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Sermon 148 -You can’t get NEW Nature by fixing your OLD Nature

Most Christians believe that they’re good with a few character flaws. If these character flaws are ever challenged or exposed, they try their best to fix them.  Most often, the motivation for the fix is so one doesn’t look bad or feel bad. Consequently, old nature isn’t changed, just better camouflaged.

Old nature

Everyone is born with a nature that is prone to sin … all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The thing that drives this sinful nature is our pride. Our old nature is really just an expression of our pride. Pride wants to be superior and look cool, but pride is also the mood of inferiority or failure. Ultimately, pride doesn’t like being told what to do, or told it’s wrong, but it likes to tell you that you are wrong.

Every time our pride rises up, our old nature will automatically show itself, and we will have a mood, either silently and internally with a smile, or outwardly with a change of facial expression, and quite often, conveniently ignorant that we are even having a mood. Fixing our old nature is simply just another self-tactic for reinforcing our pride and promoting one’s ability. Trying to get ourselves right by our own will power will never produce new nature … it’s just more pride.

The problem of Pride

The reason God hates pride (Proverbs 8:13) is that it gives Satan licence to dictate over your spirit (2 Timothy 2:24-26 KJV). Pride keeps you in old nature and makes you susceptible to operate under Satan’s evil works against the kingdom of God, whilst all the time you believe you are a Christian and a good person. Pride pollutes your heavenly walk and if left to run its course, will block you from heaven.

New Nature

New nature is the nature of God. This nature cannot be produced by our own effort. Rather, it’s a gift from God. The modern church teaches that this gift is free, but that’s not the whole truth. Yes, it cannot be bought with money or earned with effort or good works (Ephesians 2:8,9), but there is a price that you have to pay to receive it.

The price for New nature

The price for new nature is death. The death I’m referring to in this case is … saying NO to yourself. In other words, giving up your want because you trust what God wants is the best. You can’t enter new nature without this trust.

The old nature is quite capable of improving itself and stopping itself from doing wrong. You don’t have to be Christian to achieve that. Old nature can be made to look like new nature, but, it can never become genuine new nature.

The new nature of God is implanted in someone’s spirit when they decide to follow Christ, but this doesn’t mean they are saved for heaven. Judas and King Saul both had the new nature of God but they fell to their old nature, did not repent and return to new nature, and consequently missed out on heaven. You can lose the new nature of God and be cut off the vine, but you can also be grafted back into the nature of God.

How do we make sure we run the race to the end with God’s nature?

Jesus taught that you have to die to yourself, daily. Just about every Christian I’ve counselled believes that if they address a character fault or sin, then they’ve fixed it and it shouldn’t have to be dealt with again. But, that’s just a fallacy of pride. The reality is, that your character fault will live with you forever, and Satan will be forever tempting you to fall to it. Thus, Jesus said it’s a daily battle to say No to yourself, even if the issue is the same as it was yesterday or last month.

Why must I say No to MYSELF?

The only way you can enter new nature and also return to new nature after failing, is, via the cross. The modern church teaches that once you accept Christ as your Saviour, then you are under His grace, you’re a child of God and a son of God and joint heir with Christ, so therefore you should expect His blessing and His favour. This half-truth deceives the average Christian into thinking that Christianity is a casual and comfortable walk to heaven under God’s grace. The modern church doesn’t teach death as the path to heaven, but rather, it promotes only the benefits; namely, the pursuit of happiness and contentment, attached to niceness and helping.

The Cross

The cross is not the path to happy feelings. Rather, it’s a path of pain, and embarrassment, and put down for the name of Christ. It’s the path of being misjudged, of being mocked, of being hated, even by family. It’s having to wait for God’s plan instead of purporting your own. It’s the path of separating from the world even though you live in it. It’s the path of disciplining yourself to say No to yourself, and Yes to Christ. It’s the path of accepting correction, and not necessarily defending your rights.

The cross is serving God, not man, and setting your path to heaven, no matter the cost. The cross is hating your pride (Proverbs 8:13). The cross is trusting God with the unfair deal, and ironically, the peace of God only comes via this pathway of the cross.

The cross is the only way to heaven. You can’t get there by just asking Jesus into your heart. Without the cross, Jesus is just your buddy, but not your Saviour.

The cross is the action of your faith (James 2:17,18), yet, you can’t walk the pathway of the cross by yourself … it requires His faith (Galatians 2:20).

The easy path

Obviously, the false church is not going to promote this path. The easy path of happiness and fun and friends and purpose and wealth through giving, is far more favourable and enticing. The church promotes the broad way to heaven, not the narrow way. But God calls His disciples to be soldiers, not comfortable pew sitters and TV watchers. God calls His people to be separate in spirit from the world; not comfortable to mix and mingle with the world.

God calls his disciples to not expect the fair deal. God calls his disciples to object to the world’s moral decline (Proverbs 8:13), generally silently in our hearts, sometimes publicly, but always on alert, and never complacent and tolerant of sin, especially our own pride.

The reason for the problems we face is so we learn to not look to ourselves but turn to Christ and trust His plan. Problems toughen us against Satanic attack. We’re not fighting flesh and blood but demonic principalities and evil powers (Ephesians 6:12). You can’t fight Satan except through the cross. By saying NO to yourself, and instead, trusting God, you walk the path of the cross and inhibit the evil work of Satan.

The Fear of the Lord is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13)

Who do you fear the most … God or man? God calls His people to fear Him, not man. The fear of God is the fear of missing out on heaven and ending up in hell. If you love the Lord, you must hate your pride; that’s the fear of God. Disciples must walk in the fear of upsetting God, not man; they must object to giving one’s self the right to have a mood, give up the right to expect fairness, give up the ambition of looking good in the eyes of people, and give up worldly position. This is the cross. The cross is God’s training ground for learning how to fear Him, because you have to face the fear of man. It’s a process of being born again and maturing into His faith. It can take years, but, if you don’t walk the way of the cross, you’re simply stating your lack of fear and love of God.

The primary objective of Christ should be the same for every disciple of Christ

Jesus came to earth. From the moment He arrived, He was targeted. He healed the sick and preached the gospel of good news, but, His primary objective was to die on the cross. If He hadn’t, no one would be saved. Despite all your goodness, is the cross your primary objective?

Friend of the world, enemy of God (James 4:4)

If you’re comfortable with the world, if you like the comforts of the world, the Word of God describes you as an adulterer. That is, a fake Christian who says they’re married to Christ but who is actually intercoursing with Satan.

Thy will be done, not mine

This is the prayer of Christ on the cross, this is the commitment of Jesus on earth (John 4:34), this is the Lord’s prayer, and this is the prayer of every genuine soldier of Christ.

 

May the Lord stir His remnant to look beyond the pain, to look beyond the moral demise of society, to say No to one’s self, and be servants to His will only.

 

Pastor Frederick Jamieson

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2020 in new nature

 

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Sermon 119 – The Hatred of Feel-Good

Time and time again I’ve watched Christians chase the god of “feel good”. The priority of their life is to feel good, and to feel happy. The church has told the people that God makes you feel good; He makes you happy, so people come to church looking for the happiness because their life is empty. They want some value, some love, some warmth, some purpose, something that will fill the void, and the church promises it in Jesus, but the people can’t find it.

The world is chasing the same mirage

Everyone is looking for the good feelings. So, if you’re doing the same then you’re of the world, not of Christ. You may not be into drugs, sex, and alcohol, but if you’re chasing it through acceptable Christian means such as friends, success, money, or position, then it’s the same outcome of vanity.

God says … love not the world nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world then the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world (lust of the flesh and eyes and pride of life) is not of the Father, but is the world. The world passes away and the lusts thereof, but he that does the will of God shall abide forever … 1 John 2:15-17

If God’s good, then surely He wants me to be happy

Godless Christians conveniently assume that God’s into good feelings and thus selfishly expect that getting good feelings is God’s way for them. Thus, they judge others by whether they make them feel good or bad, and they make deductions based on whether it feels good or not.

Use the happy lie to control others

Ultimately, this deduction process gives selfishness the right to always feel good and consequently these people control everyone and everything around them so that their objective of feeling good is always achieved. They end up convincing themselves that they’re always good and always right. In reality, this person does whatever they want as long as it makes them feel good. Thus, when they’re corrected and put in their place, they object to the correction because it doesn’t gel with their feel-good rights. They assume they’re correctable, but at the intersection of correction they object. Thus, they fail to take responsibility for their sin; preferring to excuse away their wrong by conversely judging the corrector as wrong because he made them feel bad. They then look for faults in the corrector to justify their often polite but resistant defiance.

God’s formula for your feelings

God doesn’t promise happy feelings here on earth. That’s part of His heavenly kingdom. He promises life through pain which is why people chasing happy can’t find Him, and that’s why it’s called the narrow way, because few want to travel that path.

If any man will follow Me, let him DENY himself, take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me. Luke 9:23

God is the judge, not you

God doesn’t judge you for your sin, because the wages for sin is already hell. He judges you for your repentance, so He can save you from this hell judgment. It’s His blood that cleanses the repentant sinner, not your apology or penance. He does punish you for sin to wake you to righteousness. He punished David for his sin but saved him for eternity because of his repentance, whereas, God let the sin of King Saul drift and saw him miss heaven, for hell.

No correction; no salvation

Correction is a painful experience, Hebrew 12:6. It has to be or it isn’t correction. It’s painful because it’s hurting your pride. If you’re into feel-good, you’re going to diffuse the correction with excuses and thus you’ll fall for the satanic tactic of feel-good so you’re blocked from heaven. Instead of addressing your pride you’ll reinforce it.

If at the point of righteous correction, you fail to bend your spirit to own your sin, you lose the right to stay on the Vine. Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden, not because they sinned, but because they chose to blame rather than bend. The same is true of King Saul, whereas, David repented.

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as a son. If you are without chastening, then you’re a bastard and not a son, Hebrews 12:7,8.

The search for life and value is only found when the vanity of feelings is sacrificed for His will.

Envy

The world and the false church can’t help being envious of those that have found the “good”. Eventually, their envy and anger will be exposed against those who have a real relationship with Christ, simply because others seem to have got the ‘good’, and they haven’t and can’t seem to get it. In their heart they hate those who have the heart of the Father. God calls this murder, and thus they inadvertently pronounce hell judgment on their own head.

If you’re in Christ, you don’t have to say anything, the godless church will hate you because they envy the peace of Christ in your heart, irrespective of the circumstances around you. It’s exactly what they’re looking for but can’t find it because they’re not really looking for Christ but rather they’re chasing the good-feel.

I’m always right, so if you think I’m not, you’re the one that’s wrong

I recall a young Christian who seemed to have all the facets of being genuine, including generosity and helps. In time, however, correction exposed the falseness of his spirit. He pretended to be a Christian but he wasn’t. The problem was he had convinced himself about his own goodness to the point that he honestly believed he was never wrong; everyone else was.  Thus, he could never hear the truth about himself; he could only see the fakeness in everyone else. This is a satanic imagination that blocks the correction which would get you back onto the right path, so you continue on the path to hell; and unfortunately, it’s all too common.

Fake goodness is always to gain self-value; never for Christ.

Hated because you love Christ

A genuine Christian doesn’t have to chase the feeling of good and happiness. They know they’re in- Christ and the feelings are irrelevant. Their spirit is content in the knowledge of His grace upon them and learns to rest in His abiding love.  The spirit of the world is satanic; thus, the world and the fake church will automatically hate them just like they hated the Master. This hatred is designed to put you in fear and force you to give up the fight, but if you face the temptation to go the easy path, this hatred is actually the confirmation of the genuineness of the connection between the true servant and His Lord.

The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; and if children, then joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified with Him.  Romans 8:16

Hatred is the gel that connects you to Christ

Goodness is not the sign of Christ. Non-Christians can act good. Hatred is the sign. If you want to walk with Christ you have to accept the hatred that will be fired at you. You can’t do this if you’re chasing good feelings. The good-feelers will often be the ones that throw the hatred. The purpose of being hated is to see if you will suffer with Christ or defend yourself against the injustice by throwing the hatred back. Hatred for Christ is the blessing Jesus talks about in Matthew 5. It’s the common denominator with Christ and the evidence of your love for Him and His love for you.

 

May the remnant sense His presence no matter the pain and burden of the attacks against their spirit.

 

Pastor Nick Clarence

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2018 in Correction, Happy

 

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