2006 Holy Week St. Mark DC - Part 4 (Eve of Wednesday)


"Crucifying the Flesh"


The name of the father son. Holy spirit. Amen. At this point in time in the week. The holy spirit is our theme for this week. So it doesn't really matter what I want to preach about tonight. I don't really have a choice and if you just kind of tuning in tonight for the first time you just showing up for the first time you really missed out cuz it's really really learned a lot in his name but Tuesday so far, but somehow it seems like like it's action-packed. We just got to recap where we've been and where we're going. The Holy Spirit made it clear that the theme for this week is all about change and changing our lives making a lasting change and not just a temporary chain. We started off by talking about how first of all we all need to make a change which is kind of contrary to what we usually think of usually come to church on Christmas and Easter. There's the guys who need to change every single one of us and then we talked that later on that night. About faith in about how we can have the faith that God can make that change possible. And even though we try to make a change like a million and one times and failed a million of those time really can't make that change cuz that's his specialty is making change inside people and then last night got even more specific try to figure out where the changes supposed to be realized that the check is supposed to be in my heart and we looked at how the heart to be the most evil thing inside of us and that's why we want to make an inside change. A question of many people been asking me and you've probably been wondering inside your head. is how is like how this change is supposed to happen how I'm supposed to change something that may have been going on for like 10 years or 20 years or 30 years or something like that. I'm supposed to make a change on the inside. Well, believe it or not. It's not as complicated as you think we can make that change. What steps need to be taken to make that change a lasting change on the inside is complicated. Sometimes we make it out to be a brain surgeon said it's for little children. So it can't be as complicated as sometimes we want to make it out to be. If you want to know how this change is supposed to work and how we're supposed to get from point A to point B with everything in life. There's always a god part and a me part something. Supposed to do and something that I'm supposed to do. Dodge Park is the big stuff. Okay, God's part is like the make a change kind of stuff. All right will call that change Grace Dodge part in this whole thing is to give me a new heart that's part in this thing is to give me a new life. Okay, what do I have to do to get that was a beautiful thing about Grace? You don't really have to do anything to get it. You just kind of got it, you know the story the parable parable of their master and the servant what did those servants do to get the talents? Why do I get 521 Town point, you know the story where the master leave the house to the servants job to watch the place are their job is to watch it. They don't have to like learn the place. They were given the house to watch over there were given the talent and it's the same thing with all of us the good news in this change process is you hit the ground running you start off with a very very good head start because God gives you everything that gives you the town gives you the new heart gives you the grace gives you everything that you need for change. Our part is just like those servant. Not to screw it up is not to lose. We've been given or to make best use out of it or to keep it a bring forth fruit from it. But the beautiful thing is that we don't need to do anything just to hold on to it. You know, this is the part where a lot of a struggle you come here to church you hear a sermon you're touched you scream hook tattoo gone with the top of your lungs. You cry. You repent you got all these kinds of good stuff. And all you got to do is hold on to it is not losing but I'm telling you that a lot of times we have lost it before we even hit the parking lot. We have lost it before what we gain on Sunday morning. Sometimes lost before even the minute walking to work on Monday morning and sometimes the beautiful things that we gain here and holy we could be best for services. Unfortunately, we lose them quickly. with things like iCup chatter with things like watching TV with things like spending time on the internet and phone calls and and what I'm going to cook for Easter and going shopping in my hair and my dress and whatever kind of nonsense you lose the stuff that God came to give you. That's why I remember back when I first started to get into holy but I was just a young Deacon. I remember my brother's not around now so I can say this about him my brother Steve used to hate it. When is Holy Week because he said that I used to go into Holy Week mode and Holy Week mode meant that we both of our spring break do all this kind of stuff that we used to do. I used to sit right there as soon as I know a lot of people who do that. That's the best thing that you can do. Believe me. Don't let anyone tell you to the good stuff. So please the first to understand here. Is that God will give us everything that we need. I promise you he is giving you stuff just by you coming here in attending by you wanting to make that change you having that Faith by you listening. I buy you thinking about all these things giving it to you. But sometimes like I said, we spend the next hour outside in the lobby to talking about nothing and stay up late and eating and this and that in the morning and then we can't make it up for the morning. That's that and then we strolled into work late and then this kind of stuff. So, please hold on Irving giving him the first thing you need to protect it hold on to it as it's at the most critical thing in your life hold on to it and protect it as a Vanos thirsty with a cup of water lady one that thing of water for my hand. Hold on to it like she worked on that water. All right, hold on to with the way that you hold onto your wallet when you go through a crowded Street. Hold on to it the same way that you protect your kids when they're in the ball are in Disneyland or whatever protected the same way at least but you protect your car when you think someone's going to scratch or something like that hold onto the beautiful things that you've been given. Cuz I promise you that even if you can't see it God is doing a change on the inside. I promise you I promise you I promise you promise you he's doing something on the inside. There's no way that you could listen to all this. Okay, there's no way you can spend this much time here. And God just says sorry. Nice. Try. There's no way. Okay, there's no way that if you're coming here with a heart that wants to change. There's no way he's going to let you walk away and say tough try again next year. But the question is is who is that wise servant rush back into the world will try to maintain this whole this whole week Spirit as long as he can throughout the day last night. You better Prophecy from The Book of Amos 11th hours up there on the screen talk about God makes all things and changes them and turns Darkness into the morning and dark is the day and tonight. Do you understand what that says that says that God with a blank of his I can take a bright sunny day and make it pitch start a by the same token. If you open his eye back up again make it night again if I can change band tonight, and I'm today and you tell me that you come here want to change you think he's not going to change because I'm going to be doing something on the inside don't think that for a second if you can change that and change us. So that's the god part of things. That's the easy part. What's my part? Well, I do this logically right here. Let's say let's look physically will talk about changing my heart. Let's have a hole in my heart. I have a problem. I have a murmur and palpitation my heart and I need a new heart. What's the first step has to be done before I can get a new heart logically. I got to get rid of the old one, right? Okay, there's no room for two hearts in there. All right, there's only I don't know. I'm not a doctor certain number of connectors. Okay, and you can't have there's not extra plugs in there to plug in the too hard to make sure it works for the other one. You have to get rid of the old heart for you can put in a new heart. It's just logical right if I want to wear a new Bella, but yep, I have to remove the old one first, but I want a new pair of shoes to my shoes at home and take the old ones off first. You can't put new shoes on top of old shoes. So you want a new life, huh? Do you want to change in your life? You want to change in your heart? You want a new heart and a new life? Galatians chapter 2 verse 1 is a beautiful versus going to help us out here. The second half of the verse says but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the Son of God. This is the new life. This is excellent. This is great. This is the goal. This is exactly what we want from Holy Week the Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the Son of God. Excellent verse is only half. The first half is Saint Paul says right there. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live? I'll take this new life. I want this change anything no matter what it takes. You tell me what Anthony I'll do it. I'll do anything. It takes any price basketball. They know, I can fast all day. I can spend 24 hours. Then you tell me what I want that you like. What's the price? Is that you must be crucified? Oh my goodness. crucified not even just killed crucified. What could be worse? What could have been worse and that's looking worse in that verse? Is there any way that you can put that would be worse crucify? There's no worse word that you can put in there is no more difficult and painful word that you could stick in that verse other than crucify. But that's what it is. Job is to do the new life, but my job is to get rid of the old life. And God says it's like a prerequisite. Alright, I'm ready to give you the new but you got to get rid of the old first. It has to work that way you worry about your job. I'll do my job. We like his job better his job as a fun job. His job is the joy the piece the happiness. We like that much better, but you know what? We can't do that. Believe me if it's possible. I tried. All right. I tried I'm sure you tried as well to give you that new light to give me that joy to give me that piece give you that Victory. I tried every way under the sun is not possible. I can't do it. I can't do his job. And he says I will not do your job. He could do it if you want it, but he says I will not you have to do your part. He has to do his part. It's common sense. All right, the only way to have something that was supposed to get rid of the old. So let's try to understand what this person needs you because like I said, we read it so many times we have quoted it and preached about it and nice songs about it. And it's so easy for us to say let's try to understand what this verse really means. I asked you what does this verse mean? What does Saint Paul mean when he said I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me. What does that mean? Have you thought about that? Have you really thought about what that means? I think if I took a survey and asked people what this mean, I would get answers like a man's Christ died for me and my sins killed him. So therefore I shouldn't stand anymore because I've been crucified with Christ. I think it means much more than that. And this is where we're going to ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit right here because I'll be honest with you. I don't think I have any idea what this verse mean. I don't think you have any idea what this person because I think it goes much deeper than we can possibly understand because if you try to understand what Saint Paul is staying right here he is saying I have been crucified. He's not talkin about my sins put price to death. He's not talking about how now I come to church all the time. He sang. I have been crucified. He's saying it as a fact you saying it has like something that happened in history. He's saying it as something which is not symbolic of anything as much as he's talking about something that for a real experience that somehow someway God gave him what it was in a vision where there was in when he was lifted up to the third heaven. I don't know. Like I said, I don't understand but he is standing right now a fact which says that I have been crucified. I am no longer the same person. I have been crucified. Let me ask you a question. If you were to go back in time and live 2,000 years ago, and you were to look around at the world St. Paul. Do you think that you would see a difference in his life and all the other people? Do you think that you would maybe see something him? It's a little bit different than everyone else that make you understand this verse a little bit better and make you understand what it means when he says I have been crucified. Do you think Saint Paul would have watched as much TV as the rest of the people in the world as the rest of the people in the world. Do you think he bought a new car every 2 weeks like some people do know, you know, why because he just said I have been crucified. All right, I have been crucified. It is no longer. I who lives he saying? I am dead to that. I've been killed a dead person that buy new card a dead person then spent hours watching TV. Wait a minute to talk about here dead person. That's not good kind of crazy right here. How is St.Paul writing an epistle saying I've been crucified I'm dead well, That's all everything that we're talking about is that he has been crucified and also what goes with crucifixion cross around and tell me the procession one side of what the other side is the resurrection. Don't let that fool you. All right. He's an absolutely I've been crucified but he also talked about how he's been resurrected. 2nd Corinthians chapter 4 verse 14 says knowing he knowing that he who raised up the Lord. Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus. And again, I can't describe it with words, but I really hope the god kind of inspires us and and allows us to understand this Saint Paul is saying right now that I have experienced something. I have experienced the crucifixion and I have experienced a resurrection and therefore I am not the same person as I was before I do not care about the things that I cared about before I do not care about I don't have a life like anyone else's life because I have been crucified and I've also been resurrected and that's why he lives a new life. Again, you can't have Step 2 without Step 1. You can't have Resurrection. You can't have new life. You can't have this amazing changed, whatever unless you were first going to go to the crucifixion step. first If someone was crucified and came back to life, do you think their life would look the same as anyone else's let's forget about symbolic right now. Let's talk literal Lazarus was dead for four days. He came back to life went back to work at 9:05 as everything was normal think he went back to just doing the same old same old shopping at the mall hang out at the movies. Kind of like there's no way that you're like to be the same. I bet you if there was someone he was crucified and resurrected Not only would have his life to life. But everyone around him would be different. Don't believe me. Let me ask you this. Let's say your grandfather grandmother or whoever that you know that passed away shows up tonight at your house is that I have been raised from the dead going to be able to spend the night the same way you're going to sleep the same way. She did before your likes to be the same as everything was the same and that's what Saint Paul is talking about right now. Look in the next verse 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 15. Listen to what Saint Paul said and I can take it. Literally he died for all that those who live to no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again Saint Paul didn't talk in fiery right now st. Paul experience that experience and that was that he was crucified and that he was resurrected and that's why he lived a new life. May I ask you a question? This is easy. When you told us last night, why is why he was resurrected cuz he was lucky because he was special. No because he was crucified. Okay, because he crucified himself he was able to be resurrected is not a magic trick or anything like that. He wasn't any more special than anyone else. But what he was is someone who understood what it means to crucify the Flesh and that's what our part in this whole thing is I said God's part is Grace. Our part is crucify the flesh. When the world does that mean practically? If you want to know what crucify the flesh mean the first most important rule here is don't invent something. This is part of our disease our problem. We hear catchphrase crucify the Flesh and we say, oh that's what this means. That means that when we go out drinking. It should be in moderation drink in moderation. That's what that means or we hear crucify the flesh. That means that we should be loving and nice to all kind of within the limits know God doesn't want us to be overboard or stuff like that. We kind of played our own rules because why because we like that moderation crucify the flesh is so harsh. Let's just try to control the flesh. Let's try to moderate. The flesh people are not people wore people's love. Okay, we don't like things like that to justify would crucify mean today the modern translation. Okay is like today. Control the flesh, right? That's what we kind of like don't invent Bible verse don't invent the ology. It says crucify. It means crucify if I have a wild lion sitting in my home. Is there any way that I can just say, you know what let's make peace to give let me just control that line. Okay. Let me just try to teach it nice tricks and to go to the bathroom and it's okay, but still it's my house. Let me just try to control it me tell you some if you got a line living in your house and I didn't you yet. There's no game tonight. And it's foolish to think otherwise and that's what Saint Paul is talking about right here. Just because the flesh hasn't destroyed you yet. Okay doesn't mean that Pat is going to destroy you tonight or before you know it. Having that lion having that flesh even 99% dead. Is it asking for trouble? Look if I go to my office back there and I close the door to my office. All right, and then I open it just ever-so-slightly just a little crack. Just a tiny tiny tiny little crack. It's just a matter of time before the wind blows hard enough. The whole thing's going to be wide open. The only way to make sure the door stays shut the door stays shut and it stays locked. You see your flesh is like fire. All kids like to play with fire because it's nice looking and I know you can do cool things with it. But hey, is that fire grows? It's a matter of time to process the same thing with the flesh. We say it's just a matter of time for you to completely burned up. The only way to deal with the flesh is the crucified. That's it. There's no other option. Okay, there's no negotiation with the flash there is no just hope it goes away. It's either crucified or die to the flesh. So again, practically, what is that mean? Well, I never been crucified and I don't think you have either. So again, let's not invent something. Let's go to someone who has been crucified. That's our Lord Jesus Christ When They Crucified him what did they do to him? Let's go literally right now and see what they literally did to him. They put him on a cross and they did what they nailed his hands and his feet. So let's start there. Let me start by crucifying my hands and my feet and let me look at my hand and say all these hands crucified all these hands to living all these hands ruling over me or my ruling over them all these hand picking up things and touching things and going to things that they shouldn't be going to and leaving me the simple places. Or these hands helping others in reaching out. How about my feet where my feet taking me or my feet as the gospel talks about bringing the gospel to the lost my feet taking me places where I can share the love of Christ or my feet taking you places damnation for my soul ask yourself. What else what else they crucified well before he was nailed to the cross. He was beaten and he was smitten. Alright and his face was bruised and his eyes were swollen shut. Let's go to the eyes. Now. You ask yourself. Have I Crucified My Eyes does my eyes still live and do I allowed to date look today? Tell me what I'm going to look at me look at whatever they want. They have no self control over them, or do I tell them what to look upon? Ask yourself what else? I would say another thing of Christ was crucified with his tongue. Because the whole time he didn't open his mouth and answer one accusation. So let me look at my mouth right now. Am I ready to do the same? Am I ready to Crucify My Tongue my ready to not answer back. Am I ready to not say things that I shouldn't be saying the tongue is just a small little thing in us, but you know that time can light a fire faster than any other part of our body to ask yourself in a my tongue been crucified with Christ. How about my will and my mind I think it was Saint Paul wrote Philippians chapter 2 verse 5 through 8, let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus, you know this passage let this mind be in you which was also in Christ. Jesus being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God but made himself of no reputation taking the form of a bondservant me ask you a question your will is it to be a bondservant is it to be obedient to the point of your will is it to serve others or is it to Serve Yourself your mind the whole point of it is to build up your ego and that's what controls your mind about. What makes you look like a big man. What makes you look good in front of others or is your mind the mind of Christ you ask yourself if these parts have been crucified with are not that's what I'm saying. This isn't complicated stuff you want to be resurrected. You have to learn how to be crucified and you just go through every piece of your body and you make sure that crucified For Christ, so don't tell me that crucify the flesh means I gave up meat for Lent. I didn't eat meat have Crucified My Flesh better than crucifying the flesh crucifying. The flesh is not waking up early one morning going to church. It is much much greater than that. Another way that you can look at it. Ephesians chapter 4 verse 22 and 24 st. Paul Princeton voices put off the old man, which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and put on the new man, which was created according to God and true righteousness and holiness. Saint Paul wanted to give us a good analogy for this idea of crucifying the Flesh and being resurrected with Christ. So he said put off the old and put on the new and every single morning you can remind yourself this process of change is supposed to look like cuz every single morning you put off your pajamas and you put on your dress shirt your time you were on your whatever and the same way that you are putting off and putting on The Fosters do the same thing on the inside put all the tongue. That is so sharp put on the tongue that is obedient put off the eagle in the pride that makes you feel like this and put on the servant mindset put up the eyes which look at anything in the world. If they want think it's fine put on the eyes of Christ was crucified eyes. Very simple, right put off put on. It's easy. It's not complicated. Anyone can do it. Right? It's not that hard, right? Is it? the thing is well, it's not complicated if you really think about this and maybe you haven't had a chance yet to think about if I had all day to think about as I Was preparing this. It's kind of scary. It isn't hard but it's scary. It's risky. Why? Back the clothes example for me to put all my shirt. That means that for a minute there. I'm exposed. I'm naked. I'm bear. I got nothing protecting me. That's not an easy thing. That's kind of a scary thing know but don't worry. Don't worry. The only way to get this new life is to put on the new so you have to put off the old and put on the new so it's going to be a little uncomfortable for a little bit can be kind of scary don't worry is the only way to get that new life that resurrected life. Yeah, but it's risky. What if the new shirt doesn't fit? What if I don't like it? Can I return it? What happens if I get stuck and God gives me a shirt that too small. Kind of risk using it. That same way spiritually it's risky. It's scary to put off everything that you have done for. However many years you been to put off your Social Circle to put off your Habit to put off whatever. Wait a minute. How do we know what if God doesn't listen to We Are go back to Sunday night, but something that we talked about that about having faith and I am believing that God wants to give you and God will give you and trusting him that you put yourself at risk, but you can't really be at risk with God will take care of you. How do I know the club with Romans chapter 8 verse 32 said is that he would not spare his own son. He who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all how shall he not with him also, freely give us all things. We don't understand what this verse mean because if we did our lives of a different saying if he is willing to give up his own son. Why would he give me a shirt if he's willing to give up his own son? Why wouldn't you give me by needs his way to give me his own son? Why would a spare some change out of my pocket? Is there really anything that I can save it. As ever left me and need up after he has given me his own son. We have to trust in him and not be worried that he's going to leave us. We got to do our part which is crucifying the flesh. I just so we're all clear here when I say crucifying the flesh what I'm not saying even though I wish I could say but I'm not saying he's living a sinless life. All right, don't think that's what I'm talkin about zone out on here saying that no listen to what it when Anthony Stango home to this and that you'll never see me again. Not what I'm saying crucifying the flesh doesn't mean that you'll never see me again. I wish but that's not the truth. If that was the truth. Believe me. I'd last I'll be the last person who can stand up here and talk about it. But I know like Saint Paul knows all right that there's lots of things inside of us that we don't like King David had that new life had that new heart. But he also in the songs that have mercy on me. Oh God have mercy on me. St. Paul himself talked about how that which I do. I will not to do that, which I will not to do that I do. So, I'm not saying crucifying yourself means that you'll never ever ever seen again. All right what I am saying is it mean that you made a decision to stop? Living for yourself. I make a decision that I will no longer serve myself that I will die to myself and I will serve God and anything that you ask do I will do and my entire my eyes my ears my nose my feet my hand. Everything has now been consecrated and dedicated to St. Paul said to living for him not living for ourselves not living for our passion our desires cuz if we're honest that's what a lot of us to live for everything around me is to make me comfortable to make me happy you make excuses in this not to serve our cell crucifying the flesh. He's no longer living for yourself, but living for him who already gave himself for you. and when you do that you have that change life. 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 R4 if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation old things have passed away behold all things have become new. This is the verse that to me is like the formula. This is what it is and there's three part the orders very important. Anyone is in Christ. He is a new creation that's step one. That's what I said is not gives us Grace God has done for us. God has given to us God is speaking to us. God has given us all kinds of stuff that's going on where a new creation even if you didn't realize it but then their step 2 and step two ways all things. I passed away all things got to go, bye-bye. I have to crucify the flesh. But if I do that then step 3, all things will become new I'm telling you. This is exactly what God wants to do for you. All right, like we've been saying all week. This is not a message for anyone other than you that God wants to make you a new creation. God wants you to live a new life. God wants you to never have that old life, which is a slave to passion and lust and desires all kinds of filthy stuff like that. But now imma throw it on you and ask you how will you respond? How will you respond to this? When I say that you must crucify your flesh? Wait a second before you answer. Let's go back to the prophecy that we read a little bit earlier tonight from the 6-hour came from Jeremiah chapter 16. And let's read that for a second. You know, when you when you come to Holy Week, especially if you look at the prophecies the prophecies are not nice it a prop. She's a very harsh properties are very like condemning. I just want to know exception look what it says here. It's like the fourth line. And it shall come to pass when you report to this people all these words and they shall say to you stop right there it shall come to pass when you me report these words to the people what their response going to be. Let me know what you're thinking right now. Why is the Lord pronounce all these evil against us? What is the weather in righteousness? And what is her symmetry of sin before the Lord when we got it so bad. What about Dad stopped talking to me about this is a good people Church showing of these difficult things. What's the answer? Then you shall say to them because your father's for sick me says the Lord and went after strange gods and serve them and worship them and force up them and not kept not my law and you seen worse than your father's pretty whole you are everyone after the lust of your own evil heart. So as not to listen to me. You catch what he said. You said your father send worship idols. So what what that got to do with me? I don't worship any Idols. I mean church. I'm doing everything. I'm supposed to be doing the mayor's purse. What did I do? That's worse worship idols. worship cow What do I do if it's worse than men? You are a different item and that Idol is yourself and your evil heart. He says that is much worse than your the result of that. But it said the result is only one thing. Therefore I will cast you off from this good land into a land which neither you nor your father's have known and you shall serve there other gods who shall have no mercy upon you that is a message. That is not an easy message. And that's one that I struggled with all day long. There's only one end result either you crucify your flesh or you have to leave because you said you can't be in heaven can't be up there with the light and be in darkness. So you choose you choose how you're going to respond and let me guess how most of the people I can respond. I think the 90s and the people here today that I wanted to respond to one is good. One is bad. The first response is I think a lot of people have is sounds good. You will do I'll do it. I'll do it tonight. I'll do it tomorrow. No problem. I'll do it. That's the bad response. That's a worthless response that's respond that will produce no fruit because that's an outside response. And that's not the response. I want you to have like I said this idea of crucifying the flesh is more than I can explain. It is more than my words can explain to you no matter how much time I have here how much time I'm going to take what the right response is. What I want you to do. They want you to understand is principal. Okay, where am I going to discover it? Let me tell you what you're not going to Discovery. You're not going to discover here and you're not going to discover that work. The only place discovered is when you go in your room, like we're told us last night. I close the door at turn off the phone and I shutdown my computer and I sit quiet With My Father in heaven and I asked him I said God you revealed something special to Saint Paul revealed to me to I want to understand what it means to Crucify My Flesh and you have to sit there until God gives it to you. You have to be willing to ask yourself some tough questions. To answer some tough answers and if you are not willing to do that, I promise you the change will be only on the outside for the next 3 or 4 days. You will go back to the miserable life. As soon as it is a lasting change Johnny inside you go to your room tonight you leave here tonight and you go home as quickly as you can you close your door. You don't check your email. You don't call your friends. You don't go shopping. You don't think about anything you go to your room you sit with your father in Heaven. And you say God open my heart to this message. Tell me how this applies to me. I want to be crucified with you and no longer I who live at old things have passed away.