Outside the 65: Begin with your heart
A man was sitting at a stop light one morning. The lady in front of him was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green, she did not obey its command. She remained in her idle position until the light turned red again. So he began screaming epithets and beating on his steering wheel. His expressions of disgust were interrupted by a policeman, gun drawn, tapping on his window. Against his protests of, “You can’t arrest me for hollering in my car,” the officer ordered him into the back seat of his police car. After about two hours in a holding cell, the arresting officer advised him he was free to go. He said, “I knew you couldn’t arrest me for what I was yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this.” The officer replied, “I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, “What a jerk. But there is nothing I can do to him for throwing a fit in his own car.” Then I noticed the cross hanging from your rear view mirror, the bright yellow “Choose Life” license tag, and the “Jesus Is Coming Soon” bumper sticker, and I thought you must have stolen the car.”
Last week we learned that we all hate hypocrisy. We hate it in our friends, our church and if we are honest we hate it in ourselves. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go to the doctor and get a prescription for hypocrisy? You just take a pill and you would be cured. www.lote.org
Copyright © 2008 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge
Jesus’ Personal Prescription for Dealing with Hypocrisy in Our Lives
I am going to try to from the scriptures to you and I have chosen to not put it on the screen so I need for you to listen and let the Word of God live in you.
1. Begin Internally
39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.
41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Luke 6:39-42 NLT
2. Start with the Heart
43 “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. 45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:43-45 NLT
3. Weigh the Consequences
46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”Luke 6:46-49 NLT
If Jesus says start within to fix your hypocrisy how to we do that? Let’s look at our text from Ephesians 5:
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21 NLT
Last week we concluded that to really be like Christ we should do two things:
Mimic/imitate God and Love people
We also talked about being people of light so that others may come to know Christ. When we live our lives in the light of Christ we will become transparent. What people will see when we are living a surrendered life is a winsome; Christ empowered holiness that is attractive and advances the kingdom of God.
The “how to” is found in verse 18 of our text:
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,
Meaning Of “Filled”
When we think of something being full we think of a glass of water being poured to the top. That is not the idea in this use of the word filled. Here it is referring to be saturated. To being controlled by. Ever seen anyone that is drunk? When a person is drunk the alcohol controls and alters everything in their system. As alcohol goes into our bodies and saturates our emotions, bodies and minds, so the Holy Spirit comes into a life where He is welcomed and affects our emotions, bodies and minds. God’s Spirit when allowed will saturate our life and make not only a daily impact but a moment by moment impact. It will affect our attitudes, speech, emotions and relationships.
To be filled with the Spirit is to be so submerged into God’s Sprit that we produce with our lives the Fruit of His Spirit. The Spirit of God produces holiness, love joy peace, kindness, longsuffering, patience, goodness, self-control. Think of it as being a sponge. When a sponge is saturated, it is controlled by it. When you squeeze a saturated sponge what comes out?
When you and I are saturated with God and His holiness and we get squeezed His Spirit will come out instead of our flesh. This is so simple that I think everyone of us should be able to handle this and understand it.
The Plural Form: It is for “you all.” This is not for superstars. Every believer is commanded to be controlled by the Holy Spirit 24/7
The Passive Voice: It is something that happens to you. It is allowing the Spirit access to saturate your life. This is not about you doing something other than allowing God to saturate your life.
The Present Tense: Start and continue to be filled with the Spirit every day.
Story: Grieving the spirit . . .filled with the Spirit one moment and filled with yourself the next. The filling of the Spirit is a continuous flow.
How do you know if you are filled with the Spirit.
Four Evidences (“Proof”) Of Being Filled
19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1. Your speech will reveal it: “speak to one another” “among yourselves.”
2. Your private thoughts will reveal it: “in your heart”
3. Your praise will reveal it: “And give thanks for everything to God.”
4. Your relationships will reveal it. “submit to one another.” (marriage)
There is on number four a parenthesis that is really not supposed to be there. That was a note to myself in case I wanted to use marriage as an illustration but since I left it in the slide I guess I can share that thought.
On the wife side of things it’s when a husband has some crazy great idea and shares it enthusiastically with his wife. She thinks to herself, “That’s the dumbest idea I have ever heard. “We’ve been down this road before.” But since it is not an moral of big financial issue she controlled by the presence of God smiles and agrees to go along with the idea. She doesn’t want to but she loves him and agrees to go along with this “great” idea.
In the same way, the husband may be watching the game he thought he just couldn’t live without and his wife turns to him and suggests he go with her for a walk. There is this moment. Can you feel it? He asks her, stalling for time, “What for?” She says, “So we can talk.” He says, “What about?” She says, “Oh nothing in particular, just talk.” The man of course it thinking, I’m going to give up a ballgame no a great ballgame, to take a walk to nowhere and talk about nothing? But when the Spirit of God is saturating and operating He will also think, “Even though this makes no sense, I will choose to submit my will to hers out of reference for Christ.” You can know if the Spirit of God is saturating your life by the speech that comes out, the private thoughts that consume your life, by level of thanksgiving in your life and by how readily you submit to one another.
How do we allow God’s Spirit to work in this way? Just as a fruit tree produces fruit generic to its type so the Holy Spirit produces fruit in us.
The Spirit produces, love and joy and peace in your vertical relationship with God.
Goodness kindness and a sense of caring for others in our horizontal relationships with those around us.
Faithfulness and gentleness (willingness to yield) self-control in our relationship with God.
An Important Distinction – Baptism – Filling
There is all kind of teaching about being filled with the Spirit and so for a few moments I want to give you the position of our church and what we teach about this subject. There are many folks who would teach that the only evidence of being filled with the Spirit is some experience or some manifestation of the gifts referred to in the Bible as the gifts of the Spirit. It can be incredibly confusing. The gifts in the body of Christ although valid and important have nothing to do with living a more holy life. They are not an evidence of the Spirit of God in your life. The evidence of being filled with the Spirit of God that is a biblical and stands the test of time is the fruit of the Spirit manifested in your life. It is not speaking in tongues, or all kinds of thing that people attach to it today. (many of them are just plain goofy) It is amazing to me what lengths people will go to for some emotional experience and high but don’t want anything to do with day by day full surrender to God that produces the fruit of the Spirit.
• The Baptism of the Spirit = “The non-experiential, unrepeated work of the Holy
Spirit at regeneration whereby we are placed into the Body of Christ.” F.F. Bruce
(Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9)
• The Filling of the Spirit = “The unobstructed or unhindered control or influence of
the Spirit upon the believer’s life.” C. Ryrie
(Acts 2:4, 4:8, 4:31, 6:3, 6:5, 6:55, 9:17, 11:24, 13:9, 13:52)4
When we are “saved” or become a follower of Christ we receive the Holy Spirit in our lives as a guide and counselor but it is more of a limited influence because of our limited understanding. As we grow spiritually we come to understand that we need to allow the Spirit of God access to every part of our lives and we experience something called sanctification or full surrender. At that point and many times afterward we submit ourselves to the inward control of God allowing Him to influence every area of our lives.
Principles to Remember
1. The issue is not getting more of the Holy Spirit; it’s Him getting more of you.
Furnace and vents. If the vents are open the heat will change the atmosphere of the entire room and house. If you block the duct work in certain areas you can control where it goes.
Sanctification is the opening of your life to the scrutiny and power of the Holy Spirit.
2. We are never told to seek an experience or gift as evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
God uses gifts but they are not the equation of whether we are filled with His Spirit. The evidence is daily and moment by moment and controlled by our level of surrender to God.
3. The conditions for being filled are:
a. Obedience – dedication – yieldedness to God and His Word.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2,
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.(Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you) Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:16-17
b. Undefeated life (dealing with known sin)
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-31 (and 32)
c. Dependent life – John 15,
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:16
4. The key perspective: It is relationship, not mechanical.
Hypocrisy can be illustrated by the way we clean house when company is coming - We shove our junk in the closet, stuff it under the bed, etc. where it can’t be seen. Out of sight it doesn’t exist at least to our guests. That is not a horrible way to clean house, but it is terrible way to deal with the spiritual junk in our lives. There is no value to hide our junk from people if God sees it. He is the one we are to please.
If you’ve ever gone on the tour at Universal Studios, you’ll realize that most of the stuff you see on TV is fake: a facade. There’s nothing behind the lath and plaster: no substance, just the appearance of what seems so. Behind the Hollywood sets is a mess of cables and cameras, extension cords, lights and filters. Half the time, the news anchors all dressed up in their jacket and tie have nothing but jogging shorts on under the desk, and you’d never know it because you can’t see it. They have you fooled to imagine that if half of it’s there, then it must all be there…
They count on the fact that you’ll imagine they’ve got it all together…
Too many Christians are counting on the fact that you’ll imagine they’ve got it all together if they put up a good enough façade. They’re not all there, so they put up the façade, and in doing so, they drive good people away from the church. We can’t afford hypocrisy. God needs His people to be transparent.
Let us purpose in our hearts to be surrendered to God.