Faithlife Sermons

Clothed to be Sure

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intro

VBS- just finished last week, thanks everyone!
Brian’s back!
Last week: talked about how you can be sure you’re saved
Remember the “Lord, Lord!” passage? Nobody is exempt
VBS and the alter call makes us wonder where we are at spiritually
How can you be sure you’re saved?
2 Peter 1:10 NET
Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin.
1 John 3:20 ESV
for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

body

Zechariah Imagery
Think about the worst thing you’ve ever done
Imagine that were made public
Imagine that your greatest enemy was trying to make everyone know about it and make sure to harm you!
That terrifies us because the public can harm us
Imagine you had that sin + ALL Others in front of God, and it’s judgement time
Make matters worse, Satan is accusing you
What could possibly be worse than this?
Zechariah 3:1–10 NET
Next I saw Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “May the Lord rebuke you, Satan! May the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Isn’t this man like a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood there before the angel. The angel spoke up to those standing all around, “Remove his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have freely forgiven your iniquity and will dress you in fine clothing.” Then I spoke up, “Let a clean turban be put on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood nearby. Then the angel of the Lord exhorted Joshua solemnly: “The Lord who rules over all says, ‘If you live and work according to my requirements, you will be able to preside over my temple and attend to my courtyards, and I will allow you to come and go among these others who are standing by you. Listen now, Joshua the high priest, both you and your colleagues who are sitting before you, all of you are a symbol that I am about to introduce my servant, the Branch.As for the stone I have set before Joshua—on the one stone there are seven eyes. I am about to engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord who rules over all, ‘to the effect that I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.In that day,’ says the Lord who rules over all, ‘everyone will invite his friend to fellowship under his vine and under his fig tree.’ ”
Zechariah 3:1–4 NET
Next I saw Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “May the Lord rebuke you, Satan! May the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Isn’t this man like a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood there before the angel. The angel spoke up to those standing all around, “Remove his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have freely forgiven your iniquity and will dress you in fine clothing.”
What could be better than this?
When we are condemned, we respond in three ways:
First: You are condemned and judged, and you fight back. Self-justify and slander the person who condemns you
Second: You are condemned and judged, and you stay silent and feel ashamed and worthless
Third: You are condemned and judged, and you cling to a purity and innocence that is not your own, and renders the attacks against you as useless.
All unbelievers
Joshua, the Priest, didn’t fight back, but God spoke out for Him
He had filthy clothes—sinful, wasn’t perfect, same with us
Satan accused Him, same with us
God spoke out and rebuked Satan—doesn’t matter to Him, same with us
God clothed Joshua with righteousness and purity not his own, same with us
What are you wearing?
You standing before God with filthy clothes, accused by Satan are you clothed by God? Or you fighting off Satan with self-justification? Are you believing you’re worthless? Or have you trusted in God as your only escape from accusation and condemnation?
There are three types of people that attend Church. Which one are you?
Spiritually Dead
I don’t know what religion you are—atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Mormon—the Bible says you are spiritually dead if you’re not in Christ
Why? Because you have no rest or peace between you and God
Your soul longs to fill the God-shaped hole
Your conscience bears witness about God, but you constantly justify yourself, or you think you’re worthless and unloveable
Your need for innocence causes you to be either a people-pleaser, or a people-stomper, yet neither of these satisfy your itching, aching, longing-soul.
Your spirit cries out within you for help and relief, but you yourself are the only audience, whereas you should be crying out for Jesus to resurrect your life and your heart.
You don’t understand spiritual things, like the Gospel, and only a miracle can open your eyes, which I will pray for.
You don’t need to be smart to understand the Gospel, but only when you realize that you have needs you didn’t know you had will you then understand the Gospel. Until then, the Gospel is entirely offensive.
Matthew 11:6 NET
Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
Spiritually Crawling
2 Peter 1:9 NET
But concerning the one who lacks such things—he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins.
Description: you always respond defensively when it comes to sin by justifying it, or you always respond to sin by feeling worthless or unloveable or hopelessly stuck
You rarely desire God, having very little discipline, nor do you confess your sins to others. You pray rarely, read the Bible rarely, and a Biblical worldview is appealing but it’s hard to buy in 100%. The Gospel is sometimes offensive, yet sometimes sweet to your soul.
If you’re in this category, you probably worry every now and then, or a lot, if you’re saved or not! You don’t know if you’re spiritually dead or spiritually crawling.
Take heart!
1 John 3:20 NET
that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things.
I read this many times during times of trial or spiritual valleys.
You may be in a hole, but there is a way out.
Spiritually Thriving
You know who you are simply by your gratitude for Jesus choosing a wretch like you and loving you!
You’re willing to serve. You’re not perfect, but when you fall down you’re lifted up by God. When condemned, you might get defensive sometimes or feel worthless, but ultimately you are acquitted by Jesus and you point to His righteousness instead of your sin.
You are being discipled by others who have gone before you, and you care about Christian community that is centered on loving Jesus more with our entire lives.
You are persecuted because others don’t like how you live or how you talk, which is so pure that it makes them feel convicted by their lifestyle.
You love what God loves, you hate what God hates, you forgive like Jesus, love like Jesus, encourage like Jesus, pray like Jesus, want to be in every way like Jesus.

questions

Why do you think people become defensive when being judged or condemned, whether they are innocent or guilty?
When feeling guilty or ashamed about disobeying God, what do you think the right response is to God in consideration of the story in Zechariah about Joshua the priest?
When asked, “How are you sure you’re truly saved?” how do you respond to yourself? If you are not a Christian, why do you think this question is being asked of Christians?
What are the characteristics of someone that really loves God? What are the characteristics of someone who fakes Christianity?
What distinguishes Christians from members of other religions? What is the ideal Christian focussed on, and what is the ideal member of Islam/Buddhism/Atheism/or any other religion focussed on?
When feeling guilty or ashamed about disobeying God, what do you think the right response is to God in consideration of the story of Zechariah and Joshua the priest?

closing

my dream from a few days ago
I don’t dream about God often
This is not a prophetic dream, but it was interesting
Practical applications for the 3 types of people
Spiritually Dead
God loves you deeply, but you need to know something: God is consistent with us believers, as His children, but you have no promise of security or hope.
you have actively rejected His love
God could act one way or another with you:
He could pursue you until you’re utterly changed and adopted as a child of God
He could hide his face from you and make sure you never understand the Gospel.
He loves you, but you’re not safe if you’re not at home with God.
It’s time to come home. Trust in Jesus. Talk to me if you have any questions
Spiritually Crawling
Hebrews 12:1 NET
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us,
Hebrews 12:1 NET
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us,
Ancient times for racing haven’t changed, people wore weights for training and took them off before the time of the games.
Time is now, put away worthless things in your life. Get some training, be discipled.
You are commanded to confirm your calling and election: I hope you’re so dissatisfied with your life right now until you are entirely refreshed in Jesus alone
You won’t be serious in your faith at all unless your discipled and being sharpened. If you want that, talk to me or Brian and we can make sure that we get you paired up with someone who can disciple.
Spiritually Alive
Praise God, keep running well. The only group that’s persecuted.
Matthew 28:18–20 NET
Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It’s your job to be discipling and involved in Christian community. Coach others how to run the race.
Who in your life can you enable to be your running mate, and who can you run alongside to teach to put down their spiritual donuts and weights, and become more spiritually fit for the race? Think of one person you can run together with, and one person you can help push along. Talk to us about how to set that up and we’ll take care of you.
We are running out of time in this life.
Make it count before you stand before God
[Pray for unbelievers and believers]
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