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Description: Inward Renewal and Victory
Inward Renewal and Victory
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
It seems to me Jesus in each of us changes the way we talk to each other and the way we deal with
each other. In respect of what I said was right or not, it’s really important that I speak mindful
that Jesus is in me and is right beside me. I’m sure Greg can analyze his attitude better than I
can but I think both of us had certain attitudes in some ways, in some ways actually he tumbled over
himself just speaking quickly and not really wanting to appear stubborn or kind of controlling
everything himself at all. He didn’t want to do that I’m sure.
But in some way he may have felt as I have often felt as a leader — look at that’s a thing I have
organized, I’ve got it organized, I’ve done everything really nobody can do anymore that I have
already done. Yet, of course, I felt on my part, wait a minute if the President can’t ask you
about the irrigation system or can’t take it over himself than there’s something wrong, but my
attitude needs to be the Savior has this organized.
Our Lord Jesus has Greg in his hands and he has this irrigation system in his hands, and it may be
appropriate for me to point out in a loving way to Greg — look it’s very reasonable for me in my
position to ask you in your position how this thing is going, and even to take part in checking it
out. It’s very reasonable to do that but in a loving and a tender and a kindly way so that it is a
ministry of Jesus loving him and strengthening him.
Of course he’ll be able to work out the way it would change your response to me but it does seem to
me vital that we keep real about this. I mean and that’s part of the reason why I bring it up even
at the beginning of the study this morning because I don’t know how you all operate with each other
when we’re not here. But it’s very much super important that we grasp that if it doesn’t change the
way we talk to each other, well we’re hypocrites to put it bluntly, and certainly the Savior is not
So it just is very important however embarrassing and it shouldn’t be embarrassing for us to speak
honestly to each other and to apologize to each other and that’s why I put my arms around him,
because I want him to know that I love him and respect what he does and all that kind of thing. But
it’s very important that you too deal with each other in that way. Otherwise the Father can’t
answer our prayers because he can’t answer us according to integrity of our heart because he sees a
lot of little people saying, “Oh this Jesus in me, Jesus is in me,” and they’re not letting Jesus
speak through them, they’re not letting Jesus live in them. They’re continuing to live their own
lives and to deal with people in their own way.
So it is very important that we are real about our letting Jesus live in us, and seeing that that
does mean letting him use these lips here and this tongue and these hands in the way he wants. That
will change the way we deal with each other and it seems to me every moment when that isn’t so it is
not only pain again to our savior and crucifixion again of him, but it is a building up of the
spirit of lying and unreality that fills the world. To that extent, it brings something of death
to all of us, and something of sickness and weakness to us. It weakens in a way the fortress and
opens the way for Satan to get in.
So it’s in connection with that that I’d like us to look at that verse again that we have already
spent some weeks on. It’s the verse that we’ve reached in our study of Ephesians. Ephesians 3:20,
“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we
ask or think,” I think it’s very easy for us to say, “Oh yes that bit we know very well. Who is
able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think? That’s what George Muller did.
[1805-1898, director of Ashley Down Orphanage] In Bristol, for his orphanages, Muller would pray
and God would do far more abundantly above all that he asked or thought. That’s what it refers to.
It refers to prayer. It has nothing to do with us ourselves or what we can do. It’s all what God
can do as we pray.
Except that you read the first part of the verse, “Now to him who by the power that works within us
is able to do far more abundantly.” So the emphasis is not just on what God can do in answer to our
prayers, but what he does in answer to our prayers he does by the power at work within us. He does
it by the power that is at work inside us, ourselves. And what is that power? Well Galatians 4:6
is one of the verses that state it plainly. Galatians 4:6, “And because you are sons, God has sent
the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” The power at work within us is the
Spirit of Jesus, and that Spirit is working inside us.
That isn’t just our conscience, but Jesus is always giving us light about situations. I use my PDA
at times to put in little lights, little revelations that I get. This one was there is a power
within you that is moving all the time to change you, and that hit me so firmly one day.
There is a power inside me that is working to change me all the time, and that’s Jesus power. It’s
working inside you all the time to change you. There is a different person inside you from you
yourself and that Spirit of Jesus is working all the time to change you. You know it’s the same
truth in Colossians. Colossians 1:27, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles
are the riches of the glory of this mystery.” The mystery, “Which is Christ in you, the hope of
glory.” It’s Jesus in us that is working all the time, and is a power inside us. And it’s by that
power that God is going to do things far abundantly above all that we ask or think.
You may say, “Ah, we’ve heard this before.” but why I’m bringing it up is, I think we believe Jesus’
Spirit kind of influences me and through my conscience he tells me what’s right or what’s wrong and
an odd time now and again he gives me a little light and he’s kind of an addendum to my own life but
I’m the main mover here. Of course it’s the other way around completely.
There is really only one human being and that is Jesus. He is the great human being and all of us
are members of his body, and we are just members of Jesus. But we are so full of ourselves. We are
just desperately full ourselves, and we say we were brought up that way. Yes, I agree that’s why
we’re full of ourselves. We just are so full of what we can do and what we cannot do. And of
course God sees it as the other way around completely.
He has put one great human being on the earth, Jesus, and he has made us inside his Son. We are all
members of Jesus and so the Spirit that is at work inside us is Jesus really trying to save his own
way. He’s really trying to do what he’s supposed to do with his body, but of course you and I have
the opposite attitude. We think, no, it’s our body, it’s our body, and we’ll let him maybe use it a
little because of all that he’s done for us.
But, of course, it’s absolutely the reverse of what reality is. Reality is Jesus thinks of this as
his body. That’s why he sees it as easy to heal a leper through us today as when he did it 2,000
years ago. He sees it just as easy to heal a leper. We, of course, are filled with the idea that
this is our life, and the thought of us healing a leper seems ridiculous. But Jesus is inside us
and is still able to heal a leper. That’s why he is able to do abundantly above all that we could
So in what way is Jesus within us? Well, it’s further back in Ephesians 3 there that chapter that
we’re studying. It’s Ephesians 3:16 Paul prays in 16 that
“according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his
Spirit in the inner man and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Uh, oh I hurt my
arm. Oh I’m very conscience of that lectern because I just bashed my body against it. Look at the
color of your dress, it’s really nice. Everything is what we see and what we touch and that’s not
where Jesus dwells.
He dwells inside in our spirits, in the inner man not in the outer man, not in the eyes and the ears
and the arms, but in the inner man. That’s why God is moving all the time to separate us from our
preoccupation with this world of what one might call sensibility. The world of sense, the world of
elbows touching, of eyes seeing, and ears hearing, and tongues tasting, God is working all the time
to separate us from that world with which we’re preoccupied. Why? Because it affects our attitude
and therefore our faith or not faith. The truth is Paul prays that God may enable Christ to dwell
in your hearts through faith. Christ dwells in your heart anyway, whether you know it or not.
Christ is in you whether you know it or not, but his power begins to be manifested when you see
Christ will not take Martha’s arms and lay them there, he will not. The whole purpose of Calvary is
that we would be drawn into God’s will by our own wills submitting and acquiescing in his. God has
refused again and again to send 10,000 angels to overwhelm what human beings did to his Son. God is
committed above all things to bringing us into willing submission to himself. So Christ is in you
but he will not force your hands to do what he wants to do. He will only do what you see he wants
to do and are willing for him to do, and that’s why God begins to bring us into this kind of
experience that separates us from the world of sensibility.
That’s why he brings us into a situation where somebody says something to us that tempts us to
respond just to what they say. Instead of quietly looking over to the Savior inside and finding out
what he really feels about this person, and then expressing that to the person, and so God brings us
into what we used to call breaking experiences. There breaking in the sense that they are breaking
our willfulness, but many of them are not very hard, some of them are a little hard but God is all
the time breaking the outer man. That’s why you remember, 2 Corinthians runs the way it does.
Its 2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our
inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us
an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are unseen;
for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” That
follows verse 7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” We have Christ within us inside
our earthly bodies, “to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.”
This is why, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death
of Jesus.” Why? “So that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we
live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be
manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”
God is working all the time to break us of the preoccupation of the outward and the physical and the
emotional, and even the relationships to other people. So that we will more and more be preoccupied
with Jesus inside us and we’ll do what he does and we’ll say what he says. The only way to do that
is to bring us through those moments, and it’s so that we will constantly respond as Jesus responds,
and that’s why we’re here.
Was your dad dear, or was your mum dear? Yeah, I think all of us think of little things that our
dads or our mums did. We remember them with affection, and some of their little ways we liked. We
know that some of their little ways we have followed just spontaneously. But after all they’re just
humans like us, and it’s Jesus inside you that has a new life to live. He has a new life to live
inside you, and inside me that he has lived in no one else. That’s why we’re here to let him do
that. It’s Christ in us that is the power, and as we yield more and more to him we will more and
more enter into a new person. We will find him doing the same thing as he did in the first century
and working the same miracles in other people’s lives, and healing sicknesses, and delivering
others, and bringing others into light, but it will be him through us. It will be because we are
utterly preoccupied with him.
I mean I don’t know what you all thought, but I thought it was a fanatical thing to say when Paul
said, “For to me to live is Christ,” I thought the guy is neurotic, but that’s what it is, living
becomes for you Christ doing and speaking in you. It’s Christ that is everything to you, and he
takes over everything you do, and it’s him that is the power within us, and it is by that power
within us that God is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think.
So it is true, it is an exchanged life. We have been created to be changed from glory to glory, to
be transformed by Jesus taking over. That’s why it’s important to me, if you say, “Oh listen its
supernatural life you’re talking about.” That’s it. It is a supernatural life. That’s why there
is no — you cannot live higher than God wants you to. That’s why the revival in Uganda was the way
it was. In East Africa, they wondered why it went on so long, and there were some principles that
it followed just two or three of them. One was every house that went into it had up the wall at eye
level height, it had the cross hanging. You always looked up to the highest when you came into a
room. You looked up to the highest and that’s what, that was their way of saying, “That’s the way
We always looked to the highest, and we expect Christ to live his highest in us every day, and
that’s I think what God has called us to. Christ in us and by that power within us he is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all that guys could think. I think that Marty was talking about some
substance in our bodies that warns your body a little ahead of the time when it collapses. What the
scientists have found is that if you rejoice that substance in your body can actually do more than
you thought it was possible for it to do.
Of course, that’s just God’s way of illustrating to us that that is repeatedly and deeply the truth
in this life. We are able to do far abundantly above what we ourselves are capable of because there
is within us Christ himself. And I just mention again to you, that’s not a myth, that’s not just a
high thought to inspire you. That is reality, Christ himself has told us, “Abide in me, and I in
Let us pray.