No Longer Enemies (1:21-23)
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

No Longer Enemies (1:21-23)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Apostle Paul calls those who are far from God an enemy
of God. What does that mean and why doesn’t that need to be true about you? 

 

And the reason that we want to start with these three truths today is because what we're going to read in Paul's letter to the Colossian church is kind of going to put some color to these truths and it's going to put some, maybe tension to these truths. And I don't want you to misshear me, I don't want you to get confused. I want to be clear about some important things and then, as we let the scriptures speak to us, it might bring up some more questions that might take you a little deeper, it might make you think a little about things a little bit more. And so we're going to start right in with truth number one. You can be at Church and at the same time be far from God. You can be at Church and be far from God. So far from God certainly is a feeling that we all can have, whether you're a Christian or not a Christian. We all at times can feel far from God. And I'm not really talking about that feeling, although it's important feeling to deal with and work through and and figure out when Paul means, while he in our verses today, means by far from God as more of a positional thing. It's a status thing that there are people who are far from God, separated from God. Paul's Word is sometimes translated as alienated from God. And connect US church is a place where anyone and everyone can come and we really want people who are far from God to feel like they can be a part of what's going on here at Connector Church. Now, any organization, especially any church, we tend to quickly gravitate to be insider focused. Once people start coming around and attending, it's like, oh, we got to take care of them, we got to teach them and an all of our attention, all of our resources, all of our time gets put into the people that are already here. But the church maybe unique amongst different organizations or different groups and missions is our mission is for people that are not here yet. Like that is why we exist. That is why God has called us as believers to gather together and to exist for the world, to reach out to people who are far from God, to love people who are far from God, to care for them and to share Jesus and the Good News of the Gospel with them. And connect US church, we want to be a church that unchurched people are drawn to. Some churches use the phrase. We want to be a church that unchurched people love to attend, and I think that's a really great goal to have because if if we're lifting up Jesus and making much of Jesus, then people are going to see that, people are going to be attracted to that, people are going to ask questions and be curious and they're going to find a community to be a part of because we're making much of Jesus. And another a little phrase that we believe here. It can at those churches that you can belong before you believe, like you don't have to pass a belief test to come in through these doors. You don't have to believe every little thing about everything about God, just to come and be a part of what God is doing here in and through connect US church. Like, one of the things that I'm so excited about is we literally have a group for you. It happens every single week after the service. It's called our first step group, where you no matter who you are, no matter how far from God you are, no matter what religion you believe, no matter what understanding of the world you have, you can come to that group and you are free to say anything you want to say. You are free to share anything you want to share, any question you have, every doubt, you have, every thing that you have on your mind. This group is designed for you to say whatever it is that you want to say, and then we're going to open the Bible and see what God has to say about it.

But that is a place design specifically for you, no matter who you are. So Truth Number One, you can be at Church and be far from God. Truth number two, because of Jesus, you can be who you are or what you've done. You're going to stand before God one day and God's going to let you into heaven. He can do that, like he can let you in like that's crazy, because this God know like what I did the other day. Does God know the words that I've said, the things that I've thought? Does God know the things I regret most about my life? He does. He knows all of those things, and yet you can go to heaven. God will let you into heaven anyway, like that's crazy. God can see you as holy, blameless and without fault. Remember, though, why can you believe that's true? Like, what is the reason that you know that one day, when you stand before God, he's gonna say welcome home. How do you know that? I encourage you to really try to nail down that answer, and let me tell you a not good answers. Not Good answer number one is because my church believes that it's true. That's not a good answer, or that my pastor believes that it's true. Again, not a good answer. There is a very real answer for why. You can know for certain that if, when you stand before God one day, that he will let you home, let you in and you can stand before him wholly blameless and without fault, like you can be holy, like you can, meaning not everyone will see when Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for the sins of the world, he paid for every single sin, every past, in presence in future, sin for everybody. But it doesn't automatically apply to you, like you've got to own it and receive it yourself. Just like if you were to spend the night tonight in the garage, do you become a car or if you were born in a garage, are you're not a car? Like just because you were born in a Christian family and your parents were Christian doesn't mean that you become a Christian, like you can't become a Christian by accident. You can't just one day wake up and be like, Oh, look at this, I'm a Christian. Jesus loves me, WOW, like get there, there you have to receive it and if you do receive it, then you can stand before God holly, blameless and without fault. That's truth number two. Truth number three you can know for sure that you are saved forever. You can know for sure that you are saved forever. Sometimes this truth is understood of as eternal security or ascerns assurance of your salvation. Those are big words that basically ask the questions. If I'm saved, will I always be saved? If how do I know for sure that I am saved? How do I know for sure that one day I will go to heaven or or when I die and I stand before God? is a kind of like flip with the coin, you know, Isaac, come down to lock. How do I really know for sure? Well, John The apostle, John writes in first John Thirteen, he writes, I have written this to you. He wrote all these things down to you, who believe in the name of the son...

...of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. Like John Wants you to know that you have eternal life. He wants you to know that your sins are forgiven. John wants you to know that you are born into the family of God. God wants you to know that you have a place in heaven, for you got. John wants you to know that. And in Philippians, chapter one, Verse Six, The Apostle Paul says, I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue, somebody say, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns, like if God started it, he's going to finish it. And wet he started in you. Is it as amazing? It's a miracle. When you put your faith and trust in Jesus, Christ, God comes to live inside of you in the person of the Holy Spirit, and he seals you until the day of redemption. He promises never to leave you, never to forsake you. You are born into the family of God, your sinners are forgiven. There's so many amazing things that happen when you become a Christian and God promises that if he started it, he's going to finish it, and that's how I know for sure. How you can know for sure that you are saved forever, because if it's up to you and what you do, if it was up to me, you know it. Did I say the right prayer? Did I go to Church enough times? Did I do enough good things? Then I could never know for certain, because what if I messed it up? But if it was all about Jesus and what he did for me, well, then I can be sure that what he did was enough. It was more than enough for me, and I don't have to wonder. We can know for sure that we are saved forever. So again, I wanted to start with these three important truths. Give a little color to some of these, and I don't want you to misshear me. I want to be clear about these things. That can we say these together as best as we can. Let's start truth number one. Ready, you can be at Church and be far from God. Truth number two, because of Jesus, you can be wholly blameless and without fall. Good job. Number three. You can know for sure that you are saved forever, then you can so. If you have your Bible. I encourage you to turn with me to the Colossians chapter one. That's where we're going to be today, a letter by Paul and the New Testament. It was written about sixty ish a D to this church in colossity and we're going to read just a couple verses. And if you don't have your Bible, that's okay. The words will be on the screen behind me and we left to send you home with a Free Bible if you don't have one. So you could see our new here area in the lobby and we will make sure you go home with a Free Bible today. Colossians Chapter One, starting verse Twenty One. This includes you, who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, and yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ and his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him, without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you receive when you heard the good news. The good news has been preached all over the world and I, Paul, have been appointed as God's servant to proclaim it. Let's pray real quick. God, thank you so much for your word. Lord, help us today, as we study it and read it, that we would understand it, that we would understand, God, what you want to...

...do in our life. Help us to have confidence in you, Jesus, for what you've done for us. Jesus name, I pray. Amen. So, catching you up and Colossians chapter one, Paul writes this letter and he sends his greetings, he says hello, and then he prays for the Church and then he gives them this beautiful poem, this beautiful picture of Jesus. Now, after giving him this picture, this poem of Jesus, he then applies it to everyone's life and says, okay, now that you have this picture of Jesus, what does this mean for you, like, specifically for you? How does this apply to you? And so he starts by saying this. He says you once were far away from God, you were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. And so some of you listening to this right now fall into this category. Like if you haven't yet crossed the line of faith to believe in Jesus. Yes, Paul calls you an enemy of God. I and I'm here to tell you today that you do not have to be an enemy of God any longer. This moment can be the moment that you don't be an enemy anymore, like God has done everything possible for you in this moment to not stay far away from God. He wants to bring you close. You can have a right relationship with God forever. You do not have to stay and enemy of God anymore. Today could be your day. But for all of us, whether we're a Christian or not a Christian, there are, was, or is, a time in our life when we were an enemy of God, when we were far from God, separated from God. And now you're saying really, my parents were Christians. I grew up going to church. I was in church all the time. I was like five when I trusted in Jesus. You're calling me sometime in my life, little three yearold me, an enemy of God. I think Paul does, and I don't really know if we understand what an enemy is. I've been challenged with this kind question this week as I've been considering this, like, do you have any enemies, or would anybody consider you their enemy? I don't know. I like I'm trying. I was trying to wrestle with this idea. Like sometimes I think of an enemy as like the rival sports team or the rival school that we play against. Or I think of an enemy as like sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Right, we use that phrase sometimes, but there are some very real enemies in this world and there's some very real enemies of God too. Like there are some government, high ranking government people in this world that will literally destroy and kill anybody that opposes them, like those are the enemies. We're gonna get rid of them, we're going to annihilate them, we're gonna just take them out because they're opposing us. That's an enemy. Or someone with a lot of influence, someone with a lot of power that controls people's lives, basically manipulates them all the time, steals all of their stuff, controls every move that they make, like they would be enemies. That person in charge would be this other person's enemy. There's some very...

...real enemies in our world and depending on what country you live in in our world, you're going to face a lot of enemies of God, depending on you know, where you're at or what stories being told. You might hear something similar to this. A someone came to faith in Jesus, they believe, they trusted in him, and then their family expels them, says you've got nothing more here to do. You've brought shame on our family. I'm ashamed of you for the decision that you've made. I don't want anything to do with you anymore. That's an you're now my enemy. That's an enemy situation. And then the government shows up and they arrest you and they put you in jail, they interrogate you and they pressure you to return back to the religion that you once were a part of. Imagine being in that situation. Imagine being pressured by people running a jail to deny Jesus and turn back to your old religion. Could you stand that type of pressure? But that is an enemy that is an enemy situation and enemy of a Christian, enemy of God. And then they let you out of jail somehow, and then they haressed you again, this time in the middle of a church service, and they put you in solitary confinement underground, in a jail cell three feet by five feet. That's not even big enough to lay down all the way, depending on where you are in the world, that could be, and that is many people's stories. There are real enemies, real enemies of God. And Really Paul tells us that we were all enemies by our evil thoughts or our perspectives, are our mindsets, the way that we see the world. We just imagine like if you had an ad someone had an agenda. Okay, someone had they were going for this, they were there, were trying to institute all these things, start all these things, make all this stuff happen, and you just showed up at every moment and just said Nope, nope. You just kept getting in their way, kept making it hard on them, kept, you know, fighting them, kept denying them, kept doing all this stuff. You would be that person's enemy. You just stand in their way at every single turn. But that's what we do with God, isn't it? Like God reveals himself as Creator and we as humans, we say, okay, God, we understand that. You say that you're a creator, but here's fifteen thousand other theories that could possibly explain that, because this one we know is not true. We're going to come up with all this other stuff and we're going to oppose you, God in every way. Or God created male and female, He created sex, he designed it and it's beautiful, it's perfect, and we, as human beings, we stand in the way of that and we say that can't be true. We've progressed beyond that. Life is differ for it now. We've come up with our new standards, our new set of ideals, and in every way we're just opposing what God has created and designed as perfect. Or what about with our money? God created that. He says, here's how you should use your money so that it doesn't use you. And what would what do we do? Thanks God, we appreciate your your insight here, but I think I've got this, figure it out. I think I can handle this. I'll just I'll just do it my own way. I'll come up with what I think is best. And in every way we're just fighting against God. And so it's just this perspective, this mindset, this world view,...

...and that where, no matter what the situation is, no matter what the topic is, it's just we're coming against it from a completely different angle, and that plays itself out in our actions, our evil thoughts and our actions. It plays itself out practically. And what happens if there is no god or we don't care about God, then like everything's free game. We can be evil, we can be selfish, we can take advantage of other people for our own game, or maybe we can come up with this best plan for the world. We get this thing in our minds of what's good for everybody and then we force it on everybody else to believe the same way that we do, and we can be murderers, we can be drunkards, we can be thieves, we could be terrorists. And Paul writes in Romans five eight that God demonstrated his love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, while we were yet enemies of God, Christ died for us. And I think that's why my understanding of enemy is kind of tough to wrap my head around. Because personally enemy, we think, enemy, avoid them, enemy, hate them, enemy kill them, and God shows up and he says enemy, drawn near, enemy love, enemy, sacrificed yourself so that they could live. It's like what, that's that's revolutionary, that's that's just remarkable. We don't. We don't live that way, so Paul writes. Yet now, but now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. But now right all of this stuff about enemy a posing him separated, all that stuff that could be true about you, it doesn't have to be anymore. That could be in the past, that could be in the in the back, back there. But now he has reconciled you. He has brought you back into a right relationship with God forever. have any of you ever been reconciled to somebody? You were once maybe hurt by somebody. You hurt them, they would answer your text messages, they wouldn't call you back. Maybe it was ours or days or years, and then all of a sudden something happened and you were brought back together. Anybody of experienced that? It's a miracle. Like just capture that feeling and multiply it by a million when it comes to you and God, because that's that is super special, that is super amazing and and it's worthy to throw a party over. God's angels. Do do that for every time somebody turns to Jesus. Did you know that Jesus taught in Luke ten? In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents. So we want to throw a party here. If that's your story, we want to throw a party for you because there are celebrating in heaven when somebody far from God comes back into a right relationship with God. Now, how does this work? He does it through the death of Christ in his physical body. See, I think a lot of us love...

...the reconciliation part, we love the family of God part, we love the forgiveness of sins part, but we remove it from the death and the physical body part. Like we love this stuff, but we don't really know what to do with the death and the physical part. The Colossians, back then there was a teaching that all matter was evil, and so if your body was matter, then Jesus, and if Jesus was perfect, then Jesus's body couldn't have been like a real body because it would have been evil. I know it's a little strange, but they've always kind of traced these lines of what do you do with Christ physical body his death, like he was a hundred percent God, a hundred percent man, and his death was the reason that we could be brought near to God, back into a relationship with God. And what are the results of this reconciliation? You have a relationship with God, what happens? Jesus took care of your sin on the Cross and he gave you his perfection, his righteousness, His Holiness, Paul says it this way. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him, without a single fault. And I want this for you. I want you to live in this reality. No illustration is perfect, but just track with me on this one. Let's say you got caught stealing something from the store. You're guilty. They got you on camera, they caught you red handed. They got your fingerprints all over everything. You got a court date for next week, let's call it, on Tuesday. You got to show up the court. You know you're guilty, you know you're going to jail. You know. You get a phone call. You answer the phone and it's like, Hey, I don't know who you are. Yeah, Hey, I'm going to show up the court in your place on Tuesday and I'll take your guilty charge. I'll go to jail for you. You go ahead, you go ahead live your life, you know, be free I got it and hangs up the phone. It's like what really? And so the next week comes around, Tuesday comes around. You know, you're curious, you're like that this guy really show up? Was He scamming me? You know? So you show up the court and and you walk in the doors and you're like, I'm here, like you got me on tape. I know I did it, I did it, and the judge looks at you is like, I know who you are. I guess what. There was a guy here couple hours ago. He took your place. So go go ahead, you're free. You're free. Go ahead, like I want that for you in your life, like Jesus did that for you so that you could be free, so that you could not pay the penalty for what you've done wrong. He did it for you. So believe that. And if you haven't ever believed that before, or maybe it's been a while since you believe something like that before, I encourage you in this moment to nail that down with God and just pray something like this, just in the quietness of your heart. Just say God, I know that I need you in my place. I know I've messed up, I know I'm guilty. I know I deserve your penalty,...

...but I believe Jesus took that for me. I need Jesus, I believe in Jesus. Help me to live my life for him. Amen. If you prayed something like that, like this is real for you right now, in this moment, you went from an enemy to a friend of God. You went far from God to close to God right in this moment, and we want to celebrate that. We'd love for you to tell us you know, send us an email or or write it on your connection card, and we love to celebrate with you if you're making that decision trusting in Jesus, because it makes all the difference in the world. But for those of us that are believers, we've done that before. Okay, we were right standing with God. Our position with God has settled, our status with God is secure. I hope that this idea of being holy and blameless and standing with, but without a single fault before God doesn't just happen in heaven. Like. Yes, we're never going to be perfect, we're never going to fully be all of those things, like we will one day in heaven, but we can certainly be making progress on those things now. Like our status, in our position before God has to and does affect our everyday life. So like if you're constantly criticizing yourself for always messing up, always failing, always making the wrong decision, no matter if it's always or not, but that's just the language you use. Right, I always grew up, I always mess this up by always ruined this. I all real, do you? Because God doesn't see it that way. Jesus is like, I've taken care of all that stuff. It's done with, it's paid for, it's it's forgiven. Now live, live your life. Don't get stuck in this negative self talk, in this thing that leads you down this rabbit trail to just a deep hole. Like you don't have to go down there. Jesus forgave you of that. That doesn't have to define your life. or or you're always looking for something more, something different, something that might take you to the next level, something that might give you something that you're maybe feeling like you're missing. And Paul tells the church in Collot and closity and he tells us like everything you need is found in Jesus. Don't go looking anywhere else, like Jesus is more than enough. So our status, are position in God should affect our daily life. Are Our everyday life here and now, and so this is all really, really good news, right, somebody say, right, there we go. Then Paul froze this one at us. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you receive when you heard the good news. A different translation, the new, new American Standard Bible, forgot to change that over there, translates it this way. If indeed, you continue in the faith, firmly established, in steadfast and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you have heard. And then it goes on to finish that. But if indeed, that if is a very real thing, like there is an if. They're in the original Greek manuscripts. You can't get around that. There is an if there. But remember truth number three is what you can know for sure that you are saved forever. Right, we just talked about that couple minutes ago. So then Paul throwze this if. Right,...

...if you continue, which applies that you might not continue. And if you might not continue, well then everything we just talked about, the holiness to blamelessness, that without false standing before God entering into his presence. Well then that doesn't apparently apply to you if you don't continue in the faith. This is a tough question and it's one that I think that many of you have probably asked before. If you haven't asked it, then hey, here it is and I'd love to talk more about it. I love to continue the conversation beyond just this forum. We can talk this week or you can send me an email or we can get together for coffee or something and we can continue the conversation, because it's important conversation to have. We're going to deal with it shortly, but Christians have been trying to wrap their brains around this for the last two thousand years and here's just some thoughts that had written down that could help maybe clarify some of these things. So if you are truly saved and you're built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ, then you will continue in the faith and nothing will move you. Okay, you have heard the gospel, you have trusted in Jesus Christ and he has saved you and you will be saved by continuing in the faith. So we will continue in the faith and less prove we are saved. So if you're saved, you will continue in the faith. That that's just part of the deal. But you probably know somebody, or there's famous people, famous Christian people, that, whether the worship leaders or pastors that wet, one time said that they were Christians, that they believed in the faith, and now they're openly saying that they're not and it appears that they haven't continued in the faith. So what do you do with that? Maybe you know somebody, a friend, the family member, that would have a similar story. How do you wrap your mind around what's going on here? Because if you're saved, you're always saved and you will continue in the faith. But maybe they were never safe to begin with. It's a possible way of thinking about it. But there's more and more of these stories that are happening of people who were once Christians that are now not Christians for whatever reason. And if you google it or if you search online for these stories, you could call them d conversion stories. You know, conversion is like when you're converting to faith in Jesus right, you're you're converting, but then the converting is going back the other way and going from a Christian or a follower of Jesus to like a atheist or some other religion. And if you google it you'll find a bunch of stories, but they often have similar themes, like this list over here. They'll talk about how they grew up in a religious house. There were strict rules about movies that they could watch or books that they could read. I'm they felt shamed for asking tough questions. They could, they could. Well, then they started to read books and read things on the Internet and they found better answers to the questions that they were asking, better than like their church gay or that, you know, they could find in other places their parents gave. They began to grow closer to other atheist members in their family and less close with other Christians. They started to get angry at God for letting bad things happen in their world. Then they had kids, you know, and they're excited that their kids are growing up in a more curious and open minded home and they were just remember that their parents told them not to look at anything outside of the Bible. So again, these are just generalized statements that could characterize any one of these the conversion stories, but I want...

...you to see like on this list. What is missing from a list like this, because remember what I told you, is it's great to be reconciled, it's great to be forgiven, it's great to know that God will let you into heaven. But then I just keep asking you the question, how do you know for sure? How do you know for sure? Because if any of these things on the screen are part of your answer of how you know for sure that you will, you know, get the Heaven One day, that you're saved, that you're forgiven, you might end up like the people on this list and I don't want that to happen to you. Because if Christian, if being a Christian is all about following the rules, then you've missed the point. If it's all about you know you can't ask tough questions and read stuff outside the Bible. If it's all about relationships with people and being open minded, then like that's not what Christianity is all about. So how do you know that you're saying and have a right relationship with God? That's the question. How do then, a Christian, how do you respond to somebody who is in a D conversion thing? Right a family member walks away, or a friend, somebody like that. Here's how I suggest. We don't respond. We don't say, well, here are all the ways that I am holier than she was, or here's how my theology was right and there's was not. Here's all the ways that I will never be in that situation. Rather, we should say, God, I'm a sinner, have mercy on me and left to myself. I know I'm prone to wander too, and this could be me. See, it's it's not our own arrogance, our own efforts, our own pride that keeps us secure in our faith. It's our utter dependence on God like and that's the gospel like. It's not about these things, it's not about anything. It's about what God has done for you. If period not about what you do, not about that at all. So you got someone in your life like this, don't give up on them, show them mercy, stand firm and your faith and pray for them, to treat them the way that they want to be treated. I know that can be hard sometimes, but if they say they're not a Christians, then then treat them like they're not. And what do I mean by that? Well, I grew up in high school I dated a girl who was a Mormon and because of that I have some Mormon thinking in my background. Like challenge right. What does the Bible say? What does the Book of Mormon say? I've done some mission strips to Utah, I've met with Mormon missionaries, all that stuff. So this is what I think about when I think of how do you treat somebody the way they want to be treated? Well, when you meet with Mormon missionaries or when more missionaries come and knock on your door, or whatever the case may be, how do you respond to them? If you just let them in and say, come on in and tell me everything you know, tell me you know whatever, and you don't know a single thing about your faith, you don't know a single thing about the Bible, you don't know a single thing about mormonism. Like they are good at what they do. They are trained really...

...well. They will trick you, they will manipulate you, they will control you, they will they know exact exactly how to take you along the path to get you to join their group. Does that mean that you avoid them and not let them into your house? No Way, right, no way. But what does it mean? It means that you got to be ready, you got to be prepared, you got to pray harder than you've ever prayed in your entire life. You've got to study more than you've ever studied then your entire life, so that when the moment comes, you can love them well, you can share truth with them well, you can hear everything that they say and yet stand firm in your faith so when the moment comes and you have the meeting with them. I'm just using the you know, the Mormon missionaries and is as an illustration. So, whoever it is in your life, right you have this meeting with them, you're prayed up, your studied up and you just show up with them and you're like, okay, here it goes, and you you have the meeting and you leave and as you're walking out the door you're like, man, I really mess that up. I said some things that I don't even think I believe are true. I just I just said them. I think I said the wrong thing. What if? What if I led them in the wrong path? What if, you know, you start asking yourself all of these questions and just defeating yourself, beating yourself up. Man, I really, I really mess that up. You have to. You have to remember who you are in Jesus. Paul tells you he has brought you into his own presence. You are holy, you are blameless and you can stand before him without a single fault. That is what's true about you. So would you stand with me as we close our service today, next week, next week, denny is going to be here and he's going to be teaching you, preaching a message more about Paul, continuing in our series and Collossians telling us about Paul's mission, about how it was to proclaim the good news of the Gospel. And I want to tell you today, as we close, don't ever stop telling yourself the good news of the Gospel. Preach it to yourself all of the time, whether you're walking out of a conversation that you just feel like you totally messed up, whether you just are leaving your house after a terrible morning because you just sin for a million time. Right, you just your mad at your spouse and your mad at your kids and you're mad at the world. You got to preach the Gospel to yourself all of the time. You don't have to be an enemy of God, you don't have to be far from God. Sin and shame doesn't have to define your life. You can stand before God holy because of what Jesus has done for you. Your past does not have to predict your future. Let's pray. God, thank you so much for your word. Thank you, Jesus, that you have died on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can stand before you holly, blameless and without a single fault. God, May that be true about every single one of these people listening to this message right now. And if it's not, I pray that they would just nail that down, just cry out to you, Jesus, say, Jesus, I need you, I need you to save me, I can't do it myself.

And Lord, May this reality of who we are, our position in Christ may it affect our everyday life that when we are beating ourself up, we can preach the Gospel to ourself, and when we think we've got it all together, we can preach the Gospel to ourself. Lord, help us to depend on you. Help us to depend on you this week, help us to depend on you more today than we had in the past, and we look forward to what you will do in Jesus Name Amen.

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