2nd June 2024

Understanding True Sonship in Christ

Passage: Matthew 6:9-13, Hosea 11:1, John 1:12-13, Philippians 2:10-11
Service Type:

This sermon explores the concept of sonship in Christianity, highlighting the transformative power of understanding and embracing one's identity as a child of God through Jesus Christ. It explores the differences between the Old and New Testament teachings on God's Fatherhood and how Jesus' introduction of the Lord's Prayer took this revolutionized this understanding. The sermon also underscores the importance of being born again, emphasising the role of the Holy Spirit in making believers true sons and daughters of God by new birth from above, as further to our being sons of God by just being His creatures. The message extends an invitation for listeners to experience this divine relationship personally.

Automatically Generated Transcript

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We are in a period of time, in going through our Gospel of Matthew, of coming to where Jesus has taught about prayer. And as the last couple of Sunday mornings we've been looking at the wording of that prayer, and Jesus taught his disciples to pray and say, That idea of God being Father was one that was going to trouble Jesus' audience, particularly the Jewish leaders, because there was no capacity they seemed to show of being able to understand that Jesus was divine and yet he was not the Father. He talked about the Father being in him and him being in the Father, But Jesus was not the Father, but he had a prayer,

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and it's called the Lord's Prayer, whereby we copy Jesus and his Battle of Praying of praying and saying, Our Father. Is actually one of the big differences in the level of teaching between the Old and the New Testaments in the Bible, that in the Old Testament, there is a sense … in which the children of Israel understood God as Father, But it really wasn't quite the same as what Jesus was expositing Jesus was bringing out. For example in Exodus and also in Deuteronomy there's spots where Israel itself is called the Son.

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And when Moses went along to Pharaoh and talking to him about letting go of the children of Israel, he talks about God championing the fact of getting the release of his Son. And there's a prophecy when Jesus came from somewhere. He came out of Egypt because Joseph, the legal father of the family of Jesus, fled for safety down to Egypt. But there came a time when the angel came and a dreamer spoke to him again, and so he comes back to Israel and says this was to fulfill. The prophecy, Out of Egypt I have called my son. And there's something about the history of the children of Israel and then being called out of Egypt as being a picture, if you like, or an early warning of, an indication about

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that one day the more real true son would be called out of Egypt. And that relationship of Jesus to the Israeli people and to the the Jewish nation was something those poor Pharisees, they were sinful Pharisees, those leaders couldn't assimilate, couldn't understand, that Jesus was more the Son than they the nation were. And even when one of the fellows

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who was the high priest and sometimes in those roles God's Spirit would come on them and they would prophesy, one of those fellows who was the high priest prophesied it was necessary, or better for one man to die for the nation, and not understand that the nation is better represented in Jesus – in God the Father's eyes – than all the Jewish people running around. I'm not obliterating the identity of the Jews, but I'm talking about Jesus in His essence is the True Son.

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There's something for us to learn about this, because you know in Australian popular culture, if you get talking to people about being Christians, they'll understand, our community once did perhaps, maybe less now, with a different set of people in it, but once our community of Australians will understand themselves generally to be the children of God. And a part of what was the rationale for treating people with...

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in recognizing their humanity, was that humanity was created by God that were all the children of God. And if you bring up the topic with people, at least it used to be the case when I was a young person. If you put up the topic with people about We're all his children. There's even songs on the hip array back then. We're all his children. The people recognized the general truth

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of humanity being the children of God God's created us, but didn't always understand the Christian message that there was a special sense in which you could be the child of God? As I look out on you this morning, I'm looking at a group of people who just definitely are human beings. I think, depending on your hair do. Well, I think. No, no, no. We're all the children of God. But did you know that Jesus to find a special sense of being the children of God in which you would pray His Lord's Prayer, Our Father, who is in heaven. It was One whereby the Sonship was available to us through Jesus. How that happens is that when we come to Christ for the forgiveness of sins,

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when we recognize him as the necessary Saviour of our souls, and we come to do business with Jesus and take him as our personal savior. That moment he gives of his sonship. He shares it with us, and we are enabled to call and say, Abba Father, the Holy Spirit, generating in us the understanding of ourselves as true sons, and that's becoming a son in a spiritual sense,

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and it is with that meaning that the New Testament talks about as many as received him. To them he gave the right to become the children of God, Now the address of John's gospel there in those first three chapters that so say, there's been as received him to them, he gives the authority to become the children of God. Listen! Those people who got the gospel,

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they were Jewish people mostly. So they were humans, all of them. And we're children of God, as the Bible does, talk about all humanity as being his creation, and we're children of God in that general sense, But it's talking about the special sense that's available through Jesus, who he was the very son of God eternally, son. Not just when he became Jesus.

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You know, that's why his name Jesus is the name given in his humanity. And God, the Father, had begotten the human son but he hadn't begotten not that moment an eternal son. There's theologians who still argue about the begottenness of the son as an eternal thing and when you deal in training theology, you get people arguing. Oh, you're arguing about the eternality of the sonship of Jesus,

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but it's the thing, the Bible teaches, he's always been son. He always will be. He is the son and he came into this world taking on humanity and becoming a human son so that he was forgotten. This day, God had forgotten him and yet he is the eternal son, and what he did by dying upon the cross for your sins and mine

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was paying the debt of humans, which is why he had to obey the law, which is why there was necessary to be a successful human who could be sinless and fulfill the pattern that the Old Testament offering set up of the sinlessness of the sacrifice and what the best they could do would be have sheeps or goats that didn't have any blotches and didn't have any scars, or hadn't any legs missing.

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That was their picture, but the picture was of the spotlessness of the Son who would come and be the sacrifice on the cross for our sins. That we would be totally forgiven by God because he the in risky sacrifice bore our sins. And the invitation would be laid open to all persons who heard of his sacrifice to come, To come, to come to me said Jesus all you who labor at a heavy laden and I will give you rest.

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The call of Christ is for people to come to the one who is the Savior, who died for your sins. And when you come and rest your case as far as acceptance with God is then you are given to be a son with Jesus. You take on that part of His beingness of being a son And you become a son and a daughter of God and you're a son in that spiritual sense and that happened at your new birth The new birth that John chapter 3 talks about which is the being born again being born from heaven is the other meaning of the words again in that spot of that interpretation of when Jesus said to Nicodemus

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You must be born again to see the kingdom of God that being born again could be translated born from above Because the second birth is not a human birth. The second birth is a heavenly birth from heaven where by you partake of the sonship of Jesus. The Bible says we're acceptable within the beloved, the beloved being the Father, the Son, the holy Spirit. And through Jesus we enter into being sons of God in that spiritual sense. Listen as that happen to you.

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Has there been a moment when you understood the Gospel call was to come to Jesus, to let him by being your savior welcome you in to become a son. And so then you could pray the Lord's prayer, our Father who is in heaven. Notice prayer in the Bible, the teaching. A concerning prayer is largely that which we address from Earth to heaven. Our Father who is in heaven. Jesus was on Earth.

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You know, to get deeper into this topic, I'm blessed, I'm lucky, I'm fortunate just to have a role to keep on searching the scriptures, because... look, I might be an older person but I want to tell you, I keep discovering things I never knew. From years and years and years. And I can amass all my trainings and they still didn't teach me and I sit in the pews in this church sometimes and learn something for the first time. From the Bible, you know, it's interesting when you go into the fatherhood of God and the Old Testament, there aren't that many spots. There's about sixteen spots where the idea of God's fatherhood is there part of the text.

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But it isn't one that is clear about the Trinity. You really need to get that from The New Testament, Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three persons in one God. You can find representations of it in the Old, but only because you learned it already from the New. But when Jesus taught about God being His Father, and the way that we can come to know Father. And when he taught his disciples the Lord's prayer, it's called the Lord's prayer, but really, it

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should be the disciple's prayer, because he taught his disciples that they could pray it. That's the prayer that a person prays when they've come to Christ as Savior. There is some moment in your life, sometimes it's something you are unaware of how it happened, but you suddenly become cognizant of understanding about that has occurred and you don't know when. You started questioning about Christianity, and you started listening, and you admired some things and didn't understand others,

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but there came a day when you suddenly realise something had changed in you, and you've probably then, if someone were helping you, showing you Scriptures, they'd teach you how from the Bible you've actually been born again. Other people it's a far more dramatic moment because they resisted against it and they didn't understand it or they fought the Christians

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or they argued with the people who told them and they were people contrary but somehow Christ stepped in and called them and they had to turn around and say, okay, I'm coming. Oh that's so exemplified in Jesus' ministry as he deals with people through the gospels and you read of story after story of a person in need and then they hear of Jesus sometimes as a physical need like that woman who had an issue of blood and that could never get better

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and she'd to spend all the money at medical people who couldn't give any help And, but she hears of Jesus and somehow she recognizes in him the one who can bring the answer to her need. She says if I can but touch the hem of his garment, I'll be healed and sew through the crown, she presses her way through. She reaches out and touches Jesus and it happens. and she knows she's been here, it's a bit of a metaphor for us to understand what at a deeper level happens to us when we become Christians.

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Now you may be the sort of person who's just gradually understood and discovered yourself as believing and that's how you were born again. Or you may be a person who's listened and listened and listened, but never really resolved that you're gonna say yes. You may be sitting here this morning And in this morning God is calling to you that Lord's prayer, our Father

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who is in heaven is beckoning you to pray. You know the wording that I got taught in younger years to lead someone in a prayer of commitment to Christ used to be worded like this, pray like this. Oh God in heaven Please forgive me for all of my sin. Please make me clean in the deepest part of wrong in me. Thank you that you sent your son to die on the cross for my sins. I want him now to forgive me of those sins, and to make me a Christian.

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In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. We get in the door to be able to pray the Lord's Prayer, our Father who is in Heaven, through Jesus' name, because Jesus has always been, will always be, came on earth in open demonstration of being the one original son i don't know whether you've ever understood that if you read the gospels they're bent on pressing in on us the uniqueness of Jesus his eternal sonship he was with the Father in the beginning he's the one who came at the father's bequest he's the one who did the father's will them that is baptism here

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receives of the Holy Spirit to anoint him, to lead him to do the Father's will. Can you see Son and Father connected by the Spirit? That's the paradigm he's going to introduce us to become when we become Christians. For when we come to Jesus the son and find Abba, Father, as Father. The Spirit of God is a connection that he gives us and it's this Holy Spirit who brings the sense of the leadership of the son to our hearts. And we probably say sometimes to our children, and it might be happening right now downstairs where a teacher might say, if you let Jesus be your savior, how does Jesus get to be your savior? Well, that's not something a child can get old one day.

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It's by what he did in the cross and who he is in heaven. But it's also about how he comes to live within their hearts by the Holy Spirit and the New Testament book teaches that the way we get to be lived in by Jesus is via the agency of the Holy Spirit, who comes. Read Ephesians and those early chapters of the book of Ephesians and you'll discover that it says the way that you have received Jesus in your heart is by the Holy Spirit making your heart strong enough to take the impact of the indwelling of Jesus in your person,' that's what the Holy Spirit does, it's why he was sent, he's sent to be the one from heaven, but what was necessary before the Holy Spirit could be so sent to bring Jesus

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to you was that Jesus had to finish his mission on earth in dying for your sins and rising from the dead and going back to heaven and being crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But the truth of the statement of the Bible that at the name the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That word law was that which would be preserved just for Father God. But now Jesus is the name that carries the leadership of God. He is Lord! When people get baptized as having become Christian, as part of what they're doing is verbalizing.

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In the olden days in the River Jordan, perhaps, there would be a person there and they would begin the middle of the water and they will be led by the person baptizing them to say Jesus is my Lord. That's why the Scriptures declare if you shall take my faith Jesus is Lord and believe that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved and the confession of Jesus is now your Lord is a part of all that conversion process. If your one of those who's been gradually realizing you are, now's the time for you to confess.

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Bring that which is the belief of your heart into an open confession and you'll be staggered at the amount of spiritual things that go on and the assurance that you have and the sense of knowing you found the truth, it happens when we bring to that inward work of God in our hearts our open confession, that's what seals the deal. You know, it's an amazing thing, I had a crusade at Upper America Baptist Church in favour of the youth leader, he was the youth leader at the time, being a man who wanted to go to college, but he didn't have enough English training and background,

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so they made him do some extra courses on discipleship and things that the college had for lay people. And at that time, I was having an argument with the Baptist union. They said, we want you to be a pastor, and I said no I'm an evangelist, and they said well, anyway, you're out the door. I got cancelled as a student and it had nothing to do, so I went back teaching, But, the church, Mount Cabbot called me to do a Crusade, and they did it because their Youth Leader sat in my class

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and Dad got me to teach for something else to do while I was filling in time in an Evening Course, and his name was Russell Hynes. And… As he sat in the class he came up to me afterwards and said, I've been aware that God wants our church to have a Youth Crusade and I've always thought I'd be the preacher. reddened." But God has told me today, it's you. Who will have to do that? And so he said, I'll take it to the deacons. And He took me along to see the deacons, and they saw me as too young and not groomed enough, probably. I had long hair, and they said no. Well, that

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was on the weekend and on the next Wednesday was a members meeting of that church, their and Russell Hines had the courage to stand up and say, the deacons said no, but I think this isn't God. But the people said yes, and told the deacons that they'd better arrange it. He was the most amazing moment in a Baptist church for that to happen to a set of leaders, and anyway, so they arranged it and we had this crusade. And God worked. He did something because he's the one

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that does all the doing in the ultimate analysis. Later on Russell went to college. He's become one of my best friends. You have that friendship when there's spiritual action that happens and you do things within the Lord's power together of the Lord's power together. And so you couldn't separate me and Russell now even though he's different in so many ways. He can do things I can't do. We know ourselves to be different.

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Getting off the track I am, but I'm just telling you that there's something that grows in this commitment to Christ and this walk with him. And you discover that when you are a son of God, when you are in the spiritual sense, someone who's been born again and you are a son, that prayer takes on a very special thing and you learn to pray, and I discovered the prayer meetings because that church had a prayer time I'd go along to. And somehow in the prayer, that was more real than anything.

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And it keeps happening that God does things by his Spirit. And when you have that touch of his Spirit, you've found the reality that the rest is all talking about. Now I'm not trying to talk you into being a charismatic. Listen carefully. I'm telling you, you already are one, if you've been born again. Sometimes I meet people who are regularly good-serving folk in church life and are seeking to be something that they can't quite find the essence of. When I talk to them about this topic of the Holy Spirit and when does the Holy Spirit comes? He comes when you put faith in Jesus as a because they have a mental belief,

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they're not Christians because they've actually been confronted by the Savior like Nicodemus was, took him a long time right through the Gospel of John, it doesn't, it gets to the resurrection before he gets properly in the door, but I wanna tell you that is there's a process that happens which is more than just that you have an intellectual belief, it's more than just that you've made up your life around these doctrines,

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it's more than the fact that you've had convincing things through the apologetics club, we've got a good one going, but it's more than just that all the reasons have added up and say yes, I'll nod my head, that didn't make you a Christian, and when I tell you that the only thing that makes you a Christian is when you answer the call of Jesus, and own up to him that you need him

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and call on him to be the savior of your soul and thank him for how he died for you. It's something whereby that all that action that he took on earth to die for your sins then comes to fruition. All the action of his rising from the grave to be the conqueror of death. All of his action of going back to heaven and being crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. All of his action with the Father,

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when he and the Father sent the Holy Spirit down to earth to begin the Christian era, the Day of Pentecost being the first moment when Peter was able to announce for those who have come to Jesus, who've answered the call, who've answered the call, and have come and trusted themselves to Jesus, they shall not only receive the forgiveness of sins, but the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit coming to invade the human heart brings the indwelling of Jesus. And you can properly say, I have Jesus in my heart, because that's what the Holy Spirit's job is to do.

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To bring to you the Spirit of Christ to live in your heart. When we teach little children have you received Jesus and sometimes get them to pray to receive Jesus into their hearts, we're giving a somewhat very watered down approximation to what the gospel is. People get in the door, and I've met many people who did get in the door by praying to receive Jesus into their hearts, although they will never really find their discipleship making much sense until I can go and understand the relationship of the Trinity and how the the fulfilment is thereby receiving the Holy Spirit. It's the answer to your coming and doing business with Christ as Saviour is that you receive the Holy Spirit.

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It's a total package. And sometimes they need to be taught about the last part of the package. They're not becoming a charismatic. They're finding out what a real charismatic is. It's someone who's received Christ. Someone who knows Jesus. The heart of being a Christian is that you know Him for yourself. nobody could ever talk you out of it because you know that you know that you

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know him in your heart, and I'm asking you this morning, do you know Jesus that way? Or has it been something less than that in terms of your pilgrimage, and And you can be a person who's been on the pilgrimage for a lifetime. Experimentally, I found this out in being an iTunes evangelist and giving calls in different churches and in Tasmania, the people who are sometimes who come and respond. And then again, when I was...

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After they were in Perth, the same thing happened. You're in churches and you give a call, I usually aimed at the teenagers because I was a youth evangelist. And lo and behold, some adults used to sneak in, as well. And one lady who was returned missionary to the lepers, and all the young people who'd come forward in the appeal, I took them to the room and this lady followed. And I thought, oh she's one of the chief ladies of the Church and she's checking up

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that I do the counseling right. So, I started with the kids. Teenagers, 14, 15, 16 year olds. Anna says, said, you start, and we had a room of them. And I said, you start telling me, why did you come forward? I gave the answer that they needed to come to Christ and one way the answer was different but along those lines. Then I got to the old lady at the end. I didn't say her first cos I didn't want her to give a missionary talk or anythingya and I said, well, what about you, and she said,

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which absolutely shocked me, she says, Well I'm just the same as them. She'd been a life of serving, to be a missionary, stayed single, come back, old lady there, and is finding out that she hasn't actually known ever how to receive Christ. She did that day. To the best of my knowledge, she's already died, I'm sure, but I'm asking you, Have you really received Christ? Now, what was fascinating about Russell Hines, and he and his wife might be telling this because they're open to do themselves, but I stayed there at their home, and Russell's a bit of a whack, how will I say, scheming wagster fellow, with a chuckle in his eyes,

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And after pranks all the time. And Kay is very honest and straightforward and person of tremendous helpfulness in the house. And so I was relating to her. And she, eventually after that time of that crusade, she and Russell went into the college and they were given my old church at Wynnum to be the youth pastors. They took the role I once had. And then Kay came to Russell

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I think it was, and to the pastor of the time and said to those two, I have just been born again. She'd been someone who loved the whole idea of being a Christian and joined with a husband going to college, is down at a church, I hope I got all the chronology right. And she confronted the lead preacher pastor of the time, with Russell, that she'd just been born again. And she says, I want to be baptized again. Because she had been baptized but it was before she really discovered what it was to be born again. They had to work out what to do about that and they did, they baptized her.

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Kay is a godly woman that I know. And she's about as straightforward as any woman could ever be. She'd tell you what you need to know, and she's a person that nonetheless seeking to be a Christian had not yet discovered what it is to be born again. Nicodemus, the whole story of him in John 3 is about that. It's about the fact that unless you are born again, you can't even see the kingdom of God, it goes on around you and you don't really see it. And Nicodemus by the end of the Gospel, he account as the one, who along with Joseph of Arimathea,

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goes to Pilate risking their lives to ask for the body of Jesus to bury in Nicodemus's rich tomb, or was it Joseph of Arimathea's tomb? I don't know who's tomb it was but it had never been had a body in it, and it was in a cave it was... only what rich people could afford. He came out in the open in his discipleship because the born again process had occurred along majors I'm asking you have you really been born again or could it be that this morning

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there is that call, as made by Peter in the day of Pentecost who call people to what we would probably word is reverse your verdict it's a little word metanoeAND in Greek it means to change the verdict. It's translated repent and they were the people who in Jesus was put before them by pilots and the crowd stood up or pharisees did to call out crucify him. And you say that word crucify him, just with one word in their language. Crucify, crucify, crucify. And when offered Jesus they turned him down and handed him to the Romans to be put to death. And then three days later he's risen from the grave

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and- time as it goes around you come to the day of Pentecost and Peter confronts that crowd of what they've done to the prince of life, but of being in the hands God that he might die for their sins and he calls on them to reverse the verdict and to let Jesus be the Lord of their living, the Savior of their soul! Do you know Jesus is your personal Savior? And if you want this morning to say a yes to him I'm going to give you the same invitation Peter gave the crowd. Maybe only ones or twos here does it apply that did the whole crowd back then. We're gonna ask you to come out in the open for Jesus this morning, and so at the end of the message,

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I wouldn't normally be doing this although our Compe'er person asked me to finish with the last prayer, and it dawned on me what I should be doing is giving you, maybe you're the only one of To Whom this applies but a chance to come out in the open so as we stand to sing our final hymn And the call of Jesus has extended. This is not just me talking about Jesus calling. It is I believe Jesus is calling, and he's calling you

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to come, and I'm going to ask you to come and leave where you'll be standing. You'll stand to sing, but to come down here and you'll still be able to see the screen and go on singing. But by coming with your feet this morning, say there's something I need to settle with Christ. You may be personally different from other people, the exact nature of that, that if Christ is calling,

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come now, come hear in this vital hymn, make this the moment that you trust him. Tell him he's got you. The difference it will make if in fact the miracle had never actually happened and you will be, that when you get to try to learn the prayer, prayer, you'll stumble around with words, but then the Spirit in your heart will teach you to say, Father, Father, because he is now your Father. And you pray to him as only he can do a Son

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and as only he can help you from inside the Son. He's the ultimate Son of God. He always was son. He always will be. And he came to Earth taking on humanity, that he might stick closer to us and enable us to understand all this. And he's brought you here today. But you might have this moment to say yes to him. And what Christian conversion actually is, if you want to simplify it down to the least amount words to express. The Christian reality is when you say yes to Jesus, to be yours and you to be his

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and you trust him for everything. Leave your hands. Oh Father in heaven, I know that I have sinned. Please forgive me for all of my sins. Please make me clean. In the deepest part of I've been wrong. Come and live in me by your spirit. And make me a Christian." If that's a prayer or you have your own version that applies particulars to you. If God gives you the call, if Christ you can hear him calling, you know that in your heart and leave where you'll be as we stand the final song to sing the song. And while we're singing, come and stand down here. I'll come and stand here, you can stand anywhere in the front row here with me. But by coming with your feet, let Jesus know you're saying an eternal yes to Him. Will you do it?

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This is a moment of Christ's calling. I'm first gonna pray, and we'll finish. Heavenly Father I thank you. We haven't really had all the sermon I prepared. I think we've, perhaps. and the one that you have prepared. And Lord I pray that you'll give courage to those who need to respond. So to do this morning we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

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