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Watch 2022 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - Heart Surgery 101 - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - Heart Surgery 101 - Part 2


Robert Jeffress - Heart Surgery 101 - Part 2
TOPICS: Seven Marks of a Disciple, Discipleship, Heart

Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to Pathway to Victory. In our current series, "Seven Marks of a Disciple," we've discovered that the essence of discipleship is a changed life that comes from a transformed heart. So what does that process of spiritual transformation look like? And who's responsible for making that happen? Today, I'll show you how God can transform your life from the inside out. My message is titled "Heart Surgery 101" on today's edition of Pathway to Victory.

We get the idea in Christianity, oh, if we exert any effort, there's something wrong. It all has to be of God. No, grace and effort are not opposites. Grace and earning are opposites. Working for your salvation is heresy, but working out your salvation is basic Bible. Grace and effort are allies, not enemies. Let me show you that in scripture. Turn over to Philippians 2:12 to 13. Philippians 2:12 to 13. Paul says, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling".

Oh, Paul, I can't believe you said that! We're not supposed to work for salvation. It's a free gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast! Hey, read it again. He didn't say work for your salvation, he said work out your salvation. When he talks about salvation, he's not just talking about our ticket to heaven. Salvation in the fullest extent is becoming the person God wants you to be. Yes, it includes going to heaven, but it includes right now, living as that person who experiences the benefits of living under God's rule. He said that is something that we work out. Not that we work for, we work out. Then he goes on to say, verse 13, "For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure".

God is the one who is in you giving you the power to become the person he wants you to be. To illustrate this, just imagine an electrical socket in your house. Inside that electrical socket is all kind of amazing energy. There's energy to power an oven to cook a fabulous meal. There's the energy to power a saw, an electric saw that will help you create a beautiful piece of furniture. Inside that electrical outlet is the energy to power your computer to write a new book that will bless millions of people. But none of those things happen just because the energy is there. That energy has to be combined with your effort. Without your effort, that energy produces nothing. It takes your effort to produce that fabulous meal or that beautiful piece of furniture or that book.

That's what Paul is saying here. The moment you become a Christian, God not only forgives you of your sin, but he places a power source in you. It's a person, he's called the Holy Spirit of God. And the Holy Spirit of God has all of the energy necessary for you to live the kind of life God wants you to experience, but it takes your effort combined with the Spirit of God, his power, to become that person you dream of becoming. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is working within you". If you think that this is bordering on heresy to say we ought to partner with God and God's power is not enough, just think about the scripture passage we read this morning.

Second Peter 1:3 and four, verse three, "Seeing that God's divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and Godliness through the true knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and excellence". See that? The moment you become a Christian, God gives you his Holy Spirit, and according to Peter, that Holy Spirit is everything we need to live a godly life. God doesn't shortchange you when you become a Christian. He doesn't say, "I'm going to give you a little bit of the spirit, and then later, if you act right, I'll give you some more of the spirit and you can have another experience where you get more of the power of God," no! The moment you are saved that fertilized egg is planted within you that has all of the energy necessary to grow into the kind of person God has planned for you to be. It's the same way spiritually. The Holy Spirit has all the power necessary for us to become the people we want to be, but it's not enough. God's given us everything he has, but notice verse five.

"Now for this very reason, also applying all diligence, in your faith you supply moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, Godliness, brotherly kindness, and love". Do you see what Peter is saying? God's given you everything you need for a godly life. He's done his part, now this is what you need to supply. Not for your passage to heaven, this is what you need to supply in order to have the benefits of living in God's kingdom right now. The Bible says our salvation is something God does by himself. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it's a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast". But our transformation is a joint project between God and us.

Okay, we've talked about spiritual transformation, why it's necessary, because we have defective hearts. Secondly, we've answered the question, who's responsible for it? It's not just God, it's not just us. Without God's power, we cannot be transformed. Without our effort, we will not be transformed. Thirdly, okay, what is the process? How does it happen? For your heart to be transformed to become the person God wants you to be, there are three essential components to that spiritual transformation, write them down. Number one, there has to be a desire. There has to be a desire for spiritual transformation. I remember growing up in this church, there's a little chorus we used to sing a lot. I bet some of you remember it. Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart. There it is, in my heart. Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart. Anybody remember the second verse? Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart. Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.

Aren't you grateful I'm not the minister of music? But in that simple chorus is a profound truth. We will never be a Christian, we will never be like Jesus without that desire that comes from our heart. For example, in Romans 10:9, the desire to be saved comes from the heart. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your," where? "In your heart heart that God has raised him from the dead, you'll be saved". Not only that, our desire to live like a Christian and be like Jesus comes from the heart. Ephesians 6:6 talks about doing the will of God from the heart, but here's the problem. When we are born into this world, we are born not just with a defective heart, we are born with a heart that is absolutely dead. It doesn't beat.

If you believe that's an overstatement, look at Ephesians 2:1 through three where Paul describes our spiritual condition apart from Christ, he says, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sin in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world". Our state apart from Christ is we are spiritually dead. Now, I don't know if you've been around a lot of dead people before. My line of work requires me to hang around corpses quite a bit. And a lot of times I'll be standing down at a funeral service next to the open casket and people proceed by to see the dearly departed. And every now and then somebody'll lean over and say, "Oh, doesn't he look good"? "Good", I think, "He's dead! There's nothing good about that".

Oh sure, he may have a head and have arms and legs, he has a heart still inside of him, but that heart is not beating. It has stopped, and that's why he is dead. That's the way you and I are without Christ. We are spiritually dead. I think I've told you this before, but one day I was standing by a corpse and before people started proceeding down, I saw a giant fly land on the nose of the corpse. And he wouldn't leave, I thought, "What am I going to do"? So without anybody looking, hopefully, I just went over and I kind of flicked the fly off the nose of the corpse. Did that corpse sit up and go, "What are you doing"? Did that corpse sneeze? Of course not, he was absolutely incapable of responding to any external stimulus.

That's what happens when you're dead, you can't respond. Now, here's the point. You and I are spiritually dead, our heart doesn't beat, that means we will never on our have a desire to be a Christian. We will never have a desire to live like Jesus because our hearts are dead and we are dead. You say, "Well then, how does anybody ever have a desire to become a Christian? How does anybody ever want to be like Jesus"? Well, here's the good news, verse four of Ephesians two. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, he made us alive together with Christ, for by grace you have been saved".

I was watching the other night an old episode of "24" with Jack Bauer, remember "24"? In one of the episodes, Jack Bauer had flatlined and the little instrument started just zeeeeee and the doctor yelled, "Get the paddle, get the paddles"! And so he rips open jack's shirt and they get the paddles and put 'em on his heart and send the electrical surge and he jolts up and his eyes open, his heart starts beating, guaranteeing next week's episode is going to be here on schedule. You know what it took was an external stimulus to get that heart beating again. And the Bible says that is exactly what God has done for us. When we were spiritually dead, God got the spiritual paddles and he put them on our heart and he gave us life. He made those of us who were spiritually dead spiritually alive so that we could respond to the gospel.

And I want to be clear here. I don't believe that act of making somebody who was spiritually dead, spiritually alive, that makes them a Christian automatically. I don't think God forces anybody to be a Christian. We are not a Christian until we personally believe and trust in Jesus for our salvation. But what Paul is saying is you and I wouldn't even have any awareness of our sin, you and I would not understand the gospel were it not for the Spirit of God who makes us alive and aware of God and our need for a Savior. That desire to be a Christian comes from God. That's where that desire comes from. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God". Likewise, once we're spiritually alive, we will never have that transformed life God wants for us unless we have that desire to have a transformed life.

So it all begins with desire, but that's not enough. Secondly, we have to have a detailed plan. We have to have a detailed plan. Talking about awakenings, about a few months ago, I had my own awakening. I discovered, it was the oddest thing, that my pants were shrinking. Have you ever had that happen? It was the oddest thing. I couldn't figure out if the dry cleaner were putting some new chemical in there. What was causing my waistline to shrink? I got on the scales and figured it out. My pants weren't shrinking, I was expanding. And so I decided, "I don't want to look like this. I don't want to feel like this. I want to get rid of that weight".

I had the desire, but guess what? Desire alone won't take off the weight. I had to come up with a plan. A few more minutes on the treadmill every day, eliminating some food from my diet. It wasn't going to happen automatically. Now, in the same way, if a physical transformation requires a plan to make it happen in addition to desire, should we be surprised that a spiritual transformation of our heart also requires a detailed plan? We're going to talk about those detailed plans in the weeks ahead, but if you're going to have a spiritual transformation in your life, it starts with a desire. Secondly, it requires a detailed plan, but thirdly, it requires discipline, discipline. I can desire to lose weight, I can have my detailed plan to lose weight, but what happens on those mornings when I decide I'd rather pull the cover over my head, instead of get on the treadmill?

What happens when I've had a particularly tough day and decide I need some comfort food that evening to kind of help maintain my equilibrium, what do I do? It's at that point that in addition to a detailed plan and desire, I need discipline, discipline. A great definition for discipline. Discipline is doing what you know you should do when you don't feel like doing it. Discipline, doing what you know you should do when you don't feel like doing it. Many of you know the great late baseball player Ted Williams. Ted Williams was known as a natural hitter. Whenever he heard that, he scoffed at the idea. He said, "There's no such thing as a natural born hitter. I became a good hitter because I paid the price of constant practice," constant practice, and the callouses on his hand proved that. It's the same way with becoming the person God wants you to be. It requires discipline, it requires hard work.

The great Elton Trueblood, great Christian writer, said, "Acceptance of discipline is the price of freedom". Now, I want you to tune into this for the last three minutes of the sermon. I want you to write down this phrase, discipline is the price of freedom. He goes on to say, "The pole vaulter is not free to go over the high bar except as he disciplines himself rigorously day after day. The freedom of the surgeon to use his drill to cut away bony structure close to a tiny nerve without severing it, that freedom arises from discipline. It is doubtful if excellence in any field comes in any other way than through discipline".

Discipline is the price we pay for the freedom to live as God wants us to live. If you think that's a lot of positive thinking mumbo jumbo, listen to what Paul says in first Timothy 4:7. He says, "Discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness, for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but Godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come". That word discipline Paul uses, it's the Greek word gymnazo. Gymnazo, sound familiar? It's the word we get gymnasium from.

Discipline yourself for Godliness. Just reading that, I mean, when you think of a gymnasium, you think of that aroma of sweat, don't you? You've got sweat all over this verse that Paul is writing here. He said being the person God wants you to become, it takes hard work, it takes holy sweat. But the end result is well worth the effort. Bodily discipline, yes, it has benefits. Admiring glances you get from other people, a longer life, winning the athletic contest. But spiritual discipline, it benefits you not just in this life, but it benefits you beginning right now and extending past the grave through all eternity. Discipline is the price we pay to become the people we've dreamed of becoming and experiencing the kind of life that is beyond imagination.
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