You Can't Die to Save Others
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

You Can't Die to Save Others

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We are saved when we believe in Jesus and what He has done for us. While we can't die to save others, we can die to ourselves and from a right relationship with God live to impact the lives of others.

So today is part two of our series three ways you can't follow Jesus. This series is all about how unique Jesus is and he has done something for you and for me that we just can't do, and so that's why we worship him as God and that's why it makes it unique. And last week we talked about how Jesus, when he was on this earth, he showed up to some of these people at the beginning of his ministry and he invited them to follow him. These fishermen, Peter and Andrew and James and Johnny, showed up at their boats, at their work and said, Hey, guys, follow me, I want to make you fishers of men. And they did. They followed him and they followed him around like almost literally for three years. They spend time together, they ate together, they they had fun together, they prayed together, they made a difference in people's lives together. That's what it meant to follow Jesus, and so we certainly want you to follow Jesus. We absolutely want you to follow Jesus. But it's really interesting. At the end of Jesus life, before he went and to the Cross and went to heaven, he told his disciples that you can't follow me like I'm going to be doing something and you can't go there with me, to which, loud mouthed Peter said, Jesus, are you serious? I left my job, I left my family, I left my town home. I've been following you for three years. This is what I signed up for. What do you mean I can't follow you? Jesus? And Jesus knew then. Jesus know. He knew that Peter wasn't going to follow him. Jesus knew that Peter wasn't even going to acknowledge that he knew him by the end of the day. And so there are just some things that he that we can't follow Jesus into. And so we said that when we aren't quite sure that we would die for Jesus. Peter wasn't quite sure he was going to die for Jesus, even though he believe that he was. He, Jesus, died for you, he died for me, and God demonstrated his love in this way that while we were yet sinners, why we were we at far from God? Why we couldn't exactly follow Jesus ex perfectly every single time? He died for us and it's this first way that we're going to talk about today, that we can't follow Jesus. We can't die to save others. And that's exactly what Jesus did. He died to save others. But we can't do that. Somebody say you can't. There we go turn to your neighbor and tell him you can't do that online, type it in the chat. You can't do that. You can't do that, you can't die to save others. Well, why do people even need saving right? Like, who talks about people in terms of saving? And when we talk about people in terms of their good people, they're kind, they're friendly, but saving, I mean maybe, maybe if my friend, my neighbor and their house was on fire and I had to run over there and I had to save them out of the fire, like that's a that's a saving act. or or what if? What if my somebody got in a car accident and they're stuck in the car and it's like I got to run over there and I got to pull them out of the car, I'm going to save...

...them. But every day normal life saving, really saving, and sometimes sometimes we ask the question, why do bad things happen to good people? It's a good question, right. Why do bad things happen to good people? But really it only happened one time, and the good people, they basically chose for the bad thing to happen. Those people were Adam and Eve. They were created perfect in the garden of even a perfect environment, a perfect place, and they chose to disobey God and they invited these consequences to their choices into their life. And all of the sudden they experience things in their life they never experienced before. They started to feel shame, they started to feel guilty, they started to blame each other. Anyone ever blamed anybody for anything. They started to hide from God and hide from each other. These were all things, these bad things that happened that they invited into their good situation and ever since then their choice has impacted the rest of humanity, has has infected or effected every human being and as a result of their choice, as God said, as God promised, if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, surely you will die dying, you will die. And so in that moment they they died. Now they didn't die physically, in that moment they died spiritually. They were separated from God. They were they were separate. That's what death is, separated from God, and eventually they were going to die physically one day. They were going to be, he's separated there who they are, their soul was going to be separated from their bodies and if nothing changed in their life, then they would die eternally, forever separated from God. So how do you fixed something? How do you fix something that is dead? So, like, thank God for rechargeable micro batteries for microphones. Right, I just got a new pair so we can recharge this microphone. But if you got a battery and let's say it wasn't rechargeable and it's in here and it dies, what can you do about it? Nothing, you can't do anything about it. You got to get a new one, right. How about another illustration, and this one involves a bird, so it could be worse, but it's a bird. My family had a bird for ten, fifteen years, a cockateal and awesome cockatail. His name was Ike, and my daughters would love to to see this bird, cocketeal Ike, every time we go and and they feed them cheerios and it was beautiful. You know, you hear them say Pretty Bird, pretty bird, and then you'd hear him whistle, like come on, somebody, there we go. It's fun. It's fun. And one day we came, couple months ago, we came to my parents house and and Kinsley wanted to go see ike feed him some Cheerios, and so my mom, grandma, took Kinsley into into the front room where the Ike was, and then all we heard was, you know, Grandba Keevin. Okay, we go over to the front room. Ike was dead. I was dead. He was just happy and live and the night before and just that fed him some food and and so my dad kind of like poke some like like yeah, yeah, he's dead. And in that moment we're standing around the cage and it's like what do you do? I mean, Ike's he's gone. It's over. I think they got a sheet and just covered the...

...cage. But how is it? There's nothing. There's nothing you can do about that. And that is the state of every person spiritually far from God. It's a result of Adam and Eve's choices that we're all sinners. We've all fallen short of God's perfect standard, and you try and wrap your brain around what is God's perfect standard. Will just think about the standards you have for your own life and that you fall short of you with what you want, let alone what God, the perfect holy one, wants. But we tried different things to fix it, don't we? I mean we try to change things, we try to live better, we try to even do religon just things sometimes to make it right, to fix it. But it's sort of it's sort of like this water bottle this week, yesterday, I filled this water bottle up with some nasty stuff and would anyone like to drink this water bottle? There's always one in the group. So let this is this is how it works. I put dishwasher pods in here right now. You can't. You can't drink it now, right, just for you. So if this is us, right, and we're we're filthy and nasty and we try and fix it, it's like man, I'm really thirsty and like I want to drink but like I can't. I can't drink that right. So let's like, let's get rid of it, right. We're going to try something here. We're going to get rid of it, and then we got we got some new water, because, yeah, new water is good. Will give a new something to try here. There we go. So now we got some new water. Anybody, anybody, wants some new water in the in the old nasty water bottle. I mean, don't we try and do this with our life? We take who we are and we bring who we are and try new stuff. We try new relationships, we try new churches, we try new jobs, we try new things to fix what's wrong and we just fill it up again and it's like we don't even look or care to solve the problem, to fix what's really wrong. We just try new stuff to fill it up in a different way, in a better way, and it's like, let's let's not do that. We need something better, right. We just need a brand new thing. We need a substitute for that nasty old water bottle. We need something brand new, some new water, and some good container to put it in. There you go. So let's apply that, hold that thought about the substitute and apply it to our spiritual life, our life. And before we talk about ourselves, let's talk about our crazy uncle Joe. Everyone say hi to crazy uncle Joe. Everyone's got a crazy uncle, don't they? Or if you don't, it's probably an ANN or an a cousin of some kind. There's crazy uncle Joe. He's no, he's he's a pretty good guy. You know, he's not a terrible person, but you know, he's got some strange things about him, but he's, you know, he's just he's just a person. He's just a normal kind of guy. There's crazy uncle Joe and and I wonder, you know, how how, how close to perfection, to heaven,...

...to God, can crazy uncle Joe get? You know, well, let's let's see. I mean he does some good stuff. He does some good stuff, but I mean it's like, yeah, could be better, it could be worse, but it could be better. So now think about the most godly, the most spiritual person that you can ever think of. WHO comes to mind the most close to God person there? Maybe a lot of people think of Mother Teresa for some reason. I'd realize this week I didn't know anything about her. I still don't know much about her. So let's go with Billy Graham. Everyone knows Billy Graham. You preach many sermons. He led many people to faith in Jesus. He's a great preacher, pretty spiritual guy. He even had this rule that he wouldn't driving the car with the woman. You know, that's like that's that's pretty good. Let's see how how Billy Graham does. I A pretty reproved a little better. You know, there's still a little space there, but he's doing a little better. So so now we got crazy uncle joe and we got Billy Graham and now we got talk about there's you look at you to say how you there we go. So so how far do you get? I mean, you're not billy Graham and you're probably not crazy uncle Joe. You're probably like, you know, probably about right there, right about in between. And then it's like, you know what, I'm gonna get like serious about this, like I'm going to start going to church, I'm going to start saying the right words, I'm going to start doing some good things, and it's like, let's see how far more far I can go. There we go. got a couple more, couple more inches, and so so we wonder and we see, like what do you what do you do about that? What do you do about the space between you and God, the space between you and salvation, you and perfection, you in heaven? What do you do about that? And I'm, I guess, a serious question, but let me answer it for you. You can't do nothing about that. There ain't nothing you can do to do anything about that gap. Like welcome to church, thanks for coming, I got nothing for you. Right, enter Jesus. Enter Jesus. Jesus was the perfect son of God, born of a virgin. He bypassed that whole sin issue problem thing that was being passed down from Adam and he lived a perfect life. He lived this perfect life and while we can't do anything about the gap, Jesus offers to us to trust him to take care of the gap for us. And really, if we understand who we are, there is nothing that we can do to even make it any far along this journey. And in fact, Jesus takes care of the entire thing for us. He is our substitute, he is perfection for us, so that God, the father, sees us, he sees Jesus, he sees perfect, he sees you can have a right relationship with God because of Jesus. Me Come on, somebody, give them some praise before that, because that is what it's all about. And and I want us to stand and we're going to sing some praises. is to Jesus.

Right now. There we go a give them some praise for what he has done for us. Amen. Amen, praise his name. You can be seated for what he has done. But how can, how can God save sinful people from death while remaining faithful to his promise to punish or there's a consequence for sins, as God said, if you do this, then you shall surely die. How does God, Our holy righteous, keeps his promises? God Save Sinful people from death while remaining faithful to his promise to punish sin? This is the challenge and of course the answer is everyone say his name loud. Jesus. That is correct. So I want to give you now some deeper reasons why Jesus is the answer, and we can read about some of these reasons in Romans chapter three. So if you have your Bible, I encourage you to take it out and to look at it and open it up to near the back to Romans chapter three. And if you don't have a Bible, that's okay. The words will be on the screen behind me and we would love to give you a free Bible before you leave today. Just pick one up in the lobby. We think it's really, really helpful and really, really important. And so in this section of the Bible and Roman chapter three, we come in contact with a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to a church in Rome. And this church in Rome, Paul hadn't actually been there yet. He'd want to go there, and he eventually did in the future. But he spent the first eleven chapters of this letter writing some deep theological truth about who God is and what he did for the world and for us. And then the last section of the latter is some letters, some really practical things that we can do in our life. But starting in Romans chapter three, we see what Paul says about all the stuff that we just talked about. He says this, but now God has shown us away to be made right with him. So there is a way to bridge that gap, and this way is without keeping the requirements of the law, it's without doing stuff, it's without following God's designed law. And is this new or what Paul says? This was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago, and so this all throughout scripture we see that there was going to be this Messiah, this Jesus, that was going to take care of that gap for us and we are made right with God, which is the way of saying a big word is righteousness. That's the big theological word that says you are made right with God by how, by placing our faith in who, in Jesus Christ, and this is true for everyone. Someone say everyone. Everyone who does what believes, no matter who we are, no matter who we are. So for everyone has sinned, as we talked about. And if you do not quite sure exactly what that means, Paul defines it. He says we all fall short of God's glory of standard. So let alone God's perfect standard. Think about your own standard for your life. We all fall short. Yet God, who with undeserved kindness,...

...declares that we are righteous, which is the way of describing the big theological term justified. You are declared righteous, not guilty, and he did this through, through Jesus, when he freed us from the penalty of our sins, which is another word, of way of saying redemption. You are bought, you are purchased by Jesus, and people are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrifice his life, shedding his blood, and this sacrifice shows that God was being fair. So the sacrifice. Another word for that is propitiation, which means satisfying of God's wrath, and it's by this way of working that God can be fair, he can stay true to his promises, and he God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past. Like what about those that were before Jesus right? He was looking ahead and including them in that he would do in this present time. A lot of verses here them. We'll dive them pum apart a little bit more so, for he was looking ahead and including them and what he would do in this present time. God Did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declare sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. So last section here. Can we boast then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? Everyone say no, because our acquittal, are declared righteous, are not guilty. Is Not based on anything that we do. It's not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith, so that we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. Paul does a pretty good job of explaining that. And Jesus had only died twenty to thirty years prior to Paul writing these words of what it meant, of what Jesus is. Death, is sacrifice on the cross meant for us, and this death and resurrection of this man, it changed everything. It changed the the whole world at turn. It changed the way the Jews related to God. I mean they had this whole system of sacrifices in this whole law and basically Paul's like, Jesus came and took care of all of that. It changed all of them. And Jesus is death and resurrection. It changed everything for the gentiles, those that weren't Jewish, that they had their own gods, they had their own system of worship, and Jesus changed everything for them too. And so, in saying that, Jesus said this message of salvation is for everyone, for anyone, no matter who you are, no matter what you've done, no matter how far from God you might think you are, no matter how long it took in your life to figure out like, okay, there is a God. You know, maybe I should start thinking about this church thing, maybe I should start thinking about Jesus, like no matter where you are in that spectrum of faith or a journey of faith, this message of what Jesus has done for you is for you. It's for everyone, and you don't have to do anything to earn it or to get it. You just have to believe in what God and what Jesus has done for you. So what is he done for you? That's the...

...question. He was our sacrifice, as Paul stated. We he sacrificed his life, he shed his blood and, as Paul wrote, the sacrifice shows that God was being fair, because God said from the very beginning that the punishment or the penalty, the consequences for sin was death. Like you can't just ignore what he said, right. I mean, if that's what the truth, that God spoke, then like he can't just ignore it. There's no magic wand, you know, there's no like super love that can just contradict something that God said in the past. Like it all was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and this big doctrine, this big teaching, is called substitutionary atonement. So substitute, like I substituted that nasty water bottle for a new one. Right, there's a substitute. And then atonement just means like a covering for sin, a payment for sin, and this theme has all throughout history, all throughout the Bible, of a substitute covering or paying for the sins of people, of others, and it was fulfilled. It was the like ultimate realized in Jesus Christ and what he has done for us. And so let's start and look at some of these different ways that this plays out in the Bible. So let's go back to Adam and Eve, the very first people. They're in the garden of Eden. They chose to disobey God and they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And in that moment they ate of it, they died, they separated from God forever and they started blaming each other in the world got all messed up. So how did they try to fix it? They put some FIG leafs on. Remember to get some clothes. Are Like, Oh, we're naked, you know. So they put some FIG leafs on to try and cover up themselves because they experienced shame for the very first time. What does God do for them? All the way back in Genesis, he took some animal skins and clothed them in the skins some nice pair of clothes, better than those leaves. Where did he get the animal skins from an animal? There we go, we got some thinkers today. So the animal took the place, died in place of to cover the sins of the people. A little later in genesis we meet a man named Abraham. He had many sons. Many sons had father Abraham, and one of them was Isaac. He was the promised one, the promised kid, and God said to Abraham, go and sacrifice your son to me, and Abraham, who had much faith, said okay, we're going to go. And Isaac says, where's the sacrifice? And Abraham says God will provide a sacrifice. And so they get up to the mountain and they going to do the thing and God and the angel says stopped, don't do that. And what's over there in the Bush? A Ram and God provided the substitute sacrifice so that Isaac didn't have to die. How about the story of the Hebrews coming out of Egypt, the Guy Moses, the Great Leader, Moses, he comes to Pharaoh says let my people go and Moser, the Pharaoh Says No, nine times right, and then the ten time, the ten time, the plague, the the thing, the consequence was going to be. Okay, your firstborn son is going to...

...die. Okay, that's pretty serious. And the way that God allowed the firstborn of Israel to survive was they had to kill a lamb and they put the blood of the lamb on the doorpost of their house and so that when the death angel came and passed over their house, because of the blood, the firstborn son did not die. But of course those that didn't have the substitute, their firstborn children hid, and this event is called Passover. There's many connections with Jesus about this event pass over. Now, how about the Law of Moses? They're out in the Wilderness and God reveals to them this is how you can relate to me. This is how a holy God can have a relationship with not so holy people. And he institutes this system of sacrifices, of animal sacrifices, and there's one special day in the Jewish religious calendar. It's called Yam, which means day, and Kapoor, which means atonement, and on that day the high priest would go into the temple, to the holy of holy place and he would sacrifice right this this bowl and he would take it in and he'd sprinkle the blood on the mercy sea one time a year and this sacrifice, his blood, would cover the sins of the people for a whole year. And there was another part of this day which is kind of cool. Everyone, anyone ever heard of a scapegoat, like it's a real thing. There was actually a goat and God said to the priest to put your hands on this goat and in doing so you're like transferring the sin of the people onto this goat. And then what they did with the goat is they would lead it out away from everybody, and then they kick it out and so that it would never come back, and the goat was taking the sin of the people as far away from the people as possible, as far away from the presence of God as possible. Over and over again we see this concept of a substitute covering or paying for the sin of people. All throughout history, all throughout the Bible, Sin was being punished, it had its consequence. Something died, but people didn't have to and people could have a right relationship with God. Even the Prophet Isaiah looked forward to this coming true in the person of the Messiah, the suffering servant, he called him, because Miss Isaiah wrote this, six hundred years at least before Jesus, and he said this about Jesus, he said. Yet it was our weaknesses he, this Messiah, this suffering servant, who would be Jesus, carried. It was our sorrows that weighed him down, and we thought that his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins. We thought right, I mean you die, but you you were executed, you were charged, you were trialed, you were crucified because of what you did, and that's what they thought. But he, Jesus, was pierced for what, our rebellion. He was crushed for our sins. Make It, make it personal. He was beaten so that I could be made whole. He was whipped so that I could be healed. And all of us me like sheep. We've straightaway, we have left God's paths to follow our own. And yet the Lord laid on him, on Jesus, the sin of us, all of me, of you and as pretty...

...clear this idea. But it's also, and I just acknowledge it's kind of a strange idea. Isn't it. And if you are thinking that, you wouldn't be alone. There are a lot of people that think this idea is strange and one of the challengers to this type of idea is they would call this idea of substitute sacrifice cosmic child abuse, because the father is angry at sin, he's wrathful, and so what does he do? He punishes, he hurts, he kills his own son, like how in the world, like that's so evil, that's so grotesque. How does that happen? And so they call it cosmic child abuse, but they missed the whole beauty of Jesus willingly did this, like he did this to glorify himself and glorify the father. He did this to save the world from sin, to to save us. He died so that others may live. And I just wonder, like if there was another way to do it right, like like if his love was just so powerful, it was just like saved right, if there was another way to do it and are all powerful, loving Holy God still allowed his son to die like that seems pretty pretty crazy, or pretty not right, like he should have stopped that. There might have been another way. If there was another way, but of course, there isn't another way. And so this is such an important concept, that Jesus died to save others and you and me, we just we just can't do that. There's nothing we can do to forgive sin or deal with the sin that affects all of us, that affects our world. We just can't follow Jesus like that. And so how can, how can God save sinful people from death while remaining faithful to his promise to punish hon well, Paul writes and Second Corinthians five hundred and twenty one, that God made him, Jesus, who knew no sin, perfect to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So have you received God's perfection or are you still trying to earn it, still trying to make it your way, trying to wonder if you got it right? Have you received it? Have you accepted what Jesus has done for you? Do you remember a time when you have done that? And if not, or you're still maybe wondering? I just wonder maybe now is the greatest time that you have to receive what Jesus has done for you and just praise something like God go. I know that I'm not perfect, I've messed up a lot, but I know that you were perfect for me, that you died in my place, you paid for my sin, you were buried and rose again so that I could have life and I could have a right relationship with God because of you, Jesus. Just pray something like that and if you did, or if you need to do that, I'd love to talk with you. I'd love to. I mean you can just say something to me after the service. You could type it in the chat, say I am believing I'm receiving Jesus today, or write it on your connection card, because this is an important thing that I want to follow up with you about, I want to pray with you about, I want to encourage you about. It'll, it does, change your entire life. Jesus changes our entire life. But this decision to follow Jesus, to receive his perfection, to receive his righteousness, to receive his life, it's just the beginning. It's just the beginning of our...

...relationship with him, because what Jesus has done for us then stirs within us, encourages us, motivates us, whatever word you want to use to live for him like we don't just try and follow him and live for him so that we earn salvation. Know we we have salvation and from that we now live of our entire life. And and Jesus talks about it this way with his disciples. In Matthew Sixteen, he says, then, Jesus said to his disciples, if any of you wants to be my follower, right, if you want to believe in Jesus, follow Jesus, you must want give up your own way and take up your cross and follow me. It's like I thought. I thought we were talking about Jesus as cross, right. What Jesus died? He he died on the cross, like Jesus. What do you mean? Take up my own cross? He says. Yeah, if you try to hang onto your life, you'll lose it, but if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is Anything worth more than your soul? Of course not. So take up your own cross now. This doesn't mean, you know, wearing a piece of jewelry around your neck, which sometimes it does. Right, the Cross has become a religious symbol. But in that day when Jesus was teaching, it wasn't a religious symbol, it was a method of execution. Says, take up your cross, die to yourself, make your life about Jesus and not about yourself, not because that you can earn a better relationship with God by what you do, but because of what Jesus has done. You take up your cross for him. Paul says that this way, a Galatians, my old self has been crucified with Christ. There's that language. It was been killed, it's been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. There's the substitute, right, who's in you, your substitute, who you are and who Jesus is and where he is and who you are. So I live in this earthly body trusting the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. So we we can't die to save others, but we can die to ourselves to live for God and to love others. See, when it's not all about I and me, me, me, me, we can trust God. We can allow Christ to live in US and through US and really make us transformational difference in our world. We become a brand new person and we impact people in powerful ways, transformational ways. And so I just wonder, as we close today, who have you been living for this last week? Was it more about you and what you wanted to do, or is it more about Jesus and how he wants to work in your life and through your life? Who Have you been living for? Would you stand with me as we close in a word of prayer? Just like to pray for you this morning and pray for myself. To God, we thank you that we can come to this place to learn about, to remind ourselves, to be challenged by, to be encouraged by all that you have done for us and who you are. Jesus. You died for me so that I could be saved. You died so that others could be saved, and Lord, help us to recognize that you know what we just we just can't do that. You're special, your unique. What you did for me and for this world no one...

...else can do. And so, God, I pray that you would help us to know that, to believe it, to understand it and to receive it. And, as a result of knowing deeper today, of understanding deeper today, all that you have done for us. May We live crucified to ourself, dead to ourself, to our own way, to our own thoughts, to our own desires, so that God, you can live in us and you can live through us, so that we can be transformed and so that our friends, are communities can be transformed. Lord, do this now in our life and Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Well, Hey, thanks so much for being.

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