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Called to be Saints 1
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Dear ones, for the next three sessions that I have to speak, I would like to talk about what is a saint and I think it can be divided very clearly up into three parts, according to the three parts of our own personality. So perhaps you’d bring your Bibles with you at each session and really do some hard work. I’ll be using the Revised Standard Version, and every time we come to those Bible words, I’ll defend it with the Greek and Hebrew.
Really dear ones, I think it is very trustworthy and I think you know the story of the dear old saint, I’m sure brother (Ted) Hegre knows his name, who went to the committee and brought up the issues where they had mistranslated “sanctify” and “consecrate.” And you know now the story of how they accepted his suggestions, and they incorporated them in the book. And so I believe this version is reliable, where I’m going to quote it today anyway. So that will be the one difference, but you’ll be able to follow it in your King James. So will you use your Bibles please?
Some people say and especially the dear ones that I work with during school time, “A saint is one who is dead and by whom miracles have since been performed.” And I think it’s important to get rid of that by referring to Romans 15:25, and to look there at Paul’s and therefore God’s opinion that a saint was one who was very much alive whether actual miracles were being performed or not. Romans 15:25, “At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem with aid for the saints.” And we take it that even Paul could not bring aid to those who were with God in heaven, so the saints were obviously pretty much present.
In other words dear ones, it’s inadequate to accept what tends to be the Catholic emphasis on saintliness, though not the only emphasis as we realize when we meet some dear Catholics who are in Jesus and shinning with his light, but there tends to be an ecclesiastical emphasis on the fact that the saint is one who is dead and by whom miracles have been performed. Well this is not the Bible view of the saint. Some people feel that a saint is one who is holy in Christ. And they say, “It doesn’t matter if I commit adultery, to God that is not a sin because I am in Christ and I cannot sin.” That tends to be an emphasis, in some branches perhaps, of Calvinism, the idea that we are holy in Christ whatever our lives are like.
Now I don’t think the Bible accepts that as a fit or adequate view of a saint. You can see that in James 2:17, which I think explodes that idea of a saint as one who is simply holy in Christ, whatever his life is like. In James 2:17, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” So you can, for all you want, believe that God looks upon you as holy in Jesus but that is only so if the life of Jesus is taking over and expressing itself through your life. In other words we are called not only to be holy in Christ with his imputed righteousness, but we are called to be holy in our own lives with his communicated righteousness and communicated holiness.
I think some people also today; especially in our liberal churches, perhaps feel saintliness is doing good deeds. Saintliness is having a Christian influence in the social sphere; it is social and political activism. It is reformation of life. And dear ones, we must note that at least the liberals have seen beyond the point that some of us have reached. Many of us in the fundamentalist camp have failed to see that Christianity must produce some results in the life, and at least the liberals see this; they see it must produce some results in the life otherwise it isn’t real.
Now on the other hand they have gone to the other extreme and they have said, “If you have results that’s enough. If you’re marching to Selma in Alabama that proves that you’re a saint and you’re producing Christian influence in your outward life.” Now I think the Bible emphasizes that that kind of action is not enough. In other words saintliness is not just being Christian in your acts and your words. I think there are many dear ones who are brought up in Christian homes and are Christian, it seems, in their acts and words, and yet they themselves have never dealt with Jesus personally.
I think you find this emphasis by Jesus in Matthew 7:22. and I will wait dear ones, for you to find the place because I suppose the teacher always feels the eye gate and ear gate is better, and it is precious to look at God’s own word ourselves. Matthew 7:22-23 is where Jesus talks about social and political activists “On that day many will say to me ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.” I think Jesus implies that social and political activism without the motivating love of Jesus and the constraining love of the crucified Lord behind it is not in itself saintliness. I think some of us need to allow God to examine us on that in our own church and see that it’s not just the outward life conforming to the vague outline of the Christian life that make us saints.
There is just one last thing I’d like to deal with; the other side of the coin, those of us who are saying, “Ah, well saintliness is abstaining from all the things that saints are not supposed to do.” So saintliness is not dancing — I’m not saying saintliness is dancing, but they’re saying saintliness is a not dancing, not smoking, not going to the theatre – so saintliness is six don’ts,(or five don’ts, depending on what denomination you’re in,) and these don’ts you have got used to avoiding, so it’s not too much of a burden. So we tend to placard these as sins and say, “Saintliness is avoiding these sins.”
Well dear ones saintliness is more than that as Paul pointed out in Colossians 2:20-22. Saintliness is more than just abstaining from the things that saints are not supposed to do and though I know we must give guidance to our young people, I do feel we need God’s Spirit to really show us where legalism begins and where saintliness ends. Colossians 2:20-22, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.” And so though Jesus may lead you to stop many of these things or all of them, yet you stop them because of Jesus’ love within you, and you don’t stop them and regard yourself a saint just because you’ve successfully abstained from them.
In other words, I don’t think saintliness is any of these things, dear ones. Saintliness is not enthusiastical saintliness that proclaims that a saint is one who has died and miracles are performed by him. Saintliness is not just an outward impression of saintliness. Saintliness is not just being holy in Christ with his imputed righteousness. Saintliness is not just abstaining from all the don’ts that Christians have listed. Then what is saintliness? I think it’s most important to see that saintliness begins even with the converted man. Saintliness in the New Testament does not refer to those old mature Christians who have reached that place where they know him who is from the beginning.
Saintliness does not only refer to those who have been sanctified or filled with the Spirit. Again, and again the New Testament refers to ordinary Christians as saints. And this morning dear ones, I’d like to try to talk about that first step, if you like to call it, in being a saint. An ordinary Christian, a converted man or women, one who has been just justified last night, one who has only been born of God this morning is called in the New Testament — a saint. And he is called to be a saint and you can see it in Romans 1:7. Paul addresses his letter in Romans 1:7, “To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints.”
Dear ones, you all are called to be saints. Now don’t you sit there and say, “Ah, but I haven’t been sanctified. Ah, but I am just born of the Spirit last night. Ah, I have not been filled with the Spirit. I have not been cleansed with the Spirit. I have not been baptized with the Spirit, so you can’t expect me to be a saint.” God calls you to be a saint. God calls you to be a saint in your converted life.
Would you look with me at the two factors in saintliness and I think you can see it best perhaps in Leviticus 20:7. I think I’m right in saying that King James says in verse 7, “Sanctify.”? Is that right? Verse 7 in the Revised Standard Version reads, “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God.” And the Hebrew verb in verse 7 is the same as the Hebrew verb in verse 8. You see verse 8 reads, “Keep my statutes, and do them; I am the Lord who sanctify you.” The Hebrew verb is the same. You know Hebrew has no vowels, it is only consonants, and the Hebrew word for holy is q?dosim. And so you take the S and the D and well, it’s like a K at the end, and you put different vowels in there to make different parts of the verb. Now the part of the verb that is used in verse 7 is the reflexive part, and it really means make yourselves holy. Holy means to separate yourself or to be separate and the verb there means make yourselves holy in the sense of making yourselves separate.
And then where it’s translated “sanctify” in verse 8, it’s a different part of the verb and it means for God himself will cause you to be holy. So verse 7 says separate yourselves, make yourselves holy in the sense of make yourselves separate from and then in verse 8 the Hebrew means for God himself will make you holy, will separate you to. So there are two parts in being a saint; the first part is in verse 7 where the Hebrew means sanctify yourself and that means make yourself separate. You’re a prostitute; make yourself separate from your prostitution. You’re sarcastic with your dear ones at home; make yourself separate from your sarcasm — that’s verse 7, it’s the human part in sanctification.
But dear ones, if you do that alone, then you are left with humanism or you’re left with a strong morality and you’re left with those burdened Christians who are defeated in the back of their eyes because they say, “Yeah, I’m a Christian. It’s a hard way, but I’m a Christian.” And they have to grip themselves to be victorious Christians even in the converted life because they have done nothing but separate themselves with their own strong will power from the things that they know to be wrong in their life. But they have not experienced the second part, by which God himself touches you and separates you to himself and pours into you his own life.
So do you see dear ones, that there are the two vital parts in being a saint, even at the converted stage. There’s a sense in which you have to separate yourself from the things that are wrong in your life, you have to be holy, you have to make yourselves holy and there’s a sense in which then God comes in and separates you to himself. Only he can do the second part. If you don’t experience the second part then the first part leaves you with a burdened, defeated Christianity, even at the converted stage.
I think many of us come to that; many of us come to the place where we’re born of the will of flesh, or of the will of the man. Jesus said in John 1:13, “Who are born not of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man.” I think many of us think we’re born when we’re only born of the will of man. We know that we’re not converted, we know we ought to get converted and we decide conversion is simply separating yourself from the things that are wrong in your life. It’s not. It’s separating yourself from those things, and then laying yourself before God so that he can regenerate you with his Holy Spirit and separate you to himself with his own Spirit.
Now I think it’s important to see that the two sides of being a saint are there and you can see them even more clearly if you look at Numbers 6:3. “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.” “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink,” and that’s the human side in being a saint. At any stage of the Christian life, we need to separate ourselves from the things that God has revealed to us as wrong in our lives. And then the divine side is there in verse 2, “Say to the people of Israel, When either a man or women makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord.” In other words, we can separate ourselves from the things that are wrong in our life, but only the Lord, by the power of his Spirit, can separate us to himself. So there are the two sides.
Now it’s in that sense dear ones, that you as a converted man or women are called to be a saint. You’re called to be a saint in those two senses, even if you’re just converted. I think it’s pointed out by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17. He points out that even the new Christian is changed. Even the new Christian is different, after he is born of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, does it say “Therefore, if anyone is sanctified, if anyone is filled with his spirit, if anyone is baptized”, no, no. “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
So even if you are just converted that means you’re different, there’s a sense in which you’re a saint. In what sense are you a saint? Well John Wesley lays the emphasis in the converted life on saintliness in the outward life, first of all. And that’s why I’m taking the three stages in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 where the Bible says, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, a person is a saint first, at the level of the body, at the level of this outward life; everyone who is born of God is called to be a saint. He is called to separate himself from the things that God has revealed are wrong in his outward life.
So Wesley says, “Whosoever is born of God,” not, “Whosoever is filled the spirit,” not, “Whosoever is sanctified,” not, “Whosoever is baptized with the Holy Spirit,” not, “Whosoever has been on the Christian life for forty years,” not, “Whosoever has received the second blessing,” but, “Whosoever is born of God.” 1 John 3:9 says, “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.” And Wesley says, “What do we mean by sin? We accept the common meaning of the term; any disobedience to God’s revealed written law, either in act or in word.” And every Christian is called to be a saint in his outward acts and words.
Dear ones, the message of the death to self and the cross we’ll deal with, as God gives us grace, tomorrow, and that deals with inner things. But outwardly, every Christian is called to be a saint. He is called to be a saint in his acts and words. Now, you may wonder about this so I’d ask you to turn to 1 John 3:9, because I think a lot of us live in another favorite verse in John instead of 1
John 3:9, so let’s look at that one before we deal with the emergency verse. I think a lot of us live on the emergency verse. 1 John 3:9, in the Revised Standard Version says, “No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.” He says in verse 4 of that same chapter, “Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.” And then dear ones, as if he knew what you were thinking, or he knew what I used to try to think in verse 7, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” The reason the son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. In other words, every one of us who is born of God this morning is called to be free from committing sin in act or word in our lives.
Now dear ones, I think many of us are playing fast and loose with God’s statement here. I think many of us are living in that emergency verse in 1 John 2 and it’s surrounded by all the Bibles commitment and commission to us to avoid sin, but still we pick out that emergency verse. 1 John 2:1 goes, “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin.” Paul is saying “That’s the very purpose I have in writing this letter to you, so that you may not sin.” And then the emergency verse and you notice only half of a verse and its right next door to the one where he says he doesn’t want us to sin, but it runs, “but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Now if I say to you, “If the red light goes on in your car you better stop and fill it up with oil,” then you don’t drive day-after-day with the red light on — you don’t drive in a state of emergency. Now I am not expert enough to tie everything together, but I do know that we’re not meant to live in that emergency state, and I think many dear ones who claim to be born of God are living on that verse, “But if anyone does sin, we have advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Dear ones you cannot be born of God and continue to live on that emergency verse day-after-day.
John Wesley and some of the old holiness preachers would go further and would say you can’t afford to sin even once, and one is almost driven to that. There’s the verse in James 2:10 that says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” There’s a real sense in which a man who is born of God cannot afford to sin once. I preached this in a church recently and a dear brother came up and said, “You don’t mean you lose your state of grace if you sin once,” and I didn’t want to disagree doctrinally, but at least he agreed that maybe you lose your fellowship with God. Well alright; you lose your fellowship. But dear ones, I don’t know that the Bible allows us to sin even once and remain in God’s favor, you see.
The Bible says, “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.” Some of us say, “Oh it means does not commit sin habitually. It means we change, we don’t commit sin habitually.” Well you’re up against a logical problem, aren’t you, what is habitual sin? Is it once a week, twice a week, three times a week, once a month, twice a month? It’s a mathematical problem and it seems, not God’s way of dealing with us, doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem God’s way. It seems the Greek makes no distinction between committing sin habitually, or committing it once, it just uses the straight present tense, “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.” And dear ones, we who are born of God are called to victory over sin in our acts and our words.
Now, you may say, “Well what’s the basis of all this?” It’s the same basis as this little illustration: there are many homes where tension is produced by the mother and by the children and the father, perhaps, bears all of that tension. He comes home at night tired from work, and there’s this battle going on in the home, and there’s this emotional strain, and it works on him and produces strain in him and eventually produces hypertension, and eventually the children and the mother have to watch him dying with the results of their life and the kind of tension they have produced in the home. Eventually they’re with him as he dies in pain of hypertension. And they go back to the home, and if they’ve seen the father die, it’s very hard for them to go back to the same things that produced that death.
Now dear ones, every sin that you and I ever committed produced the death of our Lord Jesus. And this is why once we come to a knowledge of that, once we know we are born of God and realize that Jesus has died for every sin we have committed, do you see that you have to be very ruthless, you have to be very like the Roman soldiers to continue to sin knowingly — to continue to sin in such a way, that you’re crucifying Jesus afresh in your life, and yet that’s what’s really happening. And this is really the inner theory if you like, by which we should feel a constraint of love in our hearts to avoid any sin in act or word in the converted life — any sin at all.
Whosoever is born of God, does not crucify the Son of God afresh and every time we sin in our outward lives it’s another nail into his hands and it’s another sword into his side. This is why anyone that is born of God does not commit sin, does not knowingly disobey God. It is important to see that it’s the knowing, it’s conscious. You remember there’s a verse in James 4:17 that’s says, “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” I think that’s a clear definition of sin: if you know what is right to do and you don’t do it that’s sin. Now anyone who knows they are putting a nail into Jesus hands, and does it, they cannot love him, and they cannot have him as their Savior.
I think a great many of us feel that God has changed the condition of entrance into his kingdom. I think a lot of us feel God used to say, “You must obey all my commandments, and if you obey them all I will be your God and you will be my people.” And we think “Now, thank goodness that old covenant has passed and we’re on to the new covenant, and it’s easier because God is saying, “You simply have to believe in my son Jesus, and trust him as your Savior, and you’ll be my child.” But do you see dear ones that the very reason Jesus had to die was because God refused to change his antagonism to sin?
It was because God refused to withdraw his hostility to sin that Jesus had to die. That’s why Jesus died; because God would not change his mind. God would not say, “Now you don’t have to obey.” Otherwise Jesus need not have died, God could simply have said, “Well you disobeyed, but I forget you’re disobedience, I want you as my children anyway. So I’ve changed the covenant and you don’t need to obey me now.” It was because he could not do that, that he said, “No. You have disobeyed and you must die, or someone must die for that disobedience. I cannot accept disobedience because it would make hell of my heaven, and it would destroy what I want for your lives.” And for that very reason Jesus died.
So dear ones, God has not changed his covenant, he has provided a dear Savior to die for the sins that we have committed. But for the sins that are in our life at present and that we’re prepared to continue to commit, there is no hope until we really and truly abandon those sins, and turn from them completely. In other words, there is no place dear ones, for a Christian night-after-night going back to God with the same sins saying, “Father I confess this sin to you. I ask Jesus to pour
his blood across that sin and cover it.” After you’ve done that twenty times, five times, three times, twice, how long does it take you to become as immune to the pain of the Savior as a surgeon becomes to his patient? How long can you come with this continual list of confessions?
This is why the Bible teaches, “Whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin.” You’re taught to separate yourself from all known acts and words that are wrong in your life, and until you do that, the blood of Jesus does not apply to you. You can say it does, but it doesn’t apply to you, and this is why many of us who say we’re born of God are really defeated Christians carrying a moral burden on our shoulders, but we have not the life of Jesus within us. And it’s only the life of Jesus within you that makes it a joy to obey God’s law, and makes you able to obey him in act and word. Do you see again that the problem is the same as it was last night? If you have not victory over the acts and words in your life that you know are sinful, then don’t say, “I have to try harder,” but say, “I have to be born of God.”
Dear ones break the devils hold over you. Break Satan’s hold over you in pride. I know in my spirit that there are dear ones here who are looked upon by everybody else as Christians. Outwardly and when they’re on their guard they are Christians, but there are acts and words in their lives that they know they have not victory over. And yet Satan has a hold on them and says, “Listen you’re supposed to born of God, everybody thinks you’re born of God, of course you’re born of God.” Dear ones, if you have not victory over some act or word in your life that is sinful, you’re not born of God. Take the Bibles word; no one born of God commits sin. And then see that what you need is to be humble enough to seek the new birth again.
Dear ones, even if you are forty years on the road, because the Bible says, “Not whosoever has been of born of God,” not, “Whosoever was born of God forty years ago,” but, “Whosoever is born of God today.” Wesley says, “As long as we breathe in the Spirit of God, and breathe it out to him in prayer, a man cannot sin.” So if you have some act or word in your life that is sinful and you have not victory over it, the need is the new birth.
Jacob, you remember, was a deceiver. Jacob deceived to further his own future. You remember how he did it. He created a wrong impression of himself to get his own advantage, for his own advantage. He made a different impression of himself than was strictly true, and in that way he sinned. Now, God could not forgive him until Jacob died. And of course if Jacob had had to die, then he would never have gone through hell successfully because he had no obedience of his own to raise him from the dead and so he’d have been lost eternally. So for Jacob, God allowed Jesus to die, but Jacob still had to obey God. Jesus’ death covered the sin that Jacob had been guilty of, but now Jacob had to turn and obey God. He had to turn from his deception, and turn from this desire to make a better impression of himself than was strictly true, and turn from this desire to trample on other people’s rights to get what he wanted. He had to turn from those things before God’s Holy Spirit could come into him and bring about the new birth of Jesus’ life in him.
But he had to turn from those things, and so it is with us. Do you lie? Do you? I mean just white lies, because none of us tell black lies, but just white lies? Do you subtly created a slightly better impression of yourself then is really true by something you say? Or, when you get into an awkward spot and you know it’s going to be embarrassing and uncomfortable for everybody concerned, and you know the other person is going to be really unduly concerned about your state of grace, do you get around this just by a slight bit of deceptiveness? Well that’s sin, that’s telling a lie. And if you tell a lie, dear ones, that’s a commitment of sin in word, and that means you’re not born of God.
And you see the hold Satan has on many of us because he’ll say “Don’t admit it, don’t admit it and you’re alright.” So you continue to live the death life pretending that you’re enjoying the begotten life and yet knowing that you have the symptoms of the death life in your acts and words. Well you see you’re outside where God can’t do any good for you. Do you see that the essential thing that God needs is honesty? The essential thing that he needs for us to do is be honest. If you’ll only admit that you’re sinning. You remember that the Greek word for “confess” is to raise your hand and agree with God, “I agree with you Father that this is a sin.” But Satan has a hold of many born again Christians today who say they are born again because they will not admit that that’s a sin, because they feel, “If I admit that’s a sin it means I’m not born of God.” And dear ones, they’re in an impossible grip of Satan and the way to break it is to at last admit, “That is a sin. It’s an outward act or word that is sin and I know that one who is born of God does not commit sin.”
Judas was in the same situation. He was greedy for money at all costs and he was prepared to do anything for money. And the only way God could ever forgive Judas was if Judas died for that sin or if someone died for that sin for him. But Judas himself, to be reborn, had to turn from the sin and he did not do it. So many of us find ourselves in the same position as Judas; we believe it all, but we do not turn from the sin. We will not admit it’s a sin; we keep trying to justify ourselves and prove that it isn’t disobedience. And so God’s Spirit cannot come in and sanctify us by making us holy in the sense of regeneration through the Spirit. And so it is all along the line.
Dear ones, here’s a sin: I come down to breakfast in the morning and he’s sitting on the other side of the table and I say, “There’s your breakfast.” And that’s an angry, irritable act, do you see? That’s an angry, irritable act and Jesus in us does not do that kind of thing. Jesus does not do that whatever the provocation, and immediately we’ve done that we’ve committed sin and we’ve begotten the life of the Devil inside us. And we need to treat that not just as, “Lord, help me to overcome my irritability.” Ah dear ones, God doesn’t help us to overcome a disease like that. God wants to rip the disease right out and he wants us to admit that’s a sin.
She’s late, you’ve given her all the time in the world to get ready but she’s late. And you go out the door and sit in the car and at last she comes out and you fling the car door open and say, “Get in.” That’s an angry word and an angry act, you see. You see the way Satan has lied to us. Satan has lied to us and said, “Ah well an odd act or words, you can’t avoid it.” But dear ones, a good tree produces good fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit. And those things are acts and words that are wrong and that are sinful. A Christian, even a born again Christian, has victory over sinful acts or words.
You remember the people that passed by Jesus on the cross, shouted up to him, “Save yourself, come down from the cross and save yourself.” And even at that sacred moment, they threw out sarcasm and cynicism at him. Now dear ones, a born again Christian is not sarcastic. Do you see that? We’re called to be children, aren’t we. We’re called to be children. None of us will enter the kingdom of heaven unless we become a little child and a little child has great trouble being sarcastic, it’s really very difficult. Children can do many other things, but it’s very hard for them to be sarcastic. Maybe they’re too dumb to be sarcastic, isn’t that good? And when a born again Christian is sarcastic he is breaking God’s word. He is speaking a word that lacks love. He is speaking a word that depends on deception, on double meaning. He is speaking a word that depends on the double think that the devil has brought into the world. Whenever a Christian speaks a sarcastic word, he is committing a sin.
Now dear ones, if you’re sarcastic you’re not born of God. Now I’m not telling you I don’t know whether you’re born of God or not, but I say to you that on the basis of the Bible, a Christian, a born again Christian is one who does not commit sin in acts or words and if you’re sarcastic Jesus’ life is not in you. And I’m saying to you, “You’ve got a disease, would you get healed.” I’m not saying to you, “Would you be as good as me?” Do you see that? I’m not saying to you, “Would you be as good as all the rest of us think we are?” I’m not saying that. I’m saying, honestly dear ones, if you have the symptom in you, you have a disease in you, you have the created life of God that Satan has deceived you into thinking is the begotten life of God. And will you this morning, admit finally that that is a sin, and that you’re not born of God, or you have been born of God and you are no longer born of God and you need to receive Jesus in a new way into yourself?
Oh dear ones the great out pouring of God’s Spirit, if we would be honest, about the acts and words in our lives today, you see, just the acts and words, don’t let’s go any deeper this morning, but would you just allow the Holy Spirit to examine the acts and words in your life. And dear ones, in a sense your only defense against Satan’s deception in these days is your own readiness to be honest, and the result in graciousness of God in giving you his Spirit for the new birth. Well, are you a saint, in the sense that you have victory over your outward acts and words? Are you a saint like that? You’re called to be a saint. That’s something God can see today. God can see your acts and he can see your words.
I wish I could take each one of you individually and with you talk over my own life and your life. But dear ones I pray that you’ll do it this morning, and break Satan’s hold, if he has a hold on you, and be really honest and open and humble. Jesus is more humble than you, and he will welcome you with open arms. Are you born of God? Are you a saint? Let us pray.