Sermon Transcript: Keep Growing 11/17/2019 Jeff Schwarzentraub 43 min read Well, morning and thank you so much for choosing to worship with us here at Brave Church. Would you do me a favor and welcome our Broomfield Campus who's worshiping along with us. As always, great to worship together. And our church, like the Church of Jesus Christ is built on the bedrock of forgiveness, that's the entire church. That's what it's built on. I need to ask your forgiveness. I drove home on Sunday last week after church, starting to think about the upcoming week and started thinking about Veterans Day. And I was like, "Oh, we forgot to honor our veterans." If you have served as a man or woman in our service, in any of our branches of service or you're currently serving, would you please stand today so that we can honor you. We appreciate your service. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Amen. We thank you. We thank your families. I appreciate your forgiveness, because I thought about that when I was driving away, I said, "We're doing it next week." So thank you so much for your service. And with that, can we go before the Lord today and pray and be ready to receive what He has for us? Lord Jesus, we give you all the glory, all the honor and all the praise for who you are and Lord our prayer today is that you would speak to us in such a clear fashion that we would hear you and know what you're saying to us. Lord, we want to hear what you say about yourself, we want to hear what you're saying to us individually and collectively as a church and Lord by faith, we want to put into practice what you show us you want to change in us. And so Lord, our prayer simply is speak for we're ready to listen. And now everyone gathered here today, who would desire to hear the Lord and put into practice what He shows you, would you agree with me by very loudly saying the word amen. Amen. Amen. I grew up as an athlete and normally on the teams that I played with, the coaches that I worked under were not the most encouraging. Maybe as a young kid they were, but as I accelerated, they really coached well by telling you what you were doing wrong, what you needed to do different. You knew a coach liked you if he was still correcting you. If coach wasn't correcting, you meant you're never going to play anyway. So we're not going to waste our time even doing that. And so that's what I was used to, but I discovered a sport later in my life. I didn't even think it was a sport until I tried it where coaching looks really different. It's the sport of running. And when I began to run and begin to do like 5K races and then worked my way up to a marathon, what's really interesting is when you run in a race like that, it doesn't matter how good you are. It doesn't matter if you're first place or last place, everybody that lines the stands or lines the road, cheers, no matter what, right? At a football game, you'll get mad at your own team if they don't do the right thing that you want them to do, but not in running. In running, you can be in dead lasts and people are still cheering for you, "You can do it. Let's go." I love that about that sport. I remember I ran my first marathon. I was listening to the radio and they announced on the radio that the winner had just won in like two hours and eight minutes. And I remember looking and I'm like, "I'm like a mile 13." And the guy on the radio was like, "Yeah, we here's there's still some people out there so we're going to continue playing songs for you." Right. But everybody's cheering and cheering. I remember the first marathon I ever ran. I looked at my cousin about halfway through the race and I'm like, "Why is everybody so pro-military." Everywhere I ran, it was like, "Go air force, go air force, go air force." I'm like, "Why did they keep yelling go air force?" And my cousin's like, "Look at your shirt moron." I was wearing an air force football shirt. And I'm like, "Oh, they're cheering for me. I should have wore a different shirt." I love that about the sport of running because there's nothing like being encouraged. There's nothing like in your walk like being encouraged. When it comes to the Christian life, we need to have encouragement to not only keep going, but to keep growing. What Paul is writing about in this letter is the gospel. He's been writing to the Colossian people telling them how awesome the gospel is, how he's been praying for them, that they would have full understanding about the fact that God loves them with an unconditional love. That Jesus Christ came, that He laid down his life on a across, that He died in your place for all your sins, that He rose from the dead to newness of life and that by trusting and Him and Him alone, you can give God all your sin, all your deadness and He will in exchange give you all His love and all of His righteousness. Not only that, but we learn that the devil has been defeated. You have a defeated foe. We learned that Christ comes to live in you, the hope of glory. So it's not just some place you're going to go someday. But God comes to dwell in. You right now, it's who you are in Him. And then He begins to tell us, as we looked in chapter three last week, about how we're already positioned in the heavenly places in Christ. That we're living our identity out from a place of victory. We already have the victory. We already own the victory. And because we do, therefore we can let Christ live out what He wants. Now, here's the challenge. How do I consistently do that? And how do I continue to grow in that? And if that's ever been a question for you where you feel like I know that I know that Jesus is Lord, but how do I keep growing? That's the question we're going to take a look at today. So I invite you to open your Bible up to Colossians 3, we're going to look at verses five through 11 today. If you don't have a copy of God's Word, there's one under every other chair here in Inglewood. Raise your hand if you're in Broomfield, someone will bring you a copy of God's Word. Get your eyes on it, and let's look at this today. I'll read it aloud, then we'll unpack it. It says, "Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience. And in them, you also once walked when you were living in them, but now you also put them aside, anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge, according to the image of the one who created him. A renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free man but Christ is all and in all." And here Paul begins to be our cheerleader and encourage us, keep on growing, keep on growing in the things of God. He's going to provide three ways that we can grow. And the first way is this. We grow by putting an end to your life of sin. The first step in growing in Christ is put an end to your life of sin. Now, if that sounds insurmountable, just continue to pay attention here and see what Christ has to say. He says, "Therefore," now why is he saying therefore? He just got done telling us the reason that you're able to do this, and the only reason that you're able to do this is because you've been redeemed by Christ and you're already seated in the heavenly realms with Christ and Christ is your life. And you have a partnership with Christ and therefore, because of who you are in Christ and the relationship you have with Him, He is able to do this through you. So He says, "Therefore," here's what he says. He says, "Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality and purity, passion, evil desire and greed which amounts to idolatry. Consider the members of your earthly body as dead." Now, here's what He's talking about. Literally reads, "Put to death the members which are upon the earth." Means to mortify sin in your life. And you say, "Well, what is He talking about?" He's obviously talking figurative. If you remember on the Sermon of the Mountain in Matthew 5, Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out for it is better to go through life with one eye than to have two eyes and spend eternity in hell. Or if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off for its better to enter the kingdom with one hand than to have two hands and going to hell." Right. He's not talking literal. He's not telling His church, "We're going to be all called patch and lefty." That's not the idea. The idea is that sin is so bad that it would be better if you are handle list than to continue to sin. That's how atrocious sin is. If your eye and what you look at cause you to sin, that's so atrocious that's worse than even losing an eye. That's what He's talking about. So when He's talking about mortifying your sin, putting to death your sin, He's not talking about physically doing something to your body because we just talked about couple weeks ago in chapter two, "That severe treatment of the body amounts to nothing." Being ruthless with your body doesn't help anything. Just because you're beating your body doesn't mean you're more spiritual, right? So it seems odd that He would come back and say it this way. He's saying it figuratively, because He knows that all sin starts in the heart. And here's what He's saying. "You need to consider yourself dead to sin, for we died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God." Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "It's no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Right. "I've been crucified with Christ," he says. In other words, here's what he's saying. "The reason I'm able to live out the Christian life, the reason I'm continuing to grow in Christ is not because of who I am, it's because of who Christ is in me. But because Christ is in me, He's going to show me things that need to be rid in my life. Show me things that I need to not be cavalier about, and I need when God shows me those things, which stir my heart towards sin, to leave them and to get rid of them. How many know that after coming to Christ, you start to sin certain sins you once sinned and they don't feel as good anymore. And you begin to feel conviction in your heart. You're like, "Aah, how come that feels icky and how come I can't do that? And I shouldn't have said that. And I shouldn't have done that. I know better than that." That's the Holy Spirit in your life at work. And here's what He's saying, "You need to put to death those things." And really what we're moving from here is a place of position to a place of practice. We've been talking about identity, identity, identity. This is who we are positionally. What we're talking about today is how do we walk that out? Because both of them meld and the problem in the church sometimes is we never talk about identity. And then we just tell people, "Be good, do good stuff." And it won't work. If you don't start with identity, you will only end up performing religious activities that won't help you grow at all. So you start with identity in your position and then you move into how you're going to practice it. Now, let's talk about position for a minute. Just review what We've been talking about. Our position in Christ means that we're already forgiven, we're already victorious, we're already seated in the heavenly realms in Christ, we're already beloved, we're already chosen. Everything that the scripture says about Christ is true of us because Christ is in us. Yes. It means this. Consider that, think about that, dwell on that, know that. If you understand that's who you are, you'll live differently. If you live your life and say to yourself, "I'm just a miserable, lousy, loser of a sinner." Tomorrow, the next day and the day after that, you will be a lousy, miserable, sinner because you'll continue to tell yourself that's who you are. But God doesn't say that about you. For those who have trusted in Jesus Christ alone He says, "You're redeemed. You've been bought by the blood of the land. You're holy, you're righteous, you're good. Not because of who you've been, but because of who's in you." Right? So that's position. Position is taking a look at who you are in Christ and that's where we start. But then comes the practice. It's how do you walk that out? It's how well are you living it out? And if position is Christ in you, who is Christ in you? The practice is how is Christ doing in you? The question becomes is Christ able to live the fullness of His life out in and through you in very tangible areas? In other words, because Christ is in you and everything is His and He's living His life in and through you. In your practice when it comes to your finances, does Christ have full allegiance of all your finances? Are you stewarding everything the way Christ would want you to steward it? Or if you're single, prior to coming to Christ, you felt this way. Now, you're in Christ, you're redeemed, you're chosen, you're holy, you've been bought with a price. Is your dating life reflective of everything that Christ wants it to be? Is your married life reflective of everything Christ wants it to be? Is your language reflective of everything Christ wants to be? In other words, is there any way in which you're behaving that is in consistent with the identity that you own? And this is why as a believer, reading God's Word is more than just an academic exercise. Reading God's Word is allowing the Holy Spirit to convict your heart of ways that you're not allowing the Spirit of Christ to live His life in and through you. And it's really where the rubber meets the road, because in all honesty, we don't like it. Usually, this is where we begin to debate. This is where we become very good debaters with the Lord Jesus Christ. Where we can listen to a sermon and God speaks to us. God shows us an area of our life that He wants to change, and here's what we do, we debate. Where God says something like this, "Hey, you're hearing what I'm saying. Yeah. You break up with Him and I'm telling you don't date for another year." And what do we do? We debate. "Yeah, maybe, but maybe God He'll turn around and you know what? And if I do break up, I'll just be friends with these people. I won't really date. We'll just hang out in groups." We tell God what we want the decision to be. Or God speaks to us about money or God speaks to us about marriage. And we're like, "Yeah, but I got a better plan than you God for how this can work out." When Jesus Christ came into your life, you accepted Him as Lord. That means ruler and master, that's King of the house. And when the king speak, He's not asking, "How do you want to dialogue about this?" The king is speaking saying, "Let's do this." And the reason that God convicts you as a Christian is not because He doesn't love you. The reason He convicts you as a Christian is because He does love you, and there's something that's hindering the fullness of what He wants to do in your life that's keeping Him from living the fullness of His life. When Jesus is able to live the fullness of His life in and through you, that's where there's joy and peace and blessing. And this is what God does in His Word. He convicts us of our sin so that we'll choose to live with Him. So He gives us some specifics to start. He gives us five. You want to walk through these? Now, as you hear these today, this is not for you to hear and be like giving yourself a grade on a score of zero to a hundred where like, "I'm kind of an 80 there. I'm kind of like a 20 here." This is for you to hear and understand Jesus has the perfect score in all these. And you're called to be holy because He's holy. So where in your life is God calling you to change? And how is God calling you to change it? Notice what He says. He's going to list five sins here. They're not an exhaustive list. They're just common to every single person who's ever lived. And the first one is this put to death in your body immorality. It's a Greek word porneia. We use the word fornication, oftentimes in the New Testament. It's really sexual fulfillment outside of marriage. Sexual fulfillment outside of marriage. So here's what God designed. God designed sexual fulfillment to be between a man and a woman in the context of marriage till death do you part. Anything at all that falls outside of that where you are trying to satisfy yourself sexually other than a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage committed till death do you part is immorality, like everything. We couldn't even come up with an exhaustive list for that. There's probably 450 ways to break that one, right? If you're single, it means you're 100% celibate in your heart, in your thought life and in your actions, 100% of the time, right, or you're immoral. It means as a married person, you're completely committed to your spouse in that way. Anything that falls shy of that is immorality. Now, here's why that's important? Because Jesus is pure. Everything about Jesus is pure and He's the one that designed sexuality. And He's the one that designed it for fulfillment. And He's the one that created it. And He's the one that gave instructions about it, so anything that falls shy of there is sin. I was talking to a guy recently and asked him if he'd ever committed adultery. He's like "In my marriage?" I'm like, "Yeah." He's like, "Never. I've never done that." I said, "Do you know that Jesus said if you look lustfully upon a woman, you've committed adultery in your heart?" He goes, "Well, then I'm a total adulter." That's the point, right? We tend to think of these things as simply the action that results later. No, God wants our heart pure 100% of the time. And so we have to put to death those things because they continue to creep up. And just because I'm seated in a heavenly position, doesn't mean that my flesh goes away. See here's the whole point Paul's trying to make. Wouldn't it be great if at the moment of conversion, when you're repented of your sin and trusted Jesus, that you weren't just new from the inside out, but you were also new from the outside in, that God gave you a brand new body that didn't even know how to sin. You'd never have a sinful thought. You never have something sinful in your heart and you never know how to perform sin. That day's coming. That's called glorification. Position is called justification. Justification is declared righteous. It's just as if you'd never sin. It's just as if you've always been righteous, you're declared righteous in God's sight. Glorification is when that gets joined with your eternal body, that's resurrected and you don't know how to sin and it's beautiful. In between that we're talking about now, this is called sanctification. That's the process of being made holy. That's when you know who you are, but you're not there yet. And until you meet Jesus in heaven, you're working it all out. And that's what we're talking about. So how do you do it? You put to death sin. What do you have to put to death? Immorality. So then here comes the application, you ready? What is it in your life that you need to get rid of in order to live pure before the Lord? What is it? It could be as simple as watching television. It could be as simple as what you listen to. It could be as simple as what you look at. It could be as simple as the people that you hang out with. What is causing immorality that Jesus would say, "Stop that, change that." Now, that's immorality. Number two is impurity. Impurity is this, impurity is like moral filth. It's like dirty attitude. I'll give you an example. When Kim and I were out in Vegas a couple weeks ago, one thing we like to do, we like to go out to dinner. We like to go to shows. We went to a [inaudible 00:19:28] show was awesome. The next night were there, we were looking to do a show and I let my wife pick the show and she picked, and I won't tell you what it was, she picked somebody that was a singer and a dancer from the '80s that I knew when we grew up and I'm like, "I don't really want to go." But I wanted to score some marriage points, and so we went, right? Which was okay, because I'm like, "I can deal with the singing. I can deal with the dancing. And I love my wife, so that's good." However, when we got there, the theater was smaller than this room and there was an MC that was there that was beyond vulgar in his speech, in his attitude, in his action. And we were there about 15 minutes before the show started and I was feeling so ugh on the inside, I almost got up and left but I'm like, "I can make it through this just to get to the show." Unfortunately, throughout the show, the guy came back and kept doing stuff. By the time the show was over, I was like, "That was awful." And my wife's like, "I'm so sorry. I didn't know it was going to be like that." I'm like, "I didn't know it was going to be like that." That's vulgarity, moral filth. Things coming out of your mouth. Saying things that don't need to be said, acting in ways that don't need, get rid of all that. What in your life do you need to get rid of so that you're not around that. That's impurity. Passion. Passion is not the idea of just be passionate. Let's passionately worship. Passion is the idea of unbridled lust. Unbridled lust. Unbridled lust is when you see something that you've got to have and you're going to fulfill a desire in an ungodly way, specifically as it relates to sexuality. It's passion. It means I see it, I got to have it. when I get hungry, I got to eat. When I have a sexual appetite, I got to feed it. That's passion. He goes, "You have the power in Christ to curb that." Why? Because the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. The holy spirit gives you the power of self control. There's no, "The devil made me do it." You partnered with his lie and you did it yourself. You don't have to concede to passion. The fourth one is this it's evil desire. Evil desire takes passion one step further. Evil desire is intense, violent, cravings. Intense, violent cravings. That's what evil desire is. It's when you have in your heart, even if you don't act on it, harm for another, that's an evil desire. It's bad things. And then He ends by saying this, "Greed." Greed. Greed is simply covetousness. It means I got to have more than what I have. Now, in case you don't think you have greed in your life, everybody in North America has greed in their life. This is so common you may not even realize that you have it. If you've ever thought I want what they have. Someday I need what they have. I've got to have what they have. I'm not content in what I have. That's greed. Greed means I'm not satisfied and content where I currently am. So how are we doing? If the scale is 100, and that's all that's a passing grade, how are we doing? Here's how we're doing. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And one of the reasons that we don't grow in our faith is we are too cavalier with our sin. Here's what we've been taught rightly so what we've been taught is at the cross of Jesus Christ, all our sin is forgiven; past, present and future, it's done away with. That's correct, but because of that, some people falsely think, "Well, then I can just all I want and God's obligated to forgive me." And Paul writes an entire chapter in Roman 6. If you want to go back and read Roman 6 this week. Read in Roman 6 where Paul says, "What shall we say then? He says this, in Romans 5 he says, "Where sin increase grace amounts all the more." In other words, the more you sin, the more grace you get. So Paul then ask the question. "So what should we say? Should we go on sinning so that grace will abound?" In other words, if God will give you more grace the more you sin, why not just sin all I want. Here's the answer, because sin kills you and sin kills your relationship with God. And why would you want to keep living in sin if that's what you were freed from? It's so ridiculous to keep sinning because here's what it's like. If you've ever known somebody that's had cancer who has recovered and they've been through chemo and different treatments and they've come out on the other side, I've never met any cancer survivor that's ever said to their doctor. "Wow. Can't believe I'm healed. Thank goodness for medicine. Would you be willing to inject me with some more cancer, because I'd like to go through that again, just to see how powerful your medicine is this time." Nobody would do that. Why? Because cancer kills. Sin kills. When you sin and you are a cavalier about it, what you don't realize is you're killing your relationship and fellowship with God. And even though He loves you with an unconditional love, you are not experiencing the blessing of walking with Him. So He says, "Get rid of it. Totally get rid of it." He goes on to say, "It's for because of these things that the wrath of God will upon the sons of disobedience." God's wrath is coming. What's God coming for? God's coming to punish sin. And where does sin reside? In the heart of sinners?. So who's God going to punish? Sinners. Why is God coming back to the earth to justify the whole world? To punish sinners. If God is coming back to punish sinners, why do you want to live a sinful lifestyle and provoke the Lord? That's what He's saying. He's like, "God's coming back to empty His wrath on humanity, why would you want to live in what He's punishing when you've already been set free from the bondage of the sin that you were once in. It's like, that's why God's coming back. As a matter of fact, if you read Romans 1, starting in verse 18 and following you will see that God's wrath is already being revealed in our world. When you see what's going on in our world, it's God giving people over to their sin. That wrath is already being revealed in its precursor context for what's about ready to happen when God gets back here. And here's the whole point. If you've been in sin and you been freed from sin, why do you want to go back to sin? Kill it, mortify it, get rid of it. But he also says this, "Don't be prideful about it." Because we have a tendency when we began to put to death sin. For some of you, it was alcohol, right? And it wasn't that you had a drink. It was that you were a drunk and it's what you did. It wasn't that you had a drink, it's that you had 30 drinks. It's that you kept pounding things and that every night you drank. And then when you got saved, God's like, "Put that aside. That ain't for you anymore." And you put it aside and you start to walk in the Lord. Here's what you need to understand. That's God that's doing the work in you. You can never get to a place where you say, "Look what I did. I'm sober now. And look what I did. I did awesome. I'm awesome. Look at what I did." No, it's God in you that's doing the work because you are willing to put aside sin and let Jesus be Lord of your life. The way Paul says it in the book of Galatians is like this. He tells us it's for freedom that we've been set free. And he goes on to saying Galatians 5:16. "But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh." He says, "If we live by the spirit, let us walk by the Spirit." In other words, there's a battle that goes on in your soul once you're a believer that looks like this, are you going to let the spirit of God dominate your life? Are you going to let sin dominate your life? And you, as a believer in Christ, get to choose whom you're going to listen to and whom you're going to follow. And if you listen to the lie and you participate in sin, it hinders you from growing. And here's what God wants to let you know, no matter where you are, no matter like, "Oh my goodness, I've kind of slipped back." You can come to the cross immediately right now, again for the 400th time, for the 7,000th time and say, "Lord, I just surrender to you all fresh all over again. I just need to be redeemed." And He washes it so that you can continue to walk. It's what He wants to do in each and every one of our lives, it's to rid us of our sin. Notice what He says in the very next verse in verse seven. He says, "In them, you also once walked when you were living in them." Now, who's the you in that? Who once walked in those sins? I did. You did. Every single person, Ephesians 2:1 says, "That you were dead in your transgressions and sins." Who's dead? You are, I am. Who made us alive? Christ did, right? So we can never get to a place like, "Yeah, I don't really sin anymore." I used to do that back when I was a nonbeliever. But now that I'm a believer, I put... There's an ongoing growth, and here's what I've found in 30 years of walking with the Lord. There's some biggies that God starts taking care of early on. And then you grow and then you realize there's some other biggies you didn't even know were biggies. And then He starts working those out and then you think, "Oh, I'm doing pretty good." And then He starts meddling at different levels and different things where all of a sudden you realize, "I'm never, ever going to graduate from God's school of holiness. That there's always going to be times in my life where God is showing me areas." You're arrogant. Your language is wrong. The way you did this was wrong. You're kind of unforgiving sometimes, here's what you need to change. You need to be more assertive there. You need to be more passive here. It never changes in my life. God is constantly taking me to the woodshed, so to speak and helping me to grow and become more like Jesus. And can I just tell you this? Because this is hard to hear. When I hear a sermon like this, because I'm hearing myself talk. It's kind of like, you can get PMA to a farmer or positive mental attitude say, "Man, you're going to farm. You're going to get all these great crops," and get all excited. But nobody likes hearing about what it's like to pull weeds, and what it's like if you don't pull up those, you're not going to have any crops. And we can talk about, "Man, it's great. I love my doctor. Just tell me I'm doing great all the time." But we don't like it when the doctor's like, "I see something there and I'm going to need to get a little invasive in order to check out what this is." God's getting invasive today and saying, "I love you so much. I want you to be aware of what's hindering your growth." And we've all walked in these, which means when we're in church, it should be the safest place in the world to talk about what we're struggling with. Because look to your right and your left and in front and behind you, and the only people you will see are people who were dead in their sins at one time who have either been made alive or who need to be made alive by Christ. There is nobody here who can say, "That wasn't me, I've always lived right." There's not one, right? And the beauty of this is He's saying, "Because you're positionally seated, now put an end to your life of sin." Now, here's the encouraging thing. The writer of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 12:5 he says, "My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you're approved by him. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines. And He scourges every son whom He receives." Here's what He's saying. Don't get upset when God spanks you. Don't get upset when God rebukes you. Don't say like, I'll hear some Christian say, "I don't even know if I'm a Christian anymore. I'm feeling so much conviction of sin." That is an awesome thing. If you never, ever, ever feel convicted of sin in your life since becoming a believer, you're either A, not a believer or B, you're not walking with Him. The closer you get to the light and the holiness of God, the more your darkness will be exposed and that never ever changes. That's the growth in holiness that God has for each and every one of us. So here's the application. Are you ready? Are you ready? This is not walking out after you've made a list of your 35 sins and ranking them in order and saying, "Here's what I'm going to work on." This is listening to what the Holy Spirit has been telling you over and over to get rid of in your life. In other words, "yeah, I know He is talking to me about marriage or He is talking to me about dating or He is talking to me about my TV or He is talking to me about my language or He is talking to me about a relationship He's telling me I should forgive somebody." I get that. I'll get to that one later. "I think I'm going to work on this one over here." That's not the application. The application is what you're hearing this morning that's making you completely uncomfortable that you say, "If I change that I'm going to lose friends. I'm going to lose family. If I change that, I'm not even going to be the same person I was." That's what God keeps telling you. Then do what He wants you to do. Just be obedient to Christ. Amen. Keep growing by putting an end to your life of sin, mortify it. Secondly, do this practice living righteous in your relationships. Practice living righteous in your relationships since Christ is in you, the righteous one, He wants to work His life out and in through you. He says this, "But now you also put them all aside, anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth." What's doses it mean put them aside? It means this at the cross of Christ through His shed blood, everything in you spiritually has been washed clean. The Bible says, "Though, your sins were like Scarlet. They will be made white as snow." You've been completely washed. So you're to put everything that you've been wearing. It's like this, if you've ever worked outside or you've worked in the mud or you've had a workout where you get done and you're either sweaty, dirty or muddy, what do you do? Before you take a shower, you take off your clothes and you take a shower and you're completely clean in every way. And here's what He's saying you don't put those clothes back on after you take a shower. If you've been out working in the field or you've been out working on your car or you've been out doing different things, you've been working out, getting sweaty and you're going to a wedding at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon and you take those sweaty clothes off and you take a shower. You don't put those same clothes back on and then go to the wedding. You got to put on something new. Here's what we're saying. Get rid of all the old stuff. It means when you became a Christian, you've been given a new identity. You've been given a new name through the new birth that you have in Christ. And because of that, everything you used to be, you better check with the Lord to see if He still wants you to be that. Because too many of us come to Christ and say, "Yeah, this is what I was before I came to Christ. Now, I'm a Christian and God's got to change all these things I was. And we're going to work on all these things together." Well, God's saying, "No, you're something fundamentally different. You're something totally new. You're not anything like you were before. Let me show you who I actually created you to be." Amen. And so now we get to practice these things. Now, practice takes time, right? We don't just arrive. When we say practice, it means we're trying to get better at something. A couple years ago, I got invited to go out to United to their simulators to fly an airplane in one of their simulators. I got to fly a, I think it was a 769 aircraft over San Francisco and landed at the San Francisco Airport. In the air, I was fine. Coming in for a landing, not so fine. I'm looking at all the controls and I'm looking at everything, but I had a code pilot who was a pilot that was my instructor. And he told me everything that I needed to do. Had he not been there? I would've been in the ocean, but because he was there guiding me every step of the way we landed safely on the runway. And he looked at me. He is like, "You did it." I'm like, "Dude, I didn't do anything. I just listened to you." That's what practice looks like in the Christian faith. You may not know how to get out of what you were. You may not know how to become what God wants, but if you listen to Him and let Him take you in the way, He'll make you into what you were destined to be. That's what it looks like. So He says, "Put these things aside." Now, I said, "Practice righteous living in relationships because all of Christianity is worked out in the relationships that you have in your sphere of influence. Christianity is not this understanding like I'm Christian and I just meditate all day long. Well, if you do then how does it work itself out with the people in your sphere of influence? Because Christianity is not a private religion. It's a going on display to show the world how awesome Jesus Christ is. So in your relationships, how awesome do people see that Jesus Christ is? And here's some of the big ones that hold us back from people seeing the awesomeness of Jesus Christ. Listen to these five. First one, anger. Think about all your relationships and see how you would apply this. Anger is hate, animosity, a vengeful spirit, a inner smoldering, a settling feeling of hatred toward another. Do you have any anger in your life? It's that buried seething ugh, can't stand them feeling. Put that aside. You don't have the privilege of having that anymore. The Lord says, "Vengeance is mine." You don't get the privilege as a Christian to hang onto internal anger regardless of what circumstance you've been through. Here's what we do. Here's how we justify it, "Pastor Jeff, mine is a righteous anger." It's a righteous anger, right? You may have a righteous anger. If you have a righteous anger, bring that righteous anger to the cross and pour out your heart before God and tell Him, "I'm so angry and I have a right to be angry. And I'm telling you that I'm angry and help take this anger away so that in relationships, the anger doesn't bleed." You get a privilege to do that. It's nothing wrong with getting anger. It's what you do with the anger. Do not let this son go down on your anger, bring your anger to the cross, give it to Jesus, let Him deal with your anger. You can't fester your anger. Having anger in your heart, yeah, we tend to feed it too. Then we tend to think about all the reasons why we should be more angry than we were before. Yeah. I didn't think about that now. I'm really angry and they shouldn't have done that. Oh yeah. I'm now really angry, right? You don't have the privilege to be angry if you're a Christian. Because if you are, it'll leave the second one, which is rath,. Rath is intense or intense or violent outbursts of anger. That's rath. Explosion like out of nowhere. It doesn't even match the situation. It wasn't that big of a deal, but it was explosive. And I'm not talking about all of us have had moments like this, but I'm talking about, it happens all the time to the point where when you're around a person that has outbursts of anger like that, it's like, "I don't know are they in a good mood today, are they in a bad mood today? And even if they are in a good mood today, that could probably switch in 30 seconds." So here's how I approach them all the time, right? Because they have seething anger on the inside that turns into wrath. You've seen it, right? As a Christian, if you had that, you put that aside. That's old grave clothes. You just put all that aside. Number three is malice. Malice is really a moral evil. It's a desire to harm another or hurt their reputation. Malice is when you think in your heart I hope something really bad happens to them. If I don't get to hurt them, I sure hope somebody else does. And I won't feel bad about it at all when it happens because they will get what's coming to them. You reap what you soar brother, God will not be mocked. That's how we think if we have malice in our heart. Do you have malice in any relationships? Or even if you yourself would say, "I'm not going to do anything wrong, but I sure hope somebody does. I sure hope somebody does because someday if something happens to them and it goes bad, I will be standing at the distance, smiling with the biggest smile on my face, knowing they got what they rightly deserve." That's that's malice. You do not have the privilege as a Christian to hold onto malice, right? No malice. How about this one? If you have these three, here's how you know you have some of it in your heart. The next one slander. This is where what's in the heart comes out of the mouth. Slander's strong language used against another person. So you got anger. You got wrath. You got malice. Now comes slander. Slander usually is not directly talking to the person. Slander is not where I'm telling you I'm upset with you and here's why I'm upset with you. Slander is I'm not going to tell you, but I'm going to tell others because my desire is I want to hurt your reputation really, really bad. I want to make sure that other people think worse of you than even I do. That's slander. That's where out of my heart I'm trying to hurt your reputation. I'm going to write things, speak things, post things on social media so that other people will know how awful you are. I'm going to put you down to build me up. That's slander, right? And then this final one, he says abusive speech. Abusive speech is obscene or derogatory speech. It's in pure speech. It's lewd. It could be used with the intent of hurting another. It's just ugly language that's always coming out. It's ugly. When you're around a person that has abusive speech, they're just rude to everybody that's around them. They're CRAs. They're disrespectful. No matter where they are, no matter where they go, it's like, you can see this tornado building around them as they go. So you got to get rid of all that stuff. Now, as a Christian, as we're listening to this, in every relationship we're in to some measure if we're being honest with ourself, we can see the Holy Spirit show us areas, okay, that's us. So what do I do if I've got that? I'm going to work on my anger this week. I'm so mad. I've been angry. I'm mad about it now. No, that's not what it means, right? What it means is I'm going to forgive. All of these sins come out of unforgiveness. You have felt wrong. You have had faulty expectations. You have had people that you expect to do different things. You're angry with them. You're building malice. And just so you know, if you have anger in your heart toward to one person or malice in your heart towards one person or wrath in your heart towards one person, I want you to know something. You can't control it. It will bleed over everybody. It will come out in other ways around other people that you don't even know what's coming out around. So here's what you do. Here's what you do. You go to the cross of Jesus and you recognize what He's done to forgive all your sins. And you say, "Lord, in the same way you forgave me, help me forgive others." Forgive others just as God in Christ forgave you, that's your privilege. That's what you get to do as a Christian. Think about Jesus, when He was being nailed to the cross, when He was being falsely tried, could He gotten angry? Could He have had an outburst of anger? Could He have used abusive speech? Could He have had malice in His heart? Could he have slandered all these people who didn't know His word? Could He had abusive speech toward, of course he could have. And in some ways we would've said, "He totally justified." But what did He do. Like a lamb that stood before it sures is silent. So he did not open His mouth. When He did open His mouth. Here's what we heard Him say, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they're doing." Wow. "Well, how can I do that Pastor Jeff?" The only way you can do that is if you have Christ living on the inside. You want to keep growing, you want to keep practicing the things of God, practice forgiveness. Now, here's the beautiful thing about wanting to practice forgiveness. If you want an opportunity, you're going to get one. "Pastor Jeff, I just don't know who I'd forgive right now." Just keep breathing. That's all you got to do. You're going to have opportunity on a regular basis to forgive people and keep short accounts. And then He goes on to say that us in verse nine, "And do not lie to one another since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices." Now, why would He say don't lie? Here's why, because lying is the devil's language. John 8:44 says, "He's the father of all lies. Every time he opens his mouth, he's just lying." What is Jesus? He's the God of all truth. Jesus said in John 17:17, "Sanctify them in the of truth. Your word is truth." When Jesus speaks, He's telling the truth. When the devil speaks, he's telling a lie. If you are lying, you are speaking the devil's language. Stop lying. Stop lying. Well, I don't really lie. I mean sometimes I tell little white lies. They're just little fibs. No, they're big honking lies, right? Well, we're not ruthless enough with ourself. People ask you a question and you don't answer completely truthfully. That's a lie. You can tell people I'm not ready to answer that question, but don't falsify something. Tell the truth. Now, how are we called to tell the truth? We're told to tell the truth in love. We're told to use discernment when we speak. It doesn't mean that if somebody asked me, "Do I look today?" And you're like, "No, you never look good. That's not the truth, right? I'm not talking about being ruthless and hurtful to people. I'm talking about those things that you choose not to say because you're protecting yourself. Don't lie. Don't lie. How are we doing on all these? Because if you're known in relationships as an angry, ruthful, malice, slandering, abusive speech and lying person, you're not putting the glory of Christ on display. It's not because He is looking down and saying, "You're horrible and you're bad." He's looking down saying, "I live in you and I'm trying to get the world to see how awesome I am. And you won't let me live my life through you. Would you please forgive those relationships? Would you please extend love to those, would you please get rid of these things and set them aside? That's who you used to be, you're no longer there. Put on the new garment." And that's what he says in verse 10, which is the final way He tells us. He tells us to progress in our maturity with Christ. The third step is progressing in your maturity with Christ. Notice what He says. Says in verse 10, "And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him. He says, "You've already put on this new self, take off all this sinful garbage in which you used to participate because you've already put on the new garment, which is Christ." You already have the righteousness of Christ. Let the righteousness of Christ live in and through you in such a way that when people see your good works, they'll give praise to your Father who's in heaven. That's what it means. You already put this on, take off the bad, put on the good. That's what He's talking about. And what's this Renewal he's talking about? Notice what He says. He says, "This renewal to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him." Now, we know God to be creator. We read in this book that God's created all things; thrones, powers, rules and a these things visible and invisible. Everything's been created through Him and for Him. He's the creator of all things. When you come to Christ, the Bible says, "You're a new what? Creation. In the same way god created the world, He's created you and He's recreated you and you're fundamentally different than what you used to be. I've heard people talk like this sometimes. "Man, if I would've been Adam and Eve, if I would've been in the garden, I would've never sinned like that. They really screwed it up for the rest of us." Right? The reality is the Bible says, "We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." If you were there at the time of the garden, you would've done the same thing. That's what the Bible makes very pronouncing. You said, "No I wouldn't." Your life demonstrates that you would because you've lived in sin in your whole life. You didn't just sin once, you completely sin over and over again, not even caring about it, right? So what's the new creation. The new creation is this. God's not just taking you back to what it was like before the garden. God created something so fundamentally different in your life that while He forgave you over the penalty of sin, which you're completely washed, God now has given you power over sin so there's no Christian that ever has to step or walk or live in sin ever again. Amen. That's good news. It means whatever you've struggled with in your life, where you would say these words is just repeating the lie you've heard in your head. "I'm always going to be this way. My mom was always this way. My dad's always been this way. My life's always been this way. My coaches told me I'm this way. My friends tell me I'm this way. This is just who I am." If it's sinful, God would say, "That's not who I made you. And that's not who you are. And there's actually power and victory over that." And some Christians falsely believe that they have to struggle with the exact same sins to the exact same measure that they do now until they get to heaven. Paul says, "Oh no, you don't. You've been renewed in a renewal where God is building you to be something greater than you ever thought God could make you. And it has nothing to do with you other than He's done all the work, He's given you a new identity through new birth in Christ. And all He wants you to do is put your sin aside so that He can show up in the full measure of who He is. And when you walk in that, that's where there's peace and joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit in your life for all that He wants to see in you. Now, here's the beauty of the thing. Because when some of you hear that like, "Yeah, I've heard that from pastors. And I've heard that from people that lead in the church, but not me. You don't know my life and you don't know the severity of my sin." That's why God included verse number 11. He talks about this renewal in which there's no distinction between Greek or Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free man. But Christ is all and in all, it's beautiful. Here's what He's saying. He says, "It doesn't matter who you are at all." If you'll live in the position that God created you and you will get rid of sin and let God be all in all in you. Let Christ be all in all in you. He will put you on a plane that you never even thought you could be on before. He'll put you on a trajectory that you never even thought possible. And notice what He says. "It doesn't matter who you are." Look at this. There is no distinction between Greek or Jew. Now, what were the distinctions between Greek and Jew? Well, there were national, political and ethnic distinctions. It means when you came to Christ, if you were American, when you came to Christ, you're still American. If you were Israeli, when you came to Christ, you're still Israeli. If you were Indian, when you came to Christ, you're still Indian, right? It doesn't matter. You're political persuasion it doesn't matter. Your skin color it doesn't matter. Your ethnicity. God is willing to take anybody that allows Christ to be first place in their life and grow them. Isn't that good news this morning? You don't come to Christ and have to have certain credentials for God to grow you. You can be whoever you've been and God will take you and use you. There's no national political or ethnic distinctions, which means this. You can preach the gospel anywhere, anywhere you go. "Well, what am I going to preach if I go to Iraq? What am I going to preach if I go to Asia? You are going to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected, because there's no national political or ethnic distinctions. Number two, check this out. Circumcised are uncircumcised, right? What's that? That's religious distinctions, right? That's religious distinctions. It doesn't matter how you were raised. Some of you were raised going to church. Some of you're raised without a church. Some of you are Catholic. Some of your Baptists, some of you are Lutherans. Some of you identify as nondenominational. Some of you don't identify as anything. It doesn't matter what you identify with. It's who you identify with. It's not whether you were religious or irreligious growing up, God is willing to take anybody who comes to Jesus Christ and Him alone. How many know that? Just by going to Brave Church, you don't get any extra credit in heaven. Just showing up here doesn't do anything for you. Responding to the good news of Jesus Christ and letting Him be in you and be all in all, that's what matters, right? People ask me all the time. "What kind of denomination are you?" I'm like, "What do you mean?" Well, "Are you this?" I'm like, "We just serve Christ. And we open God's Word and proclaim Him. And all we do is put Jesus Christ on this planet. That's the kind of church that we are, right?" It doesn't matter what your background is. How about this? Barbarian or Scythian. If you were considered a non-Greek you were considered a barbarian and Scythians were like wild savages. It means there's no cultural distinctions. It means that you could agree grown up in a very tame environment. It means you could have grown up going to church fairly moral. When people look at you and say, "Man, that's a really good guy. She's such a good girl. Look at them, they grew up." You still need to come to Christ the exact same way everybody else does by repenting and trusting Jesus or your cultural distinction would be, you went so far gone the other way you are so anti-God the other way that even when non-Christians looked at you, they would say, "I know you're not a Christian. I know I'm not a Christian, but if I'm not a Christian, you're definitely not a Christian. Because look at how far away you've gone." Here's what God says. "It doesn't matter what your background is." In Christ, He's able to take anybody from anywhere and make them in to the godly man or woman or boy and girl that He did designed them to be. And then this final one too, I love this. Slaver free. Okay, check this out. There's no economic or social distinctions either. No economic or social distinction. Doesn't matter what city you live in. Doesn't matter what kind of house you live in. Doesn't matter what kind of car you drive. It doesn't matter any of that stuff. It doesn't matter if you grow up in bondage, it doesn't matter if you grow up free. It doesn't matter. Here's the whole point He's trying to make. The way you keep growing is to understand these final words that He says in the text, but Christ is all. And in all. What's the gospel? Christ is all and in all, what's the gospel. Doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter what you say, it matters that Christ is all in you, right? And the good news of the gospel is no matter who you are, no matter what your gender is, no matter what your background is, no matter what your skin color is, the day that you place your faith and trust in the Lord, Jesus Christ. And you say, "Here's my sin, I'm taking all your righteousness." And then you by an act of your will say, "God, I'm willing to get rid of any that hinders your work in my life." God can take anybody like that and grow them to the fullness of that person's design and intent that God had them to be. Which means this good news church, every single one of you can be everything that God wants you to be. And the good news is this, He's willing to do all the work. The partnership with Him is, "okay, God, you do it. I'll get rid of anything that's hindering you from doing it." So here comes the question, how does this work? You allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about things He wants to change in your life. And when He tells you to change, you don't consult anybody else. You just start changing them. Yeah, but they don't have to do that. Yeah. I'm not talking to them about that. But then how come I have to, because I'm telling you. But I don't see the reason. And you don't have to. I've been telling you this for two days now. I've been telling you this for two months now, "Hey, I've been telling you this for two years now." "Hey, I've been telling you this for 20 years and you've never, ever listened to me. And you wonder why you've lost the joy of your salvation, because I've been trying to tell you for so long, this isn't the way I wanted you to live. Would you live my way? So here's the application. The application is this is, is Christ all in you? Is Christ your all in all? And if He is, would there be anything in your life where Christ would say, "I'm not all here. I'm not all there. I'm not able to be all here because there's part of your heart that you're not giving to me." What part of your heart do you need to give to give Christ full allegiance in your life? And that's how we want to pray. Because if we're going to keep growing, the way we keep growing is by allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to grow us in every single way, by responding to Him in obedience. Amen. So way I want to end it just by praying for us and wherever you're at, that whatever the Lord's shown you this morning that you would tell the Lord, "I hear you and I'm responding the way you want me to respond." Would you pray with me? Lord Jesus, we give you all the glory, all the honor and all the praise for who you are. And Lord this morning, we just pray. If you're here today on either campus, she said, "I don't know they've ever trusted Jesus. I've just done religious activity. Or I don't even know what anything about anything else, but I know I need Jesus in my life." You can pray like this, "Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. Every one of those things mark who I am, but I believe you died on the cross for my sin and rose from the grave. And right now, Lord, I ask you to be the Lord of my life. I confess you as my Lord. Lord, here's all my sin. You can take it. I want all your righteousness. Give it." And for those of you who are here today, say "Pastor Jeff, done that, been there. I know that I know that I know." Here's the question. "Holy Spirit, be heavy on the hearts of all of us here. Show us the behavior we need to change that aligns with true identity in you so that you have the fullness in us. And for that, we give you all the glory and all the honor and all the praise in Jesus name, amen." Can we give God some praise this morning?