Skip Heitzig - The New You
Today, please turn in your Bibles to the book of Romans 8. The 8th chapter of this incredible book of Romans. There were four brothers who left home for college, they all became successful. Either a doctor or a lawyer. They prospered and what they did. And years later, they got together for a dinner, kind of catching up on old times. It was nearing their elderly mother's birthday. And they were able to talk what they bought her for her birthday.
Now very prosperous and successful, the first son said, I bought Mama a brand new huge home. Had it built, gave it to her for her birthday. The second son said, well, I installed a $100,000 movie theater in her house. And third said, well, I went to the Mercedes dealership and I had the dealer drop off a brand new SL 550 Mercedes in her driveway.
And then the fourth son said, well, you know how much Mama loved to read her Bible. And you know that she is unable to read it because she can't see very well anymore. Well, I met a preacher who told me about a parrot that could recite the entire Bible. And he said, it wasn't cheap though. I had to commit to paying $100,000 a year for 20 years to his church.
But it took 20 preachers 12 years to train this parrot to recite the entire Bible. So I thought I should do that. I did it for Mama. There were all very impressed. After the holidays, after the birthday, after the holidays were over, mama got around to writing her thank you notes. And she wrote, Milton, the house you built is so huge I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.
Marvin, I'm too old to travel. I stay home. I have the groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good though, thanks. Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound, it can hold 50 people. But all my friends are dead. I've lost my hearing and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.
Finally, dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Love, Mama. Ouch. Well, she was losing her eye sight, wasn't she? Getting new things is usually seen as a welcome gesture. Be it a new car or a house or Dolby sound system or a Starbucks cup, getting a new item is always wonderful. But imagine getting a whole new you, a changed you. Change from the inside out. A change so profound that not only do you notice the change, but those who know you well also notice the change.
That's exactly what the Bible promises when it says, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold all things become new. A brand new you. I was reading a study this week by Groupon, the agency, the marketing agency. They asked 2,000 people how much they spend on their appearance. So they wanted to get the average, the average American spends on appearance.
You ready for this? Women age 18 to 78 spend $3,756 a year. That's $313 a month. That's an average of $225,360 in a lifetime. Quarter of a million dollars in a lifetime on appearance. Men, you're not getting off easy. Yours is about as much. Males spend almost three, $2,928 a year. That's $244 a month, totaling $175,680 through a lifetime.
Now this study, the same study revealed that more than a fourth of all appearance related spending is on the face. A total of $51,120, which is more than any other single part of the body. Well, I've got good news. You're going to get a new face. You're not only going to get a new face, you're going to get a whole new body in the Resurrection.
You might be thinking, I'm good with my face now. Well, just wait. One day that will be such good news to you. And the hint of that is found in verse 17 where it says, that we may also be glorified together. One day, the change will not just be inward, it will be outward. Until then, we live in the moment of 2 Corinthians 4, which says, our outward man is perishing, but our inward man is being renewed day by day.
So the new you, the new you changed from the inside out is what the Holy Spirit produces in the life of the believer. Every believer to some extent. We noted last time that the Holy Spirit is very prominent in chapter 8. Mentioned almost 20 times in chapter 8 alone. We're going to look at verses 12 down to verse 18. And in this paragraph, although, there are many more experiences than what I'm going to be pointing out to you, I want to give you a few of the experiences that every child of God should enjoy.
The first experience is a new relation, a new relation. Let's read our versus and get this thrust. Romans 8:12, therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh You will die. But if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you receive the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children than heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. If indeed we suffer with him, that we also may be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
One of the prominent features of this paragraph that we just read together is this orientation to a brand new relation that we have with God. You'll notice it, for instance, beginning in verse 14. The next four versus 14, 15, 16, 17 all of them speak about this new relation. Notice the phrase in verse 14, sons of God. Sons of God.
Go down to verse 15, you'll notice he speaks of adoption, the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father. Verse 16, the phrase children of God. And verse 17 if children then heirs. So all of this language about a new relationship with God.
You see, before you were saved, your relationship with God was not intimate, it was not close. It was detached, it was distant. You could simply look at your relationship BC, before Christ as there was God and there was human. God and human. Not just human, but a fallen human. A fallen human at enmity with God. Paul describes it, we are by nature the children of wrath, or the objects of wrath even as others.
So it's not just even God and human, it's God and fallen humans standing in the judgment of God. It's not that God didn't love you, God certainly did love you. But the big problem was there was a separation because of that three letter word, sin. So Isaiah 59 says, the Lord's hand is not short that it cannot save. Nor is his ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God. And your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.
So that's the relation, God and human. But things are different now. That was then, this is now. Now the relationship you have isn't God and human, it's father and child of God. Father and daughter of God, son of God. A whole new relation. You are sons and daughters of the living God. That's how He sees you.
Now I know it's popular in our culture. It's all over. Leaders say it, artists say it. Our pop culture loves to say things like we're all God's children. Right? We're all God's children. Only problem with that is Jesus does not agree. The Pharisees came to Jesus and the scribes, and they confronted him. And they said to him, listen to these words, we have one Father, God. That's their mantra, too. We're all God's children. We have one Father, God.
Jesus said to them, if God were your Father you would love me. For I proceeded forth and came from God, nor have I come of myself but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech because you're not able to listen to my word? Now here's the conversation stopper. You are of your father, the devil.
OK then. So according to Jesus not everybody is a child of God. In fact, there's only one way to become a child of God. And that is by receiving God's son as Savior into your life. That's the only way. John chapter 1:12-13, as many as received him to them he gave the power, the right, the authority the privilege to be called sons of God to those who believe in his name. So we are a child of God by believing in him, by getting a new life, a new birth that leads to a new life.
Now I will say this. I will concede that we are, in one sense, all children of God. Every human being is a child of God by virtue of creation. Right? Were created in God's image. Even Paul stood and the Areopagus in Athens and said to the philosophers, quoting a source of an unbeliever and said, for we are all God's offspring.
In the creative sense, were the children of God. But in a redemptive sense, it's a very narrow category, and that is those who believe in Him. Now the word Paul uses for this is adoption. It shows up in verse 15. We have received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father.
Adoption is a word Paul uses five times in the New Testament. It's a word he liked. It's an analogy he liked. It's a picture he wanted to paint of what happens in this new relationship with God. It's adoption. Now adoption is different than natural birth. Being born into a family is one thing, being adopted is quite another thing. The word adoption means to be placed in a family as an adult son or daughter. To be placed in the family as an adult son or daughter.
We were, by nature, the children of wrath, Ephesians 1. But God adopted us, brought us into His family. Now, here's the background Roman adoption, which I think Paul is referring to here, was something in which somebody who was adopted into a family loses all of the previous rights from his former family, but gains all of the new rights of this new family he's being adopted into. So even if there were natural born children in that family, the adopted son or the adopted daughter was considered an equal and even co-heirs in the inheritance of the estate.
So FF Bruce, one of the great scholars of the New Testament, said, in the Roman world of the first century, an adopted son was deliberately chosen by an adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate. He was in no way inferior in status to a son born in the ordinary course of nature and might enjoy the father's affection more fully and reproduce the father's character more worthily. So what Paul wants us to know by him using the word adoption is that God chose you to be in his family.
God picked you to be in his family. There was a first grade class, the teacher was discussing adoption because she wasn't sure if all the class understood that there were kids in that class who didn't have a mommy and daddy that they were born of. So she started discussing adoption. One little girl shot her hand up, she said, I can tell you what adoption is. The teacher said, go ahead.
She said, I'm adopted. She said, my mom explained it to me. She told me it's when a child grows in your heart instead of your tummy. What a beautiful and, frankly, theologically correct description of biblical adoption. You see, God had you growing in his heart for years. In Ephesians 1 Paul said, he chose us in him before the foundation of the world having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will.
That's the doctrine of election. God picked you. God chose you. God wanted you to be part of his family. Charles Spurgeon, whom I have always loved to quote on just about anything said, I believe in the doctrine of election. I'm quite sure that if God had not chosen me I never would have chosen him. And he said, I am sure God chose me before I was born, because he never would have picked me afterwards.
You've been adopted. God picked you. God picked you. There's some famous people that have been adopted. John Lennon was adopted by his aunt. Steve Jobs, adopted. Nelson Mandela, Marilyn Monroe. Babe Ruth. Faith Hill. Jamie Foxx, and Eleanor Roosevelt are among the many famous people who had been adopted.
When God adopts you the relationship changes and you are now allowed to call him Abba, Father. That's an Aramaic term, Abba, as well as a Hebrew term. It means daddy. It's a intimate term. It's a close term. It's a term of endearment. If you go to Israel you'll notice the children calling after their mother and father Ema, momma, Abba, daddy.
So that's how Jesus taught us to pray, right? He said, and when you pray, say, our Father in Heaven hallowed be your name. That really probably came as a shock to the people of the first century because most of the Jews did not refer to God as their father. They didn't pray, my Father. They had this reverence and respect for God that really superseded any familiarity whatsoever.
They were so in awe of God that they didn't even call God by his name that he revealed himself in the Old Testament. They gave him the title HaShem, which in Hebrew means "The Name". Imagine referring to somebody as "The Name". Can even say his name, but so holy, "The Name". And when they would pray they would pray in Hebrew. Blessed are you Lord, God, King of the universe.
Lofty language, wonderful language, wonderful truth. But Jesus said call Him Daddy, call him Father. 70 times the New Testament either uses Jesus calling God his Father or allowing us to call him Father. That's adoption. That's what adoption does. So we are given a new relation. We enjoy a new relation. He is Father, we are children.
Second, experiences a new motivation. Look at verse 14, please. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God these are sons of God. Do you know that you have, like, the world's best helper living in you. I hope you're thinking, that's good because I need all the help I can get. Because we all do.
You have the best helper, he is called the Holy Spirit. And here he is said to lead us, as many as are led by the Spirit. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will be with you, in you, and he will guide you into all truth. He is said to lead a person. I love the language of Him leading. A shepherd doesn't beat his sheep or force a sheep, he leads his sheep. Even Jesus it said was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he was tempted of the devil for 40 days.
Why is the language important it reflects that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He leads, he doesn't drive. He doesn't force. He doesn't bully, he leads. Some people speak of being driven. I'm a driven person. I hope you're a lead person. I'm driven, I'm spirit driven. Or I'm purpose driven. The Christians should be Spirit led. Led by the Holy Spirit.
Martin Lloyd Jones said, there's no violence in Christianity. What the spirit does is to enlighten and to persuade. The Holy Spirit never browbeats, there's no driving. There's no compulsion. But here's the caveat. You have to want to be led. Where it really works is, yeah, He leads and we are led. But you have to want that. You have to relinquish control in order for him to lead you.
Think of it as a conductor leading an orchestra. Conductor's up there with a little wand, he's doing this not just because he likes to do that. But he's keeping time and rhythm and cadence. And speaking with that little wand to different parts of the orchestra to say, now is your turn. Now louder. Now softer. What if one of the players or a few of the players decide, I don't want to be led by the conductor? What will you have?
Noise, pandemonium. You will have a tuba solo. And that is never good on any day, even if you're a tuba player. My apologies. But it's good in an orchestra. You don't want somebody blowing his own horn. So the Christian, we should be asking, am I letting the Holy Spirit lead me? Am I seeking God? Am I watching the conductor with His cues?
Now I feel I need to comment on this. There is a sense in which I think this is an abused phrase, one of the most abused phrases I have ever heard among believers. And it's the phrase, I feel led. I feel led. I feel led to do that. Or I don't feel led to do that. And I say it's abused because it has come to mean a subjective mental impression that I get for my direction in life. I feel led.
Often, it's just a way of saying, I don't want to do that. But if I say God is leading me or not leading me, it comes off a lot better. I don't feel led. I feel led. So I think we need to know what that means. So no notice verse 14. Notice that it does not say, as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. It does not say that. There's a word I left out. What's the first word in the verse? For.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. The word "for" means because. Whenever you have a sentence that begins with a for or a because it's pointing us back to the previous verse or the previous thought. The previous thought begins in verse 12, but I take you to verse 13. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die. But if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live for, or because as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.
The topic is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, not living for the flesh. So being led by the Holy Spirit means not letting your bodily appetites control you any longer. That's what being led means. It's not a mystical, I feel led. It's a very practical specific way of saying, God leads you into his will so that you have a new motivation.
And the new motivation is now you say, I want to do what He wants me to do. I want to do what He wants me to, and when you say that and you mean that, I really want to do what God wants me to do, you're being led by the Spirit. So we have a new relation, were adopted into this family. With it comes a new motivation, being led by the Spirit.
There's a third experience, there's a new validation. Verse 16, he continues, the Spirit Himself, notice not itself, Himself. The Holy Spirit as a person, the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Now, what does that mean? Well, let's go back to the Roman adoption. In antiquity, when the Romans would adopt a son or daughter into the family it was a formal ceremony. There were witnesses that came to a formal ceremony. There were usually several witnesses.
In fact, an average of seven witnesses came to the adoption ceremony. Why? To validate it. To swear that the adoption was genuine. Why was that important? Well, suppose the new father, the guy adopting the child, dies. And when he dies there is a dispute over the rights of inheritance. And suppose there are natural born children from that father who then say to this adopted kid or about him, I don't know who this guy is he just showed up and said he's adopted. We don't know him.
That's when a witness comes forward and says, I was there when it happened. Your father adopted him into the family. So now he is an heir and a joint heir with you. He's part of the mix. OK, so in Judaism, it was usually the eldest son that got a double portion of the inheritance. In Roman law and with the Roman adoption, all of the kids, those adopted and those natural born, shared an equal amount alike.
So that's what the Holy Spirit does with us. OK? He steps forward as a witness to our adoption. Now, again, I've given you the background but I still haven't answered the question. What does that mean exactly? Well, notice what it says. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we're the children of God. OK. My spirit would let you know I'm a child of God. You know how I know? Because people have asked me, how do you know you were saved? Easy answer, I was there when it happened.
I was there, I had a front row seat. I saw what happened to me. I'm a witness to that. But I have another witness, the Holy Spirit. He saw. He also had a front row seat. And He stepped forward and He validates your sonship, your adoption. Again, Paul does not have in mind some mystical voice whispering to us like, your saved. Your really saved. That's not the idea of him bearing witness with our spirit.
I think it's much more practical and plain and obvious than that. And when I say you're going to go, oh, yeah. I knew that. And you do. How does the Holy Spirit prove that we are children of God, that we are adopted by God? It's called the fruit of the spirit. By the fruit of the spirit, by what the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. So what I want you to do is keep a marker here, quickly turn a couple of chapters to the right.
Go to Galatians 5. It's not it's not very far from where you're at. But let's read this together because it's going to make a whole lot of sense of Romans 8. Galatians chapter 5, in verse 16, same guy, Paul, wrote, I say then walk in the spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust or the desires of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit, wars against the spirit, battles the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. They're contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, boy, he's on a roll, selfish ambition, dissension, heresy, envy, murder, drunkenness, rivalries, and the like. In other words, I'm not even done. Now you read that list and you go, yuck. And the like of which I tell you beforehand as I told you in time past, those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Yuck.
Been there done that. Past tense BC, before Christ. Now what? Well, verse 22. But the fruit of this spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Can you see any of those things reflected in your new life? Maybe not to perfection, but yes you can. Against such, there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit.
So here's the simple answer. Those character traits that he mentions here are produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit to some degree. And when they are, they provide for us assurance. They are benchmarks to us that we are indeed adopted children of God. Make sense? Now let me take you back to my early salvation. I got saved 1973. I was so excited, I wanted everyone to know that I was a Christian.
And I did what I think everybody did back at that time to let everyone know they were a Christian, I bought a bumper sticker for my car that announced, I'm saved, you're not. Something like that. And I would have said, it's a bumper sticker to let people know that the person driving this car is a Christian. Now there's only one problem with my strategy. It's called my driving.
Anytime you put a bumper sticker on a car and announced that a Christian is driving, now everybody behind you is curious, how do Christians drive in traffic? What gestures do they use when people cut them off? Right? So that was the problem because I didn't my driver did not reflect this newness in me. And, by the way, I just wanted to share this with you. Here are the top 10 things people won't say when they see your bumper sticker or fish symbol on your car.
OK. So I'm not down on you if you have a bumper sticker or a fish symbol. I'm glad you do. Just know there is a higher level of accountability now that you have that. So what people will not say, here's the top 10. Number 10, look let's stop that car and ask those folks how we can become Christians. It's not going to happen. Number 9, don't worry, Billy, those people are Christians. They must have a good reason for going 90 miles an hour. Number 8, what joy to be sharing the highway with another car of spirit filled brothers and sisters. Number 7, isn't it wonderful how God blessed that Christian couple with a brand new BMW?
Number 6, dad, how can people who drive like that don't get thrown in jail? Son that driver is a Christian and God probably protects him from getting arrested. Dad, can we get a bumper sticker like that too? Number 5, stay clear of those folks, Martha. If they get raptured, that car is going to be all over the road. Number 4, oh, look. That Christian woman is getting a chance to share Jesus with a police officer. Number 3, no that's not litter coming out of their window, Burt. It's probably gospel tracks for road workers. Number 2, oh, boy. We're in trouble now. We just rear ended one of God's cars. And number 1, quick, Alice, honk the horn or they won't know that we love Jesus.
Now those things are not going to happen because you have a Christian bumper sticker. I had one on my car, I was announcing to the world that I was a Christian. Here's God's way of validating the reality of the commitment. The Holy Spirit comes into you and into me, into us, starts working cleaning up, producing love, joy, peace long suffering. All of these character traits, that's Him bearing witness that it's valid by working these changes out.
We and others who look at us will know that. It gives us assurance. We're not talking about perfection. We're talking about growth. Simple growth of the life of the spirit inside of us. And there's a fourth and final one that I want to talk about in the time we have left. And that is a new compensation. We also have a new compensation.
Verse 17, and if children, that's what you are. You're children of God. Relation change. And if children, then heirs. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with Him that we also may be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. You know there's so much amazing stuff in those two verses. I wish I had weeks just on those two versus.
But look at that phrase. Joint heirs with whom? Jesus Christ. What that means is everything Jesus Christ received by divine right, we received by divine grace. Even, and including future glory. So you really will get a new face, a new body. And though we suffer now on this earth, and please, dear child of God, listen, especially if you're in a very dark moment, you're going through a very desperate time in your life. You think the world is crashing down on you in your suffering. Though you suffer now on this earth one day that will be eclipsed by incomparable glory.
He says, the glory can't even compare to the suffering. John Stott, who wrote a commentary in the book of Romans, one of my favorite commentators on this book, said, suffering and glory belong together. These words belong together. Suffering and glorying belong together because these two words characterize the two ages of the believer. The present age, suffer. The future age, glory. So Paul is giving us a cosmic perspective of now versus then. Why? It's a compensation.
We keep our eye on the road, right? Right now, this is where we live, but we also know behind the horizon is glory. In fact, listen to what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17. For our light affliction, if you know anything about 2 Corinthians, Paul talked about how hard he had it. He was beaten up. He was put in prison. He was stoned. Not like stoned, but like rocks thrown at him stoned. I mean, he was abused. He was mistreated.
He calls it our light affliction. Yeah, it's just a light affliction. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding an eternal weight of glory. We have to keep that in perspective because that compensates for this. In fact, the rest of Romans 8 he's going to talk about groaning and all creation is groaning. And we as part of the created order are also groaning wanting that to happen, looking forward to it.
I got up this morning and I groaned when I got up. Oh, my back. And I've noticed myself as I grow older I groan more. And I'm comforted by this part of Romans because I groan and I go, well, it's scriptural. We're groaning for glory. And you should know that Peter even said, we should expect suffering. We should expect suffering if it's suffering for the right reason.
If we're aligned with Jesus and we get the blow back from this world because we're aligned with Jesus, he said expect that. Listen to what he writes. 1 Peter 4, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering. Why is it that when we suffer a painful trial we're surprised? I can't believe God would let this happen to me. I thought he was a good God, a God of love. Why would he...
Don't be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is repealed. That's Peter's way of saying, the worse it gets here, it will feel better there. We have no right to expect better treatment from this world than Jesus got from this world.
If you are indeed an adopted son or daughter of the living God, you aligned yourself with Him and you follow Him and you love Him, you should see suffering for Him as an honor. Right? In fact, an indicator that you're on the right path, somebody, well, I'm suffering. I must have been doing something wrong. Maybe you're doing everything right? Maybe it's an indicator that you're doing everything absolutely right and because you are doing it right, therefore, you are suffering for it.
Paul said to Timothy, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. CS Lewis was asked, why do the righteous suffer? His answer quickly was, why not? They're the only ones who can take it. He's right. Anybody can endure suffering, only the Christian can endure suffering knowing there's purpose for it and that is leading somewhere. So all of these experiences are because God adopted you. Meaning he chose you. You were growing in his heart for years. He chose you before the foundation of the earth. He made you because of that heirs, joint heirs with his son. Your adopted, but you share that same privilege even the future glory.
After going through paragraphs like this in the Bible, I walk away from such a study convinced that most people do not understand the heart of God for them. Sadly, many Christian people do not understand the heart of God for them. God desires the very best for you. Not the worst for you, the very best. That's his heart. Obviously, by these truths. He doesn't want to ruin your life, he wants to rescue your life.
I remember witnessing to my friends after the bumper sticker on my car, sharing with my friends. And I got such resistance, I don't want to give my life to Jesus, he'll ruin it. You do not understand my Jesus if you think that. He will not ruin your life, he'll fix your life. True story. A homeless man living on the streets of Santa Cruz, Bolivia was running from the police. The police were chasing him, a homeless man.
You know why they were chasing him? Because they wanted to inform him, they wanted to bring him news that he had just become an inheritor of a $6 million estate. He had just won six, won? He has been given, he inherited six million bucks. So he sees the police chase him, he runs. He figures they're after him for drug abuse and alcohol abuse, both of which were true in his life. But 67-year-old Tomas Martinez ran and disappeared without a trace.
They're trying to tell him, dude, you can buy any house in this city, but he ran. Here's the twist in the story. The inheritance came from his ex-wife. Isn't that interesting? She got it from her family. She bequeath it to him when she died. She died. Obviously, she had no ill will toward her ex-husband, who is now homeless. But he had become the inheritor of a $6 million estate. So the police wanted to give him the news, he ran. God offers an inheritance, forgiveness from the past, meaning in the present, glory in the future. But you have to stop running and start receiving. A gift is only as good as your ability and willingness to receive it. God is not out to bust you, He's out to bless you.
Father, thank you for your love for us. Thank you for the new you, the new us that has promised here. We have a new birth, what Paul calls an adoption. You have given us the privilege as adopted sons and daughters of being ones who will enjoy an inheritance. Jesus had it by divine right. We have it by divine grace. We're part of your family. You treat us so well. You love us so much. Lord, I pray that we would never lose sight of the fact that the Holy Spirit is so active and so willing to lead us and to guide us and to guide us into paths of righteousness and holiness and goodness. I just pray for anybody who has been running away from your offer. They've listened to gospel messages, they've heard from friends and family, but they just push it away, push it aside. They've been resisting. They've been running. I pray that none would make the mistake as the man who gave up what would be considered in comparison a very shallow inheritance of only $6 million when you give us everlasting life and future glory.
If you're here today and you've not received Christ personally, now would be an excellent time for you to do that. You could do it right where you are. Again, back to that little passage in John that I shared, as many as received him, to them he gave the power, privilege, the authority, the right to become children of God. Those who would believe in His name, that's how you receive Him, you believe in Him.
If you're willing to believe in Him, to put your faith in Him, you can do that right now, right where you're seated. You just say this to him right where you are. He knows where you are. He knows where you are in life. He knows what you're going through. You just allow him to lead you and you say to him these words, say I'm inwardly, or if you want to, if you're bold enough, say them outwardly. Say:
Lord, I give you my life. I admit I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe that He came, that He died, that He shed his blood for me, that He rose again. I turn from my past. I repent of my sin. I turn my life over to Jesus to follow Him as Lord and Savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to do that. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.