievers dwell in darkness. They are separated from God by their ignorance.
2. Unbelievers harden their own hearts against God and his mercy, verse 19. Sin is their god.
C. The sinful nature (old man/self) is addicted to sin: Addicted to everything only evil all the time.
D. It can become easy to point at others and declare them as unregenerate unbelievers with hardened hearts destined to the eternal fires of hell. But that would be a mistake. In this life and on this side of heaven we always carry around with us our own sinful nature that always opposes God. Our sinful nature is also always addicted to everything evil all the time. This nature we inherited from Adam and Eve. We cannot escape it. When Jesus lived on earth he came to his own and was rejected. Jesus always reaches out in love and mercy to all men. Still some would rather reject. Why? "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil"(JOHN 3:19). Remember whenever we sin this is also a rejection of God’s grace and mercy. Put off the old self.
E. Our sinful nature is deceitful. Our sinful nature is deadly. Our sinful nature is always, always a part of our earthly living. We try to fool ourselves into thinking that we are not so bad. We consider ourselves to be good because we have not committed some major crime or other act of disobedience. This is our human / sinful nature trying to fool us. Sin includes more than action. Sin also includes wicked words and terrible thoughts. "But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him"(1 JOHN 2:11). Again, sin is rejecting God. Put off the old self by living in the truth of the knowledge of Jesus.
F. We can try to live a good life on our own. That does not work. On our own we will and do always fall short of the glory of God. Remember our sinful nature only likes to do only evil all the time. Our sinful nature would always drag us down the path of perdition and road of ruin. Instead, we rejoice and celebrate that we are saved only and entirely by the grace of God. God’s word changes our lives. By hearing God’s word faith is planted in our hearts. God is now alive and well in every believer. "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ"(ROMANS 8:9).
By grace we can now LIVE IN THE TRUTH OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS.
As we live in this truth God creates in us the desire and will to put off the old self.
II. PUT ON THE NEW SELF
A. It is bleak – sin, the old self. There is darkness, rejections, ignorance, and hardened hearts.