How To Live For God - Part II
I remember the first time I uttered the words, “How to live for God.” I made the statement on a Wednesday night Bible study that the church does not know how to live for God. You see, as the church goes, so goes the nation. If the church is on fire for God, the nation will swing into line.
In the 1700s, the great Methodist Church touched this nation and stirred it by the power of Almighty God. Hundreds of thousands were saved. In town after town, the bars, joints, and saloons closed up because of no clientele; so many had given their hearts to God.
A man heard about the great Cane Ridge Revival that was going on. Drunk, he got on his horse, and said, “I’m going to go put that thing out of business.” Thousands of people were out in the woods because they had no building big enough to seat all those there worshipping God, and this poor man thought he was somehow going to go stop it. When he got pretty close, he heard a roar so loud that he thought it was a water fall. The closer he got, the sound got louder and louder. But it wasn’t a water fall, it was thousands of people praising God. Before he knew it, the power of God knocked him off of his horse, and he lay there, flat on the ground. God saved that drunk, cleaned him up, and wrote his name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And when he got up, he got up saved by the blood of Jesus and called to preach the gospel.
As the church goes, so goes the nation. The Word of God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14).
Let’s look at this diagram for a moment:
How to live for God:
When I made that statement, “the church does not know how to live for God,” there was a gasp that went up; I felt it in my spirit. If you would ask most any Christian, “How do we live for God?” He would say, “Well, I’m faithful to church,” and that’s right. “I pay my tithe,” and that’s right. “I witness to other people,” and that’s right. All of that is right, but that’s not the way to live for God—that’s the way to work for the Lord.
How could I know that the modern Christian does not know how to live for God? Did the Lord tell me that? Well, yes and no. He told me by giving me the word of the cross because the modern church does not know anything about the cross. It knows that Jesus died for them on Calvary’s cross, and that’s the way they’re saved, but that’s the extent of the knowledge of the church. It has no understanding whatsoever of the cross of Christ and the part it plays in our everyday living for God.
- The cross
- The Holy Spirit
Somebody sent Frances an email that said, “When you preach the cross, you’re preaching death.” In a sense that’s right, but it’s death to self. It’s death to old ugly self, but it’s eternal life to those who will believe. The Holy Spirit then works exclusively by and through the finished work of Christ.
The problem is sin, ladies and gentlemen. We get emails once in a while that say, “I’m a Christian; I don’t have any problems with sin.” Well get saved, and you will. Sin. We’ve limited sin down to about five things: Nicotine, alcohol, drugs, gambling, and pornography. That’s the big five. Self-will is sin.
Let me get back to how we live for God. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). That means you die with Christ, “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Sin. Jesus said if you’re going to come after Me, you must deny self. Deny self, and take up your cross daily and follow Me. Sin. The church has tried to change the definition of sin. I heard Donnie say over radio, and he’s right, he said, “All sin is a form of insanity in one way or the other.”
I know none of you have ever failed, but if one of you ever does fail, whatever you did, it was plain stupid. Sin is a form of insanity, but the church has changed the name of it; it’s no longer sin, it’s psychological problems, which means that you’re not to blame for your idiosyncrasies and stupidities; somebody else is to blame for it.
The church today as a whole is not preaching against sin anymore because people are coming to church saying, “I want you to make me feel good.” Well, the Holy Spirit at times can make you feel so good that you feel like you’re in heaven, and other times He can make you feel like you’re hanging over hell on a rotten stick. Right?
Sin, that’s the problem. The only answer for sin is the cross, there is no other. You can fast until they can pull you through a keyhole, but it won’t give you victory. It’ll bless you, but it won’t give you victory.
Ladies and gentlemen, the answer is in the cross, and the answer is only in the cross, for there Jesus atoned for all sin—past, present, and future for those who will believe, and without which we could not be saved. The cross, the cross, the cross, the cross. Crucified with Christ. The church doesn’t know anything about the cross.
Let’s talk about sanctification. The church doesn’t even know what sanctification is. You want to be sanctified—that’s a viable Christian doctrine—but how do we do it? The church has tried to sanctify itself I guess since the dawn of time, but it’s never been successful, and it never will be. And yet there’s a way to be sanctified—the moment that you place your faith exclusively in Christ and what Christ did for you at the cross, at that moment, you are sanctified. At that moment, you are sanctified because your faith is not in yourself, it’s in Jesus Christ and what He did for you at the cross. Then, the Holy Spirit, who works exclusively within the parameters of the finished work of Christ and will not work outside of those parameters, will go to work in your heart and in your life and start to do things that need to be done to give you victory over things that you’ve been fighting and struggling with for ages.
The Holy Spirit
The moment that you get saved, the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and into your life. He doesn’t demand a lot of you, but He does demand one thing and that is that our faith be exclusively in Christ and what He did at the cross. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:1-2). Glory to God! “There is therefore now—now—no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” That’s the Holy Spirit. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
If your faith is in anything except for Christ and the cross, it ties the hands of the Holy Spirit, so to speak. Every morning when I get up and many times throughout the day, I’ll say, “Lord, my faith is in You and what You did for me at Calvary’s cross. My faith is not in myself, it’s not in other people, it’s not in the church or the religious rituals and ceremonies that go with the church, but it is exclusively in You and what You did for us at Calvary’s cross.” Then the Holy Spirit can go to work. Praise God.