Cut To The Truth
Being honest with God involves stopping manipulative behavior – trying to manipulate people. It involves stopping the idea of explaining away what God's word is plainly saying.
And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right? I trust so. I’m feeling fine, thank God. No complaints today. Glad to be alive and full of what my father used to call “spizzerinctum‟ – whatever that is. Paul said – I’m assuming that Paul wrote Hebrews, there may be some question of that with some of you highbrows. But anyhow, the writer to the Hebrews, to put it more safely, says, “Pray for us for we trust, we have a good conscience, willing in all things to live honesty.” That’s the verse in Hebrews 13:18 that we were looking at.
And we were talking about conscience, do you remember, the last time we got together? Paul says, “We’re commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” That’s a pretty good verse to think about. 2 Corinthians 4:2 it is, right? And now we’re back on track, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. Here we… Turning the pages of the big Bible, here we are.
What, what is involved in all of this? Well, I have to tell you that it’s based upon your attitude towards salvation itself, first of all. He says, “We have this ministry as we receive mercy, we faint not.” Three things are true of you my friend, if you’re a believer. First of all you have a ministry. That is, everything you do is the process of sharing God with people though the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.
You say, “I’m not a preacher.” I didn’t say that. You have a ministry. You’re sharing what you know of God every day with people around you. Whether or not you wish it, you have a ministry that’s a good one or it’s a bad one. And God grant that it may be a good one as the Holy Spirit of God shares through you the riches of Christ. The second thing it says we’ve received mercy. Everything that you do which affects your life and others grows out of an experience of having been to Calvary.
Never forget that you and I are candidates for mercy, supplicants we are. And we don’t deserve anything. All we deserve… Well, Wendell P. Loveless used to say, “Everything outside of the Lake of Fire is pure grace.” If you ask for what you deserve, you’d get the Lake of Fire, you’d get eternal perdition. So you and I are supplicants for God’s mercy.
Mercy, God’s mercy in Christ as we have received mercy. You and I don‟t deserve anything. We are candidates, supplicants for His mercy. And thank God it’s available through the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he says, “We faint not.” There is that determination to keep on with God. I remember being in the First Church of the Nazarene in, in Cleveland, Ohio as a boy. I suppose I was maybe 12 or 13 years of age. And I remember the testimonies that people gave. Often and often and often you‟d hear them say, after they told how the Lord had saved them, and how they’d yielded their lives to the Spirit of God in his sanctifying power. Then they would say, “And I am determined to make it through to the end!”
Well, I respect that of course. I end to believe that God is determined to help you make it through. “He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” So that’s both sides of that question. And don’t write me a letter and argue with me either, because all I do is quote the Scripture to you. But I think there’s something good about the determination. He says, “We faint not.” He says, “We’re determined, we’re on the way.”
And now what does that determination involve? Because it’s more than words here. He said, “We faint not, but we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty.” To get really right with God means you have to get honest with Him. Stewart Hamblin died recently. And I have many memories of him and, and some of the things he said and did as we met him shortly after his conversion. He gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ in the Billy Graham meetings, I think it was in January, 1949.
But he oftentimes told the story, and I heard him tell in my presence the story of what happened the night he was saved. It wasn’t in the meeting, it was in the middle of night because he had run away literally, not wanting to be dragged to the meeting anymore by Suzie Hamblin, his dear wife. So he went hunting up in the mountains of Utah. Took his horse – he called him “Old If‟ – he named him “If‟ because you never knew if he would run or not I guess is what he said. And put some of the hunting dogs in the trailer, and went out into the mountains of Utah to go hunting mountain lions. Great outdoorsman he was.
Well he got out there and ran smack into a storm and had to come home early. And so when he came home, his wife greeted him and said, “Well I got good news for you. They’ve extended the meetings for another week.” Well that was the last thing he wanted. But anyhow he, he put the horse away and put the dogs in the kennel and, and went on to bed. But he couldn’t sleep – God had gotten to him somehow or other and he woke, wakened his wife and he said, “Get up and get dressed, we’re going to see Billy Graham.”
And so in the middle of the night, about 2 in the morning – whatever it was – they drove across the city to the place where Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows were staying. And woke them up and, and there they sat in, in a drawing room. And, and Stewart Hamblin said he looked at Billy and said, “Billy, pray for me.” And our brother Graham has considerable steel in his backbone, you know. And he has moral courage that belongs to the ancient prophets. He’s a counterpart of old Amos. And so he looked right at Stewart, he said, “I won‟t pray for you. I’m not going to give you another chance to lie to me or to my God.”
Well you know, that was quite a statement. And Stewart as he thought about it, felt the Spirit of God deeply convicting him. And he said he got down and he began for the first time to confess his sins. And he said, “I told God about my dirty stories, and about my drinking, and about my gambling, and about my horse racing, and about my sins.” And he said, “When I got through with the list”, he said, “I heard the heavenly switchboard click in the skies.” That was his way of saying he got through. Honest, honest, honest, honest. See. Have we announced the hidden things of dishonesty? You never get anywhere in this matter of conscience until you start telling God the truth.
How many of us have hidden behind the, the general expressions of “Oh Lord bless me‟ and “Oh Lord help me‟ and “Oh Lord forgive me‟? That’s good. But if you want some mileage out of it, if you really want to get somewhere with God, you have to be definite.
Dr. McCarroll of precious memory now with the Lord several years, Billy McCarroll ministered in Cicero, Cicero Bible Church – remember him? He used to have an expression that he used often and often. I can hear him now say, “You get definite with God and He’ll get definite with you. You get definite with God, He’ll get definite with you.” Oh God, my trouble is… You know what I used to do in the all-night prayer meeting? When we were in Youth for Christ we had lot of all-night prayer meetings. I told the fellows then, “The price you have to pay for leadership is to pray” which was a pretty good dictum then and still is, wouldn‟t you say?
Well we had all-night prayer meetings. And frequently I’d say, “Now…” after we’d prayed a while I’d say, “Now, I notice that we’re all using the editorial “We‟ – “Lord we thank Thee‟, and “Lord we pray‟. And I’m going to suggest that in this next period of prayer you get, use the personal pronoun “I‟ – “Lord this is what I need, this is my trouble, this is my sin, this is what I need to be cleansed from, this is the thing over which I need victory”. Get personal about it and start using the personal pronouns.
And they did. And ohhh how God moved in, how He moved in then. When you become personal with God see, “Lord, this is my trouble. I’ve got a guilty heart, I’ve got a proud spirit, I’ve got a lustful eye, I’ve got a habitual sin– here it is, I am not truthful. Lord I’ve got a bad temper. Lord I’m lazy. Lord I’m unforgiving. Oh Lord I’m vindictive” – and so on. Hey, when you start telling God the truth, He starts working definitely with you renounced the hidden things of dishonesty.
Now growing out of this he says is not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully. Craftiness is manipulative behavior, that’s what that is. Don’t try to manipulate other people, and don’t try to explain away what God’s Word plainly says, handling the Word of God deceitfully. I’ve run into people unfortunately in, in Christian academic circles here and there, who would say, “Well I know that’s what the Bible says, but it doesn’t really mean that for us today.” Oh is that so? If God didn’t mean it, why did He say it, you know? And if He didn’t mean it, why didn’t He say what He meant?
All Scripture is God breathed. Andif God said it, He meant it. Not handling the Word of God deceitfully – I’m trying to explain it away. Being honest with God involves stopping manipulative behavior – trying to manipulate people, and it involves stopping the idea of explaining away what God’s Word is plainly saying. But instead, instead he says, by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Now if you’ve been to Calvary, if you know you have a ministry, you’re sharing God with people, you know you’ve been to Calvary and received God’s mercy and a cleansed heart, you know you’re determined to make it through to heaven buy God’s grace, you know that you’ve renounced the habit of being dishonest and, and you’ve started to be honest with God, you’ve stopped manipulating people, and you’ve stopped explaining things away from the Word of God, then what? He says, “Live out the truth of God. Manifestation of the truth.”
That’s truth in a package. That’s what that is – truth in a package. Let me look up the word and make sure that I’m telling you accurately here. “By manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God‟. See it’s phaneroo is the, is the verb. That’s right. Truth in a package. You then become a package of God’s truth, and that appeals directly to the conscience of the person with whom you are dealing. It’s part of the miracle of God’s working through you. Jesus said, “It is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” The miracle of God speaking through you when the vessel is cleansed, clean, and filled. Now we get back to this the next time we get together.
Holy Father keep our conscience clean, our heart tender, and our witness clear, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today, and be a blessing!
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