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Grace, Truth and Time.

The Advocate,

Who’s our Advocate, so Jesus is our advocate,

1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

1 Tim 2:5 For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 4

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, 5 Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

He steps in and I want you to see this because I’m going to tell you no growth happens until this occurs. Jesus steps in as the advocate steps in the one responsible for making this better and the first thing He says – 

  • pray harder…. no, He didn’t say that 
  • work harder no he didn’t say that 
  • he didn’t give any instructions to the person on how to get better.

What He said was He spoke to the judgment, and he said?

Wait, stop judging this fig tree. 

The gospel and all change begin with saying no to the condemnation for where you are right now. It starts by saying no to the condemnation for whoever it is you’re dealing with.

Romans 8 

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

That’s why Paul mentions the cycle we all experience of Romans 7. 

Romans 7 

1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

2 For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbids. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet.

8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law, sin was dead.

9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

I’m caught in this cycle, and he says how am I going to get out of this?

Who’s going to save me from this? One more prayer more Bible study? 

No…

24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Paul says, 

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So then with the mind, I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

And then he says something amazing this is the first step getting better he says there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Him. 

Romans 8 King James Version (KJV)

1 There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh. Still, after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

If you have reached out to Jesus, the first two lines of here are gone, and you know what you’re still screwed up… 

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Have you experienced people they got some kind of addiction or challenge …?

  • I’ll never do that again, and in the end, they get convicted.
  • I’ll never do that again, and then they get convicted,
  • and they stay in this cycle over and over,
  • and they go to Church, and
  • Church says you know you got to be holy and all this kind of stuff.
  • And it doesn’t work?!!!….

Then some somebody in the Church that’s been in recovery for a while they’ve been there, and they go to a good recovery group some 12-step group or AAA or something that really understands this. 

They say come to this meeting with me, and they walk into the meeting, and they got to say hi, I’m Henry, and I’m a whatever-a-holic, and you know it’s people in the room understand and agree there is no condemnation. 

That’s the first step in the breaking of the cycle, so if you’re depressed if you’re anxious if you’re addicted whatever it is, I want you to find your advocacy.

We have an incarnation gospel, and when Jesus walks in the room, God walks in the room, and a person walks in the room in one body, and what he said throughout the New Testament. 

This is why it’s so important when I say the New Testament has all these processes that will heal us. 

Ephesians 4 teaches us that is we you know you get together, and you’re connected to one another. We’re doing the things we’re going to talk about today for each other. With each other, he says the whole body connected by every joint every sinew when each part does its work it heals itself.

If you have an infected finger and you cut it off, and you put it in a drawer with a book on Anatomy?

Say hi glad you’re here we struggle too, and there’s no condemnation in this place.

That’s the first thing that you’re going to have to find and when you get there, and you’re in with a real person who understands the ways of God, in a real group and a genuine ministry that understands the ways that God heals people, besides his supernatural intervention, will embody, no condemnation. 

We don’t cut you down, (Fig tree) we seek to understand why?

Now once we do that what happens in the story is, he says don’t condemn the fig tree. 

I see a lot of people want to claim their position in Christ…

I’m accepted in Jesus just like I am, but you aren’t done, buddy, see we got work to do. 

He gives us three ingredients. 

  • I’m going to dig around 
  • and I’m going to fertilize 
  • and I’m going to give it another year…

If It’s going to grow, you got to plan it in a process. 

I’m going to do these three things and let’s translate those into a healing process. 

So, what do we dig around for?

What are we looking for?

Let’s go dig up the truth. 

We’re going to dig up the truth…

If your car won’t start something’s wrong, and you’re like quoting car verses to it, oh yeah, it’s not working what do you take it to the mechanic. That mechanic knows what they’re looking for.

So, the truth is a standard that we’re supposed to reach, and it’s also the truth of where we concern that standard.

So, don’t go talk to people who lack wisdom.

Go to somebody that brings something to the party. 

Scripture reminds us to comfort with the comfort that we have received from God. You want to talk to somebody that brings some experience and truth.

  • How many depressed people have they worked with?
  • How much have they gone through?
  • Have they seen healing happened? 

Let’s say you want to lose a hundred pounds. 

If all you got is the standard and step on the scale and feel bad and go try again, that’s called a New Year’s resolution. 

You have to start asking the right questions!

  • Why do you overeat?
  • What happened right before?
  • What emotional state were you in when you’re compelled to go act out in that particular way?
  • What were the triggers? 
  • Where did that woundedness come from?

Jesus said to the Pharisees you clean the outside of the cup, but you don’t go inside. 

How many of you ever been to a surgeon they gave you a band-aid? I mean they did later because they’re going to cut you, they don’t give you a band-aid what they do is they start digging around, and they find out what’s causing this problem. 

We got to do some digging around and find this, and then he says fertilizer

what fertilizer is? It’s Grace…

So many Christians have such a shallow view of Grace. 

Grace does not equal = “God accepts me just like I am” (that’s not what Grace is that is a manifestation of Grace)

Grace is two words – Unmerited favour

  • Unmerited means
    • I don’t bring anything to the party 
    • I’m broken beyond repair 
    • I can’t fix myself 

So, somebody from the outside has got to step in

fertilizer steps in, and it gives to the plant what it cannot produce on its own that it needs to grow…

we can’t self-help our own brokenness…

You don’t see anywhere in the universe a perpetual energy machine! 

God is the only one that’s self-sustaining. 

We all draw life from outside of ourselves whatever you need to get over a part of it is going to come from the outside. Then you have your own work to do which we’ll talk about, but you got to get fertilized.

The Bible gives so much fertilizer support, correction, teaching and modelling. 

Paul says, imitate me imitating, and modelling is one of the ways the human system changes. We need to be taught these things, and that’s fertilizer and support there’s teaching there’s a correction. 

Don’t tell the broken-hearted to heal itself, 

Don’t tell the weak to walk by themselves. We have to help the weak.

Over and over and over, we are given these ingredients of the fertilizer of Grace.

Dr Cloud mentions that he was giving some counsel the other day somebody’s got an addict they’re dealing with. I said 90 meetings in 90 days don’t think they’re going to read a book and be well I’ve got a friend that brought was one of the people in the 80s it really brought recovery to the Church. He was a horrible alcoholic lost three families and three businesses. He got in recovery, and he’s been sober for 30 years. I said how you’d get sober he said I wasn’t harsh I went to three AAA meeting a day. I said a day he said yeah, he said the goal is to make it from the end of one to get to the next one without stopping liquor store in between. He said, and then after a while of that I got down to one a day, and he said for a long time I’d go a couple times a week.

I don’t know what your dosage level is, but I do know this it’s not one injection you don’t eat one meal, and it lasts you through the year. God has given you a metabolic function where we take what we did in that group, and we go out. We live it out, and when we fail, and we do well, and then we come back, and we come back that’s called growth, and this has seasons in it this thing called time.

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