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Sermon on the Mount

by George D. Knepper

June 25, 1958

Preached at Big Creek Church of Christ in Louisiana

(This is the fifth in a series of articles by Bro. Knepper from the Sermon on the Mount)

 

Now you cannot advance to the other blesseds until you have  achieved a very real meekness, to a degree at least.  Unless you have achieved meekness, any thing beyond that that you do is pretense.

Up to and including that one, it is subjective.  It is something that happens on the inside of you.  Meekness, feeling poor in spirit, mourning, are something that happens to you.  But from here on, it is objective.  For instance, blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness can only be satisfied by what you do for others.  You can’t satisfy that hunger and thirst by something in you.   It is something in you that creates the need, the feeling, the desire, the want, the hunger and thirst; but to satisfy that, it must become objective.  It must project itself into the lives of other folk.  So you might just as well stop here, and get this, because you can’t go on until you do.

This is something you must do for yourself.  God can no more give you  meekness, just as though he would hand it out on a platter, than he can give  you eternal life.  Can’t do it.  There must be something within us.

The battle is between the spirit of Christ and the spirit of religious righteousness.  It still goes on.  Christ has not changed, and human nature has not changed since the day when Christ walked this earth and told us these things.  Now we may be a little more “cultured” in our demonstration of human nature, I don’t know.  Sometimes I wonder.  But the basic impulses, passions, desires and wants are exactly the same.  And the basis actions from babyhood up almost, the normal, natural, the physical reacting of the child to life is to get.  Almost from the beginning the child is seeking to get.  And if he finds out that if he fights back enough and cries enough and grabs enough and makes himself enough of a nuisance, he gets it.  And a lot of us never outgrow that attitude of trying to get. Get it anyway you can, but get it.  That is what I mean by this conflict between the spirit of Christ which is to give, and the spirit of the self- righteousness, which is to get. That is going on tonight just the same as it was 1900  years ago when Jesus talked to the disciples of his.

Now there are several ways to which we can react to this call of meekness.  In the first place, I can try to run away from my responsibilities.  I can try to dodge it.  I can try not to let it affect me too much.  In other words, when I read in there, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  I can begin to talk about this and that and the other things, and dodge around it and pretend that I don’t know what it means, and all that sort of thing. When the book tells me  to love my neighbor as I loves my self,  then I begin like a lawyer, “Well who is my neighbor? Who am I to love?”  I can dodge around it, and pretend that I don’t know what it is all about.  When it says “thou shall love the Lord, thy God,” I can pretend I don’t know just what that means, or I can pretend to love God.  I can try to run away from these things. I can do just like the man who tries to run away from the responsibility of providing a home and food and clothing for his family.  I can become a spiritual  religious tramp and find myself begging morsels of food from back doors, never knowing  real hunger and thirst after righteousness, and never knowing real meekness, and never know  real relationship with God; never  feeling the obligations that I have to my brother and sister, or my neighbor.  Never feeling the real obligations I have as my brother’s keeper, I can pretend that I don’t need these things, that  I don’t know what it means and all that sort of thing.   I become a religious tramp, a spiritual tramp.   And then at the backdoors I try to get a little handout.  I go to church you know, and go through a pretense of worshipping God.  I come around the Lord’s table, and go through a little performance.  I go out the door and don’t know a thing more a bout it than I did when I entered.  I have no feeling of having come  into contact with the body and blood of Christ — no feeling at all.  I have just become a tramp getting a morsel at the back door, instead of stepping in the front door of God’s house and getting real help and real uplift and inspiration and coming closer  to God.  That‘s one way to react to this becoming meek.

In another way, as a lot of people do, I can defy.  I can say that it is too idealistic, it will never work in this world.  When you talk about me loving my neighbor as my self, and when you talk about me loving God above everything else, when you talk about me being my brother’s keeper, when you talk about all those things, it is idealistic.  Jesus never meant them to be actually carried out.  So I just simply say, Oh no, I don’t have to do that.  That doesn’t mean me.  He didn’t mean that.  But Acts 2:38 – Oh sure, sure, sure, he meant that.  You have to repent and be baptized.  You can’t get into the kingdom of heaven unless you do.  And I know churches that it wouldn’t matter who had baptized you, if it hadn’t been a member of their particular sect, their particular religious belief you would have to be baptized again.  Did you know that?  Defying the very laws of God.  Instead of being meek, they defy what Jesus taught and accept a cheap substitute, and those people eventually on earth here, find themselves in the kingdom of hell instead of the kingdom of heaven.

In the third place we may feel restricted.  We say, “God you are asking too much.  You are restricting me. I can’t do the things I would like to do.  I can’t go to picture shows.”  You can go to picture-shows if you want, as far as I am concerned.  That is up to you, whether you go to picture – shows, or dances or not.  That is your business.  You have to answer for that.  But you feel restricted, your conscience hurts you a little if you do those thing, see.  And so we react in that way to this great call to meekness.

I’m going to show you what real meekness is as taught in the word of God.  I want to remind you that we are students in the school of God.  And God is seeking to discipline us.  I have no time or respect, and I mean that literally, for the preacher today who, because of serious trouble, comes into a family and begins to say the wife or the husband or this one or that one sinned.  God disciplines whether the husband or wife or someone in the family has sinned or not.  Still those things come.  They come to the most righteous.  We are in the school of God, students there.  Studying, being disciplined, being taught, that we live in a universe run on absolute law.  We are to achieve meekness through that.

Now turn to. Ps 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off;

But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.

Jesus said the meek would inherit the earth.  So evidently meekness, and waiting upon the Lord have a good deal in common.  The result is the same.  “Blessed area the meek for they shall inherit the land.”  I told you “possess” is a better word for that.  And here he says that those who wait upon the Lord shall do the same thing.  So evidently waiting on the Lord – and have warned you folks over and over again- wait on the Lord and he will bring it to pass.

Ps 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

That pretty much what the third Beatitude states.

Ps 37:22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

Ps 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.

When you read this great Psalm in its entirety you will realize it is a great lesson in meekness.

God is seeking men and women to whom he can entrust power.  And I mean that absolutely and utterly.  God is looking for people to whom he can entrust power, but they have to have meekness first.  If they don’t they become autocrats, dictators, religious gods, telling you what you can and what you can’t do.  God wants men to whom he can give great power, but first of all they have to achieve meekness.

Before Good gives that power to me, if he ever does, I must be tested and proved. What are they doing on the great nuclear proving grounds?  Testing and proving.  They have to know before they turn the thing loose in action that it will do what they expected of it to do.  They test it over and over.  So you and I must be tested.

Heb 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

This is Christ himself.  You will never understand that completely.  I don’t see how any man’s mind can grasp that, and if he told me he understood, I would not believe him.  Jesus said of himself, “He that hath seen me has seen the Father..” and yet as man he had to be tested and proven.  There were three temptations recorded in Luke 4.  Were they temptations or was Jesus play acting?  They were absolutely a real test of the integrity of Christ as man.  He is being tested and proved.  That is why I say God has to test you and prove you, before he can give you that power.  If he gives it to you without testing to prove you it will ruin you.  You serve the devil with it.   What was the devil trying to do in those temptations?  Corrupt the Christ, was he not?  The devil was trying To debase his power to the level of the kingdom of this world.  “I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world if you will fall down and worship me… Cast yourself off the temple and defy the laws of gravity and the angels will bear you up.”    Yes, there was a test and a proving,  but as we read  in the 14th verse of that chapter , he came back from the temptations in the power of the Spirit.

Do you get the point I am trying to make?  We have to be tried and tested.  So if hard things come into your lives (and don’t tell me, any of you, that they don’t) it is because God is testing you, proving you.  And as you prove that you can be given power without being cursed by it, and becoming a servant of the devil, he tests you more deeply, with greater difficulties.  That is why I have said before, and I say it again, that I never feel competent to speak at the funeral of a little one, because I never passed through that terrible ordeal.  I have tried to ask myself what it means as I see my little grandchildren and love them deeply.  Suppose I had to stand and look  down on the face of one of them in a coffin. I have asked myself, “Can you do it?”  But God is not punishing the mother and father of that little one because they did something wrong.  Don’t let anyone tell you he is.  What kind of a God does a man worship anyway, who believes that? He had better get a bigger god than that, because he has a god a little lower than he is.  That’s what he would do,  so he has a god that is a little bit smaller that he is, and would do that short of thing.  Folks, God is not that kind of god.  He is a God of love, a God of mercy, a God of Justice.  And it is in love, and because he sees in you great power and the ability to contain power that he does what he does.

There are question to ask yourself under the stress of this, whether you are really achievement meekness or not. Do you or I dare say, What would you have me to do, Lord?” “What do you want me to do?” “What are  you putting this power into me for?” “What wilt thou have made to do, Lord?” Do I dare say, “Not my will, but thine be done?”

Now too much of the following idea prevails: that God will do it all.  God you do this for me, and you do that for me.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  God will do a lot for you, but there are some things you have to do for yourself.

2 Tim 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

“..if anyone cleanses himself..” not asking God to do it for him.  I can stand here all night as ask God to purge me and he wouldn’t do it, for he has told me to purge my self.  I’d like to read that from Phillips.

“If a man keeps himself clean from the contaminations of the evil he will be a vessel used for honorable purposes, clean and serviceable for the use of the Master of the Household, all ready, in fact, for any good purpose.”

 

To be a useful servant and man must first purge himself, or keep himself from evil.  That is the reason I don’t use intoxicating liquors.  That is the reason I don’t use tobacco.   I felt I must purge myself from that, because I was going before boys and girls and teach them about God and Christ.  Now if you want to do that, that is your business, not mine.  That is why I don’t listen to that stuff on the radio and television, because I don’t think that would be keeping my self clean.  But if another fellow can do it and keep clean, that’s all right, that’s his business.  I am not finding fault and talking about going to heaven or hell.  We are making ourselves ready for any good purpose God has for us.  That is the reason we keep our selves clean from these things so we will be ready for any good purpose God has for us. But I must do it myself.  I think I could ask God to help me, but I must have a part in  that.  Remember we read in Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus, through great crying and tears – he cried to God and shed tears, but there was something he had to do.

QUESTION: Is this purging ourselves by the help of God not only for this life now, but also for the time when God’s kingdom comes in its fullness?

ANSWER: Yes, sir!  This is preparing you for the future. We expect to use what we area getting here when we get over there.  All of it is functioning in the kingdom of heaven.

The curse of the church today is that people think as long as they are in church they are functioning in the kingdom, but not after they go out the door.  But even driving nails is working for the Lord, just as someone preaching the gospel.  Take LeTourneau, for instance.  He is a multi-millionaire, who has given away millions and millions of dollars.  Some people asked him how much of his income he gives o the Lord.  He said “I don’t think of it that way.  I think of it this way: How much of the Lord’s money do I keep.”  He has proved that God is true, and that when he says, “Give and it shall be given unto you full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” it is the truth.  He can talk as plain as he pleases because he pays all his own expenses when he goes to speak.

Paul is writing to Timothy, a young preacher. I Timothy 6:3 (Phillips)  “This is the sort of thing you should teach, and if anyone tries to teach some doctrinal novelty”– and believe me, that is a lot of it going on – “which is not compatible with sound teaching (which we base on Christ’s own words and which Leads to Christ-like living).”  The words that Paul was preaching, he said were based on Christ’s own words, and if obeyed let to Christ-like living “Then he (this fellow that teaches a doctrinal novelty) “is a conceited  idiot! His mind is a morbid jumble of disputation and argument.” Isn’t that what they are always doing? Arguing, arguing, disputing! Yeh, you just disagree with one of them and see what happens to you.  “..things which lead to nothing but jealousy, quarrelling, insults and malicious innuendoes – continual  wrangling, in fact, among men of warped minds who have lost their real hold on the truth but hope to make some profit out of the Christian religion.”  That’s pretty strong language folks.  “There is a real profit, of course, but it comes only to those who live contentedly as God would have them to live.  We brought absolutely nothing with us when we entered this world and we can be sure we shall take absolutely nothing with us when we  leave it.  Surely then, as far as physical things are concerned, it is sufficient to us to keep our bodies fed and clothed.  For men who set their hearts on being wealthy expose themselves to temptations.”  I read that, and bring it in here, to show you that there is something we are to do.  Negatively (or maybe that is positively) we are to look out for this false teaching, this doctrinal novelty.  Just two little things and if you don’t go along with the brotherhood on that, you are an outcast.  And they do lead to quarrelling and wrangling and jealousy, and the very thing that Paul says they will lead to.  But Paul says, “We teach the words of Christ which lead to Christ-like living.”  By their fruits ye shall know them.  Not by what they teach. Now if the fruits of their lives bear out what they teach, then fine.    I believe you had better listen to that kind of people.  They have part of the truth, at least. When you hear a fellow stand up and make a great dissertation, and great sounding noises, then you find that fellow doing things that you wouldn’t do –it may not be drinking or smoking, etc. there are far worse things than that.  Those prostitutes that went into the kingdom of heaven ahead of the Pharisees were not committing as deadly and dastardly a sin as the Pharisee who claimed to be following God, claimed to be God’s spokesman here on earth, and yet they were willing to do what they were doing.  This is why I don’t jump I onto a man with both feet and try to trap him under my feet, just because he happens to do any one of those things.  In some things he may be a better man than I am.  It could be true.

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

So what is God to us?   Our potter.  Now then let’s look out.  We are in the potter’s hands.  God is seeking to make something out of us.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

The vessel got spoiled in the hands of the potter so he had to make another one not like the one he started to make at all.  So let’s be careful that we don’t spoil in the potter’s hands.  Now a potter’s hands are very strong and powerful.  If you would try to shape that mud as a potter does it, you would find you could not do it at all.  So God is the potter, we are the clay.

Romans 11:17-21 (Phillips)  But if some of the branches of the tree have been broken off, while you, like shoots of wild-olive, have been grafted in, and share  like a natural branch the rich nourishment of the root, don’t let yourself feel superior to those former branches.  (If you feel inclined that way, remind yourself that you do not support the root, the root supports you)  You may make the natural retort, ‘But the branches were broken off to make room for my grafting!’ It wasn’t quite like that.  They lost their position because the failed to believe; you only maintain yours because you do believe.  The situation does not call for conceit but for a certain wholesome fear.  If God removed the natural branches for a good reason take care that you don’t  give him the  same reason for removing you.”

Few are willing to pay the price.  Few are willing to take the molding of those hands of God when they start molding you into the vessel fit for any use.

Now, that process to meekness is translated in four different languages.   I want to give the words in each for those languages and what they mean.

First is the Greek word “praos” which means God- molded.  It means the taming  of wild animals.  Saul of Tarsus was nearly a wild animal. He had to be tamed.  Those branches that were grafted in were wild branches.  They had to become tame.  So in making us into that vessel, God is taming us.  The whole thing means God-molded.

The next word we consider is the French “debonair.”  That has a kind of bad meaning in some ways, but it has some very, very good meanings.  God-trained.  God is making  out of us a gentleman,  Not a Kentucky Colonel, but a gentleman in the best meaning of that word.  You can’t insult him.  You can’t make him spit in your face.  You can’t make him strike you on your cheek.  You can do anything to him and he is still a gentleman.  Those insults, those mean, nasty little things, those lies that they tell behind his back, and all that.  God is making a gentleman.  Debonair.  God is training you in this process.  Strength disciplined into gentleness.  The real debonair person is gentle, but he has strength – controlled strength.

The German word that Luther gave us means “Sweet-tempered.”  God is taking my temper and making it into a sweet temper.  And believe me he has had a hard job.  I had just as much temper as any before, and there was a time when I could let it loose.  I am not boasting, folks, I am ashamed.  But believe me there was a time when you had better not hit me on the cheek, because I would hit you on both if I could.  It has been a battle with God and me for him to make me sweet tempered.  But that is what this God-molding is to do for us.  “Be ye angry and sin not.”  That is what he is talking about in Matthew 5.  He is telling you the different things that aught to be built into your life, making you sweet tempered.

There is another angle to this being tempered.  What do they do with the finest of steel to make cutting instruments out of it?  They temper it.  They put tremendous temper on it, don’t they?  They use heat to make a temper of that kind.  So God puts me in places where there is a lot of heat, giving me a temper that is keen and cutting.  I tell you Jesus had plenty of temper.  Don’t let anybody tell you he didn’t.  It was controlled temper, but it could be keen and cutting when he talked to those Pharisees.  I tell you, he cut them to the heart.  They gnashed on him with their teeth.  They were so mad at him, they wanted to get hold of him and tear him to pieces.  So that is sweet-tempered.  Tempered means that you have temper but it has been brought to a point where it is controlled.  It is very sweet-tempered toward the erring, the wayward, those people who are trying to do right, folks but can’t, those people that have fallen by the wayside.  You don’t reach down and get them and say they are going to hell.  Oh, no, you don’t ever tell anybody that.  God has to decide that.  Did you ever ask yourself among all the people that you know, would you to be the one who decides who is going to heaven or hell?  Is there anyone in this room that thinks he can do it?   So, don’t ever want to do that.   Let God decided where they are going and you do all that you possibly can to keep them out of that place. Sweet-tempered!   So we are to become God-molded, God-trained, God-tamed and God-tempered.  That is what he has to do with each one of us.

Now some of you don’t need as much training as others.  Some of you don’t need as much tempering as some of us.  Some of you may not need as much molding as some of us.  But we will all have to go through with that process at the hand of God.  That is what we are talking a bout in becoming meek.  And when we have achieved that, then God can trust power to us.  Great power, tremendous power. Do you begin to realize then, what it means?  Blessed are the meek.  See what a great thing you would say? He takes us from our childhood up who perhaps have  run wild as it were,  tames, us molds us, trains us, makes us vessels fit for anything that he wants us to do.

Ephesians 5:15 (Phillips) “ Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility..” If God has molded, trained, done all of that for you and made you fit for his use, then what has happened to you?  You have great responsibility.  You are not going to waste all of it are you?  After all God’s done?  After a person goes through the grind of six or so years in college, he has a responsibility to use it.  Not only a responsibility to man, but to God.  That is what Paul is saying here. God has spent time and effort in training and molding  and making you sweet-tempered and all of that – now “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do.”   Then Life has meaning and purpose.  And it is my business to find out what the meaning and purpose of life are.  Do you want to lived life like those men who don’t happen to know the meaning and purpose of life?  After God spent all that time molding, taming, training getting you ready for something, and then you don’t know what He got you ready for?  You don’t know the meaning and purpose of life.  “Live life, then with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life.”  Folks, you are here.  I guess I don’t need to prove that, do I? You are here.  God is giving you time.  What is the meaning of you being here on earth?  Throwing away your time?  Fooling it away?  Spend it on things that when you pass through the gates that we call death you leave it all?  Is that the meaning and purpose of life? Absolutely not!  Live life, then, as those who know   the meaning and purpose of life.  And you had better be doing it.

Ephesians 2:1 (Phillips)  “To you, who were spiritually dead” did they know the meaning and purpose of life? No, not when they were spiritually dead.  “all the time that you drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living.” You were spiritually dead when you were drifting on the stream of this world’s life.  Drifting! Now we have a different analogy. We are not thinking of life as  being a broad a narrow road, but as being a stream.  And believe me we have a lot of drifters, just drifting along on the stream of time.  “and obeyed its unseen ruler.”  If you are drifting on the river of life tonight, your ruler is the one I”m going to read about here “(who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God) to you Christ has given life.  Now live life, then, as those who know or feel due responsibility, that know the meaning and purpose of life.”  That is what is the matter with churches today.  Nobody is teaching the meaning of life.   Repent, be baptized, receive the holy spirit, and that’s all, just get inside the door is the message of the church. Well that is not the way God teaches, I’ll tell you that. Nor is it the way the Book teaches either.  That Book says that you’ve been made alive, and now life has a meaning and purpose, and God expect you to know it, and he expects you to be doing and reacting to life as though you know it.  Now when you are drifting along on the stream of life, just drifting along, guided by Satan in that stream, you are just picking up a little bit of driftwood here and a little bit of driftwood there, a little something here, a little something there, when you get to the end of the journey, you have nothing. It all disappears into thin air.  That isn’t “bunkum” folks, that’s the TRUTH. That’s what those fellows that are drifting on the stream of life are doing.   They are picking up a little something here and there, but when they pass that door they leave it all.  Nothing goes with them through that door.  That’s what Paul is saying.  These are not jokes.  This is absolute truth.  What are you doing? What am I doing?  Am I drifting on the stream of life, just gathering a little here, a little education, a little money, a little pleasure of the world.  Is that what I’m doing? If it is I’m going to leave it all at that door. Now if I use that education, fine, to the glory of God.  But if I use it to get more money, to get the praise of men, if that is all there is to it, I am going to leave it at that door.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  Let’s not say “Well, I belong to the church of Christ, therefore I’m going to heaven.  That is a little too simple.

Now to go on reading: “to you Christ has given life!  We all lived like that in the past, and followed the impulses and imaginations of our evil nature, being in fact under the wrath of god by nature, like everyone else.  But even though we were dead in our sins God was so rich in mercy” and you should thank  Him every time you go to God in prayer and  one of the first things you should thank God for  his mercy. “Rich in mercy”  because of the great love he had for us “that he gave us the very life of Christ.”  He gave it  to you! “(for it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved), and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with Him in Christ in the heavens.”

Once more from Ephesians 2:9 “No one can pride himself that he earned the love of God.  The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God the great potter. What we are we owe to hand of God. “We are born afresh in Christ, and born to do those good deeds which god planned for us to do.”  Does life have a purpose?  To do those good deeds which God planned for you.  Sure life has a purpose.  Life has meaning.  Sure it has, folks, but we have lost its meaning and a lot of us never found it.  A lot of us never realize we must do anything but repent and be baptized.  You were not saved by God because you were such a good fellow.  You were not saved by God because you have done so much for him.  We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.  We are all guilty of death.  We were all one time dead in our trespasses and sins. Suppose you had a loved one lying dead, and someone comes along and brings him back to life again. Would you do anything for that one? Would you feel any obligation to that one?  You do to a doctor who brings your loved one out of his sickness.  Sure you do.  Well, Christ did a thousand times more than that He made you alive when you were dead in your trespasses and sins, and don’t forget it.  If you are not thankful to God  – if you are not asking God, “What can I do to show my appreciation and love?’  Then God help you.  My guess is that you were never born again at all.  This is not a little thing that you folks started on and this is not a little thing that you are standing before the world and professing to be. It is a tremendous thing, and God will hold you responsible and the more opportunity you have, the greater you responsibility.

QUESTION:  What is sin? Define sin

ANSWER:  The Book says sin is the transgression of the law. But again you have to do some defining there, see? What is the Law?  I’ll give you a definition tomorrow night.  Believe me, it means a lot more than most of us think.  It means a lot more than staying away from church on Sunday morning.

Our purpose then, in life, is to do those good deeds.  Now, what does it say in I Cor 8:1  “Now to deal with the matter of meat which has been sacrificed to idols.  It is easy to think that we ‘know’ over problems like this, but we should remember that while knowledge may make a man look big, it is only love that can make him grow to his full statue,”  You may be getting your definition there, I don’t know. “It is only love that can make him grow to his full statue.   For whatever a man may know, he still has a lot to learn, but if he loves God, he is opening his whole life to the Spirit of God.”  I would say that sin is this: that you refuse to open your heart to the love of God.  Now that does not give any details here, but that is sin.  That is unpardonable sin.  My refusal to open my heart to the love of God is sin. That isn’t what we have often thought of as sin at all, is it? We have thought of sin as using liquor or tobacco.  Sure, those are sins, but there is a greater sin that get more and more of us.  That is a refusal to open our hearts to the love of God.  When you open your heart to the love of God, what is it going to do to you? Is it going to change you? Is it going to change everything? It is going to change everything.  That’s right.  I guess we will have to go on with this tomorrow night, there’s a lot more to learn about this.

Do you begin to see that achieving meekness is a tremendous thing?  You know why so few of us do it.   You know why now so many of those turned back  and walked no more with him and you know why so many of us pretend  to walk with him and don’t.  They are unwilling to put themselves in the hand of the great potter and permit him to make out of them what he would like to make out of them.  So lacking in real power, they have to become puffed up, bigoted, imaging that they are some great one, full of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

 




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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13