Back to Course

Normal Christian Life

0% Complete
0/40 Steps

Section 1:

Lesson 9 of 40
In Progress

Created or Uncreated Life 2

Sorry, Audio Not Available.

Sorry, Video Not Available.

Created or Uncreated Life 2

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

Something that has taught a lot of us during these years that we’ve been together has been the reason why we were alive at all. That really was a great deliverance for many of us — that we weren’t alive just to make money, in order to have children, so that they could get a good education, so that they could make money, and they could have children, and they could get a good education, and they could make money, and they could have children, and on, and on forever. It was difficult in our society to escape from that viscous circle. So it was really a great deliverance when we discovered that God had really made us because he wanted our company.

It delivered a lot of us from an old inferiority complex, because a lot of us felt that we were no use at all to anybody and that nobody would ever want us because of our looks, or because of our lack of ability, or because of our appearance, or because of the way we talked. It was just a great deliverance when we realized that the Creator of the whole universe had made us just for one big reason — and that was so that he could enjoy our company and our friendship.

Many of us really have become utterly convinced that that is true. We see it there in 1 John 1:3. God just says it so plainly: “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you.” Why? “So that you may have fellowship with us.” What’s your fellowship about? “And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

In other words, we were really made to have fellowship with God and to have fellowship with his Son Jesus. Two Sundays ago we talked about the trinity family. We said that God didn’t make us because he was lonely. He didn’t make us because he was in trouble for friends. God already had Jesus with him and the Holy Spirit. Most of us know the verses: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God.” And we know that Jesus was with God at the beginning. You only have to go to the second verse of Genesis and you find that the Holy Spirit brooded upon the face of the waters.

So God, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were already a trinity family of love before we ever entered into the picture. But it was because they enjoyed the love and the life that they had with each other so much that they made us so that we would enjoy it too. That’s why we were made.

As for all the other things — I’m with you — we have to make our living. We can’t live off society. We have to make our way in life. But all that is subservient to the main purpose that God created us for — to be with him and his trinity family forever.

I’d risk saying it again: you are an end in yourself. Do you see that? For God you are an end in yourself. For God you aren’t a bread earner. You aren’t a provider for the family. For God you aren’t somebody to keep him company. For God, you aren’t somebody who fulfills some ulterior motive.

For God, you are an end in yourself. Your Creator loves you for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether anybody thinks you’re worthwhile. It doesn’t matter if the whole world tramples over you. God sees you as an end in yourself and that’s why he made you.

We discovered that God made us in a certain way because he wanted us for that purpose. He wanted people who would be able to share with him the things that he was interested in. For that reason he

made us like himself.

He was a trinity, a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit, and he made us a trinity. He gave us this body here with these hands, and he has a spiritual body. He gave us a soul inside with mind, emotions, and a will — the same as he has mind, emotions, and a will. And he gave us a spirit inside. You remember that he made us look like himself. He made us with a capacity to be exactly like him — except for one big thing that he didn’t give us. He didn’t give us exactly the kind of life that runs through him, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

He gave us created life. He made us with a body that will last 70 years, or 80 if you look after it, and maybe 90, but not much more. He gave us mind, emotions, and a will that will only last so long.

But he also put inside us a spirit that is capable of receiving the special life that he shares with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now that life is different from the life he has given unconditionally to all people. So everybody that lives in the world has created life. Everybody has a life that will last 70 years and go out like that. {He snaps his fingers.} Every one of us has this kind of life. But there’s a special life that enables us to be like God himself that he simply made available to us but that we have to choose for ourselves.

Now why did he do that? So that we’d have to use our free wills. So that we’d have to opt in to the trinity family. How many of us at times have said, “Oh, I had no control over my birth. I couldn’t help being born in the family I was born in.” God didn’t want us ever to be able to say that. He wanted us always to be able to say, “I chose to be born into this trinity family.” So we were all created with just created life — and God made available this other life to us.

This is new to some of us, so maybe it would be good to look at it in the Bible itself. You see it there in Genesis 2:7, — the created life. Genesis 2:7 is the record of God creating us and making us with created life: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,” — physical body — “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;” — created life; the capacity of spirit — “and man became a living being.” The Hebrew is “nephesh,” and it means “soul.” Man became a living soul, as mind, emotions, and will were formed inside him.

Then it says in verse 9, “And out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.” Now that life was different from the life that he had made us with. Otherwise, there’s no sense in just making available more and more created life to us. But this tree of life contained the supernatural uncreated life that ran through God’s own veins. It was the Father’s desire that we would, by our own free will, choose to receive that life. That life would come into us, would enable us to be born again of his spirit, and enable us to be born into his family. In that way we’d become exactly like the members of his family. Now that was God’s plan.

You know if you look at your sons and daughters, or if you look at your dads and mums, everybody has the same bump on their nose. Everybody has the same kind of hair. The same kind of qualities that your dad and mum have, you have to some extent. Really, the only way to be absolutely like another person is to be born of the same father or the same mother. Now that was God’s plan for us. He made us all with created life, with spirit, with mind, emotions, and a will, and a body. He also made available the spirit of uncreated life to us, and he expected us to receive that life into ourselves and to allow it to make us exactly like him.

You know the story. God presented it in the form of a tree to mankind in his childhood — because mankind at that age would understand it better that way. I’m sure he would do it differently with us today. Probably today he would just do what he did in the first century. He would let Jesus walk among us, because the tree of life is really Jesus. And Jesus would walk among us with this only begotten life inside him that contained the very genes of the Creator of the universe. We would go to him and receive that life from him.

That’s why Jesus so often said, “I have come that you might have life. That’s the very reason I came. I didn’t come here to show you how to live a good life. I know you can’t do it because you have only created life. I came to give you uncreated life.”

You remember again and again God said, “He that has the Son has life.” It’s not such a big deal that he has salvation, or that he has his sins forgiven, though that is great. But the big thing is he has life. He has uncreated life that makes him like God the Creator and enables him to live forever. That was the Father’s plan for us.

It was God’s will that man would work that way. It was God’s will that he would tell Adam in the morning, “Adam, I want you to prune that tree,” and Adam would use his mind to decide, “Oh yeah, you want me to prune it. Now, is this the way?” “Yeah, that’s the way.” “Okay.” So he’d prune the tree.

Then God would say to Adam, “Alright, I want you to dam up that river there.” Adam would use his mind and say, “Do you want me to dam it? Yeah, I’ll do it this way.” “Yeah, that’s right. Do it that way.” And God would have absolute control of his universe through his children.

Then he would as a result make available the needs that his children had. He would make available the physical supplies. He would say to Adam, “Okay Adam. That tree over there makes oranges. You can get oranges for breakfast. Okay, now Adam, you can get more food over here.” And it was the Father’s will that he would dominate and bring under submission to his will the whole universe through his children, and in return he would let them know where they would fulfill their physical needs. The children as a result would have found full enjoyment in using their faculties in this way. They would get full satisfaction from bringing the world under submission to God’s will according to God’s directions.

That was God’s plan. You know what happened. Man decided, “I’ll do it on my own. This created life that I have is enough. I can get what I need using this created life. My arm is strong — I can get food for myself in my own way. I don’t have to keep listening to this voice within me. I can get enjoyment in my own way without him giving me enjoyment. I can decide what to do myself. Okay, I’ll note he told me to prune that tree this time last year. Okay, I’ll decide when to prune it myself.” That’s really the heart of what we call the fall of mankind.

It wasn’t that Adam and Eve were sexually promiscuous. It wasn’t that Adam and Eve did some sin — got drunk or something like this. It was that Adam and Eve just decided to do without uncreated life. That was it. They just decided to go it on their own, to live independent of God.

You see what resulted. Their lives began to be dominated by the needs that God would have fulfilled for them. You can see it there in Genesis 3 why they went for knowledge at all — why they wanted more knowledge. It wasn’t just to be able to bring the world under submission to God’s will. They

went to knowledge for one purpose — to fulfill their needs that they would have had fulfilled by the Creator.

Genesis 3:6: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food.” Man began to realize that he had to use his knowledge to get food, and his life began to be dominated by his physical needs. He had to give all his time to getting food, shelter, and clothing.

Don’t you see that hundreds of us today are trying to get over the crest of the hill? Isn’t that right? We’re always saying, “Ah, just one more week and I’ll be over the hill. Yeah. Just one more deposit in the bank account and we’ll be over the crest of the hill. We’ll be able to forget subsistence living.”

But it’s amazing how many of us in the richest country in the world are still preoccupied with going for food, shelter, and clothing. It happens that way because we don’t have uncreated life. If the Holy Spirit of uncreated life was flowing into us we would find that life would take on a right balance, and God would begin to fulfill these things in us.

I don’t mean that we would live off society. God has taught us here in the body: if a person won’t work let him not eat. But we do mean that if you receive the uncreated life of the Holy Spirit into you, suddenly life begins to work smoothly and the right way. It’s not that life outside meets no obstacles. But it’s that life inside suddenly begins to flow with a smoothness that is supernatural.

That was God’s plan — that we would receive that uncreated life of the Holy Spirit inside us and it would make the mind, and emotions, and the will, and the body work in complete harmony. So your life would begin to find its needs fulfilled.

You find the next reason: “And that it was a delight to the eyes.” From that moment on when man decided to live with just created life, he began to be dominated by getting things that were a delight to the eyes. He wanted to enjoy himself all the time. He lacked any emotional satisfaction for his emotions. That’s what happens when you try to live life with simply created life. You begin to be dominated by a desire to fulfill your physical needs, your emotional needs, and your mental needs.

You see what happened to man’s mind: “And that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.” It was God’s desire that the Holy Spirit would flow through us and that the mind would be used to work out his plans in deductive detail for the universe. Instead of that, man turned his mind round into perversion, and he began to use his mind to get one up on everybody else. He lacked the approval of God so he had to start using his mind to get everybody else’s approval. Isn’t it true that so often our educational establishments are not involved much in a pursuit of truth?

You know that graduate schools and faculties are dominated by the old piece of advice: publish or perish. You have to publish something new or you’ll perish. You’ll be off the faculty, or you’ll lose any gain that you’ve made with your doctorate. It seems that the mind began to be perverted after man refused the uncreated life of God and he began to use the mind not to discover truth, but to get one up on everybody else.

And isn’t it true with ourselves? So often we use our shrewdness or our cleverness to get round people, or to manipulate people, or to change circumstances so that they’ll go our way. That’s the

resulting situation that has come about by refusing God’s uncreated life.

Now do you see that the big thing Jesus came to give us was that uncreated life? That’s why Jesus came to the world. He came not to die for our sins primarily. The only reason he died for our sins was that God could not give his uncreated life to anyone that had sinned. So Jesus died for our sins so that God would be free to give us this uncreated life. But the real reason Jesus came to the world was to give us this uncreated life of the Holy Spirit that makes life run right. That’s what Pentecost last Sunday was all about.

The life of the Holy Spirit is not all about tongues. Don’t you see that? It’s not all about tongues, or about a whole lot of emotionalism. Sometimes it brings emotion. Sometimes the Holy Spirit brings gifts. But the Holy Spirit is here to give us the uncreated life of God. That’s the difference between Christianity and all the other religions. The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ successor. Jesus did not leave us alone.

That’s what he says plainly in John 16:7: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

Now the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ successor. It’s as if Jesus made a will when he died leaving to us all the power, and the life of God himself. But the Holy Spirit is the executor of that will, and we cannot enter into any of the benefits of that will unless the Holy Spirit makes those benefits real to us.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ successor. You can see the difficulty under which many of us who are Christians have fallen. We have believed that Jesus died for our sins. We have really repented of our sins and given our lives to Jesus. But we have thought that from this moment on we ought to try to obey Jesus as best we can.

You cannot obey Jesus on your own. What Jesus wants us to do is to receive the person that he has sent to us, and treat that Holy Spirit as the disciples treated Jesus himself, with the same sensitivity, love, and respect. But you know that many of us who call ourselves Christians are just miserably dead human beings. We have no sense of dynamic in us at all, because we have no sense of a living person inside us — because we have not taken seriously what Jesus said: “Listen! If I go I will send the Holy Spirit to you.” Do you see what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit? “The Holy Spirit will take of the things that are mine and he will impart them to you.”

Now it’s the Holy Spirit who makes Jesus real to us. I used to sit in audiences in something like this on campus in Ireland and listen to some boy describing all about the Christian life. And he’d describe it in glowing terms and it sounded great. Then I went home and I tried to make it real and it was just a miserable mess. I decided the guy is just exaggerating. He’s just full of a lot of poetic illusions and exaggerations. It isn’t real or true. Because I never realized that there was a real supernatural person who could make this stuff real to me in a deeper way than I could ever perceive it with my intellect. Do you see — that’s what Jesus means about the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit will come and make the things of his life real to you. You may know nothing about the love of Jesus, or the love of God, or the joy of God, or the peace of God. Even though you’ve been a Christian for years, you can’t know it unless the Holy Spirit makes it real to you.

I’ve used the illustration before. You all go out, and while you’re out I put all the big masterpieces of the art world round the walls of the theater. I put The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, The Crucifixion, Return of Marcus Sextus, St. John of the Cross — all the great masterpieces around the walls. Then, I turn the lights out and I bring you all in and I say to you, “Aren’t those beautiful paintings? Aren’t they beautiful art work?” And you say, “I can’t see a thing. It’s dark.” Do you see it’s the same without the Holy Spirit?

People can talk about the beauties of God. They can talk about the greatness of the Christian life, and you can be a poor old soul who has been a leader in the church for years, or you can be a young person who did all the things that a young person is supposed to do in their church — and none of it has become real to you. You’ve heard about it all but there is not light. Only the Holy Spirit can take of the things of Jesus and make them real to you.

Do you see that it wouldn’t matter? The atmosphere covers the earth, about 125 miles thick I think it is. It wouldn’t matter if there were 125 miles of atmosphere. Nothing would grow if there was no sunshine. Now it is so with Jesus. You can build Bibles, and New Testaments, and gospels, and ideologies of Christianity 125 miles thick over the whole earth — and if there was no Holy Spirit none of it would ever become real to anybody.

We don’t need more knowledge. We’re up to here with knowledge. We hear it. We turn on the radio and we hear knowledge about God. We read books and we read knowledge about God. We go to church and we hear knowledge about God. What we need is revelation. We need someone who will please make all this real to us. That’s what the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit is the uncreated life of God. He flows into you, and he makes all this real by revelation deeper than your intellect or your emotions would ever understand it.

What does the Holy Spirit do? He takes Jesus himself and makes him real in your life. For instance, he takes the love of Jesus, and he makes that real in your life by a miracle. Now a lot of us misunderstand that. A lot of us think, “No — you have to practice love. You have to work up love inside you. You have to govern your minds so that you begin to love.” You’ll produce “philia” love like that — love of brothers for brothers, or you might produce “eros” love like that — sexual love — — but you will not produce real divine love by working it up inside you.

The only way you can experience love is the way God said in Romans 5:5 — the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in our hearts the love of God. One of the things the Holy Spirit does when he comes into us fully is he fills us with the love of Jesus — with just a supernatural love. It’s described there in 1 Corinthians 13:4. This is the kind of love that the Holy Spirit gives: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Now do you see that you could put Jesus’ name in place of the word love? Jesus is patient and kind. Jesus is not jealous or boastful. He is not arrogant or rude. He does not insist on his own way. He is not irritable or resentful. He does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Now you can tell whether you have received created or uncreated life inside you by putting your name in place of love. That will tell you whether the uncreated life of the Holy Spirit has come within. So can you say it about your relationships with your brothers and sisters, with your dorm mate, with

your roommate, with your husband or wife or children? Can you say these things? “I am patient and kind. I am not jealous or boastful. I am not arrogant or rude. I do not insist on my own way. I am not irritable or resentful. I do not rejoice at wrong but rejoice in the right. I bear all things. I believe all things. I hope all things. I endure all things.”

The Holy Spirit takes the love of Jesus and makes it real inside you by a miracle. So do you see if you can’t put your name there you don’t start trying to imitate a child of God? You don’t try to imitate one who is filled with the Holy Spirit. You simply go to God and say, “Lord God, I’m not like that. I agree with those virtues but I myself am not like those. I am often impatient. I’m often irritable. I’m often bad tempered. I’m often resentful and filled with grudges. I’m not like that. Now, will you show me how I come into an experience of yourself?” But do you see that is the approach?

If you wanted to talk like me you could imitate me for a while but it’d get sort of boring and rather tiresome. The only way really to speak like me is to be born of an Irish mother. Maybe you’re glad that you weren’t born of an Irish mother. But do you see it’s the same with God? The only way to have those things in your life is to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you completely. The answer is not to go back to a life of struggling.

See, it’s silly if you go out of the theater this morning and say, “Yeah, I want to be that — but I’m not that. But I am a Christian. So I’m going to try harder.” No, the only reason you’ll try harder is because you’re second, not because you’re first. And the only way to be first is really to be born of the Holy Spirit and filled with the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fills you with himself, he imparts to you the love of Jesus. He imparts to you the purity of Jesus.

A lot of us brothers in this ridiculous unbalanced society have real trouble with our minds and with controlling the minds and controlling the thought life. Brothers, do you see that that’s a miracle that the Holy Spirit works within you? He imparts to you the purity of Jesus’ mind. It is a miracle. He makes the purity of Jesus’ mind real inside you. The Holy Spirit takes the patience of Jesus and makes it real inside us.

The Holy Spirit takes the forgiveness of Jesus and makes it real inside us. Many of us are incapable of forgiveness. We think forgiveness is wiping out the memory of the face of the one who offended us. That isn’t forgiveness — that’s a bad memory. But real forgiveness is receiving the person back into a relationship with yourself as if he had never done anything against you at all. Now that can only happen when the Holy Spirit makes the forgiveness of Jesus real in your life.

In other words, do you see what we need is the uncreated life of God? And if you don’t have that uncreated life of God flowing through you freely, you’re like a person who is trying to run a high compression engine on regular gas. It is hopeless. The thing is pinging like mad. You know it in your own life. If you’re trying to run the mind, and emotions, and the body, and all the challenges of life on uncreated life — you’re just making heavy weather of it. You’re just fighting it all the time. Trying to control that old mind with the wrong thoughts; trying to control those emotions from getting irritable at her; trying to control the feelings from losing the temper. You’re at it all the time trying to get it to go because it doesn’t come naturally.

Do you see there’s only one way to make it natural? That is to allow this uncreated life of God to flow into you and make you like Jesus. Now that’s what the Holy Spirit is all about and that is what Pentecost is all about. There isn’t one of us who can do without this kind of life.

How do you enter into it? Well, it’s really easy. It was explained clearly by Peter on the day of Pentecost. People came up after he had preached and said, “Now what must we do?” And then in Acts 2:38: “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” So that’s the way. The Holy Spirit of uncreated life flows into you whenever you do what God, through Peter, said.

Now you may say, “Ah, I’ve done that. I’ve done that. I’ve often repented. Indeed, I repent every day of my bad temper. I repent continually — but this has not happened to me.” Do you see that there is a repentance that you have never, ever dealt with at all in your life? If you’re having trouble with bad temper, or with irritability, do you see that the repentance needed there is a “metanoia” — a changing of your way of living for yourself?

You get bad tempered because you’re living for yourself. We get bad tempered because we think things are getting out of our control and we think the bad temper will pull them back in, because we believe we are in charge of our own lives and can do whatever we want with them. That’s the kind of repentance that is needed if you’re having trouble with the old bad temper.

It’s a repentance that is deeper than just stopping the thing for a day and then doing it again the next week. Repentance means that you stop doing the thing that you’ve been doing for years. That’s real repentance. Not only feeling sorry, not only crying, not only resolving to do better next time. It’s not remorse or regret. Repentance is you stop doing the thing.

In the case of a thing like bad temper it’s just not repenting of the bad temper. Do you see that? Do you see there’s something very shallow in saying to God, “Oh, sorry I lost my temper again.” And a week later, “Sorry I lost my temper again.” If you really feel that temper is putting a sword into Jesus’ side you’ll want to find out what causes that bad temper. You know that the reason we lose our temper is we feel we have a right to control things the way we want them. We lose our temper to try to get them back under our control.

The reason we have grudges and cold wars with each other is to try to bring the other person back to heel like a dog, because we feel we have the right to control our life, and to control every other person that we come into contact with. Do you see that repentance means repenting of that desire to be God in your life and in everybody else’s life?

Then it goes a bit further: “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Too many of us have got caught up in all kinds of self-righteousness.

I was a Methodist. I’m not for infant baptism, but we were taught it in seminary and I didn’t know much better at that time. I agree with you that on the whole adult baptism is the practice in the New Testament, but I think that many people allow their children to be baptized as infants not because they believe they’re becoming Christians at all, but just because they feel they’re receiving them into the company of the friends of Jesus. However, leave that aside. Do you see that many of us get self-righteous about baptism? Many of us who are Baptist say, “Yeah, I’ve been baptized. I’m baptized by immersion and so I’m a real child of God. Yeah, I lose my temper but I’m a child of God because I’ve been baptized. Yeah, I do get irritable or resentful. But I’m glad that I’ve experienced scriptural baptism.” Now do you see it’s not right to argue on that superficial way about baptism? Nor is it right for us Lutherans and Methodists to argue the other


Do you see that the heart of baptism is deeper than that? You remember Paul explained it in Romans 6:3: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

That’s what baptism really means. The reason many of us have not been filled with the Holy Spirit, the reason many of us have entered into half a Christian experience, is we know our sins are forgiven, but we have no experience of uncreated life flowing through us, and controlling us, and imparting to us the qualities of Jesus — because we’ve never really been willing to be baptized into Jesus’ death.

Do you remember what Jesus’ death meant for him? He was hanging on the cross. For one thing, he was only facing one way. On a cross you can only face one way. In Jesus’ death he faced only towards God. He cared nothing about himself, nothing about what people were thinking of him, nothing about what they would do to him. He cared only for God. Being baptized into Jesus’ death means that. It means dealing with the other things that we live for: the money, the success, the happiness, the comfort, all those things.

I know they’re all necessary. We get round it by saying, “Oh, but those are necessary.” They are necessary, but it’s not necessary to live for those above God himself. And to be baptized into Jesus’ death is to face only one way, towards God — irrespective of what happens to all the other things that would normally be added onto us.

On the cross Jesus had no future. Another hour at the most, but no future. Being baptized into Jesus’ death means dying to our own futures.

Do you realize that you and I get irritable more often than not because we think someone is destroying our plans for our future? Isn’t that right? Why do we get irritable over discussing the vacation with her? Why do we get irritable when the parents or the children disagree with each other about something in the future? Usually because we feel we have a right to control our future. That’s why we get irritable. We’ve never really died to our future. We’ve never really handed it over to God. We say, “Lord God, we’ll do anything for you as long as you give us a minimum level of subsistence.” But being baptized into Jesus’ death means dying to the future.

Then on the cross, you remember, Jesus was between two criminals. Two men that were just ordinary criminals — thieves. So he had no reputation. He was not the mighty Son of God on that cross. Everybody looked at him and thought, “He’s just a criminal.” On the cross Jesus died to his reputation. He died to what anybody thought of him.

Now that’s what it means to be baptized into Jesus’ death — to die to what our friends think of us, to die to what our parents or our relatives think of us, to die to what anybody thinks of us. Then when we’re really ready to die to self with Jesus in those areas, the Holy Spirit is able to flow into us completely and fully and make real in us the uncreated life of God. That’s really the miracle life of a Christian.

Why do I share it? Because I think a lot of us have put Pentecost into the church calendar, or into emotional southern churches, and have failed to see that many of us, though we’re good believers and

believe the orthodox doctrine about Jesus dying for our sins and have even repented of our sins, and have even been born of the Spirit – many of us have not gone the whole way and really taken part in Jesus’ death and really identified ourselves with him in his death. Therefore we have no experience of identification with him in his resurrection. Therefore, we have little experience of uncreated life.

Uncreated life has a power in it that is beyond anything that we experience in psychology. It is just a different supernatural kind of life, and it’s God’s plan that we should experience it.

So if you’re reading this and you’re saying, “Well, yeah. I’d really like that.” Do you see what you need to do? Acts 2:38 — you need to really repent. Really repent of the real causes of the things, not just the symptoms. Then really ask the Holy Spirit, “In what way have I not died to self with Jesus? In what way have I used Jesus’ name continually, but not been prepared to die to self?” As the Holy Spirit shows you — then enter into it yourself quietly, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill you. He’ll fill you with the very life of Jesus. And it’s just a different kind of Christian living.

It’s just an effortless, victorious life. It’s a freedom from that old, “The good that I would I cannot do, and the evil I want to avoid — that’s the very thing that I do.” {Paraphrase of Romans 7:19} It’s just a deliverance from that kind of defeated Christian life and it is God’s plan for us.

So will you think about it, and would you act on it as God guides you? Because really, there’s no point in going half of the way with God. Half of the way is worse than no way. I think many of us have felt that at times. But going the whole way with Jesus’ death brings his complete resurrection life inside us.

Let us pray. Holy Spirit, if you see any of us here this morning who are making due with created life and as a result are living an up and down kind of Christian life, Holy Spirit, if you can see some of us here who are living for something other than God, then we would trust you to make that clear to us now this morning. And Holy Spirit, we want to know exactly why you are not able to fill us with yourself. Please show us where we are living for ourselves, and are not willing to die to ourselves, as you died on the cross. Show us where we are unwilling to live only to God, and to die to our own lives and our own futures. We ask you to do this, and to bring us the uncreated life – the very life of Jesus – that you wish to bring us. Amen.