Posted on 10/11/2009 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
Public Prayer Requests:
Please believe with me for my daughter Gabrielle's safety, deliverance and restoration to the Lord. That the grace of God is working in her, delivering her, setting her free from every addiction and bondage of the enemy. And that the Lord Jesus is keeping her safe and protected, while God is working, restoring a love and desire for God in her life. Believe with me, that the Lord is shutting every door of a wrong path, and opening those doors that will bring about His purpose in and for her. That the love of God is breaking through every wall of the enemy; that she hears and knows truth. That every bondage and deception is broken off of her life. That our God, is breaking and removing every wrong relationship; and bringing right relationships into her life, as instruments of the Lord's grace, to recover her from every pit of destruction, and causing her to regain her purposed destiny in serving and living whole heartily for the Lord. Thank you so much for investing your heart in such a wonderful daughter, as my Gabrielle. A Praying and believing Dad; Dale
Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.
WHAT A MIGHTY GOD
What a mighty God we serve
what a mighty God we serve
Angels bow before Him
heaven and earth adore Him
What a mighty God we serve!
HE IS THE KING OF KINGS
He is the King of Kings
He is the Lord of Lords
His name is Jesus, Jesus,
O, He is the King!
His name is Jesus, Jesus
sad hearts we've no more
He can heal the broken hearted
open wide the prison door
And He's able to deliver evermore!
FATHER, SPIRIT, JESUS
Father, I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Not too long ago, we talked about the world view of the world, and considered many of their viewpoints and how those ideas arise from an absence of a belief in God and in his Holy Word.
Well, the other day, something occured to me. Because of something said at church a couple of Wednesdays ago, I was pondering the question, how would I react to those living a homosexual lifestyle if Jesus were removed from the picture?
If I didn't believe the whole Word of God, then maybe homosexuality isn't wrong. And if I didn't believe in Jesus, then I would believe that many if not most of them simply cannot change.
With Jesus and the transforming power of his blood and his Holy Spirit removed from the table, I'd have to see homosexuals as a misunderstood, badly abused group of people. In fact, I would be a loud voice promoting a change in how people see them.
After all, without Jesus, it would be cruel to portray their sexual identity as a sin. That would be hate speech. To say they are going to hell because of something they cannot change would be insanely radical.
Without Jesus, I'd want to see them be able to fall in love, a man with a man or a woman with a woman, experience marriage and family, and live a normal life just like everyone else.
Without Jesus. And that's the title of today's message, "Without Jesus."
It's no wonder the world is working very hard to place homosexuality beside heterosexuality as something good and right. The movies, the school text books, and the lives of actors and singers who everyone loves.
And without Jesus, I'd be working right along side them for the cause of removing all prejudice and elevating their lifestyle to the level of everyone else.
If you really think about it, if you could lay aside any repulsion to their actions, without Jesus, wouldn't you have to come to the same conclusion?
I think most of you would. And because of this, let us consider those we know of, those individuals and groups who wear the name of Christian and promote such a lifestyle as something good, or at least acceptable.
If they really believed the Word of God and if they really believed Jesus' blood and his Holy Spirit with resurrection power can set us free from ANY sin, wouldn't they have something different to say?
Without a knowledge of and belief in what Jesus Christ can do, and what he WILL do for, in, and through those who put their faith and hope completely in him; without that knowledge and belief, what an incredible struggle must take place inside of your heart. To think that the Bible would condemn an action that someone cannot help doing; that is just unthinkable. No wonder someone would desperately search for some way to explain away, to nullify, any passages or verses that paint homosexuality as one of the abominations that, if you don't turn from it, will drag your soul to eternal damnation in hell.
Nowhere in the Old Testament do we see anyone being delivered from homosexuality. Not one. They were put to death. You see, without Jesus, there would be no hope for them; and the only thing left to do would be to either reject them as hopeless, or to change the Word of God to pardon them. Without Jesus, the TRUE Jesus, there is no hope.
What misery and torment comes from not truly believing in the saving, delivering, transforming power of the cross! Even if they think they believe and trust in Jesus as the Bible declares him, they can not.
The Old Covenant provided only death for those who found themselves bound by homosexual desires and who did not, by their will power, refuse to act upon them. Just like so many other things in the Law, this showed just one area in which mankind could not live up to God's standard of righteousness.
Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet; and then Jesus comes along and, instead of saying these things are okay because of his grace, he raises the bar and says that if you lust, you commit adultery in your heart; if you hate someone, you commit murder in your heart.
Without the power of his blood and his Holy Spirit, Jesus really would have made things even worse.
Even for those who reject all of Scripture except for the words Jesus spoke through his own mouth, the "Red Letter Christians" as they call themselves, they have to ignore some of what Jesus taught if they are to excuse a homosexual lifestyle.
And let me pause for just a moment and say that this message is NOT about homosexuality. Just hang in there with me for a few more minutes today, and you'll see where all this is going.
First of all, they would have to explain away or conveniently forget the words of Jesus when he said that the Scriptures cannot lie. He was talking about the Old Testament, which was all the Scriptures they had at that time.
Next, Jesus, without using our modern-day word for homosexuality, spoke very plainly against it.
In Mark chapter 10, verses 6 through 8, Jesus says this:
Mark 10:6-8 (KMV*)
6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.
7 For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8 And the two will be one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
First Jesus says that God created them male and female. Then he says for THIS reason. What reason? Because God made them male and female, NOT because they have romantic feelings for eachother, or because they fell in love, but because they are male and female. THAT is the only just cause for becoming "one flesh" in a sexual union.
He says, because God made them male and female, a man, that's a masculine noun in the original language, will leave his father and mother, and will cleave to his wife, that's a feminine noun which means a woman. And THEN the two will experience a sexual union.
And as if this weren't bad enough, Jesus says the following in Matthew chapter five:
Matthew 5:27-29 (KMV*)
27 You have heard that it was said by them in times of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28 But I say to you, whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Okay, so since everyone has lusted, he's really saying it's not that big of a deal, right? Wrong. In the very next breath, he says this:
29 And if your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is better for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.
Woah... What's that about your eye causing you to stumble and you being cast into hell?! What about grace? What about grace indeed. And we'll get to that in just a minute.
But the point here is that Jesus was not excusing adultery and fornication, but said not only does it begin in the heart, but you should do whatever it takes to keep it out of your heart, because it will take you to hell.
And this in light of his saying the only acceptable reason for sexual union is that they are male and female. No, you can't excuse homosexuality even if you throw out everything except the words out of Jesus' mouth, those letters printed in red.
And so we have a real problem. Either Jesus is everything he and the rest of Scripture said and all his promises are true, or those trapped inside the mind cursed by homosexuality cannot ever have any hope. And those who do not fully believe in Jesus, including all he is, all he promised, and all he said, they have to either excuse or condemn those who live such a life.
But God did not leave us without hope. And we see this hope, specifically for the tormenting sin of homosexuality, in 1st Corinthians chapter 6:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KMV*)
9 Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 Nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Listen to this now:
11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Glory be to God! He didn't even say "and such ARE some of you," but "and such WERE some of you."
He was talking to a group of believers who included people who USED to have sex before marriage, cheat on their spouse or sleep with a married person, some of them used to worship people or things besides God, some of them used to be homosexuals, some of them used to steal, some of them used to get drunk, some of them used to be crooks.
BUT. When God uses that word, it means so much! BUT. But they were washed, they were sanctified, they were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.
What does that mean? Well, let's break it down. Let's take a look at what those words mean in the original Greek.
Washed, sanctified, and justified.
Washed means to wash away, to cleanse.
What is washed away? Their sins, the guilt of their sins, and the stain of their sins. God doesn't do anything half way. He doesn't start anything that he does not finish. And this most certainly is true for something as important as Salvation. So not only was the guilt of their sins washed away, and not only was the stain of their sins, those stains which marked them as unholy, washed away; but the sins themselves were washed away!
Think about that. God didn't just white-wash them. Jesus railed on the religious leaders because they were white-washed. He said they look good on the outside, but were full of sin on the inside. God doesn't just make us the same way. No, he cleans us to the very core.
So they didn't just LOOK like their sin had been washed away. God has no need to counterfeit. He and he alone has the power, the desire, and the promise to cleanse us to the very core! He not only removes the guilt and stain of our sins, but he removes the sins themselves, down to the very deepest recesses of our hearts and minds.
So while they were fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, drunkards, and so-on, God washed all that away, down to the very center of their beings. Glory be to God!
Next, they were sanctified.
This word "sanctified" means this: to separate from the profane, to dedicate and consecrate to God, to purify internally by the renewing of the soul.
They were not left to carry their sins around. No, they were washed completely away. And in the process of that washing, they were separated from the profane, that which God hates. Their bodies, minds, hearts, and lives were dedicated and consecrated to God, set apart to glorify God in everything.
And they were purified on the inside, in the heart, by the renewing of their souls by the Word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit.
So they were washed, and they were sanctified. And finally, they were justified. The word "justified" means to make or declare one as righteous, to give evidence that one is righteous.
You see, a vital part of the work of Salvation is that we take on the righteousness of Christ. It's not a righteousness created by good things we have done, for Scripture tells us this kind of righteousness is like filthy rags. Instead, it's a righteousness created by Jesus and the perfect, sinless life he lived.
We can't go back in time and change what we've done in the past. But today, we can walk in the righteousness of Christ, yoked together with him, walking in his footsteps and doing all things to glorify his name.
You see, righteousness is not just the appearance of the justified as holy; rather, righteousness is also a way of life, right living down to the very smallest thing.
We are justified through Jesus, not because of what we have done or how hard we work to not sin; but we remain in his righteousness by cooperating with it. We present our bodies as instruments of righteousness, instead of yielding them as instruments of sin.
And that was the group of people to whom Paul was speaking. They USED to be fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals, BUT all that was washed away as they were sanctified and set apart from those things and dedicated to the glory of God, and as they were justified through Christ, taking on and walking in his righteousness instead.
So while the Old Testament, life Without Jesus, shows no one being supernaturally set free from the sins which would drag them to hell, the New Testament, life WITH the the atoning blood and the resurrected, glorified Jesus who sent his Holy Spirit to transform us, shows us those who have had their lives completely turned upside-down, or right side up, as those who are truly in Christ Jesus are brand new creations, as all the old things pass away, and ALL things are made new!
Without Jesus. Just a few minutes ago, I said this message wasn't about homosexuality, but about life without Jesus.
Most of us know John 3:16 by heart: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
What does that mean? To "believe in Him?" Well, let's take our earlier example a little further. Without Jesus, or without a true belief in who he is, what he has done, and what he has promised to do in the lives of those who believe, we'd have to protect and defend homosexuals from being seen as different or their lifestyles as wrong.
What about abortion? Well, with disbelief in other parts of Jesus, the Word of God, we could reason that, until someone has developed a purpose for living, their life really has no purpose, and purpose is what defines us and gives us the desire to live. Therefore, tissues and cells inside of a mother, having no sense of purpose and direction of their own, have only the mother's purpose, direction, and desires. And if that desire is to not allow these tissues to form into a separate life form, then that is her right to choose.
Did you know there are those who wear the name of Christ and believe in abortion? And yet, we read this in Psalm chapter 139:
Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
God fashioned the days of your life before the very first day in your mother's womb. It is not man, or woman, who the Word of God reveals as the master of your fate; rather, it is God who has ordained the paths for you to walk. And every single unborn baby, from the very first moment of conception, is seen by God as the man or woman He has planned for him or her to be.
In fact, it is GOD who is forming that unborn child, "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb." No, that embreo is NOT just part of the mother, like a growth she has the right to keep or dispose of; but according to the Word of God, it is a separate person, covered with the mother's womb for a time while God forms and fashions them, as they are fearfully and wonderfully made, with a purpose and direction formed not by the will of man, but by the hand of God.
So don't hold on to the name of Christian while holding on to doctrines of devils which present murder of the innocent as a woman's rightful choice. For you can do so only Without Jesus, or rather, without the fullness of Christ and all he is, all he has said in his Word, and all he can and has promised to do.
Without Jesus. How about tollerance for other so-called "faiths?" Mother Theresa embraced all religions as good. The Emergent Church movement embraces all sorts of spiritual traditions and practices as long as you believe they give you a richer experience of God.
And yet Jesus said in John chapter ten and verse 1:
John 10:1 (KMV*)
1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
And then in verses 7 through 9 he says,
John 10:7-9 (KMV*)
7 ... "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door. if any one enters in by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out, and find pasture.
So Jesus is the only door, and all others are thieves and robbers. By these very words of Jesus, Mohamed is a thief and a robber. Buddah is a thief and a robber. Krishna is a thief and a robber. For as he said in John 14:6, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can come to the Father except through him.
And you can't even get there through Jesus AND spiritual traditions such as eastern meditation, or other such nonsense. Oh yes, you'll get a super-spiritual feeling and go on a seemingly peaceful and meaningful spiritual journey; but since Jesus is the Word of God, we can only get to the Father, even after being born again, by Jesus, the Word of God; and the Bible tells us how to enter in to the presence of God and how to fellowship with him. It is by talking with him, obeying him, thanking him in all things, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord.
We could go on and on, the Bible is full of examples of true worship and true fellowship with God. But the point is that, without a true belief in ALL of Jesus, who he is, what he has done, what he has promised, and in his power to fulfill all his promises, we will imagine that all sorts of junk is good, and even that we can use such garbage to get closer to God, instead of living by his Word.
So, why do you suppose so many of us in the Church today hold beliefs and ideas that come from a lack of belief in parts of the person and power of Jesus?
Yep, you're exactly right. It's because too many of us have only partial belief.
We believe in grace, but we don't understand that it is not a license to sin, but instead is the foundation upon which our deliverance from bondange to sin is built.
We believe Jesus came, lived without sin, died for our sins, and rose again, but we don't understand that he has the power and has promised to transform our minds by his Word and has sent us his Holy Spirit to do away with our old lives and re-make us in his image and likeness.
Some of us doubt parts of the Holy Scriptures. Some of us doubt the active, transforming power of God in the earth today. Some of us doubt that he can or will completely deliver someone from homosexuality. Some of us doubt that the methods of drawing close to God found in the Bible are right for every single person on earth.
And so, we have not REALLY understood John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
About a week ago, my pastor preached a message called "I Believe in Jesus, BUT..." And the main point was that there can't be any "but." Either you do, or you don't.
It's not, "I believe in Jesus, BUT he never said, in these exact words, 'homosexuality is wrong,' and he never said, in these exact words, 'I will change homosexuals who come to me.'," but rather, "I believe in Jesus. Period! He hates what the Bible says is wrong, and has come to set the captives free. Whoever therefore is in Christ is a brand new creation; the old things pass away, and he makes all things new!"
It's not, "I believe in Jesus, BUT abortion is a woman's choice," but rather, "The Word of God says that God forms us in our mother's womb, and he gives us purpose and individual identity as a man or woman ordained by him to live, and he not only has a special place in his heart for children, but has also given very strong warnings about murdering the innocent."
It's not, "I believe in Jesus, BUT every person must decide which path, or which spiritual practices, are right for them," but rather, "I believe in Jesus! He is the way the truth and the life, and no one can get to God except through him! All others are thieves and robbers, as are those who follow them, and as John 3:18 says, whoever does not believe upon Jesus is condemned."
If we are going to completely believe upon Jesus, then we must believe who he is, what he has done, and what he has promised.
He is the righteousness of God, and hates sin. In fact, sin is why he suffered and died; he did that to remove our sin so our fellowship with God could be restored. If he were to leave us bound by sin, we would continuously be building new walls between us and God, crucifying Christ anew, with nothing to look forward to except judgment.
And so, since we believe Jesus keeps his promises and does not fail, we also believe that, as Philippians 1:6 says, he who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. So we put our faith completely in Jesus to not only wash away our sins of the past, but also to deliver us from them and to transform us, day by day, into his image and likeness by his Holy Spirit so we can walk closer and closer with him.
Yes, with man, these things are impossible. Without Jesus, the homosexual cannot change. The drug addict has, at best, a very hard road ahead. The pedophile just has to wait for society to evolve and make his lifestyle legal too, just like the homosexual. And those following the false gods or the pagan practices of false religions just have to hope that somehow they will avoid the hell that is where all of them lead.
As Zechariah 4:6 says, it's "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts!"
Without Jesus, we grope for acceptance, search for justification, and long to be seen as good and right at least by others if not by God.
But WITH Jesus, we have a glorious future and a unquenchable hope, for Jesus has done it ALL! He has not just forgiven us, but he has set us free! He has not just justified us, but he has promised to transform us into his image! He has not just wiped away our past, but has sent his Holy Spirit to work in us the atoning power of his blood and the life-transforming intensity of his resurrection power!
Anyone here who is on the ministry team, can come stand at the front now.
And as we all stand to our feet, I'd like to invite you to put ALL your belief in Jesus, and him alone.
Let's cry out to him together.
Lord Jesus, we believe that you are the Son of God, and that you lived a sinless life so that you would be able to bear and pay the penalty for our sins upon the cross.
We believe that you rose again bodily from the dead, and that you ascended into heaven, where you now sit on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us, and waiting longingly for the day you will return for those who are ready and waiting for you.
We believe that your blood was shed to wash away our sins, and that your Holy Spirit was sent in part to transform us and to set us free from those strongholds in our minds that would keep us bound to ways of thinking, feeling, and acting, which would separate us from you.
We believe you when you said that Scripture cannot lie, and we believe the Holy Bible from cover to cover, for it is all perfect, and miraculously in perfect agreement, impossibly preserved beyond all odds. You have not left us to walk around blindly, but have given us your Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
If God is speaking to you today, and you realize there are areas in which your belief is not what it should be, then I'd like to invite you to get that taken care of right now.
Take some sort of action to humble yourself before God; that might be coming to the front and kneeling at the altar; but let's mean business with God today.
Lord, just like the man whose son was demon-posessed, and he came to Jesus for help, and he said, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief," so we come to you for help. You are the only one who can save us, deliver us, and transform us. And we also cry out to you, Lord, "we believe; help our unbelief!"
This altar is open, and you're all invited to get out of your seats and come gather at the front for a time of prayer, worship, and ministry.
If you would like someone to pray or speak with you, feel free to instant message me or someone else on the ministry team.
If you need to go, you're free to do so, and I pray you have a blessed week, full of the presence of the Lord.
After this time at the altar, we're going to gather in the room to your left for some fellowship, and you're all invited to come.
For now, let's come gather at the front and spend some time seeking after the Lord to increase our faith, and to help us in those areas where our belief is lacking. For without Jesus, we have nothing, but WITH Jesus, nothing is impossible! Come.