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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley - The Key to the Christian Life

Charles Stanley - The Key to the Christian Life

TOPICS: Lifestyle, Life Principles to Live By

Would it shock you if I told you, I can't live this Christian life? Thank you, sir. Would I shock you if I told you, neither can you? Do I get another amen? Well, one of the happiest days of my life is when I discovered that I couldn't. He knew I couldn't. And it was okay. He was going to show me what the truth was. Because, you see, I like a lot of other people have struggled and struggled and struggled.

And when I was saved at the age of 12, the pastor said, Charles, you grow up and be a good boy. And one of these days you'll go to heaven or something like that. God will bless you. So I did what he said. I tried to grow up and be a good boy. And sometimes I was. And sometimes I wasn't all that good. And somewhere along the way, I figured I had a problem. And I think a lot of people have felt that way. They've listened to someone preach the gospel. They've trusted Christ as their Savior. They think I'll have a new life and it will be fantastic and it didn't take them long to think, I sort of feel the way I used to feel and things aren't going the way I think they ought to.

And so sometimes there's confusion. I had been a pastor for quite some time and I still struggle with that. I would fast and pray and ask God to give me wisdom and direction and give me life. I came to conclusion there had to be something better, something I didn't know, something I missed something. I remember there used to be one man that came down the aisle at that particular church at least twice a month. No exaggeration. He would be sincere and say I want to rededicate my life. Wait a minute. Either I don't have an answer to this man or I kept say yes, we prayed he would go back up the aisle. Wonderful man. Very sincere, somehow he couldn't live it and couldn't figure out why. And so, that bothered me a little bit.

But then, I was preaching through the book of Galatians. And I was coming to the fifth chapter that said the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, goodness, peace, mercy all those things and I thought Lord I don't have that. I may have it on Sunday but I don't have it on Monday sometimes. Thought about all through the week, a lot of times I don't have patience and self-control so I was struggling with that. I said, Lord , I'm not going get up and tell people. This is just the way it is at this point in life. So what am I going to do? I genuinely struggled with that.

One night, walked out to my study in the backyard and I was praying and I had been reading, they found the secret, simple little book, 20 biographical experiences. I started with the first one, Hudson Taylor, I read a few pages. This man must feel just like I do. I read that chapter. God opened my eyes in spite of all my college and seminary and preaching and all the rest in conferences, I never saw this. I got on my face before the Lord. And God spoke to my heart and revealed to me something so simple. So plain. So easy. Absolutely revolutionized my life. And then I realized why I had failed so many times.

That's what I want to talk about in this message. The key to the Christian life. I want you to listen carefully. It will go right by you if you don't listen carefully. I know many of you feel like I felt. Something is wrong with the Christian life? Where is God in all this? I want you the turn to Colossians chapter three. Colossians chapter three. I want us to read these first seven verses of this chapter. And Paul begins by saying, therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things above not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Therefore, consider the members of our earthly body as dead to what? Immorality. Passion. Evil desires and greed which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience. And in them you also once walked when you were living in them.

Now, I want you to look at this particular verse. Verse four. Listen to this. When Christ who is our life, when Christ who is our life is revealed then you also will be revealed with him in glory. What in the world does he mean by that? Here's the key to the whole Christian life. I think for us to understand it fully and simply. Let's begin with the first thing that's necessary for us to understand. That is, this life before our salvation. And that is, let's think about it for a moment. You were living a life that you were living whatever it might be, and finally somewhere along the way you heard the truth of the gospel. And when you did, several things happened. Number one, you got under conviction. That is, the Spirit of God convicted you of your sin. In other words, the sense of regret, shame, guilt, and maybe a little bit of fear. That you were living your life outside the will of God and not recognizing what God had been trying to say to you.

What did you do? You made a decision at that point. What I want you to see is this. The first thing that happened is you got under conviction. In other words, God began to speak to you and to work in your life in that particular point. And the condition you were in is this and many people do not like the result of this. They don't like to hear it. Especially if a person isn't saved they're not happy about you telling them this. Remember you are just quoting what God said. Here's what God said about us before our salvation experience. Behold the Lord's hand is not so short he cannot save. Nor is his ear so dull he cannot hear. But your iniquities, your sinfulness, your sins, disobedience, your rebellion has made a separation between you and your God. And your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Now you've got friends no doubt that say, look, I'm not a Christian. I do pray and I know God hears my prayer. Then the word of God lies. The Bible says God does not hear those who are living in wickedness, disobedience before him. Those who never trusted him as their Savior. You're lost. You're not a believer. God said he doesn't hear your prayer. Why should I pray? When you pray the prayer of confession, repentance towards God, he'll hear that. He says he does not hear those who are living a wicked life. The Bible says also that our sins have separated us from him. A person who is not a Christian is separated from God. Do you know what? I believe God loves me just like he loves everybody else. Correct. Loving you is one thing. Having a relationship with you is something totally different.

When you trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, that's the beginning of a relationship. Until that happens, there is a separation between you and God. And that's what he's saying. Here in Isaiah. Then of course, the scripture says, this is the description, the way we lived before we trusted Christ as our Savior. So here's what he says in Ephesians. Listen to this. I want you to look at these words dead and alive and so forth. He says in this first verse of chapter two of Ephesians. You were dead. That's spiritually dead. Physically you were alive. Spiritually you were spiritually dead. Listen. And in your trespasses and sins. That's what made you dead. In that you formerly walked according to this world according to the prince and power of the air.

And he says, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. The very spirit of that which is evil is in the life of those who are separated from God. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lust of our flesh en dull acknowledging the flesh and the mind and children of wrath even as the rest. In other words, if you think about where you were before you became a Christian, you were separated from God. He wasn't listen together all the prayers you prayed to him. You were living in disobedience. You were under the judgment of God. A child of wrath he says. That's who we were.

So when a person says, do you know what? I'm just going to get better and better. You can't get any better, watch this. When you're an unbeliever you are spiritually dead and have no relationship to God. And so when it comes to salvation, the first thing we have to deal with is what about this relationship? And listen carefully. A person doesn't change that relationship by getting better and better and better and better until finally I'm pretty good. In your eyes maybe but in God's eyes total separation. Because what we forget is this. God is holy. And because God is holy, he cannot listen he cannot accept sinfulness. He deals with it. And so every person without Christ is separated from God. I know that runs against the grain of some of you who are listening or watching but it's the gospel truth. What you have to ask is this. Is the Bible true? If it is you're separated from God. If it is not true it doesn't make a difference what you believe anyway. God says you are separated from him and you need a relationship.

With that in mind we have to ask a question simply this. Once I realize I am in that condition, now what? Well I need to understand what transpires when you're saved. Here's what transpires. First of all you're convicted of the sin. The Holy Spirit convicts you. It isn't that you just start feeling bad. The Spirit of God convicts you of the sin and there's shame and there's regret, there's guilt and all the hurt that goes on inside of you. You absolutely recognize your sinfulness and that you are separated from God. That's what the Holy Spirit does. He makes you aware of that. Then what happens? Because you genuinely want what's right, you confess the sin. You don't say, well now Lord, I know I haven't done everything I know I should have done.

No. You say I sinned against you. I disobeyed you. I rebelled against you. I wanted my way. I had my way. In other words, true conviction helps us to see who we are in the eyes of God. Separated from God. And so you confess your sin. But confession is not enough. Because there's many people who say, I confess my sins. Confession means you agree with. Now watch this. Confession means I agree with God about something. That's what the word means to agree with. So I confess to him my sinfulness. Confession is not enough. Jesus said to his disciples, repentance for the remission of sins must be preached in all the world. What happens is, confession means I agree with him. Repentance means I am willing for him to turn me away from that to a whole different life. The moment I accept my sinfulness as being separated from God and Jesus Christ the son of God came into this world and died on the cross and shed his blood and the shedding of his blood paid for my sins, the moment I'm willing to accept his.

Watch this, the moment I'm willing to accept him as my sin bearer, atoning sacrifice for my sins and say I do receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. In that moment, in that moment my sins are wiped away forgiven, washed in the blood of the lamb. Sins are forgiven. Name is written in the lamb's book of life. The Holy Spirit seals us as he comes into our life. He comes into our life to seal us forever as a child of God. And to live and work through us. And everything in our life has a reason to change. Because once I was dead. You read it. Now I'm alive in Christ Jesus. Once I was alone in it. Now I have the Holy Spirit coming to live within me and to seal me, the Bible says unto the day of redemption until he calls me home. So what transpires here is this awesome change. Does not the Bible say that we are born again.

That means I got a new life. Something has happened to me. And as many as believe in him gave the power to become the sons of God. Got a new relationship. Therefore he says, in Christ Jesus all things have past away all things have become new. What do I have? A brand-new life. A brand-new attitude. So my life is changed. I was dead in trespass and sins. Now I'm alive through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. Now, so that's what happened. Here's where I was. Now, I've been saved. Now what? Well, all that's wonderful when I think about it. And think about heaven is our home and I can remember as a kid growing up having been saved and when I die now I'm going to heaven. But I discovered. I didn't discover it all right then. I discovered two things we all have to deal with. Watch this carefully. There's one thing you have relationship to Christ that you're going to heaven when you die.

After you're saved we have two big problems. One of them is this. We have to live in a world where there's rebellion, disobedience, all kinds of corruption, evil, wickedness, satan, loose, all kinds of things we have to deal with all around us. We have to live with people who don't like what we believe and live for the devil. It's all one thing. We can't change that. That will be until Jesus comes. The second thing I have to deal with, even though I'm saved and my name is written in the lamb's book of life is this. I still have within me like every believer does because we're still living in these fleshly bodies and we're on earth, we still have that fleshliness in us. That's what Paul called it. Living in the flesh. Which is that propensity, or that, listen, that desire that crops us in us once in a while and all of a sudden we want to do something that we know is not the will of God.

You heard me talk about my grandfather many times. He believed in entire sanctification. I wish that was true. What that means is you can reach a stage in life you don't sin anymore. Wouldn't that be fantastic? But there's no such thing as entire sanctification in this life. Listen. When you're sanctified he sets you apart at that moment to live for him, with him all the days of your life and be fruitful. And sanctification is a process. So I have two things I have to deal with as a believer. I have this world I have to live in. Secondly, I have this something within me as long as I live in this life. Some people call it the old nature. Call it anything you want to. One thing for certain, we all have it. Amen? It's a little light but I know it's in you. We all have it. And we have to deal with it. Because that's where the problem comes, if I don't understand what God really arranged for me I struggle with it and I'm not saying you reach a stage in your life you live perfect. No more sin. Only when we get to heaven. We live in this sinful world and we have within us, as long as we're living in the flesh and eyes and ears we can see this, feel and touch the other, then we have to deal with it.

So how did Jesus desire to deal with that? What did he do? How do we deal with it? Because once you're saved by the grace of God, that's a settled issue as far as your salvation is concerned. But how do I deal with this? I want you to go back to colossians 3 for a moment. I want you to look at two, three scriptures. Let me remind you of this. Here's how you get saved. Here's how you have relationship with God. I'll stop this. I'll stop this. I'll get better and better and better and better until I'm good in the eyes of God. Watch that. Say it again. I'll get better and better and better until finally God says, good. Now you can get to heaven. Let me tell you why that is a total absolute, total error. If you could do that, God made the biggest mistake he could have made when he sent Jesus to die and shed his blood at calvary to atone for my sin. If I could get better and better and improve and improve until I'm acceptable in the eyes of God, that's a total mistake. That's what many of you believe that you'll get better and better and finally God will say you cut out this. You cut out that. You cut out the other.

What about Jesus? See, what that does, it absolutely makes null and void the whole sacrificial system from Genesis all the way to revelation, the whole life of Christ, and many people have bought that lie. Now that you're saved from sin and disobedience and rebellion towards God, then how is it that you and I can live the Christian life? Look at this passage now. And notice what Paul said in colossians 3. He said, if you'll notice. Verse four. When Christ who is our life, what is the key to living the Christian life? The key to living the Christian life is to recognize this. Watch this carefully. When you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, he came into your life to dwell and to live in you and through you the life that he's provided and planned for each one of us.

You remember what Jesus said to his disciples that night before he was going to be crucified the next day? He said, now I'm going away. I don't want you to feel like orphans because I'll come back to you. He said my Father will send you the Holy Spirit, one just like me. And when he comes, here's what he'll do. He gives us those things. So what happens? When you and I trust Jesus Christ as our Savior, he came into our life to seal us as a child of God. And now, we have within us the life of Christ. When Christ who is your life shall appear.

And if you look, look in Galatians 2 for a moment. If you'll notice what Paul says here. And there's many verses. I want you to get a few of these down in your thinking. Second chapter 20th verse listen what Paul says. A lot of folks, I'm reminded when I talk to a young man, I was talking to him about a particular passage of scripture and he and I were in disagreement. Here's what God says. What will you do about that? I'm just not going to read this verse. This is way some people come to this verse. I'll not understand it. I won't read it. It's an important verse. Galatians 2:20 listen. Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ. And he uses a perfect tense which means this. Something happened to me in the past. And the affect of that is continuing even now. I have been crucified with Christ. And he says, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Listen. Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

Look at this. What does he mean by crucified? Here's what he means. When you and I trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, born again, here's what happens. Died to our old life. That's what baptism is about. Symbolism of dying to our old way of life and rising to walk in newness of life. In romans six. What happened when you and I trusted Christ as our Savior, listen, we died to the old life. And now, that, listen, that was dead Spirit. Now, we have the Spirit of Jesus. We have Christ living on the inside of us. Wait a minute. But isn't he seated at the Father's right hand. He is. Seated at the Father's right hand doing his work, his authority all over the world. At the same time, remember what he said. He said I'm going to send the Spirit. And he said, he'll be with you, on you and upon you. I'm coming to you.

When the Holy Spirit indwelt your life at salvation, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, listen, a person of the trinity, his primary responsibility is to live out through us the very life of Jesus. And so, when Paul says, when you have Christ, you have, you have everything. You have Jesus. He says, he is our life. What did you have before? You had death. What do you have now as a believer is this you have life. You have eternal life. The son of God living within you. And you can just go verse after verse where Paul mentions those kind of things. For example. Here's another verse that's interesting. Philippians one look at one:21 Paul says a little differently here. Listen. The phrase in Christ is apostle Paul choice phrase that sums up his theology. Being in Christ. And Christ in us.

Now listen to this carefully. You listening? Say amen. In Christ makes me fit for heaven. Christ in me makes me fit for this life. And you got to have both. I in Christ. Our being in Christ makes us fit for heaven. Christ in me enables me to live a godly life in this life here and now. So look what he says in Philippians chapter one. Just one verse, I'll read a short one. Verse 21. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain, what is he saying? He's saying, because Christ lives within him, for him to live is for Christ to live. That is, Christ is walking and living around in every single one of us. We had Christ living within us. And so often we think God's up yonder, Jesus up yonder, the Holy Spirit whoever he is is down here. I'm doing the best I can.

Listen. He intends for us to live this life joyfully, confidently and fruitfully. Does that mean we'll not have any problems? Certainly. Notice what I said. Joyfully, confidently and fruitfully. When joyful times come I'm confident. Christ's life within you. Until a person is able to understand that. What did he say? He said, Christ who is our life. Once dead. Now alive. What makes us alive, the presence of Jesus Christ within us. And so when Christ, when Paul says, for to me to live is Christ, what he's simply saying is this. Because Christ is living within us. When you and I are alive, Christ is living in and through you. Now, if I don't understand it, it causes lots of problems. We'll come to that. What I want you to see is this. The Bible says Christ is your life. Amen. Pretty weak. Amen? Christ is your life.

Now, since he is your life, you're not who you used to be. You were dead in trespasses an sins. Remember what Paul said about that and also what Jesus said to Nicodemus. Except a man be born again. If he is born again, he's in Christ. New creature. Life of Jesus. Listen. The life of Jesus begins to indwell every single person that's saved whether you're six years old at salvation or 60. It's the same thing. What makes you and me different from the unbelieving world is we have Christ within us. Is it not true, we act like them. Sometimes Christians act like the world. What makes us different is not how we act. We live a godly life and we can. What makes us different, we possess the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now. Watch this. Paul talked about being in Christ and talked about being in God and God's in Christ and Christ is in God. Think about this. Here is God. And Paul says, he says, Jesus is in God. And God is in Jesus. And we are in Jesus. And Jesus is in God. That makes us in God. And God who is in Jesus and Jesus who is in us and God who is in Jesus, you know, it's this one awesome relationship. And when a person will think about that and think about it soberly, listen, you have God, the son Jesus living within you. You say, well, now, aren't they two different persons? Two different persons. Remember what he said. He says when you see me you see the Father. I am the Father are one. So that Jesus Christ is the son of God. But he's also deity.

Now remember this. What makes the difference between us and the rest of the world is Jesus, God in the person of his son through the Holy Spirit is living his life in us, that's what makes us different. Now, if you notice, let's, go back to John 17 for a moment. I want to just show you something else here. John 17. And listen to what, this is Jesus' prayer to the Father. Before he is crucified. And look if you will in this 23rd verse of the prayer. Let's start with 22. The glory which you have given me I've given to them that they may be one just as we were one. Watch this. I in them. And you in me. Listen to that. I in them. That is Jesus in us and he says, God in Christ. You and me. Verse 26 and I made your name known to them and will make it known so the love with which you love me may be in them and I in them.

What I want you to see, you say why do you keep repeating this? Here's the key. If I understand Jesus Christ is living within me moment by moment every single day of my saved life, that he's living within me, and the Christian life is in essence, Christ Jesus living in me and through me his life. That's what the Christian life is all about. What does it say? You know, it's not so much my trying and my this, and my that and my effort. It is, it all amounts to allowing the son of God to live and express his life through us. If I wake up in the morning, I can do one of two things. I could say well what a lot of people say, I'm just a sinner saved by grace.

What you've done is you've just set the way in that day and what you're doing is by your statement, you are allowing yourself and preparing yourself to live in sin. Or to at least sin against God. I'm just a sinner saved by grace. What you're saying is, I'm just, I'm not what I ought to be, but thank God I'll be saved. No. That's not what it's about. Do you know what you can say? You can wake up in the morning and say, thank God I'm a saint. I'm indwelt by is the son of God. Everything I need for this day is fully prepared because he's in control of my life. That's what you have the right to say.

Now, this sinner saved by grace sounds real humble but it was just full of error, because the Bible doesn't teach that. Once you're saved by the grace of God, you're a saint. What is a saint? A saint is a person that's been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and in whom and through whom Jesus Christ is living his life. We're saints. You say I don't think that's true. Why do you sing the song when the saints go Marching in? Who are you talking about? You're talking about all believers. When the saints go Marching in. Not when the sinners go Marching in. Amazing what we say we believe and what we believe and we come up with something that has nothing to do with the scripture. Jesus said, he's the one who said he's living within us. Paul has said it in different ways here.

When I think about it and think about the fact, what is it that eliminates all this struggle. If I get up in the morning thinking, look, I've got to do this today and I've got to do that. I have to catch myself once in a while. It's a loaded down thing. O my goodness. Then I say forgive me, Father. Today, here's what you are going to deal with through me. Here's what you and I have to deal with. And Lord, it's your life. Because I've surrendered it all to you and given it to you, then it's up to you. Someone says, well that doesn't even sound reasonable. Tell me what is reasonable. Here's what's reasonable. Boy, I got to cut it today. I've got this to do. I've got that to do. I've said those things. I've asked God to forgive me. In other words, that isn't what the Christian life is about. The Christian life isn't about what I do and what I have to do, the Christian life Paul said, is about Christ doing in us. He said he came to live his life in and through us.

And you can go verse after verse. Other verses we could come to to mention that. But the question is, just ask the question, why did he come? That is we know he came to save us. He came to do more than that. He came to live his life in and through us because we knew he couldn't do it. We ask the question, why does Jesus, why did he come to live his life in us? The first one is simply this. He knew we couldn't. That's why we said to the disciples, look, I'm coming back. He's not talking about his resurrection at that particular point. He said I'm coming back. That is I'm going to be crucified and died but I'll be with you.

Here's why he said to them. Don't go dare preaching and healing somebody until pentecost. Sit down and wait until pentecost because that's when the Holy Spirit came and began to dwell in the church, that is every single believe from that point on who received Jesus as Savior is indwelt by the Spirit. The Spirit came to begin to work in the life of the followers of Jesus in a supernatural way. They weren't ready until then. So what makes me think I'm ready today in my own strength and energy and wisdom and knowledge and whatever it might be because he said he knew they couldn't do it. Everyone of us if we're honest we would have to admit since we've been saved we've blown it. We sinned against him. Promised him. Begged. We said this. We said that. In spite of that weak moments we did it again. I promise you, God, just forgive me. One more time. I promise you, Jesus, here's what I'm going to do. What does he do? Forgives us knowing we'll do it again.

So it's not that God is looking down with this. I think about how gracious God is to recognize how ignorant most people are of the truth. They struggle and struggle and struggle. It isn't God's judgment. It's God's patience and love for us because he wants us to know the truth. What the Christian life is all about. It's not all about me. People say i, i, i. It's all about Jesus. Once I understand it's about him and that it's his life, once I can just grasp, it is Jesus Christ living his life in and through me, that's what it's about. Now why? Number one, simply because, he knows we can't live without him.

Number two, listen, this is the way he gets his work done. Jesus gets his work done on earth by living in and through people like yourself and myself. We're not perfect. We'll never be perfect. We'll make mistakes. We'll sin at times in our life. We ask him to forgive us and cleanse us. And we go on and what happens? Paul never claimed to be perfect. I have finished the course, fought the fight and finished the course and now the reward is coming. We all have to say we fought the fight at times and difficulties and hardships. The key is, who is doing the fighting. If we do the fighting and we struggle with life in our own effort and talent and abilities and skills and knowledge and understanding and ignorance. No wonder people have high blood pressure and can hardly make it in life. What I want you to see and I said again and again and again and again he's your life. Before you were born again, you didn't have any life. You were a walking dead man. A walking dead woman. Spiritually disconnected from God. No relationship whatsoever.

One of the reasons Jesus Christ came to live his life in us is not only to do the things we've just said. But also listen, to do what he desires above everything else. To have an intimate personal relationship with us. The Christian life is not about doing things. The Christian life is about a personal intimate relationship. For example, what is marriage about? Is marriage about having a house together? Sleeping together. Driving the same car. In other words, is it about having jobs and what is marriage about? It's about a relationship. And listen. The more intimate and loving that relationship, the more satisfying everything is about those two people's lives. Why do you get married? Well, don't answer that. I mean, don't answer that.

Let's put it this way. Why should you marry someone? Because you love them. And because you want to have an intimate relationship with them. I'm not talking about sex. That's part of it. Genuine intimacy doesn't stop with flesh. It stops in the innermost being of a person's heart. What is it Jesus wants? He wants a relationship. Remember this. He doesn't need us. He didn't have to create us. Why did he create us? We can think of a thousand things. The primary reason that God created you and me is because he wanted an intimate relationship with his created beings, upon whom he can just lavish his love and goodness and kindness and at the same time from whom he could receive love and obedience. And loyalty and faithfulness. It's all about that relationship.

Listen. It is the most important thing in anybody's life in the world. It's the most important thing. A personal intimate relationship with God through his son Jesus. In order for that to be true, Jesus must be living within us. So that we can have a relationship with God. Remember, God is in Christ. Christ is in God. They're in us. That's what it's all about. The things we do are something else. It's all about relationship. Why did you marry? For any other reason except love and intimacy, relationship, wrong reason. You can't live the Christian life in your own energy and strength and wisdom and power. You can't do it. Listen. He equips us by coming to live his life in us every single day of our life. And all the awesome wonderful things that happen as a result. It equips us for difficult times, hard times, he said I'll never leave you nor forsake you.

Think about this. If you think about it all of a sudden it gets clear. We quote that verse. I'll never leave you or forsake you. Where is he? Sitting at the Father's right hand. Wait a minute. Hold it. How is he with me if he's up there? Because he's living within us. Listen. The reason he'll never leave you, listen. He set up housekeeping in your life and mine the moment we trusted him as Savior so to speak. He's there forever. The reason you can't be saved and be lost, listen, let me ask you a question. If he's living inside of us, who can take him out? If God's inside of you, who can pull him out? Nobody. Listen. If you're truly saved, you have a new life. And that life is in Christ. And once you have him, you have everything. Because everything worthwhile comes into that intimate relationship.

The key to living the Christian life is allowing Jesus to live his life in and through you. Wait a minute. I think I got that. What do I do? What steps do I take? I think steps are always important. If I just left you there you would say well now what? I put these on the Meg screen so you can just jot them down. To make it simple, several things. I have to admit my failure. I tried and tried and tried to live a Christian life. Can't do it very well. I admit my failure. That's number one. Number two. I confess my inadequacy. Not only have I failed at it. Lord, I tried and tried, I don't know what to do at this point. I don't know how to do this. And number three. I've got to believe that Jesus will not only live his life in and through me but that he is sufficient. Being God. To meet every need I have. Give me wisdom in every decision. Give me wisdom and guidance and strength.

Listen. He's the sum total of everything I need in life. Because he is. Then I must be willing, listen, I must be willing to abandon my life to him. That is, you see, we don't like the word surrender. That's why I change the word. Same thing. If I want Jesus Christ to live his life in me, then I got to let him do it. And that means, I have to say to him, Lord Jesus, I tried. I failed. I didn't know any better, but beginning today, Lord, I want you to live your life in me. And I'm just washing my hands, watch this, before you sit there and think, you can't do that. Watch this. I'm washing my hands of depending on my efforts and my power and my strength and my knowledge and my this and my that and my the other.

And I'm just saying, Lord Jesus, because you are living your life in me, beginning right now, I confess it to be true. And I surrender to your will. I want you to have your way in my life. And I yield myself at this moment for you to live through me your life. Now you say, well, is that just a one time thing? No. Because you see, remember what we said. We have two problems. We live in a world full of the devil and rebellion and all the rest. Secondly, we have this tug in us. In every single person. It's the flesh as some people call it. The old sin nature. It's there. Whatever you want to call it.

So there's times when we may yield. What do we do? We confess it. Repent of it right there. Say Lord Jesus, forgive me. I want you to live your life through me. It is a continuous reminder of whose on the inside and who is willing and able to live through us the most awesome life imaginable. It all boils down to this. Who will run your life? You or Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit who lives within you? Who is going to run your life? If you're wise, you will let the son of God who indwells you, the person of the Holy Spirit. You will allow him to make your decisions. Direct your life. All the things that you face in life. Let him give you guidance and direction. Because that will be life at its very, very best. I say it again. It doesn't mean you won't have problems and heartaches and burdens.

Listen. It's one thing to struggle through life on your own. It's something else to walk through life in the power of the living God who lives within you. And that is his promise. When Christ who is our life appears, we'll appear with him. If you're not a Christian let me say this to you. You may not like where you said you are in your relationship to him but I just told you the truth. You don't want to watch or listen to anybody who will tell you the truth. I'm telling you the truth because I want to see your life changed. Because I want the best for you. I know that he is the very best.

And it is my prayer at this very moment whether you're seated here or whether you're seated somewhere else watching or listening, that you would be willing to confess your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ asking him to forgive you and cleanse you and tell him that today right now wherever you are, I am accepting Jesus Christ's death at calvary as payment for my sin. I'm confessing, I repent of it. I receive you as my personal Savior Lord and master. And Lord Jesus, I want you to live your life through me. I'll trust you to enable you to do it and he will. The important thing this morning is this. That you heard the truth. Jesus is your life. It isn't your struggle. Here's what it is. It is your bowing before him, trusting in him, resting in him. Relying upon him. And watching him do his awesome work in your life. Amen. Father, how grateful we are. Now would you do your work in all of us in Jesus' name? Amen.
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