Fred R. Coulter - April 10, 2004

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And greetings, brethren. During this Feast of Unleavened Bread, 2004, we need to ask the question, how do you stand - and I put it in “you” rather than “we,” because it applies to each individual directly. So we could use “we” or “you”. But how do we stand before God? How does God look at us? How does God deal with us? What is He doing with us? What is the process of conversion, and overcoming, and all the things that are pictured by the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

First of all, let’s look and see how God views the world. Let’s come to Romans 3. And I’m going to be using the new translation all the way through. So let’s come to Romans 3. And, oh, by the way, remember, the order of the books is different than your old King James. So you’re going to have to get used to having the general epistles before the book of Romans. So let’s come to Romans 3, and let’s pick it up in verse 9 (FV). “What then? Are we of ourselves better?” That is - and he is talking about Jews verses Gentiles. Paul says, “..Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin,…” And that’s a problem and difficulty with the world. And that’s a problem and difficulty with human beings. Because as we saw last time, we all have the law of sin and death in us, and we have to fight over sin, we have to overcome sin. But we cannot do it without the Spirit of God. And that’s the key - with the Spirit of God we can.

But here in the world, verse 10, it says, “…Exactly as it is written: ‘For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God. They have all gone and out...’ ” (vs. 10-12,FV). Now he is talking about Jews and Gentiles, both. And we see that in the world today. Now with this thing with “The Passion of The Christ” by Mel Gibson, it’s going to rip apart the cloak of deceit that Judaism has cast upon Jesus. And they’re going to have to, as well as every other human being, have to understand that what I am reading here, in the way that human beings are, is what killed Christ.

Now verse 12, “ ‘They have all gone out of the way [that means out of the way of God];…[therefore] they have all become depraved’ ” And that’s the ultimate end of living in sin and lawlessness, as we have seen with the homosexual marriages in San Francisco and elsewhere. “ ‘There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known.’ ” And we can add in there too, the insanity of radical Islam. It creates insane, unmerciful, hateful killers. “ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes’ ” (vs. 12-18, FV).

Now verse 19 (FV), “Now then, we know that whatever the law says,...” Because the law is what’s going to judge us. Every human being in the world is being judged constantly by the laws of God. Now God has given freedom, so you can go choose and do what you want. But know this, you are being judged by what you do all the time. And you suffer the blessing - or suffer the cursing, rather, for doing evil, and you can reap the blessings for doing good. However, in setting before all humankind life and death, good and evil, blessing and cursing, He commands us all to choose. And so this is what the world has chosen, you see. And the reason God can do that is because He has His laws which are always active. Just like the law of gravity. They are spiritual laws, there are spiritual and physical penalties for breaking them. It says, “...to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” So that’s the position we find ourselves when God begins to call us and deal with us. When God begins to open our eyes and understand what we are like and what human nature is, and bring us to repentance so we can understand about Christ.

Now let’s come down here to verse 23 (FV). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;…” So now what do we do? We’re all sinners like this, aren’t we? Now the only way out is through Christ. No other religion, no other way. And it has to be the true Christ. Because there are false Christ’s, and there are false brethren; there are false ministers. And that is the majority. As Jesus said, “Narrow is the gate and straight is the way that leads to life. But broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to death” (Matthew 7:13-14, paraphrased). That’s where the world is going. And we see it especially now in the end time as these events are coming upon us with great fury.

Now then, what is the solution? Man can’t save himself. It’s an impossibility. Man cannot do what is right. He can do some things that are right, but what ends up happening? Much of the good that human beings try to do turns out to be evil because they don’t understand the way of God. And because that is so, God has offered repentance, if people will but repent and seek God. And if not that, then judgment will be executed upon them. So let’s read the solution, verse 24 (FV), “…But are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;...” That is the only way. Christ died for all our sins. “Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood,...” Now we’re going to see some of the conditions that God has given in order for that to be applied to our lives.

Continuing, “...in order to demonstrate His righteousness in respect to the remission of sins that are past” (vs. 25, FV). Now, God is willing to forgive. God is willing to put the sins aside, provided there is repentance. And remember what Jesus said when He talked to His generation. He said that if He would have preached what He is preaching and Sodom and Gomorrah, “...they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes, and they would have remained unto this day” (Matthew 11:23, paraphrased). So you see, a lot of people who would think that they are good and have substituted their religious ways instead of following the Word of God - which is symbolized by eating the unleavened bread, living by every Word of God - they have a worse sin because they think they are righteous. So you see, the truth is we need to understand this: we can only come to God on His terms. We can only overcome sin with the Word of God, the sacrifice of Christ, the Holy Spirit of God. It can’t be overcome any other way.

Now verse 26 (FV), “…Through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness in the present time, that He might be just, and the one Who justifies the one who is of the faith of Jesus.” Now, what is the end result of that, as we covered on the first day of Unleavened Bread? Verse 31 (FV), “Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law.” See, the truth is this: if you repent of your sins - which means turning from the way of sin, and going to the way of life - then you have to stop disobeying and you have to begin obeying. See, because God is not going to justify anyone who repents and continues in sin, because that repentance is the repentance of the world. That is the sorrow of the world. That doesn’t lead to true godliness, you see, because you have to believe God in order to receive that justification. You have to believe that Jesus Christ was crucified for you, and you have to believe that your sins crucified Christ.

Since we’re here in Romans, let’s come to Romans 4 and let’s pick it up here in verse 21. This is what we have to be before God. This is our attitude. This is how our lives have to be changed. Talking about Abraham and his faith, “For he was fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is also able to do.” Now not only in causing Isaac to be conceived and born, but in everything in his entire life. You believe God, that what He has said He is able to do. So the situation is this too: if you believe that God is able to forgive your sins through the sacrifice of Christ, you have to be fully persuaded. And you have to live that way, you see. Verse 22, “As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:21-22, FV). And as we saw, God gives, imputes to you the gift of righteousness, which is fantastic. Because we stand before God, righteous. Not because of our righteousness, but because of the righteousness of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ. Yes, we are to keep the commandments of God and walk in His ways, as we will see. Because you cannot continue to stand in the grace of God if you live a sinful, lawless life.

Now notice, “But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; rather, it was also written for our sakes, to whom it shall be imputed—to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses [through the crucifixion] and was raised [by the resurrection] for our justification” (vs. 23-25, FV). Now the long and short of everything that I have talked about here is this: when you are justified you are put in right standing with God, right standing with God through Christ. He imputes to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ to inspire you to love Him, to grow, to overcome, to keep His commandments, and to walk in His ways. He doesn’t impute the righteousness of Jesus to you so you can continue living a life of sin. It will never be imputed.

Now let’s come to chapter 5 and see what Paul is also writing. This is very important, so that we understand: how do we stand before God? And I know everyone of us are convicted of sin when we sin, because we still sin. But you see, He was raised for our justification. Now we will cover all of the various aspects of this as we go along. “Therefore, having been justified by faith,...” (Rom. 5:1, FV), because you believe. You believe in the sacrifice of Christ; you believe that His sacrifice paid for all of your sins; you believe that God is able to save you; you believe that God’s way is right; you believe that His commandments are true and ought to be obeyed and kept; you believe that you ought to live by every word of God. All of those have to do with belief. That’s by faith. You are justified by faith. And we will see it is also the faith of Christ of what He did so that He could provide this for you.

Now because of that, “...we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now how do we stand before God? In peace. How do we stand before God? In righteousness. How do we stand before God? Blameless. That’s the whole meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now verse 2 (FV), “Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,...” Now, for doing this video, we have some umbrella reflectors that bring the light and put the light in the right place. Now, consider that the grace of God is like a great umbrella that you are standing under, from which comes the love of God, the forgiveness, the peace, the belief, every spiritual aspect; and as we will see, the fruits of the Spirit. And you are “standing in this grace” means that, as we saw on the first day of Unleavened Bread, that when and if you sin and you repent, your sins are forgiven. Because it is a continuous propitiation, which means a continual source of forgiveness and atonement, provided that you are repenting and yielding to God, desiring to walk in His way, having His laws written into your heart and your mind. And so it’s an overcoming process. You stand in this grace.

So, “...we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Not of what we do, but of what God does. “And not only this, but now we also boast in tribulations,...” Because, as we will cover on the last day of Unleavened Bread, there are going to be trials. There will be difficulties that will arise. “...Realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance,...” So all of this is the process of God. And remember what it says, “The one who endures to the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13, paraphrased). So this produces the endurance. “…And endurance brings forth character,…” And that’s what God wants us to have - the very character of God, called godliness. And we will see about this a little bit later. “...And character brings forth hope.” So you see, it’s one whole package altogether. “…And the hope of God never makes us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us” (vs. 3-5, FV). And we’re going to focus in on this, the love of God being poured into our hearts, and how this is to change us, and convert us, and draw us to God continually.

So then he rehearses that there was a time we were without strength, and Christ died for the ungodly, and so forth. Now verse 10, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His own Son, much more then, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Because He is our High Priest at the right hand of God, where we can go boldly before the throne of God to receive grace in time of help and need, and so forth. Verse 11, “And not only this, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the reconciliation” (vs. 10-11, FV). And so because of this, God does not want us to go around feeling guilty, accusing Him, or…how shall we say? In accusing God, what do I mean by that? By blaming God for your difficulties. Now don’t ever blame God for your difficulties. He’s trying to save you from them. So you always take it before God, and pray about it, ask for His help, ask for His Spirit, forgiveness, strength, understanding, and all of these things so you can grow and overcome.

Now let’s come to Galatians 2, and let’s see, not only is it the love of God that gives us the empowerment through His Holy Spirit, but we also see that what Christ did was because He loved us. Galatians 2:20 (FV). Now concerning our former self, concerning the old self, as we covered on the first holy day, you are to put out all the sins that you have there. And Galatians 2:20 tells us what this is like. We have been crucified with Christ. And that is through the operation of baptism. You have been co-joined into His death. Meaning that, as Christ was crucified and was beaten as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, His sacrifice individually applies to you when you’re baptized. Crucified with Christ – that’s how that is done. “...Yet I live.” See, we are brought out of the watery grave. We live, even though the old man died. “Indeed, it is no longer I,...” Now our life is different. It’s not “I, me, and mine.” It is “Yes Lord, Yes Father.” It is “Your way, Your Truth, Your Spirit, Your love.” “...But Christ lives in me.” Now that’s how you stand before God. That’s how God is able to impute the righteousness of Christ to you. That is how God is able to give to you the righteousness which comes through the sacrifice of Christ, because Christ lives in you. That’s what it is with the Spirit of God. “For the life that I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith—that very faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

In other words...let’s ask this question: did Christ have faith when He was on earth? Of course. Did He have faith before He even came to the earth? Yes - faith that the plan of God was going to work the way that God wanted it to work. didn’t He? Yes. With the power of God’s Spirit in you, you receive the very faith of Jesus Christ. And that’s what it means to be unleavened and receive the Spirit of God. As we will see, not only the faith of God, but the love of God and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The very faith of the Son of God. Now it was His faith in going to the cross, enduring the shame and everything that we have seen concerning it, to save us, to save you, to put us and each one in right standing with God.

So how do you stand before God? Well, as we have seen, you stand as Christ stands. Now what should this mean for us, and what should we do? Let’s come here to John 15, and let’s see what Jesus said we are to do. And this is the goal. Now we don’t start out this way, but this is how we are to act and finish. Because what we are going to see today is that the ultimate love of God is the goal for which we are headed. Now let’s come here to John 15, and let’s pick it up in verse 9 (FV). Now let’s notice these words. “As the Father has loved Me,...” Now They had perfect love, correct? “...I also have loved you;...” Now you have to understand, Christ loves you. Do you feel loved by God? Well, you need to, through the power of God’s Spirit, His mercy and kindness, and goodness to you. Then He says, “...Live in My love.” That’s how we are to live. So as I have said before, we are to walk in faith, hope in hope - believe in hope, rather - and live in love. So here it is right here, to “... live in My love.”

Now notice, “If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love;...” So the contrary is, if you don’t keep His commandments, you’re not living in His love. Because you see, if you love God the Father and Jesus Christ, you’re going to do what They say. That’s true love. That is believing love. That is faithful love. Now notice, “...just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and live in His love.” See, that’s the whole goal. This is the way to eternal life, through Christ. “These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you” (vs. 10-12, FV). And so in turn, then, this love is not to be just consumed on ourselves, but this is to give us the love and the connection with Christ and God the Father so we can love each other. And of course, that is a task that is always necessary. And God has called us from such a diverse background and things, that there we’re not - how shall we say? All the brethren that we come in contact with are probably not those that we would personally select as our friends. But they are the ones that God has personally selected to be our friends and our brothers and our sisters. So therefore, we are to love each other as Christ has loved us.

“No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends” (vs. 13, FV). And that’s what Christ did. So how do you stand before God? In faith, in love, and as a friend. Think of that. That’s how you stand before God. So that’s why He doesn’t want us to have guilty consciences and things like this.

Now let’s come to 1 John 2, and let’s see how, then, we are to live in this world. Now remember, that’s before Romans. 1 John 2...now since God has called us out of the world, we are not to be part of the world. We have to live in the world. Remember Jesus on the Passover night said, “Father, I pray for these who are in the world. I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15, paraphrased). Now what is our response to the world, spiritually? 1 John 2:15 (FV), “Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him...” See, because what God has done to call you, to give you His Spirit, to love you, and to do these things through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, then we have to be completely belonging to God. And I think one of the biggest things that we have…problem in the church today, is too many people are playing “straddle-religion.” Now what do I mean by that? They have one foot in the world and one foot in the church, and they’re sort of straddling between the two. Or as Glenn Daniel said one time, they have just enough religion, just enough religion so they feel comfortable, and just enough religion so if things go wrong they can run to God and seek His help. Well don’t be a “straddle-religionist.” Don’t have one foot in the world. Because everything in the world is going to be destroyed.

And what we have to understand is this: anything that is in the world, any physical thing that is there, unless you have the Spirit of God and use the things and live by the word of God, all the physical things end up in destruction anyway. Look at the movie, “The Passion” by Mel Gibson. Now he said, “Look,…” when they asked him, “Why did you do it?” He said, “Well, I had money, I had fame, I had fortune, I had success, and I was empty.” That’s exactly what it is talking about. Love not the world. The verse 16 (FV), “…Because everything that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (vs. 16-17, FV). So this is the - how shall we say? - the charter on how we are to live and walk.

Now since we’re right here in chapter 2, let’s just go back over here to verse 3. No, we’ll come to chapter 1. We have to go through this so that we understand. 1 John 1:7, “However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light [and that’s to walk the way that Christ did; of course, He never sinned, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin.” That’s how you stand before God. And of course, you confess your sins to God. “If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7-9, FV).

Now you see, our lives are kind of like what you would say is housecleaning. And everyone knows that if you clean your house once, guess what you have to do? You have to clean it the next day, don’t you? And you have to clean it the next day. And every once in awhile there is a time when you have to go through and sort of just purge the whole house. So that’s why we have this. That’s why we’re able to come to God, to have our sins forgiven. You have your sins forgiven today, that doesn’t cover tomorrow. See, there’s another cleaning that may need to be done tomorrow. Now verse 10 (FV), “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar [because He says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God], and His word is not in us.”

Now chapter 2:1, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” And of course, that’s according to God’s plan. “And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:1-3, FV). So that’s what it’s all about with the Feast of Unleavened Bread – renewing our relationship with God, having our “spring housecleaning,” spiritually. That’s why we, also another reason why we have to get leaven out of our homes, to show us that just as we have to get the leaven out of our homes, we have to get the sin out of our lives. But just like you have to use cleaning compounds, you have to use brooms and vacuums, and you have to wash and scrub and wax, all of that is showing that in type that it has to be using the instruments that God has given to overcome, and to change, and to have your sins forgiven through Christ, and to walk and keep His commandments.

Now let’s come to Ephesians 4, and let’s see what the whole process is all about. Let’s see what we are to do. Let’s see how we are to do this. And this will tie in again what we covered on the first day. Let’s pick it up here, Ephesians 4:17. “So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord, that you are no longer to walk as the rest of the Gentiles…” See, we are to walk in the way of God. Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” “…Even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds.” Now notice what happens. They cut themselves off from God: “…Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts” (Eph. 4:17-18, FV). And that’s the way the world has been. See, and God has called us out of the world. So you see, these are the things that Paul is saying, “You’re not to do this any longer.”

“They have cast off all feelings, and have given themselves up to licentiousness, to work every uncleanness with insatiable desire.” Now all you have to do is just look out and see all these things that are going on in the world. You see that’s exactly what is happening. And I think it’s kind of fitting to show the debauchery of it, that always before Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent for the Roman Catholic Church, they have Mardi Gras. And Mardi Gras just is described right here – licentiousness, every uncleanness with insatiable desire. “But you have not so learned Christ;…” No, you haven’t. “…If indeed you have heard Him…” Not “of Him”, but heard Him; that is, through the words that He has written through the Spirit that He has given. “…And have been taught in Him, according to the truth in Jesus: that concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man,…” (vs. 19-22, FV). And that’s continually doing it.

Now, here’s the problem with the old man, “…which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts,…” (vs. 22, FV). And isn’t that true? Every time you find yourself caught in a sin, what have you done? You’ve deceived yourself, haven’t you? You’ve lied to yourself. Well, you have to go and repent to God, put that away. And sometimes some of our sins are kind of like mold – you clean it off one time…and mold is leaven, is it not? Yes, it is. You clean it off and everything looks good. And lo and behold, you go back there again, and here, it’s grown back again. You know, like the black mold in a shower, you clean and scrub and get that all out. You use chemicals, and brushes, and compounds, and you hose it down, high powered hoses. You clean it all up, and guess what? It comes back. That’s just like human nature. So you put it off. Because it’s corrupt according to deceitful lust.

Now, when you are putting it off, what do you do then? Well, God has made our minds this way through the Spirit of God, that “…you be renewed in the spirit of your mind;…” That’s what God is doing, renewing. Not only are you cleansed from your sin, but you see, being cleansed from your sins is only half the story. It’s just like Jesus said of the man who had the demon cast out of him. And he didn’t do what he was supposed to do. So the demon came back and found the house clean, swept, and garnished, right? But there was no defense. The house may have been clean, but he didn’t put anything in. So the demon went out and got seven others and came back and repossessed him. And the end was worse than the beginning because the man did not renew his mind. And this means, continually renewed. “…Be renewed in the spirit of your mind;…” So you’re to put off, verse 22, the old man. Now verse 24, “And…put on the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (vs. 23-24, FV).

Now the thing that’s important is this – and always remember - conversion is creation. God is creating Christ in you. That’s why Paul said in Colossians 1:27, “the hope of glory.” That’s why he said in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…” That’s how you renew it. How is it done mechanically, then? Through study. You have to feed your mind on the Word of God. Through prayer; through the exercise of the Holy Spirit of God, that you walk in truth. That’s how you renew your mind. How did your mind get so messed up before God called you and converted you? Well, because you continually practiced the things that weren’t right. Isn’t that true? Well then, how are you going to renew it, then? By continually putting out the old man, and continually putting aside the practices of sin, and put in the practices of righteousness, and walk in the way of God. See, that’s how it’s done. That’s how you’re renewed.

And in that, then, God is literally recreating your mind, to have the mind of Christ; to create the character in you; to create the love and the hope and the faith. We’ll see all of this in just a little bit. So it’s quite a process. But it is a process. This is not something that’s done instantaneously. And this is where so many Christian-professing religions get completely off base. Because they “feel” that if they have their sins forgiven, everything is fine. No. That’s good, that’s fine, but that’s only the start. Let me liken it this way: suppose you’re going to go on a trip. And you get your car all tuned up and repaired, and the oil changed, the filter changed, and everything…you’re all ready to go. So it comes on the day to go on the trip. You run down and you get in the car and you start it. You let the engine run, and you sit there. You let the engine run. You sit there. See, you haven’t done anything. You had the car prepared, but you’re not going in the way you need to go.

So likewise with the forgiveness of sin. The forgiveness of sin, and baptism, and receiving the Holy Spirit is the start. Now you gotta go. So just like the car, unless you put it in gear and drive it, you ain’t going anywhere. You might feel good sitting in the car. It might sound good while it’s sitting there idling. It might look good because it’s all polished up. But it’s going no place, because you’re not using it the way it should be done. So this is what God wants you to do. He wants you to let Him, with His Spirit, create in you righteousness and holiness of the truth. That’s how He’s able to do it, to write His laws and His commandments in your heart and your mind in your inward part. And one thing to remember, never forget this – as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.

Part 2

Let’s continue on, talking about creating the righteousness and holiness in you. And it is done by truth, by God’s Spirit, which is the spirit of truth, from the God of truth, to put truth in your mind, to put the Word of God in your mind. But what do you have to get out of it? You have to get out of it all the clutter that you’ve programmed in it all your life. Now in this creation that God is doing in you, you have to participate in it. Because He is not going to give you a brain transplant. He is going to give you a renewing of your spirit, a renewing of your mind, which is a process. So verse 25 talks about this. “Therefore [because of what has all gone on before], let each one put away lies and speak the truth with his neighbor because we are all members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25, FV). So this is putting away human nature, carnal behavior. This is your part in the process. In other words, if you are not willing to put these things away, then is God going to be willing to create His holy, righteous character in you if you don’t do your part? I doubt it.

Verse 26 (FV), “When you become angry,...” Now you see, it doesn’t say that you’re not to be angry. But here are the guidelines. “...Do not sin.” See, because there is an anger over things which are wrong, there is an anger that can come up which is righteous indignation, which is separate from the anger of sin. So if you get angry, don’t sin. Now there is another limitation: “Do not let the sun go down on your anger;...” In other words, by time sun comes to go down, get over it. And it’s important why it says “…the sun go down,” because if you go to bed with all the turmoil and anger on your mind, guess what? You’re going to lay there, and it’s going to fester and it’s going to get worse and you’re going to toss and turn and you are going to feel miserable and you are going to feel more angry and you’re right back into doing all the carnal things again, right? Yes. See, Because when you are angry and sin, then this gives you justification for whatever you want to do in retaliation you want to take. So God says by sundown, cool it.

Here’s the reason: “…Neither give place to the devil.” Because you give an opening for him. And as we saw on the first day, he is like a roaring lion going about seeking who he may devour. So you’re giving place to the devil. He comes along and says, “Oh, you’re angry. You need that. You are so right. Ah, yes. That other person is as bad or worse than you think.” That’s why. Don’t give place to the devil. Now then, a little kleptomaniac here, you see, verse 28, “Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need.” So you see, this takes thought. This takes determination not to be doing these things. Verse 29, “Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. And grieve not the Holy Spirit...” (vs. 27-30, FV). Because you see, the Holy Spirit is working with you to create the righteousness and the holiness of truth in you. And these things are preventing it from being done. These kind of behaviors are grieving the Holy Spirit. You’re fighting and resisting God. That’s what he is saying.

Now God wants you to be renewed. God wants to create these things in you. But you have to be cooperative, and you have to work to get the evil things out. He will give you the power to get them out. Now then, here are other things to get rid of: “…Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness [not some, not part, but all], and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice; and be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you” (vs. 30-32, FV). Because there’s one thing that is true - you can never develop faith or hope or love unless you forgive. And remember, we have already covered this just in the recent past. There is another key that is important. If you don’t forgive, God won’t forgive you either. And human beings are like this, is that all of us want God to forgive us. But not him, or her. So always remember that you have to have forgiveness in order to be forgiven.

Now let’s continue right on in chapter 5, showing the process by which God is doing this. See, Satan and you have created in your mind, along with the law of sin and death that you have in you, all of the sin that is in your mind. Because remember, as a man things in his heart so he is. And that’s what you were when God called you. And when you repent and have your sins forgiven and are baptized and have the laying on of hands for the receipt of the Holy Spirit, that’s a start. All the things that you programmed into your mind are still there. So these need to be cleaned out. And it’s a process. It’s something you have to work at.

Now Ephesians 5:3, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints;…” So there are things that you’re absolutely not to tolerate and not allow. And if you get yourself into any circumstances such as fornication or sexual immorality, Paul has one remedy: flee fornication. That is, get up and run away from it. Because it’s going to nab you and take you down for sure. Now let’s continue on, verse 4, “…Nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting [that’s all dirty jokes and things like that], which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:3-5, FV). So you see, what he is doing he is setting the limits and the bounds of things that we should not do. And what are we talking about here with everyone of these things, but we’re talking about things that are derived from the Ten Commandments of God.

Now verse 6, very important thing. As Delores and I were talking the other day, what’s one of the major problems in the churches of God today? Brethren who sit there and listen to nonsense and think, “Oh, it’s so nice, and all my friends are here.” See, if that’s the case with you, please understand, that is your idol. And you put God in second place. God wants to be in first place. So verse 6 (FV), “Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words; for because of these vain things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.” Now as we were talking a little earlier before services here, the true fault of what’s going on with these homosexual marriages, especially in San Francisco and elsewhere, it is because of two major things: Catholic priesthood, which is more than fifty percent homosexual, and the lies that they teach; and the Protestant, lawless grace, which is, “If it feels good, do it, and God will understand.” Those have laid the seeds which are now sprouting in the fruit that we see in the homosexual assault against Christianity. And well deserved it needs to be assaulted, because it is wrong, and vain, and empty, and foolish, and Satanic, though it uses the name of Christ because they have those standing up there speaking vain words and smooth words and nice things and people say, “Oh, isn’t that nice.” But if you preach the truth of God you are “harsh”; you’re “mean”. “You’re unresilient. You don’t have no understanding.” Tolerance and inclusions and occlusive society has gotten us where we are today. So you need to understand that. So that’s why he says don’t do that.

Verse 7 (FV), “Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness;...” So if you go back in darkness again, you’re in deep trouble. “...But now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children in light, (because the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness in truth;)…” In other words, the fruits of your life, the recreation and renewing of your mind with the power of the Holy Spirit is going to produce goodness, righteousness, and truth. And another thing it will do, verse 10, let’s read that. “…Proving what is well pleasing to the Lord;...” Now how do you prove what is well pleasing to the Lord? You study the word of God. And then you practice it in your life. That’s how you do it. “…And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather, expose them;…” (vs. 7-11, FV). So that’s what we have to do.

Now let’s come to Galatians 5, and let’s see the things that we have to fight against and get rid of. Just a few pages back here, Galatians 5. Here are the things that we need to get rid of. Verse 19 (FV), “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery,...” And sex is a big problem everywhere in the world, period. “...[And] fornication [that’s sexual immorality], uncleanness,...” Now notice what I’m reading here are things that transgress the commandments of God. So is it any wonder the Protestants missed the point when they say you don’t have to keep the “old law”? Well these are all based on the “old law.” And I’ll tell you, it’s so old it’s eternal. And it isn’t ever going to change for anybody, because it’s God’s laws, and God’s commandments, and God’s way. “...Uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,...” Now if you want a good Bible study, do this: you write down all these words and then you do a concordance study, and you go through the whole Bible. It would take quite a while to do this. And find out how every one of these things are transgressions of the laws and commandments of God and are condemned. But these are the works of the flesh.

“...Hatred, strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, divisions, sects, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such things as these; concerning which I am telling you beforehand, even as I have also said in the past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21, FV). So all of these need to be put away. But since we are still living in the flesh, what? Until we get our minds cleaned up and renewed, these things are going to be varying degrees of problems to overcome, aren’t they? And of course, as long as we’re in the flesh we still have these things to work on and overcome because that’s part of the creating of true character and righteousness. Now we’re going to see in just a little bit the steps that we need to take so that when we put out the works of the flesh and put in the fruits of the Spirit, then there has to be a removal of one and an implanting, or a creating of the other in our minds.

Now let’s look at the contrast. Every one of these things here, verses 19 through 21, are what? They are against the commandments of God, and there are laws against every single one of them, correct? Yes, indeed. Now the fruit, the product, the result - because we are to, as Jesus said, we are to bring forth fruit, and our fruit is to remain. And here is the pinnacle of it. Paul starts out with love first, as we will see in just a little bit. Peter ends up with love. It’s a step-by-step process that starts out with love, and it also ends up with love. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (vs. 22-23, FV). You can’t be transgressing the laws of God if you are doing these things. “But those who are Christ’s [now notice] have crucified the flesh together with the passions and lusts.” Now “crucifying the flesh” is the process of putting out, getting rid of. Living by the Spirit is to put in the way of God, verse 25: “If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit. We should not become vainglorious, provoking one another and envying one another” (vs. 25-26, FV).

Now let’s carry this a little bit further, and let’s see what Peter had to say. Let’s go to one verse here, Galatians 5:6 (FV). “Because in Christ Jesus neither is circumcision of any force, nor uncircumcision;...” In other words, it’s not a physical thing that you do or don’t do. There is no spirituality in circumcision or uncircumcision. That’s just a part of the body. We’re talking about renewing the mind. And as we have seen before, circumcise the mind, which is the spiritual conversion through Christ. Now notice the rest of this, “...rather, it is the inner working of faith...” That which is inside, not that which is outside in the flesh; “...the inner working of faith through love.” So faith cannot operate without love. Love cannot operate without faith. Belief cannot operate without hope.

Now let’s go to 2 Peter 1. Now instead of going toward the end of the Bible, you go toward the front of it this time, past Romans, to 2 Peter 1. Now it will take you a little while to get used to the new order of the books, because you’ve had Bibles which have not had the correct order of the books. That’s why this is the New Testament in its original order. Now that’s the way that God inspired the apostles to put it together. Now let’s come here, 2 Peter1:1 (FV). “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:...” I just realized I made a mistake. There are not five chapters in 2 Peter. So if you didn’t know that and were looking for chapter 5, you should have known there are only three chapters in it. 2 Peter 1:1. Now we’re ready for verse 2.

“…Grace and peace be multiplied to you...” In other words, as you are building and developing this character, it is going to bring more grace and more peace; it will be multiplied to you. “...In the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,...” It means you will know more of the Word of God, you will know more by proving that it is true. And when you prove and reprove, and prove and reprove, then what’s the old saying? Repetition is the greatest teacher. And God knows that too. That’s why we have the holy days every year, to be repeated every year, every year, every year, every year so that we come and do exactly what he says here, that it can be multiplied to us in the knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. And every year we learn more things. We grow in grace and knowledge.

Now here’s the reason why. Here’s the motivation why. Here’s the whole goal of what we are doing, and the process of the creation of the spiritual mind and Christ in us. Now it’s in preparation for the resurrection. Verse 3, “According as His divine power [that’s through His Holy Spirit] has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,...” With the Spirit of God, with the Word of God, with the keeping of His commandments, with the growing and overcoming, you have all things that pertain to life and godliness; you are complete in Christ. But that completion must be perfected, as we will see. Now that comes “...through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue; through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises,...” (vs. 3-4, FV). I want you to understand something and never forget it: the first resurrection is first for a reason. And in Hebrews Paul calls it “the superior resurrection.” Now we’re going to see how much superior that is when we are resurrected. Then we will fully comprehended it and understand it, you see.

But these are “...the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature,...” To have the very mind of God, through the Holy Spirit of God, through the power of Christ in us, and doing it God’s way. Now Satan came to Adam and Eve and said, “You don’t have to do it God’s way. I’ve got another way. It’s a whole lot easier. All you have to do is eat of this little old tree over here. Now you know, God didn’t tell you about that, because He’s really hiding something from you. But this is really the only way to do it, to become God.” Which is false. God has given the true way to become partakers of the divine nature. If you have the Holy Spirit of God in you, you are already a partaker of the divine nature. But it must be created in righteousness and true holiness. It must grow and develop. Because once you have the begettal of the Holy Spirit it is just a start. It’s just like a babe who has been conceived in the womb. It is a pinprick of life, but when it is born nine months later, look at all that is there. So likewise with us. Once we receive the Holy Spirit through baptism, laying on of hands, we are starting. But we have to grow. We have to be fed. We have to be nourished. There has to be a plan to do it. There has to be a means and a mechanism to accomplish it. And that is through the Holy Spirit of God, the Word of God, His commandments, and holy days, and all these are part of the whole package that God has given.

Now notice, “...partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust [yes, you can overcome that]. And for this very reason also,...” In other words, because of what he just said here, this is the reason that you do what you do. And this is the reason why you have the attitude to do what you do, and the way that you do it, see. “And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence...” God wants you to be diligent in it, zealous in it, passionate for God and His way. “...Having applied all diligence besides, add to your faith, virtue;...” So here are the spiritual building blocks of character in the renewing of your mind. Virtue, which is good, godly behavior; looking to do the good; planning to do the good; carrying it out and doing the good. “...And to virtue, knowledge;...” (vs. 4-5, FV).

See, because you are in an educational process from God. He is educating you to become a very son or daughter of God. And that takes education. That takes His Word. That’s why He has given you the greatest textbook in the world, called the Bible so that you can have the knowledge. And how does knowledge come? A bit at a time, a bit at a time. He doesn’t want us to be like little kids, and remain in kindergarten all of our lives. And the only thing you do – because one of the very first things you learned in kindergarten is what? One of the clever little songs is to teach the alphabet, right? “A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J…” Everyone knows that right? But guess what? That same song with the alphabet are the same letters that are used in the Bible to teach you the knowledge of God. So what are we dealing with? It’s an educational process.

Knowledge - knowledge of God the Father; knowledge of Jesus Christ; knowledge of the Word of God; knowledge of the history. Do you think that any of us have enough time to get all the knowledge we really, really, really need in this lifetime? No. As much as we can learn, we are to learn. But after the resurrection, don’t you think were going to learn a whole lot more? Don’t you think God’s educational process is going to continue for all eternity?

Now verse 6 (FV), “…And to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance;...” And that’s one thing a lot of people need today, both of them – self-control and endurance. See, when the going gets tough you still stick with it. Because if you faint in the day of adversity, as we saw, you have little strength. Endurance. Now what happens with endurance? It’s just like Paul wrote back there in Romans 5 that we read earlier. Godliness - you begin to have the kind of life that reflects the godliness of Christ as He was in the flesh. “...And to godliness, brotherly love;...” See, it’s a process. It’s a step-by-step, growing and overcoming. “...And to brotherly love, the love of God.” (vs. 6-7, FV). So here, Paul started out with love, and Peter ends up with love, you see, the very love of God. Now there’s an awful lot that needs to be said with that, because love is just not a feel-good emotion. That’s only part of it. That’s only one aspect of love. Love includes obedience, and loyalty, and all of the things that are here, that are listed here. Love includes all of those.

Now let’s continue on here for just a minute. Verse 8, “For if these things exist and abound in you,...” Now they can’t exist and abound in you unless you are busy working with God to let Him create these things in you, through doing the things that we have covered here. “...They will cause you to be neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You’re going to understand. “But the one in whom these things are not present is spiritually blind—so short-sighted that he has forgotten that he was purified from his old sins. For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things [See, it’s something you’re doing], you will never fall at any time. For in this way, you will be richly granted an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (vs. 8-11, FV). So what did Peter give us here? An absolutely sure fire, guaranteed way to know that you are on the road to the kingdom of God and you will go in. That’s how you stand before God.

Now let’s see what else we need to do. Let’s come back to Ephesians 5. Remember where it was. Ephesians 5:1; here is how we are to do it. Everyone has a pattern, or someone to follow that they use as a guide to live their life by. And in doing that they develop their own means of character and personality so that when they are adults then they can function as adults separate. Now Ephesians 5:1 (FV), “Therefore, be imitators of God,...” That’s why we need the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. Now we are not to go around and think that we are God, or that we are saviors of the world. No. But we are to imitate God’s behavior, His characteristics, His way of doing things, as listed out in His word. “...As beloved children;…” And that’s what children do, don’t they? They always mimic the behavior of the adults.

Verse 2 (FV), “…And walk in love,...” See, we are to live in love, as it says in one place, and here we are to walk in love. And faith works by love. So it all combines together, where I have said we are to walk in faith, believe in hope, and live in love. It all is combined together. “…Even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” So you see, this is where you start out, with the sacrifice of Christ, and this is where you end up, is with the sacrifice of Christ.

Now let’s come to 1 John 4. But time we get done here you will know which way to go. 1 John 4, and let’s talk about the love of God and see what has to be done. Because you see, just as there is something that is to be built, it has to be honed, and refined, and perfected. Now I saw a documentary on how they made Rolls-Royce, those cars, those big expensive cars. And the reason they’re so expensive is because just the woodwork that they have in there on the doors, and on the - what do they call that, that’s in the front of the car there? The dashboard, and the glove compartment, and all that, they have wood – special, expensive wood that they hand craft. And they sand, and they stain, and they polish, and polish, and polish, and polish, and inspect it, and worked over, and polish, and redone again and again until it is what? Perfect. Now that’s what God wants in us.

Now let’s see this beginning in verse 9. “In this way the love of God was manifested toward us:...” The very fact that God sent Jesus Christ, and He died for our sins, and Christ loves us, and God loves the world that He gave His only begotten Son - that is a manifestation of the love of God, not only for the world but for us. “...That God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love—not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” So now we are to respond to God because of this. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another.” Then he says, “No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:9-12, FV). In other words, part of having the love of God perfected in you is also loving the brethren, is it not? Yes, it is.

Now this gives us little test. “By this standard [this measurement] we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us” (vs. 13, FV). So that we know that we have the Spirit of God, we use the Spirit of God, we are growing in grace and knowledge, we are developing the character of God. And that’s how we stand before God. That’s why we are holy and blameless and without reproach before Him in love. That’s how that works, see, it is perfected in us.

Now verse 14 (FV), “And we have seen for ourselves [that is, the apostles have] and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God [that is, truly; not the counterfeits that we have in the world today], God dwells in Him, and he in God.” And of course, that can’t be unless you’re keeping commandments of God. “And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love,...” And that’s the ultimate that we are going to achieve, isn’t it? Yes it is. Having escaped the lust that is in the world and the corruption of the carnal mind, and been given the divine power and Spirit to be partakers of the divine nature. “…God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us,...” That’s how it’s done: day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year. “...So that we may have confidence in the day of judgment...” We don’t have to be afraid. We can have confidence. “…Because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment” (vs. 14-18, FV). So if you think you stand before God and you’re fearful and in torment, you better start repenting of that. And you better start relying on the things that we have covered here today, to know how you stand before God.

“And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God.” That’s why people fear, because they don’t have the love of God. “We love Him because He loved us first. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother, whom he has seen, how is he able [that means, how is he capable? How does he have the power] to love God, Whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother” (vs. 18-21, FV).

Now let’s come to Ephesians 4 again, and we will finish there. And we will see what God is doing. Now let’s come to Ephesians 4:11. This is what God is doing. “And he gave some as apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints,...” To teach them the way of God, the will of God, the love of God, the knowledge of God, the faith of God. That is the perfecting. And that is building the spiritual character. “...For the work of the ministry, for the edifying [the building up] of the body of Christ; until we all come into the unity of the faith [which is where we started, right?] and of the knowledge of Son of God, unto a perfect man,…” That means spiritually perfect. Now notice the goal where we are headed: “...Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error; but holding the truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ…” (Eph 4:11-15, FV).

Now that’s what God wants. That’s where we are headed. That’s how you stand before God. That’s why He imputes to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That’s why He views you as Jesus Christ. Because that is what He is teaching you to mimic and become, the very same. You’re the brethren of Jesus Christ. So brethren, have a continuous, good Feast of Unleavened Bread, and remember to constantly walk in the way of God.


Unleavened Bread – Sabbath – April 10, 2004

Scriptural References

1)

Romans 3:9-19, 23-26, 31

12)

1 John 2:1-3
2) Matthew 7:13-14 13) Ephesians 4:17-32
3) Matthew 11:23

14)

Colossians 1:27
4) Romans 4:21-25 15) Philippians 2:5
5) Romans 5:1-5, 10-11 16) Ephesians 5:3-11
6) Matthew 24:13 17) Galatians 5:19-23, 25-26
7) Galatians 2:20 18) Galatians 5:6
8) John 15:9-13 19)

2 Peter 1:1-11

9) 1 John 2:15-17 20) Ephesians 5:1-2
10) John 17:15 21) 1 John 4:9-21
11) 1 John 1:7-10 22) Ephesians 4:11-15

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