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About this series
Discover Your True Self
How to Silence the Lies of Your Past and Actually Experience Who God Says You Are
Who are you? Who says so? You? Your family? Your friends? From the first two chapters of the book of Ephesians, Chip helps you discover who God says you are as a believer in Christ. Understanding your position, the freedom, and the power you possess as a child of the Most-High God, enables you to move beyond the struggles and the uncertainty we all experience to living an amazing life of peace and assurance. It equips you to serve others with humility and patience and it empowers you to forgive and share with lavish generosity. People will wonder what your story is and with the help of this series, you'll be able to answer with confidence.More from this series
When we look at our life under pressure and we think about what makes us feel secure, what makes us feel safe, what makes us feel like we are in control – how do we learn that?
And the more I thought about it, I was praying through my office this morning and thinking, It’s actually in the storms of life that God allows you to get a glimpse of how you take things from your head into your heart.
I was probably a Christian over twenty years when my mother died. I was really close to her. And it happened very suddenly. And it was so painful. And I came to learn how much I actually believed, that there’s a real heaven and there’s a real God and that you will see people that you love.
I remember the biggest failure I ever experienced in ministry and resigning from a job and recognizing that I didn’t have the power or the wits or the ability to turn something around and just feeling so distraught and having an experience where the Holy Spirit literally whispered I just love you for you. And it was in that moment I realized how much of my security or my worth was in what I do, my job, or how I perform.
And I remember years later, sitting on the couch with Theresa and we had learned that afternoon that she had cancer. And I don’t know about you, but of all the fears that humanly, at least I have struggled with, is the loss of a child or the loss of your wife or a family member. And we just cried and then we prayed and then we went through months and treatments and radiation.
And we came through all that. But the moment that – I can tell you that Jesus promises He will be enough with or without your wife or one of your kids, but when you live with it every day and it’s just so vulnerable and He shows up in those moments, that’s when you know, by way of deep personal experience.
And we are going to talk today about, I think, something that is at the root of our being is God is going to tell you and me that you are secure. On the front of your notes, pull it out if you will, I want you to get a deeper understanding of even the word security. It means you are safe. There is a firm foundation. It means you’re not liable to fail. It means there is a place that is safe, that is set apart.
The verb means that it’s something you are certain of, that you have obtained, that it’s a sure deal. It means that there is no outside force that can come in and remove you, in this case, from God.
And, yet, we all struggle, don’t we? We all, I don’t need a psychologist to tell me that I’m insecure. It just takes a few circumstances and it just pops up.
But we tend to have very genuine fears about different things, but I put four categories in your notes. Because these are human. If you’re human, you’re going to struggle with some of these. And until it goes from your head to your heart, you may live with lots of fear and insecurity and doubts and then we have learned we have lots of unhealthy ways we deal with them.
The first one is the fear of physical harm or death.
I read some research in the last couple months that said the world has never been a safer place. Never been a safer place. And, yet, because of the proliferation of information, it doesn’t feel that way at all.
But something happens in India, you know about it in five minutes and the fires that are here or the flood that were there or the tsunami that went there or the, I mean, it just comes at us. Or the fear of being alone, of being rejected, of thinking, I’ll never get married. Or, This marriage is never going to get better. Or the sense that something has happened for those of us that have kids.
The fear of punishment. I got an email just this week from a young gal that we were interviewing for a job and she just talked about, she got some very bad theology and read a few verses in Scripture and was living with this idea that someday, someway, she might do something or make a mistake and God would cast her off and she wouldn’t spend eternity with Him and that every single day that she was being held over, If you mess up today, this is the worst day of your life, to the point that, in despair, she said, God, kill me. I know I’m walking with you today. Just kill me so I don’t get discarded later. Until she got some good teaching and she got some truth from here down to here.
And then our basic insecurities can produce guilt and condemnation and struggles. So, here’s the question I have for you, because this is going to be a bit of a heady message. I am going to give you some real truth that I’m going to get here, and then we’ll spend the rest of our time working hard to get it down here.
Where do you tend to feel insecure or afraid? Over eighty times, the Bible says, “Fear not.” Over thirty times it says, “Don’t be afraid.” Jesus’ last words to the disciples: “I am with you always. I will never, ever leave you or forsake you,” the writer of Hebrews says from God’s voice. And, yet, we struggle.
So, at the bottom of your notes, there’s a question I’d like you to do some real pondering and the pondering I’d like you to do is: in what or whom do you seek to find security apart from Christ? We all do this, right? But identify it. Because I am going to tell you, in a fallen world, God is going to allow some storms to come into your life, but the goal of the storms will be like Joseph. I think Joseph, when he was betrayed, Joseph in prison, Joseph’s loss of reputation, Joseph when people forgot him – each and every time if you read that carefully, it says, “And the Lord was with him.” “And the Lord was with him.” “And the Lord was with him.”
If you can identify where you tend to put security, because a test is coming and God wants you to pass the test, He wants you to know, I’ll be with you. I will never leave you. I’ll never let you down. I am for you. And down deep in your psyche, a lot of us don’t believe that.
So, let me just ask you: is your security in yourself? I have certainly had that one. Your brains? Your ability? You’ll figure it out. You can make it happen.
Is it in money? Are you fixated with, Man, as soon as I get so many zeroes and here’s my portfolio and I’ll be secure. Is it family? You know what really makes everything okay is your family, your wife, your kids, your husband, all that stuff. And when that’s okay, you’re okay, but, boy, if that gets…
Is it your work? How many of us? Here’s a test. Are you ready for this? Whatever would get taken away or challenged to the level it devastates you, that will tell you where your security is.
See, your security is like a rug. And if it gets pulled out from under you, it might hurt a little bit. If it devastates you, you know: my security is in that job. My security is in me. My security is not in Christ.
So, I want you to identify that. And now, turn your notes with me, if you will, and I want to talk about God’s plan to give you a security that can’t change by circumstances or terrorist or death or abandonment or cancer or rejection or any fear of punishment. God’s answer is in 1 Peter 3:18. It’s a summary of the work of Jesus. “For Christ also died for sins,” put a circle around the word for, and I’ll tell you why. “Once for all.” Who is He? “The just or the righteous for unrighteous or the unjust.” What was His purpose? “So that He,” Jesus, “might bring us to God.” Well, how did He do it? “Having been put to death in the flesh on the cross but made alive in the Spirit, the resurrection.”
“God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son” – God the Son – “that whoever would believe in Him shouldn’t perish, but have everlasting life.” God’s solution to your security is that you are valuable, He wants to choose you, He cares about you, He has redeemed you, and He wants to reconnect you close to Him so that no one at any time, ever, now or in eternity, can separate you from Him.
So, then the question is: what must I do to experience that security? And the gospel writer John would say, “As many as received Him,” Jesus, “to them He gave the right,” or, the authority, “to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
That little word for means in the place of, Jesus came and He died in the place of you. All that you deserve and I deserve, because of my sin and rebellion or passive indifference, God took all of that and He placed that on Christ. And now He says you are forgiven, but you must respond. “As many as,” not just intellectually believe, “as many as receive Him,” personally, “to them He gives the right,” not to be religious but to become an actual child of the living God.
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock – of your heart, my heart.” This is the verse I heard when I trusted Christ. 1972. “If any man, if any woman hears My voice and will open the door of your heart,” the promise, “I will come into Him,” and the old translation, “I will sup with him,” or eat with him and he with Me.” And it’s Jesus saying, I want a relationship. The cross has paid for your sin. It is a free gift. Now, turn from your sin and in the empty hands of faith say, “Lord Jesus, forgive me. Come into my life. Be my Lord. Be my Savior.” And the Spirit of God enters your human body and you start a new life. In the old days, people called that, that’s what it’s called to be saved or receiving Christ or trusting Christ.
Now, what I want to talk to you about is I am guessing a great majority of you have down what I just talked about. I’m guessing that those that are watching and those of us that have been around for a while it’s like, Okay Chip, thanks, that’s very helpful. I have known this since fourth grade. Or, for some of us, When I was eighteen.
But in 1972, knowing very little, having no idea that there was a personal relationship with God and I invited Christ into my life, I want you to go back when you did that, I don’t think the average Christian has any idea what actually happened.
It wasn’t just a little experience. It wasn’t just now you are heaven-bound. It’s not just that you know Christ. What actually happened that actually is at the source of all the security and every challenge that you’ll face of all the fears that we talked about?
So, I want to walk through these. I’ll do them quickly, but I want you to get some “theology.” Remember last time I said your theology informs your thinking. Your thinking informs your emotions. Your emotions inform your actions. Your actions have consequences, negatively and positively. Bad theology always produces bad actions and then what do we do? I look for security in sex, I look for security in addictions. I look for security in money. I look for security in jobs. I look for security in all kinds of places that take me bad roads and multiply the pain in my life. And God says, No, no. Start thinking rightly.
The moment you received Christ, if indeed you have, this happened: you were justified. The word means, it’s a legal declaration that all my sins are forgiven – past, present, and future. This is God as the judge. Legally, the gavel comes down, you are before Him, Christ’s righteousness, your sin, He looks at the work of Christ, He says all of your sins are forgiven, and the righteousness of Christ is placed in your account. You were granted the righteousness of Jesus; you have a new position as His dearly loved Child.
Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And this peace, that’s not just an emotional peace. It means we were hostile to God. The word is we have the shalom of God. We have the wholeness of God. We have the favor of God. We are now in God’s family.
In the space below, I want you to write this down. Are you ready? God is my Father. I’m going to give you some theological words, but what I realized is most Christians don’t know the words anymore, but worse, those who do know them, sometimes we don’t get what they really mean. Are you ready for this? God, the One who spoke billions of galaxies into existence, He is your Father.
You might write down: I am His child. What if you started to believe that? You know what? What do good fathers do? What do good parents do? They protect and they provide.
The second thing that happened to you the moment you received Christ is regeneration. That means that I am a new creation in Christ. I have been given a new nature, fully pleasing to God. It’s different from religion. It’s different from morality. It’s you become an actual new person.
Nicodemus was a very religious rabbi, squeaky clean morally, and he came at night because he saw that Jesus was from the God – the miracles attested to it. And in this night meeting, Jesus says to him in John chapter 3, “He answered him and said, ‘Truly, truly I say to you,’” now, this is a very religious, moral man, “‘unless one is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born again when he is old?’” He is taking it pretty literally here. “‘He cannot enter again into his mother’s womb a second time, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water,’” physical birth, “and spirit,” spiritual birth, “he can’t enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh,” physical, “is flesh. That which is born of the spirit is spirit.
Jesus taught the most religious, moral man we have cited in Scripture that when you pray to receive Jesus and He enters your life, it’s a spiritual birth. You are regenerated. You receive a new nature.
Jot in your notes 2 Corinthians 5:17. It says, “If any man, any woman is in Christ, you are a new creation. The old things,” notice this, “pass away. Behold, all things,” listen to the tense of the verb, “are becoming new.”
Ninth grade biology, right? The little green caterpillar creates a cocoon, and out comes a butterfly. We call it metamorphosis. I love being with such intelligent people. That’s what it’s called, right?
The DNA in that green caterpillar and the DNA in that butterfly are exactly the same. But a metamorphosis occurs where that butterfly is no longer ugly and green and crawls. It is beautiful. It gets a new nature. It gets a new capacity.
That’s the physical picture in nature of what happens when you prayed to receive Christ. Are you ready for this? Write this down. God gave me a new nature. God made me a new person. You don’t have to live with your past anymore. God made you a new person. Do you believe that?
How many Christians are living with: Well, this is how I grew up and my dad was an alcoholic and I have been through this and then this happened. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t consequences. I’m saying what if you believed in the cocoon of metamorphosis and life change that is the Word of God and time in community and time in His Word and your openness and steps of faith – you have a brand-new nature. You can fly! Stop crawling.
We have Christians everywhere that are still crawling and you are butterflies, because you don’t believe you have a new nature. You have been regenerated! Now, it’s a journey and a process. God is my Father, number one. Number two, God made me a new person.
And as a result, guess what, you might jot down: Jesus lives in me. If something is born – that’s what it says. Jesus actually lives inside of you in the person of the Holy Spirit.
The third thing that happens is reconciliation. That means that although I was once hostile to God and alienated from Him, I am now His friend. Paul would write, inspired by the Holy Spirit in Colossians chapter 1, verses 21 and 22, “Although you,” speaking to these new Christians, “were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He,” Jesus, “has reconciled you in His fleshly body through His death.”
Do you see how all these keep coming back to what happened at the cross and when what happens at the cross gets received by faith and then this journey from your head to your heart where you actually not just know about it, but you know it, you digest it, you absorb it, you believe it. It becomes a part of your life-focus and how you see God, see the world, and see yourself. “In order to present you,” this is how He presented you, “holy and blameless, beyond reproach.”
Some of you have been through the very painful experience of irreconcilable differences, either in business and in marriage. You know what the word reconcile means? It means two people that weren’t getting along, in our case, we were enemies of God. We were hostile to God. The One who made us, it was either passive indifference, “I don’t care about God,” or actual rebellion. “Don’t any of you tell me what to do, even though You made me.” And it’s you become friends.
Would you write this down: God is my friend. What if this started inching its way. Maybe at least it got down to the collarbone. God is my Father. God made me a new person. God is my friend.
Sometimes we will meet someone famous and maybe we will get to know them and sometimes it will slip out. This happened recently. And we’ll sort of, “Well, he’s my friend.” Right? He plays on the PGA or he’s in the NBA or she came out with a new album or he runs this big company or they got a gold medal in the Olympics and they are my friend.
Are you ready for this? Here’s what you can write down too: I am God’s friend. The One who spoke life into existence. He is my friend. I am God’s friend. What do friends do? What do you do, okay, this is not a trick question. There’s not some, Oh, I hope I get this one right. What do you do with your friends? You hang out! You enjoy each other. You get to know each other. You do things you both enjoy. Real friends, you can share the good stuff and they are not jealous, they are happy for you. You can share the bad stuff and, Ooh, man, and they’ll even help you. You can even share the deep, ugly stuff and they don’t judge you. But they also don’t let you stay the same.
What if you actually could believe that God is not down on you? He is your friend. He can take whatever you want to share. He wants to hang out. This isn’t: I will now be religious. I’m going to church regularly. I need to read the Bible. I need to pray. I probably need to pray longer. I need to give some money. Am I okay now?
That’s how some people live. How about this? “Come unto Me all of you that are stressed out and heavy-laden and labor and just overwhelmed with life, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke,” let’s do life together. “I am meek,” power under control, “lowly of heart,” and I want to help you get through this life and I will never leave you or forsake you.
You have been justified, you have been regenerated, you have been reconciled.
And then I love this next one. It’s a big word. Propitiation. It almost sounds like a dirty word. Actually, it’s not. It means that Jesus satisfied the just wrath of God by His death on the cross and, therefore, Jesus took all my punishment forever.
Let me say that again. Jesus took all your punishment forever. Jesus took all of my punishment forever. 1 John chapter 4, verses 9 through 11, “By this, the love of God was manifested,” or made known to us, “that God sent His only begotten Son into the world” – why? “so that we might live” – well, how? “through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Now, you need to understand that God has emotions. He’s a person. He’s one essence; three distinct persons. He has feelings and emotions and a mind and a will and we are made in His image. And there is something that makes Him very, very angry. It’s called evil.
But His anger isn’t like our kind of anger that flies off the handle or just is capricious and He’s going to blow up one day. John Stott writes about propitiation and he says, “The reason why propitiation is necessary is that sin arouses God’s wrath or anger. This doesn’t mean that he is likely to fly off the handle at the most trivial provocation. Still less, that He ever loses His temper for no apparent reason at all. For there is nothing capricious or arbitrary about the Holy God, nor is He ever malicious or spiteful or vindictive. His anger is neither mysterious nor irrational. It is never unpredictable, but always predictable because it is provoked by evil and evil alone. The wrath of God is His steady, unrelenting, unremitting, uncompromising antagonism to evil in all of its forms and all of its manifestations.”
I am listening to the life of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas right now and I am in the section where the most horrific things were done to the Poles and the Jews that it’s even hard to hear of gassing people and going into villages and just indiscriminately lining everyone up and killing them and then dancing on their bodies.
The human heart, in the right circumstances, is desperately wicked. And evil and whether it’s the abuse of children or whether it’s greed or whether it’s evil of any kind, God is angry because it’s destroying what is just and good and kind and God-like. What you need to understand, when Jesus was hanging on the cross and crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” It’s in that moment that the just wrath of God took the punishment you deserve and I deserve and all people of all time deserve and He placed it on Christ, and He who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.
And in that single moment, the Father turned away and He became the sin bearer and all the punishment of all time was on Christ. Write this down: God will never punish me if you’re in Christ.
I’m not afraid to die. That wasn’t always true. But I’m not afraid to die. And for those of you that have this in the back of your mind like, In college, no one knows about the abortion I had. Or, I was young in business and it was only once and, but, I had that affair. Or, That one business that I was in and I sort of skimmed some money. Or, I said some things about someone and no one really knows. Or, I have this private addiction.
And some of us have some stuff in your background and whenever things are happening that are difficult or painful, here’s what you need to understand. All the punishment that ever will occur in your life has already been, literally, the word is He satisfied. It is absorbed by Christ.
God will never punish you. He is not down on you. Now, jot down Hebrews chapter 12, lest we misunderstand. Good, kind, loving fathers, when you are moving in directions that are to be harmful to you or others, He may cause some circumstances – I call it the velvet vise of grace – to get your attention to get you back on the path that is good and holy.
Because, see, good dads and good parents don’t just say, “Oh, well, good luck, kid.” But He is never punishing you. It’s never vindictive. Are you ready for this? God is not mad at you. When you sin, you know what? His anger has been placed on Christ. Are you ready? It makes Him sad. I will tell you, what has helped me more than anything else is not being afraid of God’s punishment, it’s realizing that my Father who loves me, who gave His Son for me, when I sin and do things I know that are wrong or when He tells me to do something and I just, “Nope!” And then afterwards I look at it, I break His heart.
See, sin is fundamentally never about a behavior or a word. Sin is always relational. And so, it’s not sin management. It’s not: how close can I get to a sin? Or, how long can I do this? Or, how far can we go, sexually? Those are all the wrong questions.
Sin is fundamentally that which would make a division between me and my God. And what a relief to know I will not be punished. It has already been taken.
I remember being in the Philippines and being out in a rural area in a Jeep with one of my good friends Tom Randall in front of a drunk guard with a big machine gun that went from here right to here. And I thought, I didn’t think this is how I would die. And obviously, the good news is, since I’m here, I didn’t. But some of you have had those moments and because I know Christ took my punishment and His righteousness has been placed into my account, when I go to the Middle East or when I go to some places that I travel and do some things, I am not being stupid. But if you hear that I die, I’m immediately in the presence of the Lord. It gives me a tremendous freedom. How about you?
The fifth thing that happens is sanctification. Justification is an event at a point in time. Propitiation is an event – a point in time. Reconciliation is an event that starts a process and a relationship. Sanctification is a point in time, but it’s a journey. Sanctification is the process, underline process, by which the Holy Spirit transforms my inner attitudes and my outward actions to the character of Christ.
The first was positional righteousness. This is how God views me: justification. This is practical righteousness – living it out as I walk by faith and obedience, trust in His promises, and give and receive encouragement in the body of Christ. Jot underneath this one, are you ready? God will never leave me alone. He is in the process of changing you. He lives inside of you. The Spirit of God.
1 Peter chapter 2 talks about our part, our responsibility. “Therefore, putting aside all malice, all deceit, and hypocrisy and envy, and all slander,” right? That’s a part of the old me. But just because I have a new nature, the Bible is clear that the spirit and the flesh wage war against one another.
So, he says, “In light,” chapter 1, “of all that God has done for you, you have been born again through His Word, therefore, lay aside,” actively, take these things and put them in your past, “and like newborn babes long for the pure milk of God’s Word, so that by it you grow in respect to your salvation.”
I would suggest there are a lot of people that have been a Christian two years, five years, and twenty years that are still in diapers. And they are not mature and they don’t understand much about God and they are probably thoroughly saved and they have missed, probably, a lot of their life or if it’s twenty or thirty years, most of their life because they have never become someone who decided: I need the pure milk of God’s Word, which leads them to meat.
Your relationship with the Lord is determined by your relationship with His Word. Those are Jesus’ words, not mine. The second thing is, we can’t do this alone. I can’t walk by faith and obedience alone. I can’t say no to malice and envy and all those things alone. My motivation gets low. I need people. I need the body of Christ. You need the body of Christ. And so, around here, we talk about the pure milk of God’s Word, coming before God daily. Doing life in community. And then, being on mission 24/7, just loving people. Every single person God puts in front of you.
What would happen if, in your psyche, you went from, “Wow, God feels distant,” to, “He is my Father”? What would happen if, “I’m a prisoner of my past,” to, “God made me a new person”? What would happen instead of, “What do I need to earn God’s favor?” “God is my friend!” What if the fear of, “Well, if I do this or I do that – is God punishing me?” to, “He’ll never punish me.” And even when some relationship or tragedy comes into your life, what if you believed, “God will never leave me alone”?
Well, I want to finish our time by sharing how you can know this for certain. It’s from Ephesians chapter 1, verses 11 through 14. And it says, “In Him,” Jesus, “also we have obtained an inheritance.” Circle the word we if you will, in your notes. Literally, in Him, Jesus, we have been made inheritance, “having predestined according to His purpose, who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we,” circle that one again, “who were the first hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”
Paul is writing as a Jew and this word we is: we Jews have obtained or been made God’s inheritance. We are the vehicle He wants to use in all of His purposes. And that word for counsel is: deliberate, strategic choice. And that word for His will, it springs from warm, deep emotion and he is saying: we who were Jews were chosen by God to be an agent of blessing, were made His inheritance.
And then He flips it and says: what about you Gentiles? “In Him,” Jesus, “you also,” circle you and write Gentile above it, get what happened, “after listening to the message of truth,” someone shared with them: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”
“After listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation,” then what did…? “…having believed,” not agreeing intellectually, you personally turned from your sin, you believed, you received Christ, what happened? “…you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
Very interesting New Testament word. In the Roman culture, this word has to do with a transaction, a financial transaction, or the sale of something. It is finished. It has the idea of absolute ownership and security. You, when you believed, all those five things happened to you, but God sealed you with the Spirit. The Spirit of God entered your life and you were sealed for eternity, if indeed you truly repented and trusted Christ.
It's a guarantee. In fact, he goes on to say, “…who is given as a,” circle this, “a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
So, we have this inheritance. And what he says, basically, the word pledged there is our, we would use the word down payment or earnest money. I currently am, like probably many of you, some of you have your house paid off, but most of us, I have a house. It’s my house. But the bank thinks they still have a little part in it. A pretty big part, actually. But it’s in my name.
It is my home. It’s a sealed deal. And what he is saying is: heaven, your inheritance, freedom. The absolute security, there is none in this world. You’ve got that, right?
We are an earthquake, a tsunami, a car wreck, a financial downturn away from all of our lives changing like that. And what he is saying is this: when you prayed to receive Christ and He became your Father and you became a new person and He is your friend and He says, I will never punish you and I will never leave you. He says, What I want you to know that then I sealed you for Myself and this inheritance is is that one day I am going to pull all things together. That is redeeming. All the things that are My possession. And there is going to be a new you. You get a new body – inheritance.
And it’s going to be in a new place, a new heaven and a new earth. And you will be with Me forever and ever and ever. And if you want to talk about security, security, security, security that won’t change, that’s what you have if you’re in Christ.
And, see, that’s the core. And I understand, that’s a lot of theology and could I encourage you to maybe take these notes and read those big words over? But the big words: God is my Father. He will never punish me.
On the back page, I have given you what I think is the most fundamental lie that we believe. And then I want to give you the truth. And let me just ask you: okay, children, class, how are you doing on your cards? I’m really tempted to say, “If you have actually cut these out and you’re reviewing them in the morning and the night, raise your hand,” but I’m not going to, because it might be devastating. might feel rejected. No one listens to me. Why don’t they get it, Lord? So, that’s my way of saying if you’re a little behind…
I have been reviewing cards like this for over thirty-five years. And I’ve got a long way to go. But I will tell you, you can be the son of an alcoholic and marry someone who is the son of an alcoholic and you can be through all kind of trash and not believe a single thing I taught you today, and you can change because my experience is proof of that. But you renew your mind.
So, the lies are: those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. I believed that for a long time. So, what do you do? You try and earn and prove and performance.
Doubts, guilt over past mistakes and condemnation are evidence that you’re a bad person, and unworthy of love by God or others. And so, people who believe they are a bad person punish themselves and make stupid decisions that bring more pain in your life because, psychologically, there is something weird about us that if we feel like we are bad, we should pay. And we figure out ways to make ourselves pay. And then you say: Stop! The truth: I am secure in my relationship with Christ in my daily safety and well-being and in my future outlook, whether on earth or in heaven, because I have been sealed by the Spirit. Is that awesome? I have been sealed by the Spirit.
I want you to know that if you have, by faith, received Christ, everything I have said is true of you and your responsibility is to say, No matter what, I have got to get it from here to here.
And if, by chance, you are here or you are watching or you are listening and all that I have said you realize, I am outside of Christ. I have never owned that I have sinned against a holy God. I have never turned away from myself and the sin that I know I’m in and asked Him to forgive me and come into my life so I could follow Him, today would be like the greatest day in the world.
And so, as you sit in your seat or watch or listen, and God is speaking to you, just tell Him, I want what You offered. I think the Holy Spirit might give you a Dr. Phil question: How is life working your way? And God your Father would say, Would you please turn from your sin and let Me forgive you solely on the basis of Jesus’ work on the cross and His resurrection?
It’s transferring your trust. So right now, tell Him, God, I’m sorry. I have sinned against You. Will You please come into my life right now and forgive me? Will You make me Your son? Make me Your daughter? I believe right now, in this moment, that You died in my place, You rose from the dead, and paid for my sins. I receive that right now, in Jesus’ name. Amen.