Pastor BJ breaks down two of Jesus' "woes", levelled at the hypocritical religious leaders of His day and their feeble attempts to fix themselves through behavioural modification.
Some of the things that we learn in our schooling, you know, through from kindergarten all the way through grade 12, some of the stuff that we learn in that period of our lives proves to be really helpful in the later parts of our life and in our in adulthood. Really helpful stuff like reading. We learn to do that in school, basic writing skills, basic math beyond beyond the educational stuff in the classroom. We even learn a lot of stuff in elementary school and high school, personal interpersonal dynamics like learning how just to function in society and function in culture.
You learn that. You learn that in high school and school. And so we carry that stuff into our adult lives. And we we continue to need to read, need to write that need to use basic things and in math, helpful stuff that we learn. There are some things, some not some helpful things that we learn in school. They don't seem to have any bearing on our lives immediately after we learn, for example, parallelograms, parallelograms, there's a great meme out that shows us the connection between learning parallelograms in geometry and math and having no bearing on our lives today.
If you're not sure what it means to be the first to welcome you to the year 2020. Great to have you with us. A meme, a meme, by definition, is a humorous image. It's a video or a piece of text that is copied off with often with slight variations and spread rapidly by Internet users means. I fancy myself as a meme connoisseur. But besides the point, here's this meme. I'll just explain it to you what it says.
It says this. I'm glad I learned about Parallelograms instead of how to do taxes. It's really come in handy this parallelogram season. And it's hilarious because we do taxes every year as adults and we don't learn about taxes in school, we learn about parallelograms in school and we learn them, they have almost pretty much zero impact in our lives what so ever. What's the point of me telling you this? Well, sometimes we learn less important things in our life that don't really impact our lives and sometimes we don't learn some of the most important things that will actually impact our lives.
We don't get exposed to learning those things in this message today. We're going to learn something that I wish every single person was taught in childhood, in their adolescent years, in their adult years. This is stuff that I wish that were taught not just on a one time experience, but refreshed and relearned and remember on and on and on again, because it's so vital, it's connection to how we live and understand our lives. Vital, vital. So here's the hope for this message.
The stuff that we're going to be looking at that I'm going to be showing you tonight. Can impact your life forever. You know, sometimes preachers can exaggerate. This is no exaggeration. The stuff that we're going to learn can impact your life now and forever. And here's the second part of my hope for this message, that it would not only just change your life, I believe that God will use this and can use what we're going to learn tonight to change your lives.
But my prayer is that you would be so impacted by what you hear that will not only change your life that you'll understand it and then God will be able to use you to teach what you learn to actually have an impact other people's lives as well. That's my my hope. Our series that we're in, Matthew the Gospel of Matthew or in Chapter 23 are texts for our main text is going to be found in verses 25 to 28. So Matthew, 23 three twenty five to twenty eight.
And I want to give you guys the it's a four point sermon tonight. I want to give you the four points up front and then we'll hit them one at a time. So to give you an overview of where we're going. Point number one, we're going to identify the source of humanity's problems. Small task. I know what we're going to do that to, in point one, identify the source of humanity's problems. Secondly, what we're going to do is we're going to highlight humanity's feeble attempts to fix our own problems.
We're going to highlight humanity's feeble attempts to fix our own problems. And is at this second point where we're going to spend most of our time looking at our text. We're going to connect our text in Matthew. Twenty three versus twenty five. Twenty eight right into the second point. And you're going to see that more clearly when we get there. The third point in this message, I'm going to give you the solution to humanity's problems. We're covering a lot of ground here tonight, as you can see.
And then our fourth point, we're going to troubleshoot what to do when the problem is still there in our life after we've received the solution to it being a troubleshooter, we recognize the problem, received the solution, but then realize that there's still some problems left. We're going to do some troubleshooting point for. So that's where we're going in this message. So let's let's dive in and identify the source of humanity's problems, the source of humanity's problems. If you're a Christian, if you're a brother or sister in Christ, watching this message right now, I want to take you back as we identify the source of our problems prior to you coming to know Jesus.
So this is pre Jesus, pre salvation for you. If you're if you're a friend and a guest watching the service with us and you and you're not a Christian, you don't know Jesus. This is going to explain to you the source again, identify the source of your problems in your life. So for the Christian, this is Jesus. And if you're not a Christian, we're going to identify we're going to find out what's going on and what's wrong.
So we're going to do a little bit of an exercise to do this. You guys picture in your mind a metal detector, a metal detector. You see people who have the get rich mentality, right? They buy the trusty metal detector. They go to the beach and they put the little plate at the end of the stick near the ground. And they're trying to find hidden treasure. And they'll have a normal tone to the to the metal detector and go eat.
And if there is no metal, but as soon as it starts to come to some metal, what does it do? Wraps up, right? Eat, eat, eat, eat, PBB. And then, you know, you found what you're looking for. That's a metal detector. Well, we're going to use here to identify the source of humanity's problems. We're going to use a problem detector. OK, a problem detector. Now to help us find the source of our problems.
So now you're sitting where you are watching this. Now, just imagine in front of you all the potential sources of the problems in your life. Think of think of them all, all in front of you. In this exercise, you have your spouse or your potentially or your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your singleness sometimes is a source of people's problems, they think, or your kids or your lack of kids. Maybe it's your boss or fellow employees.
Maybe it's your. Yeah, your co-workers, maybe your friends or the source of the problem right now. Maybe it's your enemies. Maybe it's in your finances over here or or the economy. Maybe it's the the the government or the police out there. Maybe they're they're the problem. Maybe it's maybe it's your vices, you know, drugs or alcohol or sex or gambling or whatever, that maybe maybe that's the source of your problem. Maybe it's your health, maybe it's covid, maybe it's the weather.
And I said a whole bunch of things, but fill in the gap of a substitute in there for yourself, whatever problems you might think exist. And they're all out there somewhere, OK? They're all out there. Now, let's use our problem detector for a second. They're all out here and we've got a problem detector with the pack here and the long stick to the plate. Right. And let's see if we can detect any problems. They're all I listed them all.
They're all in front. If this is going to. It's not it's not picking up anything. The problem, the sector is not recognizing problems when we're putting it to all these things that potentially we think would be the source of our problems. Doesn't doesn't pick up any kind of response, which is odd because we just put a whole bunch of things that are major problems in our lives. And so when we do that, maybe this maybe this problem detector is defective, but something happens, you're leaving it on OK, and then is on is powered on.
And you and you just you're going to put it down. But as you put it down, you're turning it. You're turning it. And the stick with the plate is coming. It's moving closer towards you. You're putting it down in an awkward way, but you're putting it down so that it's facing you. And as soon as the plate comes around from checking out all these things, it's coming close to you. What do you think happens when it comes right to I'll tell you what happens.
It goes like this. It goes beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep and start. Smoking makes barking and then it explodes. As the plate is put directly over your hearts and as I put it, directly over my heart. The beats increased with frequency as we get closer to our hearts because.
Our hearts. Ah, the problem, our heart is the problem, not our physical heart, not not the organ in our chest cavity that that pumps blood all through our body. I'm not talking about the organ talking about this, our spiritual heart, the seats of your and mine, the seat of our emotion and our will, the our our invisible person who we are on the inside, the invisible part of you that drives your life. The visible part of me that drives my life.
Jesus made this really clear that this is the source of our problem. It's not what's on the outside of you that's the problem, Jesus says, but it's what is on the inside of you, that is, listen to what Jesus says in Matthew Chapter 15, verses 10 to 11, and also in verses 17 to 20. Let me read this for us. And he called the people to him and said to them, hear and understand it is not what goes into the mouth that defines a person, but what comes out of the mouth.
This defines a person. Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth starting to go down 17, do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth, passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person for out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness slander. These are what the file a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone to hear what Jesus is saying, evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual morality, theft, false witness, slander.
These things are the major problems in our world today. These are the problems. And Jesus are saying they don't originate outside of us. They originate on the inside of us. Our heart is the problem. It produces our problems from the inside. You won't be hearing this, many might be asking the question, yeah, OK, but what if I'm just minding my own business and someone actually outside of me, outside of my heart actually does something immoral or wicked or evil towards me?
Isn't that a problem that's outside of me and my heart? Yes and no. Let me let me try to address that. If someone does something wicked to you, what's the source of that problem? Their heart. Their heart is producing that wickedness that's been levied against you still, that has nothing to do with you yet, but here's where the more here's one of the stuff that happens against us and to us, where it becomes compounded and it becomes a real issue because we have we have unfortunate things happen to us all the time.
We have wicked things and unjust, unjust things happen to us all the time. Everyone does. But here's where it gets really messy, really bad, really fast. Not necessarily stop being that us. But what how do you respond to those things? How do you respond to those things when they happen against you, when someone does you wrong, big or small? Does your heart produce anger, vengeance, despair, violence, abuse, denial? Stuff happens to us, but our heart produces the response that we don't respond the way that we ought to to those things, and that compounds it and makes that experience far greater against you and for you than it would be if we had hearts that knew how to respond properly to things.
If left unchecked and undealt with our heart is what produces the things that keep us separated from God if we haven't come into a relationship with them yet, if this if this thing is not addressed, this this producer of this of the wicked and the evil and and the problems, if it's not left, if it's not addressed, we're we're in big trouble. So whatever you do, friends, brothers and sisters, whatever you do, whatever you do, don't follow your heart.
Don't follow your heart. If I had a quarter for every time I've heard people in person or on social media or whatever, say a kind of phrase similar to this man, I just got to follow my heart. I just got to do what feels right. And I and the amount of times I've type things and erased them or had to bite my tongue because if I had a quarter for every time, I'd be a rich, rich man. Our world lives this way.
It is it's this propaganda. It's it's promoted. Follow your heart. Do what makes you feel right. Do what you what you think is right. And what we've learned so far is we we cannot should not follow our heart because our hearts are the source of the problem. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things. Who can know it? Our hearts trick us. They deceive us. They don't lead us down the right path.
What feels good in the moment isn't always the thing that's the good thing and the right thing in the short term or the long term. But we live in a culture where it's where it's promoted and celebrated. We just follow your heart, follow your heart. And what I'm trying to do for us right now is to identify the source of humanity's problems. And it all begins here. And so. That's point one, here's point to. The highlight, humanity's feeble attempts to fix our problems on our own, we have a heart problem inside of us, something broken, something spiritually unclean, producing these things from the inside of us.
That's what Jesus says. So how do we go about fixing it once we know that the problem has been made plain to us? Well, this is what we're going to come to our text, Matthew. Chapter 23, verses 25 to 28. Here's a little bit of context. This is in this scene. Jesus is at the tail end of his three to three and a half year public ministry. He's been going around from town to town all throughout Israel, teaching and preaching and displaying the power of the kingdom of heaven through signs and wonders and and miracles of all sorts.
And he's been doing that for about three and a half years. But now his public ministry is coming to an end. It's Wednesday now, two days before his crucifixion. He's in Jerusalem is at Passover. It's packed in chapter. Twenty three of Matthew's Gospel is is documenting a back and forth that Jesus has been having with the religious leaders of his day as they're trying to entrap them, as they're trying to discredit him, as they're trying to prove him as a fraud, as a phony, and ultimately they want to have him destroyed.
That's the tension. And that's the scene that we're that we're in right now with Jesus and Jesus. And Matthew, 23, is pronounced in a series of woes upon the religious leaders, judgment upon them for their refusal to believe in him. God has come in. The person of Jesus wrapped themselves up in flesh and come to people and they reject God. And now he is produce pronouncing judgment upon them. To those in our voices here tonight and in both of them and both of these walls in these verses, Jesus highlights the religious leaders, feeble attempts at fixing their own problems.
And we need to pay close attention, special attention, because we're going to realize that we can do the exact same things that they were doing 2000 years later, halfway around the world, different culture, different time, different space. It's the same humanities problem is the same. Our problem is the same. So here's there's two feeble attempts here, a feeble attempt. No one at the religious leaders trying to fix their own problem. They try to clean up the outside part of their life without addressing the inside part of their life.
They worked really hard at trying to fix the outside without paying attention to the inside. Listen to what Jesus says in versus twenty five to twenty six. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you, clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee first clean the inside of the cup and the plate that the outside also may be clean. I get this image of Jesus as you as I see it, I see the truth of it in my kitchen all the time, both myself and my my daughter, Sydney, we both have protein shakes every once in a while that the using the blender put in the frozen fruit and the yogurt and the protein powder and all that kind of stuff.
It's great. You you blend it up and pour it into a glass cup and then you drink, you drink it and you're getting all the nutrients, all your muscle building power in. One shot problem, though, is that when you pour your protein smoothie in a glass cup and you don't rinse it right away. You know what happens if you better add protein shakes? You know what happens in a matter of time. The protein residue it takes onto the side of the of the cup on the inside and it begins to reek is just as disgusting.
And we've had that happen from time to time in our house, not to name any names or who the culprit is in our house that does that. But I'll let you detectives up there and figure out who it was. It wasn't me. So but here's here's how this word that Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders. How I understand them firsthand is that if I took one of those cuts kicked on the inside with the dry rot and protein shake, how long would it take for me to clean it if I only clean the outside of the car?
How how much scrubbing would I have to do to, you know, with with bleach or S.O.S pads or the or the or the finest quality products that you could buy at the supermarket? And I'm just scrubbing and cleaning all the way around. All the way around on the inside and outside. All the way around and clean for hours. Days. What would happen when I present to you. It would still be filthy. It would still be filthy and he'd be able to look at it and because it's a glass cup, he'd be able to see through it and on the inside how disgusting it is.
It'd be an exercise in futility if in such a vain attempt to clean. But the solution is really quite simple, right? I take the cleaning agent and even just basic no name brand stuff works and I begin to clean the inside of the cup and as I scrub the inside of the carpet, it takes a couple of seconds and rinse under the top and dump it out. Then you look at it and then what do you see? Clean. It's clean, totally clean.
Here's the application for us. When you look at your life and you look at the problems on the outside, do you understand what the problems are on where they really are? The flow in from our heart on the inside is that you can try as hard as you want to live a moral life or to live a better life. You can work hard at stopping swearing. You could be more generous with your finances. You can try harder to change your outward circumstances, change your job, change, change your friends, change your hobbies, change.
Clean everything up on the outside. But those changes will not fix the source of your problems because those things do absolutely nothing to address the problem that's on the inside, the invisible spiritual stuff that's on the inside in your heart, all those things are the outside of the. Imagine for a moment that all your outside issues actually were resolved. You got you got the better job that paid better. All your kids, your kids begin to behave perfectly like little princes and princesses all the time.
That's amazing. Your medical report comes back all clear. You're healthy, all your relationships, you're reaching success and all your hobbies like it's just a utopia of their. Imagine that you can get that for a second. In this life, government was beginning to be this. Everything was good. That still wouldn't be enough to fix it. We think that if we just fix that all, I'd be OK. But you would still find a way to mess things up, even if all those your wildest dreams were made true, why?
Because the problem is not out there. The problem is in here inside of us, our hearts clean up. The outside of our life doesn't do the trick. We need the inside cleaned. That's what the scribes in the Pharisees attempted to do. They were just trying to clean the outside of their lives. The funny thing is we attempt the same things today, 2000 years later. So that's feeble attempt No. One year, feeble attempt number two.
We try to present ourselves as clean to others. Even though we are unclean on the inside. We work at appearing clean to others while being unclean on the inside. Here's what Jesus says, Matthew. Twenty three versus twenty seven to twenty eight. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you, are you like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
This second feeble attempt at fixing their own problems really close to the first one that we just looked at, but with a subtle difference in the first attempt describing the Ferris's, they actually attempted some cleansing. They were at least trying to fix the problem. But it is didn't identify the source of the problem. They were trying to clean themselves, but they were just cleaning the outside and not the inside in the second attempt. There's no attempt to clean anything.
There's no attempt to try to fix anything. The focus is on the presentation, not dealing with the solution, the second feeble attempt to fix our problems. It's all about appearances. Says, Since I can't fix the inside, I'll appear clean on the outside to people while being spiritually unclean and dead on the inside. I'm not going to let anyone see this inside stuff. So here's what you can see. I'm going to put on a facade, a mask, an alternate reality that everyone I'll let everyone see that.
And if they see that, they're going to think that everything is good in here. That's what Jesus is using with an illustration of a whitewashed tomb that inside inside the whitewashed, dead men's bones and like the mat and the camel from a previous wall fountain versus 23 and 24 mats and camels, spiritually unclean things for the people of God to eat in the Old Testament. That body spiritually unclean. To touch this, there's this theme of a spiritual uncleanliness here.
And so Jesus died inside the tomb, a spiritual death, spiritual uncleanliness. But on the outside, what do you see? It's not a translucence coffin or tomb. So Pake and his white, white, fresh white paint keep those tombs looking really nice and clean. Don't look up on the inside of them, though, but just look how nice they are on the outside. Just stay focused on what the outside looks like. And Jesus told the religious leaders that what that's what they were doing.
They were doing the same thing. They're just there is appearing clean to everyone that came in contact with them. Look how clean we are. Look washed we are. Look white. We are. But again, don't we do the same thing in our day and age today, in our in our culture today, we don't look far for examples. All all of social media. Is this all of it? Our personal social media, Instagram, Facebook, people snap and now and tick tock and the whole thing.
I've done my own personal kind of unofficial, and I and I check off and I go on social media probably too much. But you know what I never see? I never see people posting for the world to see their marriages falling apart or them having breakdowns mentally because their kids are out of control or they're not sharing their failures at work or their or their or their despair or their regrets. Do you know what they're sharing just three times? Just the family portraits where everyone's smiling and you can see the little light of the teeth, you know, the Christmas postcard around the tree, everyone hugging in their sweaters and everyone having a good time or days at the beach or the highlights or the good stuff.
And I'm like, hey, celebrate the good stuff. But what I'm saying is when you look at the social media, you only see. The good stuff, you only see the white wash. You don't see what's really going on, you look at celebrities, their lives are jacked up. Do you think it's so cool to have dollars, not millions of dollars, to be movie stars? Their lives are falling apart on the inside. Your your athletes who are idols and role models, you know, different political figures, anyone that you look up to and even your neighbors that you look up to or or church members that you look up to you and there's all this good.
It's not all good. Reality television is not all good, but that's what social media is. It's a white it's a whitewash. There's what you can see. But I'm not going to take a look at what's on the inside of us. Another place that this takes place is in the church lobby. This happens all the time. And here is the hypothetical scenario. Everyone's hanging out before or after church and you have the classic conversation starter. So how are you doing?
How are you doing these days to tell me what's going on? What's the answer? Always in the church lobby. Great things of great things. I'm so I'm so blessed. God is so good. And, you know, I'm not I'm not. If that is you and you have seasons in your life for that is true of you. I don't want you to make up stories of disappointments and, you know, anxiety and difficulty, you know, because everyone else is doing.
No, no. If you have if it's a good answer, honestly. But my point is that's how anybody ever answers only all the time. Like, what are the odds in one church lobby? Everyone's life. Life is great all the time. Here's something to probably consider. It's not great all the time we say we smile and it's good and we're blessed and God is good and that's all true. But we very rarely go and say, you know what?
This is what's actually going on in my heart. Can I can I can I remove the whitewash for a bit? Can I can I open it up and let you know what's going on here? Church lobbies are infamous. No, no, no. Just whitewash. A very important tip at this point, though, what I'm not advocating for is now everyone to gather together in church functions and everyone just vomit out all of their stuff, all of their all of the time 24/7.
What you probably what we all probably what we all really need is, you know, a couple of close confidants, a couple of close, like really close friends, trusted friends or mentors. We have people on a regular basis where you can say, what, I got this going on in my heart and I need to I need to share it. Things look good on the somebody I need to share what's going on here. Can you can you know me at this level.
I got to do this with with Pastor Jeff yesterday. We were hanging out at the end of our time. I just said he tried to me about a couple of things going on in my life right now. And I got to share those things with him and let him, you know, speak into my life and bring me counsel and pray for me and would desperately need that. Why? Because we have problems on the inside. It was always and pretending like there's no problem doesn't make the problems go away.
And so. Inscribed in the Ferris's, they appear nice on the outside, but inside they were spiritually dead and we can do the same thing today, two thousand years later if we're not aware of it. So those are the two walls from Jesus in these verses. In verses twenty five to twenty eight, they identify two feeble attempts to fix our heart problems while doing nothing to actually fix our heart problems. We can try to clean the outside or we can just put up appearances.
That's what. Those are feeble, feeble attempts that do nothing. Well, now we get to get to some good stuff, I'm going to give you the solution to humanity's problem, to humanity's inside heart problems back in reverse in verse twenty six and Matthew twenty three. Jesus says this here is the solution. As you put in the outside, I'm going to tell you what you need to do. You need to clean the verse twenty six, clean the inside of the cup and the plate that the outside may also be clean.
We need our hearts fixed. We need the inside of our life cleansed, healed. We need it made new. We need forgiveness for the things that our heart has produced in our life. We need a cleansed heart that starts producing something other than a sin. That's what we we need. And Jesus says, just clean the inside. And I would retort with easier said than done, Jesus, if it was so simple, everyone would just fix themselves, would be we would read the next self-help book and we would just take it and just clean, clean the insides of us.
The problem is not a small problem. The big problem is that is actually impossible for us to clean ourselves spiritually on the inside. We can't. So what do we do? What do we do? This is where Jesus comes in, and this is why Jesus is so incredible and so amazing, it's the gospel where Jesus came to do to make unclean people clean, to make people who have broken unclean hearts, to have new clean life producing heart.
This is what he came to do, is the gospel. Jesus came to make us clean on the inside. When Jesus came, he had and still has a perfectly clean heart. His heart never produced the stuff that we read earlier. It never produced anger, murder, lust desex. It wasn't in him. Nothing unclean ever came out of Jesus. Why was because Jesus was wasn't born like you and I were born, he wasn't born into sin like you and I were born, we inherited an unclean heart.
But Jesus was born a miraculous virgin birth by passing the inheritance process that we all inherited, tracing all the way back to Adam and Eve. Jesus wasn't born in that line. He was born of the Holy Spirit. And so we didn't inherit an unclean heart and Jesus lived a clean life at the end of his clean life. Jesus did. He traded his clean life up and he gave it up in place of and for our unclean, all of humanity's unclean sin tainted lives.
He died on a cross his life for hours. He was buried and he rose to new life on the third day. And anyone, anyone who comes to this risen Jesus by faith, recognizing the brokenness and the problem on the inside of them, and they come to Jesus by faith, they receive a cleansing of their sins and a cleansing of their heart, a spiritual cleansing that takes place on the inside. You get cleaned on the inside when you come to Jesus.
Jesus gave us a physical example of his cleansing power in his earthly ministry is like a living parable in some miracles that he did often lepers. There's no cure for leprosy in Jesus Day. And you can tell that people were had leprosy because you could see there there there are misformed. But everywhere they went, what did they have to scream unclean and to cover their mouth and the unclean unclean. People couldn't touch them, they're unclean, you can be around a leper.
One particular prayer comes up to Jesus and says to Jesus, Lord. If you will, means if you decided to do it, if you will, you have the ability, if you will, you can make me clean. And what did Jesus say to him? I will. Be clean, touchdown. And where did the leprosy go? I don't know where it went, but it didn't stay on the left or it was gone completely cleansed. A touch of Jesus is all that you need to be made clean on the path of leprosy.
But I said that's a living parable. When you come spiritually unclean and broken and you come to Jesus and you confess and you agree with him that there is a problem on the inside saying, Jesus, I'm unclean on the inside by believing who you are, I believe in your life, your death and resurrection, and Lord Jesus, if you will, you can make me clean. And if you come down, me know, Jesus will say to you, I will be clean and he'll touch you.
And on the inside of your life will be made clean. Cleeves. There's more, though, there's always more. This is so good, Jesus not only comes and touches people on the inside and makes us clean by faith on the inside new, he gives us a spiritual promise of cleansing power. We had an example of a physical example of physically cleaning the leper. But Jesus says an incredible promise to all who trust in him. We don't just get cleansed when we come to Jesus, but we're given a new source of cleansing power that flows from within us Jesus promises.
And then he gives us the Holy Spirit of God. God himself comes to live inside of us. When you come to Jesus by faith, you receive the Holy Spirit, the power that rose Christ from the dead and gave life to his physical body. That power comes to live inside of you, to resurrect you, and to give life to your spiritual dead body. Jesus pointed ahead to this reality while he was ministering earlier in his life in the Gospel of John Chapter seven.
Thirty seven to thirty nine. Listen to the promise of Jesus says this. On the last day of the feast, the great day Jesus stood up and cried out. If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said out of his heart, will flow rivers of living water. Now this, he said about the spirit whom those who believed in him were to receive. For as yet the spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Water satisfies our thirst. Definitely living water satisfies our deepest thirst. But he brought us water. Does it cleanse? It cleanses us. And the Holy Spirit comes into us and it comes out of us. Does it satisfy satisfy us? Yes. But he's making us spiritually clean on the inside God in us, the cleansing agent cleansing our heart from the inside spiritually. If you are a Christian. Then you have had this experience already, you've been spiritually clean on the inside by faith in Jesus, and you have the ever abiding, cleansing power continually cleansing you.
If you're not yet a Christian, you still need to have this experience in your life. You need it desperately. And so that's point three, giving you the solution to humanity's problems and the solution is always Jesus, but that's how he comes in to clean our hearts. Now, a final point here and wrap up really quick. To troubleshoot a problem, what do we do if we receive the solution of Jesus, but we recognize that I still have problems in my life that were there before I became a Christian.
If I still have things happening in my things that I'm even doing as a Christian that reflects my old pre-Christian life but don't reflect the fact now that God lives in me, I'm still have a new heart. I have a clean heart, but I'm still doing spiritually dirty stuff. Is it did something break? Is there something off kilter? We've got we've got to troubleshoot it because this is going to be this is true of every single Christian. When you receive Christ, we're still going to be doing things that we used to do that we shouldn't do any longer at times.
Let's make sense of this really quick. So what do we do? I'm going to give you an illustration of what happens to a Christian, it hit me this this week Christians are like, ah, from the time that we became a Christian, believed in Jesus until until we until we die and go to see him or until we get rapture. Whatever happens in this time reminded me of a scene in a movie, Iron Man, the first one Christians.
The Christian life is like a particular scene in Iron Man, the scene where Tony Stark becomes Iron Man and learns how to function with this new power that he has. Because here's what happened. Tony Stark, regular old guy, genius, billionaire, producing lots of tech as a big accident. You watch the movie Shrapnel gets in his heart and is going to he's going to die. So he creates and concocts this thing called an arc reactor. It's a little circle begins in the movie.
That's the thing that's blowing. Puts it in him and it keeps his life going. This is a power source that's like infinitely more powerful than the human heart and is an incredible source of power. But it's now on the inside of them. It's just keeping him alive. But it could do way more than just keep him alive. And he figures out really quick. And so what is what does he do? He begins to build tech and he starts building like these pieces that are going to end up being being Iron Man.
But as he's in the lab building them and he's trying them out, what happens for for a long time is just disaster. He's trying to fly. It puts the button and he just throws himself into a wall. He's just getting dragged all over the place as he's learning. He has this incredible power that's inside of him now. But now he's learning to have the outside of his life lined up to live consistently aligned with the inside. And is rocky is a rocky process to get to get the outside conform to the way that it is on the inside.
The power is always there, but it's like a baby draft trying to walk. You're trying to get your your bearings when you first come out and you're falling and you're slipping and you're and you it takes some time to learn how to live consistently and in line with that power. And the same is true in the Christian life. The moment that you become a Christian, God comes inside of you, something infinitely more powerful than a made up after you, after the Holy Spirit is in you, new heart cleansed you, infinite power to empower you to love God and to know God and to obey God.
But do we do that right away? Perfectly. None of us do. You know what we do with the power in us. We're still making mistakes. We're still in the lab. We're still getting dragged out from time to time. We're still unlearning old patterns of thought, old practices and real learning, learning for the first time, new ways to live that are consistent and in line with this presence and this power within us. And it's going to take a lifetime, guys.
We're going to continually trip and make mistakes as we learn to bring our life in alignment with this God who now lives inside of us. But when you make when you or I make a mistake, that's all that's happening. We're just not we're not we haven't mastered yet learning how to live according to the spirit that's in us. That's why we need to learn the Bible. That's why we need to pray. That's what we need of our mind transform.
That's why we need to do all these things. But that's why we make a mistake. That's when we make mistakes in our Christian life is not because God's not in us is is that we are like newborn infants are learning how to walk as children of God. So when you make a mistake, Christian, you're still in that learning curve, in that learning process. So what do we do when we make mistakes as Christians? What do we do then if I've already received this one time cleansing from Jesus and then new heart new desires when I keep sinning, what do I do when those new sins come into my my life?
This really, really simple. I keep coming to Jesus like I did the very first time when I came to him for the first time, I had a total cleansing come over me. I was born again. The Bible says new heart, new desires, new power. But when I make a mistake as a Christian, I just keep coming to him. It's called repentance. Repentance marks the beginning of a Christian's life following Jesus. You have to turn from your sins and trust in Jesus when you become a Christian.
But as a Christian, our life needs to be marked by repentance because as Christians we make choices that don't honor the Lord. We do things that don't honor him. And then what do we do when that happens? We don't have to get saved again. We don't have to get that whole born again situation happening every time, moment by moment, day by day, every day. We just simply confessors and say, God, I walked out of balance and you're in me.
You're never going to leave me. You're never going to forsake me. But I made a mistake. I chose the sin and I'm confessing it. And will you just what do you wash that away? And the effects of that will be washed me. And he just says yes. And as often as you need to come to God as a Christian, just continually come to him. Repentance is not a one time thing. It's an ongoing thing in the life of a Christian repent, continue to confess and repentance because the gospel writer John the Apostle tells believers what they need to do when we pick up junk along the way, when we make mistakes as Christians along the way, he says this in First John Chapter one verses five to ten.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him when we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus. His son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.
And the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins as Christians, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. And there is this word again cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not enough. So that also John is saying brothers and sisters, children, Christians, when you sin, just confess that and come and there's a continual cleansing. Don't lie and pretend that there's nothing wrong.
And you, even as a Christian, were working things out. Come to him over and over and over. Recap. That's our problem, not here. Where is our problem? You bring the problem, the tector, and it beats really fast when you bring it right here. Our hearts, not the organ, not the physical blood pumping organ, the spiritual person of who we are, the sea of our emotions, of our will, the inside of us.
And we can fix this by and by these two feeble attempts. We can't fix the outside circumstances and expect that to affect the inside. And I can't just play games and pretend like it's OK and hope that that's going to be enough to cover what's really going on in me. I need to get that work done on the inside. There's a solution. Praise God, there is, and his name is Jesus, and he will make you clean. You come to him in faith and you give him your life.
You will cleanse it all, but give him your give him your life. Jesus is a one time fix that also needs continual cleansing, new heart. But we still make mistakes as we learn to walk in this Christian life. When you scuff your knee, when you fall, when you make a mistake, just come back to Jesus again and again and again and you continue to wash and wash and wash the call for our friends who are watching who are unbelievers.
You you haven't made a decision in your life to turn over your entire life to Jesus, to repent, understand and trust in him and his death and his resurrection from the dead. My call is simple to you tonight, friend. Come to Jesus tonight. Stop trying to fix yourself. Stop trying to pretend like everything's OK. Give him your broken heart and he will cleanse it and make it you trust in him and yield your entire life over to him.
Do that tonight, I pray. And then for Christians, apply this to your life. I pray understand who you were before he became a Christian. I hope this helps explain what happened as you became a Christian, but also shed some light on on why we have hardships and struggles as Christians. And this come to him continually, brother and sister, to be cleansed. And some of you watching us maybe do this now in the quality of your heart, you know that there's something in your life that's unclean, that's not pleasing to the Lord.
Bring that to him. Bring it to him. It's not going to chastise was a reason to cleanse you confess and repent in your heart now to him. And he will do that. And then I said that on the front end, when you're learning these things and you're loving people, help people see these truths and these realities. Our problems are on the inside, help people see this and help people see Jesus by telling them what he will do for them.
We pray. Pray with me, Father. I pray that that we wouldn't treat what we've learned here tonight like a parallelogram. That it would become it would be useless information to us in our life. I prayed the total opposite. I prayed at this even now as as I'm speaking, as people are hearing your word and your true thought that lives are transformed, that people are raising their hands over in their hearts and more. I want to be made clean.
I want it so bad. Come, Lord, and have my heart have your way. I pray that you minister to people right now, the spiritually hungry, the spiritually thirsty, the spiritually unclean of us who are watching right now, who believe by faith that you will do what you promised to do. Forgive us and give us a new heart and give us the Holy Spirit. Do that ministry work. I pray, Lord, do we pray, do it.
We pray and help us spread the good news of this, that our God loves sinners and he will take us and he will glorify your name. In this we pray. Jesus. Amen. Amen.