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Description: Can you really change your personality or just suppress the parts you don't like temporarily? Who can change our personalities? Is it possible?
Spiritual Life #20
Crisis Experience of the Cross
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Loved ones, these are the last two or three evenings of our studies in the Spiritual Life during
this fall, and winter, and spring time and tonight I’d like to try to speak once more on the crisis
experience of the cross and then next Sunday on the process experience of the cross. And they both
deal with separate issues so let’s try to concentrate tonight on the crisis experience of the cross.
And maybe if you’d look to Matthew 6 you could see the issue expressed in words we haven’t normally
used in our own studies. And yet all through scripture you get the same truth taught in different
ways. Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the
other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
And then you can see the kind of life described that many of us live who have not entered into the
crisis experience of the cross, in the few verses above. Verse 22, “The eye is the lamp of the
body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not
sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is
And another translation is, “If your eye be single your whole body is full of light.” And normally
the problem with those of us who have not entered into the crisis experience of the cross is that
our eyes are not single and therefore our bodies are not filled with light and we have a mixture of
light and darkness in us. And it’s because we have not accepted or experienced the crisis work of
the cross in our lives.
Really, I could illustrate it like this. We have in the basement two very large furnaces or
boilers. Each one is almost the size of that whole stage area both in height and in breadth and
length, every way. Two very large old furnaces and they were both used for coal burning and that’s
the way they heated this whole building in the past. What has happened now is that one of them has
been converted to a gas oil burning furnace and that’s the one we depend on at the moment. And the
other one is sitting there still untouched, still in the form that it was when they burned coal.
Now, many of us are in this situation: we’re like the old burner or the old furnace that has not
been remodeled. It’s really manufactured and designed to burn coal but we’re trying to burn oil in
it. And it just isn’t working because it wasn’t designed for oil. And we have received the oil of
the Holy Spirit. We have asked Jesus to send his Spirit into our hearts and the very fact that we’re
here this evening proves that the Spirit of Jesus is within us. But, we’re now involved in trying
to burn the oil of the Holy Spirit in a furnace that has not been remodeled and so it is just a
The oil of the Spirit is not burning satisfactorily in us and it is not giving any heat, or any
light, or any power to anyone else, it’s just lying there inside us. And actually, we’re beginning
to feel more and more frustrated because of that. And the reason is loved ones, that we have not
accepted the once and for all irrevocable redesigning that God did upon us in Jesus. Because the
truth is that we once were meant to burn oil. We were meant to live off the oil of God’s Spirit.
And I know I’ve said this so often before but loved ones, pray that the Holy Spirit would bring it
home to you in a real way. We were made to be utterly satisfied with our God. Now, I know it’s so
hard for us to hear those words because we have so much strong teaching that we cannot do without
each other. And I know we’re precious to each other but any of you – I know some brothers here who
have lost dear wives who were with them throughout their lives and they know full well that finally
you have to part with even the sweetest frame. You have to part with the dearest human being that
you’ve ever known.
And so there are many of us here, even those of us who have lost dads and mums, we know in our heart
of hearts that human friendship will not last simply because we are all temporary and transient.
And yet it’s so hard for us to face the fact that we were really made to live off of God’s
friendship and that alone. We really were, loved ones. And I know you brothers and sisters who
aren’t married, it’s so easy for you to say, “Oh, but God can’t cuddle me, God can’t cuddle me, and
God can’t kiss me, and God can’t squeeze me.” Well really, you know, it’s not the cuddling, and the
kissing, and the squeezing that finally matters as the years pass.
In fact, most of us realize the cuddling, and the kissing, and the squeezing can mean lots of other
things besides love but it’s the love inside that matters. And yes, God can love you, and God can
give you the sense of importance and a sense of preciousness far more than anybody else actually
can. And we were meant to live off God’s friendship, and we were meant to get all our sense of
importance from him, and all our sense of enjoyment from him. And it is possible, if you read the
dear old saints that Jim was referring to early on, if you read them in relationship to their prayer
lives you will find that they – well you know it from the Song of Solomon that in trying to describe
the joy and the exhilaration that they have in their prayer relationship with God they lift into
language that we would normally regard as connected with a sexual relationship and connected with
They always lift into that realm, they begin to talk in terms that the love songs talk in. And
really it’s all the more indication that we were meant to get our whole affection, and our whole
exhilaration and our whole joy of being known deeply and thoroughly, from our dear God and our
Father. And we were meant to get our whole sense of security from him, and our whole sense of
recognition, and acknowledgement, and significance from him. And of course we’ve said so often what
we have done is we have given up that relationship and we’ve turned to the world and other people
And so instead of being oil burners we’re now old coal burners and we’re trying to get the sense of
affection, and sense of significance by making ourselves important in some boyfriend’s life, or some
girlfriend’s life, or anybody’s live, some roommate’s life, some peer group’s life, anybody. We’ll
go to anybody, we’ll go to a Lion’s Club if they’ll give us a sense of importance and a sense of
significance – anybody. It’s strange, isn’t it — we’ll settle even for stuff that we know is
cheap. We’ll settle for recognition that is cheap and we know it means nothing.
We’ll even become efficient at our secretarial work and our typing to see if somehow we can make
ourselves indispensable to the boss, or indispensible to somebody and yet we know they are not
loving us for ourselves. But it’s strange — we go to anybody to make up for this emptiness that we
feel as far as affection, and recognition, and importance is concerned. And of course, we’ll go to
the money and the jobs for our sense of security. And so really instead of depending on God himself
inside for our sense of security, and significance, and happiness — instead of burning oil the way
we were meant to — we’ve started to burn coal and we’ve got so dependent on people, and things to
give our sense of security, and our sense of significance, and our sense of happiness that even
though we’ve now received the oil of the Holy Spirit within us, even though we know God loves us,
yet we still are the old coal burning type of furnace. We haven’t allowed ourselves to be remodeled
and that’s why we have such trouble.
God whispers to us, “It doesn’t matter whether they think you’re slick or a swinger. You don’t need
to laugh at that dirty joke, you don’t need to. It doesn’t matter what they think of you. I think
you’re the very apple of my eye. My love is all you need. It doesn’t matter whether they think
you’re a square or not, don’t laugh at the joke.” But the old personality is so programmed, it is
so designed over years, and years — not only of your life but of Adam’s life, because we have
inherited the image of the man of dust. We’ve inherited a personality that works from the outside
in, so that the old smile is on our lips and we reckon, “Well, we won’t really smile, we won’t
really laugh at the joke, we’ll just smile so they notice we’re not too different from the rest.”
And of course we smile at the dirty joke and we lose all the sense of the glory of God that was
coming upon us.
That’s what I mean, loved ones. We have the Spirit of Jesus within us, we’re bringing the oil in in
gallons, but the furnace has not been redesigned; it’s still a personality that works from the
outside in. It’s still a personality that lives from the body inwardly and that’s, you remember,
what God says in Ephesians if you would just turn to it briefly. Ephesians 2, just to get the
continuity of the statement in Ephesians 2:1, “And you he made alive,” and many of us you see have
been made alive. We’ve come alive, we’ve received the Spirit of Jesus. “When you were dead through
the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among
these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so
we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” That’s what it means. We all lived
in the passions of our flesh.
We so often, you see, eliminate that by thinking, “Oh, great sexual lust.” Well, that’s not it; the
passions of the flesh are all the desires to get attention through our body because of our
appearance, to get food and satisfaction, and freedom from anxiety through our mouths and our
stomachs. It’s trying to get from the outside-in the security, and significance, and happiness that
we need. And we’ve been so used to that for so long that now even though we have the Spirit of
Jesus within us we find that the spirit lusts against the flesh and the flesh lusts against the
We don’t want to laugh at the dirty joke but we’re so used to it for years, doing that, that the
personality drives us to and yet the Spirit of Jesus within us is driving the other way and there’s
a great conflict that prevents us from doing what we would. And the only answer loved ones, is to
have a total redesigning of your personality, a total remodeling and that’s what happened on the
cross. It’s Romans 6, that’s what happened on the cross, Romans 6.
It’s such a good verse that we repeat it continuously and yet I’d have to say if it’s real in your
life your heart will rise to it because it will be spirit and life to you however often you read it.
Romans 6:6, “We know that our old self,” our old personality, our old in turned perverted
personality that lived as a parasite of the world and of people, and of things, that old self – “was
crucified with him”. It was done away with so that “the sinful body (which is really the body of
sin, you see) might be destroyed”. We use our bodies to get freedom from anxiety — that’s what we
do. We either take the pills, or we take the alcohol, or we eat a big meal, or anything to get free
from anxiety and worry. Or we use our bodies with others to look well and to gain attention and to
gain other people’s recognition, “So that our old sinful body might be destroyed,” and you remember
what it means: “rendered inoperative, left unemployed.”
Our old self, our old personality that worked from the outside in was crucified with Christ to that
the body might be left unemployed. It’s like we’d be able to say to the body, “Body, we don’t need
the security, significance, and happiness you can give us anymore. We don’t need it, we don’t need
it. You’re out of work, that’s it. You’re unemployed.” So that the body of sin might be
unemployed, “And we might no longer be enslaved to sin.” That is, the body of sin which tries to
get security, significance, and happiness from people and things other than God.
Now, that’s what we have to experience and that’s what we mean when we say the crisis experience of
the cross. It’s you saying, “Lord, I really want that with all my heart.” And I know a lot of you
are saying, “I want it.” But do you see that there are two meanings that we give to the English
word want? One is, “I want more ice cream.” And that is, I desire more ice cream and it’s obvious
that if you see the kind of life that can be lived through Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross, of
course we want it. So many of us mistake that and we think, “I’m willing for it.” When we say, “I
want that.” But what you need to be able to say is, “I’m willing for that.”
And loved ones, that is what is needed, a willingness to no longer serve two masters. That’s really
what it is. It’s a deep down willingness to deal with all the areas in your life where you’re
trying to get security apart from God. Every one of them — the job, other people, your own
talents, your own abilities, the economic system, the kind of future and training that you’ve
planned for yourself, it means a willingness to die to that. Once and for all to die to it, to stop
serving that master. It means a willingness to be crucified with Jesus as far as other people’s
approbation is concerned.
And you know what it must have meant for him to hang on the cross and see Mary, his mother, looking
up at him and thinking he was a failure. Now, I remember coming to the time in my life when I know
God was asking me to die to what my relatives or my friends thought of me back home. And that’s
part of the crucifixion, being willing to die to the significance, and the importance, and the
attention that other people give to you. It’s refusing to serve that master any longer. That’s the
master that produces jealousy, and envy, and pride inside you.
And then as far as happiness is concerned, you think how often we are the playthings of happiness.
You think of how often you have trouble deciding what to do because it’s a choice between your
happiness and God’s will. It’s a choice between getting what you think will make you happy and
doing what you think will be enjoyable to do and doing God’s will. And really it brings incredible
unhappiness to you, that striving and that splitting of your personality at that moment. And being
crucified with Christ means being willing to die to any happiness but God alone.
Really, that’s a very sacred place to come to loved ones, where you kneel down in the darkness with
your Lord and you say, “Lord God, if you don’t give me happiness, I’m willing to do without
happiness for the rest of my life. No longer will I go after what I enjoy just for the sake of
enjoying it. From now on Lord, if you give me happiness that’s what I want. Everything else I will
count as refuse for the sake of knowing your happiness and your enjoyment in my life.”
And so coming to that place is what we mean by the crisis experience of the cross because here’s the
truth, you can’t change your own personality, you can’t. You can’t change your own personality.
And that’s the fallacy of Christendom. The fallacy of Christendom is we receive the Spirit of Jesus
into us and then, with his help, we reroute our personalities. You can’t, you can’t. That’s why
you have such continual sense of defeat, because you’re again and again trying to reroute your own
personality with the Holy Spirit’s help.
Now, the glorious truth is that that is another miracle that God has worked in Christ. He has
crucified your old self, he has already done it. You and all that you have been and all that you
hope to be have been destroyed in Jesus, finished once and for all. It’s already done and it’s not
something that you have to laboriously try to do. But you see, what a lot of us are doing is we’re
stepping back from the cross in fear and we’re saying, “That is too radical a remedy but I shall
work on this.” And so we get the old knife and we try and cut off that hand because it’s causing us
trouble, and a little bit of pride so we try and poke the old knife in and lift the pride out. And
of course the beauty of it all is we’re still in control of the knife so we can only cut as much as
we want. And we never get to the point where we’re free from this old outdated perverted
personality and you can never do it.
The truth is God has done it in Jesus and anything that God has done in Jesus can be done in you in
a moment. Because all that God has done is received into our lives by faith and faith is simply
believing that God has done it and a willingness to have him do it. And I don’t know where the
problem is with you but I think for most of us it is a willingness. For most of us it’s an
unwillingness to have him do whatever he wants to do. We all kind of feel, “Oh we don’t mind
growing in grace because that puts the growing under our control.” But we don’t like the idea of
putting ourselves on an operating table and saying, “Go ahead Lord, whatever you want.” And that’s
really what being crucified with Christ is all about.
Now, what I’d just like to share in the last few minutes is three misconceptions that I think we
have. The first one loved ones, you’ll find in Romans 6:11. Three misconceptions of how to enter
into this crisis experience of crucifixion with Christ. Romans 6:11, “So you also must consider
yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Faith, not experience.
So some of us after we receive Jesus’ spirit begin to see his Spirit exposing to us our jealousy and
our pride. Indeed, especially if we ask the Holy Spirit to do this, he will allow us to fall even
more heavily and more repeatedly than we were before. And so we will see more and more the poverty
of our own life and we will see more and more what ridiculous jealous proud gods we are. We will
see more clearly how ugly we are. And if you keep your eyes on your experience you will never enter
into the experience of dying with Jesus because once you put your eyes on your experience it’s clear
to God that you’re determined to do this by human effort.
And the only way you can ever have him work a miracle in you is by first believing his word. And so
the only way the Holy Spirit is ever going to bring you into your crucifixion with Christ is if you
believe his word and his word says, “You’ve already been crucified with Christ.” Now, you should be
clear about this loved ones, it’s not a matter of mental effort; it’s not that you think yourself
into being crucified with Christ. It’s not that you say, “I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead.” And
therefore that’s how death will be real in you.
But the fact is that unless you set your eyes on the simple fact that 1,900 years ago God crucified
you with Christ, unless you continually approach God from the basis of his own word and you reckon
yourself to be dead indeed unto sin, unless you do that, God is withheld from making it real by the
power of his Holy Spirit. Now do you see that? It’s not that through the very act of believing you
somehow make it real by the power of positive thinking. It is simply that by the act of believing
and setting your faith in God’s word you free God to begin to make the thing real in your life.
So just remember that you always have to approach your God on the basis of his word. So God says
our old self was crucified with Christ. Your anger and your bad temper that you had yesterday said
you weren’t; you have to choose which you believe. You have to choose whether you walk by sight or
whether you walk by faith. You have to choose, is it true that I have been crucified with Christ,
that that is true? Maybe the reality of it isn’t in my life, maybe I’m not even letting the reality
of it be true in my life — but is it a fact that as far as God is concerned, I’ve been destroyed
with Jesus? And the fact is, as far as God is concerned yes, that’s true.
That’s the only reason he was willing to let us have the Holy Spirit, because he’s already flooded
it all out in a cosmic flood in Jesus and destroyed us there and he’s already made us anew and
that’s the only reason he gives us the Holy Spirit. He knows it would be mockery to give the Holy
Spirit to a group of people who were still running in the old un-redesigned, unremodeled personality
that they had before. The only reason God is willing to give his Holy Spirit to the world is that
he has destroyed us all in Jesus. And loved ones, the first step is faith, not experience. It’s
siding with God, it’s siding with his word against yourself, it’s siding with the assurance of his
word against what you know, what you see.
And you know it’s true — Abraham did not consider his age, he did not consider the age of Sarah, or
of her womb. He did not consider that but he believed God. He did not look on what his eyes could
see but he believed what God had said had already taken place. So it is with us. The only
possibility of entering into this experience is if you walk by faith. And loved ones, don’t say to
me, “Oh you’re not being real.” Of course you’re being real, that’s the only way you’re healed.
You’re not healed because you see the arm will move, no. You’re healed by faith that this arm has
already been healed in Jesus and then the symptom is expressed in your life.
So it’s true all the way. God says to the people of Israel, “I have given Jericho into your hands.”
Well what if Joshua and all the others had looked at Jericho and said, “No, you haven’t. There it
is standing firm — the walls are stout and strong.” But he didn’t, he said, “I accept that Lord,
that you have already given Jericho into our hands. I believe that and now we’re only walking
around these walls just because you tell us to. It has nothing to do with the walls falling down.
The walls are already down as far as you’re concerned. We’re just obeying you to show that we trust
you.” So it is in this experience of crucifixion of Christ. The first step is faith, not
The second thing that it would be good to look at loved ones is John 16:13. And it’s in those words
that Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit and the things that that dear Spirit will do. John 16:13,
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” Revelation, not
introspection. So you take the position, “Father I believe that I was crucified with Christ. Lord,
I believe it. I believe it, I hold to that with my mind. Now Lord I know you have more of this to
make real in my life, will you show me why you can’t? Will you show me? Holy Spirit, you are the
counselor that Jesus has sent to me. Will you reveal to me in what deep, deep way I am not willing
to die to myself? Holy Spirit, will you show me in what way I am still serving two masters? Show
me deep, deep down, deep beyond even the level of the pride, and the anger, and the jealousy, show
me Lord. Show me it so plainly that I will no longer be able to hold out against it. Holy Spirit,
will you show me?”
That’s so different from introspection. I think a lot of us just proclaim our sinfulness again and
again because we say to ourselves, “Now, I know I’ve been crucified with Christ, I know this whole
self has been completely renewed, I know the old creation has been blotted out and everything is new
but it’s not real in every part of my life so I better start thinking, ‘Why is it not real?’ Now I
see I had jealousy yesterday, I see that.” And do you see that you’re crucifying Christ afresh?
You’re treating him as a person who isn’t present. You’re grieving the Holy Spirit because you’re
virtually saying, “Now listen, get out of the way and let me get down to this. Keep out of it, I
know you have something to do but I have to think this thing through.” And you’re really grieving
the dear Spirit and what you need to do is receive Jesus’ words and say, “Holy Spirit you’re the
counselor and you alone can show me. You alone can bring me onto the cross.”
Loved ones, do you realize you can’t bring yourself onto the cross? Just as those loving hands
lifted Jesus down from the cross, so the loving hands of the Holy Spirit have to lift you onto the
cross. And you, bless your heart, however anxious you are to get there you have no idea how to get
there. The things you think are the problem are not the problem at all. Only the Holy Spirit can
lift you onto that cross and he can only do it if you respect him and honor him.
So it’s no use loved ones this attitude – I used to have this attitude, “Oh well, I mean, I have to
do the introspection and the Holy Spirit kinds of sharpens up my introspection. He’s a help to me,
he’s an aid.” No, if you have that attitude you’re still King, you’re still God even in your desire
to cease to be God. It has to be an attitude, “Holy Spirit, you alone can bring me to the
understanding that I need in order to come into my experience of crucifixion with Christ. Holy
Spirit will you reveal to me why you’re not able to make this real in my life? Will you bring it by
revelation?” And the Holy Spirit is precious and he is honest, and he is faithful, and if you ask
him and you really want him with all your heart, the Holy Spirit will be faithful. Loved ones, he
will be faithful, he will not let you down. He will do all that you are willing to let him do and
if there’s anything you aren’t willing to let him do he’ll even convict you of that. But everything
you are willing to do he will make real in your life.
And the last really encouragement I’d mention to you is Romans 8:13. “For if you live according to
the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.”
Submission to the Holy Spirit — not repression. Submission to the Holy Spirit — not repression.
So a lot of us end up looking at our own experience and trying to autosuggest ourselves into death.
A lot of us introspect to try to find out why we’re not in this death and then a lot of us with no
work done in our hearts end up trying to repress the jealousy, and the anger, and the envy as it
Now, the beauty of deliverance from self through the cross of Christ is that it’s an effortless
submission to the Holy Spirit. At least for me it was virtually like this: I died to the guidance
that I had in myself and where could I go but to the Lord? I died to my own right to determine what
I should do or what I shouldn’t do. And after you’ve died to that you have to go to someone, you
have nobody left. So it’s a loving, willing submission to the Holy Spirit because you have no boss,
you have no Lord, so you need one. And you submit to him and you find that he gives you prior
warning of temptations. You find that he guides you round temptations and he guides you away from
sin. So it’s not a matter of suppressing sin, it’s not a matter of repressing it — which I believe
is unconscious suppression. So suppression is a conscious holding down, repression is an
unconscious holding down. It isn’t, it is a deliverance from sin.
So this life is not one of a more successful repressing of sin, it is a deliverance from sin and it
is not a matter of concentrating on the anger to repress it or to hold it down, it is a submission
to the Holy Spirit. So, I just happened to remember one example that comes into my mind from Leslie
Weatherhood who was a psychologist and Methodist minister in England and he wrote a book I believe
called “The Mastery of Sex”. And he said that he had trained his own mind that every time he
thought of something unclean the picture of Jesus came into his mind and so it gave him some measure
of victory. That’s not what we’re talking about.
It’s not that kind of training of the psychological personality so that by dint of training and
taming, and practice, you’re able to hold sin down in your life. It is deliverance from sin. It is
submission to the Holy Spirit who leads you in holy ways so that you don’t have any sin to repress.
So it is submission not repression. So loved ones, if I could just mention it again, it is faith
not experience; not your own experience to defeat it. It is faith in the fact that you’ve been
crucified in Christ. It is revelation from the Holy Spirit that you do not need introspection. It
is something that the Holy Spirit will do in you and for you, it is not something you can do
yourself. And lastly, it is submission to the Holy Spirit, it is not repression.
And loved ones, honestly, all you need to do is step forward and step in and God, through the Holy
Spirit, will make it all real to you. He will. And if you want badly enough to be pure and clean,
and to stop serving two masters, then God has already brought your whole personality into a
singleness of mind. And it is strange if you could see it. Old Plato was right in a way; you
remember he used to think there were perfect forms, there were perfect forms somewhere with the “one
true good” he called it – which was his idea of God.
There were perfect forms of a table, and perfect forms of a chair up in some world that he couldn’t
define. And in a strange way he was right, you know. Each one of us here has been crucified and
buried in Christ and there is a perfect Steve Knutson in God’s presence. There’s a perfect John
Spaulding in God’s presence. There is a perfect Brian McCay in God’s presence. There is a perfect
Ernest O’Neill in God’s presence. And actually, what you and I are involved in is choosing this old
ugly creature and living by his dictates. And actually, it’s just a matter of choosing. Will you
choose to allow this to be crucified with Christ and to accept that it has been crucified and will
you choose the new you that is already raised with Christ and God.
And you can actually do that tonight. You can do it by an act of faith. I have not stressed this
too strongly because so many loved ones want to enter in without a willingness to submit. But loved
ones, you do this in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye and maybe it is important to make it clear
to you that you will never enter in but by faith and sometime you will have to exercise that faith.
And whether I invite you to come forward tonight and submit yourself and take a place in Jesus or
not, there’ll come a moment when you have to exercise faith. You can do it in a moment. All that
you are has been crucified with Christ and has been destroyed.
Why do you think God would let us continue to live here if he had not already found a remedy? He
wouldn’t dream of letting us go loose, but he has already crucified us with Christ, that’s already
done. You don’t need to put up with that old personality that is so dependent on other people’s
approval, you don’t need to. You can let it go this very moment. All you have to do is be willing
to face the consequences; that is, walk the way Jesus walked. Walk with, at times, nobody approving
of you. Walk with, at times, everybody criticizing you. Walk, at times, with no sense of
satisfaction through somebody else’s love. Walk, at times, with a great sense of God’s love.
But if you are willing to walk the way Jesus walked, then tonight you can exercise faith this moment
and you can believe. And in a moment, God will do the work in you, in a moment. But it is
important to emphasize to you that unless you exercise faith it will never happen. And sometimes I
wonder how many of you are in the business of walking around. “Well, yes I’d certainly like that.
I’d certainly like to sit in that seat, boy. Yeah, that fella is sitting on it, that’s pretty nice.
Yeah, I really would, oh yeah. Yeah, boy I’m going to sit on that seat someday, I really am. I
wonder – could you tell me again what it’s like to sit on it?” And we listen to it and then we say,
“Yeah, it feels pretty firm, yep. I think it would hold. Yeah, well, certainly I’m going to do it
someday. I certainly am.”
And loved ones, sooner or later you will never know the joy of sitting in that seat until you sit in
it. You’ll never know the power of Jesus’ crucifixion until you accept by faith that you’ve been
crucified and determine that you’re willing to accept all the consequences and finally you sit on
the seat. And oh, it feels so good and so restful and it is the second rest that’s preserved for
the people of God and it is for you. You know, it’s for you tonight and it can be yours this very
And I would emphasize to you that all the reading that I did, and all the praying, and all the
preparation had to finally come to a place where I died to the world and died to what people would
give to me of security, and significance, and happiness and I declared to God with my whole heart,
“Lord, whatever you give, that’s enough for me.” Only when you do that is he able to fill you with
his Holy Spirit to cleanse your heart and to deliver you from that old self. So it’s a matter of an
act of faith and it is good that it is in a moment. So I’d ask you if you’re willing and ready,
will you step out now and will you step into it by faith just at this moment.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus I know you’re beckoning us to join you and assuring us that it is not bad
and that you will not give us anything on this dear cross to bear that we can’t bear and that you
love us with your whole heart; you wouldn’t for worlds hurt us. That if we have to do without
husband, or wife, or friends, or children, if we even have to die in loneliness that you will make
it more magnificent than the greatest party that we’ve ever been at. That Lord if we have to be
without money, or security, you will ensure that we have enough to live on. You will not ask us to
come through anything that you are not willing to go through with us.
And Lord Jesus we see that you are beckoning us to join you on the cross — not to lie on it alone
— but simply be in you as you lie upon it and as you die to all your rights and all your own
wishes. And Lord Jesus we know that all it requires is one great “yes” from us. And immediately
the Holy Spirit becomes our Lord and our master, and the King of our lives and does his cleansing
work in our hearts. “Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today,
come in to stay, come into my heart Lord Jesus” and be Lord of all at last.
For too long we’ve wanted all you could give us but have been prepared to give nothing to you.
Lord, we ask you to be Lord of all and to have your way in our lives. “Have thine own way Lord,
have thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mould me and make me after thy will, while
I am waiting, yielded and still.” Lord Jesus I would ask you to receive the yes that is spoken in
different hearts tonight and I would trust you Holy Spirit to answer their faith this moment, in a
twinkling of an eye, by making all that has happened to them in Jesus on Calvary real this very
And Lord we would receive this work and this transaction now by faith and we would go out tomorrow
no longer as our own but bought with a price belonging to you, yours to do what you want with from
this day forward for your glory. And now the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each one of us now and evermore. Amen.