14th April 2024

Practising Righteousness while still growing in Sanctification

Passage: Matthew 5-6, 1 Peter 3:15-17
Service Type:

The sermon focuses on the Christian journey of righteousness, beginning with the gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ and leading into a life of sanctification. The preacher emphasises the need for living out our righteousness not for human approval but as a reflection of divine standards set by Jesus. Through the Beatitudes, believers are guided on how to align their lives with God’s expectations, progressing towards perfection in heaven. The concept of apologetics is also explored, highlighting the importance of defending one’s faith with reason and respect, while living in a way that genuinely reflects Christ's teachings. This sermon invites listeners to delve deeper into their faith, understanding it not just as a belief system but as a transformative journey shaped by divine grace and sustained through personal growth in holiness.

Automatically Generated Transcript

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Consequently, in bringing the morning messages although I am committed for us eventually to get through all the Book of Matthew in these morning services, we're going rather slowly and that's okay but we're actually up to chapter six. And, just the first four verses of chapter six is where we're looking at this morning and I don't intend to get a long way, even through the four verses, but just the very start of it, because it's coming after our learning about the Beatitudes, those teachings of Jesus as to how we should behave and how we should adjust to being people who are looking for the Kingdom of God and doing what the Kingdom would require us to be. And when we get to chapter 6, the very first few words is really what I want to underline this morning. It says, Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in

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order to be seen by them. Now the Bible is not against us practicing righteousness. We've actually been learning in the little while through chapter 5 of Matthew that God is very interested not only in us, the doings of righteousness, but where to discover the righteousness that will be acceptable to him and the answer we've seen is that there is no standard of goodness or righteousness that would be acceptable to God and appropriate in his kingdom except the standard that Jesus Himself sets. And it's a standard of perfection and these Beatitudes are talking about how you can come and get right with God be of peace with God and then following that moment of coming and making peace with God through Jesus and getting his forgiveness because of how he died for you on the cross there follows a time of of us growing in sanctification and the

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word sanctification means to be made more holy and so after coming to Christ and being accepted as holy because of him not because of our doings our righteousness was actually a gift of God of his righteousness that he puts on us that we should be acceptable yet we're still very sinful and we have lots of problems yet to be resolved. But that is followed by a time of the salvation being worked out in our lives. And that is called that time of sanctification, which goes all the way through to when we arrive at Heaven. And at last we are made perfect, to live with God forever in glory. And that is how our salvation has three parts. The first forgiveness of sins. And the Bible technically calls us that when we get a righteousness is given to us. some theologians call it an alien righteousness because it's not our

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doings, it's come for God as a gift. it's revealed from heaven through the gospel and the offer of the gospel is how he can make you at peace with him, God can by giving you a righteousness from heaven. you don't have to work it up you receive it because Jesus has done two things one is qualified by never sinning and then as a sinless sacrifice he went to the cross and bore the punishment of of heaven for all of our sins that we might have a free forgiveness and be granted the acceptance as righteousness because of him now that's the first step and it's becoming righteous by faith you go on living by faith, but the second step is that sanctification, where he gradually seeks to get you to grow to be more like the righteousness you already forensically are, he grows you

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in that second step. And so we can say that we're working out our salvation with fear and trembling the Bible calls us to do. And the third step in that righteousness is when we get to heaven and we're made perfect, And God is actually going to demonstrate us as his trophies of grace in glory, and we're going to see some of our fellow Christians and say, Goodness me, haven't they improved? But they'll be saying it about you. Because across the sanctification period, God has been getting us geared to alas become worthy to be his trophies in all of eternity of how Christ has dealt us and made us free from sin. So it says here, Beware of practicing your righteousness.

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That is in this second step stage we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we will seek to be living the ways that God would have us live. We won't be perfect but we're aiming to get more perfect every day if we can and it's a growth thing that's going on in our lives and that you are to practice it. So there is a very practical set of doings that are what we are to do in this period the second step in our salvation of becoming made more and more like our Father in heaven. And you need to do those practices and the word I wanted to underline is the word practice because it means doing things. So don't let anybody fool us or somehow make us think that being a Christian is a matter of coming to Jesus for forgiveness, and then it doesn't matter how we live. It's rather just the opposite. We become

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Christians and are granted Christ's righteousness and then we are set the task to gradually begin to grow to be able to practice it. You don't get desperate when you find you fail, but you realize you're in a process that he wants to help you grow in. You don't do it in front of other people in order to be seen by them. If you do it just for what other people see, then you're getting the wrong motive. Because in the Beatitudes we've been learning in Chapter Five, that what Jesus wants is as we behave the way he wants us to, appropriate to be in his kingdom, is not for what others see of us, so much as how he sees of us", and the reward in heaven is a thing that counts, rather

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than us getting a good reputation. And of course, it's important that our works are seen by the outside world, for therein lies a lot of the witness of the church. Now I told you that we're having this emphasis on apologetics. It's rather that's good for me to do that because in my studies I did a long journey through biblical studies and through theology and through the New Testament and eventually, my final degree was from a university where I was actually doing something for apologetics. In this learning as to what apologetics is, people often have varying ideas as to exactly particularly what it's about. Some people think it's a process where you make Christianity reasonable. No, it's not a process to make Christianity reasonable, but Christianity is very reasonable. Sometimes those reasons come from deeper factors that matter in our

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consciousness and certainly in our culture. You shouldn't expect that in a generation people who do not basically know Christ in a times when people are turning against the how the Bible speaks as to far what God wants us to do in to be righteous don't be surprised when people of the world do not see what we are or what we're attempting to be is reasonable at all yet there is a reasonableness that is observable if you've got spiritual eyes that go deep enough. Now what exactly is apologetics? I like to see a biblical definition of that and will turn to this morning something that is in 1 Peter 3 verses 15 to 17. And what I'm planning to do today is to go through this one, two, three, four, five particular words we need to make sure we understand to get the meaning of this. This is actually defining

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apologetics as the Bible sees what it actually is and it certainly includes about reasonableness but it's also got a deeper application that most people miss. But I want to give you first of all an example of, and we'll come back to this passage, but I want to give you an example of where Apologetics has happened in history so you not only have me giving you the definitions from the scriptures as we will from 1 Peter – but also that you have a Classical example that comes from the Athenian Philosopher, and by the way philosophy back in the ancient world didn't mean the opposite of science. Science was one of the first happenings of philosophy that was so visible as an area of research that it got a name of its own, but all of the sciences actually have been spin off from the general chasing down of what is philosophy.

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The philosophy is just a Lover of Knowledge. Phylo, is one of the words for love, and Sophos is wisdom so the lover of wisdom. So there was a philosopher who lived in Athens and his name was Aristides, don't worry about His Name but He lived in the early hundreds of the you know time after Christ and He was called to do an act of defence of the Christian faith before the Emperor with enormous ramifications as to whether His defence before the Emperor was successful or not. But the word defence is actually one of the first words I ll get onto that is where we get the idea of apology. But here we have the defense. And it s a defense given before the Emperor who lived in those early years. His Emperor s name is Hadrian, so Emperor Hadrian his years were

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117 to 138 as emperor,and in this opportunity that the Christian man, this philosopher Aristides had to put a defence for the Christians. Which defence if successful would stop a lot of massacres. But here is the defence that he gave, he says these Christians do not commit adultery nor fornication. Which was an amazing thing for you could ask anybody to be set off as a group back then. 12 They do not bear false witness. 13 They do not deny a deposit of money given, 14 Nor do they covet what is not theirs. 15 They honour their father and their mother. 16 They do good to those who are their neighbours.

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17 They love one another. And from the widows, they do not turn away their countenances or faces. 12 And they rescue the orphans from him who will do them violence, and he who gives to him that doesn't have anything, he does it without grudging. 13 When one of their poor passes away from the world, and any of them looks at him, he provides for his burial according to his ability. 19 Some nieces are richer than others and enjoy thick graves, yet others don't. grave places and others don't, but they step in and help. And if they hear of any of their number who is imprisoned or oppressed, for the name of their Messiah..

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That means Christ, Christ is another way of a Messiah. All of them provide for his needs, and if it's possible, he will work so that he may be delivered. If there is among them one man that is poor and needy and they haven't got the abundance of necessaries, they fast two or three days, that they may supply the needy with necessary food. Now, the commentator, I got this out of a book actually, James McDonary Boyce, who wrote up about this. He wrote and said, As evident by this spirited apology that the charity of the early church was new, a new and amazing thing to its contemporaries, the awe of it is the best evidence that true

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charity enter the world with Christianity. Now if you listen to the opinion of our world, of our days, the idea of people doing charity which is gracious good works to help people in need, is often spoken of as something that proves we re not as bad as the Church says, something that people quote as showing up how good they are, and indeed often the call to do things to help out when there's special times of flood or fire or whatever, is where you can see that we are made in the image of God with a sensitivity to looking after our fellow human beings. The very fact that we understand helping out humanity is more important than looking after your cat or your dog. The very fact that we understand the necessity to be people concerned with humanity has actually no founding on raw atheistic science that says we're just a higher form of animal.

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It is the Bible that teaches that we're made in the image of God, which image a recognition of which causes us to somehow know the rightness of helping out where there's a sudden need. No, there's something in humanity that responds to how God has made us, but that doesn't mean that we're intrinsically good and you could ever get to heaven by being someone good enough and get into glory because you didn't do the super bad things other people had done. No, the truth is, we're both made in the image of God. But that image is not something that's ever been totally wrecked. Someone like an image of God and us as domain like not so much like a shack in a slime pit. Absolutely terrible.

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Some churches you can go to, the way they talk they sort of paint up humanity as really not impressive at all in any sense. And they paint up the human heart as rubbish, all the way through. What the Bible actually teaches has been a misunderstood phrase, when it talks about the fact that we, our sinfulness is not something in just one little area. And you're sinful in this area, and you've got a few bad habits there you know and don't talk about. But the sinfulness is something that affects all of our humanity, and that includes our minds. And so, there was a squabble back in history as to where sin lay.

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And the protestant people came out with a statement, That sin is something that's affecting all about humanity. That didn't mean that you are as rotten as you could get. Try turning away from Christ and living without Him. And you'll get more rotten than you'll see that yourself. Where I woke up to how true that was, was when you get asked to go speak at jails. And you go along expecting to see a lot of hoodlums. Well, there are a few of them there. You go along expecting to see people who don't have any sensitivity to spirituality. That's not what I found.

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I met Christians in jail because they didn't take it seriously about sin, and when they stop walking with Christ, sin jumped in on them. As the Bible teaches, sin is always looking for a chance to jump in on you and me. And what I also found in jail is people who, in the extremity of their punishment, had turned to Christ and were living lives seeking to learn to be what it is to be a saint. That was an amazing thing to discover. Well, anyway, what was I trying to say? Here in this particular time our Friend Aristides had a comment and he was saying to the emperor about all of the good things that the Christians do. It says that they supply the needy with the necessary food and if they have to fast themselves

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meaning go without food for several days in order to help the person who doesn't have anything. That's what they did. His comment is the evidence from this spirited apology that the charity of the early Church was new and amazing and pretty to their contemporaries, and charity has come as the result of Christianity not because of the benevolence of the average human heart, without denying that we can do do good things, yet, sinfulness is a factor that affects all areas of life, including our religious ones. You can discover the weeds of sin growing up in every religious organisation where the medicine is not applied particularly. The meaning of Apologetics

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Now we will go back to our passage in the suckunga, or Spin of Pain, from the first First Peter, and Chapter 3 And what I wanted to do is to bring out the meaningful of apologetics And I have a bit of an extra motive I have to tell you I'm also trying to cause this sermon is useful to deliver the Christian word, Grace from being misunderstood The Christian word, Grace, is a word, a very beautiful word And there's Hebrew equivalent to the Old Testament There are various words that are used for grace. This word grace is translated in the King James Bible as the word charis.

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It was translated as charis, c-h-a-r-i-s. From that comes the English word that our Tiger, King James, the Old English Bible that our mothers and fathers at least mine at least grew up on, is used in the Bible. The only trouble is where it is used in the Bible, and I told last week about a list of words that are translated Love in the Bible! the one that is most often not every time but mostly it is the word which means the love of God the word agape or agape, we don't know how it was said back then but agape or agape it is the love of God that is in John 3 16 for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son the most precious gift he had for God so loved the world that he gave his son,' that whosoever' meaning anybody who believes in him' should not perished but

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have everlasting life." And it's those verses with the love of God and its strongest sense that really is only God can produce although we're called to have it as God produces it in us too. And it's the highest form of love. We talked about poor old Peter who failed Jesus, and Jesus asked him whether he loved him. Peter couldn't say yes to the Agape word, he only said a Filios word, brotherly love. Jesus kept asking him, but the third time Jesus repeated the question, instead of asking do you Agape me, he asked do you even Filios me. And Peter breaks down, and is so hurt by the question, because he had failed the Lord,

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the truth is that the bible teaches we of ourselves including peter with all of his great bragging cannot produce agape on our own it is only as god in us works that we get the love of god coming out of us and that's the practising of righteousness he's talking about it but don't do it for wrong motives now here in this verse there are some words here I want to bring out the meaning of . But my purpose is that you understand the word grace, which is the word in the Greek, usually it's not charis directy. It's the word for grace. Well it is charis in the greek and not charity in english. It should really be the love of god and agepis is often the word that is translated grace or one similar. Here we have Peter speaking and he starts off and he says here, and you get to the beginning part as you can see it there, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as Holy.

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There is an awful lot in the language when we read the scriptures we don't at first glance read across and if you get a paraphrastic version which makes it easier for you to understand They only get the easiness to understand because they water down, leave out half the meeting. In this translation, in your hearts honor Christ, the word for honor is actually translated as make holy. Or in another translation the sanctify. In your hearts sanctify Christ, as Lord, is how some version of Bible translation will read. The word actually hagiasmos or hagiasate in the command form of it that it is here is telling us that we are to do something is to honor Christ the Lord and

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you know Jesus gets lots of names he's the Messiah and means Christ he's God there's lots of things you can refer to Jesus which are true when it says on our Christ as Lord, the idea of Lord means Master, it means Director, it means the Boss. And when it says honor Christ the Lord it's saying that you are to set him apart, which is what sanctify means being set apart, set apart Christ as the Boss there in your heart. He is talking about the fact that the Christian experience doesn't really work if you take on board Jesus to bring you forgiveness and that you are free to breathe along in life and do what you want. The idea of being a Christian is to recognise the Lordship of Christ.

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Not just that you bow to Him as Lord gets you saved, you have to accept him as your let him be the one whose death on the cross pays for your sins so you don't go on trying to pay for them yourselves but also in the package deal of coming to Christ as you come to him we often word it you know the Lord Jesus as your own Lord and the Savior go on and receive. Many of you would have perhaps had someone lead you to Christ you might have even noticed but they use the words that way to receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Save you because you're trusting for his forgiveness, that he works? Not trying to work it up yourself. Lord, because you're letting him be the boss of your life? You're bowing your knee to let him be

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the leader? You're letting him to call the shots? Jesus is the Lord and Christianity doesn't work when you only treat to him as, yes thank you for saving me and I'm doing the best I can. But you don't do what He says." Jesus said, why do you call me Lord and you don't do the things that I say. Lord is a very big word but there it says, in your heart. Honor which means set Him aside or one translation of the word Haggaiasmus is the idea to consecrate. Consecrate Christ as Lord in your heart. There is an there's an experience that Christians as they grow in that sanctification period often get drawn into when they recognize they've never really let Jesus take over every little area. They've never let Him have the role of Lord, and when you consecrate Him in your heart,

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what you are really saying is the bottom level of every decision I'm going to ask you Lord, and I will do what you say even if I don't understand it. Sometimes in Christian circles we call that when we disciple people. It's coming to the place of full surrender. The usual Bible passage we use is Romans 12 verse 1 which says, 3 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you surrender yourselves as a living sacrifice. Jesus gave himself on the cross he was living to then. But he died! 4 But when you give yourself as a living sacrifice

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is not that you die, except to die to sin, except to die to self, except to die to all that self-ambition, except to die to YO ład reputation but to come and say, Jesus, I'm going to honour you in my heart that's the only thing that matters to me. Honour Christ in your heart the Lord, as Holy Se Berkeley consecrated you are to Him, always prepared to make a defense. Now, this means you stand up for Him. So if you come across a circumstance where they're speaking against Jesus you're willing. You have to learn how to do that with the best of tact. You have to learn how to stand up for Jesus and not do it in an angry way. Or do it in a way that makes them all angry because of your stick uppedness or yours trying to say how perfect You are and implying that they're not. Boy, Did I have to learn that lesson bad when I first went teaching?

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cuz I went into the men's staff room and I don't know how I did it But oh I know they didn't have enough classes at first over the first couple of weeks I will walked around with the deputy principal and helped him do his work But of course I gave him both barrels of the gospel And He went into the men's staff room. This is all we've got this religious Nathalie you know and And from that moment on in the staff room of the men, they hated me or they disrespected me, because of the picture they'd given. And one man who had a lot of moral problems in his life going on, he didn't like the

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whole moral question that Christianity posed, and so he said to me – he said, do you think you've got high morals? I hadn't been talking about morals. but he reacted to what he thought I was going to be and he put my lunchbox on the bench at the back and they all came and sat in around the chairs and there was no room for me to sit in the back, and if I said something they'd pretend they didn't hear. Was I a terrible witness? Not deliberately terrible, but actually they asked me to go out and have lunch with the women. biggest insult they could make to me, they thought. But in that school, I had to learn

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the fact that you have to honor Christ and learn how to defend Him in ways that will be a defense, that will make sense. Now the actual word for defence is the word to answer back, upper, loggian, the loggi bits, to have a statement, have a sentence, have a reason, the upper is to return fire really, when people accuse you then you have a defence. And what this passage is talking about is the actual best biblical description of is apologetics, when you answer back. To do a good apologetics you don't go along and tell them of your beliefs straight up, you are to answer back to the criticisms they may have against you. So apologetics starts in their statements, You don't do apologetics straight up from your Christian teachings or the Bible.

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You'll eventually use the Bible, but the purpose of it is to answer back to what they've started. And therefore, apologetics will have all sorts of starting points depending on what field it's in, what field of learning. If you're in science and there's a theory like the theory of evolution or something like that, then for you to be able to show a reasonableness of the Christian position about that would be apologetics. But the thing is important, that you pay respect. Notice how it goes on to say, I've come back a bit about the reasonableness, it says that you're showing with gentleness and respect. And so part of what I didn't do because that was my style of witnessing, of personal witnessing, if I met someone at the bus shelter, I give them both barrels and I

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remember when we moved to St. Mary's, that's the suburb of Adelaide, there's one in Sydney but the one in Adelaide and Michel and I were going to the University in the bus and we'd sit in different spots because that would give us two different people to talk to about Christ. And Michel always seemed succeed. And she'd get off at the other end and maybe were some lady she's talking to and they were all her most best friends, not quite, you know. When I'd get talking to someone, and I'd look at them they would shrink back into the glass and I'd try and ask her a question and they would slash phones up. Somehow I didn't know how to get on to relating to them as people I wanted to have another person I've witnessed to and I had to watch Michelle, and you know what I worked out what she did. She wasn't doing it here,

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I don't remember whether she came in or not. Anyway I'll tell you what I saw she did is that she would sit down and she's just say something about her day and about what's going on for her And she was revealing she opened up herself and just said something about herself. Then the other woman would come back and say something about them. And that kept going and eventually they became good buddy buddies. All in a bus trip as she did this many different times over and I observed. So if you really want to witness to someone, you have to get on to their wave lengths. And just in conversation it means that you're willing to listen to them. If you dominate the conversation, and they just go quiet, you failed. What you are to do, if you share of yourself, they'll share of themselves.

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And when it comes to matters of intellectual discussion, when it comes to matters of Christianity, when it comes to the Gospel, or the fact of its needing and apologetic, You can't do that if you can't get out of them what they believe. If you start with what you believe, then you hog the conversation and keep telling all the things. They'll go quieter and quieter and quieter which is what happened to me. And I had to learn the hard way that you gotta make rapport with the people as a person. And in the group of, the teachers in the school, they used to go out to the pub every now and then. I never used to go near pubs. And so I decided I dunno, I don't drink. But I was going to go along, and then they had this shouting business that's not using

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allowed voices, paying for the drinks. And there would be six, seven or eight of them and they'd all take turns, so they're going to end up having eight beers or whatever it is. And I'd order a Coca-Cola because it's in red and very visible. If I finished it, I'd put it on the bar and everybody knew that I didn't drink, but I could join in the shouting, and it made me pour at first. But really interesting how that, and some entrance with the men, and bit by bit across a year and a half, I got to talk to different ones about different things. There is something to be learned. in the idea of apologetics, it's meant to be that you come in to defend something that

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they have seen about you, it gives a rational explanation of it. And so it is a defense and we are answering back, but the very word for defense means you are the second speaker. There's been a previous loggie on when they accused you, or they thought wrong thoughts but an apologia is your answer back. The next word to say about it, it says if you look up there on the screen, A Defence to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope. Now this is not just a request to have a intellectual discussion. Apologetics isn't necessarily, the heart of it isn't necessarily just being intellectual about the faith, although a lot of apologetics does do that, but the heart of it is that they're asking for the explanation, and that word reason, that word there that is apologetic

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that you're speaking of is to give a rational explanation, is what it means. but the rational explanation is for how they've seen something in you. If you're a person who doesn't look any different from the rest of the people at work, if you're a person whose got as many bad habits than you swear, just the same as the rest, they don't see anything in you that needs an explanation, they've already got it, you are just one of those religious hypocrites. The only reason why you'd have an opportunity to be doing apologetics as if they've seen something in you and what is it is this next little word, hopefully. We've been over about this word hope in our mornings several times, but it doesn't mean the same as our modern lingo. Hope, you say, well are you going to pass the exam? I remember saying down at

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Splendid University in Adelaide, I hope so. And I wasn't at all sure cuz I knew or had already failed the protocols. I hope so. You don't really know. But our word today isn't the same as back then. That word hope meant more expectation. I'm really expecting too. And so if there is something that you have that you display that you're convinced about and people pick it up when they recognise and use some assurance it's amazing how that happens when they don't have any

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That year of my teaching out on the West, there were different teachers that we'd get together just every now and then, and some of them were really rough towns and in terrible places with a non-Christian atmosphere. Pretty well, got them undone. And they were really having a terrible year. And when we met, I'd tell them lots of good things happening where I was a rajah DON, and they began to get wistful. They would say, how come you are not worried? One bloke, we both had shared a thing we were doing and I was spending the year. I got Time Magazine and I read it from cover to cover try to upgrade my level of thinking

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and he was doing the same thing. But Time Magazine had all the problems of the world and then the more he read of the problems of the world, the more upset he got. He told me he was really unable to cope with, always getting another load of the local news. He was wondering what it was all about. And why was he upset? He said, how come you don't seem worried by what time, I knew I was referring in the same articles. Because I had peace. My peace comes from my Christian eschatology, I know where this world is going.

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And he wanted to know what, how come you get upset, he was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. And so what I had to say to him was about the peace of Christ and what happens when you come and know Jesus, though you don't know the future, you know who holds the future as one of our choruses says, he's the one who holds the future. And because you know him, you can relax and the more in your Christian life you realize it's Jesus who's got the reigns and the more you're one to make sure he's got the reigns, and you don't yank him back, the more you leave it that you honour Christ as Lord in your heart. The more that sense of peace comes over you and the others around you begin to notice and And then they ask, what's different about you? The chaplain who was also my cricket coach,

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his son was one of my friends but he wasn't yet converted. The son that is not the chaplain, the son was not yet converted and in the school off he used to try and impress all the other boys and when they picked on someone if they thought they were weak he would swear and curse, he wasn't very tall and he'd have to really put on a big Bravo act of being your, you know

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and they despised him for it. One of them actually came and said to me, what's with you, Jim? They said, this fellow, they said his name, He's always trying to undo the fact that he's a chaplain's son and we... he basically said we give him heaps. But he says, You don't seem to worry. What is it that you're not concerned? They used to pick on me if they could.

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What was it? And it was that peace. And you won't get anywhere in apologetics, if you don't have someone who spotted something about you that they really wish they could have and they come and ask you. And then you make a defence. The defense is your reasonable explanation as to why you have got hope. That is that positive sight of expectation that is found in Christ. For you do it in gentleness and respect, having a good conscience so that when you ëare slanderersí those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God's will than for doing

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evil. So this is giving us an arrow in. Now I did say at the start that I wanted to defend the word grace but the word grace from which we get the Latin caros is just a direct tracing of the sound of carosing a brick but the word grace doesn t mean what the English came to mean by charity. charity Came to mean when you do good things In order to impress people. That's what the worldly folk think that you might say Look, this glove and I helped these people and I gave my money to the poor And well some of that came about out of Judaism because you know those Jewish rabbis

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They actually had in their writings and I'm quoting from to one of the Jewish rabbi writings it's not in the scriptures But it says, it has arms giving gifts for people arms giving, especially poor people, delivers from death and will purge away all sins. No. Your practicing your righteousness is not to get you forgiven. Your righteousness is because you've had righteousness given you, when you were forgiven, when you came to Christ and you rested in his forgiveness. and so the Jewish people added that legalistic bit and the motives of doing, keeping all the law and doing all the right things, and that was what Jesus was disagreeing with, that you don't do the

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right things because you want people to see it and in fact in our passage, that other passage back in Matthew chapter 6 and verses wonderful, He goes on to say don't do things for others to see. I think the expression is let your right hand know that your left hand's doing. Don't blow a big trumpet before you do. Give your offerings. Keep secret the good things you do for people. And don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. And that your giving may be in secret and your father who sees in secret will reward you, in our Church there is often in our church the opportunity that is to give. We've been having a season when we don't take up the offerings precisely in order to communicate to the outside world that you don't come here to get your money taken off you. But the truth is, we do

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have a practice that Christians give and we make available a way to do that that through the Internet and through the going straight into the bank accounts. But that is not for you to get known as a giver because God wants you to be rewarded in glory. At the end of that second stage of the sanctification, the first one was forgiveness, the second one is being sanctified, there is a judgment of Christians. judgments mainly for rewards, though there will be some reprimanding that will happen, depending on what you've done. But you won't lose your salvation. The decision about you has already been made that you are forgiven. It got made by God in heaven or Christ in heaven. When you came to Christ, when you came for the

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forgiveness of sins. One of the best of Billy Graham's sermons I've ever heard was where he quoted from Joel and talks about multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision but I couldn't understand what he's talking about, he's talking about two events that are linked and one was when you give the gospel and in his ministry there's all these multitudes of people who hear at the end of every message I'm gonna ask you to do something that is not do a work, it is to come and admit you need Christ and receive Christ, and at that moment he has the sense that the very decisions that are going on in the crowd are the same decisions that Jesus will make one day at the judgement at the end of the age. But if you've come to Christ and you've decided to be his and you've decided to

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put your rest in him for forgiveness, then the decision is made for you. It is He is completed. That great cry He made, it is finished. It means complete in full. Jesus was crying at about the whole process of the Old Testament law. He's also quoting it to be what He endured in the cross as He bore our sins, and God punished Him for your sins, and He said it is finished and you rest in the finished nature of that forgiveness so you don't have to do anything and in the practice of your righteousness. You simply do things that you know that the judgment day there will be reward that Christ will give for judgment over all our Christian lives, but not to send us to heaven or hell because that's already been decided. I find it a very very peaceful and fantastic assurance that I know I belong to Christ, and even if I were to make a mistake or not do

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everything perfectly he's not even contemplating giving me the loot that sense of I belong to Jesus and he belongs to be is the secret of my heart and in the steps that he led me to eventually see how to crown him as Lord to let him be the chief decider of everything brought the greatest relief to my life and I've never lost it crown him with many crowns he will do that you'll do that in heaven but you can do that now in your heart when you honor him as Lord and let his will then be worked out through your sanctification and that is how to end up having that quiet spirit and have that sense of of adjustment and peace that non christian people will see and they will ask you tell me what your secret is. Nothing more wonderful

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when someone asks that question and you tell them it's not a thing it's a person and he is in my life he's the one who forgave me he's the one who will get me into glory and he's the one that you need that's what I tell people and they find the understanding that it's Jesus that they need if that happens usually you're going to get a convert eventually, maybe not straightaway but when someone understands the issue is not just life-style the issue is not just you background going to church, he issues a person, Jesus. If you're here this morning and you've never settled it with Jesus, either by trusting Him to be the one that saves you, or by recognizing Him as your Lord, generally that should be done together because it's because He's Lord He can be your Savior, but I have to

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confess I had a like a second experience when I gave over to Jesus to be Lord of everything usually comes about deeply certain issues that I was struggling with I couldn't work out of my life and I'll put it all in his hands it's the most fantastic development that could have happened and I believe that there is a very deep secret of honoring Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior some of you he's been your Savior because you've come and you the forgiveness of sins. But in the outworking of your lives, that taking Him or letting Him be, you don't take Him, you are letting Him be the Lord. is what you are needing to do. And you need to do that. I'm not going to ask you outwardly to signify such but some of you can follow this up. Sometimes I tell people give me a ring during the week, leave

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text because I usually find it hard to find my phone too quick and send me a text and we'll meet and we'll talk about honoring Christ in your heart as Lord and you might know the peace of Christ that passes all understanding and other people are going to notice the hope the rest the the assurance that you have and they'll be quizzing you. They won't know exactly why they're doing it, but there's something about you. They'd like to find out how come. You don't have to be the top sporting star, you don't have to be someone who's in some other human way the creve of the crop, but it's when

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it shines out of a person and they realise you've got something they haven't got they come and ask you or they nose you around and you get to the centre of what they're trying to do you tell them it's Jesus and if they would let him become their Lord and Savior they'd know what it is to have that peace as well. Let's pray Heavenly Father, we thank you for apologetics and how to answer back to people who ask for the reasons that we have this hope, this peace, this assurance, this rest. And I pray for all of us that we'll get opportunities to tell other folks, maybe this week, about why we are as we are. And Lord, if there is some here today who need to really hello Christ Jesus as Lord, that's what that first part says. Would you move in them to come to that point this day, or this week, and let them grow where there's that rest that other people spot, that peace and that opportunity to point them to the Saviour. We ask this in His Name, Amen.

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