He's not about to give you even your just deserts. If we got what we deserved, we'd all be in Hell already. But God is merciful.
Alright thank you very much and hello again. My dear radio friend how in the world are you? Are you doing Alright today? Well I trust so I’ve just been praying that God might put His truth and His love and His blessing and all of the inspiration and encouragement that you need into these words that are spoken in these few moments. You know unless it’s a ministry where you share God with people it turns out to be a disappointment. You and I have both lived long enough to know that sometimes we’ve been terribly disappointed with messages that were quite correct but that didn’t minister to us, right?
The burden of my heart is that I might minister God to you — His love, His truth and all of the blessed encouragement and inspiration that comes from a touch of the pierced hands, that’s what I want.
Well this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and we’ve been looking at 2 Peter and in that second chapter which is full of indictment against the sinful human heart, we found that people live — Peter says, “After the flesh.” They live according to the law of the old sinful nature and we looked at some of the verses in 2 Peter 2 that followed that statement in Verse 10 — this is a review just to show you where we’re going. We found that people who were living after the flesh, it says, in the lust of uncleanness — unbridled desire– always leads to compromise and corruption. Giving in to yourself constantly never improves you. It’s the lust of uncleanness.
Second they’re rebellious, they despise government, refusal to be under authority; presumptuous, “My way is the best way;” self-willed, “Don’t get in my way,” not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, critical in their — destructively critical. There’s a good kind of criticism, of course. But destructively critical in their attitude toward those who are in responsible positions. They are morally chronically afflicted. They cannot — it says, “Cease from sin.” Their influence is harmful. They beguile unstable souls. They are motivated by covetousness — I want, I, me and mine.
Oh, what a dreadful list of discouraging things that is, but it’s all true isn’t it? And when I look in the mirror like you, like all of us if we’re honest, we have to say it’s a portrait of human nature without the grace of God. But as I told you my purpose in going through this chapter — fill it as it is with indictment, of sinful human nature — is to give you a contrast as well in terms of what the Holy Spirit of God can do in a life that has made the Lord Jesus Christ Lord, and He has then become your savior.
And so we went over to Romans 8 didn’t we? And we found then what it means to live not after the flesh, Romans 8:1 — see this is a contrast then between 2 Peter 2 and Romans 8:1 — not after the flesh, but after the spirit, now what is it? First of all there’s a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, second there’s a new law of life — the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Third there’s a new focus, a new mindset, a new set of priorities. “They mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Incidentally, we didn’t stop on Verse 7 when we were going through that passage but it is 7 and 8 are interesting from this point of view. He says the carnal mind — that’s the way you were born without the saving grace of God, enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God neither did can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot — doesn’t say must not — it says, “Cannot please God.” Some of you know that I used to work at Scripture Press. I spent five wonderful years there working with Vic and Bernice Cory, the founders of Scripture Press and I was Vice-President for Distribution. I think that’s high-brow and a little bit pious for sales manager, I think that’s what it was.
In any case I got to know these dear people even better than I had through the 30 years of our acquaintance before. And it was a delight I must say. I asked Mrs. Cory one time about her own conversion, and she told me that after having majored in English and English composition in college and starting out in a teaching career, she was determined to have a good time in life as well. And so it was that — although she had had at least a nominal Christian profession, she was vigorously trying to maintain her Christian profession at the same time enjoy the things, as we say, the things of the world.
And she told me there was an old aunt that spoke to her one day and pointed her to this passage — “they that are in the flesh cannot please God”. And she read it and she said, “Auntie, what do you mean?” And the dear lady said, “Read it once again and tell me what it says.” They that are in the flesh cannot please God — and then the dear lady pointed out that that verse doesn’t say must not, should not, it says, “You cannot.” It said it’s impossible for you to please God and still have one foot in the world.
Well the thing began to work in her heart, she was convicted of it. And it wasn’t long after that she told me that she made a complete commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, one that never faltered through all the years of her work in ministry, finally many years as editor-in-chief of Scripture Press. Originally many of the blessed things that people are still studying today cannot — not must not, not should not but cannot — it is impossible to compromise the matter of commitment to Jesus Christ. Either you do or you don’t — something to think about if you have been tempted to try to compromise the matter at some point or other where you really didn’t wanted to face the will of God.
So new focus, new dynamics Verse 11 — if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies and I reminded you that although you and I believe in the ultimate resurrection of the body, and we also know that when you become a Christian there is a spiritual resurrection that takes place — you hath been quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins were in time passed you walked and so on — Ephesians 2:1.
This also may well — may well apply to the matter of a quickening in the life you now live, you’re mortal now after you die you’re corruptible. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 — this mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption. And so you’re mortal while you’re alive and so he says he will quicken your mortal bodies. The Holy Spirit of God gives you a new dynamic there is no question about that, is there? And thank God it’s so. I’m sorry I have to clear my throat once in a while I’ve got a frog in my throat as the man said. Did you ever see a frog in somebody’s throat? (Laughs) no neither did I but that’s the idiom we use.
Can you imagine some dear interpreter out in another country trying to interpret an expression like that? I was in Beattenberg many years ago when Dr. OJ Smith was preaching on his famous sermon on “The Man God Blesses, Uses” and he came to the point where this was an emphasis on prayer and he said if you’re not a praying person, if you don’t pray earnestly, everything is going to go haywire. Frau Doctor Wasserzug that dear, dear lady who was in charge and who also served as interpreter into German looked at him with some puzzlement and she said, “Hayvire, hayvire? What is this hayvire?” (Laughs) We certainly give our interpreters a bad time now and again–a frog in your throat, how are you going to interpret that? Well anyhow.
So dear friend here we’re looking at a new dynamic. Is it not true that the Spirit of the living God working in you will not only quicken your heart and mind and emotions and the spiritual side of your nature but actually will have an effect upon your whole life including your body? The answer is yes. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Isaiah said, “Mount up with wings as eagles run and not be weary walk and not faint.” Yes I know people get sick and I know all of us ultimately will die unless the Lord Jesus comes and we get the upper takers instead of the undertaker, I know that.
But I also know that while you’re on the way God reserves the right to give you His extra strength when you need it. Hallelujah for that, aren’t you glad? I am.
New dynamic, new leadership Verse 14: led by the Spirit as many as led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
And then there’s a new cry, you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear but you’ve received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba Father. And your Greek New Testament tells you that that expression spirit of bondage means like a slave; you’re afraid of what your slave master is going to do you. I’ve talked to people again and again who said, Oh I’m afraid that if I do something wrong God will whip me, or God will punish me or I will lose my salvation.
No beloved, God’s not that kind of a God, once you’ve given yourself to Him in complete submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, you belong to God he’s your heavenly father. He may discipline you–“whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth”, the Bible says, “and scourgeth every son, every son whom He receiveth”. God will discipline us but He’s not going to dump us, He’s not going to forsake us. “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” is the promise that you can claim. You don’t have to be afraid of your loving heavenly father.
Now you may have had an earthly father that abused you, some people have. I was fortunate in that I had a tender and loving although fiercely disciplinarian father. He expected obedience and when he didn’t get it I got the application of the board of education to the seat of knowledge. But he was very loving and tender and I had as I look back, I think a very reasonable and happy childhood. You can’t say the same some of you, you were abused by father or mother or both, I know that that’s true of many but I want you to know that whatever your own background and whatever has been built into your memories and whatever besides that it has been hereditarily built into your genes, I want you to know that your heavenly father loves you.
He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you.” God loves you and he’s not about to beat up on you. He’s not about to do something mean and spiteful to you, he’s not about to give you even your just desserts if we got what we deserved, we’d all be in hell already. But God is merciful. And he’s given us the spirit of family not fear — family not fear whereby we cry, Abba, Father, Papa, God.
Oh I’m so glad that’s true and you can turn to your heavenly father in love. Yes you’re imperfect, so am I, but Jesus is high priest and our advocate and God looks at you through him.
Loving Father, we love thee 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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