It is possible, beloved, to go through the motions, and yet, not be right with God.
And hello, radio friends, how in the world are you? Everything going alright, today? Well, I trust so. And if you, by chance, have struck a rough day, look up, and say, “Lord, see me through this one.” And he will. For He hath said, “I will never leave thee,” never that is, “leave thee nor forsake thee.” So you can trust your Lord. You and I have been walking around in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. We got into verse 63 the last time we got together, and I’d like to pick up there again, a verse that I learned as a child and it stayed with me all through my life. “It is the spirit.” Jesus said. “It is the spirit that quickeneth.” Maketh alive, in other words. “The flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” “It is the spirit that quickeneth.” That means something’s dead. “The flesh profiteth nothing.” That means the usual remedy won’t work. “The words that I speak unto you.” Indicates that God has a revelation that means something in terms of life and death. “They are spirit, and they are life.” Spirit has do with the eternal portion of your nature.
And life has to do with the quality of eternal life that God gives you through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the breakdown of that verse. “It is the spirit that quickeneth.” The Holy Spirit of God makes the difference in people. God doesn’t make you a different personality, but He takes the person that you are and shapes that personality, that body, those gifts to meet His specifications. I used to be a garage man as some of you know. The story of my life, Laurence J. Pace introduced me one time by saying, “The story of his life is from grease pit to pulpit.” [chuckle] Well, I suppose. Anyhow, I’m interested in things mechanical, and in cars, and all of that. Let’s take an ordinary car that you get off the showroom floor. Now, it’s a good automobile. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s brand new. It’s been well made and well engineered. But it has certain limitations. You’re not gonna be able to take it to the racetrack and do anything with it. You find that if you wanna stop quickly, there are certain built in limitations there.
It will only stop at a certain rate of deceleration. You find that its responsiveness to side winds is pretty great. And if you have a strong side wind blowing, it tends to throw you about on the road. A lot of other things that you can notice about it, brand new car, but there’s some handicaps, some drawbacks, some things you wish were different. What are you gonna do? Well, you got the car. Gonna throw it away? Oh, no. If you do what many do, you’re gonna modify it. You’re gonna open up that engine and operate on the valve ports so they’re smooth, and larger, and can take in more fuel. And you’re going to take care of what’s called the breathing of the engine so that it will breathe easier. And you’re going to install a little better ignition system. And then you’re going to work on the brakes. You may put a different kind of brake lining, or different brakes altogether, on the car. And then, you’re going to a body shop and say, “Listen, I want this thing streamlined a little better.” And the body shop person is going to add some different curves and different material to the car so as to make it more stable on the road. Put a spoiler on it, as they say, in the front and maybe in the back. Now, is it the same automobile? Basically, it is, but it’s been modified. And now, it’s got power.
Now, it’s alive. And you step on the accelerator and it fairly jumps out from under you. Well, that’s a poor illustration I suppose, but it’s a garage man illustration of what the Holy Spirit of God can do with ordinary human clay. You, my friend, as you give yourself over to the blessed Spirit of God, will find yourself coming alive. And instead of what had been an old pedestrian tractor like kind of a spiritual vehicle, you’re gonna be a spiritual race car fit for the track. Fit for the race. What makes the difference? “It is the spirit that quickeneth.” The Holy Spirit of God takes the person that is you, and transforms those abilities, those gifts, and even those handicaps. Paul said, “Most likely therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God, takes even your handicaps, and makes them something for His glory. I’m glad that’s so, aren’t you? Now, all the other remedies are no good. Mark that down in the notebook of your mind. He says, “The flesh profiteth nothing.” And wrapped up in that phrase “the flesh” is everything that human nature can do to better itself. Operation bootstrap, we call it. Lifting yourself by your own bootstraps, doing the best you can to be better, and act better, and accomplish more things.
Says, there’s no mark-up in it, there’s no profit in it. “The flesh profiteth nothing.” Because after you’ve done your best, humanly without God, you are still without God. You see the idea? After you’ve done your best without God, you are still without God. And that, then, means, that there isn’t any spiritual life, any spiritual effectiveness, anything that is worthy of eternity. It’s the difference between the dynamic and the cosmetic. Dynamics means put a new motor in it. Cosmetic means put a new coat of paint on it. And how often, I think, many of us put a new coat of paint on our lives instead of asking God for a new motor. That figure of speech was used by Stuart Hamblin when he gave his testimony shortly after having been brought to Christ and our brother Billy Graham’s 1949 meetings in Los Angeles. And Stewart went with some of us to different Youth for Christ meetings in those days. And he would tell how the Lord got hold of him. He said, “I still sing, and I still like to ride horses, and still like to hunt,” but he said, “I got a brand-new motor.” [chuckle] That’s the way he put it.
Oh, my friend, do you know anything about that? Do you know about the fact that Jesus can make you alive spiritually by the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit of God? The way to accomplish this, number one, repent of your sins, and turn in faith to Jesus Christ, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. By faith, do it. If you’ve never done it before, do it now. And then, trust the Holy Spirit of God who comes into dwell. The minute you trust Christ as Savior, The Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in your life. Trust the blessed Holy Spirit to make the changes in you that God wants to have made. Human remedies don’t do any good. “The flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, wherewithall shall a young man change his way by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” said the Psalmist, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” The Word of God, in your mind, will make a difference, in your heart, and your motives, and your actions. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The Word of God in your mind will make a difference. Just like junk, and pornography, and worldliness in your mind, will make a difference in a worldly way, in your character. So if you’ll put the Word of God in your mind and heart, you’ll find a difference.
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit.” That has to do with the deathless, eternally viable part of your nature, “And they are life.” That has to do with eternal life which God gives you. That’s not a duration term, that’s a quality term. It’s a quality of life, eternal life. God’s very nature imparted into you. How do you get it? By the Word of God. “Born again.” said Peter, “By the Word of God, which liveth, and abideth forever.” Would you give some thoughts to spending time with the Word of God in terms of letting it get into your heart and mind? Read it. Meditate upon it. Memorize some portion of it. And then, share it with someone as soon as you can. That’s the way to get the Word of God to work in your life. Well, we go on now in these verses. He said, “There are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not and who should betray him.” Jesus knew all the time that Judas was a fake, and that he was a thief. The others didn’t find it out till later.
John, the Beloved Disciple, mentioned something about it in his Gospel that, “Judas was a thief, and was treasurer of the group, and helped himself from the common purse.” This was known, evidently, to John, but the rest of the disciples didn’t know it. It’s possible to go through all the motions, and still be a fake. Judas was among those who distributed the loaves and fishes at the miraculous feeding of the 5,000. Judas was there when they stopped by the roadside in answer to the cry of the blind men. “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy.” He saw these miracles that Jesus did. He was there at the feast in the house of Simon the leper when they made a special feast for Lazarus who’d been raised from the dead. Judas was there. He went through all of the different experiences. It is possible, beloved, to go through the motions, and yet, not be right with God. And I plead with you. Don’t be content with routine, with religious routine. Don’t be content, merely, with church attendance, and going through the various forms and rituals. These are all good. I believe in church membership, church attendance, Sunday school, and all the rest, I believe in that.
I was a pastor, full-time, for 18 years, you know I believe in it. At the same time, what really counts, the basis of it all, is your personal relationship to Jesus. Don’t be a religious fake. Judas was. Jesus knew that there were some that didn’t believe. He knew who was going to betray Him. And I have to tell you, God knows you, today. He knows all about you. And if you are faking it, if you are simply going through the motions, you’re not fooling God. This is the scary part about it. You don’t fool God. He knows already. And He has it marked down. Oh, be real with God. Be honest with God. Be honest with God. Get down on your knees when you pray and just pour out your heart honestly to God. That’s the real meaning of the word confess. Greek word, homologeo, which means, to agree with, say the same thing as. God already knows it. Agree with Him. Tell Him, exactly what the score is, and ask for His touch upon your life. He will answer. He will touch. He will cleanse. Well, we continue in John 6 the next time we get together.
Dear Father in heaven, I pray that Thy willst make us real with thee, today. No phoney, no fake religion, but real with God. I ask 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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